[Senate Hearing 114-658, Part 1]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


                                                   S. Hrg. 114-658, Pt. 1

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION FOR APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 
               2017 AND THE FUTURE YEARS DEFENSE PROGRAM

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

                                HEARINGS

                               BEFORE THE

                      COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                    ONE HUNDRED FOURTEENTH CONGRESS

                             SECOND SESSION

                                   ON

                                S. 2943

     TO AUTHORIZE APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2017 FOR MILITARY 
ACTIVITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, FOR MILITARY CONSTRUCTION, AND 
   FOR DEFENSE ACTIVITIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, TO PRESCRIBE 
   MILITARY PERSONNEL STRENGTHS FOR SUCH FISCAL YEAR, AND FOR OTHER 
                                PURPOSES

                               ----------                              

                                 PART 1

                      THE FUTURE OF THE U.S. ARMY

               U.S. PACIFIC COMMAND AND U.S. FORCES KOREA

                           AIR FORCE POSTURE

           U.S. STRATEGIC COMMAND, U.S. NORTHERN COMMAND, AND
               U.S. SOUTHERN COMMAND PROGRAMS AND BUDGET

                              NAVY POSTURE

                  DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE BUDGET POSTURE

                           U.S. CYBER COMMAND

                              ARMY POSTURE

                   F-35 JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER PROGRAM

                               ----------                              

       FEBRUARY 11, 23; MARCH 3, 10, 15, 17; APRIL 5, 7, 26, 2016


         Printed for the use of the Committee on Armed Services


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                      COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES

  JOHN McCAIN, Arizona, Chairman	JACK REED, Rhode Island
JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma		BILL NELSON, Florida
JEFF SESSIONS, Alabama			CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi		JOE MANCHIN III, West Virginia
KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire		JEANNE SHAHEEN, New Hampshire
DEB FISCHER, Nebraska			KIRSTEN E. GILLIBRAND, New York
TOM COTTON, Arkansas			RICHARD BLUMENTHAL, Connecticut
MIKE ROUNDS, South Dakota		JOE DONNELLY, Indiana
JONI ERNST, Iowa			MAZIE K. HIRONO, Hawaii
THOM TILLIS, North Carolina		TIM KAINE, Virginia
DAN SULLIVAN, Alaska			ANGUS S. KING, JR., Maine
MIKE LEE, Utah				MARTIN HEINRICH, New Mexico
LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
TED CRUZ, Texas                     
                           
Christian D. Brose, Staff Director
Elizabeth L. King, Minority Staff 
             Director

                                  (ii)

  
                            C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              

                           February 11, 2016

                                                                   Page

The Future of the U.S. Army......................................     1

Ham, General Carter F., USA (RET.), Chairman, National Commission 
  on the Future of the Army; Honorable Thomas R. Lamont, Vice 
  Chairman, National Commission on the Future of the Army; 
  General James D. Thurman, USA (Ret.), Commissioner, National 
  Commission on the Future of the Army; and Sergeant Major of the 
  Army Raymond F. Chandler III, USA (Ret.), Commissioner, 
  National Commission on the Future of the Army..................     4

                           February 23, 2016

U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Forces Korea.......................    39

Harris, Admiral Harry B., Jr., USN, Commander, United States 
  Pacific Command................................................    44
Scaparrotti, General Curtis M., USA, Commander, United Nations 
  Command, Combined Forces Command, United States Forces Korea...    61

Questions for the Record.........................................   106

                             March 3, 2016

Posture of the Department of the Air Force.......................   115

James, Honorable Deborah Lee, Secretary of the Air Force.........   119
Welsh, General Mark A., III, USAF, Chief of Staff of the Air 
  Force..........................................................   138

                             March 10, 2016

U.S. Strategic Command, U.S. Northern Command, and U.S. Southern 
  Command Programs and Budget....................................   169

Haney, Admiral Cecil E. D., USN, Commander, U.S. Strategic 
  Command........................................................   173
Gortney, Admiral William E., USN, Commander, U.S. Northern 
  Command and Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command   184
Tidd, Admiral Kurt W., USN, Commander, U.S. Southern Command.....   196

Questions for the Record.........................................   247

                             March 15, 2016

Posture of the Department of the Navy............................   259

Mabus, Honorable Raymond E., Jr., Secretary of the Navy..........   263
Neller, General Robert B. USMC, Commandant of the Marine Corps...   281
Richardson, Admiral John M., USN, Chief of Naval Operations......   290

Questions for the Record.........................................   327

                                 (iii)

  

                             March 17, 2016

Department of Defense Budget Posture.............................   343

Carter, Honorable Ashton B., Secretary of Defense; Accompanied by 
  Honorable Michael J. McCord, Under Secretary of Defense 
  (Comptroller) and Chief Financial Officer......................   348
Dunford, General Joseph F., Jr., USMC, Chairman of the Joint 
  Chiefs of Staff................................................   377

Questions for the Record.........................................   425

                             April 5, 2016

U.S. Cyber Command...............................................   455

Rogers, Admiral Michael S., USN, Commander, U.S. Cyber Command; 
  Director, National Security Agency; Chief, Central Security 
  Services.......................................................   458

Questions for the Record.........................................   503

                             April 7, 2016

Posture of the Department of the Army............................   507

Murphy, Honorable Patrick J., Acting Secretary of the Army.......   510
Milley, General Mark A., USA, Chief of Staff of the Army.........   519

                             April 26, 2016

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program................................   561

Kendall, Honorable Frank, III, Under Secretary of Defense for 
  Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics.........................   565
Bogdan, Lieutenant General Christopher C., USAF, Program 
  Executive Officer for the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program......   567
Gilmore, Honorable J. Michael, Ph.D., Director of Operational 
  Test and Evaluation, Department of Defense.....................   577
Sullivan, Michael J., Director of Acquisition and Sourcing 
  Management, Government Accountability Office...................   592

Questions for the Record.........................................   623

 
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION FOR APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 
               2017 AND THE FUTURE YEARS DEFENSE PROGRAM

                              ----------                              


                      THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2016

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

                      THE FUTURE OF THE U.S. ARMY

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:53 a.m. in Room 
SD-G50, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Senator John McCain 
(chairman) presiding.
    Committee members present: Senators McCain, Inhofe, 
Sessions, Wicker, Ayotte, Fischer, Cotton, Ernst, Tillis, Lee, 
Reed, McCaskill, Manchin, Shaheen, Gillibrand, Blumenthal, 
Donnelly, Hirono, Kaine, King, and Heinrich.

       OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR JOHN McCAIN, CHAIRMAN

    Chairman McCain. The Senate Armed Services Committee meets 
this morning to receive testimony on the findings and 
recommendations of the National Commission on the Future of the 
United States Army.
    I am pleased to welcome General Carter Ham, General James 
D. Thurman, the Honorable Thomas Lamont and Sergeant Major of 
the Army Raymond Chandler.
    Gentlemen, this committee is grateful to you for your many 
years of distinguished service and your leadership during the 
conduct of the National Commission's work. We are thankful for 
the comprehensive and timely report. Today, we hope to benefit 
from your recommendations.
    The focus of this hearing is our Army and our soldiers. 
Their mission is unequivocal. It is to fight and win our 
Nation's wars. As Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley said 
eloquently, the Army's ``reason for being, our very reason for 
being, at the very core of what it means to have an Army is to 
win, and to win decisively, in ground combat against the 
enemies of our country so that American citizens can enjoy 
life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.''
    Through 15 years of war, our Army has been tested. Time and 
time again, our soldiers proved their commitment, courage, and 
determination. It is our duty to do our utmost to provide them 
with the support they need and deserve. That starts by 
recognizing that our Army is still at war.
    At this moment, 187,000 soldiers are deployed in 140 
locations around the globe. They're fighting terrorists and 
training our partners in Afghanistan and supporting the fight 
against ISIL, all the while defending South Korea and 
reassuring our allies in eastern Europe. Yet, as the demands on 
our Army continue to increase, our support for our soldiers has 
not kept pace. In short, our Army is confronting growing 
threats and increasing operational demands with shrinking and 
less-ready forces and aging equipment. By the end of the next 
fiscal year, the Army will be cut down to 450,000 Active Duty 
personnel soldiers, down from a wartime peak of 570,000. These 
budget-driven force reductions were decided before the rise of 
ISIL or Russia's invasion of Ukraine. As the Commission notes, 
a regular Army of 450,000 is the minimum sufficient force 
necessary. We must be clear that when we minimize our Army, we 
maximize the risk to our soldiers. Those risks will only grow 
worse if mindless sequestration cuts are allowed to return and 
the Army shrinks to 420,000 soldiers. On the present course, 
we're running the risk that, in a crisis, we'll have too few 
soldiers who will enter a fight without proper training or 
equipment.
    Given current operational demands, readiness must be the 
first priority of the Army. Yet, as our Army shrinks, readiness 
suffers. Just over one-third of the Army's Brigade Combat Teams 
are ready for deployment and decisive operations. I repeat, 
only just over one-third. The Army has no plan to return to 
full-spectrum readiness until 2021, at the very earliest. As 
the Commission's report makes clear, both the mission and the 
force are at risk.
    Meanwhile, the Army is woefully behind on modernization. 
The Army must modernize for the harsh realities of 21st century 
warfare. Our soldiers must be trained and equipped for an 
increasingly diverse and complex range of threats. They must be 
able to win against peers in highly lethal combined-arms 
maneuver, near-peer in hybrid warfare conditions, and 
determined unconventional insurgents. Yet, our Army is 
essentially organized and equipped as it was in the 1980s. The 
main difference is that it's smaller. In fact, many key 
enabling forces, like artillery, armored calvary, engineers, 
air defense, chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear 
response, and theater transport have been reduced to levels 
that compromise the Army's ability to field campaign-quality 
forces. Put simply, our ground force is not in balance. We're 
not sized with the adequate capacity or with key capabilities 
to give our soldiers what they need to win decisively. Part of 
that is the legacy of the Army's acquisition record, which 
former Army Secretary McHugh said, quote, ``too often, a tale 
of failure, too many underperforming or canceled programs, too 
few successful fieldings of developmental designs, and far too 
many taxpayer dollars wasted.'' While we have struggled, 
adversaries such as Russia have been investing billions in 
modernizing their armies. The result is that America's 
capability advantage in ground combat weapons is not nearly as 
great as it once was.
    Another challenge to the Army's balance has been its 
failure to operate as a total force composed of the regular 
Army, the Guard, and the Reserve. Yet, while the Army is 
intended to operate as one force, the Commission identified 
major gaps, including a lack of focus on multi-component units, 
the absence of an integrated recruiting force, and the 
inability to manage pay and personnel across the entire Army 
with a single system. The Commission's recommendations for 
developing a total Army as well as those related to the 
critical issue of Army aviation are worthy of the committee's 
consideration.
    Our total Army needs a major change of direction. This will 
not be easy, but it's been done before. Army leaders like 
General Abrams transformed the Army before. They restored the 
discipline and morale of the force in the aftermath of the 
Vietnam War. They transitioned the Army to an All-Volunteer 
Force while revolutionizing training doctrine, and they built 
an Army that won the Cold War and removed Saddam Hussein from 
Kuwait. We need this kind of transformation again today, 
because, as the Commission has made clear, our Army is in 
trouble. The increasing velocity of instability, combined with 
continued reductions in defense spending, will inevitably lead 
to depleted readiness, chronic modernization problems, and 
deteriorating morale. We can and must do better.
    I'm grateful to the Commission for its important 
contribution to helping us find a better way forward.
    Senator Reed.

                 STATEMENT OF SENATOR JACK REED

    Senator Reed. Well thank you very much Mr. Chairman. Thank 
you for holding this hearing. It's--very important, as you 
pointed out.
    After nearly 15 years of continuous operations, it's 
critical we take a step back and assess the current state of 
the regular Army, the Army National Guard, and the Army 
Reserve. As such, our witnesses this morning each bring a 
unique and valuable perspective on these issues. I look forward 
to their testimony and exploring in greater detail the 
recommendations that the National Commission on the Future of 
the Army has put forth for consideration.
    First, let me begin by thanking the commissioners as well 
as your staff. You've done an extraordinary job. Your hard 
work, your willingness to take on this challenge is deeply 
appreciated. The comprehensive study that you have produced is 
thorough and thoughtful. In particular, I applaud your efforts 
to reach out to all stakeholders, including senior leadership 
in the Department of Defense, leadership within the regular 
Army, the Army National Guard, the Army Reserve, numerous 
elected officials both in Washington and in the states, and, 
most importantly, soldiers currently serving in uniform. I 
think you were guided in those efforts very effectively by the 
Sergeant Major.
    Thank you, Sergeant Major.
    Thank you for the process, and thank you for the great 
effort.
    As the final Commission report illustrates, the Army is 
faced with a number of challenges and tough choices for the 
foreseeable future. The threats facing our Nation are not 
diminishing, and it underscores our need for a well-trained and 
well-resourced, properly equipped military force that can 
deploy at a moment's notice. The Army has made increasing 
readiness levels a top priority; however, in a constrained 
budget environment, augmenting funding for readiness often 
comes at the expense of other Army priorities, including 
investment in modernization and recapitalization. Furthermore, 
the problem is compounded by the fact the Army has had a poor 
track record with the modernization efforts, resulting in 
programs that have been truncated or canceled. I look forward 
to hearing from our witnesses on their thoughts on how the Army 
can continue to improve readiness, as well as your views on how 
the Army can improve its acquisition process.
    Another issue the Commission considered was the Aviation 
Restructure Initiative, or the ARI, and the transfer of all 
Apache helicopters in the Army National Guard to regular Army. 
The Commission's recommended allowing the Active component to 
retain 20 battalions of Apaches, each equipped with 24 
aircraft, while providing the Army National Guard with four 
battalions of Apaches, each equipped with 18 aircraft. In light 
of the vigorous debate the ARI proposal has generated in 
Congress and the importance to the Army, I look forward to 
hearing our witnesses particularly with respect to this issue.
    Finally, the Army continues to draw down its end strength, 
as the Chairman has pointed out. The final goal is 450,000 in 
the Active Army, 335,000 in the Army National Guard, and 
195,000 in the Army Reserve. The Commission noted this level of 
uniformed military personnel, again, as the Chairman pointed 
out, provides the Army a minimally sufficient capability and 
capacity across the range of near-term challenges. In light of 
the evolving security environment and unanticipated global 
challenges, I welcome your comments on whether you believe the 
U.S. Army can continue to meet its commitment with this Army--
this size Army.
    Again, thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, commissioners.
    Chairman McCain. I thank the witnesses. Whatever order you 
would like to begin, I think would be appropriate.
    General Ham, is that----

JOINT STATEMENT OF GENERAL CARTER F. HAM, USA (RET.), CHAIRMAN, 
NATIONAL COMMISSION ON THE FUTURE OF THE ARMY; HONORABLE THOMAS 
R. LAMONT, VICE CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL COMMISSION ON THE FUTURE OF 
 THE ARMY; GENERAL JAMES D. THURMAN, USA (RET.), COMMISSIONER, 
  NATIONAL COMMISSION ON THE FUTURE OF THE ARMY; AND SERGEANT 
    MAJOR OF THE ARMY RAYMOND F. CHANDLER III, USA (RET.), 
  COMMISSIONER, NATIONAL COMMISSION ON THE FUTURE OF THE ARMY

    General Ham. Thanks, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman and Senator 
Reed, with your indulgence, I think, with the agreement of my 
partners here, we'll just have one opening statement, and then 
go to questions.
    Chairman McCain. Thank you.
    General Ham. Sir, on behalf of all of the fellow 
commissioners and the great staff that support us, thank you 
all for inviting us to testify before the committee on a report 
on the future of the Army. I'd especially thank you, Mr. 
Chairman, for having appointed General J.D. Thurman to the 
Commission, and, Senator Reed, for having appointed Sergeant 
Major of the Army Ray Chandler. It will be no surprise to those 
on this committee that both General Thurman and Sergeant Major 
of the Army Chandler offered characteristically direct and 
forceful insights to the Commission.
    Chairman McCain. Not surprising.
    General Ham. No, sir.
    The committee and staff have already received the 
Commission's report, so I won't spend a lot of time addressing 
specific issues, but I would like to give you a sense of how we 
approached the task that you gave to us in the Fiscal Year 2015 
National Defense Authorization Act. The Commission made every 
effort to be inclusive, accessible, and transparent. We visited 
17 states, interacted with over 320 different Army units of all 
three components. We interacted with all 54 adjutants general 
and 33 governors. About 80 Members of Congress engaged with the 
Commission. We've met with all six geographic combatant 
commanders, many of their service component commands, and many 
of our most important allies and foreign partners. That's 
certainly only a very partial list. We tried to pay strict 
attention to the law that you passed creating the Commission. 
Importantly, our recommendations were required to be consistent 
with acceptable levels of national risk and, importantly, 
anticipated future resources. In other words, this was not an 
unbounded effort.
    The result is a set of 63 specific recommendations that we 
believe are well researched based on realistic assumptions and 
backed by solid data. We found that America's Army is the best 
in the world, and those who have chosen to serve make it so and 
deserve our full and continued support and appreciation. Yet, 
as indicated, our Army faces some significant challenges, many 
of them budget driven.
    From fiscal years 2010 to 2015, for example, overall 
defense spending declined seven percent, but Army funding 
declined 14 percent. On the two main issues before the 
Commission--force size and mix and the Apache transfer--the 
Commission found the following:
    An Army of 980,000 is the minimally sufficient force to 
meet current and anticipated missions at an acceptable level of 
national risk. Within that 980,000, as indicated, the 
Commission finds the regular Army of 450,000, the Army National 
Guard of 335,000, and the Army Reserve of 195,000 present the 
right mix of forces; but, again, the absolute minimum levels to 
meet America's national security objectives. The numbers do not 
tell the full story. The Army of 980,000 must be resourced so 
that it is trained, ready, postured, and modernized to meet the 
Nation's demands.
    It's important to remember the mandate that you gave us. 
You told us to size the force in light of the two previously 
mentioned considerations: risk and resources. Adjust either, or 
both, particularly the level of anticipated resourcing, and you 
would reasonably arrive at very different conclusions. In our 
assessment, an Army of 980,000 is the absolute minimum--a 
floor, not a ceiling.
    On the Apache question, the Commission recommends the Army 
maintain 24 fully manned Apache battalions, 20 in the regular 
Army and four in the Army National Guard. The Commission 
recommendation has advantages over the Aviation Restructure 
Initiative in both wartime capacity and surge capacity, and has 
the added benefit of reducing peacetime deployment stress, and 
we believe it will better promote integration of the regular 
Army and the Army National Guard. It comes at added cost. To 
offset the added costs of having four Apache battalions in the 
Guard, we make some suggestions with regard to potential cost 
offsets, including adding only two Black Hawk battalions to the 
National Guard instead of the four that are currently planned, 
and suggest considering slowing Black Hawk modernization.
    The report also contains several prominent themes based on 
the Commission's factfinding and analysis. We consider 
sustaining the All-Volunteer Force, vital to the future of the 
Nation. A return to a draft or other model of compulsory 
Military Service will not yield the quality Army the Nation 
requires. An All-Volunteer Force is expensive to recruit and 
retain. We believe doing so is the right choice.
    The Commission believes it is critically important to 
develop a true total-force culture. While the regular Army, 
Army National Guard, and Army Reserve are distinct, essential, 
and interdependent, they are meant to operate as one force, 
with their efforts fully integrated. The Commission found gaps 
in seams in the implementation of the total-force policy, and 
our report highlights some of those and offers some remedies.
    The Commission recommends funding at least at the fiscal 
year 2016 President's Budget level, which would provide, in our 
opinion, the Army the minimum resources necessary to meet its 
requirement at acceptable risk. Given the evolving strategic 
environment and the potential for growing instability, even 
this level of funding may prove inadequate in the future.
    Additionally, Army funding must be predictable. Successive 
years of budget uncertainty and continuing resolutions have had 
significant negative consequences for the Army. In the 
Commission's view, even with budgets at the President's Budget 
2016 level, the Army would still have some significant 
shortfalls in aviation, short-range air defense, and other 
capabilities that we address in the report.
    Mr. Chairman, Senator Reed, that's a brief rundown of what 
we found. We recognize that certainly not everyone will agree 
with our recommendations. Indeed, many have already voiced 
their disagreement. What I do hope, though--and I think I speak 
for the Commission--is that our report will contribute to the 
important debate that the Congress and the administration--I 
would argue, indeed, the Nation--must have to determine how 
America's Army should be sized, trained, modernized, and 
postured.
    With that, my fellow commissioners and I are prepared to 
answer your questions.
    [The prepared statement of General Ham follows:]

                Prepared Statement by General Carter Ham
    Chairman McCain, Ranking Member Reed; on behalf of all my fellow 
commissioners thank you for inviting us to testify before the committee 
on our report on the future of the Army. We appreciate the opportunity 
discuss our findings and recommendations with the committee.
    The Committee and staff have already received the Commission's 
report, so I won't spend a lot of time addressing specific points. I 
would like to give you a sense of how comprehensive we were.
    The Commission made every effort to be inclusive, accessible, and 
transparent.
    We visited 17 states and interacted with:
      over 320 different Army units;
      all 54 adjutants general and 33 governors
      about 80 Members of Congress; and
      all six geographic combatant commands and many of our 
most important allies and foreign partners
    That is just a very partial list.
    I should also point out that we paid strict attention to the law 
you passed creating the Commission; you'll notice every chapter begins 
with a direct quote from the law as a way to frame the subsequent 
material.
    The result is a set of 63 specific recommendations that are 
unbiased, well researched, based on realistic assumptions, and backed 
by solid data. Importantly, our recommendations had to be consistent 
with ``acceptable levels of national risk'' and ``anticipated future 
resources.'' In other words, we were not unbounded in our work.
    What we found is that our Army is the best in the world. Those who 
wear the uniform deserve our gratitude every day.
    The Army faces severe challenges, most of them budget-driven. From 
fiscal years 2010-2015, overall defense funding declined 7 percent. 
Army funding declined 14 percent.
    On the two main issues before the Commission--force size and mix, 
and the Apache transfer--the Commission found the following.
    An Army of 980,000 is the minimally sufficient force to meet 
current and anticipated missions at an acceptable level of national 
risk. Within that 980,000, the Commission finds a Regular Army of 
450,000, an Army National Guard of 335,000, and an Army Reserve of 
195,000 represent the right mix of forces and, again, the absolute 
minimum levels to meet America's national security objectives.
    To fully understand this recommendation it is important to remember 
the mandate you gave us. We weren't asked to come up with an optimal 
force size based on the world situation and our best judgment. That 
would have been nice, but it would not have been realistic.
    Instead, we were asked to size the force in light of the two 
previously mentioned considerations--acceptable risk and anticipated 
resources. Adjust either or both and you can arrive at very different 
conclusions, and I'm sure you and the administration will have your own 
ideas on how to balance those considerations.
    However, in our assessment, an Army of 980,000 is the absolute 
minimum--a floor, not a ceiling.
    On the Apache question, the Commission recommends the Army maintain 
24 manned Apache battalions--20 in the Regular Army and four in the 
Army National Guard. The Commission recommendation has advantages over 
the Aviation Restructure Initiative in both wartime capacity and surge 
capacity, and will reduce peacetime deployment stress. It will also 
promote better integration of the Regular Army and National Guard.
    To offset the added cost of having four Apache battalions in the 
Guard, the Commission suggests the Army could add only two Black Hawk 
battalions to the Guard instead of the four currently planned, and slow 
Black Hawk modernization.
    The report also contains several prominent themes based on the 
Commission's fact-finding and analysis.
    First, the All-Volunteer Force is a national treasure. Since its 
inception, the quality and professionalism of the force has improved 
dramatically--but it is expensive. However, the Commission considers 
sustaining the All-Volunteer Force vital to the future of the nation. 
All budget and force management decisions must be made with this goal 
in mind.
    Second, the Commission believes it is critically important to 
develop a true ``one Army'' Total Force culture. While the Regular 
Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve are distinct, essential, 
and interdependent, they are meant to operate as one force--with their 
efforts fully integrated.
    The Commission found that gaps and seams exist in the 
implementation of the Total Force Policy. The report highlights some of 
those and offers remedies.
    For example, we recommend putting all Army marketing under one 
roof, fielding a consolidated pay and personnel system, and making 
changes to the existing 12304b authority that will make it easier for 
the Army to employ the Reserve components.
    Third, the Commission recommends funding at the president's fiscal 
year 2016 level, which would provide the Army with the minimum 
resources necessary to meet its requirements at acceptable risk. Given 
the strategic environment and potential for growing instability, even 
this funding level may prove inadequate.
    Furthermore, it should be understood that even with budgets at the 
PB16 level, the Army would still suffer from significant shortfalls, in 
aviation and short-range air defense as well as other capabilities we 
address in the report.
    That is a very brief rundown on what we found. Certainly, not 
everyone will agree with our recommendations. Indeed, many have already 
voiced their disagreement.
    What I do hope, though, is that our report will contribute to the 
important debate that the Congress and the Administration, indeed the 
Nation, must have to determine how America's Army should be sized, 
trained, modernized and postured.
    With that, we are prepared to answer your questions.

    Chairman McCain. Well, thank you very much. Thank--to the 
commissioners. We're very appreciative. This comes at a 
excellent time for us as we begin the markup for the 2017 
defense authorization bill.
    I guess I would like to start by saying: Obviously, end 
strength is only part of the answer, but, if you want to 
improve the missions and capabilities, end strength is a place 
to begin. Would--I think you would agree. We're now looking at 
a reduction for 2017 down to 420,000 Active component, as 
opposed to 450,000. What--I guess my first question is, how 
serious is that impact?
    General Ham. Mr. Chairman, in the Commission's work and in 
the analysis that we did, some of it in a classified realm--and 
I would certainly commend the classified annex to the members 
of the committee and to your staffs--it was our assessment that 
the regular Army force of 420,000 would be inadequate to meet 
the Nations' requirements at acceptable levels of risk.
    Chairman McCain. You were looking at the 2016 level of 
funding as a level that you think is barely acceptable, I guess 
is my interpretation. What if it's $17 billion less?
    General Ham. Sir, again, with any--any change to that--and 
we all--as you know, right now the Army is looking at budgets 
below the President's Budget for fiscal year 2016. We think 
that delta in funding just adds to the level of risk, makes it 
more difficult for the Army to sustain the levels of readiness 
that are required to meet the Nation's objectives, and further 
delay any effort to improve modernization.
    Chairman McCain. As you pointed out in your opening 
statement, as we lurch from one year to the next with total 
unpredictability as to the level of funding, no company or 
corporation could survive under that kind of uncertainty from--
as they lurch from year to year. How harmful is that, not only 
for planning, but--help me out on morale and retention and 
readiness, this OCO idea, which none of us like, but seems to 
be the only way that we're able to fund--but the impact of the 
year-to-year uncertainty of the ability they're going to be 
able to carry out their missions.
    General Ham. Mr. Chairman, let me start, and, if you'll 
allow me, maybe turn to Sergeant Major of the Army Chandler.
    I think, in my view, the biggest impact of the budget 
uncertainty manifests itself particularly in the area of 
modernization, but we also--in our site visits around the Army, 
also heard numerous reports from soldiers, noncommissioned 
officers, and officers of their training and leader development 
plans that were disrupted because of the uncertainty in the 
budget. For example, some leader development courses that were 
canceled or postponed early in the fiscal year because of 
funding challenges. Particularly in the Reserve components, if 
a young noncommissioned officer who is either employed or 
perhaps a college student had made plans to attend a leader 
development course, and then that was suddenly canceled because 
of budget challenges, it may be a couple of years before that 
Reserve-component noncommissioned officer may find another 
opportunity to attend important leader development.
    Sergeant Major?
    Mr. Chandler. Thanks, sir.
    Mr. Chairman, you know, one of my great privileges is to be 
able to talk with soldiers. It's what I did as the Sergeant 
Major of the Army, it's what I was able to do in great part as 
part--a member of the Commission. I will tell you, I think that 
the risk to soldiers in the long-term impact on areas like 
leader development and retention are huge if we're not able to 
sustain a budget over a period of time. I'll give you a quick 
example.
    We had the opportunity to go to the National Training 
Center and speak with the 116th Brigade from a number of 
states, primarily Idaho. One of the commanders that we had an 
opportunity to speak with, he was very concerned about being 
able to retain his mid-grade noncommissioned officers and 
officers. The challenge was, if I'm--got to make a choice 
between going on an annual training event or, as they did, 60 
or 70 days of annual training in order to prepare for a NTC 
[National Training Center] rotation, if they weren't going to 
be utilized after that and deployed someplace, then the issue 
became, ``Why am I doing this? I've deployed several times over 
the past 14 or 15 years, and now being in a place where I'm 
spending 2 or 3 years ramping up for a keystone event, go to 
the National Training Center, and then not be deployed to go do 
something. Why do I need to continue to do this?''
    I think you'll see that, if we're not able to sustain 
adequate funding, leader development programs, and the 
opportunity to go and train and deploy, this will have a huge 
impact on the Army's ability to generate readiness and fight 
and defend our Nation's wars.
    Chairman McCain. General Thurman.
    General Thurman. Mr. Chairman, one of the things that I've 
observed with the lack of predictable funding has been not 
being able to sustain Combat Training Center rotations. The 
crown jewel of the Army to be able to conduct decisive land 
combat is at our training centers. There were cases over the 
past few years where rotations were canceled. That is not a 
good ideal, particularly when we've got formations that have to 
be trained for land combat. I just used my past experience in 
Korea. That situation is very volatile over there, and it 
requires ground forces that are properly trained for decisive 
land combat. This has got to be sustained.
    That was one of the things that I saw a I looked in--over 
the course of funding is--if we don't have predictable funding 
and cannot sustain readiness, particularly on the high end, 
then we've got an Army that's not properly trained.
    What I've learned over my experience, a soldier must have 
confidence in themselves, they must have confidence in their 
leadership, and they must have confidence in their equipment. 
That--and if they don't have that, and have the opportunity to 
train on that, then we're headed for something that is not good 
for the country.
    Thank you.
    Chairman McCain. Sir, did you want to answer?
    Mr. Lamont. Just very quickly. I want to point out, when we 
made reference to and benchmarked FYPB16 [Fiscal Year 
Presidential Budget], that was really informed by the QDR 
[Quarterly Defense Review] of 2014. The strategic environment, 
as we all know, has changed fairly dramatically since then. 
We're quite concerned with those levels, particularly as we go 
into 2017.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Reed.
    Senator Reed. Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Once again, gentlemen, thank you and your colleagues for 
your extraordinary service.
    Let me go back to the issue of the Army Restructuring 
Initiative, the helicopters. I think, General Ham, your 
comments and also the report suggested that one of the reasons 
that you think it--there should be Apaches in the National 
Guard is to help integrate Army aviation across the whole 
spectrum--Active forces, National Guard forces, Reserve forces. 
I--you might comment on that. Also, in terms of the location of 
these residual National Guard units, was there any 
consideration to ensuring they are closely colocated with 
Active forces so they have access to training ranges, to--you 
know, to the things you need to do to stay proficient and 
current? Would that be part of your recommendations, or would 
you consider making further recommendations?
    General Ham and----
    General Ham. Yeah, Senator Reed, thanks. If you'll allow me 
to begin, then I'll turn to General Thurman----
    Senator Reed. Yes, sir.
    General Ham.--who served on the Aviation Subcommittee.
    We looked at four criteria in evaluating a number of 
alternatives for--with regard to the Apache issue. We looked, 
first and foremost, at wartime sufficiency. What was the proper 
structure to meet the stated wartime demands? That's 
articulated in the classified annex. We also looked for what 
alternative offered the best surge capability for unforeseen 
circumstances. Thirdly, we did look at, How do we best support 
the total force policy or the integration of the components? 
Lastly, importantly, looked at cost. In all of those, we came 
to the conclusion that we have stated. Cost, by the way, is 
one--is the reason why we recommend--while the battalions in 
the National Guard----
    Senator Reed. Right.
    General Ham.--be fully manned, they be equipped with only 
18, vice 24, aircraft, purely as a matter of cost. The National 
Guard Bureau and the Director of the Army National Guard told 
us that they are quite familiar and comfortable with cross-
leveling units when there is a need for operational employment.
    Before I turn to General Thurman, Senator Reed, just--we 
did not look specifically at where those battalions might be 
located. Certainly in the recommendation that addresses multi-
component units, which we think is important, it does work 
best, in our opinion, when those units are colocated--regular 
Army, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve.
    General Thurman?
    Senator Reed. General Thurman?
    General Thurman. Sir, Senator Reed, just to add to that. 
One of the things that I just would recommend is, we went into 
extensive analysis on wartime capacity that's in that 
classified annex that General Ham referred to. Bottom line, 
there's--if you put all of the AH-64 aircraft in the regular 
Army, you have no strategic depth to reach back to. That was a 
big driver.
    Here's the other fact, is--our aviation units today--Combat 
Aviation Brigades, Apache units--are inside the 1:2--1 year 
deployed to two years back home, the BOG Dwell that's referred 
to. That really drove us to come up with a alternative to the 
Aviation Restructure Initiative. Frankly, that initiative was 
budget-driven, when you really get inside that and look at it.
    The National Guard option, we looked at that, although a 
little more expensive. We used several of the analysis agencies 
to help us with this, with--inside of the Training and Doctrine 
Command. We settled that we--as a minimum, you need 20 
battalions in the regular Army so you can get them out the 
door. We learned a lot of lessons at the start of this war, 
with aircraft and aviation. Twenty-four is the right number in 
a Apache battalion to maintain the amount of combat power that 
you must have when these formations are deployed.
    For the Army National Guard, we see some opportunities also 
for them to work with combined-arms maneuver, particularly with 
the units that are closely located, whether it be Fort Bragg, 
Fort Hood, you name it. That's very important, because an 
aircraft not working with maneuver formations, sir, you know 
that's not very effective.
    In terms of cost, what we didn't want to do as a Commission 
is bring forth an option and not look in detail at this cost, 
and look at how we would offset those costs. Therefore, we 
looked, as an option, at the Black Hawk fleet. Not to say the 
Black Hawk fleet is not an important capability, because it is 
one of the capabilities that's requested all the time, whether 
it be inside the regular Army or for states and governors for 
what they do in the Homeland. The National Guard option said 
they could get by with only two battalions of Black Hawks, so 
we looked at a 3 percent reduction--modest reduction inside the 
Black Hawk multiyear to be able to offset that. The onetime 
cost to go from the AH-64 Delta aircraft to the Echo model, 
which we would recommend, is about $420 million. We thought we 
could offset that inside the aviation portfolio. The annual 
operating costs are about 165 million. Therefore, we brought 
forth a option that is really paid for out of that aviation 
portfolio, and that's what we tried to do.
    The other thing I think that's important inside of Army 
aviation and what the current environment shows is, we are 
rotating--or are going to begin to rotate the Combat Aviation 
Brigade out of Korea. Our professional judgment was to leave 
that permanently stationed in Korea. One, they've got to be 
ready to fight tonight. There's environment issues over there. 
You're in a combined environment over--with the Republic of 
Korea. That is very important, I think.
    The last point I would bring up--or two points--is, we also 
recommended retaining an 11th Combat Aviation Brigade. Now, we 
don't have--we would have to come, obviously, to the Congress 
to get additional funding for that. That's about $1.9 billion, 
because you'd have to buy additional aircraft to maintain 11 
Combat Aviation Brigades. The current environment says we need 
11 Combat Aviation Brigades in the regular Army.
    Then the other thing that I could talk about would be the 
increase in flying hours funding.
    Senator Reed. Thank you.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Gentlemen, thank you for your service.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Sessions.
    Senator Sessions. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    General Thurman, on the aviation question, it seems to me--
and you're recommending a stronger commitment to that, it seems 
like to me--what we learned in Iraq and Afghanistan was just 
how critical that aviation component is. Would you share your 
thoughts about the lessons learned and the shortages we found 
when we were trying to maintain operations in Afghanistan and 
Iraq?
    General Thurman. Yes, sir, Senator.
    As a division commander in Baghdad in 2006, the first call 
I always heard was, ``Troops in contact, requesting attack 
helicopters.'' The reason I bring that up, because this entity 
is one of the capabilities that changes dynamics on the 
battlefield. I would say aviation is going to continue to be a 
high-demand item in Afghanistan and also what--in Iraq or any 
other theater that we are going to get involved in. You see it 
when you review the war plans, and you see it when you review 
the requirements that are coming into the Joint Staff for Army 
aviation.
    Senator Sessions. Well, I think that's true. I was talking 
to a young former helicopter pilot, and flew over a group of 
Sunnis that we were supporting. They were all standing up and 
cheering. They were facing combat, and they'd call for air--
aviation support, and, when it came, he could see them cheer 
when they flew into the battle. I think it's a big deal.
    With regard--I understand that the President's Budget zeros 
out the Lakota aircraft that's going to be used to replace the 
old TH-67 trainers. Any of you aware of that and have any 
comment on it? Do we--we're well in the process of replacing 
those. I think you--it's odd and concerning to me that it would 
just be stopped.
    General Thurman. Senator, first thing in regard to the 
Aviation Restructure Initiative, we did not look in detail at 
the entire ARI proposal. We looked at--the question the law 
directed us to look at was primarily on AH-64s. I have heard 
that the--there has been an adjustment of funding levels inside 
of Lakota aircraft. I can confirm what you've just said.
    Senator Sessions. Well, we'll need to examine that, I 
think, and make sure.
    With regard to the Aviation Restructure Initiative, it's--
there was a claim of 12 billion in savings. You believe your 
plan--that sort of strikes a compromise--maybe General Ham--I--
whoever would like to answer this--your plan tries to offset 
any cost of this area. You think that you've minimized the cost 
by leaving, what, four in the Guard?
    General Ham. Yes, Senator. Certainly the recommendation 
that the Commission made is more costly than the Aviation 
Restructure Initiative. Again, as General Thurman mentioned, 
Senator, we didn't look at the entirety of ARI, we looked 
specifically at Apache. We felt it was important for us, if we 
were going to recommend to you something different than the 
Aviation Restructure Initiative, that we at least offer some 
off--some alternative sources of funding offsets for you and 
for the Army to consider.
    Senator Sessions. Thank you.
    One of the things that's concerning me about this is that, 
as a--in reality, General Ham, maybe Sergeant Major Chandler, 
it's easier to fire, eliminate a Active Duty military uniformed 
soldier than a civilian. As a result, it seems to me we've 
drawn down dramatically our uniformed personnel since the peak 
of the war. A lot of that was natural. I mean, we expected some 
of that to happen. Have we done enough to focus on reduction of 
civilian personnel? It seems to me it would take fewer 
civilians to support 450,000 Active Duty than it does to 
support 570,000 Active Duty. Have you given any thought to 
that?
    General Ham. Senator, we didn't delve into that issue 
particularly, but I would say--and this is, in hindsight, 
probably an area that perhaps we could have dealt with more 
fully--Army civilians are also part of the total force. It's 
regular Army, Army National Guard, Army Reserve, and the Army 
civilians that are so essential to sustaining soldiers in all 
the components. Having said that, I think certainly a 
comprehensive review is warranted. I would say the other 
component of that is certainly the contract force that provides 
many services to the Army, as well. We simply, because of time 
and scope, did not spend a lot of effort in that area.
    Mr. Lamont. I might add something to that, having been the 
former Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower, which had 
the civilian component within that organization. We reached a 
peak also in civilians about the same time as we reached in the 
uniformed side, with roughly 570-, the number being anywhere 
from 275,000 civilian upwards almost to 300,000. I'm advised--
and I can't say this as being totally informed, but I'm advised 
we're roughly at 235,000 Army civilians now, or at least headed 
in that direction. Perhaps some of the staff can confirm that.
    We have to be a little bit careful as we refer to the 
generating force. There's the operational force and the 
generating force within the Army, and the generating force 
takes up roughly one-third. Within that generating force is 
over 60 percent civilian. We have to be a little bit careful. 
It's not always proportional when we cut those down. You--I 
think your point, though, was well taken, that there may be 
some need to see some reductions.
    Senator Sessions. Thank you.
    Chairman McCain. Senator McCaskill.
    Senator McCaskill. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I particularly noticed in the report those areas that were 
cited as an unacceptable risk, because it seems to me that we 
need to really pay attention to where you have determined we 
have an unacceptable risk. Contained in those things were--that 
you characterized as an unacceptable risk was chemical, 
biological, radiological, and nuclear response, and also 
military police. Now, I obviously am aware that Fort Leonard 
Wood is incredibly important to all of the above, so I would 
like--General Ham, if you could, briefly talk about what are 
the potential consequences to our strength and our capabilities 
if we are not really drilling down on this unacceptable risk 
that you all reported on.
    General Ham. Thanks, Senator. I would, first, recommend the 
classified annex, which gets into some of the particulars, 
particularly with regard to the chemical, biological, 
radiological, and nuclear units of the Army. In general, I 
would say that both of those capabilities that the Army 
possesses in its various components reflect a structure that 
was based on a different operating environment than exists 
today, with the necessity that the Army and the likelihood that 
the Army will operate in a chemical, biological, radiological, 
or nuclear environment at home or overseas, I think, drives 
some added emphasis in that area. There is--I would note, we 
believe that there is a particular role for the Army National 
Guard for domestic response in that area.
    With regard to military police, as many parts of the world 
are increasingly urbanized and soldiers will be operating in 
and amongst populations, the military police provide a very 
special capability that facilitates the ability of other Army 
units to operate in that environment. Again, it was our general 
assessment, in both of those capabilities--CBRN [Chemical 
Biological Radiological Nuclear] and military police--that the 
capacity within the Army across the three components has not 
kept pace with the demand.
    Senator McCaskill. I assume, since engineers were not 
cited, that you all are comfortable with our capabilities in 
the--with the Army Corps and the engineering force?
    General Ham. Yeah, Senator. Two different things. We didn't 
spend a lot of time with the Army Corps of Engineers. An 
absolutely vital part of the Army and its contributions to many 
facets of American life and foundational for the economy are 
well known to you and the members of this committee.
    With regard to the operating force of the engineer corps, 
we didn't find significant shortfalls in engineers, themselves. 
We found significant shortfalls in tactical mobility, meaning 
that engineer units across the Army, all components, many of 
them have much of the equipment that they require, but they 
can't move it. In simple terms, I may have my bulldozer, but--
--
    Senator McCaskill. Don't know how to get it there.
    General Ham.--I have no way to move my bulldozer from where 
it gets off at a port to where it's needed to be. That's a 
needed area to be addressed.
    Senator McCaskill. I also looked at the report as it 
relates for the generating force. I know, Mr. Lamont, you just 
referenced the generating force. Does the Commission believe 
the Army has cut too much from the generating force? How much 
risk has been taken in the Army's ability to expand the 
generating force, if necessary? I mean, obviously, you know, if 
we don't have the folks in place to train up what we need, then 
we are really in trouble. If one of you would address the 
issues around the--what is the appropriate size of the 
generating force? Do we really even know?
    Mr. Lamont. Well, let me take a stab at that.
    One, we are quite concerned with the generating force, as I 
just mentioned, and the--although the Commission did not delve 
deeply into that, I think you hit a key point when you said, 
``What's our ability if we have to expand?'' Those--the 
generating force are our trainers, our schoolhouses, our 
medical, and things of that nature. As the war progressed in, I 
want to say, 2008, 2009, 2010, the demand for troops grew, and 
we moved any number of troops out of the generating force and 
sent them off to war. They were replaced, often, by civilians. 
I think that that ratio remains much the same.
    We are quite concerned with the size of the generating 
force. I don't know that there is an ideal number, an optimal 
number. We'd better have them when we need them.
    Senator McCaskill. Do you think the ratio of 60 civilian, 
40 military is appropriate for the generating force? That seems 
awfully high civilian, which I understand how it happened and 
why it happened, but shouldn't we try to reverse that?
    Mr. Lamont. Well, speaking as--personally and not as a 
member of the Commission, I agree that that's quite bad. In 
fact, when I left, it was over 62 percent were civilian. That 
seems dramatically small--or large.
    General Ham. Senator, would it be okay if Sergeant Major--
--
    Mr. Chandler. Senator, just--another item of information. 
The Army uses modeling to develop force structure----
    Senator McCaskill. Right.
    Mr. Chandler.--for operational forces, but we don't 
currently have a model for the generating force.
    Senator McCaskill. For generating?
    Mr. Chandler. There is a great deal of work that's going 
into developing a generating force model. When the Army 
achieves that, I think you'll be able to have better 
granularity on the questions that you're asking.
    One thing I would tell you, is that there is no 
proportional ratio, from my perspective, having been in the 
training and doctrine business for quite a bit of time, that 
says, ``Okay, if you cut this from the operational force, then 
you can see a reduction in--a similar reduction in the 
generating force.'' If you've got to train soldiers at basic 
combat training, it takes a certain amount of people. That 
ratio never changes.
    I applaud the Army's effort for the generating force model. 
I'd ask them to move on that as quickly as possible. Then I 
think you can get to the real--instead of throwing darts at a 
dartboard--to a real level of granularity on where the 
generating force should be. I think most of us are uneasy about 
the fact that we've cut it to--maybe into the bone.
    Senator McCaskill. Thank you, Sergeant Major.
    Thank all of you for your work on this.
    Thank you.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Ayotte.
    Senator Ayotte. I want to thank all of you for your 
distinguished service and work on this Commission.
    I know that the Chairman had asked you about the total 
force size and thinking about, What's the optimal size of the 
Army? That's what I would like to hear from you. Let's--given 
the threats we're facing around the world, given the challenges 
that we face--as I understand, General Ham, you also noted that 
the President's fiscal year 2016 plan does not take into 
account recent changes in strategic environment. Can you tell 
us what is the optimal size for our Army? Because I think it's 
important for us to understand what the optimal size is if we 
really want to protect the American people and not in a budget-
constrained environment. I understand we're in that, but we 
should understand--With the threats we're facing, what is the 
number, if you could decide that number today?
    General Ham. Yeah, Senator, it is--it's a great question, 
and a tough question--it is important to note that, of course, 
that was not the task that we had in the law. The task that we 
had in the law was constrained by resourcing. That's how we 
approached our work.
    I think I'm on a firm ground that I would speak for the 
Commission that said if you--if the law had not contained that 
constraint, if it didn't say you have to provide 
recommendations----
    Senator Ayotte. See, this is the great thing about 
hearings. We can sort of ask anything, even if we----
    General Ham. Right.
    Senator Ayotte.--said ``in the law.''
    General Ham. Right.
    Senator Ayotte.--I'm asking for your opinions today.
    General Ham. Yeah. The Commission--I think the Commission 
did not address that. I would offer you my personal opinion 
that would say--again, let me backtrack and speak one moment 
for the Commission.
    We were careful in the words that we chose. We chose 
``minimally sufficient'' at--of an Army of 980,000. Minimally 
sufficient. I think it's a real question to say, Is that the 
Army the Nation wants? Do--does America want a minimally 
sufficient Army? I think that's a discussion for many to have.
    I think if the--if additional funding were available, then 
certainly a larger force--again, let me speak personally--I 
would say, halt any further drawdown now, and make a more--much 
more comprehensive assessment of the operating environment, and 
then see what that cost may be, and then come back to this 
committee and others to say, ``Here's what we think the bill 
is.''
    Senator Ayotte. ``Minimally sufficient,'' to me, doesn't 
sound like protecting our national security interests. That's 
really--I'm not going to ask you to give me an opinion as a 
Commission, but you, given the breadth of experience on this 
panel, based on your experience, General Thurman, where do you 
think we need to be, versus putting aside the budget issue for 
a moment? Because this is an important, I think, understanding 
that we have to have of where we are versus where we should be.
    General Thurman. Yes, ma'am.
    Senator, I will tell you, I'm very concerned, because I 
think we've got major warning signs in front of us right now. 
Not speaking as a commissioner; I'm telling you what I see as I 
watch the resurgence of Russia--they're basically in Syria, 
they're conducting their own NTC rotation. They have gone to 
school on us, and, as I watch that unfold; and then I turn to 
Korea and I watch what's occurring over there in Korea today, 
it's probably more dangerous today than it's been in a long 
time, given we're dealing with a maniac over there, frankly. 
Those forces over there have got to be trained, ready to fight 
tonight, because it's a miscalculation on either side that 
could get us in a war.
    I think, if you look back what happened over the course of 
the last few years when we had the Budget Control Act go into 
effect, the assumptions have changed. One, we're not out of 
Afghanistan, probably putting more back in. We've got ISIS 
[Islamic State of Syria], ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the 
Levant], Iraq, Syria. We've got Africa, the--North Africa, that 
whole issue that's going on in there. One of the 
recommendations that we got in the report is to go back and 
review the national security strategy that we currently have in 
the budget, because I believe it's seriously out of balance 
and--as I look at this.
    The number--there needs to be another analysis, in my 
opinion, to go back and look at, What is the right size Army 
that this Nation needs? Frankly, it's going to be expensive, 
and we've got to, I believe, come to grips with that. The--
frankly, the assumptions that--when we reduce the force, 
they're not true anymore. We have a set of failed assumptions. 
That's my opinion.
    Mr. Chandler. Senator, if you don't mind, I'll add my two 
cents. I think I can be blunt. I don't think it's wise for us 
to consider growing the Army until we totally use the entire 
force and then determine from there what additional 
capabilities we may need. We've used the Active component, the 
regular Army, significantly, and the Guard and Reserve less. We 
need to use and execute the total-force policy to get the Guard 
and Reserve engaged on a predictable rotational basis----
    Senator Ayotte. Well----
    Mr. Chandler.--which will allow us----
    Senator Ayotte. I don't want to interrupt, here, because I 
know we have a vote, but I'm not sure, if I asked my Guard and 
Reserve members if they've been used less, given the nature of 
many of them holding down civilian jobs at the same time, they 
would necessarily agree with that calculation, especially with 
what we've had to do in Iraq and Afghanistan. We couldn't have 
done it without them.
    Mr. Chandler. I would tell you that the vast majority of 
guardsmen and reservists that we talked to want to be utilized 
more frequently, in a predictable manner.
    Mr. Lamont. I would concur with that, by the way, as a 
traditional guardsman for 26 years. We found this every visit 
we went, ``If you're going to train us up and then not use us, 
why are we here?'' It's much different than my years, back in 
the '80s and early 1990s.
    Senator Ayotte. Well, I have great confidence in our Guard 
and Reserve, but I don't think that gets to the fundamental 
question. Because they're asking--we're asking to downsize 
them, too, in terms--I mean, the decisions you're making at 
today are how much training, how much aviation assets they're 
going to get, what are they going to get for their readiness? 
To me, I think it's a total-force question for the Army, and 
it's one that we need to face, of: Where are we, versus the 
threats that we're facing? It seems to me that--as I hear some 
of these threats, that it's time for us to really think about 
not drawing down, but looking at, How do we make sure we can 
protect this Nation? Also that we don't drain our people. You 
know, the dwell-to-deploy ratio and really making sure our most 
precious resource, that they have what they need, and the 
support that they need.
    Senator Reed [presiding]. Well, thank you very much, 
Senator.
    I--the Chairman is voting. Most of my colleagues are 
voting. They shall return. I think someone famous once said 
something like that. I'm going to take the opportunity, and, as 
soon as one of my colleagues arrives, I'll recognize the 
person.
    Sergeant Major, what's the most interesting, insightful 
thing that some of the soldiers told you when you were out with 
your colleagues in the field that we should know?
    Mr. Chandler. Well, I think the one thing that I would ask 
the committee to take away is, the soldiers are extremely proud 
of what they do, regardless of what component they're in, and 
that they want to serve, they're proud to serve, their families 
are proud of what they do. They want to be ready to do what it 
is that the Nation asks us to do, asks them to do. You know, 
whether you're--you're dusty and sweaty and haven't taken a 
shower in 3 days at the National Training Center, you know, 
these kids were motivated. They were going to finish their 
final live-fire objective. They were excited about what they 
were doing. If you went to a drill and saw what some of these 
kids are doing, yeah, they don't want to do a lot of mandatory 
training, they don't want to look at PowerPoint slides, they 
want to get after it, they want to be what they came in the 
Army to be, which is a United States Army soldier of the proud 
tradition that wants to do the Nation's bidding.
    You can't--having been away from the Army for a year and 
coming back and trying to be objective, you can't but be filled 
with pride in the service that these kids--we--I spoke to a 
specialist in--at--and actually came to a hearing in 
Washington. This kid had tried to do many things before he 
entered the Army, but the Army gave him a sense of purpose and 
a desire to do and be a part of something bigger than himself. 
He was almost in tears, moved me to tears, about his sense of 
who he was and what he was about. That's the thing I'd ask you 
to take away. These kids are proud of what they do. They need 
the Nation's support.
    Senator Reed. Thank you very much, Sergeant Major.
    Again, thank you, gentlemen.
    On behalf of the Chairman, I would like to recognize 
Senator Ernst.
    Senator Ernst. Thank you.
    Thank you, gentlemen, so much for being here today and for 
your testimony. I certainly appreciate all the years of service 
that all of you have given.
    I'd like to start with some discussion about the State 
Partnership Program, which has been really important to Iowa 
and many of our other states. Throughout your report, you 
stress the need for the Army to enhance its total-force 
approach to ensure the Army can meet its mission requirements, 
and the importance of the National Guard in achieving that 
goal. I do appreciate the thoughtful analysis of the importance 
of the Guard, especially, since 9/11. In particular, I would 
like to talk about the State Partnership Program. I do think 
that this program is key in allowing our Army and our country 
to better partner with foreign countries and develop these 
nations and enhance our security and the security of our 
allies, and doing so at a low cost to American taxpayers.
    Last week, this committee had a hearing on the Asia 
Pacific, and the witnesses stressed the importance of SPP 
[State Partnership Program] and their belief that it should be 
expanded more into the Asia Pacific, in particular. Is this a 
program that was looked at during this study? If any of you 
could address that, or, General Ham, if you would like to take 
that. National--the impact to our Army with use of the Guard as 
well the State Partnership Program, was that looked at, at all?
    General Ham. Thanks, Senator. We heard, loud and clear, 
from all six geographic combatant commanders, their praise and 
reliance upon the State Partnership Program, and every one of 
them wants that program, not only to be sustained, but to be 
increased. They're looking for more and more opportunities to 
expand State Partnership into other nations, particularly new 
and nontraditional partners in some parts of the world. I would 
agree with you, and it's certainly what we found in our work, 
was the State Partnership is a very low-cost, high-payoff 
program for the Army and for the Nation.
    Senator Ernst. Thank you.
    Any other thoughts, gentlemen, on that? Yes, sir.
    Mr. Lamont. Yes, ma'am. Being from your neighboring State 
of Illinois and a guardsman, and our partner was Poland. In my 
previous life, as the Assistant Secretary of the Army, I 
happened be in Poland at the same time as the Illinois Adjutant 
General. I was absolutely irrelevant to the Polish army, 
because their connection was with the Illinois Guard. That 
partnership is so vital to our country partnerships; it is 
extremely important. They didn't care about me or anybody else, 
but they cared about the people they worked and served with, 
visited with, went to war with. Poland, as you probably know, 
have provided us, and maybe still provide us, with a brigade at 
least once a year when we were in Afghanistan and Iraq. What 
that saved United States taxpayers, for instance, and our 
soldiers, was enormous. It is vitally important, as you know.
    Senator Ernst. Very good. Well, I appreciate that. Iowa has 
a very strong partnership with Kosovo, and, through that, we've 
developed--even outside of our State Partnership Program, 
between our soldiers and Kosovo Security Forces, have developed 
now an economic relationship through our State with the nation 
of Kosovo. Just the last couple of weeks, we opened a brand new 
consulate in Des Moines. That's our State's first consulate. We 
were really excited about that. That started and grew out of 
the State Partnership Program. I appreciate your thoughts on 
that.
    I'd like to turn to a different topic just very briefly. 
One of the recommendations is to reduce mandatory training, as 
prescribed by the Army Training and Leader Development 
Regulation. While I agree with this recommendation, I can't 
tell you how many times I have spoken to Active-component 
commanders as well as Reserve-component commanders, and they 
have said that they are assuming risk rather than mitigating 
the risk due to the mandatory training requirements. The over-
burdensome requirements mean that commanders aren't able to use 
that time to train on their unit's mettle or their mission-
essential task list, which ultimately harms the readiness of 
their units and the Army as a whole. You know, we're in a 
politically correct environment. We seem to be very risk-
averse. Can you talk to that, maybe, a little bit more about--
and maybe, Sergeant Major, if you would address this--on how we 
get back to being soldiers, but also giving back some of that 
risk?
    Mr. Chandler. Well, thanks for the question, Senator.
    The--I would start off by saying that the Army is making 
inroads to reduce mandatory training, in line with the doctrine 
of mission command. The mitigation of risk is by the higher 
commander. It's--if I was in command of a unit, it would be my 
responsibility to tell my higher commander, ``These are the 
areas of risk that I am assuming, based off of what you told me 
to do.'' The challenge really is even exacerbated for Army 
National Guard and Army Reserve units because of the limited 
amount of time, as you well know, for IDT [Inactive Duty 
Training] weekends or battle assembly weekends. Where do you 
find that balance? I applaud the Army's effort. The Commission 
does, highly recommends that the Army move out a little bit 
quicker on reducing the overhead burden, so to speak, of the 
mandatory training requirements. Look, we ask these commanders 
to make life-and-death decisions on the battlefield. We should 
entrust and empower them to make those same decisions at some 
home station or IDT battle assembly weekend event. Same with 
Active component. We're not going to get to the level of 
readiness that we need to if we continue to add necessary, but 
mandated, requirements with a certain frequency. The commander 
knows the unit. They should be able to make the decisions on 
when and where they need to make the mandatory training occur 
and still maintain an acceptable level of readiness.
    Senator Ernst. Very good. I also agree with that, Sergeant 
Major. Our company commanders and first sergeants, our 
battalion commanders and sergeant majors know their soldiers 
best, and they know what they need to work on. I'm glad to see 
that we have a recommendation that moves us in that direction.
    Thank you much, Senator Reed.
    Senator Reed. On behalf of the Chairman, Senator Donnelly, 
please.
    Senator Donnelly. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will pass to 
Mr. King.
    Senator King. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    First, an observation. The budget control caps were set in 
2011. I was just making some notes. That's pre-ISIL, pre-Syria, 
pre-Ukraine, pre-South China Sea, pre-North Korea launch. Here 
we are, trying to fit the defense posture of this country, 
subsequent to all those events, within caps that were 
established five years ago. Now, they were adjusted somewhat 
last year, but not all that much. It just--it--I mean, I'm all 
for planning and thinking ahead and having constraints, but 
when the constraints keep you from responding to the threats 
that the country is facing, it's just not a rational or prudent 
policy, it seems to me.
    I wanted to start with a question. General Ham, when you 
made your recommendations, were you consciously or 
unconsciously operating under those caps? In other words, are 
your recommendations based upon those budget realities or were 
they based upon what your best judgment of what the Army needs 
to look like in order to meet the threats that this country 
faces?
    General Ham. Senator, a little bit of both. Certainly, the 
judgment of the eight commissioners--lots of experience in a 
lot of different fields represented there. Again, we were 
instructed in the law that we had to conduct our assessments 
and make our recommendations consistent with an anticipated 
level of future resource. It wasn't further defined. You could 
kind of pick and choose, What do you think the anticipated 
level of future resourcing would be? It was our general 
assessment that it's unlikely, at the time that we were doing 
our work, that there would be a significant increase in 
funding. We--that's why we--we've centered on this notion of 
the level of funding in the President's Budget for fiscal year 
2016 in the--and was kind of the--again, the floor of ceiling. 
Of course, as you know, Senator, we're not at that level yet. I 
think that's at least a start point. It was--I guess to 
summarize, it was a--looking at the anticipated security 
environment, but certainly informed by the level of funding we 
thought might be attained.
    Senator King. You understand the thrust of my concern.
    General Ham. I do, sir. One of our most important 
recommendations, already been referred to, is that, because the 
global security environment has changed so significantly from 
those days of budget and strategic plans, it is time for, we 
believe, new strategic guidance.
    Senator King. I certainly agree with that wholeheartedly. 
To put a point on this, you recommend going down to 30 Active 
BCTs [Brigade Combat Teams], which is actually less than we had 
before September 11th, and then perhaps a reduction to 28. 
Here's my question. How long does it take to recruit, train, 
and equip a BCT if we wanted to increase that number, from a 
standing start?
    General Ham. Senator, let me take a stab at it and maybe 
ask the Sergeant Major of the Army to comment.
    I actually had to do this when I was a division commander. 
A brand new infantry Brigade Combat Team was formed, stood up, 
equipped and deployed. With all of the very, very high 
priority--this was in the mid-2000s--it took about 18 months to 
be able to do that. I would say in a--on a more normal basis, 
it would probably take--and again, that was in a period of 
almost unconstrained resources--typically, I would say two to 
three years would be a more likely timeframe to start from 
scratch and build a Brigade Combat Team.
    Senator King. That reminds me of the old thing I learned in 
Driver's Ed, that your headlights only illuminate a certain 
distance down the road, and, if there's a wall 1 foot beyond 
that distance, you can't stop. We're not going to have the 
ability to respond to a threat if we're talking a minimum of 18 
months to two and a half to three years. I mean, that's the 
risk that we're undertaking as we make--as we're making these 
decisions.
    I--General, your reaction to that kind of----
    Mr. Chandler. Senator, I would say--and I agree with what 
General Ham said--the greatest challenge is the leader 
development in order to fill that brigade.
    Senator King. That's not something you can just turn off 
and on.
    Mr. Chandler. No, those--you know, it takes 20 years to 
make a battalion commander or a brigade commander. I mean, it 
takes 20 years to grow a sergeant major, 15 years to grow a 
first sergeant. Expansion will get the people into the Army, 
will get the equipment to where it needs to be, but to find the 
leadership in order to fill out that organization and make it 
effective takes time. There's just not a lot of them to spare.
    Senator King. Okay. I have the same concern about the end-
strength numbers, that those were numbers derived from a 
different strategic world, and that we really do need, as you 
say, a strategic reset to take account of the current 
challenges.
    Yes, sir.
    General Thurman. Senator, I was a G3 of the Army for three 
years, and I was there for the grow-the-Army piece, where we 
grew Brigade Combat Teams up to 43 Brigade Combat Teams. I was 
there for Iraq surge, Afghan surge, and watched what goes on 
inside the Army. The biggest issue is manpower because of what 
it takes to get the right people in these jobs. It varied on 
the length of time. Also, as division commander, my experience, 
just--much like General Ham, we deployed a brigade for a 
specific set of missions, and we were able to man, train, and 
equip that in 18 months. That's a stretch. That's a big 
stretch. Again, that's having all the resourcing you need, with 
the right levels of modernization.
    Senator King. Two----
    Mr. Chandler. That's something that's a concern. Yes, sir.
    Senator King. Two days ago in this committee--and I'll end 
my comments; I know I'm over time--two days ago, we had General 
Clapper here, who said that, in his 50 years of service to this 
country, he has never seen a more diverse or serious set of 
threats. At the same we're getting that testimony, we're 
talking about reducing end strength and developing a situation 
where it's going to be very difficult to respond to a crisis.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Thank you, Senator Donnelly.
    Mr. Lamont. Senator, I just want to point out one thing. In 
that recommendation for perhaps removing two ICBTs--IBCTs, that 
was conditional. If there were no other alternatives inside the 
Army, the resourcing, or anyplace else, that's what we might 
have to look for. That was a big ``if.''
    Senator Reed. On behalf of the Chairman, Senator Tillis, 
please.
    Senator Tillis. Thank you, Senator Reed.
    Thank you all for being here, and thank you for your 
service.
    I have a question. How do--what are your opinions about the 
current balance between the number of general officers in the 
Army and the current force structure, overall end strength?
    General Ham. Senator, we did not assess that. I would offer 
a personal opinion, and--just from my own personal experience. 
That is a thing that's continually looked at to see if it's 
quite right, not only in terms of number, but in terms of grade 
structure--one, two, three, or four stars. The Army has made 
some adjustments over the past couple of years. It is a 
constant evaluative process.
    Senator Tillis. Any other comments?
    [No response.]
    Senator Tillis. Talk a little bit about acquisition and 
reform. To what extent have you all looked into some of the 
reforms that are detailed in the fiscal year 2016 NDA. Do you 
agree with them? Do you think that they make sense? Are there 
any concerns with them?
    General Ham. Senator, again, it got outside the mandate 
given to the Commission, so we didn't spend a lot of time on 
acquisition reform or, for that matter, for modernization. 
Clearly that's a--an issue--in order for the Army to keep apace 
with the technological advances, for our soldiers to be 
equipped so that they can go into battle, as we say, never into 
a fair fight, I think modernization and the acquisition reform 
that will lead to cost-effective modernization are clearly 
critical items for the Army and for the Nation to address.
    Senator Tillis. Yeah, it seems to me that we really need to 
have that considered in any kind of overall assessments of the 
Army or any branch, because we're--the money and the 
inefficiency that we have there is at the direct expense of 
other things that we need to spend our money. This is one area 
I would like for you all to touch on. In my time--I'm from 
North Carolina, and spend a lot of time down at Camp LeJeune 
and Fort Bragg. One consistent theme that I'm hearing down 
there is a concern that our readiness levels are at a very low 
point. If you take a look at Fort Bragg and you're talking 
about the number of jumps that they want to do now, at--we've 
had this discussion about Pope Air Field and little bit of a 
disagreement with the Air Force on what we should do with those 
assets down there. That stimulated a discussion about just how 
many jumps we should have. It's substantially higher than what 
they've been doing over the past 10, 15 years. My concern is, 
that points to, I think, a readiness deficiency. To what extent 
do you all agree with that?
    Sergeant Major, I see your shaking your head. We'll start 
with you.
    Mr. Chandler. Well, Senator, I think, you know, the Army 
developed a capability called a Rapid Equipping Force, which 
was able to generate and fill requirements much more quickly 
than I think the normal acquisition process takes. My only 
recommendation was, maybe there should be some look at how that 
process worked, and does it apply to the overall acquisition 
program. You know, I think there were some decisions made about 
how many jumps folks would make in airborne units, because of 
the necessity to get them prepared to do the directed mission 
they had in Iraq or Afghanistan. Getting those guys back, 
jumping of planes--guys and gals jumping out of planes is a 
great thing. Personally, I'm all for it. How that fits into the 
overall picture, I'm not aware of right now.
    General Thurman. I would add two points to your question. 
That has to do with acquisition. I think it is right to do 
acquisition reform. It takes too long to field equipment. Why 
does that happen? It happens because we never seem to get the 
requirements right. You have to lock down the requirements in a 
more timely manner. I mean, if you look at the Army, the Army's 
track record is not good. Ground combat vehicle, armed aerial 
Scout, all those were killed because, over time, it takes too 
long to field that equipment. Requirements change, threats 
change. That is right, in my opinion, to really take a good 
look at that.
    I think, in terms of readiness, there's always the question 
about proficiency verses currency. We need to be proficient. 
That comes to light in aviation. Because, right now, I believe 
aviation is on the ragged edge. That's our recommendation on 
increase in flying hours. That's flying hours to support 
combined arms maneuver with maneuver formations. It's one thing 
to go fly a helicopter, it's another thing to integrate it in a 
combined arms formation. That's what's missing.
    The recommendation we had, which is going to cost some 
money, was to increase flying hours, not only for the regular 
Army, but also for the Reserve components--Army National Guard, 
Army Reserve--to get their proficiency levels up. Because 
that's not happening out there, even today. That's what we 
found when we went around and visited units.
    Senator Tillis. Thank you.
    Well, in closing--and I know this is a theme that the Chair 
has struck many times in the year that I've been here--I'm 
trying to figure out how we have an--in any discussion about 
things that we can do to better prepare men and women, and 
better equip men and women, we have to talk about acquisition 
reform, we have to talk about why I've got in my office a 600 
page RFP for the new-generation handgun. It's got 39 pages 
that--and when I go back to the Department, they said, ``But, 
it's only 39 pages of specifications.'' I said, ``Great. Then 
that means we can delete everything else that doesn't speak to 
the complexity of the process and the selection process?'' Of 
course not. The reason that I try to bring these things up, 
even in things where we're talking about capability and 
readiness, that sort of behavior has a direct deleterious 
effect on our ability to provide men and women with training 
and the equipment they need to bring the fight to the enemy. We 
have to make sure that it's integrated and stay on the front 
stage. I know that--I know the Chair agrees.
    Thank you. I've gone over my time.
    Chairman McCain [presiding]. Well, I thank Senator Tillis.
    I know our panelists agree that it harms our credibility 
when we ask for more funding and we have a $2 billion cost 
overrun on an aircraft carrier and we have, starting with the 
FCS [Future Combat Systems], a long line of programs where 
billions of dollars were wasted, with no result. I appreciate 
the emphasis that you have given on this issue. We have to fix 
it.
    Senator Donnelly.
    Senator Donnelly. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I want to thank all the witnesses.
    Indiana doesn't have a large Active Duty presence for many 
of the services, but it's home to our Nation's fourth-largest 
National Guard unit. Many of the 14,000 Hoosiers who serve in 
the Guard also have spent time on Active Duty. In your report, 
you write of how disheartening it was to hear the discord 
within the Army ranks, pitting the Army National Guard against 
the regular Army. I heard that same disheartened sentiment 
among our Hoosier Guard members. From the top down, their focus 
has been on serving our country, our State, and our local 
communities. I appreciate your call for leaders in the DOD and 
in Congress to do our part to keep these conversations 
professional and respectful while keeping in mind that there 
can be different viewpoints on how to best accomplish these 
objectives. As all of you know so well, one of our hopes in 
convening the Commission was to get objective input as to how 
to resolve this difference and others.
    General Ham, how do you believe the findings of the 
Commission will help support the reset in that relationship 
between the regular Army and the Guard?
    General Ham. Senator, I believe many of the recommendations 
that we make with regard to the total force, whether it be a 
legislative change that would allow for the assignment of 
regular Army soldiers into Army National Guard units, multi-
component units that bring soldiers from all three components 
together in common mission, in my view, also increased 
readiness within the Reserve components on the cyclical basis, 
called the Sustained Readiness Model, that the Army has 
developed, and in the operational employment of the Reserve 
components along with the regular Army. I think all of those 
tend to build this sense of one Army. The same would be true 
for leader development courses for noncommissioned officers and 
officers.
    General Milley, the Chief of Staff, who you all know very 
well, begins many of his addresses to soldiers of all 
components, he said, ``Look at your uniform. Over your breast 
pocket, it says U.S. Army. It doesn't say regular Army, doesn't 
say Army National Guard, doesn't say Army Reserve. It says U.S. 
Army.'' That common start point is--I think is a place to 
begin.
    Senator Donnelly. Just to follow up on that, in the 
recommendations, what do you see as the most vital in helping 
to create that one Army and to resolve that tension?
    General Ham. Senator, I'll offer two that I think are 
vitally important, and others may have some other views.
    The first and foremost, I think, is the overarching 
recommendation to sustain the All-Volunteer Force. I think, if 
we don't do that, the rest of it might not matter. Secondly, I 
think is this element of adequate funding, reliably and 
predictably developed and delivered to the Army in all of its 
components, I think will go a long way to removing some of the 
doubt and uncertainty that exists.
    Senator Donnelly. Well, I'd like to ask the panel a 
different question, which is--we have 63 different 
recommendations for the future of the Army, and we're in a 
resource-constrained environment. Of those 63, what would each 
of you prioritize as your most important recommendation, going 
forward.
    Mr. Lamont?
    Mr. Lamont. Manning and resourcing the total force. We're 
very concerned, as we've mentioned, about keeping our levels of 
manning such that we can respond to acceptable levels of risk. 
It's not just enough to have a larger Army. You'd better have 
them trained, equipped, and ready, or you don't gain a whole 
lot. It's going to be a resourcing--frankly, a resourcing 
picture for that manning and readiness level, as you mentioned.
    Senator Donnelly. Thank you.
    General Ham?
    General Ham. Senator, I think I would fall back to 
recommendation 6, the Congress and the administration should 
return to predictable and responsible budgeting processes that 
meet minimum funding requirements.
    Senator Donnelly. General Thurman?
    General Thurman. Thanks, Senator.
    I would agree with General Ham on that. However, I would 
add that I believe readiness in maintaining the All-Volunteer 
Force is fundamental to this country. Why do I say that? I'm 
very worried about the declining population that is actually 
eligible in this country to serve in the United States 
military. Less than one-third is what can meet standards, in 
terms of the medical fitness, the aptitude, and--and that's 
declining. I think that's something that we've really got to 
pay attention to as we go down the road.
    Senator Donnelly. Thank you.
    Sergeant Major?
    Mr. Chandler. Senator, I think--it's hard for me to 
prioritize, because each one of these are interwoven in some 
aspect of preserving and sustaining the All-Volunteer Force in 
a total-force policy. If you're going to pin me down, budgetary 
stability, budgetary predictability is important.
    I want to give you one area that I think is a resounding 
theme throughout this. This is the Army culture, the culture 
that all three components are interwoven, that rely on one 
another, that we have to do some work in order to break that 
culture down. That are--where many of the recommendations come 
from, especially in multi-component units and leader 
development training. I mean, if people don't want to get 
along, one of the best ways you can solve that is, make them 
stay in the same room until they work it out. I'm sure you 
probably have had some experience with that here.
    Senator Donnelly. Indeed, I have.
    Mr. Chandler. I had the opportunity to serve with the Army 
National Guard unit in Mississippi for three years as a regular 
Army soldier, and that was probably the most important 
assignment for me in my military career culminating as the 
Sergeant Major of the Army, because I was forced to be in an 
environment, post-Desert Shield/Desert Storm, right after the 
brigade that I was assigned to had been declared unfit for 
deployment, to be a regular Army unit stationed in the same 
armory with the same persons. I was forced to change my view of 
what the Army National Guard does for the Nation. I've never 
forgotten it. I still stay in contact with some of those 
individuals that were in that brigade.
    That's the type of thing that, when we talk about the 
total-force policy and the questions that you asked us, that we 
really have to get after. It's not just a policy, but that the 
policy is executed at the grassroots lever. The questions that 
you had about, you know, some--what I think--very 
unprofessional and uncalled for comments in open media and so 
forth--will get resolved over time, but it's not going to get 
changed in one administration. It's going to take, you know, a 
commitment to a long-term vision to make this work for what's 
best for the Army and the Nation.
    Senator Donnelly. Thank you so much.
    Mr. Chairman, thank you.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Lee.
    Senator Lee. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Thanks, to all of you, for your testimonies today and for 
devoting a year to this Commission and to the future of the 
Army.
    One of the key issues that Congress asked your Commission 
to report on was the Aviation Restructuring Initiative, or ARI, 
and the future of combat aviation in the Army. In 
recommendation number 57, the Commission recommended retaining 
four Apache battalions in the National Guard, each with 18 
aircraft, and committing to using the National Guard Apache 
battalions regularly. The report states that this would provide 
more wartime capacity than ARI, and would be more cost-
effective. Can you please discuss for us and explain to the 
committee, if you would, why you determined that the--that 
surge capacity and strategic depth were important factors in 
your recommendation--in developing and making your 
recommendation, and what problems would the Army face if it 
lost strategic depth, you know, provided by the National Guard, 
of Apache battalions.
    General Thurman. Senator, thank you.
    First off, we looked at four areas, after extensive 
analysis. We visited over 31 aviation units across all three 
components. The first thing we looked at was wartime capacity, 
the ability to respond and meet the war plan requirements, and 
then wartime surge capacity, and then to ease the burden on 
peacetime deployments, and then we factored in the cost, 
because we didn't want to come forward with a recommendation 
without some cost offsets. You mentioned strategic depth. There 
is no strategic depth if you move all of the AH-64 aircraft 
inside the regular Army. I would refer you to the classified 
annex. It has a lot of our work--analytical work in there that 
talks about the requirements for AH-64 attack aircraft, which, 
in a lot of cases, was very short as we looked at that.
    One--to get to your point--it takes time to train an Apache 
aviator. That's a very complex system. I am a rated AH-64 Alpha 
pilot, not a Echo or a Delta model. That is a very 
sophisticated aircraft. Not only do you have to master that 
skill of flying the platform, but, one, can you integrate it 
with combined arms maneuver? We felt there needed to be depth 
in the force with--and what the recommendation calls for, it 
would give you about 280 pilots inside the National Guard--Army 
National Guard.
    Now, the other point was, these formations need to be put 
on a rotational cycle, inside the force generation and actually 
utilized so it could offset the stress that's on the current 
peacetime deployments. That's what we tried to do. We offered 
up some cost, modest cost, in terms of reduction of Black Hawk, 
to offset what it would cost to put four battalions inside the 
Army National Guard. That is in the report. Again, a onetime 
cost for the Delta-model-to-Echo conversion, which would be 
required, is roughly a $420 million, and then another 165 
million, in terms of operating and sustainment cost, is what we 
did.
    Senator Lee. Right. Right. No, I'm pleased to hear the 
careful manner in which you've gone about it. I would--my staff 
and I have visited with members of the Utah National Guard's 
1st Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment, and there's definitely 
a degree and quality of Apache experience in those Guard units 
that I don't think can be replaced or replicated or matched 
anywhere else.
    Last fall, Chief Warrant Officer Kent Jones, one our 
National Guard instructors, reached the milestone of 10,000 
flying hours in the Apache, which is a record. The past two 
years, I've been greatly concerned about using this type of 
experience. How and to what extent did the Commission view 
these issues of pilot and crew experience as you factored in--
those into this analysis?
    General Thurman. Senator, we looked at that as a--an 
investment, in terms of personnel. Absolutely you would want to 
retain some of that experience, because if you got into a major 
conflict, that's going to be required. If you go back to the 
Iraq War, we called a lot of our aviators to Active Duty that 
were retired, because we needed that experience back. Again, 
you don't build that overnight, and it takes time to do that.
    Senator Lee. Great. Thank you very much.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Lamont. You might want to know that, in fact, one of 
the key members of our staff, on the aviation side, came from 
the Utah National Guard as an aviator instructor pilot.
    Senator Lee. Sounds like you know how to pick them. That's 
great.
    Thank you.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Shaheen.
    Senator Shaheen. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Thank you----
    General Ham. Senator, may I--Mr. Chairman, if I may, just 
for a moment, correct the record. General Thurman said that 
he's a rated pilot. I would, for the record, note General 
Thurman ``was'' a rated pilot. I love him dearly, but I would 
not get in an aircraft with him today.
    [Laughter.]
    Chairman McCain. The airways are safe.
    [Laughter.]
    Chairman McCain. Senator Shaheen.
    Senator Shaheen. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Thank you all very much for your past service and for your 
willingness to be part of this Commission and work on this 
report.
    A recent RAND report found that current NATO [North 
Atlantic Treaty Organization] force structure in Europe, and I 
quote, ``cannot successfully defend the territory of its most 
exposed members. In the worst-case scenarios for NATO, Russia 
would be able to conquer the capital of Estonia in 36 hours.'' 
The Commission recommends that the Army should forward-deploy 
an Armored Brigade Combat Team in Europe and convert the U.S. 
Army-Europe Administrative Aviation Headquarters to a 
warfighting mission. I wonder if you could elaborate. I don't 
know, General Ham, if you would like to do that or if there's 
someone else on the panel who would like to elaborate on these 
recommendations and our need to bolster United States Forces in 
Europe to deter Russian aggression.
    General Ham. Thanks, Senator.
    Let me begin, and I suspect a couple of others may want to 
weigh in.
    With regard to the Armored Brigade Combat Team, there are 
two issues at play here. The regular Army has nine Armored 
Brigade Combat Teams. They're presently all consumed in 
rotational assignments. There's an Armored Brigade Combat Team 
that rotates to Korea. Under the model that basically is 
``three to make one,'' there are three. Same for the Mideast, 
and the same for Europe. There's no excess capacity in the 
regular Army to meet an unforeseen contingency with Armored 
Brigade Combat Teams. We felt there was needed capacity.
    One way to get additional capacity would be to forward-
station an Armored Brigade Combat Team in Europe, thereby 
freeing up two other regular Army Armored Brigade Combat Teams 
for unforeseen contingencies, but it also has the significant 
effect--we believe, has a significant effect on both deterrence 
against Russian aggression and assurance of the NATO allies. 
They are sorely lacking in armored brigade--or armored 
capability, and we think a United States brigade would be 
helpful.
    Senator Shaheen. Does the National Guard have any role to 
play as we're looking at how we can cycle forces in and out?
    General Ham. Yes, ma'am, absolutely they do. The--in our 
discussions with the Chief of Staff-Army, Chief National Guard 
Bureau, they're already looking at, How can you, on a 
predictable basis, employ those Armored Brigade Combat Teams--
six, I believe, in the Army National Guard--how can you employ 
them on that rotational basis? I think, in the not-too-distant 
future, it might not at all be unusual to see an Army National 
Guard Armored Brigade Combat Team rotate for a year to Korea or 
to the Mideast.
    Senator Shaheen. Thank you.
    I think, given the challenges we're--that Europe is facing 
right now, that looking at how we can provide that kind of 
additional support is really important.
    I want to get parochial for a bit, because the New 
Hampshire National Guard has experienced a 32 percent decline 
in force structure since 2007. This percentage is ten times the 
decrease in the National Guard, as a whole, during the same 
period. There are seven states that are smaller than New 
Hampshire but have a larger Guard force structure. Does the 
Commission have any recommendations for how to address the 
right Guard force structure in a State?
    General Ham. We do, Senator. In fact, there's a chapter in 
the report dedicated to that. The law required us to conduct an 
assessment of the process by which Army National Guard forces 
are allocated amongst the States and territories. We made three 
recommendations. They are largely administrative. We found, in 
general, that the process that is used to determine the 
stationing of Army National Guard forces is largely sound, and 
there is an opportunity for all of the stakeholders, both 
Federal and State, to participate in the process. The one 
recommendation that we think was--that--or one part that was a 
shortcoming was that, with the establishment of the Chief of 
the National Guard Bureau as a four-star officer and a full 
member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that role had not been 
codified in that process, and particularly with relation to the 
Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff of Army, who have 
significant responsibilities.
    We thought that the process was pretty sound for all--
again, for all stakeholders to weigh in when decisions were 
being made with regard to the allocation of Army National Guard 
forces.
    Senator Shaheen. I guess I'm not quite clear. How would 
that affect what's happening in New Hampshire, where you've had 
that decline? How would that helpful--be helpful in reversing 
that?
    General Ham. So--well, I'm not sure that--I'm not sure 
that--reversing might not be in the cards, but when there are--
when there are force-structure changes that are recommended. 
For example, as we see the Army National Guard go down from a--
I think, from 353,000, eventually stepping down, perhaps, to 
the 335,000, with the changes in aviation, there is a process 
by which all of the stakeholders--the adjutants general, the 
governors, the State legislators, the Army staff, the National 
Guard Bureau, indeed the--you know, there is a role for the 
Congress, here, in terms of funding--for all of those voices to 
be heard in that allocation process. There are a number of 
factors that are considered: ability to recruit and retain, 
access to training areas, the demographics of the particular 
State or territory that's being addressed. Again, we--while we 
didn't look at individual cases, we looked at the process, and 
it was our assessment that the process was largely found--and I 
think the--with the Chief of the National Guard Bureau, the 
Chief of Staff-Army, Secretary of the Army, and to include 
leadership at the Joint Staff and OSD [Office of the Secretary 
of Defense], I think there is a willingness to have those 
discussions, but albeit at some point there are some very, very 
difficult decisions that have to be made with regard to 
allocation of forces to the States and territories.
    Senator Shaheen. Thank you very much.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Blumenthal.
    Senator Blumenthal. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I want to come back to helicopters, specifically Black 
Hawks and the recommendations that have been made. The Army's 
proposed Aviation Restructuring Initiative would move all 
Apaches from the Army National Guard to the regular Army, 
leaving the regular Army with 20 battalions. The National Guard 
Bureau's alternative proposal asks for 24 battalions, six with 
the National Guard, and 18 with the regular Army. Your report 
seems to find a middle ground, recommending that the Army 
maintain 24 AH-64 Apache battalions, 20 battalions in the 
regular Army and four in the National Guard. My feeling is, we 
need a strong Army National Guard, which does not equate for it 
to have Apaches, helicopters that are designed solely for 
combat. The Army National Guard should have combat components, 
and Black Hawks have, again and again over our history, proved 
to be, in combat situations, a critical asset and should be--
should continue to be used by the National Guard, for all the 
reasons that you have set forth in your report, not the least 
of which is that an Army that trains together will fight 
together more effectively.
    Let me ask you, General Lamont, do you agree that Black 
Hawks are a vital component of the Army National Guard?
    Mr. Lamont. Absolutely. Not only for their ability to--as a 
lift force in a combat asset, but in your domestic responses. 
Particularly, as you know, the Guard makes very great use of 
Black Hawks throughout all the domestic response issues, be it 
floods, be it tornados, be it whatever is the situation. 
They're very, very important to the Guard.
    Senator Blumenthal. As a Senator from a State that has seen 
those Black Hawks used in those domestic situations, and a 
State that has experienced hurricanes, floods, tornados, I 
strongly agree with you.
    Let me ask, General Thurman. Do you see a specific need for 
the Army National Guard to have Apaches, rather than keeping 
them in the Active component under the total-force strategy?
    General Thurman. Yes, sir, Senator, for the purpose of 
having strategic depth for the Nation to meet emerging 
requirements and the--what we found was that we don't have that 
once you eliminate them out of the Army National Guard. Our 
analysis, inside the classified annex, will lead you to that 
conclusion, I believe.
    Senator Blumenthal. Thank you.
    General Thurman, you mentioned one of the elephants in the 
room, in my view, just a few moments ago, the rejection rate of 
Army volunteers for reasons relating to physical fitness and 
perhaps other reasons. That number that I've seen is two-thirds 
to three-quarters are rejected because they can't pass the 
physical test. I wonder how important you feel that issue is 
for our Army and our Marine Corps and other services that have 
to rely on a ready recruit force in an All-Volunteer Army.
    General Thurman. Senator, I feel very strong about that. I 
think fundamental to this country is maintaining the All-
Volunteer Force. That is something that is easily broken, in my 
view. Having available manpower to--that you can recruit from, 
I think, is very important, and it's something that we ought to 
take notice of in the country as we see this population 
decline.
    Senator Blumenthal. It really is an issue of national 
security. If we can't field the force, we can't send them into 
combat, and we can't protect our Nation. I would suggest, since 
my time is about to expire, that there be a very intense and 
aggressive focus on this issue of the readiness of our young 
men and women seeking to come into our Volunteer Force, and 
what can be done in our schools, our communities, and elsewhere 
to send that message.
    Thank you very much for your service and your excellent 
work on this report.
    Thanks, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Hirono.
    Senator Hirono. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Thank you for your service, all of you, and for your work 
on this Commission.
    I'd like to follow up on concern regarding recruiting 
people into our military branches. General Thurman, you 
mentioned once again how important it is. This is not the first 
time that this committee has heard those concerns. Do any of 
you have any specific suggestions on what we can do to change 
these outcomes, where so few people qualify to even join our 
military? I mean, for example, should we be looking to expand 
Junior ROTC [Recruit Office Training Course] or ROTC? I'm 
looking for specific suggestions that you may have.
    General Ham. Senator, I'll start, and perhaps Secretary 
Lamont, who lived in this world for a long time, may have some 
thoughts.
    My thought was the same that you just expressed. That is a 
continued emphasis, or perhaps renewed emphasis, on the Junior 
ROTC program. While that doesn't necessarily lead directly to 
enlistments or to service, I think it does, in terms of 
building character, physical fitness, and leadership amongst 
America's youth, I think is a very wise investment.
    Mr. Lamont. Specifically about JROTC, they are very, very 
important, although I will caution you that I think we are 
legislatively prohibited from actually recruiting from that 
base. The mayors of the cities in which those schools exist 
love them. I have had the opportunity to visit JROTC units in 
Chicago, under Mayor Daley. He said, ``Give me more. Give me 
more.'' We went to Philadelphia, we went to New Orleans. What 
they do to get these kids away from the gangs, away from 
inappropriate family situations--we have found that their 
graduate rates, their grade rates, their ability to go into 
higher education--far greater----
    Senator Hirono. Yes.
    Mr. Lamont.--than in our other schools. We'd love to have 
the ability to recruit from those people, but we're--we really 
can't do that. It--they're vitally important to us, let's put 
it that way.
    Senator Hirono. You would find that, generally, when young 
people are exposed to these programs, then they have an 
understanding--better understanding of the military and what it 
means, and that one would hope that there is a higher of 
enlistment as a result.
    If the other two gentlemen would like to add, but if you 
pretty much agree with ROTC--but, if you have any other 
suggestions.
    Mr. Chandler. Well, I think, first of all, we're limiting 
the conversation to what the military can do. This is not a 
military issue. This is a national issue, which is going to 
take a great deal of courage and commitment and a long-term 
vision to solve. By the time a person is in the JROTC program, 
fundamentally they're cooked. Okay? Their diet, their 
nutrition, the way that they exercise--although it can be 
adapted, their lifestyle, the way that they are brought up by 
their family, is going to determine whether or not they are 
going to be able to meet standards.
    You really have quite--the military has, really, two 
options. They can either extend--reduce the standard and bring 
a person in, accepting more risk and spending more time in the 
training base to get them to an acceptable level, or you're 
going to have to increase recruitment efforts--and that's 
primarily other options and dollars--to get people who are 
qualified at the current standard to come in. I mean, all of 
the services compete against one another. They also compete 
against colleges, universities, and businesses that are looking 
for the same type of person. The challenge will be, Where is 
it, once they come into the Military Service, and specifically 
the Army--what are we willing to accept that risk? You have to 
get ahead of the bang, so to speak. That----
    Senator Hirono. Thank you.
    Mr. Chandler.--starts at the pre-K----
    Senator Hirono. I----
    Mr. Chandler.--you know, and the----
    Senator Hirono.--completely agree.
    Mr. Chandler.--elementary school level of how you help 
adapt lifestyle choices.
    Senator Hirono. Thank you for recognizing that it's a 
continuity. This is one of the reasons that there are generals 
who have come forward to express how important it is for us to 
support quality early education as laying a foundation, the 
very kind of foundation you're talking about.
    Mr. Lamont, I understand that you had the opportunity to 
meet with Governor Ige and General Brooks and General Logan, 
our TAG [The Adjutant General]. You know that we have a huge 
military presence in Hawaii, of course. The rebalance to the 
Asia Pacific is a commitment that I have paid particular 
attention to, representing Hawaii as I do. It includes many 
seapower-related actions, but there is also a strong Army 
presence. Would an Army of 980,000 be able to support our 
rebalance to the Pacific, especially recognizing the 
provocative behavior of China and North Korea and other global 
requirements?
    Mr. Lamont. As General Ham mentioned, that was--wasn't 
within our task, but if you want a personal opinion, I'll be 
happy to address it.
    Senator Hirono. Yes.
    Mr. Lamont. By the way, my visit to Hawaii was--although 
quite short, it was very well informed, having dealt with all 
three components there, and it also helped us inform on how we 
push forward multi-component units, because the Reserves and 
the Army National Guard and PACOM--Pacific Command----
    Senator Hirono. Yeah, all the----
    Mr. Lamont.--work so well----
    Senator Hirono. Yes.
    Mr. Lamont.--together. Now, maybe that's----
    Senator Hirono. I think----
    Mr. Lamont.--brought together----
    Senator Hirono.--that's the perfect model.
    Mr. Lamont.--by geographic requirements, but they truly are 
a model in how they work together.
    To get to your question, if I can't avoid it--answering 
that----
    Senator Hirono. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Lamont.--the situation, we're quite concerned with that 
level of force, quite frankly, to meet the challenge that we 
have in the Pacific.
    Senator Hirono. Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My time is----
    Chairman McCain. Senator Kaine.
    Senator Kaine. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Thanks, to all of you, for your service on the Commission 
and your testimony today.
    I want to follow up in a way related to the question of 
Senator Hirono and other colleagues about, kind of, the young 
people's ability to meet standards, but sort of coming at it 
from a different direction, which is--Sergeant Major, your--you 
talked about the recruitment challenge. You know, as we're 
dealing with this workforce of tomorrow, the Millennials and 
those younger, they're a very different breed. I learn that all 
the time with my own kids, in terms of what they want to do. 
You're right that, you know, the best and the brightest at that 
period of life--say, high school--colleges are competing for 
them, and the private sector wants to get these folks. We had a 
military commission--Military Compensation Review Commission 
that reported back to us last year, and they looked at all the 
compensation and benefits. A lot of that analysis was about, 
sort of, the fiscal realities of the personnel side of the 
military budget, but it was also looking at it in terms of the 
recruiting and the retention side. Your all's first, kind of, 
pillar of your recommendations is, got to maintain the All-
Volunteer Force, and that assumes recruitment and retention. I 
would just like each of you, from your own experiences, talk 
about, you know, what is your sense, right now in the Army? Do 
we have the right recruiting and retention strategies with 
respect to the workforce of tomorrow, the talent pool that's 
out there that we want? Either as Commission members or from 
your own personal experiences, what things would you recommend 
to us that we think about to enhance the recruitment and 
retention ability into the Army?
    General Ham. Thanks, Senator. I'll start and then--and turn 
to the others.
    I think two elements I would highlight. In our engagements 
across the force, there's a lot of uncertainty. In the 
retention aspect, whether you're regular Army, Army National 
Guard, or Army Reserve, is my--they watch their numbers, they 
see what's happening--is my unit going to still be here in a 
year or two? Am I still going to be relevant? That uncertainty, 
I think, has certainly an effect on retention.
    From the recruiting and bleeding-into-retention aspect, we 
heard loudly and clearly from soldiers of all components. They 
would like the ability to move between components more 
seamlessly and more easily, depending how their life situation 
changes. You're 18, the regular Army might make all the sense 
in the world. You get married, want to go to college, the Army 
National Guard might make all the sense in the world to do 
that. Then perhaps you find attracted to civil affairs, and so 
the Army Reserve might be a good place for you. Right now, the 
policies are constraining with that kind of movement.
    Senator Kaine. Tom?
    Mr. Lamont. A couple of things, sir.
    Our recruiting cohort's primarily 18 to 25 years of age. As 
you've heard today, we're roughly at the ability to look at 
about 25 percent of the eligible population within that cohort. 
That's--it's narrowing down, particularly as our economy may 
continue to grow and they may have other opportunities outside 
of the military. Our--what we call the DEP [Delayed Entry 
Program], that's Delayed Entry Program--two years ago, we were 
roughly at 32,000 waiting to come in when the opportunity and 
the spaces became available. We're roughly around 10,000 now, 
which is considered very much a floor of where we need to be to 
be able to reach out.
    We've also mentioned today so much about the physical 
concerns of some of that cohort, but the behavioral aspect, as 
well. As we look at States, for instance, in the drug programs, 
where marijuana, for instance, is becoming quite common, the--
available in other States--well, we still have prohibitions 
against folks coming in, in that regard. We're narrowing, in 
many respects, the eligible cohort that we have to recruit 
from.
    We have 11,000 recruiters throughout the Army. Our 
marketing budget's 280 million a year. We're also making a 
recommendation that we look at how we can integrate the 
recruiting. They're all competitive--all three components are 
competitive here. The Army recruits for itself. The National 
Guard recruits for itself. The Army Reserve recruits for 
itself. How can we--that competition for that same eligible 
person is there, but we've got to bring them together so we can 
all recruit. I--it's not going to be easy, and there is 
cultural issues, and the universal recruiter isn't--this isn't 
a new concept. We have to make an effort and try.
    Senator Kaine. Thank you, Secretary.
    Other comments? If I may, Mr. Chair, just--if I could hear 
from the other two witnesses if they have additional comments?
    Mr. Chandler. Yeah, Senator. I agree with General Ham and 
Secretary Lamont's statements. I think that the Military 
Compensation and Reform Commission that made some 
recommendations--I was a signator of that while I was on Active 
Duty as part of the Department of Defense's recommendation. I 
think it's a very forward-looking approach. A lot of the folks 
that have questions are those that are currently in the current 
retirement system and are not going to be affected by these 
changes. I think it does look at a more future approach to what 
Millennials and others are interested in.
    I would also applaud the Army's efforts with trying to 
think about how we can maybe change some policies that prevent 
us from reaching our--the higher objective. I'll use Cyber 
Command as a--Army Cyber as an example. You know, a big 
struggle with, How do you get this very specialized and unique 
individual--and ``unique'' can mean many different things--how 
do you get them to want to be a part of the Army, which, in 
general terms--and I am generalizing--is a little bit different 
from their experiences either in college or in--working for 
some corporation--and to look at things? Like, maybe the tattoo 
policy needs to be loosened more for them, or that we provide 
an opportunity to move in and out of, not only the Army, but 
back into the--you know, the Microsofts and the Dells of the 
world, and bring them back. I think those are things that we 
should be patient with, we should allow some experimentation 
with, and that we should try and focus on the strategic 
objective. How do we find the best people that want to come in 
and serve the Nation, serve their state, and be productive 
members of the military? I think we're on a path. We've just 
got to be patient with it.
    Senator Kaine. General?
    General Thurman. Senator, I would add two things here to 
what's already been said, but I think there has to be a renewed 
emphasis on service to Nation in this country. That starts in 
the family and in the schoolhouse. We really need to get back 
to some of the basic values of what our principles are in the 
country. That's my personal opinion after watching my whole 
family serve throughout World War I, II, and so forth, into 
Vietnam.
    The second thing that we looked at was having--was 
implementing the one personnel and pay system for the Army. 
Right now, you have separate personnel databases between the 
Army National Guard and the regular Army. You've got to see 
your people enterprise. Right now, you can't. There's a program 
called the Integrated Pay and Personnel System that is out 
there being developed, and I'd highly recommend that that 
funding continue for that, because I think that will help what 
General Ham talked about, of how you can transition between 
components so you don't lose the talent. That would be one of 
my recommendations, sir.
    Senator Kaine. Thank you so much, to the witnesses.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Cotton.
    Senator Cotton. Thank you, gentlemen, for your important 
work on this matter. I apologize that I have been detained at 
the Banking Committee, where we had Federal Reserve Chair 
Yellen in her semiannual testimony.
    I have reviewed the report carefully. I wanted just to get 
on the record a discussion about one particularly interesting 
idea, recommendation 22 from Appendix B on page 112, which I'll 
just read in full rather than asking you all to turn to it.
    ``The Congress should require the Secretary of Defense and 
Joint Staff to oversee the modeling of alternative Army design 
and operational concepts, including: (1) the Reconnaissance 
Strike Group, (2) Hybrid Battalion Task Force, (3) Striker 
Global Response Force, and (4) the Reconnaissance and Security 
Brigade Combat Team--and report on their findings within 1 
year. The report to Congress should explicitly address the 
value of follow-on pilot programs to test further any promising 
any alternate force design-and-concept approaches.''
    This seems to me like a far-reaching, maybe even radical, 
proposal, and I would like to hear more on the record about it 
and what might be necessary to undertake that kind of 
transformation. Maybe if we could start with General Ham and 
then go to General Thurman for your comments.
    General Ham. Good. Thanks, Senator.
    You asked us in the law to be comprehensive in our work, 
and so we did. We reached out to a lot of different agencies, 
to include some who have thought seriously about the size, 
structure, and capabilities that ought be resident in the Army. 
Some of those viewpoints have been controversial within the 
Army and from those outside. We felt, nonetheless, it was 
important to hear from them. We did hear from a number of those 
who have offered these kinds of recommendations.
    I guess I would say that, Senator, we didn't find any of 
those notions were sufficiently mature for us to make a 
recommendation to say we think the Army ought to adopt this 
model or that model, but we found elements of the four 
particular proposals that were mentioned, but several others, 
that we think certainly merit further evaluation by the Army, 
and indeed by the Joint Force, because recognizing that the 
Army is always a part of a Joint Force. Some of these 
implications would have--or some of these recommendations would 
have implications for the other services, so it's important to 
view this in a joint perspective.
    That's--that was the genesis of that recommendation. We 
think there's merit in looking at these things. There are 
systems within Army Training and Doctrine Command and other 
agencies, and we think they should take a serious evaluation of 
these proposals.
    Senator Cotton. General Thurman.
    General Thurman. Yes, sir, Senator.
    What I would say, in addition to that, I think it's 
important to look at these concepts and see what benefits that 
you can gain, in terms of overall capabilities, given the 
threats that we have today. There are emerging threats, as 
you're well aware of, out there that we may have a different 
look at how we may want to provide the capability to the joint 
force commander or the global combatant commander. I think 
these all warrant serious review and a look what can be used 
to--maybe to advance capabilities inside the Army for the 
future, really, is what you're looking at.
    Senator Cotton. Thank you.
    Mr. Lamont, Sergeant Major, anything to add to General Ham 
and General Thurman's comments?
    Mr. Chandler. I'd just concur with what they said. I mean, 
you know, you--the Army that I've been a part of is an evolving 
and learning organization; and another set of eyes on how to 
get after the challenges, I think, is important, and I highly 
recommend that they move forward.
    Senator Cotton. Yes. Well, sometimes evolutions can be 
slow, and lessons learned can be hard. I do think it's a very 
intriguing idea that we should take seriously as a committee 
and explore, going forward in the future.
    Again, thank you all for your service to the country, not 
just now, but in many iterations previously.
    Chairman McCain. I'd like to thank the panel again for 
their great work. I think it's given us some very valuable 
input. I know that Senator Reed and I will look seriously at 
some of your proposals and discuss them with the other members 
of the committee, who obviously, as you can see by the 
participation, are very interested. We appreciate your 
significant contribution.
    Senator Reed?
    Senator Reed. I'd just thank the commissioners, your 
colleagues that are not here, all of you, for--extraordinarily 
well done.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman McCain. Thank you.
    This hearing is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 11:56 a.m., the hearing was adjourned.]


DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION FOR APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 
               2017 AND THE FUTURE YEARS DEFENSE PROGRAM

                       TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2016

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

               U.S. PACIFIC COMMAND AND U.S. FORCES KOREA

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:33 a.m., in 
Room SD-G50, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Senator John 
McCain (chairman) presiding.
    Committee members present: Senators McCain, Inhofe, Ayotte, 
Fischer, Cotton, Rounds, Ernst, Tillis, Sullivan, Graham, Reed, 
Nelson, Manchin, Shaheen, Gillibrand, Blumenthal, Donnelly, 
Hirono, Kaine, King, and Heinrich.

       OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR JOHN McCAIN, CHAIRMAN

    Chairman McCain. Good morning. Since a quorum is now 
present, I ask the committee to consider a list of 255 pending 
military nominations. All of these nominations have been before 
the committee the required length of time.
    Is there a motion to favorably report these 255 military 
nominations to the Senate?
    Senator Inhofe. So moved.
    Chairman McCain. Is there a second?
    Senator Reed. Second.
    Chairman McCain. All in favor, say aye.
    The motion carries.
    Good morning. The Senate Armed Services Committee meets 
this morning to receive testimony on U.S. Pacific Command and 
U.S. Forces Korea in review of the defense authorization 
request for fiscal year 2017 and the Future Years Defense 
Program.
    I am pleased to welcome Admiral Harris and General 
Scaparrotti back to this committee. I thank you both for your 
decades of distinguished service and for your leadership in an 
increasingly uncertain time.
    Over the past several years, China has acted less like a 
``responsible stakeholder'' of the rules-based order of the 
Asia-Pacific region and more like a bully. I note this 
morning's Wall Street Journal headline, ``China Appears to Have 
Built Radar Facilities on Disputed South China Sea Islands.''
    China's increasingly assertive pattern of behavior calls 
into serious question whether China's rise will, in fact, be 
peaceful. Despite United States efforts to rebalance to the 
Asia-Pacific, U.S. policy has failed to adapt to the scale of 
velocity and challenge we face.
    For example, the administration has insisted that China 
must cease its reclamation, construction, and militarization in 
the South China Sea, and that it will fly, sail, and operate 
wherever international law allows. But after more than a year 
of this rhetoric, China's reclamation infrastructure, 
construction, and militarization have all continued.
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    Last week, we saw press reports that China had deployed the 
HQ-9 surface-to-air missile system to Woody Island in the 
Paracel Islands. As I mentioned yesterday, they show a high-
frequency, possibly over-the-horizon, radar on reclaimed land 
on Cuarteron Reef in the Spratly Islands.
    If true, this deployment would represent a blatant 
violation of Xi Jinping's September 2015 commitment to 
President Obama in the Rose Garden that China ``did not intend 
to pursue militarization.''
    Admiral Harris, I would like to ask today if you can 
confirm the reported militarization of Woody Island, the radar 
at Cuarteron Reef, and if you can reveal to this committee any 
further examples of militarization now occurring in the South 
China Sea that you are aware of.
    As China continues to use force and coercion to 
unilaterally change the status quo and challenge the rules-
based international order, the credibility of the 
administration's commitments to regional security is 
diminished. Indeed, China's reclamation and militarization in 
the South China Sea, together with China's rapid military 
modernization and expansion, are making it more difficult for 
the United States to defend our allies and our interests from 
military aggression.
    Simply put, the administration's policy has failed.
    Beijing has been willing to accept a high level of risk to 
achieve its strategic goals. Meanwhile, the White House's risk 
aversion has resulted in an indecisive and inadequate policy 
that has confused and alarmed our regional allies and partners. 
The United States must now consider fresh options to raise the 
cost on Beijing's behavior.
    Shaping rather than reacting to Beijing's actions will mean 
adopting policies with a level of risk that we have been 
unwilling to consider up to this point. The administration must 
initiate a robust freedom of the seas campaign, flying and 
sailing wherever international law allows. This should include 
freedom of navigation operations designed to challenge China's 
excessive maritime claims, as well as joint patrols and 
exercises with our allies and partners span the First Island 
Chain.
    We must also maintain our commitment to continued sensitive 
reconnaissance operations, which are critical for gathering 
military intelligence in the Western Pacific. Despite China's 
protests and growing ability to threaten our aircraft, the pace 
and scope of these operations must continue uninterrupted.
    Given the shifting military balance, we also need to take a 
hard look at what the future U.S. military posture in the 
region should look like. While the department has initiated a 
European Reassurance Initiative in Europe, it is clear to me 
that a similar Asian reassurance initiative should be 
considered.
    Building off the recent CSIS [the Center for Strategic and 
International Studies] report, we should consider further steps 
for enhancing posture, improving infrastructure, funding 
additional exercises, pre-positioning additional equipment and 
munitions, and building partner capacity throughout the Asia-
Pacific region.
    Beyond my concerns about sustaining freedom of the seas, I 
am concerned China may also attempt to expel another country 
from disputed territories, such as Second Thomas Shoal, or 
build new infrastructure at a location like Scarborough Shoal. 
Given this, we should consider clarifying how the United States 
will respond to an attack on the territory or Armed Forces of 
the Philippines under the United States-Philippines mutual 
defense.
    Finally, I believe it is time for the United States 
Government to explore the appropriateness of sanctions against 
Chinese companies involved in the reclamation that has 
destabilized the South China Sea and caused massive 
environmental destruction across this maritime domain.
    While China's assertiveness poses a major long-term 
challenge, North Korea's destabilizing behavior continues to 
present a real and rising risk of conflict.
    Over the past 2 months, it has defied the international 
community by testing a nuclear device and launching a long-
range missile. These calculated cycles of provocation continue 
to pose a risk of violent escalation on the Korean Peninsula. 
That is why I am thankful for the close cooperation with our 
partners in Seoul between United States Forces Korea [USFK] and 
the ROK [Republic of Korea] Armed Forces.
    I applaud the leadership of President Park for choosing to 
finally close the Kaesong Industrial Region, which has enriched 
the North with hundreds of millions of dollars in the last 
decade. I am also proud to have supported new congressional 
sanctions on North Korea.
    Despite the deficit of leadership from Beijing on this 
issue, these two steps will bring increased pressure on the 
North Korean regime and its supporters.
    I am very encouraged by the joint United States-Republic of 
Korea statement that our two countries will begin the process 
of consultation for deploying the Terminal High-Altitude Area 
Defense, THAAD, system to the Korean Peninsula. The deployment 
of this system by the alliance is a critical step to providing 
a further layer of defenses against North Korea provocations.
    I look forward to hearing General Scaparrotti's perspective 
on the utility of the THAAD system and other ideas to enhance 
the United States-ROK relationship and deterrence on the 
peninsula.
    I would call my colleagues' reminiscence to an occasion 
here the last time Secretary Ash Carter was here, after it had 
been in all of the newspapers and television and radio that the 
United States had finally decided to sail a ship into the areas 
around the disputed islands. The Secretary of Defense, in front 
of this committee, refused to confirm that--refused to confirm 
what was in the media and well-known to everyone, according to 
the New York Times the next day, for fear of upsetting climate 
talks with China. That cannot be made up. Of the 30 years that 
I have been on this committee, I have never seen a performance 
like that.
    Senator Reed?

                 STATEMENT OF SENATOR JACK REED

    Senator Reed. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I want to 
join you in welcoming the witnesses.
    Gentlemen, we appreciate your long and distinguished 
service to the Nation, and also the service of your families 
throughout many, many years.
    General Scaparrotti, this might be your last United States 
Forces Korea posture hearing. We are hearing rumors that you 
are being moved to a different command. But thank you for your 
friendship and your service over many, many years.
    It is clear from the events of the last few months that we 
are facing a challenge of increasing complexity and instability 
in the region. Given North Korea's recent nuclear test and 
China's militarization of land features in the South China Sea, 
the security situation in the region seems more precarious than 
in many recent years. The United States has historically 
underwritten the peaceful development of the Asia-Pacific 
region with strategic alliances and a forward presence that has 
allowed all the countries in the region, including China, to 
make extraordinary economic developments in relative peace.
    One of the pillars of our strategy is to provide stability 
and security in the region by maintaining close partnerships 
and alliances. From the new defense cooperation agreement with 
the Philippines and our rotational Marine presence in 
Australia, to our growing defense relationship with Vietnam, 
there has been great progress on implementing the 
administration's rebalance to Asia, despite competing resource 
demands from other regions. We must continue to build on these 
strategic partnerships and demonstrate our commitment to the 
region by investing sufficiently in our presence and partner 
capacity-building programs.
    Admiral Harris, I am deeply concerned, as we all are, about 
China's violation of its commitment to President Obama in 
November not to militarize the South China Sea.
    Just yesterday, CSIS released an image that appears to show 
that China has placed an advanced radar system on Cuarteron 
Reef, a land feature that China has reclaimed in the Spratly 
Islands. This is in addition to the HQ-9 surface-to-air 
missiles that it added to Woody Island in the Paracels 
recently.
    It seems clear that China does not intend to be a 
responsible stakeholder in the region. I would appreciate your 
views on how China's recent actions affect the stability of the 
region.
    General Scaparrotti, it seems that as Kim Jong-un has 
consolidated his power in North Korea, he is more and more 
willing to tolerate risk, as evidenced by his recent nuclear 
test and rocket launch. I would like to hear about how you 
believe the security situation on the peninsula will evolve 
over the next year.
    Again, we appreciate you joining us this morning, look 
forward to your testimony, and salute your service. Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman McCain. General Scaparrotti, this is perhaps your 
last appearance before this committee. I want to thank you for 
your outstanding service and your great work, particularly in 
these times of heightened tension. We thank you for your 
service to the country.
    Admiral Harris, do you want to begin?

STATEMENT OF ADMIRAL HARRY B. HARRIS, JR., USN, COMMANDER, U.S. 
                        PACIFIC COMMAND

    Admiral Harris. Thank you, sir. I would.
    Thank you, Chairman McCain, Senator Reed, and distinguished 
members. It is my honor to once again appear before this 
committee.
    Before I begin, on behalf of all the men and women of 
United States Pacific Command [PACOM], I would like to wish 
Senator McCaskill a speedy and full recovery.
    I am pleased to be here with General Scaparrotti to discuss 
how PACOM is advancing America's interests across the vast 
Indo-Asia-Pacific.
    I request, sir, that my written posture statement be 
submitted for the record.
    Chairman McCain. Without objection.
    Admiral Harris. Since taking command of PACOM last May, I 
have had the extraordinary privilege of leading the 400,000 
soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, guardsmen, and civilians 
serving our Nation. These dedicated men and women and their 
families are doing an amazing job, and I am proud to serve 
alongside them.
    I would like to briefly highlight a few regional issues 
since I last testified before this committee 5 months ago.
    As China continues its pattern of destabilizing 
militarization of the South China Sea, we resumed our freedom 
of navigation operations there, a waterway vital to America's 
prosperity, where $5.3 trillion in trade traverses each year.
    General Scaparrotti and I remain fully aligned in dealing 
with North Korea's recent underground nuclear test followed by 
a ballistic missile launch.
    A revanchist Russia is revitalizing its ability to execute 
long-range strategic patrols in the Pacific, to include the 
basing of its newest strategic ballistic missile submarine and 
last month's bomber flights around Japan.
    Recent terrorist attacks in Bangladesh and Indonesia 
underscore the fact that violent Islamic extremism is a global 
concern that must be crushed.
    We continue to strengthen our alliances and partnerships. 
Japan's peace and security legislation authorizing limited 
collective self-defense will take effect this year. This 
legislation, and the revised guidelines for United States-Japan 
defense cooperation, will significantly increase Japan's 
ability to work with us.
    Thanks to the great leadership of General Scaparrotti, 
South Korea and the United States have taken a strong and 
unified stance to maintain peace and stability on the Korean 
Peninsula. In the face of recent North Korean aggression, PACOM 
hosted a trilateral meeting between the United States Chairman 
of the Joint Chiefs General Dunford, Japanese Chairman Admiral 
Kawano, and South Korean Chairman General Lee. Trilateral 
cooperation between Japan, Korea, and the United States is a 
priority, and I am doing everything I can to enhance it.
    Our alliance with the Philippines took an important step 
forward when the Philippines Supreme Court recently upheld the 
Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, or EDCA, which will 
provide significant partnership and access benefits.
    I am also excited about our burgeoning relationship with 
India, where I will visit next week. As the world's two largest 
democracies, we are uniquely poised to help bring greater 
security and prosperity to the entire region.
    Two visionary policies are now coinciding as the United 
States rebalances west of the Indo-Asia-Pacific and India 
implements its Act East policy.
    Last October's Malabar exercise between India, Japan, and 
the United States shows the security interconnectedness of the 
Indian Ocean, Asia, and the Pacific Ocean. I rely heavily on 
Australia, not only for its advanced military capabilities 
across all domains, but importantly for Australia's warfighting 
experience and leadership in operations around the world.
    These examples clearly demonstrate to me that the United 
States is a security partner of choice in the Indo-Asia-
Pacific. It is also why I believe that our strategic rebalance 
has taken hold. Given that four of the five strategic problem 
sets identified by Secretary Carter--China, North Korea, 
Russia, and ISIL [the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant]--
are in our region, I would say that we cannot rebalance fast 
enough.
    But there is more work to do, and we must not lose the 
momentum, so I ask this committee to support continued 
investment in the future capabilities. I need weapon systems of 
increased lethality that go faster, go further, and are more 
survivable.
    If funding uncertainties continue, the U.S. will experience 
reduced warfighting capabilities, so I urge Congress to repeal 
sequestration.
    Finally, I would like to thank this committee and Congress 
for your enduring support to PACOM, and the men and women in 
uniform, our civilian teammates, and our families. Thank you, 
and I look forward to your questions, sir.
    [The prepared statement of Admiral Harris follows:]
           Prepared Statement by Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr.
    Chairman McCain, Senator Reed, and distinguished members of the 
committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. 
This is my first posture assessment since taking command of U.S. 
Pacific Command (USPACOM) in May 2015. Over the past 9 months, I've had 
the extraordinary privilege to lead 378,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, 
Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and civilians selflessly serving our nation. 
These dedicated men and women and their families are doing an amazing 
job, and I'm proud to serve alongside them.
    USPACOM protects and defends, in concert with other U.S. Government 
agencies, the territory of the U.S., its people, and its interests. 
With allies and partners, USPACOM enhances stability in the Indo-Asia-
Pacific region by promoting security cooperation, encouraging peaceful 
development, responding to contingencies, deterring aggression, and, 
when necessary, fighting to win. This approach is based on military 
preparedness, partnership, and presence.
    The strategic importance of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region cannot be 
overstated. Recognition of clear military, economic, and demographic 
trends inspired President Obama to undertake a ``Rebalance'' strategy 
in 2011. The Rebalance, a strategic whole of government effort, guides 
and reinforces our military efforts, integrating with diplomatic, 
political, and economic initiatives.
    In August of 2015, Secretary of Defense Carter described four 
elements of the military component of the Asia-Pacific Rebalance:
    1)  investing in future capabilities relevant to the challenges in 
the Asia-Pacific;
    2)  fielding the right numbers of existing capabilities to the 
Asia-Pacific;
    3)  adapting our regional force posture; and
    4)  reinforcing alliances and partnerships.
    Despite other pressing challenges around the world, and because of 
the legislative and budgetary support of Congress, we achieved momentum 
in each element above. I believe we must continue, and even increase, 
this momentum, as the strategic imperative behind the Rebalance remains 
valid.
    What follows is my assessment of the Indo-Asia-Pacific and 
USPACOM's part of the Rebalance. I will describe the security 
challenges and highlight regional opportunities with strategic value. I 
will discuss the value of U.S. strategic force posture and forward 
presence to the Rebalance--how it improves our readiness to fight 
tonight, enhances our ability to reassure allies and partners, and 
maintain stability. I will then explain how USPACOM strengthens our 
alliances and builds critical regional partnerships that deliver 
strategic benefit while enhancing U.S. readiness to protect and defend 
U.S. interests. Finally, I will highlight critical needs and seek your 
support for budgetary and legislative actions in the coming weeks and 
months.
                          security environment
    The Indo-Asia-Pacific has been a largely peaceful region for over 
70 years, in large part, because of the system of rules and norms 
established and underpinned by robust U.S. presence and anchored by a 
series of treaty alliances and bilateral relationships with countries 
in the region. Regional nations, including and perhaps especially 
China, have benefited because of the security architecture provided by 
the United States and our allies. The Indo-Asia-Pacific is critically 
important to United States commerce, diplomacy, and security. Estimates 
predict up to 70 percent of the world's population will reside in the 
region by the middle of this century. Within the region are the world's 
two largest economies after the United States (China and Japan), and 
five of the smallest economies. The region contains the world's most 
populous nation (China), largest democracy (India), largest Muslim-
majority state (Indonesia), and smallest republic (Nauru). It contains 
seven of the ten largest standing militaries in the world, five nuclear 
nations, and five of the U.S.' seven mutual defense treaty alliances.
    The region's environment, history, cultural and political 
diversity, and robust military capabilities present dynamic strategic 
challenges. Self-interested actors challenge the existing international 
rules-based order that helped underwrite peace and prosperity in the 
region for over 70 years. North Korea continues its provocative, 
coercive behavior and weapons development. Chinese coercion, artificial 
island construction, and militarization in the South China Sea threaten 
the most fundamental aspect of global prosperity--freedom of 
navigation. Other challenges include the movement and facilitation of 
violent extremists to and from the Middle East, transnational criminal 
activity (including human trafficking and illicit drugs), and an 
increasingly revanchist and assertive Russia. USPACOM enhances U.S. 
Force posture, presence, and resiliency in the region, modernizing U.S. 
Force capability to ensure forces are ready to fight and win any 
contingency. USPACOM is working with allies and partners on a 
bilateral--and increasingly multilateral--basis to address these 
challenges. Together, we enhance capability and capacity to respond to 
the range of threats endemic to the region. We are stronger together.
                                overview
    A number of challenges has emerged over the past year that place 
stability and security at risk. In July 2015, China largely completed 
land reclamation at seven sites in the South China Sea and is finishing 
runways, infrastructure, and systems to militarize what are, in effect, 
man-made bases, significantly raising regional tensions. China views 
the South China Sea as a strategic frontline in their quest to dominate 
East Asia out to the Second Island Chain. I view their thinking as 
approaching a new ``Great Game.'' Last month, North Korea conducted its 
fourth nuclear test in ten years and last August, raised tensions with 
a land-mine attack in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). Russia continues 
modernizing its military forces, homeporting its newest Dolgurukiy-
class ballistic missile submarine in Petropavlovsk, and revitalizing 
its ability to execute long range strategic patrols, highlighted by 
last July's deployment of Tu-95 Bear bombers near Alaska and 
California, and last month's bomber flights around Japan. Terrorist 
attacks in Bangladesh and Indonesia underscore the fact that violent 
Islamic extremism is a global problem.
    While these events threaten the region's peace and prosperity, 
there was positive progress as well. Last September, Japan passed its 
Peace and Security Legislation which authorizes collective self-defense 
in limited circumstances. The Philippines remained committed to solving 
its maritime dispute with China peacefully through arbitration under 
the Law of the Sea Convention. The Philippine Supreme Court upheld the 
Philippine's domestic approval of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation 
Agreement (EDCA), which will provide significant partnership and access 
benefits. India underscored its ``Act East'' policy by crafting a Joint 
Strategic Vision of the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region with the 
United States and is progressing toward signing essential foundational 
agreements that will enable deeper ties, improve interoperability, and 
increase cooperation. Singapore has increased routine access to United 
States military assets such as Littoral Combat Ships and P-3/P-8 
aircraft. Trilateral cooperation among allies is increasing and 
multilateral forums such as the Association of South East Nations 
(ASEAN) are focusing on shared security challenges in the region. These 
events demonstrate that Indo-Asia-Pacific countries are increasingly 
viewing the United States as their security partner of choice. That 
said, significant challenges remain.
                             key challenges
    North Korea:  Though North Korea is not yet an existential threat 
to the United States, it remains the most dangerous and unpredictable 
actor in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. Kim Jung Un regularly conducts 
provocative and escalatory actions. Just last month, North Korea 
conducted an underground nuclear test, the fourth since 2006, which 
violated its obligations and commitments under international law, 
including several UN Security Council Resolutions. Additionally, this 
month, North Korea conducted a ballistic missile test under the guise 
of launching a satellite. These tests, coupled with the unprovoked mine 
attack on Republic of Korea (ROK) soldiers in the DMZ last August, are 
the latest in a series of actions intended to destabilize the 
Peninsula, challenge ROK President Park's leadership, and raise 
tensions.
    While the international community urges North Korea to live up to 
its international obligations and return to credible negotiations under 
the Six-Party Talks framework, Pyongyang has shown no willingness to 
seriously discuss denuclearization. Kim Jung Un is on a quest for 
nuclear weapons, and the technology to miniaturize them and deliver 
them intercontinentally. Additional nuclear tests are likely to occur. 
North Korea will also likely test and field improved mobile 
intercontinental ballistic missiles and intermediate range ballistic 
missiles (MUSUDAN) capable of reaching Japan, and actively pursue its 
submarine launched ballistic missile development program. On 6 
February, North Korea launched its second space vehicle in direct 
violation of several United Nations Security Council Resolutions, 
firing a complex, multi-stage rocket that also forms the basis of an 
intercontinental ballistic missile. North Korea announced its intent to 
conduct ``annual and regular'' drills to advance this prohibited 
capability. I have no doubt they will do so.
    North Korea refuses to abide by the rules and norms of the 
international community and represents a clear danger to regional 
peace, prosperity, and stability. In the cyber domain, North Korea has 
lesser cyber technical capabilities than other states, but has already 
demonstrated them as a way to impose costly damage to commercial 
entities. This was demonstrated in the high-profile attack on Sony 
Pictures Entertainment. North Korea sells weapons and weapons-related 
technologies in conflict with United Nation Security Council Resolution 
restrictions.
    Chinese Military Modernization and Strategic Intent:  China's 
military modernization program is transforming its forces into a high-
tech military to achieve its dream of regional dominance, with growing 
aspirations of global reach and influence. Given China's economic rise, 
the goal may be natural; however, the lack of transparency on China's 
overall strategic intent behind its military investments and activities 
creates instability and regional anxiety.
    China's navy and air forces are rapidly fielding advanced warships 
and planes. Over the past decade, the Chinese navy has significantly 
increased in size and is much more capable in every way. Chinese forces 
are operating at a higher tempo, in more places, and with greater 
sophistication than ever before. Chinese shipyards are constructing 
China's first cruiser-sized warship, their first indigenous aircraft 
carrier, and many classes of patrol boats, frigates, and destroyers. 
Newer, more capable submarines continue replacing older ones. New 
fighters (including the ``Gen-5'' J-31), bombers, special mission 
aircraft, and unmanned systems give China greater air capabilities, 
lethality, and flexibility. These advances have been aided and 
accelerated by systemic technology theft, enabling China to skip 
decades of research and development and go straight into production. 
Finally, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) is undergoing dramatic 
reorganization to improve its command and control of joint forces.
    China's strategic capabilities are significant. The Jin-class 
ballistic missile submarine (Type 094) carries the JL-2 submarine 
launched ballistic missile capable of reaching parts of the continental 
United States and represents China's first credible sea-based nuclear 
deterrent. New road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles provide 
more strike options and greater survivability.
    In the maritime domain, China's Navy (PLA(N)) is increasing its 
routine operations in the Indian Ocean, expanding the area and duration 
of operations and exercises in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, 
and is beginning to act as a global navy--venturing into other areas, 
including Europe, North America, South America, Africa, and the Middle 
East.
    While China's actions are causing concern among neighbors in the 
region, there are potential opportunities. Its small but growing number 
of bilateral and multinational exercises suggests Beijing's greater 
willingness to interact with partners. Support for UN Peace Keeping 
missions is an encouraging sign of Chinese willingness to play a more 
active and constructive role in international affairs. My goal is to 
convince China that the best way ahead is through peaceful cooperation, 
participation and conformance in a rules-based order, and by honoring 
agreements made in good faith.
    Territorial Disputes:  The political and military dynamic in the 
East and South China Seas is changing, and tactical miscalculations 
between claimants present threats to stability and security.
    In the East China Sea, tensions between Japan and China over the 
Senkaku Islands continue. China seeks to challenge Japan's 
administrative control over the islands by deploying warships into the 
area, sailing coast guard ships inside the territorial waters 
surrounding the Senkakus, and intercepting Japanese reconnaissance 
flights. In April of 2014, President Obama affirmed that Article V of 
the United States-Japan Security Treaty includes the Senkaku Islands. I 
am bound to protect that promise.
    In the South China Sea, the situation is more complex. There are 
six claimants to disputed features: Brunei, China, Malaysia, the 
Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam, and there are three notable disputes 
over territorial sovereignty. The first dispute is between China, 
Taiwan, and Vietnam over the sovereignty of the Paracel Islands, which 
China took by force from Vietnam and has occupied since 1974. The 
second dispute is between China, Taiwan, and the Philippines over 
Scarborough Reef, of which China seized control in 2012. The third 
dispute involves multiple claimants within the Spratly Islands where 
China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, and the Philippines each 
claim sovereignty over various features.
    The United States takes no position on competing sovereignty claims 
in the South China Sea, but we encourage all countries to uphold 
international law, as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention, which 
ensures unimpeded lawful commerce, freedom of navigation and 
overflight, and peaceful dispute resolution.
    While China has not clearly defined the scope of its maritime 
claims in the South China Sea, China has unilaterally changed the 
status quo. Chinese leaders seem to believe that, through coercion, 
intimidation, and force, they can bypass accepted methods of dispute 
resolution. They have demonstrated this through aggressive artificial 
island building, and by growing a fleet of ``white hull'' ships and 
fishing vessels whose purpose is to dominate the area without the 
appearance of overt military force. China is now turning its artificial 
island projects into operating bases for forward-staging military 
capabilities--under the rubric of being civilian facilities. For 
example in January 2016, China landed civilian aircraft on its man-made 
airbase at Fiery Cross Reef. The PLA is installing new or improved 
radars, communications systems, and other military capabilities at 
seven separate reclaimed bases. The scale and scope of these projects 
are inconsistent with the China's stated purpose of supporting 
fishermen, commercial shipping, and search and rescue. Although 
Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Taiwan have also conducted land 
reclamation in the South China Sea, their total--approximately 115 
acres over 45 years--is dwarfed by the size, scope, speed, and scale of 
China's massive buildup. In a little over two years, China has 
constructed more than 3,000 acres of artificial land--heightening 
environmental concerns by destroying the fragile ecosystem of the South 
China Sea. Professor John McManus of the University of Miami has called 
this the most rapid rate of permanent loss of coral reef area in human 
history. Equally concerning is Beijing's repeated pronouncements that 
it will not accept any decision issued by the arbitral tribunal in the 
case filed by the Philippines under the Law of the Sea Convention..
    China's actions undermine the international rules-based order. 
Furthermore, these actions have driven China's South China Sea 
neighbors to expand their own military capabilities and seek stronger 
relationships with the United States and one another. The result is a 
situation that is ripe for miscalculation that could escalate to 
conflicts that no one wants, in an area vital to global prosperity.
    While preventing conflict in South China Sea requires patience and 
transparency among all parties, time favors the Chinese. For the United 
States to continue to play a constructive role in preventing conflict 
and supporting peaceful dispute resolution requires national resolve 
and a willingness to apply all elements of national power in the right 
measure to influence all claimants to use international dispute 
resolution mechanisms. For example, USPACOM recently conducted freedom 
of navigation operations in the South China Sea--the continuation of a 
longstanding United States practice. These operations are an important 
military tool to demonstrate America's commitment to the rule of law, 
including the fundamental concept of freedom of navigation. The U.S. 
will sail, fly, and operate wherever international law allows.
    Russian Assertiveness:  Though focused on Europe and the Middle 
East, Russia is engaged politically and militarily in the Indo-Asia-
Pacific. Russian activity is assertive, but not confrontational. Ships 
and submarines of the Russian Pacific Fleet and long range aircraft 
routinely demonstrate Russia's message that it is a Pacific power.
    Russian ballistic missile and attack submarines remain especially 
active in the region. The arrival in late 2015 of Russia's newest class 
of nuclear ballistic missile submarine (DOLGORUKIY SSBN) in the Far 
East is part of a modernization program for the Russian Pacific Fleet 
and signals the seriousness with which Moscow views this region.
    Violent Extremism / Foreign Fighters:  The Indo-Asia-Pacific has 
the largest Muslim population on the planet and extremism is a rising 
challenge. Of the many extremist groups in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, those 
connected to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or al Qaeda 
(AQ) are of greatest concern. Foreign fighters from the Indo-Asia-
Pacific have contributed to violence in Syria and Iraq and pose a 
growing threat to security in their home countries upon their return. 
Attacks in Australia and Bangladesh underscore regional concerns about 
self-radicalized actors. Small but growing numbers of Bangladeshi, 
Indonesian, and Philippine extremists have pledged fealty to ISIL, and 
threats to host nation and Western interests are rising. USPACOM--in 
coordination with USSOCOM--and partner nations are focused on 
disrupting these extremist networks.
    Transnational Crime:  Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs), 
many operating sophisticated global enterprises that traffic in human 
beings, weapons, drugs, and other illicit substances, exist throughout 
the Indo-Asia-Pacific. The revenue from criminal endeavors threatens 
stability and undermines human rights. Corruption follows wherever 
these organizations flourish, weakening governments and contributing to 
regional instability.
    Methamphetamine and amphetamine-type stimulants continue to be the 
primary drug threat in the region. Joint Interagency Task Force-West 
(JIATF-W) reports that at least 90 percent of the precursor chemical 
seizures potentially destined for illicit methamphetamine production 
originates in China. Maritime container shipments of China-sourced 
chemicals are diverted for methamphetamine and heroin/opioid production 
in Mexico--a direct threat to the United States Homeland. The Asia-
Pacific is also a growing, lucrative market for illicit narcotics 
produced in the Western Hemisphere. Just last week, JIATF-W coordinated 
with French authorities in French Polynesia to apprehend a sailing 
vessel located with almost 750 kilograms of cocaine.
    Nearly 36 million victims of human trafficking are estimated 
worldwide and nearly two-thirds are from Asia. Women and children--
especially those from the lowest socioeconomic sectors--are the most 
vulnerable. Roughly half of those 36 million victims end up in the 
commercial sex trade, while others are forced into difficult and 
dangerous positions in factories, farms, as child soldiers, or as 
domestic servants. While much remains to be done, USPACOM forces, 
including JIATF-W, are building partner capacity and sharing 
intelligence in order to combat these transnational threats.
    Proliferation Issues:  The Indo-Asia-Pacific region has the busiest 
maritime and air ports in the world. Developing technology has outpaced 
many nations' ability to effectively manage export controls. Trade 
includes dual-use technology--commercial items controlled by the 
nuclear, ballistic missile, and chemical/biological weapons control 
regimes, including manufactured or re-exported materials from other 
nations with limited export control enforcement.
    USPACOM's Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) community 
supports counter-proliferation operations throughout the Indo-Asia-
Pacific region. USPACOM addresses concerns through key leader 
engagements, combined and joint exercises, and international security 
exchanges focused on counter proliferation activities. Recent success 
stories include Vietnam joining 104 nations as an endorsee of the 
Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). The PSI rotational exercise 
series provides a framework for partner nations to improve legal 
authorities and operational capabilities to interdict WMD, delivery 
systems, and other related materials. Proactive dialogue under PSI is 
vital to reducing WMD proliferation.
    USPACOM works with the Armed Forces of the Philippines to enhance 
military to military interoperability and provide assistance to 
military first responders' capability to respond to a WMD. Under 
section 1204 of the fiscal year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act 
(NDAA), the primary objective of USPACOM's WMD assistance is to train 
and equip first responders. In Aug 2015, USPACOM, Service Components, 
and combat support agencies such as the Defense Threat Reduction Agency 
provided the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) a ``first class'' 
Chemical, Biological, Radiation, Nuclear (CBRN) Defense capability. 
Under these section 1204 authorities, USPACOM will begin to work with 
Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia to enhance their capacity to respond to 
a WMD event.
    Natural Disasters:  The Indo-Asia-Pacific remains the world's most 
disaster-prone region, experiencing over 2,700 disasters that affected 
nearly 1.6 billion people in the past decade alone. In addition to 
seismic and weather disasters, areas of large populations, dense living 
conditions, and poor sanitation in the region create optimal conditions 
for the rapid spread of diseases. U.S. Forces regularly train with 
allies and partners in disaster relief operations and are called upon 
often to respond to tragic events.
    USPACOM's Center for Excellence for Disaster Management (CFE-DM) 
increases regional governments' readiness to respond to natural 
disasters by developing lessons learned and providing best practices. 
Many of the lessons learned and preparedness measures implemented after 
Typhoon Haiyan (Operation Damayan, November 2013) reduced damage and 
loss of life when Typhoon Hagupit struck the Philippines in 2014. To 
help USPACOM rapidly respond to future natural disasters, Vietnam is 
allowing sets of vehicles, equipment, and supplies to be prepositioned 
within its borders for disaster preparedness purposes. USPACOM will 
continue improving pre-crisis preparedness and working with allies and 
partners to improve responses whenever disasters strike, but it is 
important to note that disaster preparedness cannot overtake 
traditional military readiness as our focus.
            strategic force posture in the indo-asia-pacific
    The tyranny of distance and short indications and warnings 
timelines place a premium on robust, modern, and agile forward-
stationed forces at high levels of readiness. USPACOM requires a force 
posture that credibly communicates U.S. resolve, strengthens alliances 
and partnerships, prevents conflict, and in the event of crisis, 
responds rapidly across the full range of military operations. 
USPACOM's strategic force posture is also supported by the deployment 
of rotational forces and the fielding of new capabilities and concepts 
that address operational shortfalls and critical gaps.
    Global Force Management (GFM):  In support of the Rebalance, the 
Department has undertaken GFM initiatives that include the deployment 
of Littoral Combat Ships to Singapore, replacing the aircraft carrier 
USS George Washington in Japan with the more capable USS Ronald Reagan, 
the deployment of two additional ballistic missile defense-capable 
surface ships to Japan, and the stationing of additional submarines and 
a submarine tender in Guam. The Air Force deploys a broad range of 
aircraft as part of its Theater Force Package model including B-52s, F-
22s, F-16s, E-8s, and RC-135s. The Army forward deployed a second 
ballistic missile defense radar in Japan, maintained a THAAD battery in 
Guam, and delivered training and presence across the region through 
Pacific Pathways, enhancing partnership opportunities without permanent 
basing. The Army also continues updating Prepositioned Stocks (APS) and 
advocating for the placement of Disaster Response activity sets across 
Southeast Asia. The Marine Corps continues to execute the Defense 
Policy Review Initiatives (DPRI), which will reduce the Marine Corps 
footprint in Japan and distribute Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) 
capability across the region. The Marine Corps is also expanding 
rotational presence in Australia through its Marine Rotational Force-
Darwin initiative. USPACOM plans to improve rotational force presence 
in the Philippines via the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement 
(EDCA) and establishing USAF dispersal capabilities in the Commonwealth 
of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and in the Northern Territory of 
Australia. Rotational forces west of the International Date Line are 
positioned to deter and defeat potential aggressors in the region. 
Finally, we are beginning consultations with the government of South 
Korea for the placement of a Terminal High Altitude Air Defense 
capability on the Korean Peninsula.
    Posture Initiatives:  The size and scope of forward stationed 
forces and the challenges within the security environment require 
recapitalization and improvement to infrastructure in theater. To that 
end, fiscal year 2016 military construction projects largely reflect 
requirements that support fielding new capabilities in the region, to 
include the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, CV-22 Osprey, C-130J Hercules, 
and F-22 Raptor. Additional investments support resiliency initiatives 
and infrastructure recapitalization in Australia, Guam, CNMI, Hawaii, 
and Japan; critical munitions throughput recapitalization in California 
(Military Ocean Terminal Concord); and quality of life investments for 
our forces in South Korea and Japan.
    Additionally, USPACOM's force posture strategy seeks to provide the 
correct level of capital investment to support established posture 
initiatives and commitments, including efforts in Korea (Yongsan 
Relocation Plan and Land Partnership Plan) and Japan (Okinawa 
Consolidation and the Defense Policy Review Initiative). In support of 
these initiatives, the Government of Japan committed up to $3.1 billion 
to help realign United States Marines from Okinawa to Guam and other 
locations, and $4.5 billion to expand the airfield and associated 
facilities at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni. Korea and Japan 
maintain robust host nation funded construction programs, which play 
vital roles in supporting United States presence and enduring 
capabilities in the region. These vital partner contributions require 
the Services to program Planning and Design funds to ensure our allies 
deliver facilities that meet our requirements.
    Furthermore, USPACOM is expanding its presence in various parts of 
the region to include completing the permanent stationing of THAAD on 
Guam, the addition of a submarine and sub tender in Guam, additional 
Aegis BMD capable ships to Japan, and seeking the assignment of 
additional Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) assets 
in the region. In support of the Rebalance, USPACOM is in the midst of 
executing four major Force Posture initiatives: (1) United States-Japan 
Defense Policy Review Initiative (DPRI) / USMC Distributed Laydown, (2) 
United States Forces Korea Realignment, (3) Resiliency Efforts, and (4) 
Agile Logistics.
      DPRI:  USPACOM is making progress on DPRI/USMC 
Distributed Laydown initiatives; however, significant Japanese 
political challenges remain. Consolidation of United States Marines in 
Japan is dependent upon completion of Okinawa construction efforts to 
include the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF). In spite of the 
Government of Japan (GOJ) political resolve and dedication of 
resources, progress on relocating Marines from Futenma to Camp Schwab 
is slow going. GOJ budgeted $258M in fiscal year 2015 for 200 projects, 
but only 9 facilities have been completed with an additional 8 under 
construction. GOJ faces challenges in several areas, including 
overcoming Nago City obstruction impacting construction and controlling 
protester interference. The central government has dispatched police 
officers from the mainland to Okinawa to assist the Okinawa Prefectural 
Police in managing protest activity in and around United States bases 
in Okinawa. However, as of this writing, very little progress has been 
made in improving the situation and protests continue to escalate. 
While the issues in Okinawa continue, USPACOM made progress in laying 
the groundwork for relocating 5,000 Marines to Guam. Tied to the Guam 
effort, DOD is aggressively pursuing the establishment of the CNMI 
Joint Military Training (JMT) Area to mitigate joint training 
deficiencies in the region.
      USFK Realignment:  The consolidation of United States 
forces in Korea via the Land Partnership Program (LPP) and Yongsan 
Relocation Program (YRP) is moving ahead at full-speed. Construction 
will triple the size of Camp Humphreys and increase the base's 
population to 36,000 troops and family members. The ROK is bearing the 
majority of the relocation's cost, committing over $7.5 billion to the 
project. USPACOM appreciates Congress' continued support of DOD's 
largest peace-time relocation project.
      Resiliency Efforts:  USPACOM resiliency efforts include 
investment in a more robust transportation infrastructure in ally and 
partner countries, mitigation of single points of failure via the 
dispersal and optimization of critical enablers, such as communication 
nodes, fuel, medical, and logistic support equipment, and hardening 
facilities. For example, USPACOM is hardening facilities in Guam and 
CNMI as well as enhancing airfields at dispersed sites throughout the 
theater.
      Agile Logistics:  Due to time and distance required to 
move assets within the USPACOM region, it is imperative to invest in 
infrastructure to ensure logistics commodities--munitions, fuel, and 
other war materiel--are properly prepositioned, secured, and available 
to meet requirements. USPACOM continues to build capacity for pre-
positioned war reserve fuel stocks and invest in munitions, fuel, and 
other war materiel facilities and infrastructure throughout the 
theater. For example, critical munitions throughput recapitalization in 
California (Military Ocean Terminal Concord) is necessary to support 
USPACOM plans and operations.
    Readiness:  USPACOM is a ``fight tonight'' theater with short 
timelines across vast spaces. Threats such as North Korea--which has 
over a hundred thousand rockets aimed at Seoul--require United States 
military forces in the region maintain a high level of readiness to 
respond rapidly to a crisis. USPACOM's readiness is evaluated against 
its ability to execute operational and contingency plans, which place a 
premium on forward-stationed, ready forces that can exercise, train, 
and operate with our partner nations' militaries and follow-on forces 
able to respond to operational contingencies.
    Forward-stationed forces west of the International Date Line 
increase decision space and decrease response time, bolster the 
confidence of allies and partners, and reduce the chance of 
miscalculation by potential adversaries.
    The ability of the U.S. to surge and globally maneuver ready forces 
is an asymmetric advantage that must be maintained. Over the past two 
decades of war, the U.S. has of necessity prioritized the readiness of 
deploying forces at the expense of follow-on-forces and critical 
investments needed to outpace emerging threats. A shortage of ready 
surge forces resulting from high operational demands, delayed 
maintenance periods due to sequestration, and training pipeline 
shortfalls limit responsiveness to emergent contingencies and greatly 
increase risk. These challenges grow each year as our forces downsize 
while continuing to deploy at unprecedented rates.
    Fiscal uncertainty requires the Department to accept risk in long-
term engagement opportunities with strategic consequences to U.S. 
relations and prestige. Continued budget uncertainty and changes in 
fiscal assumptions in the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) degrade 
USPACOM's ability to plan and program, leading to sub-optimal 
utilization of resources. Services must be able to develop and execute 
long-term programs for modernization while meeting current readiness 
needs. Much of the supporting infrastructure in the Pacific and on the 
West Coast of the U.S. mainland was established during World War II and 
during the early years of the Cold War. The infrastructure requires 
investment to extend its service life but the Services struggle to 
maintain infrastructure sustainment, restoration, and modernization 
accounts at appropriate levels. If funding uncertainties continue, the 
U.S. will experience reduced warfighting capabilities and increased 
challenges in pacing maturing adversary threats.
                          allies and partners
    USPACOM's forward presence, posture, and readiness reassure allies 
and partners of United States commitment to security in the Indo-Asia-
Pacific. Strengthening these relationships is critical to meeting the 
challenges and seizing opportunities. Through bi-lateral and multi-
lateral relationships and activities, USPACOM is building a community 
of like-minded nations that are committed to maintaining of the 
international rules-based order. The United States's five Indo-Asia-
Pacific treaty allies are Australia, Japan, Republic of Korea, 
Philippines, and Thailand. In addition, the United States continues to 
strengthen partnerships with New Zealand, India, and Singapore, and 
build new relationships that advance common interests with Vietnam, 
Mongolia, Malaysia and Indonesia. This year, USPACOM plans to leverage 
Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, Public Law 114-92, 
section 1263, ``South China Sea Initiative'' (section 1263) authority, 
to begin implementing the Secretary's Southeast Asia Maritime Security 
Initiative (MSI)--an initiative Secretary Carter announced at the 
Shangri-La Dialogue that will increase the maritime security and 
maritime domain awareness capacity of the Philippines, Vietnam, 
Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. The Secretary has made available $50 
million in fiscal year 2016 funding and announced an additional $375 
million from fiscal year 2017-2020 to conduct MSI activities pursuant 
to this authority. MSI takes a regional approach to help our partners 
better sense activity within their sovereign territorial domain, share 
information with domestic joint and international combined forces, and 
contribute to regional peace and stability operations. I'm also looking 
forward to improving military-to-military relationships with Burma and 
Sri Lanka, once political conditions permit. Strengthening and 
modernizing alliances and partnerships is a top USPACOM priority.
                                 allies
    Japan:  The US-Japan alliance remains strong and operational 
cooperation between USPACOM and the Japan Joint Staff continues to 
increase. Our relationship is a cornerstone of regional stability. On 
September 19th, 2015 Japan's Peace and Security Legislation authorizing 
limited collective self-defense passed into law and will take effect 
this year. Japan's Peace and Security Legislation and the revised 
Guidelines for United States-Japan Defense Cooperation will 
significantly increase Japan's ability to contribute to peace and 
security. Japan's leadership has worked toward lessoning historical 
tensions and improving cooperation and collaboration with the Republic 
of Korea (ROK) in areas such as information sharing and disaster 
response The Government of Japan supports USPACOM activities to 
maintain freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. In another 
growing relationship, a Japanese destroyer participated in the United 
States-India-Japan trilateral exercise MALABAR in October and then 
transited the South China Sea in company with the USS Theodore 
Roosevelt in early November. Japanese P-3s exercised with the 
Philippines and operated in the South China Sea while returning to 
Japan from Southwest Asia.
    Republic of Korea:  The ROK alliance remains strong, and I am 
optimistic that the Japan-ROK relationship will continue to improve, 
which I hold as a top priority. The United States and ROK agreed to 
delay wartime operational control (OPCON) transfer and adopt a 
conditions-based approach, rather than following a calendar-based 
deadline. Secretary of Defense Carter and his counter-part, Minister 
Han, signed the Conditions Based OPCON Transition Plan (COTP) in 
November 2015 at the annual Security Consultative Meeting in Seoul. 
This is part of American and ROK efforts to modernize the alliance to 
better address continued threats and provocations from North Korea such 
as January's nuclear test and February's space launch. Trilateral 
cooperation with Japan is the next logical step to ensure both 
countries' mutual security.
    Australia:  The United States-Australia alliance anchors peace and 
stability in the region. Australia plays a leading role in regional 
security and capacity-building efforts and addressing disaster 
response. Australia is a key contributor to global security, 
contributing to counter-ISIL efforts in Iraq and the Resolute Support 
mission in Afghanistan. With the implementation of force posture 
initiatives, the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin successfully completed 
its third rotation while increasing its presence from 250 to 1,177 U.S. 
Marines. The fourth rotation begins in April 2016. The United States 
and Australia are increasing collaboration in counter-terrorism, space, 
cyber, integrated air missile defense, and regional capacity building. 
Australia is procuring high-tech U.S. platforms that will increase 
interoperability. These include the F-35A Lightning II, P-8 Poseidon, 
C-17 Globemaster III, EA-18G Growler, Global Hawk UAVs, and MH-60R 
helicopters. To enhance synchronization and integration, the Australian 
Government provides a Flag Officer and a Senior Executive (civilian) to 
USPACOM and a General Officer to U.S. Army Pacific staffs on a full-
time basis.
    Philippines:  The alliance between the Philippines and the United 
States has been important for more than 65 years. The Philippines 
Supreme Court recently upheld the Philippine's domestic approval of the 
Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) which will improve United 
States access and build Philippine military capacity by addressing 
capability gaps, long-term modernization, Maritime Security (MARSEC), 
Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA), and disaster response capabilities. 
USPACOM is exploring way to use MSI to realize Philippines MARSEC and 
MDA capability development. The Philippine Navy has made good use of 
two previously awarded Excess Defense Article (EDA) U.S. Coast Guard 
Cutters. During the 2015 Cooperation Readiness Afloat and Training 
(CARAT) exercise, one of the EDA cutters (BRP RAMON A. ALCARAZ PF-16) 
operated with the USS Fort Worth, enhancing our shared security 
concerns. During the 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, 
President Obama announced the award of a third former United States 
Coast Guard cutter through the EDA program, which will significantly 
enhance the Philippine Navy's maritime security capabilities, and, 
through MSI, we are exploring ways to ensure that this vessel is 
delivered fully mission capable. U.S. P-3s and P-8s already operate 
from Clark Air Base on a rotational basis, and the EDCA will increase 
United States access in crisis to Philippine facilities that are 
important strategic locations. USPACOM provides information sharing and 
training for the Armed Forces of the Philippines in the areas of MARSEC 
and MDA, Additionally, USPACOM provided $3.5 million in Chemical, 
Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) equipment and two years of 
sustainment training to the Armed Forces Philippines Defense Initiative 
through the CBRN Defense programs. USPACOM appreciates the continued 
support of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Joint Program Executive 
Office, and Joint Requirements Office in providing CBRN equipment and 
training to partners in the region.
    Thailand:  The United States and Thailand's long relationship began 
with a Treaty of Amity and Commerce in 1833, now 183 years old; that 
relationship expanded into a defense treaty in 1954, and the U.S. 
continues to value our alliance and friendship. Unfortunately, the Thai 
military's ongoing control of the civilian government since May 2014 
undermines this important relationship. The U.S. encourages a return to 
democracy that will fully restore our bond; until then, military 
engagements and exercises will continue in reduced form. USPACOM will 
continue demonstrating commitment to our oldest ally while also 
reinforcing democratic values and ideals. Moving forward, it would be 
my hope that we use MSI to more fully support Thailand's maritime 
security and maritime domain awareness capability as an important 
member of the region. Moving forward, it would be my hope that we use 
MSI to more fully support Thailand's maritime security and maritime 
domain awareness capability as an important member of the region.
                                partners
    Singapore:  Singapore is our most important partner in Southeast 
Asia. It has been a major security cooperation partner for over a 
decade and provides invaluable access for U.S. Forces. The rotational 
deployment of Littoral Combat Ships to Changi Naval Base has been 
productive, and P-8s now operate out of Paya Lebar Air Base on a 
regular basis. USPACOM conducts dozens of military exercises each year 
with Singapore's Armed Forces, Singaporean military officers regularly 
attend United States professional military education, and Singaporean 
military personnel participate in advanced military training that is 
conducted throughout the United States. Singapore hosts the annual 
Shangri-La Dialogue, a Secretary of Defense-level event that deepens 
regional ties and tables important issues for discussion. The 
combination of forward deployed forces and deep training relationships 
contribute to readiness, build deeper ties, and allow the U.S. to 
promote maritime security and stability with regional partners.
    India:  The new found momentum in our bilateral relationship with 
India represents USPACOM's most promising strategic opportunity. In 
January 2015, President Obama and Prime Minister Modi signed a Joint 
Strategic Vision of the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region. This 
landmark document presents shared views and interests for the region. 
The United States / India military-to-military relationship deepens as 
forces increasingly train and operate together. USPACOM intends to add 
momentum to an important relationship. Through this end, I have made 
improving the military-to-military with India a formal Line of Effort 
at USPACOM. In June 2015, during Secretary of Defense Carter's visit to 
India, the United States and India renewed the ten-year Defense 
Framework Agreement. In 2015, United States and India militaries 
participated together in three major exercises and 62 other military 
exchanges covering scenarios ranging from high-end warfare to 
humanitarian assistance and disaster response. The US-India Defense 
Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI) further expands opportunities. 
Defense sales are at an all-time high and U.S.-sourced airframes, such 
as P-8s, C-130Js, C-17s, AH-64s and CH-47s, increase interoperability. 
USPACOM will advance the partnership with India by expanding the scope 
of military-to-military interactions.
    New Zealand:  Despite differences over nuclear policy, our 
military-to-military relationship with New Zealand, underpinned by the 
Wellington and Washington Declarations, is on solid footing. The New 
Zealand military has fought, flown, and sailed with United States 
forces since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom. New Zealand 
continues to be a respected voice in international politics and a 
recognized leader in the South Pacific that shares common security 
concerns with the U.S., including terrorism, transnational crime, and 
maritime security. Military-to-military relations and defense 
engagements with New Zealand remain strong.
    Vietnam:  Vietnam's growing economy and their concerns over Chinese 
coercion presents a strategic opportunity for the United States to add 
another regional partner. USPACOM is moving forward with Vietnam to 
improve Vietnam's capacity and capability in maritime security, 
disaster response. We are also exploring ways to use MSI to support 
Vietnam's maritime security modernization efforts, including in the 
area of search and rescue. In addition, Vietnam has agreed to allow 
U.S. prepositioning humanitarian stocks and supplies for disaster 
preparedness purposes.
    Indonesia:  Indonesia is an important security partner in Southeast 
Asia. President Joko Widodo's initiative to transform Indonesia into a 
global maritime ``Fulcrum'' demonstrates Indonesia's desire to play a 
larger role in international diplomatic, economic, and security issues. 
Again, USPACOM is developing ways to partner with Indonesian security 
forces through MSI and other U.S. security cooperation programs to 
improve Indonesia's maritime security capacity and encouraging a 
collaborative regional maritime security architecture. Indonesia is not 
a claimant to territory in South China Sea maritime dispute, but it is 
reinforcing security on and around its Natuna Islands. Indonesia will 
maintain relationships with other influential nations such as Russia 
and China, but security cooperation with the United States is a top 
priority for Jakarta. As a tangible sign of this, the United States and 
Indonesia signed a ministerial-level Joint Statement on Comprehensive 
Defense Cooperation in October.
    Malaysia:  Malaysia is another important contributor to regional 
peace and security. Through the Comprehensive Partnership with 
Malaysia, the United States and Malaysia promote regional stability. 
Malaysia's regional leadership role, technologically advanced industry, 
stable economy, and capable military make it an important partner in 
securing peace and prosperity in Southeast Asia. USPACOM continues to 
assist Malaysia in building an amphibious force to address non-
traditional threats in and around Malaysia's territorial waters. 
Malaysia seeks United States support in developing a more capable Coast 
Guard through the Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency. These 
capabilities and engagements demonstrate Malaysia's capacity and 
resolve to ensure regional and domestic security, and Malaysia develops 
opportunities for multilateral security cooperation through Cooperation 
Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercises. Like other section 
1263-designated countries, we are exploring ways that MSI can support 
Malaysia's maritime security requirements in each of these areas.
    Sri Lanka:  President Sirisena, elected in January, is serious 
about addressing Sri Lanka's human rights issues. We have an 
opportunity to expand United States interests with Sri Lanka--Asia's 
oldest democracy--and will proceed deliberately as progress is made. 
Given Sri Lanka's strategic location, it is in America's interest to 
increase military collaboration and cooperation. As conditions permit, 
USPACOM will expand military leadership discussions, increase naval 
engagement, and focus on defense institution building in areas such as 
demobilizing and military professionalism.
                                 others
    In addition to Indo-Asia-Pacific allies and partners, USPACOM has 
many other unique relationships throughout the region with countries, 
jurisdictions, and international governmental organizations. These 
relationships are important parts of our overall strategy.
    Taiwan:  Free and fair democratic elections in January on the 
island of Taiwan reflect shared values with the United States The 
United States maintains its unofficial relations with Taiwan through 
the American Institute in Taiwan and we continue supporting Taiwan's 
security. USPACOM will continue to fulfill United States commitments 
under the Taiwan Relations Act; continued arms sales to Taiwan are an 
important part of that policy and help ensure the preservation of 
democratic government institutions.
    The United Kingdom (UK), Canada, and France:  Staunch NATO allies, 
the UK, Canada, and France are also Indo-Asia-Pacific nations, each 
with significant interests in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, including 
territories, allies, partners, and trade. Each participates in PACFLT's 
RIMPAC and other major exercises, and deploy ships, submarines, and 
other forces to the region for operational, partner capacity, law 
enforcement and disaster response missions. Canada has a General 
Officer serving as a Deputy Director for Operations at USPACOM; the UK 
will assign a similar grade officer to serve as Director of USPACOM's 
Theater Security Cooperation effort. Each nations' leadership expressed 
renewed commitment to the region, and USPACOM welcomes and supports 
their efforts.
    The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN):  While not a 
military alliance, ASEAN is among the most important multilateral 
forums in the region. The ten ASEAN member states, under the 
chairmanship of Malaysia last year and Laos this year, seek to improve 
multilateral security engagements and advance stability in the Indo-
Asia-Pacific. ASEAN-centered political-security fora such as the ASEAN 
Defense Minister's Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus) and ASEAN Regional Forum 
(ARF) have encouraged ASEAN members and China to conclude a meaningful, 
substantive Code of Conduct for the South China Sea. USPACOM investment 
in the ADMM-Plus, ARF and other U.S. ASEAN defense engagements improve 
multilateral defense cooperation and promote regional norms. 
Facilitating capacity building through incrementally increasing the 
complexity of ASEAN's recurring multilateral exercises is a priority. 
In 2016, USPACOM will participate in the second series of ADMM-Plus' 
three major exercises.
    China:  The United States-China relationship remains complex. While 
Chinese actions and provocations create tension in the region, there 
are also opportunities for cooperation. The United States approach to 
China encourages a dialogue between the armed forces of both countries 
to expand practical cooperation where national interests converge and 
to constructively manage differences through sustained and substantive 
consultations. USPACOM's engagements with China, governed by section 
1201 of the fiscal year 2000 NDAA, improve transparency and reduce risk 
of unintended incidents, enhancing regional stability.
    USPACOM executed over 50 bilateral and numerous multilateral 
engagements last year with China. USPACOM supports our national effort 
to encourage China to support the existing security architecture; 
however, China's base-building and militarization in the South China 
Sea, its lack of transparency regarding military modernization efforts, 
and continued malicious cyber activity raise regional tension and 
greatly hinder United States-China cooperation. Instead of jointly 
working toward reinforcing international rules and law to promote 
regional peace and stability, United States-China engagements are often 
focused on reducing friction and avoiding miscalculation.
    USPACOM hosted a United States-China Military Maritime Consultative 
Agreement plenary and working group focused on operational safety in 
November 2015. USPACOM also provided significant support to the 
development of the Rules of Behavior memorandum of understanding on 
safety in the air and maritime domain. Ongoing dialogues led to 
improved communications and safer encounters at sea and in the air.
    There are areas where United States and Chinese militaries 
cooperate in areas of common interest, such as counter piracy, military 
medicine, and disaster response. The most successful engagements 
focused on military medical cooperation and shared health concerns. For 
example, in January 2015, the PLA hosted the USPACOM Surgeon and 
component surgeons in Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai focused on Disaster 
Response, Pandemic and Emerging Infectious Diseases, and Soldier Care. 
In September, the USPACOM Surgeon sponsored the third acupuncture 
subject matter expert exchange between United States and PLA 
acupuncturists in Beijing, leading to collaborative research on 
acupuncture treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. USPACOM 
encourages China's participation in international efforts to address 
shared challenges in a manner consistent with international law and 
standards.
    Bilateral and Multilateral Approaches:  USPACOM is directly 
connected to regional leaders. I am in frequent communication with my 
regional counterparts and appreciate the ability to reach out at any 
time to share perspectives. USPACOM maintains a close link with allies 
and partners through staff exchange and liaison officers, in addition 
to a series of formal bilateral mechanisms. In Australia, key 
engagements stem from the ANZUS treaty obligations, guided by USPACOM's 
principle bilateral event with Australia, the Military Representatives 
Meeting. Similarly, USPACOM's military to military relationship with 
Japan is guided by the annual Japan Senior Leader Seminar. Military 
Committee and Security Consultative Meetings are the preeminent 
bilateral mechanisms that guide the ROK and U.S. alliance. Each year, 
USPACOM co-hosts the Mutual Defense Board and Security Engagement Board 
with the Armed Forces of the Philippines to deal with 21st-century 
challenges. USPACOM conducts annual Senior Staff Talks with Thailand to 
address security concerns and reinforce U.S. commitment to democratic 
principles. Bilateral mechanisms also exist with non-alliance partners 
throughout the region, including India, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
    The future lies in multilateral security mechanisms. USPACOM is 
evolving key bilateral relationships into multilateral ones that will 
more effectively address shared security concerns. For example, US-
Japan-ROK trilateral coordination in response to North Korean 
provocative behavior is improving. The ROK and Japan each recognize 
that provocative actions by North Korea will not be isolated to the 
peninsula and greater coordination and cooperation are required. The 
December 2014 signing of the US-Japan-ROK Trilateral Information 
Sharing Arrangement is an important step toward greater information 
sharing. This arrangement was first exercised in early January 
following the nuclear test in North Korea.
    To encourage multilateral cooperation, USPACOM hosts the Chief of 
Defense Conference (CHODs) annually. The CHODs conference location 
rotates between Hawaii and a regional partner. In 2015, 31 countries 
attended the CHODs conference in Hawaii. USPACOM also participates in 
Australia-Japan-United States trilateral defense dialogues, including 
the Security and Defense Cooperation Forum (SDCF). The trilateral 
relationship between the United States, Japan, and India is growing, as 
evidenced by the first trilateral ministerial meeting held last year. 
The United States, Japan, and India share democratic values, interests 
in protecting sea lanes of commerce, and promoting adherence to 
international laws and norms. Next, USPACOM aims to build a powerful 
quadrilateral partnership framework of the most powerful democracies in 
the Indo-Asia-Pacific. India, Japan, Australia, and the United States 
working together will be a force for the maintenance of the regional 
rules-based order, counterbalancing and deterring coercion or 
unrestrained national ambitions.
                               activities
    Security Cooperation and Capacity Building:  USPACOM's Security 
Cooperation approach focuses on building partner readiness, reducing 
partner capability gaps, and building partner capacity. One of the more 
powerful engagement resource tools is Foreign Military Financing (FMF). 
Favorable consideration for continued funding of FMF enables USPACOM to 
meet regional challenges to include border security issues, disaster 
response, counterterrorism, and in particular, maritime security.
    As I mentioned, USPACOM will leverage the fiscal year 2016 NDAA 
section 1263 ``South China Sea Initiative'' authority to execute the 
Secretary's Southeast Asia Maritime Security Initiative to build 
maritime security and maritime domain awareness of partners in the 
South China Sea region, through assistance to, and training of, partner 
nation maritime security forces. USPACOM will continue to rely on FMF 
as a source of providing major end items to eligible countries. MSI 
support notified pursuant to the new section 1263 authority should be 
viewed as complementary and additive in nature to these FMF plans. 
Under MSI, PACOM plans to provide niche capabilities, more multi-
mission type of equipment, and connective tissue that will help 
partners better deploy and employ these maritime security capabilities, 
both domestically to protect their sovereign territory, but also as a 
means of fostering greater regional interoperability.
    Maritime Domain Awareness:  Southeast Asian partners have expressed 
strong enthusiasm and support for United States security cooperation 
efforts in the area of maritime domain awareness (MDA). USPACOM will 
leverage MSI and the new section 1263 authority to develop multilateral 
approaches to information sharing toward a regional common operating 
picture. This year, the Philippines, Australia and the United States 
are co-hosting a workshop to discuss regional best practices. This 
civilian-military workshop will facilitate whole-of-government 
discussions on maritime challenges that support creation of a regional 
maritime domain awareness network to share information across Southeast 
Asian partners--another multilateral approach to addressing security 
challenges in the region.
    Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI):  Indo-Asia-Pacific 
countries provide over 40% of the world's uniformed peacekeepers to 
United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations worldwide; half of those 
countries that provide UN peacekeepers are GPOI program partners. GPOI 
builds and maintains the capability, capacity, and effectiveness of 
partners to deploy professional forces to meet the UN's needs in peace 
and security operations. Partners are meeting program goals achieving, 
or making progress towards achieving, self-sustaining, indigenous 
training capability. In 2016, USPACOM and Mongolia will cohost a 
multinational peacekeeping exercise called KHAAN QUEST, training 
personnel from 37 nations for deployment to UN peacekeeping missions. 
USPACOM expects 28 regional GPOI partners in KHAAN QUEST. USPACOM will 
continue improving partner military peacekeeping skills and operational 
readiness and provide limited training facility refurbishment. 
Indonesia's plan to provide 4,000 deployable Peacekeeping Forces by 
2020 is another opportunity for USPACOM to engage with Indonesian 
military forces.
    Pacific Pathways:  As an innovative way to overcome the Indo-Asia-
Pacific's vast time-distance challenges, United States Army Pacific 
(USARPAC) created Pacific Pathways which sequentially deploys small 
units to multiple countries for training. Their forward presence also 
enables rapid response to humanitarian emergencies or regional crises. 
This cost-effective program ensures that our regionally aligned Army 
elements know how to deploy and fight in the Indo-Asia-Pacific 
alongside our allies and partners. I support and encourage this kind of 
innovative thinking, and it pays major dividends in both relationships 
and readiness.
    Joint Exercise Program:  USPACOM's Joint Exercise Program 
intentionally synchronizes frequent, relevant, and meaningful 
engagements across the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. This important 
program, funded through the Combatant Commander Exercise Engagement 
Training Transformation (CE2T2), improves readiness of forward deployed 
assigned forces. Exercises and training strengthen USPACOM's military 
preeminence and enhance relationships. USPACOM appreciates Congress' 
support for continued progress.
    Pacific Partnership:  United States Pacific Fleet's (PACFLT) 
Pacific Partnership is an annual disaster response preparedness mission 
to Southeast Asia and Oceania regions. Pacific Partnership includes 
participation from U.S. allies and partners to improve cooperation and 
understanding between partner and host nations ahead of major natural 
disasters that require a multinational response. Last year, USNS Mercy 
conducted a four-month deployment to Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the 
Philippines, and Vietnam and provided healthcare and surgical 
procedures, community health engagements, and engineering projects 
including nearly 700 surgeries, 3,800 dental exams, and 10 renovation 
and new construction projects.
    Joint Enabling Capabilities Command:  One organization that 
supports USPACOM's ability to respond rapidly and effectively to events 
in theater is TRANSCOM's Joint Enabling Capabilities Command (JECC). 
The JECC is critical to USPACOM's ability to facilitate rapid 
establishment of joint force headquarters, fulfill Global Response 
Force (GRF) execution, and bridge joint operational requirements by 
providing mission-tailored, ready joint capability packages.
    Counter-Narcotics:  The drug trade continues to grow and threaten 
stability across the region. It has become a massive business, with 
sophisticated global networks. USPACOM combats drug trafficking in the 
region through Joint Interagency Task Force-West (JIATF-W). Building 
partner capacity to counter illicit trafficking of narcotics continues 
in areas such as the tri-border area of the Philippines, Malaysia and 
Indonesia, the coastal areas of Vietnam and Cambodia, and the border 
regions of Bangladesh. USPACOM is also fighting illicit trafficking 
across the Northern Thai border in the historic ``Golden Triangle'' 
area and beginning new partnerships with France to combat trafficking 
in and through French Polynesia and the Southern Pacific. Counter-
narcotics programs support law enforcement and security forces, enhance 
relationships with partner nation law enforcement agencies, and impede 
the flow of narcotics and other illicit commodities.
    JIATF-W engagements with China are an essential part of the counter 
narcotics effort. Maritime container shipments of China-sourced 
chemicals are often diverted for methamphetamine and heroin/opioid 
production in Mexico--a direct threat to the United States Homeland. As 
much as 90 percent of the precursor chemicals used in methamphetamine 
production originates in China. Further, the annual volume of 
methamphetamine seizures going into the U.S. exceeded cocaine seizures 
on the southwest border of the U.S. in recent years. Through a 
partnership with the Internal Revenue Service, JIATF-W leveraged 
Department of Defense counternarcotic authorities to open an additional 
avenue of cooperation with Chinese officials by providing anti-money 
laundering training to counterdrug efforts. These efforts show promise 
in improving communication, cooperation, and information sharing on 
significant criminal enterprises operating in the United States and 
China.
    The Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI 
APCSS):  DKI APCSS serves as a truly unique venue to empower regional 
security practitioners to more effectively and collaboratively 
contribute to regional security and stability. This center is one of 
our asymmetric capabilities. No other country has anything quite like 
it. Through its academic exchanges, workshops, and sustained alumni 
engagement activities, DKI APCSS helps build partner nation capacities 
and affirm U.S. interests in the region. DKI APCSS provides added 
support to the USPACOM mission in several uniquely focused areas: as 
one of the few organizations authorized to conduct carefully measured 
engagement with Burma defense officials; as the primary tool of 
security cooperation engagement with the Pacific Island region; and as 
USPACOM's lead in implementing the U.S. National Action Plan mandate to 
increase inclusion of women in the security sector under the Women, 
Peace, and Security program. Recent successes include development and 
implementation of a successful country-wide security plan for 2015 
elections in Burma; building the capacity of government officials in 
preparation for the Lao 2016 chairmanship of ASEAN; enhancing the 
cybercrime investigation capability of the Bangladesh Police; 
developing rules of engagement for the Timor Leste police during 
peacetime; building a data system for collection of counterterrorism 
information in Vietnam; and improving coordination among Philippine 
national agencies, local government units, NGOs, and other stakeholders 
in disaster response.
    Center for Excellence-Disaster Management (CFE-DM):  The CFE-DM is 
USPACOM's executive agent for collecting lessons learned and developing 
and sharing best practices to prepare U.S. and partner governments for 
disaster response. CFE-DM recently completed a Joint After-Action 
Review of USPACOM's disaster response to the April 2015 Nepal 
Earthquake (Operation SAHAYOGI HAAT). The success of the response is a 
testament to Nepali preparation and disaster risk reduction efforts 
that were enhanced by our ongoing training assistance. The civilian 
national disaster management structures functioned, and the initial 
international response coalesced around the Nepal Army's Multinational 
Military Coordination Center (MNMCC). Five years of USPACOM Theater 
Security Cooperation initiatives with regional partners, organizations, 
and international agencies facilitated this collaborative foreign 
disaster response. CFE-DM supports USPACOM's efforts to increase 
resilience and more effective disaster response capabilities.
                         critical capabilities
    The most technical, high-end military challenges in the region are 
growing. While many improvements to posture, forward deployed forces, 
and our relationships help address these challenges, USPACOM requires 
the best, high-end warfighting capabilities available now and in the 
future. As Secretary Carter recently said about deterring our most 
advanced competitors, ``We must have, and be seen to have, the ability 
to impose unacceptable costs on an advanced aggressor that will either 
dissuade them from taking provocative action or make them deeply regret 
it if they do.'' There are a number of mission sets and enablers that 
requires continuous focus and attention. These include undersea 
warfare, munitions, ISR, cyber, space, and Integrated Air and Missile 
Defense (IAMD) systems. We must preserve our asymmetric advantages in 
undersea- and anti-submarine warfare, and we must regain and retain 
fading abilities to counter anti-access / area-denial (A2/AD) 
strategies.
    Today, China is ``out-sticking'' United States air and maritime 
forces in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region in terms of ranges of anti-ship 
weapons. I need increased lethality, specifically ships and aircraft 
equipped with faster, more lethal, and more survivable weapons systems. 
We must have longer range offensive weapons on every platform. Finally, 
we must have a networked force that provides greater options for action 
or response.
    We face a significant A2/AD challenge in this region. Pacing the 
threat is not an option in my playbook. We must outpace the competition 
which requires continued investment in development and deployment of 
the latest technology to USPACOM. Examples include Navy Integrated 
Fires and the AEGIS Flight III destroyer and its Air and Missile 
Defense Radar (AMDR)--essential tools in the complex A2/AD battlespace 
in which our young men and women operate today. The arrival of the USS 
Barry, USS Benfold and USS Chancellorsville in the Western Pacific 
represent forward deploying cutting edge technology where it is needed.
    Undersea Warfare:  Of the world's 300 foreign submarines, roughly 
200 are in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region; of which 150 belong to China, 
North Korea, and Russia. China is improving the lethality and 
survivability of its attack submarines and building quieter high-end, 
diesel- and nuclear-powered submarines. China has four operational Jin-
class ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) and at least one more may 
enter service by the end of this decade. When armed, a Jin-class SSBN 
will give China an important strategic capability that must be 
countered. Russia is a Pacific threat, modernizing its existing fleet 
of Oscar-class multi-purpose attack nuclear submarines (SSGNs) and 
producing their next generation Yasen-class SSGNs. Russia has also 
homeported their newest Dolgorukiy-class SSBN in the Pacific, 
significantly enhancing their strategic deterrence posture. USPACOM 
must maintain its asymmetric advantage in undersea warfare capability 
including our attack submarines, their munitions, and other anti-
submarine warfare systems like the P-8 Poseidon and ship-borne systems.
    Critical Munitions:  Critical munitions shortfalls are a top 
priority and concern. USPACOM advocates for continued investment, 
additional procurement, and improved munitions technologies to better 
deter and defeat aggression. Munitions are a major component of combat 
readiness. USPACOM forces need improvements in munitions technologies, 
production, and pre-positioning, but fiscal pressure places this at 
risk.
    USPACOM weapon improvement priorities include long-range and stand-
off strike weapons, longer-range anti-ship weapons (ship and aircraft-
based), advanced air-to-air munitions, theater ballistic/cruise missile 
defense, torpedoes, naval mines, and a cluster munitions replacement. 
Our subsonic ship-to-ship munition, the Harpoon, is essentially the 
same missile we had in 1978, when I was a newly-commissioned Ensign. 
Nearly forty years later, competitors have developed supersonic ship-
to-ship and land-based weapons that reach much farther, punch harder, 
and fly faster. USPACOM welcomes efforts to turn the tables back in our 
favor--quickly. In the air-to air realm, USPACOM welcomes advancements 
in munitions that will provide an advantage in a complex air-to-air 
environment. Additionally, modernization and improvement to U.S. 
torpedo and naval mine capabilities and inventories are required to 
maintain U.S. undersea advantage. Continued improvements in the 
capability and capacity of ballistic/cruise missile defense 
interceptors will further enhance Homeland defense capabilities and 
protect key regional nodes from aggressive action. In support of Korea, 
USPACOM supports efforts to acquire a replacement for aging cluster 
munitions.
    Intelligence/Surveillance/Reconnaissance:  The challenge of 
gathering credible ISR cannot be overstated, and it is a constantly 
evolving problem. The Indo-Asia-Pacific presents a dynamic security 
environment requiring flexible, reliable, survivable deep-look and 
persistent ISR to provide indications and warning and situational 
awareness across a vast geographic area. As previously noted, USPACOM 
faces a variety of challenges and potential flashpoints to include 
threats from North Korea, a resurgent Russia, an expanding China, 
terrorism, and territorial disputes. Several hundred thousand Americans 
live under a constant threat of attack by North Korea, with over a 
hundred thousand rockets able to range Seoul on little to no notice. 
These challenges require ISR to prevent strategic surprise and 
accurately assess the security environment and, if necessary, defeat 
potential adversaries. The Rebalance to the Asia-Pacific has increased 
USPACOM allocation of ISR resources. USPACOM will continue to require 
additional advanced ISR to avoid long-term risk.
    Cyber and Space:  The cyber domain, coupled with space, is the most 
likely ``first salvo'' in a future conflict. Increased cyber capacity 
and nefarious activity, especially by China, North Korea, and Russia 
underscore the growing requirement to evolve command, control, and 
operational authorities. I support a separate CYBERCOM functional 
combatant command that retains its ``double-hatting'' with the National 
Security Agency. I also believe that in order to fully leverage the 
cyber domain, USPACOM requires an enduring theater cyber capability 
able to provide cyber planning, integration, synchronization, and 
direction of cyber forces.
    USPACOM relies on space based assets for satellite communications 
(SATCOM) and ISR across the range of military operations. The USPACOM 
region spans over half the globe and space based assets are high-
demand, low-density resources. As the shared domain of space grows 
increasingly congested and contested, our adversaries are developing 
means to attack our space-enabled capabilities. USPACOM requires 
resilient SATCOM capability to support operations. China is pursuing a 
broad and robust array of counterspace capabilities, which includes 
direct-ascent anti-satellite missiles, co-orbital anti-satellite 
systems, computer network operations, ground-based satellite jammers 
and directed energy weapons.
    Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD):  TPY-2 radars in Japan, 
the THAAD system on Guam, and the Sea-Based X-band Radar (SBX) based in 
Hawaii defend the U.S. Homeland and our allies. USPACOM's IAMD priority 
is maintaining a credible, sustainable ballistic missile defense by 
forward deploying the latest in ballistic missile defense technologies 
to the Pacific. For example, the U.S. Seventh Fleet is increasing its 
Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) capability with the addition of the USS 
Benfold, which arrived in Japan last year, and USS Barry scheduled to 
arrive in early 2016. These ships received a midlife modernization, 
making them the most capable BMD ships in the world. The addition of 
these modernized ships enables the U.S. Seventh Fleet to better support 
the United States-Japan alliance with a credible ballistic missile 
defense capability. USPACOM continues to work with Japan, the Republic 
of Korea, and Australia to improve coordination and information sharing 
with the goal of creating a fully-integrated BMD architecture.
    Innovation:  Innovation is critical to addressing USPACOM's 
capability gaps and maintaining our military advantage. USPACOM 
partners with DOD-wide organizations, national laboratories, and 
industry to provide innovative solutions to fill capability 
requirements. In particular, USPACOM maintains a strong relationship 
with the OSD Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO), which is developing 
game-changing technologies for the Indo-Asia-Pacific. USPACOM strongly 
supports Deputy Secretary Work's Third Offset Strategy and the 
associated effort to strategically advance areas where the U.S. can 
maintain dominance. The ability to quickly and adaptively change joint 
operational concepts and innovatively employ current capabilities in a 
high-end fight is critical.
                               conclusion
    It has been over four years since the President announced the 
United States Rebalance to the Indo-Asia-Pacific. There is much more to 
the Rebalance than military activity and the success of this strategic 
concept depends as much on our economic and diplomatic efforts as it 
does on our military efforts. From the military perspective, I believe 
the Rebalance is working. This success is due in no small part to the 
support of this committee and the Congress. But we are not done, and we 
must not lose momentum. USPACOM appreciates your continued support. I 
ask this committee to support continued investment in future 
capabilities that meet the challenges in the Indo-Asia-Pacific. I 
appreciate your help in continuing to field the right numbers of 
existing capabilities. I ask for your support to our plans to adapt our 
regional force posture. Finally, I ask your continued support for our 
efforts to reinforce and enhance alliances and partnerships. Thank you 
for your enduring support to USPACOM and our men and women in uniform, 
and their families, who live and work in the vast Indo-Asia-Pacific.

    Chairman McCain. General Scaparrotti?

  STATEMENT OF GENERAL CURTIS M. SCAPARROTTI, USA, COMMANDER, 
 UNITED NATIONS COMMAND, COMBINED FORCES COMMAND, U.S. FORCES 
                             KOREA

    General Scaparrotti. Chairman McCain, Ranking Member Reed, 
and distinguished members of the committee, I am honored to 
testify today as the commander of the United Nations Command 
[UNC], Combined Forces Command [CFC], and the United States 
Forces Korea [USFK].
    Sir, I would like to add to Admiral Harris's comment that 
we wish Senator McCaskill a speedy recovery as well.
    On behalf of the American soldiers, sailors, airmen, and 
marines, and our civilians, serving in the Republic of Korea, 
thank you for your support.
    Admiral Harris, thank you for your vision and professional 
support of the entire PACOM team for USFK.
    I have prepared brief opening remarks, and I ask that my 
written posture statement be entered into the record.
    Chairman McCain. Without objection.
    General Scaparrotti. Since my last testimony, our United 
States-ROK alliance has continued to focus on advancing our 
combined capabilities. Some of these advanced capabilities 
include the establishment of the first United States-ROK 
combined division, the rotation of additional U.S. Forces to 
the peninsula, the execution of our annual combined training 
exercises, and steady progress on our $10.7 billion plan to 
relocate United States forces in Korea.
    Furthermore, the Republic of Korea has improved its 
capabilities with the recent establishment of the Korean Air 
and Missile Defense System and center, and the Allied Korea 
Joint Command and Control System. The Republic of Korea has 
also invested in modern equipment with the purchase of the F-35 
Joint Strike Fighter, Global Hawk, Patriot Advanced Capability 
3 missile upgrades, as well as AH-64 Apache helicopters.
    These alliance advances help counter the real and proximate 
North Korean threat. North Korea continues to conduct 
provocations and to resource its large conventional force. Of 
greater significance, North Korea continues to aggressively 
develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in direct 
violation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions, as 
demonstrated with its fourth nuclear test and its fifth TD-2 
launch in January and February.
    In regards to this threat, my top concern remains the 
potential for a North Korean provocation to start a cycle of 
action and counteraction, which could quickly escalate, similar 
to what we experienced this past August.
    While I am proud to report that our alliance stood 
shoulder-to-shoulder and de-escalated the situation, it could 
have spiraled out of control and demonstrates why we must be 
ready to fight tonight on the peninsula.
    To maintain this level of readiness, we will continue to 
focus on sustaining, strengthening, and transforming the 
alliance with an emphasis on our combined readiness in four 
critical areas.
    First, ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] 
remains my top readiness challenge. CFC/USFK requires 
additional persistent, all-weather ISR capabilities, as well as 
dependable moving target indicator support, to maintain 
situational awareness and provide adequate decision space.
    Second, it is critical for the alliance to establish a 
layered and interoperable ballistic missile defense. To advance 
this goal, we will soon begin bilateral consultations regarding 
the feasibility of deploying the THAAD system to the Republic 
of Korea, which would complement the Patriot system 
capabilities.
    Third, we must maintain an adequate quantity of critical 
munitions to ensure alliance supremacy in the early days of any 
conflict on the peninsula. This requirement is further 
amplified by the approaching loss of cluster munitions due to 
the shelf-life expiration and the impending ban.
    Fourth, we must focus on command and control, 
communications, computers, and intelligence, or what we call 
C4I. Both the United States and the Republic of Korea are 
investing in new tactical equipment that will comprise a 
reliable C4I architecture, but much more is required.
    In closing, I would like to express how proud I am of the 
servicemembers, civilians, and their families serving in the 
Republic of Korea who never lose sight of the fact that we are 
on freedom's frontier. I also would like to recognize 
Ambassador Mark Lippert and Admiral Harry Harris and the United 
States and ROK senior leaders for their enduring commitment to 
our mission on the peninsula. Thank you, and I look forward to 
your questions.
    [The prepared statement of General Scaparrotti follows:]

          Prepared Statement by General Curtis M. Scaparrotti
                            1. introduction
    Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the Committee, I am 
honored to testify as the Commander of the United Nations Command 
(UNC), the United States-Republic of Korea (United States-ROK) Combined 
Forces Command (CFC), and United States Forces Korea (USFK). Thank you 
for your continued support to our servicemembers, civilians, 
contractors, and their families, whose service each day on ``Freedom's 
Frontier'' advances vital U.S. interests, strengthens the Alliance 
between the United States and the Republic of Korea, and makes a 
critical contribution to the stability of Northeast Asia. In my third 
year as the Commander, I have witnessed the U.S.-ROK Alliance grow 
stronger, as the Alliance has improved its capabilities, planning, and 
cooperation to counter evolving threats from North Korea and to advance 
our four priorities:
      Sustain and Strengthen the Alliance.
      Maintain the Armistice. Be Ready to ``Fight Tonight'' to 
Deter and Defeat Aggression.
      Transform the Alliance.
      Sustain the Force and Enhance the UNC/CFC/USFK Team.
    Through this past August's land mine attack, North Korea's fourth 
nuclear test in January, and the TD-2 missile launch earlier this 
month, the United States and Republic of Korea stood united and 
resolute against North Korea's provocative actions. Our strength and 
combined actions are the product of established ROK-U.S. bilateral 
processes, the Alliance's shared commitment to remain ready to ``Fight 
Tonight,'' and the alignment of American and Korean values and goals.
    While the Command focuses on these core priorities, we are also 
looking to the future. The Alliance took concrete steps over this past 
year to enhance our ability to respond to North Korea's evolving 
asymmetric capabilities, strengthen ROK forces to lead the combined 
defense of the Republic of South Korea, and relocate United States 
forces to two enduring hubs south of Seoul.
 2. america's future in korea--securing vital interests and advancing 
                           regional stability
    The UNC/CFC/USFK mission is vital to the broader effort to expand 
security and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. As a sub-unified 
Command of U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), USFK's core responsibility is 
to deter and defeat external aggression against the Republic of Korea, 
which enhances stability in the Asia-Pacific region and affirms our 
commitment to the United States-ROK Mutual Defense Treaty. We cooperate 
closely with PACOM in its mission to promote security cooperation, 
encourage peaceful development, respond to contingencies, deter 
aggression, and, when necessary, fight to win.
    From my perspective, the level of U.S. engagement demonstrated by 
USFK in Korea and PACOM in the broader region is critical in this time 
of opportunity and challenge in Asia. Expanding ties among Asian 
countries and across the Pacific have helped facilitate an era of 
robust economic growth and military advances. While these advances 
promote global expansion and interdependent stability, international 
tensions have risen from the actions of several regional nations' 
military modernization and the use of national power. In this context 
of significant and rapid change, the Republic of Korea's neighbors are 
adjusting their strategies to shape the region's future.
    China's continued pursuit of its military modernization program and 
land reclamation activities have prompted concerns among many nations 
in the region. Even as China's relations with North Korea remain 
strained, Beijing continues to support the North Korean regime, remains 
its largest trading partner, and seeks to prevent spillover of North 
Korean issues.
    Japan's decisions to take a more active role in its defense and to 
advance global security are viewed by many nations around the world as 
a positive development. Yet, some in China, the Republic of Korea, and 
North Korea have been critical, as historical issues continue to 
influence views on Japan's international role. In this complex setting, 
USFK continues to look for opportunities to advance trilateral military 
cooperation among the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea.
    Over the past year, Russia has continued to expand its military 
presence, economic investment, and diplomatic engagement to reassert 
its strategic interests in the region. Russia conducted combined 
military drills with China in August, conducted multiple air patrols by 
its bombers throughout the region and into the Korean Air Defense 
Identification Zone, and named 2015 as a ``Year of Friendship'' between 
Russia and North Korea.
    Unfortunately, North Korea has chosen not to embrace this era of 
change and prosperity, and has been omitted from many of the 
opportunities in 21st century Asia. Kim Jong Un, North Korea's singular 
leader and the third generation of the Kim Family, exercises complete 
control over the state and military decision-making process focused on 
preserving the survival of his regime. He maintains an extensive 
internal security apparatus that addresses any challenges to his rule 
and he has openly replaced several top military leaders to solidify his 
authority. Kim also perceives that the regime's survival relies on the 
domestic and international recognition of North Korea as a global and 
nuclear power. This January's fourth nuclear test and February's launch 
of a TD-2 missile configured as a satellite launch vehicle--its fifth 
long-range missile launch since 2006--further demonstrate that North 
Korea will continue to defy UN Security Council resolutions and 
international norms in its attempts to seek the regime's desired 
recognition.
    Similar to his father and grandfather, Kim has likewise 
demonstrated that violent provocations remain central to North Korea's 
strategy. For example, this past August, North Korea carried out a 
heinous landmine attack in the DMZ that grievously wounded two Korean 
Soldiers. Later in the month, tensions rapidly intensified with the 
deployment of additional forces to the DMZ, psychological operations, 
and hostile rhetoric which required a strong, yet measured Alliance 
response. Even though our combined actions enabled national leaders 
from the two Koreas to resolve the situation diplomatically, it 
demonstrated North Korea remains a credible and dangerous threat on the 
Peninsula.
    We continue to assess that North Korea recognizes it cannot reunify 
the Korean Peninsula by force with its large, but aging, conventional 
military. While it continues to train and man its conventional force, 
North Korea remains focused on improving its asymmetric capabilities: 
nuclear weapons, long-range ballistic missiles, and cyber programs. In 
addition to its fourth nuclear test, the regime conducted a multitude 
of multiple rocket launch system tests, as well as no-notice Scud and 
No Dong missile tests from a variety of locations throughout North 
Korea. Upgrades continued on the Taepodong Inter-Continental Ballistic 
Missile (ICBM) launch facility and development of a submarine-launched 
ballistic missile and vessel. Lastly, North Korea continued to improve 
its capabilities in the cyber domain which build on the regime's 
success of past cyberattacks.
    Even as North Korea is investing heavily in asymmetric 
capabilities, its conventional military threats are still formidable. 
The KPA is the fourth-largest military in the world with several 
hundred ballistic missiles, the largest artillery force in the world 
with over 13,000 long-range and other artillery pieces, one of the 
largest chemical weapons stockpiles in the world, a biological weapons 
research program, and the world's largest special operations force. 
About three-quarters of its ground forces and half of its air and naval 
assets are within 60 miles of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). In the 
contested waters around the Northwest Islands and beyond the western 
end of the DMZ, North Korea has taken deliberate steps to strengthen 
its awareness and posture with additional navigation buoys, coastal 
observation posts, and naval patrols. These steps even include 
beginning construction of troop and weapon emplacements on Kal Do, an 
island less than three miles from Yeonpyeong Do, site of the 2010 North 
Korean shelling of the Republic of Korean military and civilian 
targets.
    Due to these enduring and proximate threats, our Command must 
continue to deter North Korea's aggression as the risks and costs of a 
Korean conflict would be immense to the Republic of Korea, Northeast 
Asia, and the world. The region accounts for one-fifth of the world's 
economic output, 19% of global trade, four of the 13 largest economies, 
and four of the six largest militaries in the world. If deterrence 
fails, full-scale conflict in Korea would more closely parallel the 
high intensity combat of the Korean War than the recent wars in Iraq 
and Afghanistan. Furthermore, any conflict with North Korea would 
significantly increase the threat of the use of weapons of mass 
destruction.
        3. the command's four priorities--progress and prospects
    In the context of this unique strategic environment, the Command 
advances vital U.S. interests, strengthens the ROK-U.S. Alliance, and 
makes a critical contribution to security in the Asia-Pacific. This 
year, we have made progress on each of our four priorities--first, to 
sustain and strengthen the Alliance; second, to maintain the Armistice, 
while remaining ready to ``Fight Tonight'' to deter and defeat 
aggression; third, to transform the Alliance; and, finally, to sustain 
the force and enhance the UNC/CFC/USFK Team.
    A. Sustain and Strengthen the Alliance.  Three key innovations this 
year have led to substantive improvements in the ability of United 
States and ROK forces to operate together as integrated and capable 
allies.
    1. A new ROK-United States Combined Division improves 
interoperability. For more than 60 years, the Soldiers of the U.S. 2nd 
Infantry Division (2ID) have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our ROK 
allies. This year, that enduring commitment was taken one step further 
through the transformation of 2ID into a Combined ROK-United States 
Division. This new organization integrates over 40 ROK Army officers 
into the 2ID headquarters, fostering mutual trust, combined decision-
making, and open communications. In addition, a ROK Army mechanized 
brigade will habitually train with the Combined Division's units to 
develop shared capabilities. If conflict comes to the Peninsula, this 
brigade will be under the operational control of the Combined Division 
to create a seamless capability.
    2. Rotational forces improve readiness. In order to increase the 
effectiveness and readiness of U.S. Forces on the Peninsula, USFK 
rotates specifically selected unit capabilities instead of maintaining 
permanently stationed units with servicemembers on individual one-year 
tours. Fully manned, trained, and mission-ready rotational forces also 
provide the Alliance elevated capabilities over time by introducing a 
greater number of the United States servicemembers to the unique 
aspects of contingency operations in Korea.
    In the summer of 2015, the United States Army began rotating 
Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) into the Republic of Korea for the first 
time, on nine-month tours as the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team (HBCT) 
of the 1st Cavalry Division arrived from Fort Hood, Texas. Just two 
months after the unit arrived, the BCT was able to integrate with the 
ROK Army to conduct a combined and joint exercise. 2ID's Combat 
Aviation Brigade has also increased its capabilities through the 
rotation of Aerial Reconnaissance Squadrons and the Counter Fire Task 
Force expanded it combat power by adding a rotational Multiple Launch 
Rocket System (MLRS) battalion.
    Rotation of fully-trained and resourced forces to the Korean 
Peninsula is not just an Army commitment. The United States Navy's 
Pacific Fleet ships and aircraft routinely exercise in the waters 
surrounding the Korean Peninsula as part of their regular rotation 
throughout the Pacific. Furthermore, the United States Air Force 
rotates both Active and Reserve Component fighter squadrons to Korea, 
while the United States Marines deploy air-ground teams to exercise and 
practice interoperability with the ROK Marine Corps.
    3. New capabilities improve the Alliance's defense and deterrence. 
The ROK government has continued to invest approximately 2.5% of its 
Gross Domestic Product in its national defense--one of the highest 
rates among U.S. allies. During this past year, the Republic of Korea 
made progress in enhancing future interoperable-warfighting 
capabilities by procuring upgrades such as PAC-3 missiles for the 
Patriot Weapon System, multi-role tanker-transport aircraft, and the 
AEGIS command and control and weapons system. These follow previous 
investments in F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, Global Hawk high-altitude 
unmanned aerial vehicles, and other important assets. Once integrated 
into our Alliance force structure, these systems will further enhance 
our readiness and capability. Additionally, we announced this month 
that we will begin bilateral consultations regarding the viability of 
deploying the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to the 
Republic of Korea to upgrade our combined missile defense posture.
    B. Maintain the Armistice. Be Ready to ``Fight Tonight'' to Deter 
and Defeat Aggression. The Command's focus on readiness proved critical 
to answering North Korean provocations this past year. Our cooperation 
affirmed both countries' pledge to develop Alliance solutions to 
Alliance challenges.
    1. The Command deters and defends against aggression to foster 
stability on the Peninsula. President Obama noted at his October 
meeting with President Park that, from the events of this August, 
``North Korea was reminded that any provocation or aggression will be 
met by a strong, united response by the Republic of Korea and the 
United States.'' When crisis came, we were prepared. A constant focus 
on readiness and open communication enabled the Alliance to act 
deliberately and prudently. The Alliance's actions deterred broader 
North Korean provocations and set the stage for a peaceful resolution 
of the crisis.
    2. Three successful exercises enhance the Command's readiness. UNC/
CFC/USFK enhanced its readiness through its three annual multinational, 
combined, and joint exercises--Key Resolve, Foal Eagle, and Ulchi 
Freedom Guardian. Key Resolve and Ulchi Freedom Guardian are annual, 
computer-simulated command post exercises that focus on crisis 
management and the defense of the Republic of Korea. Foal Eagle is an 
annual field training exercise to ensure operational and tactical 
readiness. All three exercises provide realistic scenarios that prepare 
our forces, to include additional participants from the UNC, to deter 
and defeat North Korean aggression and potential instability in the 
region. They are essential in improving ROK-U.S. crisis management, 
combat readiness, and interoperability.
    We also aligned USFK's readiness program on the Korean Peninsula 
with PACOM's regional efforts. In August 2015, USFK and PACOM 
integrated for the first time the Korea-based Ulchi Freedom Guardian 
exercise and PACOM's Pacific Sentry command and control exercise. This 
coordination allowed the Alliance to test effective decision-making and 
mutual support with PACOM.
    3. A revitalizing UNC strengthens the international contribution to 
Korea's defense. Last year, we increased our efforts to further 
strengthen the engagement of the United Nations Command's 17 Sending 
States in our day-to-day operations. When North Korean aggression 
raises tensions, the Sending States provide credible and multinational 
support for the defense of the Republic of Korea.
    To revitalize the UNC, we will continue to engage all of the 
Sending States to leverage their many capabilities for Korea's defense. 
A senior Australian officer on our staff leads a sustained effort to 
enhance Sending State engagement in UNC's work. The representatives of 
the UNC Sending States participate in our exercises, train with us, 
meet monthly with the Command's senior leadership, and assign top-
quality officers to work in the Command. During the Ulchi Freedom 
Guardian 2015 exercise, the Command greatly appreciated the 89 
participants from seven UNC Sending States (Australia, Great Britain, 
Canada, New Zealand, Colombia, Denmark, and France).
    C. Transform the Alliance. In 2015, the Command and the Alliance 
continued to adapt to face both emerging and evolving challenges.
    1. The MCM and SCM reaffirms ROK and U.S. commitment to defense 
cooperation. Following the October meeting between President Obama and 
President Park, in which our two countries recommitted to a 
comprehensive and global Alliance, our senior defense officials met in 
November at the 40th ROK-U.S. Military Committee Meeting (MCM) and the 
47th ROK-U.S. Security Consultative Meeting (SCM). They approved and 
agreed to implement a new concept to detect, disrupt, destroy, and 
defend (the ``4Ds'') against North Korean missile threats; pledged to 
address global security challenges of mutual interest; strengthened 
cooperation in the space and cyberspace domains; reaffirmed a timely 
completion of the Yongsan Relocation Plan and Land Partnership Plan; 
identified critical military capabilities that the Republic of Korean 
military must develop to meet the conditions of OPCON transition; and 
endorsed the Conditions-based Operational Control (OPCON) Transition 
Plan, or COT-P.
    2. The plan for conditions-based OPCON transition (COT-P) defines 
an effective way forward. COT-P creates a well-designed pathway to 
implement a stable transfer of wartime OPCON of combined forces from 
the United States to the ROK. This Plan provides a road map for the 
Republic of Korea to develop the capabilities that will allow it to 
assume wartime Operational Control (OPCON) when the security 
environment on the Korean Peninsula and in the region is conducive to a 
stable transition.
    3. Effective military planning positions the Alliance to respond to 
a changing threat environment. USFK regularly reviews and updates 
operations plans to ensure our readiness to respond to regional threats 
and crises. The combined ROK-United States operations plan has and will 
continue to evolve to enhance readiness and strengthen the ROK-United 
States Alliance's ability to defend the Republic of Korea and maintain 
stability on the Korean Peninsula.
    D. Sustain the Force & Enhance the UNC/CFC/USFK Team. Our 
Multinational-Combined-Joint Force continues to foster a positive 
Command Climate and focus on the welfare of our team.
    1. The Command fosters a positive Command Climate through trust and 
team-building. The foundations of our organization and a positive 
Command Climate consist of effective communication, trust, and 
teamwork. Regular training on prevention of sexual harassment, sexual 
assault, and suicides continues to be a priority. The result is a 
strong record of servicemember discipline in the Republic of Korea. 
Over 99.4 percent of our servicemembers demonstrate their discipline 
and desire to be law-abiding, good neighbors in Korea.
    2. Cohesive communities and new facilities promote Korea as an 
``Assignment of Choice.'' This attention to the welfare of our entire 
team has been an important driver in making Korea an ``Assignment of 
Choice.'' Our realistic training against a real North Korean threat, 
cohesive community, the safety of our host country, and the brand-new 
facilities at Camp Humphreys welcome members of our military to serve 
on ``Freedom's Frontier.''
               4. critical near-term alliance transitions
    Northeast Asia is one of the world's most dynamic regions. As a 
result, the Command's success is not only contingent on our ability to 
meet our immediate requirements, but also on our flexibility to adapt 
in the strategic environment to new opportunities and challenges. While 
we focus our efforts on our four Command priorities, we are also making 
decisions and taking actions now that shape the future of our Command 
and Alliance. Longer-term success requires both steadfast advancement 
of the Command's priority to maintain readiness to ``Fight Tonight'' 
and the agility to transform in the future.
    A. Enhance the Alliance's capabilities. As the North Korean threat 
evolves, its extensive asymmetric arsenal could be used at a time and 
location of its choosing. This creates indications and warning 
challenges for the Alliance which require the United States and the 
Republic of Korea to develop new capabilities to detect and defend 
against this threat.
    1. Advance ISR, BMD, and critical munitions to sharpen our tools of 
deterrence. Together, both countries must constantly improve their 
intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capacity; develop a 
robust, tiered ballistic missile defense; field appropriate command and 
control assets; acquire necessary inventories of critical munitions; 
and enhance the tools to prevent, deter, and respond to cyber-attacks.
    2. The Tailored deterrence strategy underscores the U.S. commitment 
to the Peninsula. We have developed and refined a Tailored Deterrence 
Strategy, which serves as a strategic framework for tailoring 
deterrence against North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile threat 
scenarios. By providing a full range of ready military capabilities, 
including the U.S. nuclear umbrella, conventional strike, and missile 
defense capabilities, this strategy supports deterrence and represents 
the U.S. commitment to provide and strengthen extended deterrence.
    3. The Combined Counter-Provocation Plan manages the risks of 
miscalculation. We also have confidence in our Combined Counter-
Provocation Plan. This plan improves our ability to respond to North 
Korean provocations as an Alliance, while managing the risks of 
miscalculation and escalation. The events of this August underscore how 
strong, yet measured responses set the conditions for diplomatic 
efforts to work.
    B. Relocate the United States force in Korea. The Command made 
progress towards relocating the majority of United States forces in 
Korea to two enduring hubs south of Seoul--a Central Hub around the 
cities of Osan and Pyeongtaek, and a Southern Hub around the city of 
Daegu. The $10.7 billion program is the largest single construction 
program in the Department of Defense and is well on its way to 
realizing its goal of modernizing the warfighting Command in Korea, 
improving the Command's effectiveness in deterring North Korea, and 
defending the Republic of Korea.
    1. Construction peaks as workers build facilities to triple the 
size of Camp Humphreys. At the end of 2015, approximately 65% of the 
program was completed. Currently, at the peak of production, workers 
are constructing 655 new buildings, and remodeling or demolishing 340 
existing buildings to accommodate the increase in population from 
approximately 12,000 to more than 36,000 servicemembers, families, 
civilians, and other members of our community. The majority of new 
facility construction at Humphreys will be completed in 2016, and the 
majority of unit relocations will occur through 2018. During these 
transitions, we are committed to making relocation decisions with the 
effective defense of the Republic of Korea as our most important 
priority.
    2. United States Naval Forces Korea moves its headquarters to 
Busan, collocated with the ROK Navy. The project at Camp Humphreys is 
not the Command's only move. This year, United States Naval Forces in 
Korea relocated the majority of headquarters staff from Yongsan 
Garrison in Seoul to the ROK Navy base in Busan, to enable the two navy 
staffs to work closer on a daily basis. This is the first United States 
headquarters located on a ROK base.
                        5. usfk's critical needs
    My top concern remains that we could have very little warning of a 
North Korean asymmetric provocation, which could start a cycle of 
action and counter-action, leading to unintended escalation. To remain 
effective as the threat evolves, we seek four critical capabilities:
    First, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, or ISR. ISR 
remains my top readiness challenge and resourcing priority as CFC/USFK 
requires increased, multi-discipline, persistent ISR capabilities to 
maintain situational awareness and provide adequate decision space for 
USFK, PACOM, and National senior leaders. Therefore, among various 
spectrum, deep look, and full-motion video (FMV) capabilities, I also 
request dependable Moving Target Indicator (MTI) support combined with 
an airborne command and control and battle management capability. The 
ability to correlate MTI with other airborne sensor data in near-real-
time, with a robust on-board communications ability, contributes to a 
deeper understanding of the North Korean threat and intent.
    Second, Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and 
Intelligence, or C4I. Both the United States and the Republic of Korea 
are investing in new tactical equipment that will comprise a reliable 
C4I architecture. We must maintain this momentum in improving C4I 
capabilities and interoperability, so we can communicate from tactical 
to strategic levels and between units in the field.
    Third, Ballistic Missile Defense, or BMD. North Korea's missile 
program continues to develop, so it is critical for the Alliance to 
continue to build a layered and interoperable BMD capability. The U.S. 
PATRIOT system provides important defensive capabilities, and I have 
previously recommended to both governments that they consider a high-
altitude missile defense capability. Meanwhile, the Republic of Korea 
is moving forward in the development of its Korea Air and Missile 
Defense (KAMD) and ``Kill Chain.'' We have also made progress in 
advancing the interoperability of Alliance BMD capabilities, but there 
remains work to do in this area, particularly to further refine 
interoperability between systems.
    Fourth, Critical Munitions. The Command has identified specific 
munitions that it must have on hand in the early days of any conflict 
on the Peninsula. In this phase, the Alliance relies on the United 
States and ROK Air Forces air superiority to provide time for ready 
forces to flow into the Republic of Korea. In order to ensure this 
supremacy through immediate Alliance capability and interoperability, 
we must have sufficient critical munitions on hand. Therefore, we will 
continue to work closely with the Republic of Korea to ensure it 
procures the appropriate types and numbers of critical munitions for 
the early phases of hostilities. Of note, the potential ban on cluster 
munitions could have a significant impact on our ability to defend the 
Republic of Korea.
    With these capabilities, our Alliance will greatly improve its 
posture in Korea. If we continue to act together, with the consistent 
support we have experienced in both Washington and Seoul, I believe the 
Command and the Alliance will strengthen and ensure our capability to 
deter North Korea and defend the Republic of Korea and United States 
interests.
                             6. conclusion
    Over the past two-and-a-half years, I have seen steady progress in 
the United States-ROK Alliance. Last year, we were tested, and we found 
ourselves ready. Through annual exercises that rehearse United States-
ROK cooperation, the commitment to readiness of United States and ROK 
armed forces, and our peoples' shared values and goals, UNC/CFC/USFK 
and the ROK-United States Alliance have successfully advanced our 
priorities and realization of our combined vision.
    We are deeply thankful for the support of our Korean partners and 
the UNC Sending States. We appreciate and value the continued support 
of Congress and the American people, as it is your support that allows 
us to undertake this critical mission.
    It is my honor to serve with the American Soldiers, Sailors, 
Airmen, and Marines and our government civilians who serve in the 
Republic of Korea. Their presence and actions ensure freedom and the 
success of our objectives. Finally, we would like to recognize the 
leadership and support of senior United States and ROK civilian and 
military leaders, Ambassador Mark Lippert, and Admiral Harry Harris, as 
we support vital United States interests, strengthen the Alliance 
between the United States and the Republic of Korea, and make a 
critical contribution to security and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific.
    Thank you, and I look forward to our discussion.

    Chairman McCain. Thank you.
    I thank the witnesses for the kind words about Senator 
McCaskill. You reflect the views of all of us in wishing her 
well and a speedy recovery.
    General Scaparrotti, you have the benefit of now 4 years of 
service as commander of forces in Korea. Have you ever seen 
tensions this high?
    General Scaparrotti. No, sir, I have not, particularly in 
August. I think the tensions then with North Korea to ``semi-
war'' status was the highest tension that we have seen, 
probably since 1994.
    Chairman McCain. In your testimony, you said the situation 
``could spiral out of control.''
    General Scaparrotti. Yes, sir. My concern is that, in a 
provocation, much like we had in August, both sides at a very 
high alert status, there could be a miscalculation. Then with 
the response, it would be hard to control that situation.
    Chairman McCain. You do support THAAD deployment?
    General Scaparrotti. I do, sir.
    Chairman McCain. Admiral Harris, do you think it should be 
seriously considered, an option of a second carrier based in 
Japan?
    Admiral Harris. Senator, I believe that, as a COCOM 
[Combatant Command], I want as much capability as close to the 
fight as I can. I think with regard to the second carrier 
strike group in Japan, there are some problems with that, with 
the political piece with Japan, the costs, and all that. I will 
defer to the Navy to sort that out.
    But, again, as a COCOM, I would welcome as much forces 
forward as possible.
    Chairman McCain. You have been in your job for how long 
now?
    Admiral Harris. Just a little over 7 months. I took over 
last May.
    Chairman McCain. You have had extensive experience with the 
Chinese issue, with the issue of China?
    Admiral Harris. Yes, sir, I have. Before this job, I was 
the Pacific Fleet Commander.
    Chairman McCain. Has any of this escalation, the latest, 
this HQ-9 surface-to-air missile system, surprised you?
    Admiral Harris. No, sir. It does not surprise me. In my 
opinion, China is clearly militarizing the South China Sea, and 
you have to believe in the flat earth to think otherwise.
    Chairman McCain. One of the responses is to regularly sail 
into and fly over international waters?
    Admiral Harris. Yes, sir. As I testified last September----
    Chairman McCain. Not as a one-off, but as just a regular, 
routine use of international airspace and waters?
    Admiral Harris. Yes, sir. I agree with you.
    Chairman McCain. The situation vis-a-vis China continues to 
escalate, in your view?
    Admiral Harris. Yes, sir. It does. I think China's SSM, 
surface-to-surface missiles, surface-to-air missiles, on Woody 
Island; its new radars on Cuarteron Reef over here; the 10,000-
foot runway on Subi Reef over here and on Fire Cross Reef and 
other places; these are actions that are changing, in my 
opinion, the operational landscape in the South China Sea.
    Chairman McCain. The weapons they have developed could pose 
a direct threat to our carrier capabilities?
    Admiral Harris. Yes, Senator. They could. The DF-21, which 
they have developed, and the DF-26, which they are developing, 
could pose a threat to our carriers. I think, though, that our 
carriers are resilient, and we have the capability to do what 
has to be done, if it comes to that.
    Chairman McCain. I note you mentioned in your remarks that 
the United States-Philippines alliance is important. Do you 
think it is important for us to lift restrictions on the sale 
of weapons to Vietnam?
    Admiral Harris. Yes, Senator. I believe that we should 
improve our relationship with Vietnam. I think it is a great 
strategic opportunity for us, and I think the Vietnamese people 
would welcome an opportunity to work closer with us, as their 
security partner of choice.
    Chairman McCain. That also means port visits?
    Admiral Harris. Yes, sir. We do port visits in Vietnam. I 
advocate for more, and I believe that we will be able to do 
more this year.
    Chairman McCain. If you were asked for your top two or 
three priorities of what we should do, in light of this 
compelling information concerning the militarization by China, 
what would you recommend?
    Admiral Harris. Sir, I believe that we should maintain our 
credible combat power. We should maintain a network of like-
minded allies and partners. We should continue to exercise our 
rights on the high seas and in the airspace above it. We should 
encourage our friends, partners, and allies to do the same.
    Chairman McCain. Thank you.
    Senator Reed?
    Senator Reed. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Thank you, gentlemen, for your testimony.
    Admiral Harris, you pointed out that there is a growing 
alliance in the Pacific, including India, the Philippines, 
Vietnam, potentially. Some of this, ironically, might be a 
result of some of these contested actions of the Chinese. Is 
that accurate?
    Admiral Harris. Yes, Senator. It is accurate. I believe 
that China's actions are provocative, increases tensions, and 
it causes the nations in the region to look to the United 
States as their security partner of choice and away from China.
    Senator Reed. Do you feel that we are fulfilling that role 
adequately, that we are engaging, and that we are cooperating 
and leading as we should in the Pacific?
    Admiral Harris. I believe we are. Across the Indo-Asia-
Pacific, from India through Southeast Asia and East Asia and 
Japan and Korea, we are improving our treaty alliances, our 
bilateral partnerships.
    In turn, we are getting increased access throughout the 
region. Singapore comes to mind. The EDCA that I spoke about in 
the Philippines comes to mind.
    This is an exciting time, in terms of access and agreements 
and relationships with countries throughout the Indo-Asia-
Pacific region.
    Senator Reed. One of the consequences of their buildout 
into the islands is that they have very accurate surface-to-
surface missiles, they have accurate radars, which would seem 
to put an even higher premium on underwater operations by U.S. 
submarines or autonomous vehicles. Is that your view? Are they 
becoming more important, submarines?
    Admiral Harris. It is, though I would not say it is 
becoming more important, because submarine and undersea warfare 
has always been important to the joint force. I view the 
submarine as the original stealth platform, and the 
capabilities that we have is a true asymmetric advantage over 
any other adversary or potential adversary on the planet. That 
is our capability in the undersea realm.
    Senator Reed. Thank you.
    Let me pose a question to both of you. China and North 
Korea is a very complicated relationship. The Chinese I think 
are nervous, not perhaps as much as the South Koreans and the 
United States, but, certainly, a little bit nervous. Yet they 
are the major funder in terms of the banking system, all of the 
infiltrating and exfiltrating monies in and out of North Korea, 
equipment, et cetera.
    Why, in your view, have we not been able to convince the 
Chinese of the danger that they face, and that their efforts 
and our efforts together could be effective in preventing 
potential catastrophes? Admiral Harris?
    Admiral Harris. Sir, I wish I knew the answer to that 
question. But I will say, adding on to what General Scaparrotti 
mentioned about THAAD, I find it preposterous that China would 
try to wedge itself between South Korea and the United States 
for a missile defense system designed to defend Americans and 
Koreans on the peninsula. If they were truly concerned, if they 
were truly interested, I believe China would and should 
intervene with North Korea and convince them to quit their 
cycle the provocations.
    Senator Reed. General Scaparrotti?
    General Scaparrotti. Sir, first, I agree with Admiral 
Harris. I think that they state that they are concerned about 
stability on the border, and I believe that they place that 
value above the risk that they believe they are taking with Kim 
Jong-un. We, certainly, hope that they will reconsider that 
calculus, because they, certainly, could have a greater 
influence in North Korea, given that 80 percent of their trade 
and a good deal of North Korea's banking is with China.
    Senator Reed. Thank you.
    Admiral Harris, you urged us all to repeal sequestration, 
which is, I think, the logical and obvious thing that must be 
done. Looking at your budget for this year, do you think you 
have adequate resources for the challenges, and they are 
significant, that you face?
    Admiral Harris. Senator, thanks to the Congress, I am in 
good shape in Pacific Command in fiscal year 2016, and the 
budget for 2017 looks good for me. I am grateful for that.
    There is always more, of course, and I will just mention a 
couple areas: munitions; submarines--my submarine requirement, 
as a combatant commander in the Pacific, is not being met, and 
that is solely because of numbers--ISR, intelligence, 
surveillance, and reconnaissance, that General Scaparrotti 
mentioned; and long-range antisurface missiles, weapons, which, 
I am pleased to note, is in the fiscal year 2017 budget.
    Senator Reed. I presume you would agree, General 
Scaparrotti?
    General Scaparrotti. Yes, Senator. I agree. I enjoy a 
priority within PACOM and DOD [the Department of Defense] as 
well to ensure that my forces can fight tonight. The four needs 
that I noted are the primary ones.
    Senator Reed. Thank you very much.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Inhofe?
    Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    First of all, last week, we appreciate very much, Admiral 
Harris, your giving us the time that you gave us. I led a 
delegation of House and Senate members, and you were very nice 
to spend time with us when we visited you there.
    Since that time, we had a personal visit with the 
Australian Minister of Defense; with our Marines in Darwin, in 
the northern part of Australia; the Singapore Minister of 
Defense; and the commander of COMLOG WESTPAC [Commander 
Logistics Group, Western Pacific]; as well as Diego Garcia. We 
went a long ways around.
    But going back to our visit with you, we thank you very 
much for that.
    Just a minute ago, when we were also there visiting with 
you--and this would have been the 13th, last Saturday--we asked 
you a question about the budget. You were not forecasting any 
shortfalls at that time in the fiscal year 2017 projected PACOM 
budget, in the current threats in the Pacific. Is that what you 
just restated a minute ago?
    Admiral Harris. Yes, sir. It is.
    Senator Inhofe. Generally speaking, the forward forces are 
in pretty good shape when you get a hostile environment like we 
have right now. We talked about that when we were in your shop 
there. But it is usually at the expense of somebody else, in 
this case, the follow-on forces. Do you feel confident that 
they are being treated in a way that, should they be called 
upon, they have had adequate training that they would need to 
make this happen?
    Admiral Harris. Yes, Senator. I am confident that the 
follow-on forces are in good position today.
    Senator Inhofe. We do not hear that very often. I am glad 
to hear that.
    General Scaparrotti, there are currently nine ongoing 
operations and exercises within PACOM, all vital to our 
international interests. I will not list those. You know what 
those nine are.
    According to the Army budget overview, PACOM's combined 
operations consist of over 75,000 U.S. soldiers. How many of 
these strategic enablers are sustainable under the proposed 
Army budget now? Have you looked at that?
    General Scaparrotti. Yes, Senator. I think that we can 
actually sustain the pace and operations that we have today for 
2016 and 2017, in PACOM. Pacific Pathways has been very helpful 
throughout the Pacific. I think that is probably the one where 
we would adjust tempo, or perhaps pace, if there was budget 
pressure on that. But I am pretty confident we can maintain the 
exercises, and, in particular, those that we do on the 
peninsula.
    Senator Inhofe. Yes, Pacific Pathways is the number two 
here. If something happened there, does that have an effect on 
any of the others?
    General Scaparrotti. Well, sir, I think it would affect 
others in the sense that Pacific Pathways is very important to 
partner development. It brings a lot of capability within the 
Pacific, not only to the peninsula itself.
    Senator Inhofe. All right. The international standoff 
deepened earlier this month when North Korea, of course, 
ignored repeated warnings by the regional powers.
    Do they pay any attention to the regional powers? We have 
been talking about this for a long time.
    Admiral Harris, do you think, when they have all these 
warnings by us and by others that are out there, does that mean 
anything to them, North Korea?
    Admiral Harris. I am not sure what means anything to North 
Korea, Senator. But I have to think that the pressure brought 
on by our alliance with South Korea and other nations in the 
region, they do take note of that. If they did not take note of 
it, I am not sure where we would be.
    I believe that they also listen to China, though I think 
the Chinese influence on the North is waning compared to what 
it has been in the past.
    Senator Inhofe. On the 9th of February, we had a hearing 
with James Clapper, and he expressed very much of a concern 
with the acceleration that is taking place.
    A minute ago, you said that we are probably in pretty good 
shape in PACOM. That is what you said when we were there last 
Saturday. Since that time, you have all these--and I will 
submit these three for the record, Mr. Chairman. You actually 
talked about the Wall Street Journal but also the Washington 
Post; and, just yesterday, Japan's Foreign Minister canceling a 
visit to China; and then the tensions that came out in an AP 
[Associated Press] story just a few hours ago.
    I would like to submit those for the record.
    Chairman McCain. Without objection, they will be included.
    [The information referred to follows:]
      
    
[GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
    
      
    Senator Inhofe. Then I would like to have you, for the 
record, maybe, Admiral Harris, kind of explain that if it 
seemed at the time of our visit on Saturday that things were 
under a level of control in terms of the budget concern and the 
resources that would be allocated to you, why there would not 
be an insufficiency now since these things happened since our 
last Saturday visit. Just looking at it very honestly with 
acceleration as to what those resources are, are they really 
adequate, for the record?
    Admiral Harris. Thanks, Senator. I believe, for the record, 
that PACOM is adequately resourced in fiscal year 2016 and in 
the 2017 budget.
    Senator Inhofe. Okay, that is fine. I just wanted you to 
elaborate on that for the record, after this meeting is over.
    The information referred to follows:

    I support the President's fiscal year 2017 budget and feel it 
addresses many of the Indo-Asia-Pacific Theater priority programs and 
requirements. I believe the budget allows me to meet the strategy in 
the USPACOM area of responsibility. USPACOM worked closely with the 
Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and the Services to ensure the 
final President's Budget was adjusted to fund key weapon systems and 
modernization efforts which address adversary high-end capabilities and 
provides adequate force structure needed in the Pacific Theater. 
Critical investments include: Upgrading fourth generation fighters and 
procuring sufficient fifth generation aircraft; investing in precision 
munitions (i.e. AIM-9X, AIM-120D, SM-6, MK-48); sustaining Long Range 
Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) procurement; procuring Virginia-class 
submarines, enhancing other undersea capabilities, and resourcing 
advanced Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) and 
Command and Control (C2) systems (i.e. E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and P-8 
Poseidon).
    If additional resources were to become available, I would 
prioritize additional investments in the following areas: accelerate 
Virginia-class submarine procurement, procure additional F-35 Joint 
Strike Fighters, and procure additional critical munitions (AIM-9X, 
AIM-120D, SM-6, MK-48).
    However, as I testified during my confirmation hearing and have 
discussed publically elsewhere, I believe that sequestration, if it 
continues in force after 2017, will significantly harm USPACOM forces 
and my ability to meet my strategic objectives.

    Admiral Harris. Yes, sir. I am happy to do that.
    Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Gillibrand?
    Senator Gillibrand. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you both 
for your service and this hearing.
    I am concerned about cyber threats from this region, in 
particular. How do you assess these threats? How are forward-
deployed forces vulnerable to them? What can we do to address 
them better?
    Admiral Harris. Thank you, Senator. I will start.
    Cyber is the new frontier. It is the new threat vector. We 
are expending enormous resources across the department in 
getting after cyber. In the Pacific, we have stood up an 
organization called CYBERPAC, Cyber Forces Pacific, within 
Pacific Command. They look at DOD information systems defense 
or defensive cyber operations and offensive cyber operations.
    I have assigned to me at PACOM cyber mission teams and we 
are learning how to use those teams. Again, this is new, but it 
is a very real threat not only to U.S. military forces, but to 
America in general, in my opinion.
    General Scaparrotti. Senator, I thank you for the question.
    As Admiral Harris said, this is a domain that we are 
learning that is very challenging and in particular in the 
peninsula, because North Korea also has a very deliberate goal 
of increasing their cyber capability. As you know, they have 
demonstrated that both here with the Sony attack in the United 
States and also in Korea against their banking and media 
industry in 2013.
    It is a great concern to me. We have increased our joint 
cyber center capabilities over the past year. We continuously 
work at that. I also now have been deployed a cyber mission 
team, and I work also with the teams and am supported by the 
teams in PACOM.
    I would just make one other comment. It is important within 
the alliance that I and the Republic of Korea's cyber teams 
develop a much closer relationship, because we do have a unique 
vulnerability in that we have systems that are ROK-United 
States that support the alliance specifically centric.
    We are working hard as an alliance as well to ensure that 
we have a proper defense and a capability that we require 
within the domain.
    Senator Gillibrand. I also have concerns specifically about 
China. I think China is making significant progress in its 
military modernization initiatives. In fact, it is currently 
testing the J-20, its fifth-generation competitor to the F-35. 
How effective is our current defense posture and network of 
regional partners in deterring Chinese expansion? In which 
areas are we lacking depth of strategic operations or tactical 
levels? What do you think are the most effective ways to ensure 
China's rise is peaceful? Last, are there any particular United 
States military capabilities with which you see China closing 
the gap?
    Admiral Harris. I will start, Senator.
    I think that, in the capability realm, I asked for 
increased surface-to-surface weapons. When I started flying P-
3s back in the late 1970s, we had the Harpoon missile. That is 
the same missile we have today.
    We need to have an increased lethality and reach and speed 
that I talked about before. I am grateful that the Services 
responded to that request, and in fiscal year 2017 budget, 
there is increased funding for programs to increase that 
lethality of surface-to-surface missiles.
    I think Deputy Secretary of Defense Work just recently 
spoke of the SM-6 missile and its capability in the surface-to-
surface mode or against surface targets.
    The LRASM, the Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile, which is air-
launched now, is another great capability that we need to bring 
online fast, and I am grateful for that.
    I wrote also about the need for increasing the buy, and 
rate of buy, of F-35s, the Joint Strike Fighters. I am pleased 
that in the fiscal year 2017 budget, that is in there. I am 
glad about all of that.
    As I mentioned before, we have a shortage in submarines. My 
submarine requirement is not met in PACOM, and I am just one of 
many COCOMs that will tell you that. That is our principal 
asymmetric advantage over China and any other adversary, and I 
think we have to keep after it. I think it is important in the 
long run to modernize our force for the future.
    To get at your last question about what we can do, I think 
diplomacy is probably the key. We have to have a strong defense 
backed up by active diplomacy. I think we need to use diplomacy 
to influence China toward an acceptable behavior in the 
international space.
    General Scaparrotti. Senator, I would just add, and 
emphasize the last point.
    On the peninsula, one of my concerns is that, if there is 
conflict, what are China's actions? We plan for those 
possibilities. I am sure they do as well. I think diplomacy and 
engagement, which PACOM engages with them regularly to have 
these conversations, is very important, so that they understand 
our intent, and we have those communications, if we should have 
a conflict on the peninsula.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Ayotte?
    Senator Ayotte. I want to thank both of you for your 
service to the country.
    Admiral Harris, I want to thank you for also visiting the 
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. We are really appreciative of that 
visit.
    To follow up on what I have heard you say today, in terms 
of the gap of our attack submarine fleet and the needs that you 
have in PACOM, what role, first of all, does the Virginia-class 
submarine play in the importance of our supremacy undersea? How 
big is this gap? We actually asked the Navy this morning about 
all of the combatant commands, and the Navy told us that only 
62 percent of the requests for attack submarine support are 
being met right now. What is the gap like in PACOM as well?
    Admiral Harris. The gap is about 62 percent. The exact 
numbers are classified. I would be happy to have that 
discussion with you. But we experience an attack submarine 
shortfall in the Pacific, and I would maintain that the Pacific 
is the principal space where submarines are the most important 
warfighting capability we have.
    As far as Virginia-class submarines, it is the best thing 
we have. It is the best thing we have. I cannot get enough of 
them, and I cannot get enough of them fast enough.
    Senator Ayotte. Great. Thank you. I think this is the issue 
that you raised as we think about sequestration, the long-term 
impact on our investment in our attack submarine fleet, which 
is so critical to the defense of the Nation and, obviously, an 
area where we have very important supremacy undersea with the 
challenges that we are facing in the region.
    But if we do not have presence, then we obviously cannot 
address our security needs. Our presence in the region is 
probably as important as anything else. Would you agree with 
that?
    Admiral Harris. I do. If you do not have presence, then you 
better have reach. That reach comes from submarines and 
aircraft and the like. We need the new SSBN [ballistic missile 
submarine], SSBN-X [Ohio-class replacement submarine], in the 
2020s, and we need the new long-range bomber as well.
    Senator Ayotte. I also wanted to ask you about unmanned 
underwater vehicle R&D [research and development] and what you 
think we should be doing in terms of conducting research, 
development, and fielding advanced unmanned underwater 
vehicles. Is that something we need to invest in and focus on 
going forward?
    Admiral Harris. I think we must invest, Senator, in 
advanced underwater vehicles and go forward with it, not only 
in antisubmarine warfare and all of the things that UAVs can 
provide us in that regard, but also in mine warfare to get 
after the mine threat that we will face.
    Senator Ayotte. How are we doing on that, compared to, for 
example, China or other countries?
    Admiral Harris. I think we are doing okay in it, but we 
need to do a lot more.
    Senator Ayotte. Okay, thank you.
    I wanted to also ask, General Scaparrotti, as we look at 
the actions of North Korea that have been discussed today--
recently, obviously, the underground nuclear tests, the 
ballistic missile launching--how do you assess what they are 
doing right now? I know there is always a pattern of escalation 
and looking for an international response, but it strikes me 
that Kim Jong-un is even less reliable, obviously, than his 
father.
    Where do you assess this situation, and what more should we 
be doing to respond?
    Secondly, what is your prediction in terms of what we might 
see next from the North Koreans? Or is it just so unpredictable 
from your perspective?
    General Scaparrotti. Thank you, Senator.
    First of all, I think Kim Jong-un has been clear that he 
intends to establish himself and wants to be accepted as a 
nuclear nation with a valid missile capability to deliver those 
assets. Of course, he claims he can do that today. He wants to 
be recognized as such.
    He said, despite international sanctions, that he will 
continue to develop his nuclear and his missile capabilities. 
Despite our deterrence, as you have seen, he has continued to 
do so.
    I think his calculus is, at this point, that those tests 
that he just conducted in January and February, that they were 
within his risk tolerance; that he could conduct those; and at 
some point in the future, in the next 3 or 4 months, move 
beyond it, just as he has done in cycle of provocation and 
relaxation over time, which has been their norm.
    I do worry about his calculation being wrong, at some 
point. I state that is what I worry most about.
    His view of the world is a very isolated one. Given the way 
that he leads, in terms of the brutal nature of his leadership, 
I am not sure that he gets a lot of good advice or at least 
critical advice from those around him.
    Senator Ayotte. I think you are pretty hesitant when you 
are around him to give any contrary advice also. That is the 
problem.
    General Scaparrotti. I think we will see increasing tension 
as we go into this training period coming up here in February 
and March. I think what we should do, to ensure that our 
alliance is strong, is that we maintain our deterrence 
activities that we have there, particularly our large exercises 
here. There is no doubt in my mind that he knows of our 
capability and believes that he cannot defeat it.
    I think stronger sanctions are very important for the 
international community.
    Senator Ayotte. Excellent. We recently passed very strong 
legislation.
    General Scaparrotti. I appreciate that.
    Senator Ayotte. I think that sets the stage for the 
sanctions piece. Thank you.
    General Scaparrotti. Yes, ma'am.
    Chairman McCain. Senator King?
    Senator King. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    General Scaparrotti, I think your analysis is exactly 
right. Almost all wars in history are started from a 
miscalculation. I think, for that reason, it seems to me that 
part of our strategy should be very clear about what our 
capabilities are, what our red lines are, and when we will act, 
so that there is not a miscalculation or misunderstanding or an 
underestimation of our capacity. Would you agree?
    General Scaparrotti. Yes, sir, I would agree.
    Senator King. Admiral Harris, what are the strategic 
implications for the United States strategy in the Pacific of 
the Chinese Anti-Access/Area Denial, so-called A2/AD, strategy?
    It seems to me that forces us to question the strategy of 
the carrier as the primary instrument, the development of the 
standoff cruise missiles by the Chinese. This, it seems to me, 
is a moment of inflection, in terms of what our strategy is in 
that region.
    Admiral Harris. Thanks, Senator.
    We have predicted the demise of the carrier since I have 
been in the Navy. We had the Soviets with their submarines, 
carriers, and all their capability, and we questioned the 
survivability of the carrier then, and then the Soviets went 
out and tried to build their own. Then they sold it to China, 
and China is using it, and they are building their own now.
    If the carrier were really irrelevant, then I question why 
these competitors and peer competitors are trying to build 
their own at the rate they are building them.
    I think the A2/AD strategies that China imposes are 
serious, and we have to seriously consider them and work around 
them.
    Senator King. It seems to me that we need to think about 
the range of our weapons.
    Admiral Harris. We do. Yes, sir. That is one of the issues 
that I spoke about earlier.
    In our regular ship surface-to-surface weapons, we are out-
stuck by the Chinese today. But because of this committee and 
Congress, we are going to be in good shape in 2017, as we put 
money into those systems.
    I think, again, the original stealth platform is the 
submarine, and we will be able to win in any conflict at sea 
when we apply the joint force to that.
    I am comfortable with the carrier operating in those 
waters, but we have to consider it. We have to consider the 
threat.
    But the Chinese A2/AD threat is not 10-feet tall. It is not 
even 6-feet tall, in my opinion.
    Senator King. You mentioned the importance of diplomacy as 
part of the overall strategy. Would part of that be the 
advisability of the U.S. acceding to the U.N. Law of the Sea 
Treaty?
    Admiral Harris. In my opinion, Senator, yes.
    Senator King. That would help us in dealing with some of 
these fuzzy claims in the South China Sea?
    Admiral Harris. I believe that U.S. accession to UNCLOS is 
a positive.
    Senator King. I have looked at the map. We ought to call 
the South Atlantic the South American Sea or something, because 
just the name, it is nowhere near China.
    Admiral Harris. Yes, sir. We do call the Gulf of Mexico the 
Gulf of Mexico.
    Senator King. Not the Gulf of Florida, interestingly.
    Admiral Harris. That is right.
    Senator King. Just yesterday, there was a report of the 
fastest sea level rise in 28 centuries, and a projection that, 
by the end of this century, sea level could rise 3 to 4 feet. 
Are you looking at the strategic implications of that, both in 
terms of our infrastructure that is on the coast, but also the 
stability of areas within your command, Bangladesh, low-lying 
coastal cities throughout the region?
    Admiral Harris. I look at it in a capability way, because 
it will be PACOM forces or U.S. military forces that respond to 
disasters caused by flooding or tornadoes or typhoons or 
whatever, so I look at it in that way. But, frankly, I am not 
looking at rise in sea levels and its effect globally toward 
the end of century. That is just too far out for me.
    I worry about what is happening in the near term and what I 
can do about it, and how I can be helpful.
    Senator King. Would it not be prudent though to analyze our 
infrastructure, just to do a tabletop on what would happen if 
sea level went up a couple feet in San Diego or Guam or Hawaii?
    Admiral Harris. Certainly. Yes, sir. It clearly would.
    Senator King. Finally, what is China's goal? What are their 
strategic goals? Is it purely defensive? Is it offensive? Do 
they want to take territory? What is behind this buildup that 
they are engaged in?
    Admiral Harris. Senator, this is my opinion. I believe 
China seeks hegemony in East Asia.
    Senator King. Simple as that?
    Admiral Harris. Simple as that.
    Senator King. Regional control?
    Admiral Harris. Yes, sir.
    Senator King. Thank you, Admiral.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Ernst?
    Senator Ernst. Thank you, gentlemen, for being here today. 
We, certainly, appreciate your service.
    Admiral Harris, in 2014, the Marine Corps announced its 
Expeditionary Force 21 doctrine, which stated that, after over 
a decade of land-based combat operations, the Marines were 
going to start returning to their amphibious roots. I believe 
the success of this effort is vital in order to respond to a 
rising China and to assist our allies in that region.
    Are you comfortable with the Navy and Marine Corps forces 
that are postured to provide expeditionary capabilities to meet 
your PACOM requirements?
    Admiral Harris. Senator, I am, but I will be the first to 
say that 14 years of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan land 
wars, there are majors in the Marine Corps, O-4s, that have 
never served at sea in the Fleet Marine Force.
    Senator Ernst. Correct.
    Admiral Harris. I welcome their return to amphibiosity. But 
it is not just the Marines. The Marines are involved in 
training our allies and partners, as they see the benefits of 
having an amphibious capability for their areas, for example, 
Indonesia and all of the archaeological islands that comprise 
that country, Japan and their interest in amphibious warfare, 
and on and on.
    I am pleased with the work that we are doing and especially 
pleased with the work that the Marines and the Army are doing 
to increase the amphibious capability of our friends, allies, 
and partners in the region.
    Senator Ernst. Very good. You have a strategy for closing 
that gap, like you said, the O4s mostly have land-based combat 
operations?
    Admiral Harris. Right. I had a strategy when I was the 
Pacific Fleet commander, and now I get to task the Pacific 
Fleet and the Marine Forces specific to come up with that 
strategy and work it.
    Senator Ernst. Very good. I am very excited about that. We 
are getting back to the basics, I think, for all of our forces 
out there.
    Do you agree with the Navy-Marine Corps Joint Forcible 
Entry capability with a validated ship requirement of 38?
    Admiral Harris. I do. The forcible entry requirement is 
critical not just for the Marines but for the Army as well.
    Senator Ernst. Do you think that that will be able to be 
maintained, then, moving into the future?
    Admiral Harris. I do not know. I hope so. I hope that we 
will be able to get our amphibious ship levels to that 
standard.
    Senator Ernst. Okay, thank you, Admiral.
    Over the past several weeks, just a slightly different 
topic, but over the past couple weeks, we have had a number of 
very distinguished witnesses, such as Lieutenant General Thomas 
Conant, a former PACOM deputy commander, and General Carter 
Ham, the former commander of AFRICOM [United States Africa 
Command] and United States Army Europe. They have spoken very 
highly of our National Guard State Partnership Program.
    I do believe that this program is key in working with our 
allies, and developing our allies and their capabilities. But I 
am concerned because in the PACOM or in the Asia-Pacific area, 
there are very few State Partnership Programs out of 70 
different unique programs that we have worldwide. I think it is 
important that we exercise these types of programs and develop 
those relationships with those countries.
    Could you speak to that a little bit, sir?
    Admiral Harris. I can. I am a huge fan of the State 
Partnership Program. I have seen it work in the Pacific. 
General Grass and I have talked about it, and I have asked for 
an increase in state partner relationships out there.
    But for the countries in the region, their state partners, 
our Guard forces, are often their principal training 
relationship. It is critical for all the reasons you mentioned. 
General Grass and I are in lockstep on the way forward in the 
Pacific.
    Senator Ernst. Are there certain countries that we should 
be working more with, with a state partnership relationship?
    Admiral Harris. Sure. Mongolia comes to mind in, and we 
have asked for that.
    Mongolia is a perfect case in point of a country that would 
benefit greatly from our State Partnership Program.
    Senator Ernst. That is very good. We have many States that 
already have developed relationships, and sometimes look for 
second partnerships as well, so thank you.
    General Scaparrotti, do you have any thoughts on the State 
Partnership Program?
    General Scaparrotti. I, too, am a big fan of that. The 
relationships that are built over time, the trust that is 
built, are very important. That is really the glue that helps 
us improve not only that relationship, but, importantly, to 
develop capacity within our partners.
    Senator Ernst. Fantastic. Thank you.
    Thank you very much.
    Chairman McCain. Some of that depends on the attractiveness 
of the State. Don't you think that has a lot to do with it?
    Senator Nelson?
    Senator Nelson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    General, when does China yank North Korea's chain? What is 
the point at which they really get serious that North Korea is 
getting out of control with the nuclear weapons capability?
    General Scaparrotti. Sir, I wish I knew the answer, because 
we have been trying to find that spot, frankly. I think they 
have underestimated the danger of KJU [Kim Jong-un], at this 
point. He is clearly confident in his ability to provocate and 
control a situation, so I would encourage them to reconsider 
that at this time.
    But, obviously, they still, despite these recent events, 
appear to be reluctant to take some serious steps, which they 
certainly could.
    Senator Nelson. Do they seem to be, certainly, the one 
applying economic pressure, and so forth. I mean, do they fear 
a united Korean Peninsula so much, and/or do they fear too many 
refugees coming in, that this nuclear threat is not enough for 
them to pull that chain?
    General Scaparrotti. Well, I think first they fear 
instability on their border, if that were to occur, the refugee 
problem it would create for them along the border, and then 
also the security of the WMD [weapons of mass destruction]. 
North Korea not only has nuclear but they have probably one of 
largest chemical and bio stockpiles--chemical, in particular, 
but bio capability--around the world.
    That is their first concern, getting control of that, if it 
were to be an unstable country.
    Secondly, I believe, too, that it provides them a buffer, 
and they would fear a unified Korea, particularly with a United 
States ally. They would be concerned where our forces would be 
stationed.
    Senator Nelson. As you all wargame this, what is China's 
position, if the young gentleman goes off his rocker and 
launches an attack against us, an attempted attack, because 
presumably we would have the capability of knocking it down? In 
a wargame like that, what do you expect for China's reaction?
    General Scaparrotti. Sir, we actually have that as a part 
of our wargaming and planning. I think our first thing, as I 
mentioned earlier, is that we count on engagement with them. We 
work on engagement, particularly with PACOM, on a regular basis 
in order to give us that relationship. If and when there is 
any, even a provocation on the peninsula today, we make contact 
to make sure they understand our intent.
    This is my personal opinion. I think that China is also 
looking at those possibilities in their calculation, and 
probably are more inclined lately to intervene potentially, at 
least in the border areas and to the extent that they would be 
concerned about control of those WMDs as well.
    I think intervention is more of a likelihood, in my mind, 
in the few years that I have been in command now, than it was, 
say, 2 years or 3 years ago.
    Senator Nelson. It may be one of the areas that China would 
suddenly see that it has its interests aligned with the 
interests of the United States.
    Admiral, it is great to see you.
    Mr. Chairman, he is a great product of Pensacola, Florida. 
As a native Floridian, you can hear it in the lilting tone of 
his voice.
    Admiral, share with us your thought of the importance, from 
a national military perspective, of the Trans-Pacific 
Partnership [TPP].
    Admiral Harris. Sir, I am just going to bask a little bit 
in that lilting-ness just for second here.
    The Trans-Pacific Partnership, I believe, is an important 
component of the economic part of the rebalance. I have spoken 
of the rebalance being comprised of the military, diplomatic, 
political, and economic parts. In the economic sphere, which I 
have said is the most important component of the rebalance--the 
most visible piece is the military piece, because you can see 
an aircraft carrier or Joint Strike Fighter or Stryker vehicle 
and all that.
    But the most important part of the rebalance, to America, 
is really the economic component. In that economic component, 
you have energy and you have TPP. I think that TPP binds us to 
the 11 other nations that are part of TPP.
    The standards that it takes for a country to enter TPP is 
helpful. It is helpful to the global trade piece, and it is 
helpful to those things that we view as important as conditions 
of entry.
    I think the fact that there are countries waiting in line 
to figure out how to get in, I think that is important as well, 
and indicative of how TPP is viewed now in the Pacific.
    Senator Nelson. Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Sullivan?
    Senator Sullivan. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Thank you, gentlemen, for your testimony. I appreciate the 
opportunity to get caught up yesterday.
    Admiral, I appreciate you talking about the TPP, not only 
in terms of economics, but energy. As we discussed yesterday, 
the United States has an enormous opportunity now, in terms of 
our competitive advantages in energy, LNG, oil exports to our 
allies and even other countries in the region. I think it is 
something we need to be taking advantage of.
    I want to follow up on the chairman's questions on the 
South China Sea. Secretary Carter was testifying here a few 
months back when we had done the first FONOPs [Freedom of 
Navigation Operations]. I am a big supporter of Secretary 
Carter, but I think there was some concern here on the 
committee that an opportunity to actually announce in a robust, 
articulate way what we were doing was missed, because we 
literally had to press it out of him just to get any details on 
what the heck was going on.
    From your perspective, what exactly is our policy with 
regard to the South China Sea, our freedom of navigation 
operations? What is the purpose? What is the goal? Should we be 
doing this on a regular basis, as the chairman said, also with 
our allies?
    Admiral Harris. Thanks, Senator.
    I believe the purpose of freedom of navigation operations, 
and the other operations we do in the South China Sea, is to 
exercise our rights on the high seas and in the airspace above 
it on a regular basis.
    Senator Sullivan. To what end? What is the goal?
    Admiral Harris. The goal is international rules and norms. 
This is international water and international airspace. If we 
do not exercise our rights, or if those rights are not 
routinely exercised by someone, then we stand a chance of 
abdicating those rights to someone else.
    The regular exercise of freedom of navigation, in my 
opinion, is critical. It is important, and it is something that 
we must continue to do.
    Senator Sullivan. Do we have allies who are interested in 
doing that with us for the same reasons? Are we looking to 
coordinate with them in terms of future FONOP operations?
    Admiral Harris. We have allies, friends, and partners, 
Senator, that are very supportive of our freedom of navigation 
operations. There are some of those who are willing to consider 
doing them with us, but there are others that are unable to, 
either because of their own military capability or lack 
thereof, or of their internal politics, I guess, and of their 
relationship with China.
    Senator Sullivan. Do you think that it would be helpful to 
have additional allies, whether they are from the region or 
maybe some of our NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] 
partners?
    Admiral Harris. It would be helpful. I have encouraged 
other countries to conduct operations in the South China Sea, 
because, at the end of the day, South China Sea is 
international waters, in my view.
    Senator Sullivan. We talked about Okinawa yesterday. Can 
you just give us an update on what more we should be looking at 
doing? We are helping our allies, particularly with regard to 
Japan, in terms of the Marine redeployment there.
    Admiral Harris. We have this relationship with Japan in 
Okinawa. We have an obligation to defend Japan, and they have 
an obligation to provide us a place from which to defend them. 
Okinawa is one of those critical places where we must be in 
order to meet our treaty obligations to defend Japan.
    A few years ago, through a lot of increasing tensions over 
the years, Japan asked us to move our forces out of Futenma to 
someplace else. Our response to that is, sure, you build a new 
place and we will move our forces there. That is a simplistic 
view, but that is how we agreed to move from Futenma to the 
Futenma Replacement Facility, Camp Schwab, Henoko.
    In that process, we agreed also to relocate 8,000 to 10,000 
Marines out of Okinawa. For that, you have the Guam piece, the 
Hawaii piece, and part of the Marine rotation forces in Darwin. 
You have all of that, which is a follow-on to once we start 
moving Marines from Futenma to the Futenma Replacement 
Facility.
    The challenge we have is to get the build done on the 
Futenma Replacement Facility, which is Japan's responsibility. 
That is their obligation to us.
    Right now, it is slowed. It is a little over 2 years late. 
It was going to be done by 2023, and now we are looking at 2025 
before that is done. That is when the big movement of Marines 
from Okinawa to Guam and Hawaii would take place, in the 2020s.
    I believe we have to continue to fly and operate out of 
Futenma and continue to work with the Japanese, as they start 
to build the replacement facility at Henoko, Camp Schwab.
    Senator Sullivan. Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Hirono?
    Senator Hirono. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I would like to thank both Admiral Harris and General 
Scaparrotti for the time you spent with me yesterday. I 
appreciate that very much, and for your service.
    General Scaparrotti, our very best wishes to you, as you go 
forward.
    Admiral Harris, I am happy to see in your written testimony 
that you raise the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for 
Strategic Studies, DKI APCSS, and the Center for Excellence in 
Disaster Management.
    Can you talk briefly about the importance and the benefits 
that these two organizations provide to you as the commander of 
PACOM?
    Admiral Harris. Yes, Senator. I believe the Daniel K. 
Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Strategic Studies, DKI APCSS, is 
a true force multiplier for my operations in the Pacific. DKI 
APCSS is able to bring countries to Hawaii that I cannot go to. 
They enjoy special ability to link together students from all 
over the region in very positive ways.
    In building those relationships, it helps me in the region, 
and it also helps those countries to realize the benefits of a 
relationship with the United States.
    I cannot say enough about DKI APCSS and retired Lieutenant 
General Dan Leaf, who directs that. I am pleased to be able to 
work closely with him and the center. I am pleased that the 
center is a direct report to PACOM.
    So, too, CFEDM, the Center for Excellence in Disaster 
Management, I think that that center has the capability and the 
potential to be a true storehouse of knowledge and lessons 
learned on how we do disaster management, not only in the 
region, but that can be shared globally for people who would 
seek that information.
    Senator Hirono. I think particularly as we natural 
disasters occurring more and more, that the center is very 
important. I have been visited the center a number of times. I 
totally agree with you that that is a really important 
resource. It is a resource for you as well as our country.
    I want to turn to the relationship, the trilateral 
relationship, among Japan, United States, South Korean. This is 
for General Scaparrotti.
    The tensions, as you say, are higher than ever, and there 
are some historical issues between Japan and South Korea that 
make the relationship between these two countries particularly 
challenging. From your perspective, how do you see this 
relationship currently and moving forward? Perhaps with the 
tensions between South and North Korea now, perhaps South Korea 
will be moving more closely to Japan. How do you see this 
developing?
    General Scaparrotti. Senator, thank you. It is an important 
question and an important relationship for us.
    I see it positive, and I see it moving in a positive 
direction. A year ago, we were having difficulty with 
trilateral relationships, encouraging mil-to-mil relationships, 
et cetera. Over this past year, there has been, I think, a 
concerted effort with both parties, with the U.S. as a partner 
to both, to improve that relationship.
    As you know, Japan and Korea recently had high-level 
discussions, as well as a meeting between the Prime Minister 
and the President Park that resolved the comfort women issue. I 
think that was significant, as well as the pressures from North 
Korea. I think both have encouraged them to increase the 
trilateral relationship.
    Admiral Harris just hosted a conference with the two 
chairmen from each of those countries, as well as General 
Dunford. I think we have the foundation now to move forward in 
the future with greater mil-to-mil exercises, as well as 
probably an encouraging environment for increasing information 
flow between the three countries.
    Senator Hirono. Thank you.
    This is for Admiral Harris. The actions of North Korea have 
been particularly troubling, especially with their so-called 
hydrogen bomb test and their rocket launch into space. Do you 
see North Korea as a nuclear state? If so, what does this mean 
for the United States and the U.N. [United Nations]?
    Admiral Harris. They clearly have some nuclear 
capabilities. I am not convinced that the bomb that went off 
was a hydrogen bomb, but they clearly have some degree of 
nuclear capability.
    I think they pose a very distinct and real threat, not only 
to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, but globally. 
As they develop their nuclear capability--and as I said before, 
they are on a quest for nuclear weapons, the means to 
miniaturize them, and the means to deliver them 
intercontinentally. They pose a real threat to Hawaii and to 
the West Coast, to the mainland of the United States, and soon 
to the entire U.S.
    They pose a threat today, with their hundreds of thousands 
of rockets within rocket range of Seoul, to the 28,500 American 
troops that are posted there, their families, the hundreds of 
thousands of Americans who work in Korea, and our Korean ally 
and Japan.
    They are a real threat today, and I encourage China, for 
example, to be helpful and to try to bring North Korea to the 
negotiating table and to do the right thing.
    Senator Hirono. Well, our best wishes on your continuing 
efforts on that score, because I know it is quite the challenge 
to have China step up and deal with North Korea in a way that 
would be helpful to stabilizing that region. Thank you very 
much.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Rounds?
    Senator Rounds. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Admiral, first of all, let me say how much I appreciated 
the opportunity to visit with you at PACOM headquarters this 
last week on the Inhofe codel. Your message was striking. At 
the same time, I came away a little bit puzzled with one part.
    We have been working on the issues surrounding rebalance or 
a rebalance strategy since 2011. The rebalance, a strategic 
whole-of-government effort, guides and reinforces our military 
efforts, integrating with diplomatic, political, and economic 
initiatives. In August 2015, Secretary of Defense Carter 
described four elements of the military component of the Asia-
Pacific rebalance.
    Have you seen a doctrine that you put your strategy around, 
which is the rebalance? Or is it a series of concepts that are 
still being developed?
    Admiral Harris. I believe that we have a strategy now, and 
it is the East Asia military strategy that was put out by OSD 
[the Office of the Secretary of Defense] last December, 
November or December. I think it captures it well. There are 
probably other things that will come out on that, but I am 
satisfied, in reading the East Asia military strategy piece--
the Asia-Pacific strategy piece, rather, that it is captured in 
there.
    But I think all the elements that I spoke about earlier on 
the rebalance are in play in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. Just 
in the diplomatic and political spheres, for example, we now 
have the EDCA, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, with 
the Philippines, which gives us access to their bases. We have 
the new defense guidelines with Japan, which is the follow-on 
to their peace and security legislation, which allows them some 
limited collective self-defense, which moves that relationship 
forward. We have access agreements with Singapore, which allows 
us to put our LCS, littoral combat ships, there, and P-8, P-3 
aircraft there on a routine basis.
    Of course, all the agreements we have with Australia, which 
is the cornerstone of our MRF-D deployment, the Marine 
Rotational Force Darwin deployment.
    I am very pleased with those initiatives, which are in that 
diplomatic, political sphere part of the rebalance.
    The military piece is, as I said, the most visible piece. 
You can see that. Then we have the economic piece, which is the 
most important part to the United States, in my opinion.
    Senator Rounds. With regard to A2/AD, there seems to be 
considerable movement, a very quick movement, on the part of 
China in this area. Do you have the appropriate intelligence-
gathering information? Do you need more tools than what you 
have right now?
    Admiral Harris. I can always use more tools, Senator. I 
would like to know more about China's intent. But in that 
regard, what I need more than anything else is persistent ISR 
to keep that never-blinking eye on Korea.
    Senator Rounds. Specific platforms that are not available 
to you now that you need?
    Admiral Harris. There are platforms that are not available 
now that I have asked for.
    Senator Rounds. Okay. They are coming?
    Admiral Harris. It is being considered. It is part of the 
global allocation of forces. I compete with platforms along 
with Central Command, EUCOM, European Command, and the like.
    Senator Rounds. In the current posture, the Chinese have 
clearly put us in a position where they are moving us, in terms 
of our safety zones, farther out, farther away. The LRS-B 
[Long-Range Strike Bombers] is being proposed right now.
    Is the LRS-B an asset that you would consider critical, 
with regard to our future capabilities in the South China area? 
Seeing how they could be deployed out of North America, they 
basically would be in a position to make the strikes necessary 
at that time that perhaps some of our other carrier-based units 
might not be able to maintain, just based upon size and 
capabilities.
    Admiral Harris. Senator, I am sorry. I do not know the 
acronym.
    Senator Rounds. Long-range strike bomber.
    Admiral Harris. Yes. It would be helpful. As I mentioned 
before, in talking about the next-generation bomber, all of 
that capability is important, not only the next-generation 
bomber, but the next-generation SSBN.
    We need those to maintain a position of strength into the 
2020s.
    Senator Rounds. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
    Senator Reed. [Presiding.] On behalf of Chairman McCain, 
Senator Shaheen?
    Senator Shaheen. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Admiral Harris, I am so glad to hear someone in your 
position who does not know one of the acronyms that is being 
used. It makes me feel so much better.
    [Laughter.]
    Admiral Harris. Acronyms kill, ma'am.
    Senator Shaheen. Yes, they do. That was a very good pun.
    I want to thank you both for your service. I want to start, 
I assume it should be with you, Admiral Harris.
    There was a report that was just given to Congress this 
week that suggests that Chinese investments in the national 
security sector in the United States are growing. Is there any 
reason why we should be concerned about that?
    Admiral Harris. Sure. I think that, depending on the area 
that they invest in, there is every reason to be concerned. We 
need to look at each one of these investments carefully. We 
have a process called CFIUS [Committee on Foreign Investment in 
the United States], another acronym. I could not begin to tell 
you what it stands for.
    Senator Shaheen. That one I know.
    Admiral Harris. All right. But that allows us a mechanism, 
a legal mechanism, to perhaps prevent China from buying or 
investing in certain areas. I have used it before, when I was 
at Pacific Fleet, to prevent the purchase of some facilities, 
which were near our key military facilities.
    Senator Shaheen. Does the economic reliance on China by 
some of our American allies create complications for our 
security strategy, as we are thinking about Chinese investments 
in our national security sector and what is happening with some 
of our allies with respect to their reliance on what is 
happening in the Chinese economy?
    Admiral Harris. Clearly, Senator, it does.
    China is the principal trading partner of many of our 
friends, allies, and partners, not only in the Indo-Asia-
Pacific, but globally. That is a factor that each country has 
to make, and it is a factor in how we regard their reliability 
in certain cases.
    I am often asked, well, we have this size of the Chinese 
military and we have this size of the United States military 
west of the dateline, but surely, if you added to that all of 
our capability resident in our friends, allies, and partners, 
they would match the Chinese, in terms of numbers. You cannot 
always count on that in every case, because each country will 
make their independent, sovereign decision on whether to 
participate in a given operation or whatever.
    China's investment in those countries, in those countries' 
trade relationships with China, is important. It matters, just 
as it matters to us.
    Senator Shaheen. Thank you.
    General Scaparrotti, in your testimony, you mentioned North 
Korea's recent actions that suggest that it will do whatever it 
wants to defy U.N. Security Council resolutions and other 
norms.
    A couple weeks ago, we passed additional sanctions on North 
Korea here. To what extent do those help or hurt, as we are 
trying to influence North Korea's actions?
    General Scaparrotti. Senator, thank you. I appreciate the 
action that Congress took here in terms of sanctions, because I 
do believe they have an impact. We know that we have slowed his 
capability to develop his munitions, missiles, et cetera. He is 
somewhat cash-strapped. I think additional sanctions, which 
there are steps we have not taken yet, I think the more that we 
do, the more pressure we then put on Kim Jong-un.
    He has a fairly shaky economy, not a good hand. These 
sanctions, I think, could create a big problem for him, 
certainly to someone who puts 30 percent of his economy into 
his military.
    Senator Shaheen. Thank you. I am, certainly, a big 
proponent of our having passed those sanctions.
    I would like to say for the record, Mr. Chairman, that one 
of the things that I am very concerned about, with respect to 
the sanctions and their enforcement, is the fact that we have 
still have sitting in the Banking Committee the nomination of 
Adam Szubin to be the person at the Department of the Treasury 
who is charged with enforcing those sanctions. He has not yet 
been officially approved.
    I would hope that we could enter that into the record, and 
I would urge that we see some action on his nomination.
    I am out of time, Mr. Chairman, but can I ask one more 
question?
    Senator Reed. Yes.
    Senator Shaheen. Given the recent action by North Korea, 
have we seen that affect that Chinese thinking or support for 
North Korea and their willingness to try and encourage them to 
pull back on their nuclear efforts? For either of you, both of 
you.
    General Scaparrotti. As you know, they denounced the 
actions as well. They stated their concern with them. I think 
they are in active conversations with us now.
    But to this point, we have not seen the steps we would like 
them to take, in my opinion, and that they could take.
    Senator Shaheen. Thank you. Thank you both very much. Thank 
you for your service.
    Senator Reed. On behalf of Chairman McCain, Senator Graham?
    Senator Graham. Thank you, Senator Reed.
    General, let's pick up with what you just said.
    Are we overly relying on China to discipline and regulate 
North Korea? Every time somebody mentions North Korea, the 
first thing out of their mouth is, ``Well, we have to have the 
Chinese help us.''
    General Scaparrotti. Sir, in my opinion, I do not know that 
we are overly reliant. But, certainly, there are actions--for 
instance, unilateral actions that this body just took--that we 
could, certainly, apply as well.
    Senator Graham. Could you give me a list of things that we 
could do that we have not done regarding North Korea? Not right 
now, but later.
    General Scaparrotti. Yes, I could.
    Senator Graham. Okay. Have you ever found a situation in 
military history, modern military history, where sanctions 
stopped a dictator from acquiring weapons?
    General Scaparrotti. I am not aware. I would have to look 
at that, Senator, to be honest with you.
    Senator Graham. Do you think he cares how his people live?
    General Scaparrotti. No, he does not.
    Senator Graham. Do you think if he had a missile that could 
reach the United States, he would actually use it against us?
    General Scaparrotti. I think that his stated purpose is to 
protect his regime. If he thought his regime was challenged, he 
states that he would use WMD.
    Senator Graham. Is it in our national security interests to 
allow the North Koreans to develop missile technology that 
could hit the Homeland?
    General Scaparrotti. No, sir.
    Senator Graham. Would you suggest we use military force, if 
necessary, to stop that?
    General Scaparrotti. If military force was necessary, yes, 
sir. But I think there should be----
    Senator Graham. But that should be on the table? But that 
should be one of the options?
    General Scaparrotti. Yes, sir.
    Senator Graham. Do you agree with that, Admiral?
    Admiral Harris. I do.
    Senator Graham. I just want the committee to understand 
that we are about to have to cross a road here eventually.
    Don't you think that, in the coming few years, we are going 
to have to make a decision about this?
    Does that make sense to you, admiral?
    Admiral Harris. It does, Senator, in my opinion.
    Senator Graham. Say in the next 5 years--I am just picking 
a date out of thin air here--the United States is going to have 
to make a tough decision regarding North Korea, whether or not 
to let them know that if you continue down the missile 
development road, we will attack that program?
    Admiral Harris. At some point, it may come to that.
    Senator Graham. Do you think it would be good for North 
Korea to understand that is the consequence of what they are 
doing?
    Admiral Harris. I think they do understand it, Senator.
    Senator Graham. Do you think they really believe we would 
use military force to stop their missile program?
    Admiral Harris. I do not know what they believe.
    Senator Graham. Okay.
    What about you, General?
    General Scaparrotti. Sir, I would say the same. Our 
difficulty is really understanding their----
    Senator Graham. Could we make it more clear to them? Is it 
possible to make it more clear to them?
    General Scaparrotti. I think it is possible to make it more 
clear to them.
    The second thing I would add, Senator, is that, as you look 
to the future, I am concerned as well not only about his 
nuclear missile capabilities, developing cyber capability. He 
is developing a strategic-launch ballistic missile, and he is 
developing his air defense capabilities.
    All of those things, in about 5 or 6 years, are going to be 
a more formidable problem.
    Senator Graham. In light of the threat that could emerge 
over the next 5 years from North Korea, if sequestration goes 
back into effect, does that affect the Army's ability to 
participate in South Korea effectively?
    General Scaparrotti. Yes, sir, it does.
    Senator Graham. If sequestration goes into full effect, 
Admiral, what does that do to your ability in your theater?
    Admiral Harris. I think it hurts me greatly, not only for 
forces that are forward-deployed, but also follow-on forces. I 
worry most about those follow-on forces.
    Senator Graham. We have a 5 year window here of where North 
Korea is advancing missile technology and cyber capability. 
They are becoming more of a threat in the next 5 years, unless 
something changes. Is that correct? Is that what you are 
telling the committee? In the next 5 years?
    Admiral Harris. You said 5 years. I did not.
    Senator Graham. Okay. I am just picking 5 years.
    Admiral Harris. Right.
    Senator Graham. Let's just say in the next 5 years, if 
nothing changes, they are going to be a bigger threat to the 
United States?
    Admiral Harris. Clearly. Clearly.
    Senator Graham. Is that true of you, General?
    General Scaparrotti. Yes, I agree.
    Senator Graham. We have that dynamic. The Congress' 
response is to reduce your capabilities in the next 5 years.
    Is that what Congress is doing to you?
    Admiral Harris. If sequestration remains the law of the 
land, as I testified during my confirmation hearing, I think it 
will hurt us significantly in the 2021, 2022 time frame.
    Senator Graham. From a policymaker point of view, your 
military advice to us would be to change that construct?
    Admiral Harris. My military request of you, Senator, would 
be to end sequestration.
    Senator Graham. Yes, because what we are doing is we are 
having the enemy increasing capability, and we are decreasing 
your ability to confront the enemy. That is a bad combination.
    Admiral Harris. It is not just North Korea.
    Senator Graham. In your theater.
    Admiral Harris. In my theater. It is globally.
    Senator Graham. What does North Korea want, General? Just 
survivability?
    General Scaparrotti. Sir, he wants to protect his regime, 
the Kim family regime. He wants to establish himself as a 
recognized nuclear state.
    Senator Graham. Okay.
    Admiral, would the TPP be helpful, if passed, in your 
region?
    Admiral Harris. It would be helpful to pass.
    Senator Graham. What if we failed to pass it?
    Admiral Harris. Then the countries in the region will 
question the seriousness of our commitment to the rebalance, 
one. Two, they will turn somewhere else.
    Senator Graham. Will that likely be China?
    Admiral Harris. It will be China.
    Senator Graham. Thank you, both, for your extraordinary 
careers. Thank you, both.
    Chairman McCain. [Presiding.] Senator Kaine?
    Senator Kaine. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Thanks to the witnesses. I appreciate this testimony much. 
Some of us are running back and forth to a Foreign Relations 
Committee hearing with Secretary Kerry, where many of the same 
issues are being discussed. We apologize for that.
    Admiral Harris, I enjoyed our visit in Halifax at the 
security conference there in November. One of the issues we 
talked about I know was raised by Senator King in a question 
when I was gone, but I think it was raised pretty briefly. He 
asked you whether you thought the United States should ratify 
the U.N. Convention on Law of the Sea [UNCLOS], and you said 
yes. I want to dig into that a little bit more.
    A lot of the testimony and discussion this morning has been 
about the Chinese island-building and other activities in the 
South China Sea. A lot of the testimony that is going on 
upstairs with Secretary Kerry is about the same thing.
    Admiral, you said a few minutes ago, and I quote, you were 
asked about China and what our posture is vis-a-vis China's 
activities. ``The goal is international rules and norms.'' I 
think that ought to be the goal.
    We should be an enforcer of international rules and norms, 
but I just find it fascinating that as much as we talk about 
the Chinese activities in the South China Sea that we are 
against, because they violate international rules and norms, we 
are the only major power in the world that has not ratified the 
U.N. Convention on Law of the Sea.
    Now, as a practical matter, in terms of our own activities, 
we act as if that is law. We act in accord with it. But our 
refusal--and it is a refusal, and it is a refusal by this body, 
the Senate, to ratify--means that we really lack standing to 
hold it up against the actions of anybody else and complain 
about their failure to follow the requirements of that 
convention.
    This is not only a matter with respect to China in the 
South China Sea. It is also increasingly becoming an issue with 
Russia in the Arctic.
    If you could, Admiral Harris, instead of just saying, ``I 
support it,'' talk to me a little bit about, from the security 
standpoint, the safety of the United States and the mission 
that we have in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, what would ratification 
of that U.N. convention do for the United States?
    Admiral Harris. Thanks, Senator, for the opportunity.
    Let me begin in response by saying that I have talked to 
quite a few folks who are opposed to UNCLOS, the United Nations 
Commission on Law of the Sea, and I have been informed by them, 
and I appreciate their position, and I understand the position. 
I do not agree with it, but I want to acknowledge that there 
are good reasons--there are reasons to oppose UNCLOS.
    My personal opinion is, first and foremost, UNCLOS gives us 
credibility. It gives us credibility in the international space 
that we lack today simply because we are not a signatory to 
UNCLOS.
    In a purely military sense, in a projection of power, 
whether we sign on to UNCLOS or not is not going to affect 
that. But I think, by not signing onto it, we lose the 
credibility for the very same thing that we are arguing for, 
which is following accepted rules and norms in the 
international arena.
    The United States is a beacon, and we are a beacon on a 
hill. But I think that light is brighter if we sign onto 
UNCLOS.
    We are going to find ourselves in this odd situation here 
in a few months if--if--the International Tribunal for the Law 
of the Sea agrees with the Philippines' position with regard to 
their claim against China's nine-dash line.
    We are going to find ourselves supporting that outcome and 
yet not be a signatory to it. That puts us in an awkward 
position vis-a-vis the other countries in the region.
    You raise Russia. Russia is going to reap the benefits of 
almost half of the Arctic Circle, because of this theory of 
extended continental shelf, which is afforded by UNCLOS. On the 
other hand, we are not going to reap those great benefits, 
because we are not a signatory to UNCLOS.
    I think it affects us in our commerce, in our trade, which 
is part of that rebalance. It is part of those four big spheres 
in the rebalance.
    Senator Kaine. The absence of ratification does not only 
deprive us of an argument against activities of others that we 
would argue are not lawful, but it also deprives us of some 
positive, upside benefits, for example, with respect to the 
extended continental shelf argument.
    Admiral Harris. Right. In my opinion, that is true.
    Senator Kaine. I have no further questions. Thank you, Mr. 
Chair.
    Senator Reed. [Presiding.] Thank you.
    On behalf of Chairman McCain, Senator Cotton, please?
    Senator Cotton. Thank you. I apologize for my absence. I 
have had presiding officer duty on the Senate floor.
    General Scaparrotti, that is the equivalent of staff duty 
for a junior officer at the regiment, if you are not aware.
    I want to address something specifically that you stated in 
your testimony on page 12. ``We will continue to work closely 
with the Republic of Korea to ensure it procures the 
appropriate types and numbers of critical munitions for the 
early phases of hostilities. Of note, the potential ban on 
cluster munitions could have a significant impact on our 
ability to defend the Republic of Korea.''
    Could you say a little bit more about that significant 
impact, General Scaparrotti?
    General Scaparrotti. Yes, sir. Thank you.
    There is presently a policy that in 2019 will go into 
effect that states, basically, the use of cluster munitions 
that have a dud rate of greater than 1 percent can no longer be 
a part of our inventory or be employed. I rely on cluster 
munitions in a very large way to affect operations, if we go to 
crisis on the peninsula.
    My concern is that we will not be able to replace those 
cluster munitions with proper munitions, or we will use unitary 
rounds, which, to have the same effect, I have to fire three to 
five rounds for each one of those cluster munitions.
    My point is that we need to work now to both develop 
munitions that are acceptable with less than 1 percent dud 
rate, so that we can replace them in due time. Until we do, I 
need to be able to use those cluster munitions that I have in 
storage now in the peninsula in the interim.
    Senator Cotton. Is the rationale for this policy a 
humanitarian concern, based on the nature of cluster munitions?
    General Scaparrotti. Yes, sir.
    Senator Cotton. Do you think it is more humanitarian to 
preserve these munitions in our arsenal and, hopefully, deter 
them or any other munitions from ever having to be used, or to 
remove them from the arsenal and perhaps increase the 
likelihood of a conflict in which thousands could die?
    General Scaparrotti. No, I think, particularly in this 
case, if we were not to use cluster munitions in a crisis on 
the peninsula, it will result in greater both military and 
civilian casualties in the long run, because extension of the 
campaign and also the effect it would have tactically on our 
forces.
    We have done some modeling on this. We have done some 
testing on it. I am quite confident of that opinion.
    Senator Cotton. Have your predecessors relied on these 
types of munitions going back to the 1950s?
    General Scaparrotti. We have used cluster munitions in the 
past. They are being used today. For instance, the Russians 
have used them in a devastating way in Ukraine.
    Senator Cotton. I have noticed.
    Admiral Harris, I would like to turn to your testimony on a 
related topic. Page 20, under the heading ``Critical 
Munitions,'' you state, ``Critical munitions shortfalls are a 
top priority and concern.''
    Do you mean to say there that you actually are facing 
actual shortfalls now in critical munitions?
    Admiral Harris. That is true, Senator. I have called for 
increased munitions. There is a shortfall in General 
Scaparrotti's arena. Part of that shortfall should be paid for 
by the Korean ally. That is a subject of discussions that we 
have with Korea.
    Senator Cotton. Not just in Korea, though, but theater-
wide, do you face this kind of shortfall?
    Admiral Harris. I do, but the focus of that part of my 
written testimony centered on Korea.
    Senator Cotton. Okay. In this kind of unclassified setting, 
is it something that you get into in more detail, about the 
kind of shortfalls you are facing?
    Admiral Harris. I prefer not to in this setting, but I 
would be happy to come back to you in a closed session to talk 
about it, or come to your office.
    Senator Cotton. I understand. We might submit questions for 
the record. I think it would be the height of irresponsibility 
for civilian and military leaders in this country not to, at a 
minimum, have sufficient munitions to fight and, hopefully, 
deter the wars that we might face. Whatever we might disagree 
about on longer term, large-ticket budget items, I think we 
need to have the rounds for our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and 
marines.
    Admiral Harris, I would like to turn to the United States-
Philippines alliance, something to which Senator McCain alluded 
about our Mutual Defense Treaty.
    CSIS has recommended that we should consider offering an 
explicit guarantee to the Philippines that the U.S. will 
respond under the Mutual Defense Treaty to an attack on the 
Philippines military in disputed water or territory. Do think 
this option should be considered?
    Admiral Harris. I think we should consider it, and we 
should have a discussion of it in the policy arena. Our 
obligations under the treaty with the Philippines is pretty 
clear. Whether we extend that to Second Thomas Shoal, which we 
do not hold as Philippines' sovereign territory, because we do 
not take a position on sovereignty, we should have that 
discussion, I believe.
    Senator Cotton. Thank you. I think we should have that 
discussion as well. I think deterrence works best when 
deterrence is clear, as with relationships that we have with 
NATO, Taiwan, and so forth.
    My time has expired.
    Senator Reed. Senator, if you would like to take additional 
time, because we have until Senator Blumenthal and Senator 
Sullivan return.
    Your timing is exquisite. Thank you, Senator Cotton.
    On behalf of Chairman McCain, let me recognize Senator 
Blumenthal, as he is seated. Thank you.
    Senator Blumenthal. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate 
your great work on behalf of our country and the work that you 
have done, particularly in the theaters that you have covered.
    General Scaparrotti, I want to come back to one of the 
points that was raised by my colleague, Senator Gillibrand, 
about soft targets, in terms of cyber. How vulnerable do you 
think those targets are in the area under your command?
    General Scaparrotti. I think, first of all, I am confident 
in our military systems, my command and control systems. We red 
team that. We exercise it. I think we have a good defense. But 
with promise cyber is, it is very dynamic. It changes every 
day, so it is something we have to stay focused on.
    I am concerned about, obviously, the civilian cyber network 
that we are all connected to and has an influence on us 
militarily as well in the peninsula. That requires ROK-United 
States work, and it requires ROK work with their civilian 
counterparts, as well.
    Senator Blumenthal. Is there, in your view, any action we 
could take with respect to North Korea that would deter their 
invasive action, such as we saw with Sony, such as we have seen 
and you see in your theater?
    General Scaparrotti. Yes, I believe there are some actions 
we could take. I would prefer to provide that to you in either 
a closed session or a classified document.
    Senator Blumenthal. I understand that point. Without 
speaking to them specifically, have you made recommendations 
about them? Do you think there is the prospect of imminent 
action that will widen and increase the effectiveness of what 
we are doing?
    General Scaparrotti. Well, in terms of the recommendations, 
we are actively discussing some operations, in terms of their 
effectiveness, et cetera. But that is presently just a part of 
planning.
    Senator Blumenthal. Admiral Harris, in terms of the 
submarine capability of this country, we face no shortage of 
challenges in the Asia-Pacific. Also, I think many of us have 
no doubt about the importance of submarines.
    I know that my colleague, Senator Ayotte, asked you about 
the sufficiency of the funding that we have in prospect.
    If you were to talk to the American public, how would you 
put it so that they could understand the importance of our 
submarine capability in the Asia-Pacific?
    General Scaparrotti. Senator, I would say that the 
submarine force has been our principal asymmetric advantage 
over all the adversaries we faced in the 100 years of the 
submarine service. It is such an asymmetric advantage that 
every country who can builds their own submarine force.
    Those countries that are building those submarine forces 
are building some very capable vessels. The Russians, the 
Chinese lead that effort. The Japanese make a great submarine.
    But I am concerned about the Russian and Chinese 
submarines, as they increase in their capability. The Russian 
submarine force, in my opinion, did not take a hiatus when the 
Cold War ended. Now we have the Dolgorukiy-class SSBN. Their 
newest ballistic missile submarine is now in their Far East 
fleet in the Pacific.
    The Chinese are building Jin-class SSBNs, which has the 
capability, if mated with the right missile, to threaten the 
entire United States.
    These are submarines that we have to, we must keep them at 
risk whenever they are underway and on patrol.
    I face a submarine shortage in the Pacific. My requirements 
are not being met, and that is a function of numbers and global 
demand. I get all that. But I am also worried about that delta, 
that shortfall between requirement and presence.
    Senator Blumenthal. Thank you.
    Thank you both. My time has expired.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Reed. Thank you very much.
    On behalf of Chairman McCain, Senator Tillis, please?
    Senator Tillis. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Gentlemen, I am sorry I was not here for a lot of the 
committee meeting. I have Judiciary and Veterans' Affairs going 
on at the same time. But thank you for coming before the 
committee, and thank you and your family for your service, and 
all the folks that back you up.
    I have a question that I hope it has not been asked, but it 
has to do with the buildup that we see in China.
    Admiral, when you and I had a briefing, you made the 
comment that we have a qualitative advantage, but quantity has 
a quality of its own. As China continues to expand either its 
geographic footprint or it continues to build ships and other 
assets, has there been any modeling or any focus on what it is 
going to take to continue to operate these things, in terms of 
fiscal sustainability? Is there anything in your analysis to 
say, at some point, you have to maintain them, you have to 
operate them, and with their financial woes? Is there is any 
thought on that or analysis being done?
    Admiral Harris. It is a great point, Senator. I have not 
done that analysis, nor have I seen analysis of China's fiscal 
sustainability of their military out beyond--pick a date, 2020, 
2025 or whatever.
    But what I have seen is an increased number of frontline-
capable ships, submarines, and aircraft well into the 2020s. I 
am worried about that.
    But I have not looked at their ability to fiscally sustain 
that force.
    Senator Tillis. Another point that you made that really 
struck me was the difference when you talk about our 
qualitative advantage. It is not only our technological and our 
power projection capability, but it also has to do with 
important things like survivability.
    We are clearly going to have to spend more and sometimes 
take longer to increase the assets that we have in the area, 
because of the premium that we place on force protection and 
survivability.
    I just think that is important for people to understand. We 
would never feel like, given China's priorities today, that we 
need to match them ship for ship. But we need to figure out 
when those ratios--I think your concern is that, even with our 
advantage, the ratios are getting to a point where you 
expressed some concern. Is that correct?
    Admiral Harris. It is correct. But I am less concerned 
about managing the Chinese ship for ship than I am matching 
them missile for missile. Their missile ranges far exceed ours 
ship to ship.
    Senator Tillis. That is a very good point.
    Admiral Harris. But I am pleased that in the 2017 budget, 
we are going to put some funding against improving our surface-
to-surface missile capability.
    Senator Tillis. Now, if I can flip it for a minute, we are 
viewing China as a kind of emerging threat or growing that in 
that area of the world. What sort of work can we do to identify 
instances, particularly as it relates to North Korea, to find 
partnerships and common interests? What kinds of things, either 
General Scaparrotti or Admiral Harris, are we working on that 
you think could potentially bear fruit?
    Admiral Harris. I have talked in public before about--there 
are more things that bind and link China with the United States 
than separate us. The things that separate us are not 
insignificant. But let me talk now about those things that we 
can do together in shared security spaces.
    We have a military consultative working group with China 
where we meet with them on a regular basis to discuss incidents 
at sea and in the air. We have our rules of behavior working 
group. We have all of these positive fora where we can engage 
in discussions with our Chinese counterparts.
    They are active globally in positive areas, and we should 
talk about those and commend them for it. They were involved in 
the removal of chemical weapons from Syria. They were involved 
in an evacuation of noncombatants from Yemen. They have been 
involved in counterpiracy operations off the Horn of Africa now 
for years. They are on the 22nd iteration of that. They had the 
largest number of ships off the west coast of Australia in the 
search for the missing Malaysian airliner.
    These are all positive things, and they are doing good 
things in that international space.
    It is just those provocative things that they are doing in 
Southeast Asia and the South China Sea, which raises tensions 
and provocations, which causes problems in that area that we 
have to work with them on.
    Senator Tillis. Thank you.
    In closing, two things. I suspect that my colleague here is 
going to bring up the 425. I would associate myself with any 
concerns that he may have with that. I will be sticking around 
for his questions. But I think it is also to continue to 
communicate back to us how the current budget request helps 
you, what the priorities should be, communicating those back to 
our office, and continue, I think, to pound the table to say, 
at all costs, avoid sequestration.
    I look forward to working with you, and thank you for your 
service.
    Senator Reed. On behalf of the chairman, Senator Sullivan, 
please?
    Senator Sullivan. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My colleague, 
Senator Tillis, is wise in terms of his ability to anticipate 
questions. I did want talk a little bit about some of the force 
posture.
    Admiral Harris, in your testimony, you talked about the 
tyranny of distance and the importance of forward station 
forces at high levels of readiness that can rapidly respond to 
a crisis in terms of a full range of military options. The 
President, when he announced the rebalance, which I think has 
broad support here on this committee, bipartisan support, he 
talked about no force reduction in the Asia-Pacific theater.
    Despite that, as you may be aware, and we talked about a 
little bit yesterday, the Army has decided to essentially get 
rid of the only airborne brigade combat team in the Asia-
Pacific, the 425, also the only Arctic trained and mountain 
trained. They are, certainly, a brigade combat team that brings 
a lot of onlies to the fight. Although it is an Army decision, 
it certainly impacts the two of you.
    I know, General Scaparrotti, you view the 425 as an 
important strategic reserve that can get to Korea within 7 
hours. We have a huge strategic lift capability coupled with 
the 425.
    Admiral Harris, you actually own those forces, in terms of 
operational command.
    General Milley, to his credit, has said he is going to take 
a look at this decision. He has actually put the decision on 
hold. I was up in Alaska with him. He was on a fact-finding 
mission just a couple days ago.
    If he were to reverse that decision, would you support his 
decision to do that, if he were? Both of you?
    General Scaparrotti. Yes, sir. I would. It brings a very 
specific set of capabilities to the theater, as you just 
stated. I would just say that General Milley, as you know, with 
the downsizing of our force, has to make a decision to take 
that someplace.
    With that comment, I would just say my personal opinion is 
that we need to reconsider the downsizing of the Army at this 
point, given the challenges that we have around the globe. We 
have a mismatch between the requirements and our strategy and 
the force that we have today.
    Senator Sullivan. I could not agree more with you on that, 
General.
    General Milley, again, to his credit, is looking hard at 
the tooth-to-tail ratio. If he has to cut anybody, the 
infantry, armor, tooth element of our forces--but I think your 
broader point on not drawing down the 425 is a really good one.
    Admiral Harris, do you have any thoughts on the?
    Admiral Harris. Sure, Senator. I will be the first to say 
it is much more fun to be an insatiable COCOM than it is to be 
a Service Chief, so I do not envy the position that General 
Milley or Admiral Richardson or any other Service Chiefs are 
in, as they have to make these difficult decisions.
    But I would say that our Nation has an insatiable desire 
for security, and rightfully so. I welcome General Milley's 
decision to reconsider the reduction of the 425 and that great 
capacity that is resident in Alaska. Now, these are follow-on 
surge forces that, without them, I do not know where we would 
be, if we had a major fight on the Korean Peninsula.
    Senator Sullivan. Thank you for that. I was just out at 
Fort Polk at the JRTC [Joint Readiness Training Center]. The 
425 is actually doing their month-long training out there. To 
watch close to 1,000 airborne soldiers drop out of the sky in 
the middle of the night on a forcible entry military exercise 
shows you what an awesome instrument of American power this 
unit is. I certainly think it is a strategic mistake for the 
country to be getting rid of them.
    Let me ask one final question, just switching gears here. 
CSIS, in their report--I know both of you have reviewed it--
recommended that we should consider offering an explicit 
guarantee to the Philippines that the United States will 
respond under the United States-Philippines Mutual Defense 
Treaty to an attack on the Philippines military in the disputed 
waters or territory.
    I think, to the President's credit, he did this with regard 
to one of the islands, with regard to our treaty obligations to 
Japan recently.
    Should this option be considered? What do you think the 
effect of such a declaration would be? What do you think the 
effect of the President's previous statement vis-a-vis Japan 
and our treaty obligations to Japan on one of the islands, what 
do you think the impact of that was?
    Admiral Harris. I am trying to decide which question to 
answer first. I will start backwards.
    I think the Secretary of Defense and the President's 
unequivocal declaration that the Senkaku Islands fall under the 
protections afforded by the mutual security treaty with Japan 
had a positive effect on the situation in the East China Sea.
    I responded to a question earlier about CSIS's 
recommendation about the Philippines.
    Senator Sullivan. I am sorry. I was----
    Admiral Harris. No, no.
    I believe that our obligations to the Philippines under 
that treaty, which every treaty is different, is clear, and I 
understand my obligations. I think we should consider it, for 
sure.
    We should consider clarifying our position on the 
Philippines marines that are on the Second Thomas Shoal. We 
have maintained as a Nation that Second Thomas Shoal, that 
territorial maritime dispute there, we do not take a position 
on that. We are going to have to study this and get into it. 
But I think it clearly should be considered.
    Senator Sullivan. Your first statement about the 
President's statement, you said you thought it was positive. 
Why? Why do you think so? What did it do?
    Admiral Harris. It sent a clear signal to China that we 
would defend the Senkakus just as we would defend Tokyo.
    Senator Sullivan. Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Reed. Thank you, Senator Sullivan.
    Admiral Harris, General Scaparrotti, on behalf of Chairman 
McCain, thank you for your testimony and your continued 
service.
    Again, on behalf of the chairman, let me adjourn the 
hearing. Thank you.
    [Whereupon, at 11:35 a.m., the hearing was adjourned.]

    [Questions for the record with answers supplied follow:]

              Questions Submitted by Senator Kelly Ayotte
                         nuclear proliferation
    Admiral Harris and General Scaparrotti: According to a recent 
report in the New York Times, some politicians in South Korea are 
calling for an indigenous nuclear weapons program due to the recent 
North Korean nuclear test.
    1. Senator Ayotte. What are your assessments of these reports?
    Admiral Harris. The United States is completely committed to the 
defense of South Korea and the ROK government is committed to the Non-
Proliferation Treaty. While some politicians may have personal views on 
the matter, these views do not represent the official position of the 
ROK government, and I have not received any indications during my 
engagements with ROK leadership that nuclearization is a consideration.
    General Scaparrotti. I do not believe these reports represent the 
senior leaders of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Government. I have not 
received any indications that nuclearization is under consideration by 
any of the ROK officials I am in contact with. The United States is 
completely committed to the defense of South Korea, and the ROK remains 
committed to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). 
President Park has rejected the need for nuclear weapons as recently as 
13 January 2016. Additionally, Minister of Defense Han Min-koo rejected 
the call for developing nuclear weapons, instead calling for a THAAD 
deployment. This was in response to the remarks by the ROK's Ruling 
Party Floor Leader regarding nuclear weapons.

    2. Senator Ayotte. Do you believe South Korea or any other ally in 
the region may decide to pursue a nuclear weapons capability in the 
near future?
    Admiral Harris. Our allies benefit from the conventional and 
nuclear deterrence provided by our significant military capabilities, 
and I have received no indications that our regional allies are 
dissatisfied with the U.S. commitment to extended deterrence.
    General Scaparrotti. [Deleted.]

    3. Senator Ayotte. Why do you believe the United States nuclear 
umbrella is not deemed sufficient by those calling for an indigenous 
nuclear weapons program in South Korea?
    Admiral Harris. The United States and our alliance with the ROK 
have effectively deterred major hostilities on the Korean peninsula for 
over 60 years. Although the U.S. nuclear umbrella is designed to help 
deter and prevent major hostilities it cannot, nor was it meant to, 
deter all possible provocations. The calls for an indigenous ROK 
nuclear weapons program are not unique to recent events. It is 
understandable that some South Koreans would become increasingly 
concerned as the DPRK continues to advance its nuclear weapons program, 
and as a result want to bolster their own sense of national security as 
a result of the ongoing posture of the DPRK.
    General Scaparrotti. [Deleted.]
                                 pacom
    4. Senator Ayotte. Do you have the right number of U.S. Army troops 
stationed in or rotating through the PACOM area of responsibility?
    Admiral Harris. USPACOM has adequacy in some areas but faces 
shortfalls in others, specifically in those capabilities considered 
``High Demand/Low Density (HD/LD)'' throughout the Army. The physical 
number of U.S. Army troops stationed in, or rotating through, the 
USPACOM AOR is sufficient for steady state (Phase 0) operations; 
however, if a contingency occurs we will need to rely on the 
availability of trained and ready CONUS-based Army forces that can 
respond quickly to a short- to no-notice crisis and supplement what we 
have postured in theater. This remains the area of operational risk 
that is most significant when considered against OPLAN requirements. 
For certain specific capabilities (see question #5 for examples), our 
planning has determined that additional presence on the Korean 
peninsula is required, either via permanent stationing or rotational 
(deployed) forces. Increased forward presence (permanent basing) in the 
PACOM AOR would reduce the Army's deployment to dwell ratios and 
significantly alleviate stress on the force. Additional prepositioning 
of Army-specific equipment and supplies will also serve as a combat 
multiplier in both contingency and crisis.

    5. Senator Ayotte. Admiral Harris: If not, what more do you need?
    Admiral Harris. [Deleted.]
                            patriot missiles
    6. Senator Ayotte. General Scaparrotti: Do all the Patriot 
batteries in South Korea feature the ``Configuration 3+'' upgrade?
    General Scaparrotti. No. There are eight (8) United States Patriot 
batteries stationed in South Korea and all eight are scheduled to 
receive the Configuration 3+ upgrades in fiscal year 2017. U.S. Patriot 
batteries in the PACOM region are the priority for fielding 
Configuration 3+ upgrades.

    7. Senator Ayotte. General Scaparrotti: What are the implications 
of not having this upgrade?
    General Scaparrotti. The operational implications of not fielding 
configuration 3+ upgrades to the U.S. PATRIOT force would be additional 
risk in our ability to defend the ROK. The 3+ upgrades would improve 
the lethality of the PATRIOT in defending against the NK BMD threats. 
Not upgrading current U.S. PATRIOT with configuration 3+ leaves our 
systems less capable against the advancing capabilities of the NK 
missile force.
    Significant improvements that Configuration 3+ provides the force 
include:
    1) Missile Segment Enhanced (MSE) interceptors. These provide 
extended range and increased lethality.
    2) Radar Digital Processor (RDP) upgrades. This upgrade to the 
Patriot system radar will replace obsolete components, increase radar 
reliability, increase long range TBM detection, optimizes the MSE 
interceptors.
    3) PDB 8 software and Modem Man-stations in the command control 
van. The software updates improve system reliability and maximize the 
MSE interceptor capability and RDP improvements.

    8. Senator Ayotte. General Scaparrotti: Do you recommend that 
Patriots in South Korea receive the ``Configuration 3+'' upgrade?
    General Scaparrotti. Yes. I recommend that United States Patriots 
in Korea remain the priority for 2017 fielding of the Configuration 3+ 
upgrades due to the imminent threat we face.
    Patriot is currently the only capability on peninsula that defends 
against the North Korean ballistic missile threat. In order to maximize 
the viability of this BMD capability, I recommend that the U.S. Patriot 
systems assigned to the KTO remain a priority for upgrades with 
Configuration 3+.
                               __________
               Questions Submitted by Senator Mike Rounds
                       pacom platform allocation
    9. Senator Rounds. Admiral Harris and General Scaparrotti, you 
stated during testimony that there were specific Intelligence, 
Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms that would aid PACOM's 
mission that have not been provided to you during the Department of 
Defense global force allocation process. Please provide detail on the 
types and numbers of these platforms. We are prepared to receive a 
classified response if necessary.
    Admiral Harris. [Deleted.]
    General Scaparrotti. [Deleted.]
                               __________
                Questions Submitted by Senator Ted Cruz
                              port visits
    10. Senator Cruz. I am concerned about the apparent unwillingness 
of the Administration to open United States ports to Taiwanese ships 
during the ROC Navy's transit across the Pacific for their Fleet of 
Friendship goodwill visit to destinations in Central America. Given 
that Taiwan and the United States have built a close partnership in 
maritime security cooperation, is there an alternative procedure DOD 
can suggest for solving the problem of resupplying their fleet during 
the transit? Looking beyond this issue, what do you see as next steps 
that the United States and Taiwan can take to strengthen maritime 
cooperation?
    Admiral Harris. [Deleted.]
                          thaad in south korea
    11. Senator Cruz. I am pleased to see progress on discussions with 
South Korea regarding THAAD. This is a crucial step to securing our 
ally and protecting U.S. troops deployed in the region. As you aware, 
China wasted no time in waging a propaganda war against this action, 
going so far as to blackmail South Korea with economic retaliation if 
THAAD were deployed. I am concerned that this Administration and the 
Department of Defense have not been vocal enough in countering China's 
deceptive claims on THAAD's capabilities, nor condemning their harsh 
treatment of South Korea. Moving forward, what concrete steps will DOD 
take to address China's behavior regarding THAAD?
    Admiral Harris. I will continue to engage the American public on 
this issue, and I will continue to clearly represent United States 
policy to the international community. While no decisions have yet been 
made on a deployment of THAAD to the Korean Peninsula, the United 
States will take the steps necessary to protect our Homeland and our 
treaty ally. In recent bilateral engagements with China's military, the 
United States has made clear that American defensive capabilities on 
the Peninsula are intended solely to defend the Republic of Korea and 
United States troops and citizens there, against the evolving North 
Korean threat. This capability includes defense against North Korean 
ballistic missiles. We have also made clear that THAAD in South Korea 
is not directed at China and is not intended to affect strategic 
stability with China.
    General Scaparrotti. USFK remains focused on bilateral engagement 
with the ROK regarding the deployment of THAAD to the Korean Peninsula 
to enhance our theater ballistic missile defense. Interactions with 
China are beyond USFK's authorities, and I respectfully defer your 
question to PACOM.
                            south china sea
    12. Senator Cruz. China began aggressively expanding their 
territorial claims and building illegitimate islands almost two and a 
half years ago. You indicated during the Armed Services hearing that 
you believe the United States should carry out freedom of navigation 
operations in the South China Sea. When did you first provide this 
professional military advice to the Administration?
    Admiral Harris. Prior to assuming command of USPACOM, I served as 
the Commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet from November 2013 to May 2015. 
During that time, I provided multiple maritime options for the USPACOM 
Commander including proposed freedom of navigation operations. The 
USPACOM Commander considered those options in conjunction with other 
options leveraging all elements of national power. I assumed command of 
USPACOM in May 2015. Since assuming command, I have provided my 
professional military advice to the Secretary of Defense concerning all 
matters relevant to U.S. strategic objectives in the Pacific Command 
area of operations. This advice included proposed freedom of navigation 
operations in the South China Sea as well as other operations, 
activities, and actions designed to convey our strategic message and 
influence the behavior of Chinese leaders.

    13. Senator Cruz. Why did PACOM fail to exert its right to 
navigational maneuver in the waters surrounding these man-made islands 
from 2012 until October 2015? In your professional military opinion, 
has the delayed response made it more difficult to roll back and 
counter China's narrative that the South China Sea ``belongs to 
China,'' as a Chinese Vice Admiral declared last September?
    Admiral Harris. Although USPACOM did not conduct Freedom of 
Navigation Operations (FONOPS) inside 12NM of disputed South China Sea 
features in 2013 or 2014, USPACOM continued to conduct a broad range of 
military operations in the South China Sea, which China claims in its 
entirety. These operations include numerous monthly FONOPS since 2011 
in the South China Sea outside 12NM of disputed features challenging 
excessive restrictions in Exclusive Economic Zones and airspace, a 
significant number of reconnaissance flights each month, frequent 
single and multiple ship patrols as part of our Pacific Presence 
Operations, and eight FONOPS inside 12NM of disputed South China Sea 
features in 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2016.
    I have always been a proponent of the United States flying, 
sailing, and operating wherever international law allows and have 
always supported a robust FONOPS program. The United States has not 
relinquished the South China Sea to China. We have maintained a 
consistent, open, and prominent presence that has successfully 
demonstrated our commitment to our allies and partners, as well as a 
commitment to security and stability in the region.
                               submarines
    14. Senator Cruz. Admiral Harris, you expressed concern during the 
Armed Services hearing that our capacity to deploy submarines is 
falling well below the requirements of our combatant commanders, 
specifically noting that submarines provide you with your ``principal 
asymmetric advantage.'' Please explain the impact of that deficit on 
future operations in an environment where China continues to increase 
their A2/AD capabilities and Russia continues their investment in 
undersea warfare. Given the current size of our submarine fleet and 
existing shipbuilding projections, are you concerned that the United 
States could be denied access anywhere in your PACOM area of 
responsibility in the next decade? If you were not resource or asset 
constrained, how many attack submarines would you desire in PACOM?
    Admiral Harris. [Deleted.]
                               __________
            Questions Submitted by Senator Claire McCaskill
                     us strategy and regional order
    15. Senator McCaskill. Admiral Harris, recently, we have been 
working with the Chinese to increase dialogue and confidence building 
measures, particularly as they relate to operations on the high seas 
and in the air. In 2014, the US, China and 25 other maritime nations 
implemented the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea which would 
monitor maritime behavior. However, despite some progress, China 
continues its coercive behavior in maritime disputes through island 
building in the South China Sea and provocations around the Senkaku 
Islands in the East China Sea. Are the Chinese deliberately ignoring 
these confidence building efforts or are they interpreting differently 
than the US?
    Admiral Harris. China does not want a war or military conflict with 
the United States, and they likely view confidence building measures as 
moderately useful in preventing the inadvertent escalation of maritime 
encounters. As do we. That said, China's national policy holds that the 
rocks, shoals, and reefs in the South China Sea are China's. This 
drives their behavior which includes ignoring international law as it 
applies to maritime law. Regarding confidence building measures 
themselves, China does not view confidence building measures as 
directly relevant to disputes in the East and South China Seas. In 
these disputes, China's interest is in portraying other countries' 
operations in Chinese-claimed waters as an infringement on China's 
rights, which justify a stern response, rather than an encounter 
between ships exercising equal rights. As a result, I believe China 
will employ confidence building measures only selectively in the East 
and South China Seas, and not in situations in which it believes these 
confidence building measures constrain it from pursuing its sovereignty 
objectives.
    All this said, the Chinese are actively implementing standards and 
rules of behavior agreed to in the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea 
and the Rules of Behavior for the Safety of Air and Maritime Encounters 
that were recently signed as bilateral confidence building measures. 
The United States and China meet three times a year; twice during 
Military Maritime Consultative Agreement working groups, and once at a 
plenary session that addresses operational safety concerns, 
effectiveness of confidence building measures, as well as identifying 
additional areas for improvement. I believe these confidence building 
agreements and meetings have been helpful in improving safe maritime 
encounters.
              chemical biological stockpile in north korea
    16. Senator McCaskill. General Scaparrotti, in your testimony you 
commented that North Korea has one of the largest chemical weapons 
stockpiles and biological weapons research programs in the world. The 
recent National Commission on the Future of the Army found that the 
Army is incurring ``unacceptable risk'' in our response capabilities as 
they relate to, among other areas, chemical, biological, radiological 
and nuclear (CBRN) response. Do you agree with the Commission's 
findings?
    General Scaparrotti. Yes. I concur with the Commission's findings. 
The Army's force structure and response capabilities for CBRN response 
have been in steady decline over the past decade or longer. The vast 
majority of our force flow to support our OPLAN, in the area of CBRN 
response, is heavily dependent on the Reserve component and is 
projected to arrive in theater much later in the fight than we have 
requested or require. In dealing with the massive WMD programs within 
North Korea, we simply lack the capacity to adequately address the 
scale of this problem set.

    17. Senator McCaskill. General Scaparrotti, do you have sufficient 
CBRN response capability to meet the requirements on the Korean 
Peninsula?
    General Scaparrotti. No. We do not have sufficient CBRN response 
capability to meet potential contingencies in the Korean Theater of 
Operations, due to a lack of sufficient passive and active CBRN Defense 
capabilities and personnel. We have shortages in the area of collective 
protection and insufficient capabilities in both aerial and ground 
based persistent biological sensors/surveillance; The Chemical and 
Biological Defense Program (CBDP) and the Joint Program Executive 
Officer--Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD) are currently 
working with us to address these issues. Additionally, we lack CBRN 
Specialists to manage/respond to a CBRN incident and execute the 
required post-incident decontamination.
                               __________
              Questions Submitted by Senator Joe Donnelly
                              hypersonics
    18. Senator Donnelly. Admiral Harris, do you see investment in 
hypersonic systems, including conventional prompt strike, as a priority 
for the future of our ability to deter aggression and defend our 
interests in the Pacific?
    Admiral Harris, Yes--investments in hypersonic weapons must be a 
priority to ensure our ability to deter aggression and defend our 
interests in the Pacific remain unchallenged. Hypersonic systems are a 
significant deterrent because they provide a non-nuclear option to 
provocation and the ability to rapidly project power to decisively 
defeat aggressors. Furthermore, hypersonic systems increase platform 
survivability and decrease operational employment risk in Anti-Access/
Area Denial environments.
                    anti-access/area denial (a2/ad)
    19. Senator Donnelly. Admiral Harris, General Scaparrotti, what 
advantages would flying 5th generation aircraft provide in the 
contested airspace over the Korean Peninsula?
    Admiral Harris. Fifth generation aircraft provide significant 
advantages in the contested airspace over the Korean Peninsula. Our 
fifth generation aircraft provide increased survivability and lethality 
in the A2/AD environment through enhanced systems and increased 
situational awareness. This said, due to the relative small number of 
fifth generation fighters that will be brought online by the Air Force, 
Navy, and Marine Corps in the next five years, I believe it is prudent 
to migrate some fifth generation capability and weapons to our existing 
large fourth generation fighter force.
    General Scaparrotti. [Deleted.]

    20. Senator Donnelly. Admiral Harris, General Scaparrotti, can you 
speak to the expected survivability of older and less protected 
airframes, such as Korean F-5s and US A-10s in the initial phases of a 
war in Korea?
    Admiral Harris. [Deleted.]
    General Scaparrotti. [Deleted.]

    21. Senator Donnelly. Admiral Harris, General Scaparrotti, what is 
your choice to go against threats such as MiG-29s and the plethora of 
short/long, stationery, transportable, radar and IR threats?
    Admiral Harris. Fifth generation fighters and hypersonics. The 
Pacific theater requires fifth generation fighters equipped with the 
payload and range that provides the air superiority necessary to win 
decisively against threats such as the MiG-29s. Fifth generation 
fighters are multi-role tactical aircraft with electronic warfare 
capabilities that can operate, and endure, in an Anti-Access / Area-
Denial (A2/AD) environment. Furthermore, it is essential that Pacific 
theater fighters are able to communicate with our regional allies such 
as: Australia, Japan, and South Korea who are procuring F-35 aircraft. 
Additionally, hypersonics are game changing technologies that enhance 
our ability to overcome the tyranny of distance, while providing the 
element of surprise. Hypersonics provide range at sea, and the air 
launch necessary for the freedom of maneuver of fleet operations. 
Hypersonics also give us the speed, survivability and time critical 
strike capability that allows our forces to strike at will.
    General Scaparrotti. [Deleted.]

    22. Senator Donnelly. Admiral Harris, General Scaparrotti, would we 
be able to gain air superiority over Korea faster or slower with F-35/
22s versus A-10s and even F-16s?
    Admiral Harris. We enjoy air superiority today against the North 
Korean Air Force with our F-22s, F-16s, F-15s and F/A-18s. We would 
gain air superiority faster with F-35/22s versus A-10s and F-16s. The 
superior technology of our fifth generation aircraft to provide 
situational awareness and counter-air capability, combined with our 
high level of pilot proficiency provide significant advantages against 
even the most advanced aircraft in North Korea, the MiG-29.
    General Scaparrotti. [Deleted.]

    23. Senator Donnelly. Admiral Harris, what do you see as the top 
A2/AD challenges we face in the Asia-Pacific region?
    Admiral Harris. The top three challenges are: (1) gaining and 
maintaining air and sea superiority, which requires ample submarines, 
fifth generation aircraft, and critical munitions; (2) defending space 
assets, to include communications, position, navigation and timing 
assets, and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) assets; 
and, (3) defending our assets through integrated ballistic and cruise 
missile defense and dispersal operations.

    24. Senator Donnelly. Admiral Harris, what particular programs do 
you see as vital to maintaining our ability to project power in the 
Asia-Pacific?
    Admiral Harris. In order to project power in the Asia-Pacific 
Theater, PACOM forces require capabilities that can operate and survive 
in an Anti-Access / Area-Denial (A2/AD) environment against China and 
Russia. Some specific programs required in the PACOM theater are: 
regional submarines, Fourth Generation Fighters with upgraded Fifth 
Generation capabilities and Fifth Generation aircraft; precision 
munitions (i.e. AIM-9X, AIM-120D, SM-6); Long Range Anti-ship Missile 
(LRASM); advanced Intelligence, Surveillance, and Recognizance (ISR) 
communications systems (i.e. Advanced Hawkeye E2D and P-8 Poseidon). 
Our forces require systems that diminish gaps in surface, air and 
subsurface areas.

    25. Senator Donnelly. Admiral Harris, General Scaparrotti, a key 
component of Chinese military strategy would be attacks on regional 
United States land bases, of which five are currently within range of 
China's land-attack cruise missiles. Given limited resources, what 
priority should be given to investments in base dispersion, base 
hardening, enhancing the ability to operate from further away, and 
enhancing CONUS-based global strike capabilities?
    Admiral Harris. Regional missile forces continue to evolve in both 
capability and capacity, resulting in growing levels of risk to forward 
U.S. Forces. High priority must be given to reducing risk via 
investments in both active (ballistic and cruise missile defense) and 
passive defense (distributed operations, hardening and seaport/airport 
repair) at our existing, planned, and possible expeditionary operating 
locations. Additionally, high priority must be assigned to the 
development of the robust distributed logistics support capability that 
is essential to enabling sustained combat operations from numerous ``at 
risk'' U.S. operating locations in the Western Pacific.
    General Scaparrotti. As USFK does not focus on Chinese deterrence 
and defense per the scope of your question, I respectfully defer this 
request to the key leaders of both Pacific Command and U.S. Strategic 
Commands. However, USFK is focused on maintaining a level of security 
for our installations based on current threat assessments. Every 
installation conducts regular training and vulnerability exercises 
designed to harden our force protection. Additionally, USFK planners 
have developed and regularly refine contingency plans to disperse key 
systems when threatened.
                               __________
             Questions Submitted by Senator Mazie K. Hirono
                      asia-pacific rebalance 2025
    26. Senator Hirono. Admiral Harris and General Scaparrotti, Last 
month, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) 
released the Asia-Pacific Rebalance 2025 Report. The SASC heard 
testimony on its findings earlier this month. An excerpt from the 
abridged report is as follows: ``Although the Obama administration 
issued a series of speeches and documents on the rebalance, the authors 
found that there remains no central U.S. Government document that 
describes the rebalance strategy and its associated elements. In 
interviews with leaders throughout the Department of Defense, in 
various U.S. agencies, on Capitol Hill, and across the Asia-Pacific, 
the study team heard consistent confusion about the rebalance strategy 
and concern about its implementation.'' Can you both please provide 
your thoughts on this? Do you agree that the United States does not 
have a clear strategy in the Pacific? What can you do in your capacity 
to support a clear and consistent strategy?
    Admiral Harris. [Deleted.]
    General Scaparrotti. I have a clear understanding behind the intent 
and objectives of the U.S. Rebalance, and am in regular dialogue with 
leaders throughout the Department of Defense and elsewhere in the U.S. 
Government to remain synchronized. Throughout my time in Command, I 
have regularly offered my best military advice to support the 
development and implementation of a clear and consistent strategy. The 
rebalance has played a role in the high priority allocation of 
resources to United States Forces Korea, as well as increased senior 
leader attention and time spent in Korea. This has been a key component 
to our success in Korea.
                                 pacom
    27. Senator Hirono. Admiral Harris, this past week it was announced 
that the contract award for the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack 
Radar System (JSTARS) program has been delayed by at least six months. 
How important is having the JSTARS capability in the Asia-Pacific 
region and are you concerned about the delays associated with the 
JSTARS recapitalization program? How does this impact your capabilities 
in Asia-Pacific?
    Admiral Harris. It is very important to maintain JSTARS capability 
in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, and potential delays in the JSTARS 
recapitalization concern me. The primary impact is a potential gap in 
the Battle Management Command and Control (BMC2)-Intelligence 
Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) capability to meet key strategic 
objectives. The current Air Force E-8C retirement plan would further 
reduce deployable capacity, impacting USPACOM access to forces. 
Advocacy is essential in retaining sufficient JSTARS capability to meet 
command requirements in the 2017-2028 timeframe, as there is no other 
alternative joint capability that provides an integrated BMC2-ISR 
capability of the E-8C.
                              eagle vision
    28. Senator Hirono. Admiral Harris, in your testimony you make 
mention of the fact that The Indo-Asia-Pacific is the world's most 
disaster-prone region. The United States plays a significant role in 
providing humanitarian assistance to countries that experience these 
hardships, and PACOM is a critical component of that aid. As the 
Commander of PACOM, can you please comment on the capabilities that the 
Eagle Vision system in providing assistance to those countries in need? 
As you know, the Hawaii Air National Guard is one of the few Air Guard 
units which hosts the system.
    Admiral Harris. Eagle Vision provides me with rapid access to broad 
area and multispectral imagery. It supports aircraft mission planning, 
mission target area visualization, intelligent assessment, map 
preparation, and other topographic applications in support of both 
warfighting or disaster response. Eagle Vision's most notable aspect is 
its ability to provide near real time imagery aiding command and 
control.
    These capabilities can enhance the ability of responders to focus 
limited assets on critical areas of need. Eagle Vision can be deployed 
to any location within the USPACOM AOR by C-130 or C-17. In the USPACOM 
AOR, Eagle Vision is currently used by the 293rd Combat Communications 
Squadron, Hawaii Air National Guard, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.
                               pacom aor
    29. Senator Hirono. Admiral Harris, given the downward pressures on 
budgets and other resource restrictions, we obviously can't have 
everything we need in terms of providing national security 
capabilities. As far as PACOM is concerned, if additional resources 
were made available what items would you recommend having in the PACOM 
AOR?
    Admiral Harris. I recommend additional investment in the 
advancement of critical munitions, additional submarines, fourth 
generation fighters with upgraded fifth generation capabilities and 
fifth generation fighters, and persistent Intelligence Surveillance 
Reconnaissance (ISR). Critical munition (i.e. AIM-9X, AIM-120, SM-6) 
shortages impact USPACOM's ability to conduct high end warfare in an 
Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) environment. The restricted ranges of 
our aging surface-to-surface and air-to-surface munitions now serve as 
the limiting factor in the effectiveness of advanced U.S. assets. Until 
munition ranges and effectiveness catch up to the capability of our 
advanced fighters, ships, and submarines the benefit of having such 
capable assets will be stymied. Additional submarines would assist in 
maintaining an asymmetric advantage against the current adversary 
submarine threats in the region and fifth generation aircraft have the 
capability that can operate and survive in an A2/AD. Persistent ISR is 
necessary to bolster Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD). Persistent ISR is 
necessary to find, fix, and target concealed and mobile missiles in the 
AOR.
                                 thaad
    30. Senator Hirono. General Scaparrotti, I understand that a 
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system is being considered 
for use against potential North Korean missile threats. Can you talk 
more about this weapon system and the capabilities that it would bring?
    General Scaparrotti. [Deleted.]
                        japan - korea relations
    31. Senator Hirono. General Scaparrotti, how would you currently 
assess the state of Japan-Korea defense cooperation including in the 
missile defense arena?
    General Scaparrotti. Although there are still lingering historical 
issues, the prospects for improved defense cooperation between Japan 
and Korea have increased. The North Korean threat has galvanized our 
partners on both sides and they have recognized that cooperation in the 
missile defense arena is paramount to national and regional security. 
Recent achievements like the 2014 Trilateral Information Sharing 
Arrangement and the U.S. ROK Japan Defense Trilateral Talks will 
continue to underpin trilateral relationships into the future. As 
evidence of these improving relations, there have been several Defense 
Trilateral Talks that have occurred in the wake of this year's DPRK 
nuclear and missile tests. I am cautiously optimistic both nations will 
continue to work together and strengthen our unified position against 
North Korea.
                        regional energy security
    32. Senator Hirono. Admiral Harris and General Scaparrotti, as you 
know, the Asia-Pacific region is home to some of the fastest growing--
and industrializing--economies in the world. As these economies grow 
and industrialize, they need to generate the energy needed to power 
their more modern economies. However, the Asia-Pacific region does not 
have substantial fossil fuel resources, and is already facing the 
challenges presented by air and water pollution, as well as the myriad 
other consequences of a rapidly changing climate. Furthermore, the 
distances within the PACOM AOR make energy transport and cost a 
vulnerability for our forces. The United States military's experiences 
in Iraq and Afghanistan are well documented examples of these 
difficulties. In your view, despite the currently record low price of 
oil, how much of a long-term vulnerability does competition for energy 
resources present in the region both for the relations between nations 
there as well as U.S. Forces in the AOR? What sort of pressures does 
this place on U.S. national security in the region, and what types of 
initiatives are you undertaking to help alleviate some of these 
concerns? What have been some of the outcomes of those efforts to date?
    Admiral Harris. Experts state that growth in trade of energy 
sources will be particularly large in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and 
almost all these energy sources will require movement through 
international waters. To ensure global growth and to meet our nation's 
security priorities, international sea lines of communication must 
remain secure. Security of international sea lanes is a cornerstone of 
Pacific Command's mission. We employ two broad efforts: enduring 
presence and working with allies and partners. Enduring presence of 
Pacific Command's forces enhances international maritime domain 
awareness and supports the free flow of international trade, to include 
energy supplies. Pacific Command works with allies and partners to 
improve and/or develop their domestic maritime security capabilities. 
In its first year of execution, the Department of Defense Maritime 
Security Initiative addresses improving partner nation capability and 
capacity to conduct maritime security and enforce their resource rights 
within their Exclusive Economic Zone. Additionally, Pacific Command 
works closely with partners across the Indo-Asia-Pacific region in our 
strategic approach to ensure energy requirements will never be an 
operational constraint. Part of Pacific Command's energy security 
program includes building resiliency in energy systems; increase allied 
and partner interoperability; and integrating energy security 
principles into operations, activities, and actions. Outcomes of these 
efforts include energy security dialogues with allies and partners; 
inclusion in steady state campaign plan, contingency plans, and 
exercise scenarios; and informing innovation requirements for basing 
and operational energy security innovation in order to improve mission 
assurance and extend operational reach.
    General Scaparrotti. The Republic of Korea (ROK) is a small nation 
without a significant endowment of natural resources. Thus, significant 
shifts in energy prices or supplies have a potentially significant 
impact on the ROK economy. However, energy competition does not play a 
large role in ROK national security decision-making, nor does the ROK 
appear to feel significant pressure. A robust nuclear energy 
capability, combined with the security provided by the United States-
ROK Alliance, helps to alleviate energy concerns. The United States can 
further contribute to ROK energy security as a source of oil, 
particularly with the recent lifting of the United States crude oil 
export ban.
    The ROK does not have international oil or gas pipelines; they rely 
exclusively on tanker shipments. The ROK is one of the world's top 
importers of liquefied natural gas (LNG), coal, and crude oil. They are 
the second largest importer of LNG mostly from the Middle East and 
Southeast Asia. They are the fourth largest importer of coal which 
comes from Australia and Southeast Asia. The ROK is the fifth largest 
importer of crude oil, mostly from the Middle East. The ROK imports 
about 97% of its total primary energy consumption, and much of it from 
the Middle East and through Southeast Asia. The security of key sea 
shipping lanes, especially in the South China Sea (SCS), is paramount. 
The ROK has a vested interest in maintaining freedom of navigation 
operations (FONOPS) in the SCS to ensure its energy security.


DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION FOR APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 
               2017 AND THE FUTURE YEARS DEFENSE PROGRAM

                              ----------                              


                        THURSDAY, MARCH 3, 2016

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

               POSTURE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:32 a.m. in Room 
SD-G50, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Senator John McCain 
(chairman) presiding.
    Committee members present: Senators McCain, Inhofe, 
Sessions, Wicker, Ayotte, Cotton, Rounds, Tillis, Sullivan, 
Lee, Reed, Nelson, Manchin, Shaheen, Gillibrand, Blumenthal, 
Donnelly, Hirono, Kaine, King, and Heinrich.

       OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR JOHN McCAIN, CHAIRMAN

    Chairman McCain. Good morning.
    The committee meets today to consider the posture of the 
Air Force in the context of our review and oversight of the 
fiscal year 2017 budget request. I welcome our witnesses, 
Secretary of the Air Force Deborah James and Chief of Staff of 
the Air Force General Mark Welsh.
    General Welsh, I understand this may be your last time you 
will appear before this committee. Thank you for not cheering. 
I just want to take this opportunity to express our gratitude 
to you and your family for 40 years of service and sacrifice in 
defense of our Nation and wish you every success in your future 
endeavors.
    Twenty-five years of continuous deployments, troubled 
acquisition programs, and frequent aircraft divestments have 
left us with the oldest and smallest Air Force in history. The 
combination of relentless operational tempo and misguided 
reductions in defense spending in recent years has depleted 
readiness. Today less than half of the Air Force fighter 
squadrons are fully combat mission ready, and the Air Force 
does not anticipate a return to full spectrum readiness for 
another decade.
    Meanwhile, potential adversaries are developing and 
fielding fifth generation fighters, advanced air defense 
systems, and sophisticated space, cyber, and electronic warfare 
capabilities that are rapidly shrinking America's military 
technological advantage and holding our aircraft at greater 
risk over greater distances.
    Despite temporary relief from the arbitrary spending caps 
imposed by the Budget Control Act, including through last 
year's Bipartisan Budget Act, we are still placing an 
unnecessary and dangerous burden on the backs of our airmen.
    Given the obvious needs of our Air Force to restore 
readiness, recapitalize our combat aircraft fleet, and invest 
in modernization, the President should have requested a defense 
budget that reflects the scale and scope of the national 
security threats we face and the growing demands they impose on 
our airmen.
    Instead, he chose to request the lowest level of defense 
spending authorized by last year's budget agreement and submit 
a defense budget that is actually less in real dollars than 
last year, despite the fact that operational requirements have 
grown.
    That leaves the Air Force $3.4 billion short of what the 
Air Force said last year it would need for fiscal year 2017. 
Given this budgetary shortfall, I am concerned the Air Force 
will not be able to meet the requirements outlined in the 2014 
QDR [Quadriennial Defense Review]: to simultaneously defeat an 
adversary while denying the objectives of another.
    The shortfall in this year's budget has forced the Air 
Force to make a number of painful and undesirable decisions. 
The most significant was to slow procurement of the F-35A by 45 
aircraft over the next five years. This budget-driven decision 
will likely increase the cost of this already costly aircraft, 
while exacerbating what defense experts call the modernization 
bow wave for other critical Air Force programs over the next 10 
years, which the Air Force admits it cannot afford at current 
funding levels. It also means it will take even longer for the 
Air Force to address the tactical fighter shortfall looming in 
the next decade.
    While we recognize the need for additional resources, this 
committee will continue to exercise rigorous oversight on Air 
Force acquisition programs, including the KC-46A tanker 
program, the presidential aircraft replacement, and the GPS 
Operational Control System, recently labeled the Air Force's 
``number one troubled program.'' If the Air Force, and the 
Department of Defense more broadly, wish to convince the 
American people that they need more taxpayer dollars, they must 
show they are efficiently and wisely using the resources they 
already have.
    In particular, questions persist about the validity of the 
F-35 program of record quantity. Just consider that 815 F-35A's 
have been deferred from delivery to the Air Force since 2002, 
and the Service's latest procurement profile now projects the 
last F-35A to be delivered in the year 2040. At a certain 
point, a 38-year acquisition program runs the risk of producing 
obsolescence, especially when our adversaries are accelerating 
technological developments to counter the F-35. I look forward 
to reviewing the Secretary of Defense's decisions on 
revalidation of the total F-35 program of record quantity, 
which is due to this committee by May 25th, 2016.
    The decision to further delay the F-35 procurement also 
underscores the folly of the Air Force's plan to retire the A-
10 fleet before a proven close air support replacement is 
fielded. Much fanfare has been made about the Air Force's 
decision not to divest A-10 aircraft in fiscal year 2018, but 
beginning in fiscal year 2018, the Air Force again plans to 
retire the entire A-10 fleet by 2021 with no replacement.
    As the Air Force proceeds with needed modernization, I 
recognize the need for a new bomber to replace our aging fleet 
of B-52, B-1, and B-2 aircraft. A long-range, penetrating 
strike capability is vital to deterring our enemies and 
reassuring our allies in increasingly contested environments in 
Europe and the Asia-Pacific.
    However, I remain seriously concerned about the acquisition 
strategy for the B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber, especially the 
use of a cost-plus contract for the development of this 
aircraft. I am still not convinced that this program will not 
repeat the failures of past acquisition programs such as the F-
35. I will carefully examine every legislative option to ensure 
that our Congress can fulfill our dual obligations to the 
American people, providing our warfighters with the necessary 
capability to defend this country and to do so at the lowest 
possible cost and shortest period of time.
    Similarly, ending the use of Russian rocket engines remains 
a top priority for this committee. Department leaders have 
correctly drawn attention to Russia's growing development of 
military capabilities to threaten U.S. national security in 
space. The greatest risk in this regard is that Vladimir Putin 
continues to hold our national security space launch capability 
in the palm of his hand through the Department's continued 
dependence on Russian rocket engines. This is a national 
security threat in addition to a moral outrage at a time when 
Russian forces continued to destabilize Ukraine, including 
nearly 500 attacks in the past week, as General Breedlove, the 
Commander of European Command, testified on Tuesday.
    The Treasury Department remains unwilling to sanction 
Roscosmos, the Russian parent company of the manufacturer of 
the RD-180, which is controlled by two sanctioned cronies of 
Vladimir Putin. This suggests a level of hypocrisy in U.S. 
sanctions policy that will only make it harder to convince our 
European allies to renew their own sanctions on Russia this 
summer.
    This committee wants to find a constructive solution to 
eliminate our dependence on Russian rocket engines immediately 
without compromising future competition, a goal that Secretary 
James said was possible in testimony in January.
    Finally, I want to express my continuing concern with the 
Air Force's mismanagement of its remotely piloted aircraft, or 
RPA [Remotely Piloted Aircraft], enterprise. The Air Force's 
MQ-1 and MQ-9 community remains undermanned and overworked. 
Yet, despite the Air Force's stated need for an additional 
3,000 RPA manpower authorizations, the Air Force's end strength 
remains the same as last year.
    While the Congress authorized greater retention bonuses for 
RPA pilots, the Air Force did not provide them out of a sense 
of ``fairness.'' After years of warnings that RPA pilots and 
maintainers are leaving in droves, this was a missed 
opportunity and a damaging mistake. I look forward to your 
explanation for this action.
    Senator Reed?

                 STATEMENT OF SENATOR JACK REED

    Senator Reed. Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Let 
me join you in welcoming Secretary James and General Welsh to 
the committee this morning to testify on the plans and programs 
of the Department of the Air Force for the fiscal year 2017 
annual authorization.
    We are grateful to both of you for your service to the 
Nation. Particularly, General Welsh, let me join the chairman 
in commending you for your outstanding service to the Nation 
and to the Air Force. You have led with vision and integrity. 
Thank you very much, sir.
    Over the past 15 years, the Air Force personnel and 
equipment have played a key role in support of our national 
security goals in Iraq, Afghanistan, and across the globe. Over 
this time, we have relied heavily on Air Force strike aircraft 
to take on important ground targets, Air Force manned aircraft 
and unmanned aerial vehicles to provide intelligence, 
surveillance, and reconnaissance support, and Air Force tankers 
and cargo aircraft to support coalition air operations.
    Our witnesses this morning face huge challenges as they 
strive to balance the need to support ongoing operations and 
sustain readiness with the need to modernize and keep the 
technological edge in the three domains of air, space, and 
cyberspace that are so critical to military success. The Air 
Force has produced a budget that, like all the Services, made 
tough decisions in a time of constrained resources.
    The Air Force is proposing significant force structure 
changes to ensure that it will have the right size and mix of 
assets and capabilities to meet strategic needs in a manner 
consistent with a constrained budget environment. The Air Force 
proposal includes major shifts in both strategic and tactical 
aircraft programs, with reductions shared among the Active Duty 
force, the Air National Guard, and the Air Force Reserve. Here 
are some examples.
    The Air Force is planning to retire the entire A-10 fighter 
force over the future years defense program as new F-35A Joint 
Strike Fighter aircraft replace them on a one-for-one basis. 
While there is a one-for-one replacement for aircraft and 
squadrons under the Air Force plan, it is not clear that the 
close air support capability of the modernized force will equal 
or exceed the close air support capability of the current 
force, and we would appreciate your thoughts, as the chairman 
has indicated. The disjunction between the deployment of F-35's 
and the proposed retirement of the A-10 raises that question, 
and it is a critical question.
    The Air Force continues its plan to eventually retire the 
entire U-2 fleet and keep the Global Hawk Block 30 remotely 
piloted aircraft fleet. In the meantime, the Air Force plans to 
develop and field capabilities for the Global Hawk that are 
intended to equal or exceed the capability of the U-2, as 
required by law. Again, I would appreciate an update on this 
particular issue.
    DOD [Department of Defense] has directed the Air Force to 
reduce the number of Predator and Reaper RPA, remotely piloted 
aircraft, Combat Air Patrols, CAPs. The previous goal was 65 
CAPs. The new goal will be 60 CAPs. This is to allow time for 
the Air Force personnel and logistics systems to catch up to 
the demand for RPA forces. Again, your views on how this is 
going to be accomplished would be actually critical.
    Finally, the Air Force wants to make significant reductions 
in certain high-demand/low-density forces, such as the AWACS 
[Airborn Warning and Control System], JSTARS [Joint 
Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System], and Compass Call 
fleets before they would be replaced by new systems and 
capabilities. We need to understand the risks involved and the 
gaps that would be produced in phasing one system out as other 
systems come aboard.
    Four years ago, Congress created a National Commission on 
the Structure of the Air Force to make recommendations on 
policy issues that are directly relevant to these force 
structure decisions. We look forward to receiving testimony 
from the Air Force on the progress being made to implement 
those recommendations.
    As the Air Force contemplates major force structure 
changes, we need to understand what if any effects these 
changes may have on the Air Force's ability to play a key role 
in implementing defense strategic guidance calling for a shift 
to refocus emphasis to the Asia-Pacific region, for one 
example. Again, I hope our witnesses today can give us this 
advice.
    You have, as the chairman has indicated, significant 
challenges in maintaining the acquisition programs with the new 
strike fighter. It is an expensive program, and again, I think 
it will be a focus not only of our questions but of your 
efforts over the next several months.
    I look forward to your testimony.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman McCain. Thank you.
    Welcome, Secretary James.

STATEMENT OF HONORABLE DEBORAH LEE JAMES, SECRETARY OF THE AIR 
                             FORCE

    Ms. James. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member Reed, 
and good morning to all the members of the committee.
    We have got a lot to talk about this morning, and General 
Welsh and I are very proud to be here to represent the Air 
Force.
    When we testified before you last year at our posture 
hearing, we outlined three priorities. Those are taking care of 
people, balancing readiness of today with the needs of 
modernization for tomorrow, and making every dollar count. I am 
here to tell you that those are the same priorities. They have 
not changed.
    But what has changed--and both the chairman and the ranking 
member have already touched upon this, that what has changed 
over the last few years are the threats and the challenges that 
are faced by our Nation around the world. Your Air Force is 
fully engaged in every region of the world, every mission area 
across the full spectrum of military operations. Put simply, we 
have never been busier on such a sustained global basis, at 
least not in the 35 years that I have been an observer on the 
scene.
    Now, General Welsh, is going to talk to you more about 
these areas, as well as many others under our priorities 
representing our budget in just a few minutes. But what I would 
like to do is use my precious time here before the committee to 
update on two key areas of interest, and both the ranking and 
the chairman touched upon these. Those two areas are the B-21 
bomber and space launch.
    Our nuclear enterprise is our number one mission priority, 
and the B-21 will be an essential piece of our Nation's nuclear 
backbone and, indeed, ditto for the conventional area as well. 
The B-21 will be a vital global precision attack platform that 
will give our country a deep, penetrating capability, enabling 
us to hold targets at risk anywhere on the globe and provide 
the President with flexible options in addressing future 
threats. Now that we are beyond the GAO [Government 
Accountability Office] protest period, we are moving forward 
with execution.
    Now, in terms of the B-21 acquisition, cost control is 
paramount. We have taken a careful look at lessons learned from 
previous acquisition programs. We have looked at those that 
have worked well, and we have looked at those that have not 
worked well. Experience tells us that there is no one-size-
fits-all when it comes to acquisition contracts and strategies 
because you see we have certainly examples of cost-plus 
failures, but there also have been cost-plus successes. 
Likewise, we have had some successes in fixed-price work, but 
there have also been some noteworthy failures in the fixed-
price development world to include the A-12, the Tri-Service 
standoff attack missile, the C-5, the future combat system, and 
the C-17.
    Now, some of these programs were canceled without delivery 
of any warfighting capabilities. Some had to sacrifice 
capability to stay within funding constraints. Some were 
restructured and significant additional funding was added to 
complete. Many of them, in addition, resulted in years of 
litigation.
    To help ensure that we now deliver the best value to the 
American taxpayer with the right quantities, the B-21 approach 
uses a mix of contract types to support the overall acquisition 
strategy, and this mix was specifically chosen to capitalize on 
the advantages of the different contract types while limiting 
the potential risks for cost growth and/or performance issues. 
Although the B-21 design incorporates mature and existing 
technology, we will be integrating those technologies on a 
never-before-built low-observable bomber. It is these two 
factors, the never-before-built bomber and the integration 
aspect that introduces risk into this development program, 
particularly when we get to integration and test phases.
    While some can draw comparisons between the B-21 and the 
KC-46, there are actually some very important differences. 
Unlike the KC-46, the B-21 is neither a commercial derivative 
aircraft, nor is it a commercial derivative design. Unlike the 
KC-46, the B-21 has no anticipated commercial or foreign sales 
market to offset any unexpected development costs.
    Now, after carefully considering these and other factors, 
the milestone decision authority determined a cost-plus 
incentive contract type was best for the development phase of 
the program.
    Now, of course, there have also been cost-plus failures. 
There is no question about that. F-22, B-2, F-35. They went way 
over cost and did not produce the performance on time. We are 
mindful about all of these examples, and we are also very 
mindful of the potential for cost growth. We believe that we 
have taken steps to address this.
    First, we had two independent cost estimates completed and 
we have funded to the higher estimate.
    Second, we have and will continue to ensure the 
requirements remain stable. By the way, the chief requirements 
control officer is sitting right next to me right now this 
morning.
    Third, we crafted an incentive structure that will reward 
cost and schedule performance during this cost-plus phase of 
the contract. We structured the majority of these incentives 
toward the back end of the cost-plus phase of the program, 
which means that the contractor will be incentivized to get to 
production as quickly as possible and as feasible and not drag 
it out in the cost-plus phase.
    Fourth, we are using those mature technologies I referenced 
to meet requirements and avoid developing key subsystems while 
also developing the aircraft. By the way, that combination was 
one of the things--one thing that went wrong in the B-2 
program.
    Now, all of these factors make us believe that we have a 
good approach and that we will control costs on this program. 
Technology maturation and risk reduction was fixed-price. The 
first five low-rate initial production options are fixed-price, 
and the remainder of the production will be fixed-price. The 
majority of this program will be fixed-price, but a portion, of 
course, is in the cost plus incentive arena.
    Let me now take a few moments just to update the committee 
on some elements with respect to space launch since we were 
last together in January.
    Now, during the January hearing on space launch, I 
testified that I too was disappointed that ULA [United Launch 
Alliance] had not been on the GPS-3 [Global Positioning System] 
competitive launch. I asked my team to go look at options for 
what could be done about this because, after all, the ELC is 
taxpayer dollars involved. My general counsel performed that 
review and coordinated the results with the OSD [Office of the 
Secretary of Defense] general counsel.
    The general counsel found that while certainly it is 
possible to terminate the contract, it is not probably the most 
cost-effective approach for the taxpayer. Given that ELC 
provides infrastructure, which is essential to the launches 
that are specific to the block buy, we would still have to pay 
for that service somehow, and we would end up probably paying a 
lot more than we are paying today. Breaking that contract and 
allocating those costs to each individual launch in the block 
buy would likely cost the taxpayer between $700 million and 
$800 million more.
    Now, that was the finding of my general counsel, together 
with the OSD [Office of the Secretary of Defense] general 
counsel. But I want to take one more step. I would like to get 
an independent legal review to see if there is some angle there 
that we are missing.
    Additionally, since the space hearing, the DOD engaged the 
Department of the Treasury regarding the status of sanctions as 
they pertain to the recent reorganization of Roscosmos and as 
the chairman noted the findings there.
    Meanwhile, we have continued our plan to transition away 
from the RD-180 rocket engine reliance, and in addition to the 
first 2 OTA [Other Transaction Authority] contracts that went 
to SpaceX and Orbital ATK, on February 29th we awarded two 
more. These two were to Aerojet Rocketdyne and to ULA. With 
these actions, we will have obligated all of the fiscal year 
2015 funding for rocket propulsion system work in a full and 
open competitive way per the law.
    Finally, we are still concluding and conducting an analysis 
on various allocation strategies, should allocation become 
necessary in the future. Preliminary analysis suggests that a 
transition to a combination of an allocation between the Delta 
and the Falcon launch service, on the other hand, would add 
anywhere from $1.5 billion to $5 billion in additional cost, 
depending on your assumptions and depending on when you would 
begin such a transition. The basic rule of thumb here is that 
the sooner a full RD-180 ban might start, the more disruptive 
it would be to the launch manifest and to the production 
timeline and the higher the cost would be.
    Now, none of this additional cost, whatever that cost ends 
up being, is currently contained within the Air Force program. 
As I just said, everything I just said is preliminary in 
nature. We are still trying to refine the details.
    As I wrap up, Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you and this 
committee for your leadership and support of the Bipartisan 
Budget Act. As you noted, it does not provide all of the 
resources that we felt we needed, but it is extremely important 
because it is much needed stability and predictability.
    While we are appreciative of this, we worry about the 
return of sequestration in fiscal year 2018 and beyond. You all 
remember in 2013, sequestration compelled us to park jets and 
delay upgrades and halt training, and that further exacerbated 
our readiness situation. If we return to it in fiscal year 
2018, we will be even worse off. It will touch our people, our 
modernization efforts, and our readiness. All of the programs 
that both the ranking and the chairman talked about in the 
beginning--all of these relate to money. We agree with these 
points. All of these points relate to money, and getting 
sequestration lifted permanently would be a fantastic start to 
helping the entirety of DOD in this arena.
    Thank you very much for your support of our Air Force and 
for our airmen, and we look forward to your questions.
    [The prepared statement of Ms. James and General Welsh 
follows:]
      
    
[GRAPHICS NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
    
      
    Chairman McCain. General Welsh?

STATEMENT OF GENERAL MARK A. WELSH III, USAF, CHIEF OF STAFF OF 
                         THE AIR FORCE

    General Welsh. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member 
Reed, and distinguished members of the committee. It is always 
a privilege to testify before you and to join Secretary James 
in representing America's airmen.
    As you heard from the Secretary, our top priorities remain 
taking care of people, balancing readiness and modernization, 
and making every dollar count. While we keep one eye on those 
priorities, we keep the other on our very interesting world. 
Along with you, we have been watching China flex its muscles in 
the South China Sea. We have watched as they dramatically 
increased the level of technical capability in their air force 
and expanded the scope and complexity of their operations in 
both space and cyberspace.
    After wreaking havoc in Georgia, Crimea, and the Ukraine, 
we see a resurgent Russia now aggressively supporting the Assad 
regime in the skies over Syria and promise to modernize its 
legacy nuclear forces.
    We noticed Iran's broad overt and covert influence on 
unrest in the Middle East and its general malign influence 
inside and outside the region.
    We watched with interest as North Korea conducted an 
illegal nuclear test and subsequent rocket launch, perhaps 
signal events for a ballistic missile program yet to come.
    We continue to watch ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] 
walk a trail of terror that now stretches well beyond Iraq and 
Syria.
    To confront these challenges and to ensure a fighting force 
that is able to overcome them all, our fiscal year 2017 budget 
request attempts to balance the size of our force with the 
required readiness and necessary modernization of that force.
    In terms of people, our fiscal year 2017 budget request 
modestly grows the total force and adds airmen in a number of 
critical career fields like ISR [Intelligence, Surveillance and 
Reconnaissance], cyber, maintenance, and battlefield airmen. We 
are asking to increase Active Duty end strength from roughly 
311,000 to 317,000 by the end of fiscal year 2017. Given our 
current operational tempo, it is imperative that we at least 
get to this number this year.
    If mission demands require additional growth in 2017, 
Secretary James is prepared to use her existing authorities to 
grow modestly beyond 317,000 provided we are able to attract 
the right talent for the positions we need. That would, of 
course, require congressional support of a reprogramming action 
to fund the additional manpower.
    In the Air Force, total force integration is alive and 
well. We continue to shift mission sets from the Active to 
Reserve components where appropriate and to integrate 
organizations when and where it makes sense. We have three 
Active Duty officers today commanding Reserve component wings, 
and this summer an Air Force Reserve officer will take over--
will take command--excuse me--of an Active Duty fighter wing 
and an Air National Guard officer will take command of an 
Active Duty mobility wing. We will also test a fully integrated 
air refueling wing beginning in fiscal year 2017.
    For fiscal year 2017, we have requested a 1.6 percent pay 
raise for both military and civilian airmen and targeted pay 
and retention bonuses for a variety of career fields, including 
RPA crews. Chairman, thanks to your help and the help of this 
committee, RPA and manned pilot incentives are finally at the 
same level, but we cannot stop there. This year, we chose to 
give our RPA pilots a $25,000 per year retention bonus and not 
the full $35,000 you authorized. We did that to make sure that 
the bonus for RPA pilots was commensurate with that of other 
critically manned pilot categories. We have some that are even 
in more crisis than RPAs at this point in time. We will intend 
to seek legislation this year to increase all of our aviator 
retention pay for manned and unmanned platforms to $35,000 per 
year. We will ensure you have all the details you need to 
assess that proposal.
    Finally, this year's budget expands the Sexual Assault 
Prevention and Response program, fully funds child care 
facilities, boosts educational benefits, and supports important 
infrastructure programs that benefit both airmen and their 
families.
    Readiness remains both an imperative and a struggle for us. 
Less than half of our combat units are fully prepared, as you 
heard, for a high-tech fight against a capable and well-
equipped force. This budget funds flying hours to the maximum 
executable level, invests fully in the corresponding 
sustainment accounts, and ensures our top end combat exercises 
like Red Flag and Green Flag remain vibrant.
    In consultation with our combatant commanders, we made some 
adjustments to address the global threats that I mentioned 
previously. We did rephase the A-10 and EC-130 divestitures. 
Both fleets are fully funded in fiscal year 2017. Keeping them 
beyond that is simply a manpower issue. We do not have enough 
people in the Air Force to continue to operate all the 
equipment we have today and to stand up a new fleet of F-35's. 
With additional manpower and funding to cover the activity, we 
could certainly do that, and I would be a very happy Air Chief 
if we got that increase. But today we do not have the manpower 
to do both.
    Our budget request also adds 24 MQ-9 Reapers and increases 
our munitions buy to meet operational demands.
    Our aircraft inventory is the oldest it has ever been, as 
the chairman started off mentioning, and our adversaries are 
closing the technology gap. We simply must modernize. This 
budget request includes ongoing investments in nuclear 
deterrence, space, and cyberspace. We are pressing ahead with 
legacy platform replacements, the F-35, KC-46, B-21, Combat 
Rescue Helicopter, and the JSTARS. Due to limited trade space, 
we had to defer five F-35's from our fiscal year 2017 program, 
delayed some upgrades to legacy weapon systems, and will 
continue to live with a dramatically reduced infrastructure 
improvement program.
    To maximize our buying power, we will streamline energy 
usage, we will employ airmen's cost-saving ideas by the 
hundreds, and we will march toward audit readiness by the end 
of this fiscal year.
    In closing, I would like to offer my thanks to each one of 
you for dedicating your time and your attention to our Military 
Services, not just our Air Force, and the remarkable men and 
women who give them all life.
    We look forward to your questions.
    Chairman McCain. Well, thank you very much.
    You know, the only problem, General, with your statement 
about the A-10 is you have no replacement for it, and it is in 
combat and in operation in Iraq and Syria as we speak. You want 
to retire it, but you have no plans, according to what has been 
submitted to this committee, as to the F-35's that will replace 
it. In fact, you have reduced the number of F-35's that we are 
requesting. It does not match up, General.
    General James. Chairman, the mission capability of the A-10 
will not be replaced by the F-35.
    Chairman McCain. We have a conflict going on in Iraq and 
Syria now, which the A-10 is in combat, most notable when they 
destroyed the fuel trucks, and you have nothing to replace it 
with.
    General James. Sir, we would do the work that the A-10 is 
doing today with the F-16 and the F-15E predominantly.
    Chairman McCain. Then why are you not doing it now?
    General James. We are, sir. They are flying many air 
sorties.
    Chairman McCain. You know, that again flies in the face of 
reality. The A-10's are flying the most effective and least 
costly missions in Iraq and Syria.
    General James. Chairman, we would love to keep it all. The 
fact is that the Budget Control Act----
    Chairman McCain. But you have nothing to replace it with, 
General. You have nothing to replace it with. Otherwise, you 
would be using the F-15's and the F-16's, which you have plenty 
of. But you are using the A-10 because it is the most effective 
weapon system. This is really unfortunately disingenuous. I 
mean, you have the options of using the F-15 and the F-16 right 
now. You are not. You are using the A-10.
    General James. Sir, we are using them both heavily. We are 
using the B-1 heavily.
    Chairman McCain. Every Air Force pilot that I know will 
tell you the most effective close air support system is the A-
10.
    General James. Senator, we have X amount of people and X 
amount of dollars.
    Chairman McCain. You have X amount of missions, and the A-
10 is carrying out those missions, General.
    General James. No, sir.
    Chairman McCain. That is amazing.
    General James. Senator, those are not the facts.
    Chairman McCain. Yes, they are the facts, General.
    General James. We can give you the numbers.
    Chairman McCain. They are the facts. The facts are on the 
ground in the destruction of the enemy by the A-10 aircraft. If 
you were not using the A-10, as you said, if you think the F-15 
and the F-16 can do the job, then you would be using them 
instead of the A-10.
    You know, General, I have had a little military experience 
myself, including in close air support. For you to sit there 
and tell me that we could be using the F-16 and the F-15 when 
we are not and your plans are to use the F-35 at 10 times the 
cost eventually, it flies in the face of not just my experience 
but the experienced pilots that I know, the U.S. Air Force 
pilots that I am in constant communication with.
    General James. Senator, my last comment. I do not want to 
argue this with you.
    Chairman McCain. You are arguing. You are arguing facts.
    General James. Senator, I will give you the facts of how 
many targets have been struck by which kind of platforms in 
Iraq and Syria over the last year.
    Chairman McCain. Yes, and a significant number of them have 
been done by the A-10. Is that true or false?
    General James. No. It is true.
    Chairman McCain. It is true? Then why would you want to 
retire the least expensive, most accurate close air support 
system?
    General James. I do not want to retire it, Senator. But the 
Air Force has to get bigger to do all this.
    Chairman McCain. But you have not got a replacement for it, 
General. For you to sit here and say that you do absolutely 
flies in the face of the facts. Enough said, General. Okay?
    General James. Okay, Chairman.
    Chairman McCain. You know, it is really embarrassing to 
hear you say something like that. When I talk to the people who 
are doing the flying, who are doing the combat, who say that 
the A-10 is by far the best close air support system we have--
it is embarrassing.
    General James. We all talk to them, Chairman. Thank you.
    Chairman McCain. Secretary James, on the rocket engine, 
which you chose to highlight, are you aware that there are 
members of--two members at least of Roscosmos who are on our 
sanctions list? You are aware of that.
    Ms. James. Yes.
    Chairman McCain. We have now two sanctioned cronies of 
Vladimir Putin who are getting X millions of dollars of 
taxpayers' money. Right?
    Ms. James. I do not know that to be true or false.
    Chairman McCain. Well, they are being paid. Are they being 
paid?
    Ms. James. I do not know.
    Chairman McCain. Is Roscosmos being paid? Do you know that?
    Ms. James. I got the decision from the Treasury Department 
vis-a-vis the sanctions----
    Chairman McCain. Do you know that Roscosmos is the Russian 
parent company of the manufacturer of the RD-180? Do you know 
that?
    Ms. James. I do not have access to who makes that money.
    Chairman McCain. It is public knowledge, Secretary James. 
It is public knowledge that the company is Roscosmos that is 
the company that is selling the--is a parent company of the 
manufacturer of the RD-180. You did not know that?
    Ms. James. Chairman, I would be happy to get the Treasury 
Department to come brief you.
    Chairman McCain. I am not asking for the Treasury 
Department. I am asking you if you know what is public 
knowledge. Do you know that it is public knowledge that 
Roscosmos is the parent company of the manufacturer of the RD-
180? Do you know that or not?
    Ms. James. I have not studied it in detail, but if you say 
so, I believe you.
    Chairman McCain. I am asking you if you know it not. This 
is really--you know, I have been to a lot of hearings in my 
time, but I have not quite seen one like this. I am asking you 
a question. Do you know that the Russian parent company of the 
manufacturer of the RD-180 is Roscosmos, of which two 
sanctioned cronies of Vladimir Putin control it? Do you or do 
you not know that?
    Ms. James. I accept your word. I know it.
    Chairman McCain. Thank you. I am astonished that you did 
not know it. I mean, after all, this is a pretty big deal that 
we have been talking about, and you chose to bring that up in 
this hearing, and you do not know that Roscosmos is the Russian 
parent company of the manufacturer of this rocket engine, which 
is controlled by two sanctioned cronies of Vladimir Putin. You 
did not know that?
    Ms. James. I brought up that the Treasury Department did 
not put the Roscosmos on the sanctions list, and you brought 
that up too, Chairman.
    Chairman McCain. That was not my question. My question was 
whether you knew that or not.
    Ms. James. Prior to you telling me this today, that 
individual aspect, no. But I accept your word and I know it 
now.
    Chairman McCain. I am not asking you to take my word. I am 
astonished that you did not know it.
    Senator Reed?
    Senator Reed. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    One of the points that you both made and I made in my 
statement was the decision by Secretary Carter to lower the 
number of combat air patrols for the remotely piloted aircraft 
from 60 to 65. My sense is that is a reflection of the stress 
on the whole enterprise, the number of pilots, et cetera. This 
is an asset that every commander needs more not less, as we 
hear every time we go overseas. Two questions follow from that.
    One is that in order to aid the enterprise, the training of 
the pilots, selection of pilots, who will fly these aircraft so 
we can get back up to the CAP levels of 65 or beyond, is there 
any legislative initiative that you need going forward, General 
Welsh and Secretary James? Do you want to start, General?
    General James. Senator, I do not believe there are. We are 
in the process now of doubling our production and our training 
pipeline between now and the end of fiscal year 2017. That is 
biggest and most significant first step. We have never trained 
more than 180 a year. We will train 334 this year and 384 
beginning next year. That is the beginning of the recovery in 
that enterprise and normalizing a battle written for the entire 
community. But I think we are on track to get that done.
    Senator Reed. Secretary James?
    Ms. James. I would concur. Not this year, but as we go 
forward, as you heard, we do want to modestly build up our end 
strength. There may be things coming down the pike next year.
    Senator Reed. General Welsh, we had a lively discussion in 
my office about--first, let me commend you on opening up the 
senior enlisted ranks to access to operators for Global Hawk, 
which you have done, which I think makes sense, and you can tap 
into some great expertise. The question, what about the 
Predator and Reaper communities? Those are still restricted to 
trained pilots and non-commissioned officers. Is there any plan 
to go look at the enlisted ranks to fill those slots?
    General James. Initially we want to get that community well 
first, complete our ``get well'' plan, get it healthy. It was 
not a problem moving--availability of officers who are enlisted 
to move through the pipeline. The problem was the training 
pipeline itself. We need to get that healthy first. We chose 
the Global Hawk community to initiate the enlisted RPA operator 
program because it is a smaller community. It can be more 
controlled initially. We can learn the lessons we need to learn 
as we do that, and then we will decide where we go from there.
    Senator Reed. Let me switch to another issue that I 
mentioned in my opening statement, and that is that we have 
some high-demand/low-density aircraft you are well aware of, 
JSTARS, AWACS, Compass Call. The plan again, because of 
pressure, is to retire these aircraft, and we are sort of in a 
similar dilemma as the A-10. We do not have an obvious 
replacement. Can you comment on that, General?
    General James. The strategy for those aircraft, JSTARS, EC-
130H, Compass Call, et cetera, is to try and modernize within 
our top line because we do not think there is more money 
coming. To do that, we have to take money out of our top line 
some way, and the way we have approached this is to look at 
downsizing to certain numbers of aircraft in those fleets to 
pay for the recapitalization program and just replace it on the 
fly. It means that short-term you have less capability in that 
mission area to support the combatant commanders with, but if 
we do not do this, long term we will have no capability in that 
mission area to support the combatant commanders.
    Senator Reed. You are going to use the internal budget 
issues to generate more improvements on existing aircraft or 
even build new aircraft.
    General James. That is our intent, sir. We can do that with 
any capability. It is not the ideal way to do it because you 
have to give up capability to get future capability. But we 
just do not think there is more money coming to support a 
development program.
    Senator Reed. Secretary James, one of the issues that is 
always attendant upon development of a new aircraft is not just 
the acquisition costs but the life cycle costs. Have you been 
looking at the B-21 in terms of life cycle costs? If you have, 
can you give an indication of how you are prepared to minimize 
those costs, since we are starting on this process right now 
with design and initial sort of production?
    Ms. James. I would like to, if I may, come back for the 
record or come back in a briefing format to give you some 
information on that, Senator Reed.
    Senator Reed. Thank you very much.
    Senator Reed. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Inhofe?
    Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    First of all, let me just say to the two of you I have been 
on this committee for 20 years, and I was on the House Armed 
Services Committee before that. I have found that the two of 
you are the most accessible of any Secretary and Chief that we 
have had in the past. I really do appreciate it. You have come 
out when we have called. I remember on very short notice, 
General Welsh calling you and asking if you would meet me in 
Fort Smith, Arkansas to look at a problem with the 188th wing 
there, and you were there. It was a little intimidating for me 
because I had to park my little Harmon Rocket next to your C-
20. But, nonetheless, we enjoyed that visit, all on short 
notice. I really do appreciate it.
    I want to use my time differently than the rest of them 
because it is very disturbing to me, when I watch the 
presidential debates and I hear people talking, nobody knows 
the level of threat that we are facing in this Nation right 
now. You know. Both of you know. But the people do not know 
that. That is what we should be talking about in terms of the 
resources that we have.
    When I read the statement that was made by our former 
Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, when he said, quote, 
American dominance on the seas, in the skies, and in space can 
no longer be taken for granted, you know people back in 
Oklahoma, when we say that, maybe it is not believable. But it 
is true. I think in your statement that you submitted, you said 
in different words the same thing. The era in which the United 
States could project military power without challenge has 
ended. I agree with that.
    The thing that that translates into is the other statement 
that you made the deteriorating military strength is an 
invitation for conflict. We all remember when we were looking 
at the big bomb and the threats that we were facing. Our 
feeling was at that time you have to have it, but you never 
want to use it. The best way not to use it is to have it. You 
have got to have that force.
    One of the things that was stated in your message when you 
said, quote, your Air Force will support the most urgent 
combatant commander request. When I read that, that means to me 
that we cannot meet all of the combatant commander requests, 
but just the most urgent ones. Do you want to define what an 
urgent one is, either one of you?
    General James. Senator, the decision on which combatant 
commander's request we actually prioritize is actually made 
through a joint process. The ultimate decision belongs to the 
Secretary of Defense. There is a debate that goes on or a 
requirement that is presented from a combatant commander to the 
Joint Staff. The services engage in the discussion. The Joint 
Chiefs engage, and the Secretary of Defense makes a decision 
based on what he sees to be the greatest priority.
    Senator Inhofe. Yes, but if we had the resources, would you 
not say that you would be meeting--attempting to meet most all 
of the requests that they have, not just the urgent ones.
    General James. Senator, all the services would like to meet 
all----
    Senator Inhofe. You were at Hill, I think, were you not, 
when you were flying during Desert Storm I think it was, 
probably F-16's I would guess.
    At that time, was the threat to the United States as great 
as it is today?
    General James. Sir, I think the greatest existential 
threat, the nuclear threat that Russia holds, was the same, but 
other than that, no.
    Senator Inhofe. Well, James Clapper and every witness we 
have had before this committee has said that we are facing the 
greatest threats today that we have ever faced. Some of them 
say not just in the last 40 years but in the history of this 
country. I believe that is true. That is what we need to be 
talking about.
    You mentioned a minute ago that we are trying to go up from 
310,000 to 317,000 Active Air Force. Is that correct?
    Ms. James. Yes. The Chief did mention that, Senator, and it 
is--actually I think it is 311,000 to 317,000 for the Active. 
You will recall about a year or so ago, we also increased our 
Guard and Reserve to about 3,000 additional. We are modestly 
now upsizing Active, Guard, and Reserve. As the Chief was 
saying, we think, given world demands and our reading of the 
situation, that there may be cause for even more provided that 
we can get the right talent.
    Senator Inhofe. Yes. That is really, Madam Secretary, the 
point I am trying to make here. At that time, if we had 300,000 
or so Guard--or currently Guard, we would be talking about a 
total force, including the Reserve component, of around 
600,000. I mean, round figures. At the time that you were 
flying those F-16's, at that time we actually had 134 combat-
coded fighter squadrons. Today we have 55.
    This is the point I am trying to get across because we know 
it in this room, but the Americans do not know it, that we have 
a greater threat and we have less than half of the capability 
in terms of numbers that we had at that time.
    Ms. James. We are approximately 200,000 people smaller than 
we were at the time of Desert Storm.
    Senator Inhofe. Yes, and that is the point I want to make, 
and I do not have time for that.
    But for the record, I would like to ask you if we had three 
top priorities, what would they be if we had the funding levels 
to support where we are deficient today. For the record. All 
right? Thank you.
    Ms. James. Thank you.
    Senator Inhofe. Oh, I meant to mention also I really 
appreciate your greatest asset being here too, Betty.
    Chairman McCain. Senator King?
    Senator King. First, I want to associate myself with the 
comments of Senator Inhofe. I think we are facing--all the 
testimony that has been in all the hearings, whether for me in 
Armed Services or in Intelligence, that we are facing a more 
diverse and serious threat environment than we have faced in 
any of our adult lives.
    I think the important point--and people often talk about 
defense budgets and do we need to modernize the nuclear fleet--
is that the most successful foreign policy initiative in terms 
of peacekeeping has been our deterrent. The fact that nuclear 
weapons have not been used since 1945 is a function of the 
reality of the fact that have a deterrent force. It is a 
paradox that in order to prevent war, you have to prepare for 
war. There is a danger, particularly I am concerned, as is 
Senator Kaine, that we have ceded our congressional power over 
war-making to the executive. I think that is something that we 
really need to discuss and focus upon. But the larger question 
is how do we maintain the peace, and the best way to do that 
paradoxically is to prepare for war. That is what we are 
talking about today.
    Let me ask some specific questions about the B-21. Is the 
fixed-price part of the contract fixed today? In other words, 
is there a price or is that to be set after the design phase? 
Madam Secretary?
    Ms. James. The price is related to what is called the APUC 
[Average Per Unit Cost]. If you think back, Secretary Gates in 
the year 2010 set a price point for what we now call the B-21. 
The fixed-price is fixed. It is fixed today.
    Senator King. It is a dollar amount?
    Ms. James. Yes.
    Senator King. It is so many millions of dollars per 
airplane.
    Ms. James. Yes.
    Senator King. As I understand it, 70 percent of the 
contract, roughly, is in this fixed-price component.
    Ms. James. Correct.
    Senator King. 30 percent is in the cost-plus component, 
which is engineering and design. The fixed-price part is fixed.
    Ms. James. We will make that price point--beat it actually, 
we hope, vis-a-vis what Secretary Gates set.
    Senator King. Could you explain as briefly as possible the 
incentive structure in the cost-plus part of the contract that 
is designed to mitigate the very real and I think legitimate 
concerns the chairman has articulated about cost-plus contracts 
generally?
    Ms. James. The basic approach involves having very specific 
performance milestones, having gates along the way during that 
cost-plus phase of the contract. Then there are incentives, 
meaning a fee that the contractor will earn, provided that they 
hit those milestones and do it correctly.
    Senator King. If they do not hit the milestones, if they do 
not hit the price milestones, if the cost-plus is too much on 
the plus side, they lose incentive fees.
    Ms. James. They lose the fee. They lose partly the fee or 
they can lose all of the fee under certain circumstances.
    Senator King. What we are really talking about here in 
contractual terms is risk. They are not willing to bear all the 
risk of new R&D, but we are not bearing all of it either 
because of the way the fee is structured.
    Ms. James. That is right. It is a shared risk situation, 
and the bulk of the incentives are geared toward the tail end 
of the EMD [Engineering Manufacturing and Development], which 
gives the contractor the incentive to go as quickly as possible 
and not drag out the cost-plus EMD portion, to get to 
production as quickly as is feasible.
    Senator King. Well, that gets to my next question. Senator 
Inhofe has a very powerful chart that talks about the length of 
time it takes to bring a new airplane to flight, and it was 
something like 23 years as opposed to a new automobile or a new 
commercial plane. Those three things, automobile, commercial 
plane, and military plane, used to be the same, roughly, time 
frame 30 years ago, and today there is this dramatic 
difference.
    Are we focused on time as well as price?
    Ms. James. We are focused on both, and we project the mid-
2020's would be the IOC [Initial Operating Capability] of this 
aircraft.
    Senator King. Well, I hope that there are structures in the 
contract too that strictly relate to this issue because, you 
know, the F-35 time was a real problem. I think Senator 
Inhofe's chart was 23 years now is the time to bring a new----
    Ms. James. There are, Senator.
    Senator King. One final quick point in terms of design. 
Because we are designing a structure, a platform, if you will, 
that will have a significant life, 20-30 years, I hope that the 
design concept includes--``easy'' is not the right word, but 
facilitates modularization and modernization without having to 
redesign the whole structure. I think that is very important. 
Otherwise, it is obsolete the day it takes to the air.
    Ms. James. You are right and it does.
    Senator King. Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Sessions?
    Senator Sessions. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    General Welsh, with regard to nuclear issues, as Senator 
King and Senator Donnelly, our ranking member on the Strategic 
Subcommittee, we have been dealing with these issues for many 
years. I think we have good bipartisan understanding of these 
issues. Deterrence is the key fundamentally to peace. It is 
important.
    Is it not true, however, that the Russians are aggressively 
pursuing nuclear advancement in making a number of--taking a 
number of steps to achieve that?
    General James. They are, Senator.
    Senator Sessions. Tell me about how you feel about it. 
Particularly within NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization], 
we have a dual aircraft that is capable of nuclear and 
conventional weapons. I understand that it is at least a week 
before that aircraft could be loaded and deployed to deliver a 
nuclear weapon. It seems to me that is the kind of signal that 
Russia might misread as not being alert and determined to use 
our nuclear capability if we have to. Do you think that is 
acceptable, and should we improve that delay time?
    General James. Senator, there are various levels of 
response time required by the NATO system. It depends on the 
qualification level of the crew, the current alert status of 
the crew, the NATO threat level that has been set at the time. 
Actually I think you can do it faster than a week. But this is 
something you have to pay attention to all the time.
    Senator Sessions. Well, I just think it is important for 
us, do you not, that we start our modernization program, get it 
moving to send a message to the entire world that we are not so 
shaken by the concept of nuclear weapons that we are not going 
to be prepared to defend ourselves if it happened. Do you think 
we need to be sure we are moving forward at a steady pace to 
maintain the nuclear arsenal, modernize it, make it more safe, 
but yet more effective if delivered?
    General James. Senator, I think one of the reasons we are 
facing this bow wave and recapitalizing the nuclear 
infrastructure is because we have not stayed on a steady pace 
with our investment in it over time. Now we are going to have 
to pay the price and prioritize our investment over the next 10 
to 15 years.
    Senator Sessions. Well, I think that is the conclusion of 
our subcommittee, absolutely. Over the last 20-30 years, we are 
the slowest nuclear power in the world to modernize and 
recapitalize our nuclear weapons system.
    With regard to this RD-180, Russian launch system, that 
goes into space, you have said this before, but I would like 
you to repeat it. Are you committed to transitioning off the 
Russian engine and to an American-made replacement as soon as 
feasible? Both of you can answer.
    Ms. James. Yes, absolutely.
    Senator Sessions. Well, Secretary James, how we do that 
could impact significantly cost. Is that right?
    Ms. James. Yes.
    Senator Sessions. Well, one figure you gave us, Madam 
Secretary, was $1.5 billion to $5 billion in cost. What was 
that?
    Ms. James. We agreed to do an analysis--and that analysis 
is still ongoing--of different possibilities of allocation 
strategies, one of which involves Delta on the one hand--so 
some of the launches going under Delta----
    Senator Sessions. That would be the Delta medium that is 
more expensive right now?
    Ms. James. That would be the Delta--I am looking around. I 
think is that the heavy? That would be the Delta heavy. Then 
there would be--the other side of the allocation would be the 
SpaceX variant. SpaceX would do the launches that it is 
certified to do, and the others would be done by the Delta.
    That approach would cost additional dollars to the Air 
Force budget, to the taxpayer, anywhere on the order of $1.5 
billion more to maybe as high as $5 billion more depending on 
when you would cut of the RD-180 and start this approach. There 
are various assumptions at play here, and we are still doing 
the analysis. Those figures are preliminary.
    Senator Sessions. Well, it is a bitter pill it is taking as 
long as it apparently is taking to replace the engine.
    However, I am concerned about cost, and I think that you 
have to be concerned. A billion dollars or $5 billion would 
impact your ability to do the things you have already been 
asked about, would they not, General Welsh? It would have to 
come out of your hide.
    General James. Senator, that is the problem right now. It 
is balancing this.
    Senator Sessions. Senator McCain and this committee is 
going to give vigorous oversight to that. But I think you 
cannot make foolish decisions and incur more cost than is 
reasonably necessary in this project. I really care about that.
    With regard to the long-range strike bomber, now named the 
B-21, we are talking about $550 million a copy I understand. 
That is half a billion dollars per plane. Just for a layperson, 
that seems like a lot. Are we missing something here in our 
entire process of procurement both in terms of how many years 
it takes to accomplish this and ending up with a cost this 
high? Or is there anyway to achieve the same quality and 
capability in a shorter time at less cost?
    Ms. James. Well, that figure that you quoted, the $550 
million, in fiscal year 2010 dollars is actually the price 
point that former Secretary Gates wrote into the acquisition 
strategy. Frequently in Defense, we do not pick a price point 
and then try to do the development and the procurement around 
that price point. The private sector does that all the time. 
Defense usually does not. This was a rather unusual program, 
and it was all about cost control. I know it is a lot of money, 
but it is a lot of capability for a lot of money.
    Senator Sessions. Well, thank you. My time has expired. 
Thank you very much for your service, both of you, and we will 
continue to work on these tough issues.
    Ms. James. Thank you.
    Senator Reed [presiding]. On behalf of Chairman McCain, 
Senator Heinrich.
    Senator Heinrich. Thank you very much.
    Secretary James, you mentioned at the beginning the focus 
on taking care of people. I still have very serious concerns 
that we are not adequately taking care of our RPA community, 
particularly our RPA pilots. I would certainly ask that the 
issue that Chairman McCain mentioned at the very beginning 
regarding bonuses be looked at again. You know, General Welsh, 
I know when we talked about this last year, the community was 
practically at the breaking point. As somebody who represents 
the Nation's premier RPA training mission in New Mexico, I am 
very pleased at the focus that has been put on this. I think 
that you, General Welsh and Secretary James, General Carlisle 
as well--we all very much appreciate the focus, but we have to 
do more because this is a very, very serious stressor and we 
are not seeing the relief that we need yet.
    You have heard from some of my colleagues concerns about 
this as well. I want to put a little different focus on it in 
regards to my question and focus specifically on the training 
element of the RPA [Remotely Piloted Aircraft] mission versus 
the operational challenges that we face right now.
    I want to ask what plans the Air Force has to invest in 
additional training facilities and infrastructure specifically 
at Holloman Air Force Base or at other locations to handle the 
increased workload that we see coming down the pipeline as a 
result of trying to fix some of these stresses.
    General James. Senator, this year in fiscal year 2017, the 
budget request asks for a little over $3 million to finish a 
GCS facility at Holloman so we can put the new Block 50 
cockpits in there when they arrive, also to house the current 
GCS so we get people out of trailers into a little more livable 
day-to-day environment.
    Next year we asked for more money because one of the things 
that has changed in our plan as a result of the ``get well'' 
plan is that the 6th reconnaissance squadron, which has been 
doing the training for the Predator crews, was scheduled to be 
divested. We are now going to keep that, transition it to MQ-
9's, build new facilities, equipment, and the infrastructure 
required to be able to train students in that squadron now. 
That will also be done at Holloman. I believe that is $43 
million here in the next couple years.
    Senator Heinrich. Fantastic. I think this focus is going to 
pay a lot of dividends down the road. I appreciate everything 
you are doing on this front.
    Secretary James, last year one of the things that I 
expressed concern about is the lack of modernization for our 
Air Force research laboratories. As you know, these labs play a 
critical role in developing and deploying next generation 
systems, improving acquisition program outcomes--we have spent 
a lot of time talking about that today--and in making sure that 
operational technical problems are solved in a reasonable time 
period.
    I am still highly concerned about this. I look at this 
budget and it invests heavily in modernization programs like 
the F-35, the B-21, but it seems to be continuing to 
shortchange the underlying infrastructure that develops the 
technologies that really set us apart from our adversaries in 
the world.
    What is the Air Force's plan to modernize its research 
laboratory infrastructure, specifically focused on things like 
MILCON [Military Construction] and increased flexibility for 
minor construction projects so that we have that infrastructure 
in place to support the kind of capabilities that we all know 
we need?
    Ms. James. Just a few points, if I may make, Senator. There 
are two Air Force-owned lab projects that are in the fiscal 
year 2017 budget, $13 million for a facility at Kirtland, which 
would be focusing on space vehicle research, and then there is 
a $75 million project for Eglin, and that would be focusing on 
advanced munitions and technology. Those are the two that are 
Air Force-owned labs that are in the budget.
    We also have dollars in the budget that will do the MIT-
Lincoln Lab approach. That is a different form of a lab. We are 
advancing the ball on that.
    But let me come back to your overall point, and that is the 
infrastructure spending across the Air Force. This was one of 
the reductions that we had to make, one of the tough choices, 
along with some of the modernization choices and the other 
things that we talked about earlier. Neither one of us--I think 
I speak for the Chief too. We are not satisfied with the level 
of funding there. We are essentially shortchanging a lot of 
different areas and a lot of different facilities, but that is, 
again, a budget situation. A BRAC [Base Realignment and 
Closure] would certainly help for us to be able to shed excess 
infrastructure and that way we could spend the dollars on those 
facilities that we really need for the future.
    Senator Heinrich. I wanted to raise this for my colleagues 
because I think we need to understand that there are some very 
difficult tradeoffs being made here. We are certainly not 
meeting the needs of basic infrastructure, and it is one of the 
things we need to focus on with regard to research and 
development and also with regard to things like our ranges, 
which just simply do not also get the MILCON investment that 
they need to support all of our services, not just the Air 
Force.
    Thank you all.
    Senator Reed. On behalf of Chairman McCain, Senator Cotton, 
please.
    Senator Cotton. Thank you.
    Earlier this week, I chaired a classified hearing of the 
Airland Subcommittee about the B-21. It was a very worthwhile 
hearing. One thing I noted in that hearing is no member asked 
about the need for the next generation bomber. They understood 
the strategic threats we face and the capability it delivers. 
Obviously, there are many issues that we cannot entertain here 
in this hearing.
    But one thing I would like to hear from both of our 
witnesses on the question we asked in that classified setting 
is why will the B-21 be different. We have ongoing issues with 
the F-35. We were supposed to have 620 F-22's. We got 187. We 
were supposed to have 80-something B-2's. We got 20. Many of 
those decisions go back decades. There is not much we can do 
about that now. But what is it about the way the contract for 
the B-21 has been structured and about this aircraft that gives 
us the confidence, given the vital need for the aircraft, that 
we will, at the end of the program, in fact, have 100 aircraft? 
General Welsh, if you would like to start.
    General James. Senator, for it to be different, we have to 
make it different, which is going to require attention from 
this minute forward under this program at every level of our 
Air Force and the right kind of oversight provided by everyone 
from the Congress to the Department of Defense to our folks in 
Air Force Materiel Command and our acquisition chain.
    The difference to date has been the collaborative effort 
with industry before we even sent a request for proposal out to 
industry was, at least in our experience, incredibly good. We 
identified needs and the cost curve before we wrote the 
requirements for the RFP [Request for Proposals]. We set a 
requirements baseline for this airplane 4-plus years ago and it 
has not changed at all. We have held very firm to that. As a 
result, the industry teams who were competing were able to get 
way ahead of the game in terms of looking at integration of 
sensors onto the platform, final design work, et cetera because 
they were not worried about us changing a requirement that 
would cause them to reshuffle all that work again at some point 
in their development process. I think that is why we saw the 
fact that the actual price that they came in within their bids 
was lower than what we had put on as a requirement of the 
system.
    We have to keep that same kind of communication, that same 
kind of dialogue going from now forward. We cannot take our eye 
off this ball or it will drift like everything else has. We 
just cannot let it.
    Senator Cotton. Secretary James, do you have anything to 
add?
    Ms. James. First of all, I certainly concur with everything 
that the Chief said.
    Back to the actual strategy, we tried to learn from both 
successes and failures of the past acquisition strategies. We 
are approaching this differently. He mentioned the importance 
of having stable requirements, and in order to change a 
requirement, it requires the Chief of Staff of the Air Force 
himself to sign off on such a thing. There have not been 
changes.
    We went and we got two independent cost estimates because 
the other thing that we learned from the past is having proper 
estimates that are realistic is really important. We budgeted 
to a higher independent cost estimate to provide enough margin 
in the program. Then we structured the contract in a hybrid 
fashion, some of which is cost plus incentive for a portion of 
the contract, and a lot of it is in the firm fixed-price world. 
The period of development, which is cost plus incentive, the 
incentives are specifically structured so that the contractor 
will be incentivized to meet milestones on time. If they do, 
they make their maximum fee. It is also backloaded such that 
the contractor is incentivized to get through the cost-plus 
portion into production and into the firm fixed-price as soon 
as feasible and not drag it out in the cost-plus arena.
    Then if I could ask the Chief to just say a few words 
because the other part of the question had to do with the need, 
the Nation's need for the bomber, and how it will be different, 
given the threats that we----
    Senator Cotton. My time is running short. As I said, there 
was uncommon consensus in the subcommittee hearing about the 
need for this next generation bomber.
    General Welsh, I want to turn my attention to a more 
immediate practical matter. I hear from Arkansans who are 
flying missions in the Middle East right now over Iraq and 
Syria that our aircraft are in some ways facing a maintenance 
crisis, that we have F-15E's that are either not able to take 
off or having to return early because of their age and because 
of maintenance issues. Could you say a little bit more about 
this situation?
    General James. Sir, our fleets of airplanes are getting 
old. All of them are, except the ones just coming off the line 
now. We have now six fleets of airplanes that are older than 50 
years old, and we have 23 I believe that are older than 25 
years. Supplies are getting tougher to find. Manufacturers are 
diminishing. Cost of maintenance is increasing. Our aircraft 
availability is going down in virtually every system we have. 
It is just a fact of life right now in the Air Force. It is why 
we have to modernize. The cost of day-to-day operations in our 
Air Force is going up because the fleets are old.
    Senator Cotton. Well, you can imagine what it is like to 
hear from Arkansans who are either flying these aircraft or 
whose children are flying these aircraft. On the one hand, they 
see cost overruns on the F-35. They see brand new F-15A's 
destined for Saudi Arabia sitting on the flight line at St. 
Louis, and then they see what happens to pilots when their 
aircraft goes down over territory controlled by the Islamic 
State. Are we putting the kind of resources we need to into 
this immediate problem of the maintenance and flight readiness 
of these aircraft that are being flown every day by America's 
sons and daughters over a brutal terrorist army?
    General James. Senator, we pay an awful lot of attention to 
maintenance of our airplanes before we put people in them to go 
fly. I think that is reflected in the actual maintenance rates 
and the lack of emergencies over enemy territory for the last 
25 years. Our maintenance teams are remarkable. They are 
stressed because they are undermanned. We have built up a 
35,000 person ISR enterprise over the last 10 years or so while 
we cut the Air Force 50,000 people overall, which is an 85,000 
person cut to the rest of the 330,000 mission area in the Air 
Force. We are thinned out everywhere. That is the manpower 
problem. There is no place we can go to grab people because we 
are undermanned everywhere. Our people are working their tails 
off. They are doing great work. I feel comfortable about the 
safety of our crews who are flying these airplanes, but keeping 
them safe is getting harder and harder and more and more 
expensive.
    Senator Cotton. Well, thank you. My time has expired. But I 
think it is incumbent upon us as a committee to do everything 
we can to make sure that we are getting you the resources and 
tools that you need on the front lines, even as we are looking 
to the next generation of capabilities as well. Thank you.
    Chairman McCain [presiding]. Senator Nelson?
    Senator Nelson. Mr. Chairman, welcome.
    General Welsh, thank you so much for your long and very 
distinguished record.
    I just want to raise two questions that, while I am doing a 
markup, I am sure the chairman raised. One is the Russian 
engine, the RD-180. Madam Secretary and General, is it your 
opinion that we would buy the RD-180 as little as possible in 
order to protect us against a gap that we would not have 
sufficient engines to have access to space?
    Ms. James. I certainly want to buy it as little as 
possible. You said the magic word, sir, and that is assured 
access to space, which is the top job that we all have.
    The other element was we were trying to get to a 
competitive environment so that two companies could actually 
have a reasonable competition and that would be a good thing 
for the taxpayer, the industrial base, and so on. We did feel 
that a little bit more flexibility in the number of engines 
would help get us through that competitive environment to the 
transition and to such point that we have a fully capable 
rocket, plus an engine manufactured in America that is 
integrated and certified. We think that is a little bit more 
time and a little bit more flexibility would be helpful.
    Senator Nelson. I will just conclude this by saying that we 
are concerned about a gap of potentially three or four years 
where the only way to get to space is we could not go on the 
Falcon 9 because it does not have the lift capability of 
getting some of those payloads to orbit and would have to go on 
the Delta IV. But there you are talking about a much more 
expensive launch than the Atlas V, which could put those 
payloads to orbit. Is that correct?
    Ms. James. That is correct. Essentially it boils down to 
money. If you were to cut off the use of the RD-180's, 
depending on assumptions, the manifest would have to be changed 
and things would perhaps get delayed to a degree. But this is 
where I referenced that our analysis is still ongoing.
    Senator Nelson. Okay. I think we all want to get to the 
same place, and the bottom line is assured access to space.
    Ms. James. Right.
    Senator Nelson. Let me go over to the B-21. In this 
contract, we have got production at the end, and we have got 
development now. Because of the good work by the chairman on 
previous contracts, namely the tanker, and his concerns about 
the overruns, the chairman is quite concerned about is this a 
cost-plus on the development side. But you all, obviously, 
having been very sensitized to the fact of overruns in the 
past, indeed, as the chairman has pointed out, on the F-35, you 
wanted to make this as tight as you could going out on an RFP. 
In that development stage, you actually have about five units 
that are going to be basically at fixed-price. Is that correct?
    Ms. James. The contract that was let some months ago is for 
engineering, manufacturing, and development, and then it is 
also for the production phase, the LRIP [Low Rate Initial 
Production], what is called LRIP, the low rate initial 
production phase, and that will deliver to us a certain number 
of aircraft, 21, if memory serves me correctly.
    Senator Nelson. General, do you want to add anything to 
that?
    General James. No, Senator. Those aircraft are at a fixed 
cost after that, the first five production lines.
    Senator Nelson. I must admit in the classified briefings 
that we have had and that this Senator has had personally, I, 
knowing the sensitivity of the chairman, have hammered on this 
over and over with regard to watching the cost. I have been 
impressed with the Air Force doing everything that you can 
possibly do on a contract of this magnitude to make sure that 
you rein in those costs. It is our job to have the oversight 
and to make sure that you are doing the job. I want to commend 
you for what you have done thus far.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Ayotte?
    Senator Ayotte. I want to thank the chairman.
    I want to thank both of you for your service to the country 
and your families as well. Appreciate it.
    I would like to ask you, Secretary James, about the Haven 
Well situation in Portsmouth that you and I have talked about, 
the PFC [Perfluorinated compound] contamination of the 
groundwater in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This is something 
that I just have a couple of questions on.
    The Air Force submitted a report last September and found 
that as of September 15th, there were thousands of 
servicemembers, both Active Duty and Guard, as well as 
civilians, that may have been exposed to the PFCs there. I just 
wanted to get the update on what the plan is to contact those 
individuals.
    Then as a follow-up on this, the City of Portsmouth also 
just submitted recently a proposal to the Air Force on how to 
clean up the contamination at Pease. I understand that was 
submitted three weeks ago. I would like just to get a sense of 
when you expect the Air Force to respond to the City of 
Portsmouth. Obviously, I hope you will be transparent and 
responsive.
    Ms. James. On the second point, Senator, I am going to have 
to go back and check with our Assistant Secretary for I&E just 
to see where that proposal stands. I have not seen that 
proposal myself.
    Senator Ayotte. If you can submit just when you expect to 
respond for the record, that would be helpful. Thank you.
    Ms. James. I will do that.
    You are right. You and I have talked about this. Sometimes 
as we as a country and as a military, in our efforts to protect 
people, sometimes communities get contaminated to a certain 
degree. We regret it and we stand by it, and we are prepared to 
take the right action and clean it up.
    We have notified airmen, including former airmen, of what 
has happened so that they are aware of it, and that occurred, 
if I recall correctly, by mid-December. That happened some time 
ago. We are going to clean the water.
    We are also working with the CDC [Centers for Disease 
Control] on the matter of developing a plan for health 
monitoring. They have the lead, but we are working with them.
    Senator Ayotte. Excellent. I would just urge you with 
Portsmouth submitting the proposal, that you work very closely 
with the city and in a transparent manner so that we can really 
get this cleaned up and also get treatment or support for 
anyone who has been affected. I appreciate that. Thank you.
    General Welsh, I would like to ask you when do you expect 
the SDB-2 to achieve a demonstrated full mission capability for 
the F-35A.
    General James. Senator, I will have to get the date. I do 
not know that off the top of my head.
    Senator Ayotte. I think we have, in some documents, heard 
from your staff that it is not going to be before 2022, but if 
you can get me the exact date, I would appreciate it. Thank 
you.
    Senator Ayotte. I would also like to ask you--I know that 
Senator McCain had asked you some questions about the A-10. How 
many A-10's will be grounded in fiscal year 2018 due to 
unserviceable wings and also how many in 2019?
    General James. Senator, our intent would be for none of 
them to be grounded for unserviceable wings. A-10's that are in 
the fleet we need to keep flying.
    Senator Ayotte. Excellent. I am glad to hear that.
    As I understand it, there needs to be some work done on the 
A-10 wings. Does the Air Force plan to submit a reprogramming 
request to ensure that that support is there? Because I 
understand there is going to need to be some work done or some 
enhanced wing assemblies.
    General James. Senator, my understanding of this is that we 
have the funding and the wings necessary for fiscal year 2017, 
and we have a decision point during this year that we will 
reach where we have to make a decision on acquiring them in 
2018 and beyond. If that is not accurate, I will get you the 
right answer shortly after this hearing.
    Senator Ayotte. Well, one thing I understand is that there 
are 110 more wings that are needed. Am I hearing you say today 
that you are committed to ensuring that these wings are 
repaired and that they remain, obviously, operational so that 
we can continue to use the A-10 as it is doing, as I understand 
Ash Carter, the Secretary, has recently said, a great job in 
the fight against ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria]?
    General James. Senator, they are doing a great job in the 
fight against ISIS and everywhere else we use them. Anything 
that we have in our inventory that needs modifications to stay 
safe and effective, our intent is to continue to do that.
    Senator Ayotte. Okay. I appreciate that.
    I also want to ask about what is happening in the boneyard 
right now with the A-10. As I understand it from information my 
office has gotten, in 2014 the Air Force scrapped or destroyed 
about 44 A-10's, and even beyond that, as I understand it, in 
2015 as well, there were a number of A-10's scrapped, to a 
total of 82 A-10's scrapped in the boneyard. The cost to 
destroy one of these A-10's is, as I understand it, $15,500 per 
A-10. One thing I am concerned about, as we have the A-10's out 
fighting the battle against ISIS, we have the Air Force 
spending about $1.3 million in the last 2 and a half years 
destroying A-10's. Are there no parts on those aircraft that 
were destroyed that could have been used to support the A-10's 
that are being deployed now? Is that not why we keep--one of 
the reasons we keep them in the boneyard?
    General James. Senator, the word ``destroy''--I have to 
define that. I do not know what that means. I do not know if 
that means they disassembled them and took parts of the 
airplane to use as spare parts, which would be normal. I do not 
know the facts on this case, Senator. I will find out for you.
    Senator Ayotte. Well, I hope you would because, as I 
understand it, we have been told that there are plans to 
destroy a total of 79 A-10's this and next fiscal year. What I 
would like to understand is if we are destroying these A-10's, 
is this being done prematurely, number one, given obviously the 
concerns we have about the close air support capacity and also 
the concerns that we ensure that we are getting the right parts 
to keep our flying A-10 fleet in really full maintenance 
operational capacity? Can we make sure that we get an answer to 
that?
    General James. Yes, ma'am. We will get you an answer for 
that. There is certainly no intent to not have flying airplanes 
fully serviced with spare parts. I doubt very seriously if 
anything is going on that is causing that to happen. But I will 
get you the facts. I just do not know.
    Senator Ayotte. Well, I appreciate it. I appreciate the 
follow-up on both the wing issue, which is critical to make 
sure that our A-10's keep flying and also on the boneyard 
issue. Thank you, General.
    Chairman McCain [presiding]. Senator Kaine?
    Senator Kaine. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Thanks to both of you, Secretary James, General Welsh. It 
is always good to have you here.
    I want to ask about two things: budget and Air Force sort 
of strategic thinking about unmanned platforms. On the budget 
first.
    In your testimony, you talked a bit and offered I think 
appropriate thanks to our chair and ranking member on the two 
year budget deal that we struck in October and the 
appropriations bill that we followed up with in December.
    We have now done two two year budgets in a row. Painful 
getting to both of them. But to me the two year budget deals 
sort of have three strong pluses.
    One, two years gives you more certainty than one year. I 
think certainty is good.
    Second, in the two year budget deals, we have treated the 
BCA caps as a discipline but not as straitjacket. It is sort of 
a starting point, but in each of the two year budget deals, 
Murray-Ryan in December 2013 and then the deal in October, we 
used the caps as a starting point, but we adjusted off them to 
take account of current realities.
    The third positive about this deal in my view was that it 
expressed a preference for base funding over OCO [Overseas 
Contingency Operations] funding, and it was something I think 
everybody on this committee wanted to get to. There is a role 
for OCO, but we should not use OCO generally just as a way to 
end run the caps. We should try to, again, provide more 
predictability by putting funds in the base when we can.
    There is a little bit of discussion going on up here now. I 
am on the Budget Committee too. More of it is on the House side 
than the Senate side about whether we should undo the second 
year of the two year budget deal and just revisit it and maybe 
do something different. I strongly opposed that on the theory 
that two year budget deals are providing certainty and why 
would we want to now kind of throw that up in the air and 
inject more uncertainty in the situation.
    Would you agree that a two year deal provides a certainty 
that is helpful to you and, if at all possible, we should kind 
of try to stick with it?
    Ms. James. I certainly agree that having certainty is an 
excellent thing and the two year budget deal does give us that 
certainty. Not so much from my military work but from my 
professional staff member work when I was on the House Armed 
Services Committee, I would tend to agree. If you do that to 
the deal, if you open the deal, it might open up a hornets' 
nest. But again, I say that from my past experience.
    As you heard both General Welsh and I note, and many of the 
members have noted, there are all these programs that people 
are concerned about. We are concerned about them too. We 
certainly could use more money. But I as an American citizen 
would not want to see the deal reopened and then everything go 
poorly as a result and lurch toward a government shutdown and 
things of that nature. Stability is pretty key.
    Senator Kaine. General Welsh, additional comments?
    General James. Senator, all the concerns about the makeup 
of the budget plan we share, but stability is a wonderful thing 
actually, especially in the environment within the last few 
years.
    Senator Kaine. It seems to me maybe we have kind of 
blundered into--I am not sure we have gotten there completely 
intentionally, but we have blundered into a positive where you 
do a two year budget deal, then a 1-year appropriations deal. 
The two year budget provides some general certainty, and when 
you get the first year appropriations bill done, that gives you 
some predictability, but it also gives you the ability in year 
two to alter the appropriations line items to take account of 
some reality. You get some in-the-ballpark certainty with the 
ability to kind of true things up in the second year. It is my 
hope that we stick with the two year deal and do not do another 
one.
    I want to ask you about unmanned platforms and really 
bigger picture kind of strategically how you approach it. I was 
reading last month a series of articles about the CBARS of the 
Navy. It is carrier-based aerial refueling system tanker that 
they are working on that I think the committee has supported. 
It kind of made me wonder within the Air Force how doctrinally 
do you approach the analysis of platforms to determine this 
could be profitable to go, an unmanned direction. These would 
be platforms we would never want to go unmanned. All my 
military LAs [Legislative Liasons] have always been people who 
have flown things, and so I am all into pilots. But I am just 
kind of curious about how you approach this question for your 
future investment about what can be done unmanned and what 
necessarily needs an onboard crew.
    General James. Senator, I think we start with where does 
having an unmanned platform in some way, shape, or form make 
the mission either more cost-effective or more successful. An 
example initially was ISR [Intelligence Surveillance 
Reconnaissance]. You can actually orbit over a point in space--
you can monitor a target for hours and hours and hours beyond 
what the human body can tolerate. But we have less than 10 
percent of our aircraft fleet is unmanned at this point in 
time. That will likely grow over time. When it becomes safe 
enough to fly unmanned systems that move freight over time and 
distance in a predictable way with the autonomy to manage 
routes, et cetera, I think you will see it grow there.
    We have to be careful about cost curves that look a lot 
like airplane cost curves that we have discussed earlier for 
unmanned systems. That will not work. We cannot keep going 
bigger and more cosmic. We have to go smaller in some cases and 
look at augmenting manned platforms. You know, swarms is a 
great concept. If it can be managed from an airborne platform 
or remotely by a human in the loop, they would become 
incredibly effective very, very quickly.
    We are looking for those ideas where it is practical, it is 
affordable, and we can build a program we can execute in the 
near to mid-term before we start to change a mission area to 
remotely piloted with vehicles.
    Senator Kaine. You mentioned the swarm concept. We have not 
spent too much time talking about that here, but I gather that 
that is a very important component of this thinking about sort 
of the third offset. If that is going to be a big strategic 
direction going forward, that would necessarily involve the 
innovation around the creation of new unmanned platforms.
    General James. Yes, sir. Man-machine interface coupled with 
autonomy, coupled with thinking systems is exactly what the 
third-rail strategy is all about. We have been working on this 
for the last couple years.
    Senator Kaine. How much of that work--oh, I am already 
over. I am sorry, Mr. Chair. I will stop there and follow up 
later.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Rounds?
    Senator Rounds. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I just want to go back just a little bit. I also attended 
the classified briefing on the B-21. I was curious about when 
we talk about this hybrid contracting strategy of the cost plus 
incentive and then the fixed-price, have you ever used it 
before. Clearly there was a logic and you understood the need 
to look at keeping our costs under control and working it 
through. You have touched about it here with Senator King a 
little bit and so forth. But is there anything else with regard 
to the approach that was determined that we really have not 
delved into today that you think should be said?
    Ms. James. I think we have covered it fairly well today, 
Senator. The key components are thinking how we look to the 
programs of the past, both those that had done poorly and those 
that had done well. Given the specifics of this program, some 
of which involves mature technologies, that suggests less risk, 
but when you are talking about a never-before-developed 
platform and then the very important integration, that suggests 
that there is risk. As I mentioned for that development phase, 
we did think cost plus incentive was the way to go but 
carefully constructing those incentives to get the types of 
behaviors from the contractor that we seek.
    The Chief is in charge of requirements. The stable 
requirements is very important. We think we have budgeted well 
for this. We took the independent cost estimate and we budgeted 
to that level, which is higher. That gives us a margin of 
protection, and we are looking to move into the production 
phase, which is firm fixed-price, as quickly as is feasible. 
The incentives are structured to make that happen.
    Echoing what the Chief said, it ultimately will come down 
to persistent focus and the human beings who will be overseeing 
this to keep it on track. Certainly we--and there is another 
team of people as well. We are very committed to doing that.
    Senator Rounds. With regard to your readiness goals, the 
priorities and the responses that you have to demands that are 
there right now, how would you assess the high-end combat 
skills such as those that would be employed against a near peer 
competitor? I know we are talking a little bit about the A-10 
and so forth, and I know that in its current environment there, 
it has a high survivability rate. If you are talking about near 
peer competition, there may be some real challenges with the A-
10, but that would not just be the A-10. It would be other 
areas as well.
    What would you believe to be the biggest obstacles in the 
Air Force's readiness recovery?
    General James. To answer your first question, sir, how do I 
see us against a very tech savvy, well-equipped foe, we are 
rusty. That is not what we have been doing for the last 25 
years. We have been operating in a different environment.
    I think the key being ready for the full spectrum of 
operations that we could potentially face is consistent and 
persistent investment over time in the mission critical 
infrastructure that allows you to train to that level. We have 
heard discussion from Senator Heinrich, for example, about 
training ranges, black and white world test infrastructure, 
simulation infrastructure so that you can actually simulate a 
threat that our fifth generation capabilities will be operate 
against. Building that in the real world in a training range is 
cost-prohibitive. We have to get into the simulation business 
and go to virtual constructive and then add live training into 
it.
    All those things have to happen to develop a force over 
time, and that is the long-range readiness issue that we have 
to invest in now to recover. That will take us 8 to 10 years 
once we have a chance to reset the force from what we are doing 
today, which is not going to happen soon.
    Senator Rounds. I have got just about a minute left, but I 
am really curious. You talk long-term. What about the near-term 
and mid-term readiness rebuilding efforts? Can you rank 
basically how this is fitting in with the need to modernize 
specifically the purchases of the F-35, the KC-46, the B-21, 
the cybersecurity needs that we need to address, the 
capabilities, the ISR priorities? How does that fit in terms of 
the rebuilding efforts right now for modernization that we are 
challenged with as you talk about? How does it fit in?
    General James. Senator, for us it has to fit in at the top 
of the priority list. The prioritization right now in our 
budget, as we make decisions, wherever we can, we prioritize at 
this point manpower, size of the force. We cannot get any 
smaller. We just cannot do what we are trying to do right now 
plus anything new if we get any smaller.
    The second thing is readiness because when the Nation 
calls, we have to be able to answer.
    Then the third thing is modernization. This year, what you 
are seeing in our budget is we have cut the force for 25 years 
straight, and now we cannot cut it anymore and still do our 
job. We cut readiness for about 10 years to pay for 
modernization, and about five years ago, we decided we cannot 
do that anymore. We are not going to be ready enough as a force 
to do the job if we are called.
    Now the only place we have left to go for money to balance 
things out is modernization. That is what the budget reflects. 
That is why you are seeing the F-35 slid to the right, even 
though we have been trying to protect it. You are seeing other 
programs that make F-16's and F-15's viable in 10 years against 
the threat we expect then are being delayed because we just do 
not have the money to do it. It is a balancing act, Senator.
    Senator Rounds. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Donnelly?
    Senator Donnelly. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Secretary James, I want to start by thanking you for the 
time you spent with me at Grissom Air Base in Indiana last 
year. It sent an important message to the men and women of 
434th and the communities that support them about the 
importance of their mission.
    Madam Secretary, when do you anticipate we will see another 
KC-46 basing opportunity for a Reserve-led unit? Either one can 
answer.
    Ms. James. Yes. Chief, if you have that date or do you have 
it written down?
    The next time a basing decision for a Reserve unit. Is that 
what you said, sir, for the KC-46?
    Senator Donnelly. That is correct.
    General James. I think the next update will be actually 
late winter this year, late this year, early next year, and 
then that will be the decision that has already been announced 
for MOBE-4. The primary base has already been identified and 
the alternates have been identified. That environmental study 
has now started and it will be done the end of this year.
    The next one, I believe, starts--the next study--we are 
going to start looking at it in late fiscal year 2017--or 
excuse me--calendar year 2017 for the next selection of the 
next KC-46 base.
    Ms. James. Would that be for the Reserve----
    General James. I do not remember which is the next----
    Ms. James. We are going to get back to you on this so that 
we get you a good time frame.
    Senator Donnelly. In the last basing decision, the Air 
Force emphasized the importance of Reserve-led associate units, 
which aligns with the recommendation of the Air Force 
Commission report that recommended expanding the number of 
associate units. Do you anticipate that the Air Force will be 
creating more Reserve-led associate wings in the future?
    Ms. James. I am very interested in associate wing 
structures, and so we cannot say for sure, but we are pushing, 
pushing, pushing for additional integration at all times. I 
think it certainly is a possibility and we will just have to 
continue to review as we go forward.
    General James. Senator, we mentioned the integrated wing 
that we will start testing this year. That integrated wing is 
actually a Reserve wing, and it will be led by a Reserve 
commander with Active Duty fully embedded inside the wing.
    Senator Donnelly. Secretary James, when we talk about the 
growing threats to U.S. air superiority, many people assume we 
are talking about a distant prospect of direct conflict with 
countries like Russia and China. But while that is a reality, 
we also need to be prepared for a more immediate concern, which 
is the spread of advanced Russian and Chinese weapon systems 
into the wars we are already fighting. We are seeing advanced 
air defenses spread to countries throughout the Middle East and 
Africa, including Syria where our pilots are already flying.
    General Welsh, understanding we are in an unclassified 
setting, how concerned are you for our airmen and women if they 
have to face systems like Russia's S-400 in the near future?
    General James. Senator, I am very concerned about it. That 
is why I keep insisting that we have to modernize. An air force 
that does not stay ahead of the technology curve will fail. 53 
countries today are flying Russian fighters around the world. 
They will export their new capabilities as they field them, and 
their new capabilities will be better than our old stuff.
    Senator Donnelly. General, are you willing to provide us, 
you know, as time provides, a classified briefing regarding the 
threats our airmen are facing even not so much with Russia and 
China but where their equipment is being utilized?
    General James. Sir, I would be honored to do that.
    Senator Donnelly. Thank you very much.
    Secretary James, is the Air Force committed to commonality 
as a means to modernize and maintain the triad in a way to work 
together to not only be more efficient but also help on the 
budget end as well?
    Ms. James. We are definitely actively exploring different 
elements of commonality with the Navy as we together are 
looking to modernize the three legs of the triad. Yes, we are 
looking at that very closely.
    Senator Donnelly. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Sullivan?
    Senator Sullivan. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Madam Secretary, General Welsh, thank you for your 
testimony.
    I want to begin by just thanking you and the airmen you 
lead for what you do. You know, your testimony highlights a lot 
of things that I do not think most Americans are aware of like 
constant combat operations for a quarter century. It is 
remarkable. The broader number of areas in which you 
specialize, fighters, close air support, ISR, strategic 
airlift, two-thirds of the nuclear triad, GPS [Global 
Positioning Systems] systems.
    You know, my State sees a lot of this on a daily basis. As 
you know, the F-22 fighter squadron just recently deployed to 
Korea and Japan as a show of force for our allies there. We are 
intercepting Russian bombers again almost on a weekly basis. 
You know, in Alaska, we have become the combat air power in the 
Asia-Pacific, if not for the country, in terms of F-16's, F-
22's, C-17's, KC-135's, AWACS, HH-60's, the C-130's, F-35's 
come in JPARC [Joint Pacific Alaskan Range Complex] . I just 
appreciate and see a lot in terms of the airmen that you are 
leading.
    Let me ask a basic question. Actually two. How is morale? 
When you are here testifying talking about cutting forces, 
cutting readiness, that has got to impact morale.
    Then a broader, more strategic question, you are here 
talking about a budget that is cutting our ability to do what 
the Air Force does best, the smallest Air Force in our history. 
Why do you believe the President or Secretary of Defense is 
putting forward such a small budget? Why do we not begin with 
morale?
    General James. Morale actually, if you visit as many airmen 
as I am privileged to visit and Chief Cody is privileged to 
visit and Secretary James is privileged to visit, you walk away 
with the perception that morale is pretty darned good. They are 
a little tired.
    Senator Sullivan. Great.
    General James. They have questions. They are concerned 
about the future because they actually are very connected to 
what goes on in this city and all these issues we have been 
talking about.
    Senator Sullivan. Right.
    General James. They pay attention. Even our very young 
airmen do. All the services are this way now. They are worried 
about their future, the future of their mission set, what is 
happening to their airplane, their squadron, their family 
services. All those things are of interest to them. They sense 
this pressure on resources, which is going to affect those over 
time. But when it comes to how proud they are of who they are, 
of what they represent, of the people they stand beside, and of 
how well they do their job, morale is not an issue.
    Senator Sullivan. That is good to hear.
    How about on the budget?
    General James. I think the budget is--well, you will have 
to talk to the President and the Secretary of Defense to get 
why they are submitting the budgets they are, sir.
    But I will tell you this, the folks in the Air Force just 
see what we are asked to do and they want to do it better than 
anybody else on the planet can do it. When they do not feel 
they have the right tools to get that done or there are too 
many things to do for the number of people they have standing 
around, they get frustrated by that.
    Senator Sullivan. Let me ask on the F-35's. You know, 
Lieutenant General Bogdan has highlighted that you are 
beginning to reduce the unit price of the F-35A to well below 
$100 million, but your budget proposes to decrease procurement 
to 43 from 48. Does this risk undermining or reversing the 
reduction of unit costs in terms of what you have been able to 
do to drive down costs?
    Ms. James. I was going to say we do not believe so, not for 
the short run. The reason for that, because when you decrease 
the buy, ordinarily the unit cost does go up, but what the 
dynamic is over the next several years is that because of the 
FMS [Foreign Military Sales] buys being higher, we believe that 
the unit cost will be stable, reasonably stable, and not go up 
dramatically because of this. As you said, General Bogdan is 
very focused on cost control and continuing to do better and 
better.
    Senator Sullivan. Do you believe that the reduction in 
procurement--is that going to impact the arrival of F-35's that 
are scheduled in places like Eielson or other bases around the 
country?
    General James. Senator, over the next 15 years--if we 
stayed at the lower production rate, over the next 15 years, it 
would mean two fewer squadrons to field between now and 2030. 
It is going to affect someplace.
    In the near term, it will not have a dramatic effect 
because we will be standing units up. But by 10 to 15 years 
from now, you will start to see a delay in beddown of units.
    Senator Sullivan. Let me ask one final question. I want to 
follow up on what Senator King had talked about on the 
procurement timeline and how the procurement timeline for major 
weapon systems has increased dramatically over the years. In 
the NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act] last year, the 
chairman and others on this committee were very focused on 
giving you more authority over procurement.
    What do you believe is the most important thing we can do, 
either the services or the Congress or both, to help bring down 
the procurement timeline of major weapon systems that we have 
seen grow over the years that I do not think anyone is 
satisfied with?
    Ms. James. Well, first of all, the changes of last year I 
think are very positive. To the extent now that the Air Force 
and the Navy and the Army will be able to be the MDA [Milestone 
Decision Authority], the decision authority for milestones, 
going forward on some of the newer programs, I think that will 
help as we go forward.
    My advice to you would be to continue--and we do the same 
thing with our regulations--continue to look to streamline, 
wherever possible. Sometimes we have the approach of lots and 
lots of oversight. We do this. You do this. Although that is I 
think a good idea on troubled programs--we have to do that when 
things have gone amiss--sometimes you need to ease up a little 
bit on the vast majority of programs that are actually going 
quite well. Because we have a set of rules that tends to apply 
to most programs at a certain dollar level, even the programs 
that are executing well, nonetheless, have the weight of what I 
will call a lot of oversight. I would say continue to look 
streamline, and we should do the same thing on our end.
    Senator Sullivan. General, any thoughts?
    General James. Senator, I believe that really reform 
acquisition--you should start will smaller programs and look at 
them in a very concentrated way. Ninety-five percent of the 
acquisition programs in the Air Force are cost and schedule. 
They do not get the same attention the big programs do, but 
they are going tremendously well, and they normally do.
    If you identified some category of those smaller programs 
and went to the program managers and their industry partners 
and said, what can you do to take 50 percent of time and 25 
percent of cost out of your small program and then gave them 
leeway to do that and looked at the results, we may be able to 
learn which things are not adding value to the process and then 
bring those up into the bigger programs.
    When we start with the big programs, nobody really wants to 
give up oversight control, and it is harder to make change that 
way. But we have got a lot of programs that work really well. 
Let us make them work much, much better and then learn the 
lessons from that to change the enterprise.
    Senator Sullivan. Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Blumenthal?
    Senator Blumenthal. Thanks, Mr. Chairman.
    I would like to continue the line of questioning that 
Senator Sullivan began on the F-35. The delay in procurement of 
five F-35's was accompanied also by the pushback, the delay in 
60 aircraft per year as a procurement plan. You are saying 
today that will not increase the per-unit cost because there 
will be FMS, foreign military sales? By what countries? What 
increase in per-country sales by what countries and when?
    Ms. James. I will have to get you that detail.
    Senator Blumenthal. Well, how can you testify, with all due 
respect, that you are confident that the per-unit will not rise 
when you cannot tell us what countries will be buying more of 
the aircraft?
    Ms. James. General Bogdan, the program manager, has 
informed us that because of FMS buys, he does not project that 
the unit cost will go up in a substantial or material way. That 
is his assessment.
    I will get you the list of FMS customers.
    Senator Blumenthal. Do you have information as to any 
countries that will be buying more?
    General James. Senator, I know countries' air chiefs who 
have talked to me about their countries' desire to buy into the 
program. They have not fully committed to the program yet, and 
I do know there are air chiefs who would like to buy more in 
the near to mid-term. With your permission, rather than talking 
about them publicly, I would be glad to give you--tell which 
ones those are after the hearing.
    Senator Blumenthal. I think this is an important point 
because we know what happens when sales decline. Ordinarily, as 
Secretary James has observed quite rightly, the per-unit cost 
rises, and the viability of this program really depends on it 
being affordable and the credibility of the companies and the 
entire Air Force budget depends on this kind of information. I 
certainly would appreciate that information, and I know--I 
agree with you--that there are countries that would like to buy 
more, but we also have seen that other countries are as hard-
strapped as we are, in fact, even more so because their 
economies may be less robust than ours. That kind of 
information is really important.
    How important do you think that the F-35 program is to the 
Air Force modernization plans, General?
    General James. Sir, the F-35 program at this point in time 
is essential to our modernization program. Capabilities are 
going to be fielded by both China and Russia in the next five 
to six years, if not a couple years sooner, that will make 
airplanes that we have in the fleet today, except for the F-22, 
not competitive. We have to have some level of ability to 
compete with those threats in the future.
    Senator Blumenthal. Well, I agree with you completely, 
which is why I am so concerned about the affordability of the 
program and the trust and confidence of the American people 
that it can be done within the limits of what our spending can 
be.
    Let me turn to the----
    Chairman McCain. Before you leave that issue, it is well 
known that the new Canadian Government is reconsidering their 
commitment to buy the F-35. That is amazing. I do not know 
where the witnesses have been residing, missing out on these 
international decisions that are clearly under review by many 
nations because of the cost of the F-35.
    Please proceed.
    Senator Blumenthal. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Let me turn to the National Guard and Reserve units. I 
know, Madam Secretary, you had responsibility as an Assistant 
Secretary for our Reserve program. I am concerned that the 
Active Air Force is receiving C-130J aircraft. Our National 
Guard and Air Force Reserve will still be flying the C-130H. 
Perhaps, General Welsh, you could tell us a little bit about 
your strategy for outfitting the Air National Guard and Air 
Force Reserve with the most suitable modern aircraft.
    General James. Thanks, Senator. I think it is important to 
remember how we ended up where we are. When we built the C-
130H's, the newest C-130, we put it into the Guard and Reserve, 
and the Active kept the C-130E model. The newest fleets were in 
the Guard and Reserve. Then the C-130J came along and it was 
time to recapitalize the oldest C-130's which were in the 
Active force. That is why the C-103J went there first.
    The C-130J buy ends at the end of this FYDP [Future Years 
Defense Program] essentially as we finish populating our Air 
Force Special Operations Command C-130J fleet. We believe that 
we need more C-130J's in the total force. We right now are 
building and have almost finalized the modernization plan for 
the entire fleet. We are doing this in conjunction with the 
Guard, the Reserve, and the Active Duty. It is led by Air 
Mobility Command. Every State TAG [The Adjutant General] is 
going to be part of this review process and final affirmation 
of the plan. We will do the AMP [Avionics Modernization 
Program] increment 1 and 2 to do the near-term and the far-term 
navigation update, and then modernization of those C-130H 
models. As part of that plan, we will identify units at the 
back end of that modernization for increment 2 as ones that 
would probably be the best choice if we can generate funding 
for C-130J between now and that point in time in 2028 to start 
populating those squadrons with C-130J's wherever we can get 
the money to do it.
    We need to modernize our 130 fleet. All these units are 
fantastic units and contributing routinely to the joint fight 
around the world.
    Senator Blumenthal. I agree totally. They are fantastic 
units. They are contributing greatly, and they need a 
modernized fleet. Thank you for making that point.
    My time has expired, but if you have additional details, I 
would welcome them in written form. Thank you very much, 
General. Thank you, Madam Secretary.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Graham?
    Senator Graham. Thank you, General. Thank you very much for 
your service. Secretary James, thank you for coming.
    Your favorite topic, the A-10. If you had all the money 
within reason in the world, would you keep the A-10 or would 
you want to retire it?
    General James. I would keep the A-10 and build a new low-
threat CAS platform. I would replace the A-10 with it when it 
was fielding, and I would use the other money to build manpower 
to stand up the F-35 in the Air Force. We need the capability. 
We are stressed. We have been for 25 years. We are downsizing. 
That is what I would do, and I think it is a logical plan. We 
just do not have the money to do it.
    Senator Graham. I think that is the point. We are having 
all these fights about the A-10. But it is a budget-driven 
problem.
    General James. Sir, this is not about the A-10 at all. It 
is about having to make decisions. I find myself in an almost 
surreal position arguing to divest things I do not want to 
divest, to pay a bill we were handed in law, and we are not 
being allowed to pay it by the institution that passed the law.
    Senator Graham. What do you think is the biggest 
consequence of sequestration to the Air Force thus far?
    General James. My opinion. I will let the boss jump on 
here, sir.
    But, Senator, my opinion is it is not really the mechanism 
of sequestration. That was a shock in 2013. It is more the 
Budget Control Act caps and how they have reset the sense of 
what is good in a budget. We are still $12 billion below what 
we had planned even four years ago for our budgets. All the 
force structure that we had in place in the Air Force at that 
time that we have had trouble divesting was based on a top line 
that was $12 billion to $20 billion per year more than what we 
are going to have going forward. We have to make some very 
difficult decisions to live within that top line.
    Senator Graham. If we go back to sequestration, what awaits 
us from an Air Force point of view?
    General James. Exactly what we saw in 2013, sir, decreased 
training, decreasing readiness, much more frustration on the 
part of our people. When they looked out windows at airplanes 
they could not fly, we had a problem with moral then. If we do 
that again, we will have a much bigger one than we did last 
time.
    Senator Graham. Is it affecting families?
    General James. I think it affects families' concern more 
than it directly affects families, to be fair. We have done a 
pretty good job of protecting family programs. But the tension 
associated with it, the concern about the future of their 
platform, their unit, their tasking affects everybody.
    Senator Graham. In your time in the military, have you ever 
seen more threats to the Homeland than you do today?
    General James. No, sir, not threats to the Homeland.
    Senator Graham. Secretary James, anything you want to add 
right quick?
    Ms. James. I would just add that every program that has 
been discussed here today is a good program, and it all comes 
down to money. Somehow if you have got to balance your books, 
as we have to submit a budget each year, you have to make 
choices about what you are going to invest in and what you are 
going to cut. None of the cuts are easy cuts. They all hurt 
some element of the force. Every single program pretty much 
that has been discussed here today falls into that category.
    As the Chief said, we always ask at every juncture Congress 
to work with us. I know this committee has been leaders in this 
regard, but to convince everybody else that we have to lift 
sequestration permanently because, of course, it will come back 
to us in fiscal year 2018 if action does not occur.
    Senator Graham. The Russian rocket problem is not a 
sequestration problem. Is it?
    Ms. James. That is one and the contract strategy for the B-
21 is one that we discussed here today. But most of the other 
issues I think have related to money.
    Senator Graham. Why do you think we have such fights with 
the Air Force in this committee? They seem to happen a lot.
    Ms. James. Well, these are lively discussions from our 
oversight committee and the people who are executing on the 
programs.
    Senator Graham. Does it make sense to you what we are 
trying to say about the Russian rockets--the committee?
    Ms. James. It certainly makes sense and I agree and I too 
want to get off the reliance of the RD-180 as quickly as 
possible.
    General James. Senator, can I make one comment?
    Senator Graham. Sure, absolutely. But tell me how does this 
movie end with the Russian rocket debate. But go ahead. I am 
sorry.
    General James. Well, let me slip back to the fight comment 
you made. I think the discussions we have, whether it is my 
discussion earlier with the chairman or it is any other 
discussions we have with members of the committee, come from 
the same passion for providing national security for this 
country.
    Senator Graham. It just seems that we fight more with the 
Air Force than anybody, and I am in the Air Force--or used to 
be, anyway. Still am in my own mind. Just take that back. I 
mean, we got four branches of the service. We seem to tangle 
with you all more than anybody, and it is not that we do not 
respect the Air Force. I certainly do. It was one of the 
highlights of my life to have been a part of it.
    But you promise us, Secretary James, that this rocket 
engine thing is going to end well, that Senator McCain will be 
pleased one day soon?
    [Laughter.]
    Ms. James. I promise you we are working very hard on the 
problem. We are getting all of the analysis done, and I am sure 
at the end of the day, you know, we will get your guidance, 
your law that will pass. The new NDAA will settle it going 
forward.
    Senator Graham. Well, that will be a good day.
    Thank you both. Thank you, General Welsh. You have provided 
really good leadership at a tough time for the Air Force. I 
sincerely mean that.
    To all those who fly, flight, our job is to let you win. 
Thanks much.
    Chairman McCain. Well, to illustrate the point, I received 
a letter today after several months from Secretary James saying 
that concerning the Russian rocket, quote, assuming a Delta-
Falcon phase two split buy, the pre-decisional Air Force 
estimate projects a cost in excess of $1.5 billion. This 
morning you said not $1.5 billion. You said $5 billion.
    Ms. James. I said somewhere between $1.5 billion and $5 
billion, depending on the assumptions and when RD-180 access 
would stop.
    Chairman McCain. Actually I quote. Assuming a Delta-Falcon 
phase 2 split buy, the pre-decisional Air Force estimate 
projects a cost increase in excess of $1.5 billion. It does not 
mention $5 billion in this letter, Secretary James. I can read 
English.
    Ms. James. That figure of $1.5 billion assumes the block 
buy continues, that we still have RD-180's for the block buy. 
If there were a decision by Congress to break the block buy, to 
stop access to those RD-180's, that could create even larger 
costs. The $5 billion comes from the Mitchell study of about a 
year and a half ago.
    Chairman McCain. But you do not mention any of that in this 
letter.
    Ms. James. I am mentioning it today. It depends on 
assumptions.
    Chairman McCain. I am to disregard really the letter you 
sent to me that I have been waiting several months for. Maybe 
that helps explain some of the difficulties that we have.
    This hearing is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 11:34 a.m., the hearing was adjourned.]


DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION FOR APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 
               2017 AND THE FUTURE YEARS DEFENSE PROGRAM

                              ----------                              


                        THURSDAY, MARCH 10, 2016

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

   U.S. STRATEGIC COMMAND, U.S. NORTHERN COMMAND, AND U.S. SOUTHERN 
                      COMMAND PROGRAMS AND BUDGET

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:02 a.m. in 
Room SD-G50, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Senator John 
McCain (chairman) presiding.
    Committee members present: Senators McCain, Inhofe, Wicker, 
Ayotte, Fischer, Cotton, Ernst, Tillis, Sullivan, Graham, Reed, 
Nelson, Manchin, Gillibrand, Blumenthal, Donnelly, Hirono, 
King, and Heinrich.

       OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR JOHN McCAIN, CHAIRMAN

    Chairman McCain. Good morning. The committee meets today to 
receive testimony on the posture of U.S. Northern Command, 
Southern Command, and Strategic Command to inform its review of 
the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2017.
    I'd like to extend our appreciation to the witnesses for 
their many years of distinguished service, and to the men and 
women of our military who defend our Nation every day.
    Admiral Tidd, this is your first time testifying before the 
committee as the Commander of U.S. Southern Command [SOUTHCOM]. 
After nearly 2 months in command, I look forward to your 
assessment of the challenges within your area of 
responsibility, as well as your strategy to confront them. It's 
clear you face a daunting array of security and governance 
challenges in the region, yet SOUTHCOM continues to suffer from 
persistent resource shortfalls that undermine efforts to 
confront these challenges. I hope you will outline for the 
committee where you are being forced to accept the greatest 
risk as a result of these shortfalls. Of particular concern is 
the deteriorating situation in Central America, where feeble 
governance, endemic corruption, and weak security institutions 
are allowing transnational criminal organizations to operate 
with impunity. We, of course, must improve and adequately 
resource our drug interdiction strategy to combat these groups, 
but we must also renew our efforts to combat the real driver of 
drug trafficking: the demand here at home. The demand for the 
drugs that these groups traffic--heroin, methamphetamine, and 
cocaine--is too high, and the profits too great, to dissuade 
these criminals from their illicit actions.
    To be clear, the threat posed by these groups extends 
beyond the drugs they smuggle into our communities. The 
smuggling routes they control are also used to traffic weapons, 
bulk cash, and human beings. As your predecessor, General 
Kelly, testified before this committee, terrorist organizations 
could seek to leverage these same smuggling routes to move 
operatives with intent to cause grave harm to our citizens or 
even bring weapons of mass destruction into the United States.
    On a more positive note, I'm interested in your assessment 
of the ongoing talks in Colombia and how you believe the United 
States can best support our partners as they enter a new and 
likely more challenging era. Colombia, once on the cusp of 
becoming a failed state, has emerged from decades of conflict 
as a stark example of what sustained U.S. support and 
engagement can achieve. It's vitally important that we continue 
to invest in our relationship during this critical period so as 
not to squander the extraordinary progress that has been 
achieved.
    I'd like to take a moment to recognize the military 
servicemembers conducting detention operations at Guantanamo 
Bay. Too often in the course of debating the future of the 
detention facility, we lose sight of the remarkable men and 
women who serve honorably under extraordinarily difficult 
conditions. Admiral, please convey our deepest appreciation for 
their service and the professionalism they display each and 
every day on behalf of our Nation.
    Admiral Gortney, I look to you for an update on the current 
state of United States-Mexican security cooperation and 
opportunities for our two nations to strengthen this vital 
partnership. While Mexico's efforts to combat transnational 
criminal organizations have resulted in notable successes by 
capturing or killing senior cartel leaders, such as El Chapo, 
the security situation remain highly volatile and continues to 
directly impact the security of our southern border. Heroin, 
largely produced in Mexico, continues to ravage communities all 
across the Nation and demands a renewed effort to combat this 
scourge, both in our seats and also at its source.
    I also look forward to your assessment of the increasing 
threat posed to the Homeland by the development of advanced 
missile capability--of advanced missiles capable of carrying 
nuclear payloads by Russia, Iran, and North Korea.
    Admiral Haney, the strategic threats to the United States 
and its allies have increased exponentially in just the few 
short years since you've taken the helm of Strategic Command. 
While nuclear, cyber, and counterspace threats generally have 
been on the rise, Secretary Carter's warning that, quote, 
``We're entering a new strategic era,'' has great implications 
for STRATCOM [U.S. Strategic Command]. Return to great power 
competition noted by the Secretary means that deterring Russia 
and China once again assumes primacy in your planning and 
operations. Whatever President Obama may have hoped for, the 
United States can no longer seek to reduce the role of nuclear 
weapons in our national security strategy or narrow the range 
of contingencies under which we would have to consider their 
use. U.S. Strategic Command faces significant near- and longer-
term challenges.
    In about 15 to 20 years, U.S. nuclear submarines, ICBMs 
[intercontential ballistic missiles], air-launch cruise 
missiles, heavy bombers, and nuclear-capable tactical fighters 
will have to be withdrawn from operational service, having been 
extended well beyond their original service lives. 
Modernization programs are in place to replace these systems, 
but there is no slack left in the schedule. Today's Congress 
supports fully the modernization of the U.S. nuclear deterrent. 
Any reduction in funding over the next decade, however, could 
delay the development of these replacement systems, increasing 
strategic risk at a time when Russia and other countries 
continue to modernize their nuclear capabilities.
    Russia, then, is your near-term challenge. Russia's 
aggression in Ukraine and destabilizing actions in Syria take 
place under a nuclear shadow. Russia has threatened our NATO 
allies with nuclear strikes, is developing a new nuclear 
ground-launch cruise missile capable of ranging most of Europe, 
and has fired air- and sea-launch cruise missiles against 
targets in Syria, missiles that could be armed with nuclear 
warheads and flown against European and United States targets.
    Your task, Admiral Haney, is to ensure that strategic 
Command is prepared to deter Russian nuclear provocations. This 
requires better intelligence about Russian nuclear capabilities 
and plans, a nuclear planning process tied to EUCOM [European 
Command] and NATO operations, and a survivable, well-exercised, 
and ready nuclear force.
    Finally, as this committee continues its review of the 
Goldwater-Nichols Act, we're interested to hear your views as 
to whether our defense enterprise is organized properly to 
perform the missions that cut across the functional and 
geographic boundaries we have drawn. We also welcome any ideas 
on reform we might consider to make our defense enterprise more 
effective without minimizing the vital tasks that must be done.
    I noted, to the members of the committee, that yesterday we 
had an all-Army panel, and today it's an all-Navy panel, a 
definite upgrade.
    [Laughter.]
    Chairman McCain. Senator Reed.

                 STATEMENT OF SENATOR JACK REED

    Senator Reed. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    May I point out that the meeting of the United States Naval 
Academy Alumni Association will take place immediately 
following the hearing in the ante room.
    [Laughter.]
    Senator Reed. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I want to welcome our witnesses, particularly Admiral Tidd, 
who's appearing before this committee for the first time. Thank 
you, sir, for your service.
    Admiral Gortney, this could be your last hearing before the 
committee. Thank you for your extraordinary service in so many 
different capacities. Not only you, but your families, have 
served with great distinction and great sacrifice. Obviously, 
the men and women in your commands have done so much.
    Admiral Haney, likewise to your family and to the men and 
women of your command.
    I'm pleased to see some senior noncommissioned officers 
here. Thank you for what you do to lead our forces.
    Admiral Haney, your command has responsibilities for the 
functions that are global in nature--space and nuclear, to name 
a few. But, your first and foremost responsibility is to ensure 
that the nuclear triad can deter threats that are existential 
to our Nation. This administration has committed to the 
modernization of all three legs of our triad. Our current 
nuclear forces cost about 4 percent of our DOD [Department of 
Defense] budget, which is a relatively good bargain, 
considering the threats they deter on a daily basis. But, in 
the late 2020s, as the Chairman has mentioned, when this 
modernization is at its peak, that figure will rise to about 7 
percent of the DOD budget. While this is about half of what we 
spent at the height of the Cold War, it is still a considerable 
amount of money, and I will want to hear your views on the 
importance of this modernization and how it can be done in the 
most cost-effective manner possible.
    Admiral Gortney, your mission is to protect the Homeland, 
to deter and defeat attacks on the United States, and to 
support civil authorities in mitigating the effects of 
potential attacks and natural disasters. While Admiral Haney is 
responsible for synchronizing global missile defense, planning, 
and operation support, you are responsible for the operation of 
our Homeland ballistic missile defense system. We look forward 
to hearing about the ongoing improvements to the ground-based 
missile defense system, particularly the enhancement of sensors 
and discrimination capabilities.
    In addition, NORTHCOM [Northern Command] works closely with 
other Federal agencies, the Governors, and the National Guard 
to collaborate on responding to natural and manmade disasters, 
and partners with Canada and Mexico to promote security across 
our borders. I look forward to hearing about your current 
efforts in these areas and how these would be impacted by the 
return of sequestration next year.
    A number of the problems in NORTHCOM originate from the 
SOUTHCOM AOR. Drug traffickers and transnational criminal 
organizations are not bound by geographic borders, and the 
violence and instability they engender have pushed individuals 
to flee, often seeking sanctuary on our shores. An obvious 
answer then is to address the problem at the root. Of course, 
such efforts require a whole-of-government approach, 
incorporating the capabilities of interagency partners, such as 
the State Department, FBI, and the Drug Enforcement Agency. 
Consequently, any cuts made to their budgets have direct 
implications on the ability, particularly, of SOUTHCOM 
[Southern Command] to carry out its mission.
    SOUTHCOM is responsible for maintaining our security 
relationship in the region. The closest military-to-military 
relationship in the AOR [Area of responsibility] is with 
Colombia, who, with our sustained assistance, has undergone a 
remarkable transformation. It is now equally important to 
ensure that the peace implementation phase of this 
transformation is as robustly supported as the kinetic 
operations.
    Admiral Tidd, as you stated in your testimony, nowhere is 
our own security more inextricably intertwined to that of our 
neighbors, partners, and friends than in Latin America, and the 
Caribbean. I look forward to hearing your views on how we can 
best maintain our engagement in this important area of the 
world.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman McCain. Welcome the witnesses. Your complete 
statements will be made part of the record.
    Admiral Haney.

 STATEMENT OF ADMIRAL CECIL E. D. HANEY, USN, COMMANDER, U.S. 
                       STRATEGIC COMMAND

    Admiral Haney. Good morning, Chairman McCain, Ranking 
Member Reed, and members of the committee.
    I'm honored to be here with you today and pleased to 
testify with Admiral Bill Gortney, Commander, U.S. Northern 
Command, Admiral Kurt Tidd, Commander, U.S. Southern Command. 
I'm also honored to represent my team of sailors, soldiers, 
airmens, and marines, and civilians who carry out the various 
missions assigned to U.S. Strategic Command. They are dedicated 
professionals who represent our most precious resource and 
deserve our unwavering support. As a result of their efforts, 
our Nation's strategic nuclear deterrent force remains safe, 
secure, effective, and ready, and we are working hard to 
improve the resiliency and flexibility in space and cyberspace.
    It is critical, as you've stated, that we modernize our 
strategic nuclear deterrent capabilities that underpin our 
Nation's security. As you know, the current global security 
environment is more complex, dynamic, and uncertain than 
possibly anytime in our history as adversaries and potential 
adversaries challenge our democratic values and our security in 
so many ways. They are modernizing and expanding their nuclear 
capabilities, developing and testing counterspace and 
cyberspace technologies, and are advancing conventional and 
asymmetric weapons.
    Future deterrent scenarios will likely include multiple 
adversaries operating across multiple domains and using anti-
access aerial denial asymmetric warfare in ``escalate to de-
escalate'' tactics. These trends affect strategic stability.
    Given all of this, the missions of U.S. Strategic Command 
remain important to our joint military forces, to our Nation 
and our allies and partners. Comprehensive strategic deterrence 
and assurance and escalation control is far more than just 
nuclear weapons and platforms. It includes a robust 
intelligence apparatus, space, cyberspace, conventional and 
missile defense capabilities, and comprehensive plans that link 
together organizations in a coherent manner.
    Additionally, we engage daily on a broad range of 
activities across our other mission areas, including 
intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, combating 
weapons of mass destruction, joint electronic warfare, and 
analysis and targeting.
    These guide my command priorities. Achieving comprehensive 
strategic deterrence, assurance, and escalation control 
requires a long-term approach to investing in capabilities in a 
multi-generational commitment to intellectual capital. The 
President's Budget for fiscal year 2017 strikes a responsible 
balance between national priorities, fiscal realities, and 
begins to reduce some of the risks we have accumulated because 
of deferred maintenance and sustainment. This budget supports 
my mission requirements, but there is no margin to absorb new 
risk. Any cuts to that budget will hamper our ability to 
sustain and modernize our forces.
    Thank you. I look forward to your questions.
    [The prepared statement of Admiral Haney follows:]

            Prepared Statement by Admiral Cecil E. D. Haney
                              introduction
    Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the committee, I am 
honored to be here today. Thank you for the opportunity to provide 
testimony on the posture of United States strategic forces, my 
assessment of the President's Fiscal Year 2017 Budget, and how United 
States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) is confronting today's complex 
global security environment. I am also pleased to be here with Admiral 
Bill Gortney, Commander of United States Northern Command; and Admiral 
Kurt Tidd, Commander of United States Southern Command. I thank you all 
for your continued support to our Nation's defense.
    I have the privilege of leading a motivated team of strategic 
warriors focused on mission excellence. While today, the Nation's 
strategic nuclear deterrent force remains safe, secure, effective and 
ready, we are working diligently to improve the resilience, 
responsiveness, credibility and flexibility of our operational plans 
and capabilities. USSTRATCOM is focused on deterring strategic attack, 
providing assurance to our allies and partners, and providing 
warfighting solutions to other Combatant Commands and partners across 
the spectrum of operations. While executing our global 
responsibilities, we continue to forge enduring partnerships with 
agencies and organizations across the U.S. Government, academia, 
commercial industry, and Allied nations.
    The momentum we have established is largely due to those who 
dedicate themselves to national security in spite of uncertainty and 
resource challenges: the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and 
civilians who carry out and support our strategic missions. Thank you 
for the opportunity to publicly acknowledge their service, devotion and 
professional skill.
    Over the last two years, I have gained considerable insight 
regarding the progress and work remaining to deliver comprehensive 
strategic deterrence, assurance and escalation control. My focus here 
is to provide clarity, make recommendations on required steps for 
continued success, and demonstrate how USSTRATCOM supports strategic 
stability and national security.
    Much remains to be done to sustain and modernize the foundational 
nuclear deterrent force that we need to protect the Nation from 
existential threats in an increasingly uncertain and unpredictable 
environment. We must continue to meet critical investment timelines to 
ensure that aging platforms and weapons systems do not reach the point 
at which their viability becomes questionable.
    The President's Budget offers a balanced approach to national 
priorities and fiscal realities, and reduces some accumulated risk as 
we pursue modernization across USSTRATCOM mission areas. The Bipartisan 
Budget Act of 2015 provided near-term fiscal stability for these 
critical missions, and we appreciate Congressional and White House 
support in this effort. I support continued bipartisan efforts to 
achieve long-term relief from the constraints imposed by the Budget 
Control Act of 2011, especially given the multi-year acquisition 
timelines required to modernize our strategic systems.
    Maintaining and improving comprehensive strategic deterrence, 
assurance and escalation control requires a multi-faceted, long-term 
approach to investing in strategic capabilities and a renewed, multi-
generational commitment of intellectual capital. As I look at trends in 
the security environment, continued long term investment is needed to 
ensure that current progress transitions into long-term success. Our 
allies and adversaries are observing and assessing the fiscal emphasis 
placed on our Nation's strategic deterrence and assurance capabilities. 
We cannot afford to send mixed messages on their importance by 
underfunding them.
                      global security environment
    Today's global security environment is complex, dynamic and 
volatile; perhaps more so now than at any other time. The dangers 
presented by this unpredictable security environment are compounded by 
the continued propagation of asymmetric methods, the unprecedented 
proliferation of advancing technologies, and the increasingly 
provocative and destabilizing behavior by current and potential 
adversaries. Some nations are investing in long-term military 
modernization programs, including capabilities that could pose an 
existential threat to the United States. A number of others are 
developing, sustaining, or modernizing their nuclear forces, including 
weapons and platforms that are mobile, hardened and underground.
    Russia. Russia warrants our attention. Its new security strategy 
makes clear that Russia seeks to re-assert its great power status. 
Russia is modernizing its conventional and strategic military programs, 
emphasizing new strategic approaches, declaring and demonstrating its 
ability to escalate if required, and maintaining a significant quantity 
of non-strategic nuclear weapons. Russia has engaged in destabilizing 
actions in Syria and Ukraine (Eastern and Crimea), while also violating 
the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and other 
international accords and norms. Russia is also developing counter-
space and cyber capabilities
    Despite these activities, and assertions by some that the United 
States and Russia are in a nuclear arms race, there is continued 
adherence to the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) by 
both nations. In compliance with a series of treaties, the United 
States has reduced its stockpile by 85 percent relative to its Cold War 
peak. Instead of dozens of delivery systems, we now have four strategic 
delivery platforms. We seek no new military capabilities in our nuclear 
forces. Rather, we seek to retain and modernize only those capabilities 
needed to sustain a stable and effective deterrent capability. We are 
on track to achieve New START limits of 1550 deployed warheads and 700 
deployed delivery systems by February 2018.
    The benefit of New START is that it promotes stability by 
maintaining equivalency in nuclear weapon numbers and strategic 
capability. It also promotes transparency via inspections and helps 
assure our non-nuclear allies they do not need their own nuclear 
deterrent capabilities. However, to maintain strategic stability as we 
draw down to New START central limits, the remaining systems must be 
safe, secure, effective and ready.
    China. In addition to pursuing regional dominance in the East and 
South China Seas, China continues making significant military 
investments in nuclear and conventional capabilities. China is re-
engineering its long-range ballistic missiles to carry multiple nuclear 
warheads and continues to develop and test hyper-glide vehicle 
capability. China's pursuit of conventional prompt global strike 
capabilities, offensive counter space technologies, and exploitation of 
computer networks raises questions about its global aspirations. While 
China periodically reminds us of its ``No First-Use'' nuclear policy, 
these developments--coupled with a lack of transparency on nuclear 
issues such as force disposition and size--impact regional and 
strategic stability.
    North Korea. North Korea's behavior over the past 60 years has been 
very problematic. Today, North Korea continues heightening tensions by 
coupling provocative statements and actions with advancements in 
strategic capabilities, including claims of miniaturized warheads; 
developments in road mobile and submarine launched ballistic missile 
technologies. Most recently, North Korea has conducted its fourth 
nuclear weapons test and another missile launch of a satellite into 
space, furthering its ICBM research. These actions show disdain for 
United Nations Security Council resolutions and a dangerous lack of 
regard for regional stability.
    Iran. As Iran follows the mandates of the Joint Comprehensive Plan 
of Action, we must be vigilant to detect if Iran ever shifts its 
intentions to pursue a nuclear weapon. Iran continues to develop 
ballistic missiles and cyberspace capabilities--and we remain focused 
on countering its destabilizing activities in the region.
    Violent Extremist Organizations (VEOs). Ungoverned or ineffectively 
governed regions remain incubators for those who seek to attack the 
world's peaceful societies. VEOs recruit and operate freely across 
political, social, and cyberspace boundaries. The effect of weapons of 
mass destruction (WMD) in the hands of VEOs could be catastrophic, and 
highlights the importance of our non-proliferation and counter WMD 
efforts.
    In summary, the global strategic environment is increasingly 
complex. Unlike the bipolarity of the Cold War, today's multi-polar 
world with state, non-state, and mixed-status actors is more akin to 
multiplayer, concurrent and intersecting games of chess that severely 
challenge regional and global security dynamics. Future conflicts will 
not be contained within prescribed borders, stove-piped domains, or 
segregated areas of responsibility. We must view threats as 
transregional, multi-domain and multi-functional, requiring a 
comprehensive approach to strategic deterrence, assurance and 
escalation control.
                     usstratcom in the 21st century
    USSTRATCOM counters diverse and complex threats through the 
execution of its fundamental mission: to detect and deter strategic 
attacks against the U.S. and our allies, and to defeat those who attack 
if deterrence fails. USSTRATCOM is assigned nine distinct 
responsibilities: Strategic Deterrence; Space Operations; Cyberspace 
Operations; Global Strike; Joint Electronic Warfare; Missile Defense; 
Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance; Countering Weapons of 
Mass Destruction; and Analysis and Targeting. These diverse assignments 
are strategic in nature, global in scope, and intertwined with Joint 
Force capabilities, the interagency process and the Whole-of-Government 
approach. Each mission supports or is interconnected with the others, 
and their combined capabilities enable a comprehensive approach to 
strategic deterrence, assurance and escalation control in the 21st 
century.
    Deterrence is a fundamentally human endeavor, firmly rooted in 
psychology and social behavior. At the most basic level, deterrence is 
achieved through one of two mechanisms. The first is an aggressor's 
recognition that unacceptable costs may be imposed for taking an action 
and recognition that forgoing this action may result in lesser costs. 
The second is an aggressor's belief that the contemplated action will 
not produce its perceived benefit, or that not acting will produce a 
greater perceived benefit. These elements combine to convince potential 
adversaries that they will not succeed in an attack, and even if they 
try, the costs will far outweigh the benefits. USSTRATCOM's 
capabilities underpin these fundamental elements of deterrence.
    Achieving comprehensive deterrence, assurance and escalation 
control requires nuclear weapons systems along with a robust 
intelligence apparatus; space, cyberspace, conventional, and missile 
defense capabilities; global command, control, and communications; and 
comprehensive plans that link organizations and knit their capabilities 
together in a coherent way.
    Priorities. USSTRATCOM is guided by my six overarching priorities:
    1. Deterring strategic attack against the United States and 
providing assurance to our allies. Strategic attacks can occur through 
a variety of means in any domain. They may impact many people or 
systems, affect large physical areas, act across great distances, 
persist over long periods of time, disrupt economic or social 
structures, or change the status quo in a fundamental way.
    2. Providing the Nation with a safe, secure, effective and ready 
nuclear deterrent force. Foundational documents such as the 2010 
Nuclear Posture Review, the 2013 Report on Nuclear Weapons Employment 
Strategy, the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), and the 2015 
National Military Strategy have consistently repeated this mandate. I 
am committed to providing our Nation with a viable and credible nuclear 
deterrent force.
    3. Delivering comprehensive warfighting solutions. To effectively 
deter, assure, and control escalation in today's security environment, 
threats must be surveyed across the ``spectrum of conflict.'' 
Escalation may occur at any point, in varying degrees of intensity, 
with more than one adversary, in multiple domains, to include ``below 
threshold activities'' that would not ordinarily propel international 
action. Our actions and capabilities must convince any adversary that 
they cannot escalate their way out of a failed conflict, and that 
restraint is always the better option. Doing so requires a deeper, 
broader understanding of our potential adversaries, so that we can deny 
action; hold critical nodes at risk; and prevent activities, 
perceptions and misperceptions from escalating. We must also look at 
our military capabilities in a holistic manner, and fully integrate 
them within our other elements of national power. We must pursue a 
Whole-of-Government approach to deterrence, including allies and 
partners in our efforts, with ready forces in all domains.
    4. Addressing challenges in space and cyberspace with capability, 
capacity and resilience. Space capabilities remain foundational to our 
way of life not only for the United States but for the international 
community at large. Yet some nation states are investing in counter-
space capabilities. We must assure our continued access to space 
through improved space situational awareness, operating procedures, 
resiliency and other operational concepts central to our ability to 
maintain an advantage in space. Cyberspace underpins all of my mission 
areas and has become a critical facet of national power. We must 
continue to develop a robust Cyber Mission Force with the authorities, 
skills and resources to protect our DOD networks against a maturing set 
of cyberspace threats. Additionally, cyber defense of future networked 
systems must be a design priority.
    5. Building, sustaining and supporting partnerships. We aim to work 
seamlessly with the other Combatant Commands, across the Federal 
Government, commercial sector, academia and with partners and allies to 
apply the scope of the USSTRATCOM portfolio toward a synchronized 
pursuit of national objectives. This robust interaction must occur at 
all levels at USSTRATCOM and includes operations, planning, exercising 
and wargaming.
    6. Anticipating change and confronting uncertainty with agility and 
innovation. Sound decision-making requires thorough analysis to 
prioritize our activities with flexible, agile and adaptable thinking. 
This effort includes a variety of wargames, demonstrations and 
exercises to evaluate deterrence and escalation control options. We 
will support the DOD Defense Innovation Initiative and the associated 
Advanced Capability and Deterrence Panel's efforts. This will help us 
identify new operational concepts, develop cutting edge technology, and 
enable a continuing evolution of ideas on how to deter current and 
potential adversaries.
                mission area capabilities & requirements
    We must maintain a military capability that provides our leadership 
with the decision space to respond in the best interest of the United 
States. This includes the ability to mitigate current and future risk 
as it pertains to nuclear, space and cyberspace threats. Therefore, 
prioritizing resources to meet our requirements necessitates a 
thoughtful assessment of national priorities in the context of fiscal 
realities. The President's Budget supports my mission requirements, but 
there is no margin to absorb risk. Any cuts to the budget will hamper 
our ability to sustain and modernize our military forces, and will add 
significant risk to our strategic capabilities.
Nuclear Deterrent Forces
    Today, America's nuclear forces remain safe, secure, effective and 
ready. For more than 70 years, thanks in part to our credible nuclear 
forces, the United States has deterred great power war against nuclear-
capable adversaries.
    Nuclear Triad. Our nuclear Triad is a requirement. The policy of 
maintaining a nuclear Triad of strategic nuclear delivery systems was 
most recently re-iterated in the 2014 QDR. Our Intercontinental 
Ballistic Missiles, Ballistic Missile Submarines, Air-Launched Cruise 
Missiles, and nuclear capable heavy bombers and associated tankers each 
provide unique and complementary attributes that together underpin 
strategic deterrence and stability--and each element is in need of 
continued investment. The Triad provides a hedge against technical 
problems or changes in the security environment and must consist of 
independently viable weapons systems and platforms which present 
adversaries with a complex, multi-pronged problem. The fiscal year 2017 
budget request funds the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program to 
replace our aging Minuteman ICBM fleet, which for decades have served 
to complicate an adversary's decision to launch a comprehensive 
counterforce strike on the United States. The fiscal year 2017 budget 
request funds the Ohio-Replacement Program to ensure the uninterrupted 
deployment of the Triad's most survivable leg. The Long Range Strike-
Bomber, Long Range Stand-Off Cruise Missile, and B61-12 gravity bomb 
are needed to provide the flexibility, visibility and ability to 
forward-deploy and to support our extended deterrence commitments to 
our allies.
    Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs). Our ICBM force 
provides a responsive, highly reliable and cost effective deterrent 
capability. To maintain an effective Minuteman III force through 2030, 
USSTRATCOM supports several near-term sustainment efforts, including 
ICBM Fuze Modernization, Launch Control Center Block Upgrade, and 
Airborne Launch Control System Replacement. Vital ICBM security 
improvements include a UH-1N Helicopter Replacement, Payload 
Transporter Replacement and ICBM Cryptographic Upgrade. Beyond 2030, 
the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program is essential to 
recapitalize the ICBM force prior to Minuteman age out I fully support 
an integrated Ground Based Strategic Deterrent weapon system that 
recapitalizes flight systems, ground launch systems, command and 
control, and support equipment. I am encouraged by the ongoing Air 
Force and Navy effort to study the feasibility of sharing common 
technology between their respective programs in order to reduce costs 
and preserve the unique skills required to field capable ballistic 
missile weapon systems.
    Ballistic Missile Submarines (SSBNs). Recapitalizing our sea-based 
strategic deterrent force remains my top modernization priority. The 
Navy's SSBNs and Trident II D5 ballistic missiles constitute the 
Triad's most survivable leg. The Ohio-class SSBN fleet is undergoing 
significant sustainment efforts to maintain our nation's required high 
operational availability and extend the life of the D5 ballistic 
missile. USSTRATCOM continues to strongly support and work with the 
Navy as it modernizes the SSBN fleet. The Ohio Replacement SSBN, 
currently in development and expected to be fielded in 2031, will 
continue to serve as the Nation's survivable strategic deterrent into 
the 2080s. Despite a hull life extension from 30 to 42 years, the 
current Ohio-class will quickly approach the end of its effective 
service life. No further extension is possible. Any further delay will 
put the reliability of our sea-based nuclear deterrent at unacceptable 
risk. In addition, we must continue our commitment to the United 
Kingdom to develop and field the Common Missile Compartment to ensure 
both nations' SSBNs achieve operational capability to replace the 
existing platforms.
    Heavy Bombers. Our dual-capable B-52 and B-2 bombers are the most 
flexible and adaptable leg of the nuclear Triad and provide significant 
conventional capabilities. Bombers play a key role in stabilizing and 
managing crises by providing a visible signaling option and rapid hedge 
against operational and technical challenges in other legs of the 
nuclear Triad. Ongoing and planned sustainment and modernization 
activities, to include associated Nuclear Command, Control and 
Communications upgrades, will ensure our bombers provide credible 
deterrent capabilities until their planned end-of-service-life. I fully 
support the Air Force program for fielding a new, highly survivable 
penetrating conventional and nuclear Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B). 
When coupled with a new Long Range Stand-Off (LRSO) cruise missile and 
the B61-12 gravity bomb, the LRS-B will provide the President with 
flexible options to address a range of contingencies in non-permissive 
environments. Maintaining an air-delivered standoff and direct attack 
capability is vital to meeting our strategic and extended deterrence 
commitments and denying geographic sanctuaries to potential 
adversaries. The new LRSO is needed to replace the aging Air Launched 
Cruise Missile (ALCM), which has far exceeded its originally planned 
service life, is being sustained through a series of service life 
extension programs, and is required to support our B-52 bomber fleet. 
Likewise, the B61-12 is needed to extend the life of aging gravity 
nuclear weapons and provide continued viability for both the B-2 
strategic bomber and dual capable fighter aircraft supporting our NATO 
and extended deterrence commitments.
    Foundational to the nuclear triad is a synthesis of dedicated 
sensors, assured command and control, nuclear weapons and their 
enabling infrastructure, treaties and non-proliferation activities.
    Sensors. Indications and warning are necessary for maximum decision 
space, and strategic missile warning remains one of our most important 
capabilities. Along with persistent and tailored intelligence, our 
Integrated Tactical Warning and Attack Assessment network provides 
timely, accurate, unambiguous and continuous tactical early warning, 
allowing us to select the most suitable course of action in rapidly 
developing situations. While the Defense Support Program is nearing the 
end of its operational life, the Space-Based Infrared System program is 
on track to provide continuous on-orbit warning. The survivable and 
endurable segments of these systems, along with Early Warning Radars 
and nuclear detonation detection elements, are in urgent need of 
sustainment and modernization. We must continue to maintain legacy 
systems and address the ever-increasing risk to mission success. Prompt 
and sufficient recapitalization of these critical facilities and 
networks--to include electromagnetic pulse protection and survivable 
endurable communications with other nodes in the system--will be 
pivotal in maintaining a credible deterrent.
    Nuclear Command, Control and Communications (NC3). All USSTRATCOM 
missions require robust global Command, Control, Communications, and 
Computer (C4) capabilities and infrastructure supporting the 
President's national-decision making process across a spectrum of 
scenarios. These communications capabilities are crucial to providing 
the President and his key advisors the right information to expand 
decision space. USSTRATCOM is teaming with the White House, national 
laboratories, and the private sector to develop a Global C4 system, 
setting the conditions for timely, informed National decision making 
anywhere on the globe. The Council on Oversight of the National 
Leadership Command, Control and Communications System has proven 
effective in synchronizing and prioritizing modernization efforts, and 
articulating those priorities to Congress.
    Maintaining a credible nuclear deterrent for the long term requires 
recapitalization of key systems and capabilities throughout the NC3 
architecture. The unpredictable challenges posed by today's complex 
multi-domain, multi-threat security environment make it increasingly 
important to optimize our aging NC3 systems architecture while 
leveraging new technologies. Maintaining nuclear deterrence and 
strategic stability requires a command and control architecture 
comprised of interdependent fixed and mobile systems and nodes that 
deliver capability throughout the space, air and land domains. Through 
continued funding for NC3 modernization programs, we can ensure 
effective command and control of the Nation's forces well into the 
future.
    In space, we are transitioning from Military Strategic and Tactical 
Relay (MILSTAR) to Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite 
communications systems. The AEHF satellite constellation system, 
coupled with requisite ground node and airborne platform Family of 
Advanced Beyond Line-of-Sight terminals (FAB-T) and the Presidential 
and National Voice Conferencing (PNVC) system, will extend enhanced 
capabilities to enable collaboration between the President and senior 
advisors under any circumstance and also assure connectivity with the 
nuclear forces.
    Our efforts to field an air layer network supported by AEHF and a 
modernized Very Low Frequency/Low Frequency (VLF/LF) capability will 
increase resiliency and reliability across the NC3 architecture and 
begins to address the emerging threats to our space-based 
communications. I support the investment plan to replace our aging very 
low frequency receivers on the E-6B Airborne Command Post (ABNCP) and 
the E-4B National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC), providing assured, 
world-wide survivable communications into the future. Additionally, the 
Air Force continues to fund the very low frequency receiver on the B-2 
bomber fleet, and began a program to install next generation protected, 
assured, and survivable communications on the B-2.
    Within the land component, there are efforts underway to upgrade 
fixed and mobile warning systems to enable them to leverage the 
evolving Space Based Infra-Red System (SBIRS) capability. Progress has 
also been made on the construction of the new USSTRATCOM Command and 
Control (C2) Facility, which will support all our missions and will be 
a key component of our future nuclear and national C2 architecture. The 
C2 Facility, which is on track for occupancy in 2018, serves as a 
visible reminder to adversaries of the importance and national 
commitment to modernize our aging NC3 facilities.
    Weapons and Infrastructure. Today's stockpile remains safe, secure, 
effective, and meets operational requirements. However, our nuclear 
weapons (now averaging 27 years of service) and supporting 
infrastructure (some of which date back to the Manhattan Project) are 
in dire need of modernization and life extension. Surveillance 
activities, Life Extension Programs (LEPs), and Stockpile Stewardship 
efforts are essential to mitigating age-related effects and 
incorporating improved safety and security features without a return to 
underground nuclear explosive testing. Continued talent pool investment 
with our nuclear scientists and engineers is also paramount to 
providing viability to our stockpile requirements.
    As a member of the Nuclear Weapons Council (NWC), I work closely 
with my DOD and Department of Energy National Nuclear Security 
Administration (NNSA) counterparts to ensure we maintain a safe, 
secure, and effective nuclear stockpile. Active and sustained execution 
of the NWC's long-term ``3+2'' strategy to deliver three ballistic 
missile and two air-delivered warheads is crucial to addressing near-
term technical needs and future capability requirements. W76-1 and B61-
12 LEPs are on track and are necessary to maintain confidence in the 
reliability, safety and intrinsic security of our nuclear weapons. 
Additionally, early activities are underway to synchronize the LRSO 
cruise missile program with the W80-4 warhead LEP to ensure these 
programs are fielded in time to maintain a viable stand-off nuclear 
capability. The President's Budget ensures schedule alignment of the 
cruise missile and its associated warhead.
    Treaties. International agreements such as New Strategic Arms 
Reduction Treaty (New START), the Open Skies Treaty (OST), and the 
Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty contribute to strategic 
stability through transparency, confidence building, and verification. 
The State Department has primary responsibility for treaty 
administration, and USSTRATCOM remains closely involved in their 
execution. While these agreements have served valuable roles in 
promoting strategic stability, treaty violations are a significant 
cause for concern.
    In meeting treaty obligations, the United States Air Force has 
eliminated all non-operational intercontinental ballistic missile 
silos, and is placing 50 intercontinental ballistic missiles into a 
non-deployed status. All intercontinental ballistic missiles now carry 
only a single warhead. The Air Force has also eliminated non-
operational B-52G series heavy bombers, and is converting 42 B-52H's to 
conventional-only bomber missions. Additionally, the United States Navy 
is sealing four launch tubes on each Ohio-class SSBN, removing 56 
launch tubes from accountability under New START.
    Budget. Sustaining and modernizing the nuclear enterprise 
infrastructure is crucial to maintaining a viable nuclear deterrent 
force. It is impressive to see today's systems working well beyond 
their expected service life, but we cannot rely on that indefinitely. 
Aging weapon systems and supporting infrastructure are stressing our 
ability to maintain a viable and credible force.
    I share concerns about the cost of modernization, but the greater 
worry is the cost if we do not make needed investments. To reverse the 
long trend of flat or even declining resources, there must be a 
sustained, multi-decade investment program to our weapons, delivery 
systems and supporting infrastructure. As stated by the Congressional 
Budget Office, the expected cost of nuclear forces represents roughly 5 
percent to 6 percent of the total costs of the planned defense budgets 
for the next ten years. The importance of the foundational nuclear 
deterrent force to national security, assurance to our allies, our non-
proliferation objectives and strategic stability far outweigh the 
expense of recapitalization. Failing to provide the resources requested 
in the fiscal year 2017 budget request would delay the development of 
these programs and unacceptably degrade our credibility and ability to 
deter and assure. Our Nation must make this investment.
Space Operations
    The U.S. must maintain assured access to space. Our national space 
capabilities allow us to globally navigate, communicate, and observe 
events in areas where non-space sensors are not feasible. Space 
capabilities are also a vital component of comprehensive deterrence and 
assurance and are critical to supporting our deployed forces and our 
national decision-making processes. Investment in these capabilities is 
vital to our national security. We greatly appreciate the continued 
support of Congress in helping to increase the resiliency and vitality 
of our space assets.
    The space domain has increasingly become contested, degraded, and 
operationally limited. These are not new challenges. Some countries 
have clearly signaled their intent and ability to conduct hostile 
operations in space as an extension of the terrestrial battlefield. 
These operations would deny U.S. Forces the advantages of space, which 
have enabled us to favorably shape events in all corners of the globe.
    In response to growing space threats, the DOD and Intelligence 
Community (IC) established the Joint Space Doctrine and Tactics Forum 
(JSDTF), which I co-chair with Ms. Betty Sapp, Director, National 
Reconnaissance Office. The JSDTF's goals are to ensure U.S. space 
policy, doctrine, operational concepts, strategies and planning 
scenarios reflect that space is a contested domain, populated by 
dynamic actors. We have already made significant improvements in the 
integration of exercises and wargames, and are revising associated 
joint doctrine, as well as new tactics, techniques and procedures for 
our space operators. The JSDTF will foster the transformation of how 
the U.S. operates in space by promoting seamless functionality between 
the DOD and IC--a tight bond we must continue to strengthen.
    Another key initiative is the establishment of the Joint 
Interagency Combined Space Operations Center (JICSpOC) located at 
Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado. This center combines the efforts 
of USSTRATCOM, Air Force Space Command, and the intelligence community 
with a goal to create unity of effort and facilitate information 
sharing across the national security space enterprise. At its current 
phase, the JICSpOC is providing a robust location to conduct 
comprehensive operational experimentation. The JICSpOC will ensure the 
space enterprise meets and outpaces emerging and advanced space threats 
and will provide vital information for national leadership, allies, 
partners and the Joint Force. It will also serve to enhance the 
Nation's deterrent posture by demonstrating the United States is 
prepared when our space capabilities are threatened.
    A component to all of these efforts is Space Situational Awareness 
(SSA)--the information that allows us to understand what is on orbit, 
where it is, where it is going, and how it is being used. Consistent 
with long-standing obligations and principles of the Outer Space Treaty 
and other international legal standards, our goal is to ensure space 
remains a safe domain for all legitimate users. Sharing SSA information 
and collaborating with other nations and commercial firms promotes safe 
and responsible space operations, reduces the potential for debris-
producing collisions and other harmful interference, builds 
international confidence in U.S. space systems, fosters U.S. space 
leadership, and improves our own SSA through knowledge of owner/
operator satellite positional data.
    USSTRATCOM has negotiated SSA Sharing Agreements and Arrangements 
with 51 commercial entities, two intergovernmental organizations 
(EUMETSAT and European Space Agency), and ten nations (Spain, France, 
Italy, Japan, Australia, Canada, South Korea, United Kingdom, Germany, 
and Israel) and is in the process of negotiating additional agreements. 
Through these sharing agreements, USSTRATCOM assists partners with 
activities such as launch support; maneuver planning; support for 
satellite anomaly resolution, electromagnetic interference reporting 
and investigation; support for de-commissioning activities; and space 
object conjunction assessments.
    The Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP) 
achieved initial operational capability in October of 2015, and 
USSTRATCOM is now operating GSSAP satellites to enable our cutting-edge 
SSA capabilities. GSSAP facilitates space-monitoring activities that 
contribute to global safety of spaceflight, as well as the peaceful 
access to space.
    At the nucleus of USSTRATCOM's approach to space security is 
mission assurance--ensuring combatant commanders have required access 
to space-based capabilities. USSTRATCOM's Joint Functional Component 
Command for Space (JFCC-SPACE), located at Vandenberg Air Force Base in 
California, leads the effort, and through the Joint Space Operations 
Center (JSpOC), executes continuous and integrated military space 
operations and routinely tracks thousands of space objects in orbit 
around the Earth. This includes more than 1,300 active satellites 
operated by approximately 60 nations and a wide variety of government, 
commercial, and academic organizations. The JSpOC also maintains the 
catalog of all artificial Earth-orbiting objects, charts preset 
positions for orbital flight safety, and predicts objects reentering 
the Earth's atmosphere.
    We must sustain judicious and stable investments to preserve the 
advantages we hold in this complex environment. Examples include the 
Space Fence program which will greatly expand the capacity of the Space 
Surveillance Network; investments in modeling and simulation that will 
increase our understanding of the space environment and adversary 
capabilities; and funding for satellite communications that are 
resistant to interference. We must also continue to seek innovative and 
solutions with Allies and our commercial partners to ensure access to 
space operations remains available. These include active and passive 
protection measures for individual systems and constellations, and a 
critical examination of the architectural path we must follow to ensure 
resilience and affordability in our space capabilities.
Cyberspace Operations
    This year will mark the sixth anniversary of United States Cyber 
Command (USCYBERCOM). USCYBERCOM imparts an operational outlook and 
attitude to the management of the DOD's approximately seven million 
networked devices and 15,000 network enclaves.
    Our primary focus for cyberspace operations within DOD is building 
the capability and capacity to protect DOD networks, systems, and 
information; defend the nation against cyberattacks; and support 
operational and contingency plans. The Cyber Mission Force (CMF) 
construct addresses the significant challenges of recruiting, training 
and retaining people, in addition to acquiring the facilities and 
equipment necessary for successful cyberspace operations. We are 
creating 133 cyber mission teams manned by more than 6,000 highly 
trained people by the end of fiscal year 2018. To date, 84 of those 
teams are fielded and assigned to a variety of missions, including our 
ongoing efforts to degrade, dismantle, and ultimately destroy ISIL. 
These teams support combatant commands and national missions. Budget 
stability is crucial to achieving this vision.
    On 30 September 2015, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff signed the DOD Cybersecurity Culture and 
Compliance Initiative (DC3I), tasking USSTRATCOM and USCYBERCOM to lead 
implementation. DC3I fosters long-term improvement through training, 
inspections, reporting and accountability. Improving our cybersecurity 
culture requires a holistic approach that addresses people, processes, 
and technology. Such efforts will continue to be critical to defending 
our DOD networks.
Global Strike
    USSTRATCOM's Joint Functional Component Command for Global Strike 
(JFCC-GS) operates from Offutt AFB, Nebraska. JFCC-GS provides a unique 
ability to command and control our global strike capabilities and build 
plans that rapidly integrate into theater operations. This includes 
integration of combat capability associated with kinetic and non-
kinetic effects.
    Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS) capability offers the 
opportunity to rapidly engage high-value targets without resorting to 
nuclear options. CPGS can provide precision and responsiveness in Anti-
Access/Area Denial environments while simultaneously minimizing 
unintended military, political, environmental or economic consequences. 
I support continuing research and development of CPGS capabilities.
Missile Defense
    Ballistic missile proliferation and lethality continues to increase 
as countries acquire greater numbers of ballistic missiles, increase 
their ranges, and incorporate countermeasures. North Korea possesses 
the Taepo Dong 2 space launch vehicle/ICBM, and has displayed the KN08 
road-mobile ICBM that is likely capable of reaching much of the 
continental United States. North Korea also possesses hundreds of 
Short- and Medium-Range Ballistic Missiles capable of threatening South 
Korea, Japan, and forward-deployed United States forces in Eastern Asia 
and the Western Pacific. Iran's ballistic missile capability also 
presents a significant challenge to United States interests in the 
Middle East. Iran's overall defense strategy relies on a substantial 
inventory of ballistic missiles capable of striking targets throughout 
Southwest Asia and parts of Europe.
    Accordingly, effective missile defense is an essential element of 
the U.S. commitment to strengthen strategic and regional deterrence 
against states of concern. The Ground Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) 
system protects the United States Homeland against a limited ICBM 
attack from North Korea and potential future threats from Iran. 
However, continued investment in three broad categories is required to 
lower costs and improve our capabilities against growing threats: 1) 
persistent and survivable sensors, 2) increased inventories of Ground 
Based Interceptors (GBI) with improved performance and reliability and 
3) increased regional capability and capacity. These needs can be 
addressed by the continued funding of priority programs such as: Long-
Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR), Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV), Aegis 
Ballistic Missile Defense, Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense follow-
on, Overhead Persistent Infra-Red sensors, Upgraded Early Warning 
Radar, and Joint Tactical Ground Stations. Collectively, these 
improvements increase interceptor effectiveness and lower costs to 
defeat threats.
    We have made significant progress in reaching our missile defense 
goals. To enhance Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) sensors and 
discrimination, we are using available technology to improve sensors, 
battle management, fire control and kill vehicles, while fielding LRDR 
to improve tracking and discrimination for Homeland defense against 
Pacific theater threats. We are also increasing the number of GBIs from 
30 to 44 by the end of 2017. Upgrades continue to improve GBI fleet 
reliability, and the development of the RKV began last year with 
deployment expected in approximately 2020. The RKVs will be more 
reliable, cost-effective, and easier to produce.
    The European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) contributes to the 
defense of our deployed forces in Europe and our European NATO Allies. 
EPAA Phase 1 was achieved in December 2011. Phase 2 is going through 
testing and integration and we expect it to achieve operational 
capability in Spring 2016. Phase 3 remains on schedule to be 
operational in the 2018 timeframe and will provide defensive coverage 
against medium- and intermediate-range threats with the deployment of a 
second Aegis Ashore site in Poland and an upgraded SM-3 Block IIA 
interceptor. The EPAA continues to be interoperable with NATO's 
Ballistic Missile Defence system.
    While significant investments in intercept technology have 
increased our missile defense capability, much work remains. Increases 
in the quantity and quality of threats increase the risk that adversary 
missiles will penetrate our defenses and reach their intended targets. 
We are working with the Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defense 
Organization, the Missile Defense Agency and industry partners to 
explore improvements to the current BMDS. We must also examine the 
potential to prevent attacks by countering threats prior to launch. 
Efforts to defeat missile threats across the launch spectrum rely on 
awareness and warning and must be based on actions that are 
synchronized within a fully integrated missile defense architecture to 
maximize our limited defensive capacity.
Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD)
    The U.S National Security Strategy states ``there is no greater 
threat to the American people than weapons of mass destruction, 
particularly the danger posed by the pursuit of nuclear weapons by 
violent extremists.'' The DOD Strategy for CWMD also affirms that the 
pursuit of WMD and potential use by actors of concern pose a threat to 
U.S. national security and stability around the world. As DOD's global 
synchronizer for CWMD planning efforts, USSTRATCOM supports this 
strategy by leveraging the expertise resident in our Center for 
Combating Weapons of Mass Destruction (SCC-WMD), the Standing Joint 
Force Headquarters for Elimination (SJFHQ-E), and our partners at the 
Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)--all located at Ft. Belvoir, 
Virginia. Together our organizations conduct real-world and exercise 
CWMD activities with the other combatant commands to identify, 
prioritize, and mitigate WMD risks posed by the proliferation of WMD 
technology and expertise to nation-states and non-state actors.
    To execute the DOD Strategy for CWMD, we have identified a need for 
comprehensive situational awareness that incorporates collaborative 
tools, continuously assesses the WMD threat, and provides a holistic 
awareness of the WMD environment. This capability would provide an 
enhanced awareness of emergent catastrophic-scale WMD threats that 
require collaboration across the interagency and partner nations. There 
is also an urgent need to update agent defeat weapon systems and 
develop modeling and simulation to assess collateral damage during WMD 
weapon attacks. USSTRATCOM is working closely with DTRA to resolve 
modeling and simulation shortfalls and ensure that cutting-edge 
technology is applied to WMD consequence.
    The National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University 
of Nebraska, a University Affiliated Research Center in partnership 
with USSTRATCOM and the DOD, is providing our nation with cutting-edge 
mission-essential research and development capabilities in Combating 
Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD). The NSRI experienced another 
successful year conducting scientific research to help ensure 
preparedness for WMD threats.
Joint Electronic Warfare / Joint Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations
    The electromagnetic spectrum (EMS) reaches across geopolitical 
boundaries and domains, and is tightly integrated into the conduct of 
commerce, governance and national security. Commercial demand for 
spectrum access results in increased pressure on bandwidth 
traditionally used for military operations. Additionally, our potential 
adversaries are actively pursuing capabilities to contest our use of 
the EMS.
    Joint Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations (JEMSO) strengthens U.S. 
national objectives and enables the combat capability of the Joint 
Force by ensuring access to the EMS while denying adversaries the same. 
USSTRATCOM is developing JEMSO policy and doctrine, addressing 
capability gaps across the DOD, and working closely with the Combatant 
Commands, Services and other U.S. Government agencies through advocacy, 
planning and training.
Intelligence, Surveillance, & Reconnaissance (ISR)
    The demand for ISR has outpaced our ability to meet all needs. At 
the same time, we are focused on increasing the effectiveness and 
persistence of ISR capabilities while reducing business costs. Located 
at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, DC, USSTRATCOM's Joint 
Functional Component Command for ISR (JFCC-ISR) is working with the 
Joint Staff, Services, Combatant Commands and the Intelligence 
Community to improve the management of DOD's existing ISR capabilities. 
I fully support maximizing the agile use of the capabilities we have, 
while also enhancing allied and partner contribution and cooperation. 
These efforts are designed to increase the persistence of our ISR 
capabilities, reduce the risk of strategic surprise, and increase our 
ability to respond to crises.
Targeting and Analysis
    Targeting requires dedicated analysis. USSTRATCOM's Joint Warfare 
and Analysis Center (JWAC) in Dahlgren, VA enhances our Strategic 
Deterrence and Global Strike missions by providing unique comprehensive 
analysis. JWAC's ability to solve complex challenges for warfighters--
using a combination of social and physical science techniques and 
engineering expertise--is invaluable to protecting the Nation and 
helping the Joint Force accomplish its missions.
                               our people
    People remain our most precious resource and deserve our 
unequivocal commitment to their well-being. Just as we sustain and 
modernize our platforms and weapons, we must sustain and modernize our 
workforce. Maintaining a talent pool of nuclear scientists and 
engineers is also paramount to providing viability to meet our 
stockpile requirements. Likewise, investing in the future of the 
professionals who operate, maintain, secure, and support our nuclear 
enterprise is critical. Tomorrow's leaders must have the ability to 
stretch their intellect well beyond one-dimensional problems. They must 
be able to operate in a multi-dimensional environment with multiple 
activities taking place simultaneously.
    My visits throughout the past year confirmed my belief that we have 
an outstanding team in all of our mission areas. I am honored to lead 
such a focused, innovative and professional group dedicated to 
delivering critical warfighting capabilities to the Nation. Whether 
they are underwater on an SSBN, underground in a Launch Control Center, 
in the air on a bomber, or supporting missions from cyberspace to outer 
space, these great Americans do all they can for our Nation.
                               conclusion
    Achieving strategic deterrence, assurance and escalation control 
will require a multi-faceted, long-term approach to investing in 
strategic capabilities and a renewed commitment to sustaining 
intellectual capital. The sustainment and recapitalization of our 
Nation's strategic capabilities is sorely needed and must not be 
delayed.
    In today's uncertain times, your support, combined with the hard 
work of the exceptional men and women of United States Strategic 
Command, will ensure that we remain ready, agile and effective in 
deterring strategic attack, assuring our Allies and partners, and 
addressing current and future threats.

    Chairman McCain. Admiral Gortney.

 STATEMENT OF ADMIRAL WILLIAM E. GORTNEY, USN, COMMANDER, U.S. 
   NORTHERN COMMAND AND COMMANDER, NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE 
                        DEFENSE COMMAND

    Admiral Gortney. Chairman McCain, Senator Reed, 
distinguished members of the committee, it's an honor to be in 
front of you here today with my longtime shipmates, Admiral 
Cecil Haney and Admiral Kurt Tidd.
    First off, I'd like to thank you for the 2-year budget 
relief to sequestration. Last year, I talked about 
sequestration being the biggest threat to national security. 
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 is a much appreciated step in 
the right direction, and we all look forward to a more 
permanent solution in the future.
    I also appreciate the time many of you have spent with me 
over the past two weeks. From our discussions, I believe our 
time is spent--best spent if I quickly summarize the range of 
significant threats to the Homeland, because I agree with DNI 
[Director of National Intelligence] Clapper when he told your 
committee last month, ``Unpredictable instability has become 
the new normal.''
    I look at threats to the Homeland from those most dangerous 
to most likely. On the most dangerous, the nation-states: 
Russia, China, North Korea, where the peninsula is more 
unstable than it's ever been since the Armistice, and, of 
course, Iran. Non-state actors: Daesh, and, in the future, 
whatever adaptation Daesh will morph into. Then transnational 
organized crime who move product--drugs, humans, weapons, or 
anything that will make them a profit, exploiting the many 
seams between the nations in North, Central, and South America, 
the seams between the many agencies of the Governments of those 
nations, the seams created by the inadequate authorities, 
resources, and training of many of those agencies in those 
nations, and, yes, the seams created by the geographic 
boundaries of our combatant command structure, seams for which 
Kurt Tidd and I are accountable to close while we work the 
military-to-military effort of our Nation's whole-of-government 
approach to the many shared challenges within North, Central, 
and South America.
    The number-one priority of the Department and NORAD 
[Northern American Aerospace Defense Command] and NORTHCOM is 
Homeland defense. It's a no-fail mission, and it's just as 
important today as when NORAD and NORTHCOM were established, 
with one single commander responsible for the defense of our 
Homeland through the many domains of air, space, maritime, 
land, and cyber, although, within cyber, our responsibility 
extends only as far as defending our own networks.
    Today's evolving and resurgent threats are a function of 
the return-to-great-power competition and the continuing global 
terrorist threat. These threats create vulnerabilities best 
mitigated through an integrated and binational approach across 
the multiple domains, which requires a fully integrated defense 
in the air, space, sea, and land domains. As a result, together 
NORAD and NORTHCOM have evolved well past our Cold War and 9/11 
origins, and are today inseparable. We defend the Homelands in 
the air through the NORAD, and the remaining domains through 
NORTHCOM, facing the traditional and nontraditional threats in 
our assigned battlespace. NORAD and NORTHCOM work seamlessly 
together in defense of our Homeland. We're focused on complete 
unity of command and unity of effort. We are two commands, but 
a single, fully-integrated headquarters organized and trained 
to face the diverse array of evolving threats to our Nation's 
security.
    Outside the traditional military threat and again created 
by the return-of-great-power competition is the nontraditional 
threat to the Homeland. To counter this threat, I'm a 
supporting commander to the Department of Homeland Security, 
the Department of Justice, and the many law enforcement 
agencies engaged in this crucial fight. Here, my primary 
concern are homegrown violent extremists who are self-
radicalized and are in the receive-only mode and not actively 
communicating back to Daesh. These extremists are targeting SOF 
[Special Operations Forces], Department of Defense personnel 
and facilities, and our own fellow citizens. This is what 
occurred in Chattanooga on a DOD facility and in San Bernardino 
against our Nation's civilian population. As the commander 
accountable for setting the force-protection condition of DOD 
facilities in the continental United States, we at NORTHCOM 
work closely with the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps 
in order to balance the enduring nature of this threat with the 
services' ability to complete the many missions they have here 
in the Homeland.
    In closing, I want to mention our Homeland partnerships 
that enable our success. We partner continuously with the 
numerous interagency components of the government. These 
include the National Guard, both airmen and soldiers, the 
intelligence community, law enforcement agencies, and our 
closest mission partner, the Department of Homeland Security. 
Our mission partners maintain nearly 60 liaison officers in our 
headquarters, and these patriots are fully embedded into our 
ops and our intel organization.
    Building partnership capacity within the Homeland is 
absolutely vital to our mission. At NORTHCOM, 70 percent of our 
major exercise--and this is nearly 200 each year--are focused 
on our mission partners as the primary target audience of the 
exercise programs. We call this Theater Security Cooperation 
within the Homeland. This is NORTHCOM supporting our mission 
partners, and our mission partners supporting us, which is why 
we view these Homeland partnerships as our center of gravity, 
as they are critical to the success across all of our assigned 
mission areas.
    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak, and I 
welcome your questions.
    [The prepared statement of Admiral Gortney follows:]

            Prepared Statement by Admiral William E. Gortney
                              introduction
    Chairman McCain, Ranking Member Reed, and distinguished members of 
the Committee, I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today 
to discuss the posture of United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) 
and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). I am here 
representing the Commands' soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coast 
guardsmen, national guardsmen, reservists, and civilians safeguarding 
our nation amidst the most diverse and challenging security atmosphere 
in our history. Brave men and women are confronting this rapidly 
changing defense environment head-on. It is an honor and a privilege to 
serve alongside them and I am grateful to the Committee for the support 
you provide.
    North America is increasingly vulnerable to a vast array of 
evolving threats--from highly capable, national powers to disaffected 
individuals who act in response to extremist propaganda. These threats 
are growing and becoming much more diffuse and less attributable. 
Moreover, I believe that many of the crises originating as regional 
conflicts elsewhere in the world are rapidly manifesting themselves 
here at home and they continue to challenge our ability to warn and 
defend.
    The complexity and volatility of our strategic environment demands 
that we advance and sustain the capabilities to protect our Homelands. 
I believe the President's fiscal year 2017 budget represents a balanced 
approach to maintaining our strategic advantage within the realities of 
a fiscally-constrained environment. We are still feeling the impacts of 
sequestration, primarily because the majority of the Services' cuts 
were from the operations and maintenance accounts, which directly 
impedes their ability to provide trained and equipped servicemembers to 
Combatant Commands. I thank the Committee for your support in passing 
the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which represents another important 
step toward permanent relief from the sequestration caps in the Budget 
Control Act of 2011.
    We are resolute in our commitment to deter, prevent, and defeat 
attacks against the United States and Canada. We stand ready to provide 
rapid and robust support to the primary lead agencies responding to 
domestic disasters and the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) charged with 
combating transnational organized crime. We continue to strengthen our 
regional and Homeland partnerships; they are our center of gravity.
                         strategic environment
    The expansive complexity of the contemporary security environment 
makes defending the Homeland a continual challenge. The spectrum of 
threats to our national security ranges from traditional nation-state 
military capabilities to individuals with access to increasingly 
destructive technologies. The diffusion of capability, the inexact art 
of predicting intent, and the complications of attribution all 
contribute to a blurring of lines between traditional military threats 
and asymmetric threats that trigger military support or response. 
Technological advances and proliferation coupled with pockets of 
instability will generate a growing array of potential threats against 
which we must posture ourselves. Many of our potential adversaries are 
pursuing advanced weapons development not seen in decades. 
Individually, they pose serious concerns to our national security and 
the international community. Collectively, they represent a vast 
spectrum of complex and volatile threats that I believe will only 
continue to grow and threaten the Homeland if we hesitate to act 
decisively.
                                 russia
    A resurgent Russia continues to assert itself on the world stage. 
No longer content merely to pursue primacy within its near abroad, 
Russia's forays into Syria highlight Vladimir Putin's willingness to 
employ military power to advance his agenda outside Russia's near 
abroad. Last year I stated that Russia is progressing toward its goal 
of deploying long-range, conventionally armed cruise missiles 
comparable to Western systems. In 2015 these efforts came to fruition, 
as Russia employed heavy bombers, surface vessels, and a submarine to 
launch advanced conventional cruise missiles at targets in Syria. These 
operations served as a proof-of-concept for weapons systems and tactics 
ultimately intended to provide flexible deterrent options in a future 
crisis.
    Russia's strategic nuclear forces remain the only foreign military 
threat that could imperil our nation's existence, and Moscow continues 
to spend significant resources to modernize its nuclear arsenal and 
delivery systems. While Russia seeks to avoid a strategic conflict with 
the United States, Moscow perceives itself to be threatened by a 
coordinated Western effort to erode its sovereignty, weaken its 
economy, and undermine its regime. I am concerned these threat 
perceptions could prompt Russia's leaders to misinterpret our 
intentions in a crisis, leading to inadvertent escalation.
                                 china
    As part of its long-term, comprehensive military modernization 
program, China continues to modernize and expand its strategic forces 
with a focus on improving its ability to survive a first strike and 
penetrate United States' missile defenses. Concerned that that United 
States precision strike and missile defense capabilities undermine its 
strategic deterrent, Beijing is working to improve the survivability of 
its nuclear force to ensure a credible second-strike capability.
    China continues to supplement its modest silo-based 
intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) force with a growing number 
of road-mobile ICBMs and is now in the process of operationalizing its 
first viable class of ballistic missile submarines, which, if 
successful, would be China's first sea-based strategic nuclear 
deterrent. China is also developing a range of anti-access and area-
denial weapons which, along with its cyber, counter-space, and 
strategic nuclear capabilities, are designed to discourage United 
States intervention in a regional crisis. Meanwhile, Beijing's 
diplomatic strategy appears to be focused on limiting United States 
options by denying physical and political access in key regions around 
the globe.
                              north korea
    North Korea's recent hostile cyberspace activity, nuclear testing, 
and continued ballistic missile development represent a dangerous 
threat to our national security. North Korea's recent nuclear test and 
satellite launch demonstrate Kim Jong Un's commitment to developing 
strategic capabilities, as well as his disregard for United Nations 
Security Council resolutions. The regime's efforts to develop and 
deploy the road-mobile KN08 ICBM have profound implications for 
Homeland missile defense, primarily because the missile obviates most 
of the pre-launch indicators on which we have traditionally relied to 
posture our defenses. While the KN08 remains untested, modeling 
suggests it could deliver a nuclear payload to much of the Continental 
United States. We assess Kim Jong Un is unlikely to attack our Homeland 
unless he perceives an imminent threat to his regime's survival. 
However, we are concerned the possession of a nuclear ICBM could 
embolden the regime's intransigence below the nuclear threshold and 
complicate our response to a crisis on the peninsula. While I do not 
believe that North Korea's efforts to develop a submarine-launched 
ballistic missile represent a near-term threat to the United States 
Homeland, the program underscores the level of effort and resources the 
regime is willing to devote to developing advanced weapon systems. As 
the combatant commander charged with defending the Homeland, I take 
this threat very seriously, particularly in light of North Korea's 
unpredictable leadership.
                                  iran
    Iran poses multiple significant security concerns to the United 
States, and I remain wary of its strategic trajectory. Last year's 
conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was a welcome 
development, but, Iran's continuing pursuit of long-range missile 
capabilities and ballistic missile and space launch programs, in 
violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions, remains a 
serious concern. Iran has successfully orbited satellites using a 
first-generation space launch vehicle and announced plans to orbit a 
larger satellite using its ICBM-class booster as early as this year. In 
light of these advances, we assess Iran may be able to deploy an 
operational ICBM by 2020 if the regime choses to do so. Additionally, 
Iran has invested in developing advanced offensive cyberspace 
capability and has demonstrated cyberspace operations that could 
threaten our critical civil infrastructure.
                           violent extremists
    In addition to the challenges posed by global and regional powers, 
a more insidious threat comes from extremists who undermine our 
national security through radicalization and violence. Here in the 
Homeland, we face a pernicious terrorist threat from the self-
proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which I choose 
to refer to as Daesh. Their sophisticated and robust social media 
campaign is motivating citizens to do harm to fellow citizens. Daesh 
has a strong recruiting narrative amplified by abundant attention in 
traditional and social media, which can resonate amongst disaffected 
Westerners. The tragic attacks in Chattanooga and San Bernardino 
underscore the difficulty intelligence and law enforcement face in 
detecting Homegrown Violent Extremists (HVEs) who do not show outward, 
reported signs of radicalization prior to an attack.
    Meanwhile, we remain attuned to the potential for foreign terrorist 
organizations to conduct more complex, directed attacks in North 
America. al Qaeda and Daesh have communicated their intent to attack 
North America, and Daesh demonstrated its capability to conduct 
horrific, large scale attacks with the November 13th attacks in Paris. 
In addition, we have observed a continued focus on aviation targets, 
most notably by the probable bombing of a Russian airliner over the 
Sinai Peninsula in November. While much work needs to be done, since 9/
11, our law enforcement partners and the wider Intelligence Community 
have vastly improved procedures to deter or prevent similar coordinated 
attacks, but terrorists are constantly adapting. We are prepared to 
support civil authorities when asked if a complex or large-scale attack 
were to take place.
                     transnational organized crime
    Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) presents a dangerous and highly 
sophisticated threat to the United States and a challenge to global 
stability. Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) exploit 
infrastructure, corrupt officials, challenge societal norms, and are 
responsible for attacks on law enforcement and innocent civilians. TCOs 
represent the principal suppliers of illicit drugs into the Homeland 
and the trafficking of precursor chemicals for use in illicit drug 
production. TOC erodes the rule of law through extortion, violence and 
other illicit activity, which creates a security vulnerability that 
could be exploited by state and non-state actors.
                           lines of operation
    In my statement to this Committee last year, I described the unique 
aspects of USNORTHCOM as the nation's Homeland geographic combatant 
command (GCC) and NORAD as the nation's oldest bi-national command. I 
explained the importance of prioritizing our complementary and 
individual functions with a focus on our shared end states. Our key 
Lines of Operation are more critical than ever to our mission success. 
We map all of our activities to these Lines of Operation, which shape 
our activities and effort.

 
 
 
      USNORTHCOM and NORAD Lines of Operation
     ---------------------------------------------------------------
       Defense of our Homelands
       Defense Support of Civil Authorities
       Homeland Partnerships
       Regional Partnerships
       The Arctic
       Professionalism and Excellence
       Warfighters and Families
 


                        defense of our homelands
    As the Commander of USNORTHCOM and NORAD, my primary task is to 
defend the Homelands. Defense of our Homelands is our dominant line of 
operation, and it is the core focus of USNORTHCOM and NORAD primary 
missions. We are ever mindful of the supreme responsibility we have of 
defending the security of the United States, our citizens, and our 
allies and partners. In 2015, we celebrated NORAD's 57th year defending 
North America against attack through our no-fail aerospace warning and 
aerospace control missions. NORAD was born in the Cold War and expanded 
to an internal threat focus after 9/11. By contrast, USNORTHCOM was 
born in the aftermath of 9/11 and shaped by the seminal nature of those 
attacks. Both Commands are ever-adapting within the strategic 
environment, and we work hard to develop our capabilities to outpace 
threats.
                            missile defense
    USNORTHCOM's most prominent Homeland defense mission is Ballistic 
Missile Defense (BMD). Currently, our BMD architecture is designed 
primarily to defend against limited long range ballistic missile 
attacks from North Korean and Iran. In light of an evolving threat and 
the increasingly enigmatic and unpredictable nature of North Korea's 
dictator, Kim Jong Un, I believe it is imperative that the United 
States continue to develop more capable forces and broader options for 
effective ballistic missile defense. Our BMD architecture is comprised 
of a group of independent, yet interrelated components that form a 
complex and unified defensive network. This system of systems cannot be 
modernized and maintained sequentially; each component must be improved 
concurrently to outpace the evolving threat. I agree with and support 
the modernization priorities set by Vice Admiral Jim Syring and his 
team at the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), including improvement in our 
discrimination sensors, lethality of our kill vehicles, sustainment of 
the BMD architecture, and development of our kinetic and non-kinetic 
options. I am grateful to this committee for your support and 
commitment to modernizing our Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).
    We are on the right path to improving our sensors through the 
development and deployment of the new Long Range Discrimination Radar 
(LRDR). This critical midcourse sensor is expected to provide 
persistent sensor coverage and vastly improve our target tracking and 
discrimination capability. The LRDR will help us evaluate our 
countermeasure options and increase the capability of our Ground Based 
Midcourse Defense (GMD) interceptors.
    We remain on track to deploy the final 14 interceptors in Alaska, 
which will give us 44 missiles in the ground by the end of 2017. 
Finishing the inventory is a big step toward the robust BMDS of the 
future, but it is critical that we not stop there. We need to continue 
working on enhancements to the current Exo-atmospheric Kill Vehicle 
(EKV), and investments in the future Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV). We 
need to invest in the lethality of our kill vehicles, and in ways to 
get us to the right side of the cost curve. Our adversaries are 
developing relatively inexpensive technologies, which we assess can 
reach the Homeland. By contrast, our interceptors are vastly more 
expensive. Today, our BMDS is in an unsustainable cost model, which has 
us postured to shoot down inexpensive rockets with very expensive ones.
    I believe that Homeland defense is fundamentally an ``away game'', 
and missile defense is no exception. Today's GMD system is designed to 
intercept incoming threats after the launch is initiated. While that 
approach offers us sufficient decision space, we need to augment our 
defensive posture with one that is designed to defeat ballistic missile 
threats in the boost phase as well as before they are launched, known 
as ``left of launch.'' In concert with our public and private 
stakeholders, MDA is working on an emerging technology that will enable 
us to employ non-kinetic methods to defeat ballistic missile threats 
when we receive indications that a launch is imminent. I believe this 
technology will reduce the overall cost of engagement-based missile 
defense and provide us options to defeat ballistic missiles that 
continue to proliferate around the world.
    We work closely with other GCCs, functional combatant commands, and 
partner nations to leverage capabilities that enable us to protect the 
Homeland. Thanks to agreements with the Government of Japan, United 
States Pacific Command (USPACOM) was able to deploy a second Army Navy/
Transportable Radar Surveillance and Control Model 2, or AN/TPY-2 to 
Japan, which dramatically improved our ability to ``defend forward.''
    In addition to the proliferation of ballistic missile threats, I am 
deeply troubled by the development of advanced long-range cruise 
missiles and the growing threat they represent to North America. Russia 
possesses both conventional and nuclear cruise missiles with the range 
to reach North America and it has proliferated some advanced cruise 
missile technologies to other actors. This threat is real and it is 
imperative that we develop effective response options to outpace the 
threat and enhance our deterrence. We are working with the Joint 
Integrated Air and Missile Defense Organization (JIAMDO), MDA, and 
other stakeholders to improve our Cruise Missile Defense (CMD) 
capabilities.
    Effectively countering and defeating cruise missiles requires a 
layered and integrated architecture that can defend across the full 
spectrum of the engagement sequence. Cruise missiles represent a real 
operational challenge because of their increased standoff capability, 
low altitude and small radar signatures. Although no single system can 
counter all cruise missiles, we have confidence in our layered 
architecture to defend the Homeland. To defeat this more capable 
threat, we are working on enhancements to each of the individual 
systems, including our Indications and Warnings capabilities, wide-
area-surveillance, and advanced fire control infrastructure.
    We are in the first segment of our three-phase Homeland Defense 
Design (HDD) effort, which will improve our capability to find, fix, 
track, target, and engage growing air threats, such as those posed by 
cruise missiles, low-slow aircraft, and long-range aviation. In this 
first phase, we are testing and evaluating advanced sensors as well as 
integrated command and control capabilities. In addition to the new 
STateside Affordable Radar System (STARS), we had begun a three-year 
operational exercise of the Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense 
Elevated Netted Sensor System (JLENS). This exercise has been an 
opportunity for us to see how well JLENS can fit into the existing 
Integrated Air Defense System (IADS) of the National Capital Region 
(NCR), including deployment of a JLENS Fire Control System aerostat, 
which is designed to work in tandem with the surveillance aerostat.
    Unfortunately, on October 28, 2015, the JLENS Fire Control System 
aerostat detached from its mooring station on Aberdeen Proving Ground, 
Maryland, and eventually grounded in a wooded area in northeast 
Pennsylvania. The Army is conducting a thorough investigation to 
determine the cause of the incident. Although this was a setback to our 
operational exercise, we still believe the JLENS system shows great 
promise in defense of the NCR. If the outcome of the investigation 
leads to the resumption of the operational exercise, we will work with 
the Army and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, as well as 
Congressional Defense Committees, on the way forward to continue our 
assessment of JLENS' performance in support of cruise missile defense.
       aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning
    In 1958, the United States and Canada formalized the bi-national 
agreement, which created NORAD to provide centralized operational 
control of continental air defenses against the threat of Soviet 
bombers. Every subsequent renewal of that agreement helped reshape the 
partnership to meet evolving threats to North America. After the fall 
of the Soviet Union, and in light of non-traditional aerospace threats, 
NORAD expanded its mission to include air sovereignty, warning, and 
assessment. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, NORAD's paradigm 
changed, and we began to focus on aviation security issues originating 
within Canada and the United States. For the last 14 years, Operation 
NOBLE EAGLE has defended our nation against 9/11-style terrorist 
attacks and other non-traditional aviation threats.
    Aerospace warning and aerospace control of North America remains 
NORAD's primary missions. The command retains robust air defense 
capabilities to execute the air sovereignty mission over Canada, Alaska 
and the continental United States. Today, we are confronted with an 
unprecedented spectrum of aerospace and maritime challenges, ranging 
from resurgence in Russian naval and aerospace activity to the 
proliferation of private Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).
    In addition to expanded military activity in Europe and the Middle 
East, we are observing a significant rise in Russian military 
assertiveness in the approaches to North America. Russian Long Range 
Aviation activity has surged, beginning with regular out-of-area 
patrols in 2007, culminating with a record number of out-of-area 
patrols in 2014 and the first-ever combat use of Russian heavy bombers 
in the Syrian conflict in November 2015.
    NORAD is responsible for monitoring and identifying all aircraft of 
interest approaching North America that may enter the sovereign 
airspace of either Canada or the United States. On July 4th, 2015, 
NORAD fighter aircraft intercepted and visually identified two sets of 
Russian Tu-95 ``Bear'' long-range bombers flying in the United States 
Air Defense Identification Zone, one in the airspace west of Alaska's 
coast and another off the coast of central California. Although none of 
the four bombers entered United States or Canadian sovereign airspace 
and were not a direct threat to our national security, they do 
represent a strategic demonstration of Russian military capability. I 
believe these flights are one way the Kremlin delivers the message that 
Russia remains a power with global reach.
    In addition to increasing activity from state-actors and the 
potential for 9/11-style attacks, the growing availability and 
expanding capability of small manned and unmanned aerial systems will 
challenge the DOD, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and our 
law enforcement partners defending our airspace. UAS constitute a 
rapidly-developing industry, with increasingly sophisticated and yet 
simple-to-operate systems available for purchase by the general public, 
increasing the likelihood that more of these aircraft will be used in 
the National Airspace System. Although the vast majority of these 
devices are operated in a lawful manner, their growing availability 
increases the likelihood of illicit use. Countering increased 
proliferation of non-traditional aviation technology (NTAT) will take a 
whole-of-community approach, with law enforcement at every level 
playing a critical role.
    NORAD is postured to defend against threats to North America by 
aircraft, cruise missiles, and medium or large UASs. However, the 
layered detection infrastructure used to detect, identify, and track 
these threats is not designed for smaller non-traditional aircraft or 
UAS. On April 15, 2015, a small manned gyrocopter departed from 
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and flew to the NCR, landing on the grounds of 
the Capitol in Washington, DC. The gyrocopter unknowingly exploited an 
operational challenge in detecting and tracking low-altitude and slow-
speed aerial vehicles.
    The airspace surrounding the NCR, known as the Washington DC. 
Special Flight Rules Area (SFRA) is monitored by the Integrated Air 
Defense System (IADS), which is a vast network of radars, cameras, and 
other detection and warning devices. The IADS is extremely capable of 
identifying and tracking potential threats to the NCR--anything from 
large commercial aircraft down to small, single-propeller recreational 
aircraft. Our post-event analysis revealed that the gyrocopter was 
detected by several of our integrated sensors as it approached and 
transited the SFRA. However, some of the aircraft's operational 
parameters, including speed, altitude, and radar cross-section fell 
below the thresholds necessary to differentiate it from surrounding 
objects , including weather, terrain, and birds. This event reinforced 
the fact that detecting and tracking low-altitude and slow-speed aerial 
vehicles is a significant technical challenge. The post-event analysis 
was a turning point for the interagency community's efforts addressing 
the technical and procedural changes necessary to detect, track, and 
mitigate threats posed by these non-traditional aviation technologies.
    As the spectrum of aerospace and maritime threats expands, we test 
and evaluate our ability to warn and defend against a range of 
scenarios. We challenge ourselves to outpace the known threats and 
anticipate the unknown ones. In order to test responses, systems and 
equipment, NORAD conducts numerous exercises with a variety of 
scenarios, including airspace restriction violations, hijackings and 
responses to unknown aircraft. This year, we conducted fourteen robust 
interagency live-fly aerospace defense exercises. These training events 
are scenario-based and are intended to exercise all aspects of our 
airspace defense plans. Defending the airspace in the NCR requires 
close collaboration with all the interagency stakeholders; therefore, 
we coordinate and exercise with our key partners, including the Federal 
Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Capital Region Coordination 
Center (NCRCC), the Joint Air Defense Operations Center (JADOC), the 
Civil Air Patrol, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Continental NORAD 
Region (CONR) Eastern and Western Air Defense Sectors.
    In addition to NORAD's traditional air defense role, our mission 
set also encompasses maritime warning, which includes the unique 
responsibility of providing maritime domain awareness and maritime 
warning of activities conducted in the maritime approaches and internal 
waterways of North America. Although NORAD does not have a maritime 
control mission, we are uniquely postured to process, assess and 
disseminate intelligence and operational information to our Canadian 
and United States interagency partners. The maritime approaches to 
North America are extremely congested, which makes executing a 
unilateral, bilateral or bi-national response to a threat challenging. 
We issued eight maritime warning advisories in 2015, providing a 
critical bi-national Homeland defense support capability.
                            homeland defense
    Global violent extremism is on the rise and it is neither 
restricted to a single ideology nor constrained by borders. The 2015 
attacks in Paris, Mali, Chattanooga, San Bernadino, and others 
represent a growing radical movement of groups and individuals inspired 
by a range of beliefs that promote or use violence to undermine our 
universal values. Here in the Homeland, we are seeing a growing use of 
violence by domestic terrorists and HVEs, many of whom are radicalized 
by violent extremist groups like Daesh, and al Qaeda.
    We collaborate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), DHS, 
and many other federal agencies to provide unity of effort to deter, 
prevent, and defend against threats to our Homeland. Our federal 
partners and allies have successfully deterred or prevented some 
violent plots, but blind spots and intelligence gaps are common when 
trying to counter terrorism, so we must prepare for those times when we 
have no specific warning. In making assessments of possible threats, we 
gather and share snippets of information and try to determine how 
individual threat reports may morph into threat streams. We assess 
these threats against four specific attributes: plausibility, 
credibility, specificity, and imminency. In a number of cases, we are 
able to establish that the threats are plausible and credible, but 
often times we lack specific and imminent pre-operational indicators, 
which makes preventing these attacks especially challenging.
    As the Commander of USNORTHCOM, I am responsible for protecting DOD 
installations and personnel from domestic threats. One of my assigned 
tasks is setting the baseline Force Protection Condition (FPCON) for 
DOD installations in the Homeland. Earlier this year, we began to 
observe a growing focus on targeting members of the United States 
military, in addition to virtual targeting of DOD personnel after Daesh 
released the names and addresses of U.S. servicemembers.
    On May 7, 2015, I raised the FPCON level in the United States to 
FPCON Bravo, which is only the second time that has been done since 9/
11. My decision was a prudent measure to ensure increased vigilance and 
safeguarding of DOD personnel, installations, and facilities within my 
USNORTHCOM Area of Responsibility (AOR). I believe terrorists will 
continue to emphasize targeting DOD personnel for the foreseeable 
future, so establishing a preemptive, unpredictable frequency of 
actions will mitigate threats to our installations, personnel, assets, 
resources, and infrastructure.
    After the tragic July 16th shootings in Chattanooga, I released an 
additional force protection advisory that mandated several additional 
randomly-applied security measures within FPCON Bravo, with an emphasis 
on off-installation activities, including recruiting stations, Reserve 
centers, and Reserve Officer Training Corps units. With this threat not 
diminishing, these increased security measures will likely become our 
new normal, so we implemented measures that were practicable and 
sustainable for the facilities affected.
    For the Homeland, I believe Daesh's center of gravity is in their 
narrative and a perception of success in bringing about a 21st century 
``caliphate.'' Our objective must move beyond defending against violent 
extremism to preventing it entirely by breaking their cycle of 
radicalization, which will require countering their narrative at the 
grassroots level. Countering the narrative of terrorists like al Qaeda 
and Daesh requires a globally unified response, including positive and 
proactive contributions from national and local governments, local 
communities, and the private sector.
           counternarcotics and transnational organized crime
    The trafficking and the endemic abuse of illicit drugs represent a 
national security threat to the United States. The primary criminal 
drug threat is posed by Mexican TCOs, the main suppliers of cocaine, 
heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana throughout the United States. 
TOC distribution networks and drug trafficking enterprises are 
expanding, most notably among the heroin and methamphetamine markets. 
Here in the Homeland, TCOs maintain relatively low profiles to avoid 
confrontations with law enforcement, but their domestically-affiliated 
gangs commit violent crimes to maintain power in their territories and 
control their local drug markets. In addition to illicit drug 
trafficking, these intricate TOC networks move legal goods, weapons, 
natural resources, and people, with revenues comparable to the gross 
domestic product of small countries.
    Combating TOC requires unity of effort among federal, state, local, 
and foreign governments. We will continue to work together with our 
interagency partners in assisting Mexico and other countries around the 
world to respond to the evolving threats posed by transnational 
criminal organizations. Central to this effort is strengthening our 
partner nations' ability to enhance the rule of law so that judicial, 
law enforcement, security, and community organizations can effectively 
combat the TCOs.
    USNORTHCOM works very hard to develop the trusted partnership 
opportunities with our domestic law enforcement agencies and Mexican 
military partners to align and synchronize our efforts. We provide 
title 10 counterdrug support to federal, state, and local law 
enforcement agencies, and we coordinate with the National Guard to 
synchronize DOD support to domestic law enforcement. When requested by 
Mexico, and in a manner consistent with the human rights provisions of 
the Leahy Law, USNORTHCOM cooperates with the U.S. Country Team and the 
Mexican military to support efforts building C-TOC capacities to 
disrupt and degrade TCO activities.
    We provide operational counterdrug support through our subordinate 
command, Joint Task Force North (JTF-N), which recruits and employs 
title 10 units on a strictly voluntary basis filling domestic law 
enforcement gaps with mostly military-unique capabilities. In 2015, 
JTF-N provided support to 51 specific multi-domain and multi-LEA 
operations, including detection and monitoring, ground surveillance, 
and mobility support.
    In addition to providing critical military-unique support to LEA, 
the operational support provided by the title 10 units significantly 
benefits DOD, because in many cases, it simultaneously achieves many of 
the supporting unit's critical training requirements. The planning, 
interagency collaboration, and dynamic execution of these missions 
closely approximates the missions these units will perform during 
future deployments, and the setting of southwest border operations 
mirrors the austere environment common to many forward-deployed 
locations.
    USNORTHCOM is just one supporting organization in the much larger 
interagency and international law enforcement effort to counter TOC in 
the global environment. We contribute, as the other combatant commands 
do, by addressing threats in our AOR, providing support to our 
interagency and host nation partners, and collaborating with each other 
to close gaps and seams. We will continue our efforts to enhance mutual 
trust, increase collaboration, improve C-TOC capacity, and to 
contribute to a cooperative defense of North America.
                                 cyber
    Cyber threats are increasingly among the most serious national 
security dangers faced by the United States today, and I remain adamant 
in considering activity in cyberspace as integral to an overall 
domestic attack assessment. More and more we are confronted by a range 
of actors, from nation states like Russia, North Korea, China, and 
Iran, to profit-motivated criminals and ideologically-driven hackers. 
Both state and non-state actors attempt to target critical 
infrastructure, information and telecommunication systems, and 
financial institutions. What makes cyber attacks so difficult to defend 
against is the speed at which the technology advances, coupled with the 
diffuse nature of the attacks and the difficulty to attribute the 
source.
    Cyber attacks pose a serious risk to the networks and systems 
controlling our critical infrastructure. The U.S. military is dependent 
on privately owned critical infrastructure, an attack on which could 
yield potentially severe consequences in a time of crisis. We are 
working with our Government and industry partners to isolate our 
vulnerabilities and identify ways to prevent malicious cyber activity 
while defending our networks.
    In addition to the millions of daily vulnerability probes of our 
networks and other cyber sabotage activity, we have seen a rise in 
Chinese cyber espionage, resulting in a significant loss of 
intellectual property and sensitive information that resides on some of 
our unclassified systems. This loss of vital intellectual property has 
the potential to damage our national security and impede our economic 
growth.
                  defense support of civil authorities
    As the USNORTHCOM Commander and a GCC with responsibility for 49 of 
50 states, I have the responsibility to provide DOD assistance to 
federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal authorities within the 
Homeland. Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA), our second Line 
of Operation, is a unique authority by which we facilitate DOD support 
in response to requests for assistance from civil authorities for 
domestic emergencies, law enforcement support, and other domestic 
activities. DSCA covers the spectrum of civil activities, from 
localized weather incidents to the response to weapons of mass 
destruction events. The DOD has a long history of supporting civil 
authorities with specialized skills, capabilities, and capacities 
maintained for the battlefield that provide stability in the wake of 
catastrophic events at home. Our support has been significantly shaped 
by lessons learned in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, 
and we conduct vigorous exercises to forge our enduring partnerships 
with agencies and organizations across the country. We stand ready to 
support the lead federal agencies (LFA) in responding quickly to 
natural and manmade disasters and to the effects of terrorist attacks.
    The most prominent and frequent support we provide is disaster 
response assistance to DHS's Federal Emergency Management Agency 
(FEMA). Last year's FEMA major disaster declarations were mostly in 
response to severe storms, flooding, and wildfires. We directly 
supported disaster relief operations to several states that suffered 
widespread flooding, including South Carolina. One of the worst fire 
seasons in recent United States history occurred this past year, with 
wildfires spreading throughout much of the Western United States and 
straining federal, state, and local firefighting capacity. Of note, 
2015 was the worst year on record for wildfires in Washington State, 
culminating in a rash of fires that resulted in a federal emergency 
declaration. As a result of widespread fires, the National Interagency 
Fire Center (NIFC) set the national Preparedness Level (PL) at PL5, the 
highest level, which indicated that wide geographic areas were 
experiencing major incidents which had the potential to exhaust all 
agency fire resources. For the first time since 2006, the NIFC 
submitted a Request For Assistance (RFA) through USNORTHCOM, with final 
approval by the Secretary of Defense for DOD firefighting support. In 
August 2015, NIFC's request was approved, and with the help of the 
United States Army, we deployed 200 soldiers from 17th Field Artillery 
Brigade located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington to provide 
ground support to the fire-fighting effort. The crews assisted the fire 
prevention efforts, and constructed firebreaks to slow or stop the 
progress of the fire.
    As incidents in the Homeland develop, we work closely with our 
interagency partners to provide options for DOD support, should they 
require our assistance. In November, the DHS and U.S. Department of 
Health and Human Services (HHS) observed an increase in the number of 
unaccompanied children (UC) and family units apprehended along the 
Southwest Border, with a trend that was projected to exceed its organic 
housing capacity. The Office of Refugee Resettlement at HHS initiated a 
plan to expand its temporary capacity to house unaccompanied children, 
which included a request to the DOD to identify facilities capable of 
temporarily housing UCs. In support of HHS and with the help of the 
Services, we coordinated the use of several DOD installations that 
could be used for this purpose, under a reimbursable agreement between 
the agencies. In January 2016, 129 UCs arrived at Holloman Air Force 
Base, New Mexico under the care of HHS' Administration for Children and 
Families and USNORTHCOM remains ready to facilitate the use of other 
DOD installations if needed.
                         homeland partnerships
    The focal point of USNORTHCOM and NORAD's power and strength are in 
the partnerships that we create and sustain with joint, interagency, 
and multinational organizations. Our trusted partnerships are our 
center of gravity and are critical to our success across the spectrum 
of our missions. Homeland Partnerships, our third line of operation, 
underscore every one of our mission areas, and are best represented by 
the integration in our headquarters of nearly 60 DOD and non-DOD 
federal agencies, department representatives, and liaison officers. I 
view Homeland defense as a team effort, and I rely on partnerships with 
my fellow combatant commands, the Services, and our interagency 
partners to accomplish this mission.
    We have built on our partnership with the Joint Improvised-threat 
Defeat Agency (JIDA) and the resulting collaboration with the lead 
federal agencies to protect the Homeland from next-generation 
Improvised Explosive Devices (IED).
    We continue to develop our key partnership with the DHS and provide 
support through frequent strategic, operational and tactical dialogue. 
I collaborate regularly with DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson through visits 
and monthly video teleconferences. I believe that his Southern Border 
and Approaches Campaign will further unify Homeland defense and 
security along our southern border. We are underway with the first of 
three deliberate phases of support toward an end state of fully 
integrated and synchronized operational activities with DHS's new Joint 
Task Forces (JTFs).
                         regional partnerships
    USNORTHCOM and NORAD do not face today's complex strategic 
environment alone. Our allies and partner nations actively contribute 
to the cooperative defense of North America. Strong and reliable 
Regional Partnerships, our fourth line of operation, are critical for 
us to protect our shared values and ways of life and defend our nations 
in depth. We are inextricably linked with our partners through 
geography, economies, and demographics, and conduct deliberate security 
cooperation with them to strengthen our defense in depth and advance 
our mutual security interests.
                                 canada
    For over 57 years, NORAD has been a model for international 
cooperation and a symbol of trust and confidence between the United 
States and Canada. Our partnership is reinforced by our common values, 
and today, the men and women who wear the cloth of these two great 
nations work side-by-side throughout USNORTHCOM and NORAD. We are 
fortunate to have dedicated Canadian military members fully integrated 
throughout the NORAD Command and staff, including the three-star 
Canadian officer who serves as my NORAD Deputy Commander. This year, we 
hosted our 8th annual Tri-Command Staff Talks among USNORTHCOM, NORAD, 
and Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC), during which we were able 
to advance several key initiatives, including combined training and 
exercises, and synchronization of our requirements and capabilities 
advocacy processes. Going forward, I will promote our alliance with 
Canada to enhance our interoperability and contribute to combined 
operations.
    With our Canadian partners, we are focusing on a deliberate 
collaborative investment strategy to outpace current and potential 
adversaries and counter emerging threats through a seamless and layered 
defense. As a result of our recent NORAD Strategic Review directed by 
the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Canadian Chief of the 
Defence Staff, we commenced an effort to modernize NORAD. One of the 
first parts of our modernization is the North Warning System, which is 
the linchpin of our ability to detect, assess, and track airborne 
activity along the northern border of North America. Over the next 
decade, a priority will be research and development in next-generation 
indications and warning systems for the northern approaches to improve 
detection, surveillance, and engagement of current and emerging 
threats, ensuring our ability to monitor, control, and respond if 
necessary.
                                 mexico
    This year, the military-to-military relationship between the United 
States and Mexico reached unprecedented levels of coordination. Today 
we are strategic partners, respecting the laws and sovereignty of our 
individual nations, while confronting shared security challenges. We 
have developed an enduring cooperative relationship with the 
Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA) and the Secretariat of the 
Navy (SEMAR). We work closely with the Mexican military to enhance 
planning, tactical skills, communication capabilities to include 
cybersecurity, and incorporation of human rights principles. In 2015 
alone, I personally met with top military leaders of Mexico on eight 
separate occasions to strengthen our relationships and enhance our 
coordination.
    I expect the safety and security of North America will be a long-
term fight, and we continue to help the Mexican military build 
partnership capacity at their pace. We continued our training and 
equipping efforts focusing on ensuring the timely delivery of a record 
Foreign Military Sales (FMS) investment of over a billion dollars by 
the Government of Mexico in UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters and High 
Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV). We also began the 
process this year of partnering with United States and Mexican civil 
organizations to enhance the Government of Mexico's ability to control 
and regulate their southern border with Guatemala and Belize. The focus 
of our efforts in this region is to collaborate on improving the 
communications network and investing in a biometrics system to promote 
interagency coordination and reduce insecurity.
    This past summer, in conjunction with our Customs and Border 
Protection Air and Marine Operations partners, we conducted our second 
annual bilateral security cooperation exercise with Mexico, which 
demonstrated the significant progress we have made in training, 
information sharing and interoperability with the Mexican military. The 
exercise employs a cooperative response scenario designed to exercise 
and refine procedures to monitor, track and coordinate a response to an 
illegal flight transiting the border between the United States and 
Mexico. We expanded the scope of this year's exercise by including a 
two-phase live-fly portion, with the first phase simulating a hijacked 
aircraft originating from the United States and transiting into Mexico. 
The second phase was a simulated stolen aircraft suspected of carrying 
narcotics which originated in Mexico and transited into the United 
States. Not only did these two scenarios improve our information 
sharing and mutual warning processes, the enhanced air control 
procedures we developed provided the foundation necessary to streamline 
a coordinated response to suspicious aircraft transiting our shared 
border.
    Our combined efforts to promote democratic values, respect human 
rights, and counter TCOs continue to be a key focus of the training 
provided by the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation 
(WHINSEC). This program provides a critical foundation for mutual 
security and democracy, and the relationships formed by the students at 
WHINSEC reinforce the trust and cooperation among the participating 
nations.
                              the bahamas
    Increased tourism, maritime, and commercial activity complicated by 
a resurgence in illicit trafficking and foreign influence, makes the 
Caribbean region a significant challenge in maintaining our national 
security. We are working with our regional partners to build domain 
awareness and develop capabilities to counter illicit trafficking and 
smuggling. Our ``third border'' with The Bahamas is the basis for a 
partnership critical to the security of the United States. The Bahamian 
Government is a willing partner, though they are limited in their 
security capacity, so we are forging a strong partnership through our 
support of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) and are helping them 
build capabilities that enhance detection, monitoring and interdiction 
of the migrant and drug flows that transit their country.
                               the arctic
    Climate change and receding polar sea ice in the Arctic combined 
with global interest in emerging economic opportunities and an increase 
in human activity pose unique security challenges for the United 
States. Although the Arctic remains a vast, harsh and challenging 
operating environment, many Arctic nations are demonstrating increased 
interest and presence in the region. I believe that The Arctic, our 
fifth line of operation, represents the intersection between geography 
and interests. I view the Arctic as an emerging region where we will be 
called upon to support other federal agencies and work with our 
regional partners to safeguard the stability and security of the 
region.
    We believe that while the likelihood of military conflict in the 
Arctic in the short term is low, international interest and presence 
are growing and it is necessary that the United States, and 
specifically the DOD, plan for a wide range of challenges and 
contingencies. Today, the often harsh operating environment yields 
significant variability in the pace and scope of change in commercial 
activity, which complicates our ability to plan and invest in our 
required capabilities. Constrained budgets and competing priorities 
dictate that we take a proactive, yet prudent approach to our 
investments in Arctic capabilities.
    As the Commander of USNORTHCOM, one of my assigned tasks is to be 
the DOD advocate for Arctic capabilities. In this role, I am 
responsible for collaborating with DOD Arctic stakeholders to help 
identify capability requirements and shortfalls across the spectrum of 
DOD operations and champion their resolution with our trusted partners. 
Our Arctic Capabilities Advocacy Working Group (ACAWG) is a 
collaborative forum among DOD, interagency, and trusted international 
Arctic stakeholders, including geographic and functional combatant 
commands, the Joint Staff, the Military Departments and Services, and 
DOD agencies that supports these actions.
    Our ACAWG is taking a prudent, fact-based approach to Arctic 
advocacy and investment so that we do not over invest, under invest, or 
be late to need. We are looking at short, middle, and long-term 
material and non-material capabilities across the spectrum of DOD 
operations, including Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, 
Leadership and Education, Personnel, Facilities and Policy. Our forces 
must be able to navigate, communicate, and sustain themselves to be 
effective in the region. To facilitate this, we are looking at 
capabilities that support domain awareness, communications, 
infrastructure, and sustainable presence.
    Establishing a presence in the Arctic is an extremely costly 
proposition, with estimates running three to ten times the cost of 
building comparable facilities elsewhere. I believe that large 
fundamental infrastructure investments are not required to establish a 
large physical presence in the Arctic. Instead, we are concentrating on 
scalable infrastructure sufficient for us to support contingency and 
emerging Arctic missions, with a focus on qualified and equipped forces 
that have essential Arctic-capable platforms that can deploy and 
operate freely in the region, when required.
    The United States has assumed the Chairmanship of the Arctic 
Council at a crucial time amidst growing international presence and 
interest in the Arctic. I believe that it is in the best interest of 
the United States that we accede to the Law of the Sea Treaty to give 
us a stronger position as we negotiate the complexities of territorial 
concerns and maritime security interests.
                               conclusion
    Our final two Lines of Operation, Professionalism and Excellence 
and Warfighters and Families, are perhaps the most pivotal because they 
underpin our endeavors across the spectrum of our assigned missions. We 
hold ourselves to the highest standards of personal and professional 
conduct. We reinforce our warfighters by ensuring that they are 
properly trained for their missions, while also providing the family 
advocacy programs, community outreach and service support functions 
that are critical to the families who, in turn, support our warriors.
    Despite what is likely to be an onerous fight against increasingly 
diffuse threats, we are very fortunate to be able to depend on the 
brave men and women who choose to wear the cloth of their nation and 
defend their fellow citizens. We embrace our no-fail mission at a time 
when our unique capabilities are needed most, and with your support, 
together with the exceptional men and women of USNORTHCOM and NORAD and 
our trusted partners, we will remain the greatest force for freedom, 
safety, and security for North America. I look forward to your 
questions.

    Chairman McCain. Admiral Tidd.

    STATEMENT OF ADMIRAL KURT W. TIDD, USN, COMMANDER, U.S. 
                        SOUTHERN COMMAND

    Admiral Tidd. Chairman McCain, Ranking Member Reed, 
distinguished members of this committee, thank you for the 
opportunity to speak with you today.
    I'm honored to represent the men and women of United States 
Southern Command, and I'm very pleased to be here today with my 
very good friends and shipmates, Cecil Haney and Bill Gortney.
    I'd like to thank the Congress, and this committee 
specially, for its longstanding support to our mission and to 
our partners in Central America, South America, and the 
Caribbean.
    I'd like to focus my opening remarks very quickly on three 
Cs and three Gs. The Cs are connections, Colombia, and Central 
America.
    The first C, of connections. Security in this hemisphere 
connects directly to other parts of the world. Smuggling 
networks run through South America directly into our Homeland. 
Foreign terrorist fighters flow from the Caribbean to Syria and 
to Iraq. As part of their global strategy, Russia attempts to 
discredit our reliability as a trustworthy partner here in our 
own region. These issues transcend artificial boundaries, and 
they demand a transregional, united response.
    The second C is Colombia. As has already been recognized, 
this committee knows well Colombia's transformation has been 
remarkable. Once on the brink of failure, Colombia is now on 
the brink of peace. But, the hardest work lies ahead, extending 
government influence into dangerous criminal-controlled 
territory, confronting the persistent threat of cocaine 
production and trafficking, and, above all, securing a just 
peace that will end more than 50 years of conflict. With the 
blood and treasure that they have already sacrificed, with all 
that they continue to do to export security across the region, 
the Colombian people have more than earned our sustained 
support.
    The third C is Central America. As we recognized during the 
2014 migrant crisis, what happens on the streets of San 
Salvador and Tegucigalpa have a--has a direct impact on the 
streets of Tucson and Providence. Our Central American partners 
are doing all they can to win their countries back from vicious 
gangs and narcotraffickers, but they cannot do it alone. 
Because we remain the number-one world's consumer of illicit 
drugs, we owe it to them to do our part.
    Now to the three Gs: global networks, global competitors, 
and Guantanamo Bay.
    Global networks are the biggest threat that we face in our 
region. No two networks are alike. Some are international 
criminal enterprises focused on transporting any illicit cargo 
for the right price. Others are small operations that smuggle 
desperate migrants. Still others support terrorist 
organizations through financing and through the spread of their 
violent extremist ideology. No matter the motivation of these 
groups, though, all of them have a corrosive effect on the 
stability and the security of every country that they infect, 
including our own.
    Global competitors. They also operate deliberately in the 
western hemisphere as part of their broader global strategies. 
The most concerning of them is Russia, which portrays the 
United States in our theater as unreliable and as withdrawing 
from this pivotal region.
    Finally, Guantanamo Bay, where we conduct the most 
principled, humane detention operations anywhere in the world. 
We will continue to do so until the very last detainee steps on 
an airplane and departs the island. I know this committee 
shares my enormous pride in the men and women who serve in this 
demanding, sensitive, and often thankless mission with honor 
and with the utmost discipline, professionalism, and integrity. 
They are every bit as engaged in the war and every bit as 
deserving of our thanks and praise when they return home, just 
as their brothers and sisters who have returned home from Iraq 
and Afghanistan. I thank very much your recognition of the hard 
work that they do.
    Mr. Chairman, members, thank you again for the opportunity 
to appear before you today. I look forward to our continued 
discussions.
    [The prepared statement of Admiral Tidd follows:]

               Prepared Statement by Admiral Kurt W. Tidd
                              introduction
    Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Reed, and distinguished Members of the 
Committee: thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to 
discuss U.S. Southern Command's activities in Central America, South 
America, and the Caribbean. Before I begin, I would like to thank the 
Congress--and this Committee in particular--for its longstanding 
support to our mission and to our partners in the region. Our efforts 
are made possible through your help and by the hard work of our service 
components, Joint Task Forces, and our soldiers, sailors, marines, 
airmen, coast guardsmen, civilians, and contractors.
    In my short time in command, I have dedicated myself to expanding 
my knowledge of U.S. Southern Command's area of responsibility (AOR). 
The Latin America and Caribbean of today is far different than it was a 
quarter of a century ago. \1\ The region is home to a substantial 
middle class that actively seeks more responsive and transparent 
governments able to deliver promised services. There is little risk of 
armed conflict between neighboring states; border disputes are settled 
in diplomatic channels, not on battlefields. Governments are more 
democratic and respectful of human rights than at any point in the 
region's history. Militaries are more capable, professional, and among 
their countries' most trusted institutions. \2\ These militaries are 
also some of our most reliable partners, committed to working with us 
and with one another to confront threats to hemispheric security.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Secretary of State John Kerry, Remarks at the 45th Annual 
Washington Conference of the Council of the Americas. April 21, 2015.
    \2\ Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP): 2014 
AmericasBarometer, Vanderbilt University.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Despite these improvements, the region still faces persistent, 
unresolved challenges. The slowing Chinese economy and falling global 
commodity prices are causing economic downturns across Latin America. 
Violent crime, widespread poverty, and fragile institutions continue to 
plague many nations. Pervasive corruption, inequality, chronic 
unemployment, deteriorating citizen safety, and limited economic 
opportunity drive migration, propel young men and women to join violent 
gangs, or set the conditions for instability and potential violent 
radicalization. Lack of state presence, ineffective governance, and 
weak rule of law provide fertile ground for the drug trade and the 
spread of powerful criminal networks. Public frustration with slow 
economic growth, social exclusion, and endemic government corruption 
fuels social protests and unrest. In certain countries there is a 
troubling trend toward authoritarianism: elected leaders that shun 
democratic standards, abuse human rights, muzzle the press, and 
suppress the opposition. Natural disasters such as ?hurricanes, 
earthquakes, volcanoes, fires, floods, and drought--as well as 
potential regional epidemics like the Zika virus--loom as ever-present 
?dangers.
    The good news is none of these challenges is insurmountable, but 
all warrant continued engagement. Because no nation in the region poses 
a direct, conventional military threat to the United States, Latin 
America tends to rank fairly low on force allocation priorities. This 
is understandable--but often requires what is, in my view, an 
unfortunate trade-off. Our attention to other parts of the world should 
not come at the expense of the significant gains made in our own 
hemisphere. Over the last twenty years, prudent engagement by the U.S. 
military has supported democratic governance and economic development, 
nurtured and developed professional defense forces, and encouraged 
greater security collaboration. Along with the State Department and 
other interagency partners, we have worked hard to realize a vision of 
the Americas where countries share responsibilities, cooperate as 
equals, and advance common interests and values.
    Now, as criminal networks threaten the integrity of institutions 
and jeopardize citizen security, we must help countries build on the 
considerable progress achieved to date and continue working towards our 
shared priorities. As competitors seek to challenge our aim of being 
the region's security partner of choice, we must redouble our 
commitments and reinvigorate our partnerships. As the world works to 
contain the spread of violent extremism and confront challenges to a 
rules-based international order, we must seek new ways to strengthen 
our network of allies and partners. As we face an increasingly complex, 
interconnected security environment, we must look beyond borders and 
boundaries and seek not just whole-of-government, but whole-of-
hemisphere solutions to our shared challenges. Mr. Chairman, positive 
and persistent U.S. engagement remains essential to advancing a Western 
Hemisphere that is prosperous, stable, and secure. \3\ With the 
continued support of the Congress and in full collaboration with our 
interagency and regional partners, U.S. Southern Command will continue 
working towards that goal.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\ The White House, National Security Strategy. February 2015.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, Mr. Chairman, Members: I am humbled and honored to be part 
of the great team at U.S. Southern Command, and I look forward to 
working with you and your staffs in the coming years. I intend to focus 
my efforts in four key areas: ensuring we remain the premier security 
partner of choice in this hemisphere; deepening our interagency 
collaboration to generate heightened trust; becoming the innovation 
platform for the Department of Defense, interagency, and international 
partners; and enabling the critical transregional operations and 
initiatives of our sister Combatant Commands and interagency partners. 
We will continue to pursue an era of inclusive engagement with this 
vital part of the world and advance our ``Partnership for the 
Americas.''
                          security environment
    The security environment in Latin America and the Caribbean is 
characterized by complex, diverse, and non-traditional challenges to 
U.S. interests. The principal challenge remains transnational criminal 
networks, which are well-organized, well-financed, well-armed, and 
technologically advanced. These networks are efficient, adaptive, 
innovative, and exceptionally ruthless. They will transport anything or 
anyone--cocaine, heroin, weapons, people, even wildlife--if they 
believe the potential profit is greater than the potential risk. 
Enormous profits allow criminal networks to acquire capabilities that 
rival or even exceed those of the states that battle them, including 
high-powered rifles and machine guns, transport planes, and long-range 
submersibles. In response to these extraordinary circumstances, 
democratic governments have deployed their militaries to support 
overwhelmed police forces.
    The overarching threat to our national security, however, is not 
just the range of illicit commodities that are trafficked, but instead 
the destabilizing operations, corruptive influence, and global reach of 
many of these networks, some of which smuggle `special interest aliens' 
(SIAs). Although the vast majority of SIAs are seeking economic 
opportunity, such as some from Iran, or are refugees fleeing war, like 
some from Syria, there is a risk that violent extremist organizations 
could exploit established networks, established smuggling routes, or 
other regional vulnerabilities--including lax immigration and border 
security, corrupt government officials, or the enabling capabilities of 
criminal organizations--to enter and move through the region 
undetected.

 
 
 
            Spotlight: Syrian SIAs in the AOR
        --------------------------------------------------------
          In 2015, partner nation officials detained
          six groups of Syrians in Honduras, St. Maarten, Costa
          Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Paraguay.
          In each case, access to fraudulent or stolen
          documents and corrupt law enforcement officials
          facilitated SIA movement through numerous countries
          in the AOR.
 


    Let me talk for a moment on that last vulnerability. Whether Sunni 
or Shiite extremists would wittingly collaborate with criminal groups 
to accomplish their goals is up for debate. Many people are quick to 
dismiss the possibility of these groups working together in this part 
of the world. They believe the absence of evidence of a relationship is 
evidence of its absence. Mr. Chairman, we at U.S. Southern Command 
can't be that certain. We know that extremist groups are ideologically-
driven and want to harm the United States. We know that criminal 
organizations are profit-driven and will engage in illicit activities 
that increase their bottom line. We also know that both operate in the 
same dark underworld of illicit finance, fraudulent documents, and 
weapons trafficking and that violent extremist organizations have 
availed themselves of some of these criminally-provided services. What 
U.S. Southern Command lacks is the intelligence necessary to identify, 
monitor, and fully illuminate and understand these networks and the 
resources necessary to significantly disrupt, degrade and ideally 
dismantle them.
    Like our counterparts in the U.S. Government and the Congress, we 
are also deeply concerned by the `triple threat' posed by foreign 
terrorist fighters: they strengthen transnational terrorist groups, 
incite others back home to conduct attacks, and can ultimately return 
to launch acts of terror. \4\ ISIL's strategic communication efforts 
have resonated around the world, including in parts of Latin America 
and the Caribbean. Since 2013, we have seen a small number of 
individuals and their families leaving the region to join ISIL in Syria 
or Iraq. The appeal of violent extremist ideology to some Caribbean 
citizens and their subsequent travel to Iraq and Syria remains a 
concern; not just for us, but for our friends and partners across the 
region.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\ House Committee on Homeland Security, Final Report of the Task 
Force on Combating Terrorism and the Foreign Fighter Threat. September 
2015.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As in other parts of the world, the potential return of violent 
extremists is a threat. These individuals could be well positioned to 
spread ISIL's poisonous ideology and potentially inspire or execute 
acts of terror against U.S. or partner nation interests. Many partner 
nations are unable to monitor the potential return of foreign fighters 
and often lack robust counterterrorism legislation and capabilities to 
confront this threat. There is a significant and growing consensus--
which I have personally observed during conversations with security 
chiefs across the region--about the threat of radicalization to 
violence in this hemisphere; San Bernardino and Paris are clear 
examples and dramatic wake-up calls that radicalization can happen 
anywhere. We will work with our partners to enhance support to the 
global coalition to counter ISIL, other transregional terrorist 
threats, and violent extremist organizations.
    As a state sponsor of terrorism, Iran's nefarious involvement in 
the Western Hemisphere also remains a matter for concern. While Iranian 
engagement has waned in recent years, President Rouhani recently 
indicated that Tehran intends to increase economic, scientific, and 
cultural ties with Latin America though he has made this same pledge 
several times since his election in 2013. Additionally, Lebanese 
Hezbollah maintains an extensive regional network of supporters and 
sympathizers, some of whom are involved in trade-based money laundering 
and other illicit activities to generate revenue, a portion of which 
goes to support the parent organization in the Middle East. Lebanese 
Hezbollah also maintains an infrastructure with the capability to 
conduct or support terrorist attacks. As with every aspect of our 
counterterrorism efforts, the U.S. Government remains vigilant against 
these threats, working closely with our partners to protect the 
southern approaches to the United States.
    Apart from what I have already discussed, several other trends 
impact regional stability. In El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, 
many of the conditions that caused the 2014 migration crisis of 
unaccompanied children--high homicide rates, chronic poverty, and lack 
of economic opportunity--remain the same or are worsening, leading the 
UN High Commissioner for Refugees to call for action to respond to the 
`looming refugee crisis' in the region. \5\ While apprehensions on our 
border are down, Mexico's apprehensions at its southern border have 
increased dramatically over the past three years. \6\ Sustainable 
development and security gains must continue apace if the sub-region is 
to address its long-standing challenges. To this end, I would like to 
thank the Congress for providing funding to our State Department and 
USAID partners as part of the U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central 
America, a five-year initiative that will help State Department and 
USAID address the root causes of migration.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\ Comments made by UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio 
Guterres on the release of The UN Refugee Agency's report Children on 
the Run: Unaccompanied Children Leaving Central America and Mexico and 
the Need for International Protection. October 28, 2015.
    \6\ Customs and Border Patrol apprehended 145,316 Central American 
migrants (including 39,970 UACs) at the US SW Border in fiscal year 
2015. From October 2014 to April 2015, Mexican officials stopped nearly 
93,000 Central American migrants, far exceeding the 49,800 detained in 
the same period 12 months earlier.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Central America is still awash in weapons and street gangs such as 
MS-13 and M-18, both of which originated in the United States and have 
close, direct, and growing ties with their U.S. counterparts. As an 
indication of how dire the situation is in El Salvador, its Supreme 
Court designated these groups as terrorists by ruling they violate the 
fundamental rights of the population and seek to usurp state power. 
Gangs are targeting the police and military with homemade grenades and 
car bombs and terrorizing Salvadoran citizens. According to the FBI, 
MS-13 is now present in 42 U.S. states, with a significant presence in 
Houston, Long Island, Charlotte, and Washington, DC. \7\ Mr. Chairman, 
the simple fact is that economic and security crises in Central America 
reverberate almost immediately through communities across our country.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\ National Gang Intelligence Center Assessment, November 2015.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Further south, rising crime, violence, and deteriorating economic 
conditions continue to plague Venezuela. Due to speculation about the 
potential end of United States immigration policies favorable to 
Cubans, an increasing number of Cuban migrants are traveling overland 
through Central America and Mexico to cross at the United States 
Southwest border, with over 30,000 arriving via this route in fiscal 
year 2015--in addition to more than 4,000 that arrived via traditional 
maritime routes through the Florida Straits. Haiti--one of the most 
unstable and least developed nations in the Western Hemisphere--will be 
especially vulnerable as the electoral crisis drags on and the United 
Nations stabilization mission draws to a close.
    Our Colombian partners have made heroic strides battling the FARC, 
but a peace accord will not spell the end of their security challenges. 
Even if a peace accord is signed this spring, Colombia will confront 
other threats, including criminal networks that will gladly recruit 
experienced ex-FARC members and exploit the potential power vacuum 
generated by the FARC's demobilization. As an example, the 
transnational criminal network Clan Usuga is quickly becoming a 
significant threat to Colombian national security. The 3,000-strong 
group is comprised of former paramilitaries; has agents throughout 
Central and South America and Spain; and is expanding into Venezuela to 
increase its share of the drug trade. All of these issues warrant 
continued active United States engagement to ensure our partners in 
Central America and the Caribbean can address sources of instability 
and Colombia can deliver on the promise of a hard-won peace.

 
 
 
         Spotlight: Colombia's Counter IED Capacity
      ------------------------------------------------------------
         The Colombian military, with our support and that of our
        interagency partners like JIDA, has reduced IED incidents
        by 21 percent in 2015. Casualties from IEDs are down 38
        percent and the ``found and cleared'' rate for IEDs is
        nearly 80 percent.
 


    We must also contend with global competitors from outside our 
hemisphere that are strategically and purposefully operating in the 
Western Hemisphere. In this part of the world, Russia's actions are 
directly connected to its broader global efforts to demonstrate that 
Russia is a global power capable of challenging United States 
leadership and the established rules-based international system. 
Russian officials' rhetoric, high-level political visits, and military-
security engagements are designed to displace the United States as the 
partner of choice in the region. Over the past year, Russia continued 
to maintain a presence in Latin America, collecting information about 
the region and the United States. Since mid-December 2014, Moscow has 
deployed an oceanographic and a hydrographic research ship to 
Nicaragua; an intelligence collection ship to the United States east 
coast and Caribbean; and an additional oceanographic research ship to 
the Caribbean. This is four naval deployments to Latin America in less 
than twelve months, all of which involved data or intelligence 
collection. Russia also reached an agreement with Nicaragua for 
simplified port access and logistical support, and regularly broadcasts 
anti-American propaganda in Ecuador, Argentina, and Venezuela via 
Russian state-owned RT-TV, which also broadcasts to the United States, 
and via online news and Sputnik Mundo, which is targeted to Latin 
American audiences. Russia uses this media to create doubts about 
United States intentions and criticize United States policies.
    We need to engage proactively and deepen security cooperation with 
our partners in the Americas. We strongly suspect that Russia's actions 
in the Western Hemisphere are not driven by events in this AOR, but 
rather are integrated into a larger, more holistic approach. This 
requires an equally integrated, transregional response on our part. 
When it comes to transregional competitors, we are closely coordinating 
with fellow combatant commanders to ensure we are contributing not just 
in our area of responsibility but across regional boundaries to ensure 
competitors are unable to exploit seams between our areas of 
responsibility.
    In contrast to Russia, China's primary focus in the region is on 
trade and investment. Still, China seeks to forge security 
relationships as part of its strategy to increase its influence in the 
region. Military engagements tend to focus on soft-power, with offers 
of training in Beijing, high-level visits, donations of equipment, and 
naval diplomacy efforts. During May-June 2015, a Chinese Naval 
Hydrographic Survey Ship made port calls in Brazil and Ecuador during 
its circumnavigation. The Chinese Navy's 20th Naval Escort Task Force 
made a port call in Cuba in November as part of their goodwill cruise 
around the world. Additionally, the Chinese hospital ship PEACE ARK 
visited Peru, Grenada, and Barbados in 2015 to provide medical services 
to local communities, marking the vessel's second visit to the region 
since 2011. Chinese defense firms also continue to make inroads into 
the Latin American arms markets through low-cost military hardware, no-
strings-attached sales and financing, and offers of co-production 
facilities in the region. While China's competition for regional 
influence does not pose a direct military threat to our interests in 
this hemisphere, it does reinforce the importance of ensuring China's 
activities abide by regional political, economic and security norms. It 
also underscores the importance of the United States remaining engaged 
in this important part of the world.
                           command priorities
    To address these challenges, we work with our partners to defend 
the southern approaches to the United States, respond to regional 
contingencies, and promote security cooperation with the 31 nations and 
16 areas of special sovereignty in our AOR. We focus on one no-fail 
mission and four priorities, which I would like to discuss today.
    We continue to conduct safe, humane, legal, and transparent care 
and custody of the remaining detainees currently at Joint Task Force 
Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO). Detention operations are a demanding, sensitive, 
and often thankless mission. The medical and guard force deal with 
enormous stress and are subject to near-constant verbal and physical 
assaults by detainees. Some of our female troops must continue to deal 
with the frustration of a temporary court order that prevents them from 
performing their assigned duties, even though they are all fully 
trained, immensely qualified, and embody the values of equality and 
diversity that our nation espouses to the world and holds dear. Despite 
these challenges, and as many of you have witnessed first-hand, the men 
and women at JTF-GTMO conduct the most humane, principled detention 
operations anywhere in the world, often exceeding the requirements of 
U.S. laws and the Geneva Convention. I thank you for your continued 
active support for these tremendous young men and women and invite you 
to continue to visit them to see for yourselves the conditions under 
which they labor, and the quiet professionalism with which they execute 
their duties.
    Unlike the conduct of our troops, the condition of many JTF-GTMO 
facilities falls far short of acceptable standards. As the Congress 
knows, most of the facilities constructed to temporary standards are 
deteriorating rapidly due to the harsh environment, ongoing mission 
demands, and a chronic lack of funds for maintenance and 
recapitalization. Last year, rains associated with Hurricane Joaquin 
resulted in widespread leaks in troop housing--an unsurprising 
occurrence, given the dilapidated condition of these buildings. With no 
long-term military construction, we expect to continue addressing life, 
health, and safety issues in an incremental, piecemeal manner that 
rapidly becomes more costly than investment in new construction.
    In concert with our law enforcement, intelligence community, 
diplomatic, and regional partners, we remain focused on countering 
transnational organized crime (CTOC). Our Joint Interagency Task Force 
South (JIATF-S) is at the forefront of our efforts to combat the 
illicit drug trade and to illuminate the networks engaged in this 
nefarious activity. Although receiving only 1.5 percent of the total 
U.S. counterdrug budget, JIATF-S and its international partners disrupt 
three times the amount of cocaine seized at or within U.S. borders. 
While the U.S. Navy was only able to provide limited surface ships to 
and U.S. Customs and Border Protection assets, as well as significant 
contributions by partner nations and Allies, helped disrupt 192 metric 
tons of cocaine in fiscal year 2015. Operations like MARTILLO not only 
strike a blow to powerful criminal networks, they ultimately save U.S. 
lives and resources by stopping hundreds of tons of cocaine, heroin, 
and other drugs destined for our cities and towns.

 
 
 
                                            Operation MARTILLO Fiscal Year 2015 Disruptions
                      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       Cocaine                               192 MTs
                       % disrupted by partners               35%
                       Marijuana                             62,995 lbs
                       Bulk cash                             $11.4 million
 


    In response to the insecurity that drove last year's unaccompanied 
children crisis, we are prioritizing our capacity-building efforts in 
the Northern Tier of Central America. We thank the Congress for its 
support to our CTOC activities and for recognizing the important role 
security plays in addressing the sub-region's long-standing challenges. 
Through equipment support, infrastructure projects, counterdrug 
training, and aggressive information sharing, we are improving our 
partners' maritime interdiction and border security capabilities and 
enhancing regional domain awareness. To complement these efforts, last 
year our Marine component deployed a Special-Purpose Marine, Air, 
Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) to help partner nations extend state 
presence and security in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Belize. 
Working alongside Honduran military and government officials, U.S. 
Marines built roads and a C-130 capable airfield and provided essential 
water services to vulnerable populations. Working in tandem with Joint 
Task Force-Bravo, the SPMAGTF promises to be one of our most responsive 
forces; sourced mainly by Marine Reservists, it provides us with an 
agile, forward-deployed, rapid response capability that is without 
equal.

 
 
 
         Spotlight: Support to Interagency Operations
      -------------------------------------------------------------
         In 2015, we supported United States Immigration and
        Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Operation CITADEL, which
        targeted the smuggling of migrants from the Middle East,
        Asia, Africa, and Latin America into the United States.
        This operation led to the dismantlement of large-scale
        criminal networks and the rescue of many unaccompanied
        children.
 


    We also dedicate significant effort to remaining vigilant against 
the threat of violent extremism, and I thank the Congress for providing 
the dedicated resources to support this important mission. Our 
counterterrorism (CT) efforts center on building and supporting partner 
nation capacity to detect and defeat terrorist threats within their 
borders. We are working with partners from across the region to counter 
extremism, recruitment, and radicalization to violence in vulnerable 
communities. Over the past year our Special Operations Forces (SOF) 
conducted multiple engagements such as subject matter expert exchanges, 
counterterrorism-focused exercises, and civil affairs activities. These 
efforts--coupled with support to U.S. Country Teams and interagency 
operations--ensure our nation and those of our friends remain secure. 
As discussed earlier, transnational organized crime and terrorist 
networks are intersecting layers of a global illicit economy. We will 
begin to explore if and how taking a counter network approach against 
illicit networks can improve our insight and successes in both our CTOC 
and CT efforts.

 
 
 
             Spotlight: DOD Rewards Program
      -------------------------------------------------------------
         In 2015, the DOD Rewards Program enabled partner nation
        authorities to bring 135 members of terrorist
        organizations to justice.
 


    Whether countering transnational organized crime and terrorism, 
supporting disaster response operations, establishing cyber defense 
capabilities, or emphasizing a solid human rights foundation, building 
partner capacity is the cornerstone of everything we do. Our efforts 
help build and nurture committed and capable partners who can control 
their borders, address drivers of insecurity and instability, respond 
to natural and man-made disasters, and contribute to regional 
security--all of which help generate an extended layered defense of the 
U.S. Homeland and protect our interests. Although it is impossible to 
do justice to all the incredible work being done by our joint task 
forces, service components, and the National Guard's State Partnership 
Program, I would like to share a few highlights of our capacity-
building efforts in the region. \8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\ For a full overview of component activities, please see the 
Annex.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    After 51 years of armed conflict, Colombia--a strategic ally, 
friend, and preeminent partner--is on the verge of ending the 
hemisphere's longest-running guerilla war. Thanks to its own efforts 
and our sustained assistance, Colombia has been transformed from a near 
failed state into a major regional player with significant political 
influence, world-class security forces, and a growing economy. The 
Colombian military has grown from an internal defense force to a 
respected exporter of counterdrug and counter IED expertise \9\ and is 
standing up a regional demining center of excellence. The Colombian 
Navy is also a regular contributor to NATO counter-piracy operations 
off the coast of Africa as well as counterdrug patrols in our own 
hemisphere with JIATF-South.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\ In 2015, USSOUTHCOM and the Department of State Bureau of 
International Narcotics and Law Enforcement supported military and 
civilian law enforcement capacity-building activities by Colombian 
military and law enforcement personnel. USSOUTHCOM provided assistance 
to the COLMIL to execute 85 military BPC activities. These activities 
were focused on maritime interdiction, support to law enforcement 
entities, security and maintenance of vessels at port, riverine 
training, command and control, border security, intelligence training, 
and human rights training.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Colombia's transformation is remarkable, but it will still face an 
uncertain period with many new challenges even when an accord is 
reached. In many ways the hardest work lies ahead. For Colombia to 
successfully consolidate the promise of its decades-long struggle, the 
United States must remain as fully engaged a post-peace accord partner 
as we ever were during Colombia's struggles. U.S. Southern Command will 
continue to support Colombia's efforts to: take the FARC off the 
battlefield and out of illicit activities; successfully implement a new 
counternarcotics strategy and establish state presence; conduct 
humanitarian demining; and transform the Colombian military to adapt to 
an evolving security environment. On a broader level, it is also 
essential that we continue providing Colombia a robust and agile 
assistance package that will help it successfully address the new 
security, developmental, and human rights challenges posed by a post-
accord environment.
    To enhance the professional development of the region's military 
officers and senior enlisted leaders, U.S. Southern Command conducts or 
facilitates International Military Education and Training (IMET), 
military and defense exchanges, and security seminars. Through the 
Defense Institution Reform Initiative (DIRI) and William J. Perry 
Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, we are supporting the increased 
professionalization of regional defense organizations. These programs 
help build accountable, transparent armed forces that can ensure the 
sustainability of U.S. security cooperation investments, increase 
citizen safety, and uphold universal values such as good governance, 
rule of law, and respect for human rights. We are also supporting the 
development of a competent and professional Non-Commissioned Officer 
(NCO) corps through close interaction during engagements, exercises, 
and at defense institutes like the Western Hemisphere Institute for 
Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) and Inter-American Air Force Academy 
(IAAFA).

 
 
 
         Spotlight: Building Cyber Defense Capacity
      -------------------------------------------------------------
         We are building cyber security and cyber defense
        capabilities with seven regional partners and working with
        Brazil, Peru, Colombia, and Chile as they establish
        dedicated cyber defense commands or capabilities.
 


    As the only Combatant Command with a dedicated human rights office, 
we continue to make progress engaging our partners on this foundational 
issue. Last year, Paraguay became the 11th partner nation to commit to 
implementation of the U.S. Southern Command-sponsored Human Rights 
Initiative (HRI) within its military forces. We also supported civil-
military dialogues in Honduras and Guatemala and held the first-ever 
HRI event in Haiti. Partner nations acknowledge their responsibility to 
respect and protect human rights, but generally lack the resources to 
build strong programs. Requests for HRI assistance far exceed our 
ability to support--which is why we encourage regional militaries to 
share their expertise with one another. During last year's Tradewinds 
exercise, Caribbean security officials led multiple training tracks on 
human rights issues, advancing our goal of increased human rights 
integration in multinational exercises.
    Like HRI, our humanitarian assistance and humanitarian and civic 
assistance programs also yield significant `return on engagement.' 
These programs help improve our partners' abilities to provide 
essential services to their citizens, reduce human suffering, and 
support economic development. But they do more than that-- they remind 
the world that our military's greatest strength is more than our proven 
ability to project power around the globe, it is the generosity and 
compassion of our people. There is perhaps no better symbol of that 
generosity than deployments by our world class hospital ship USNS 
Comfort. As part of Continuing Promise 2015, medical and support staff 
from across the U.S. military and the region worked alongside nearly 
400 volunteers to treat 122,268 patients and conduct 1,255 surgeries. 
In an historic event during the Comfort port call in Haiti, U.S. and 
Cuban medics worked side by side to treat Haiti's poor and exchange 
best medical practices. Continuing Promise is without a doubt one of 
the U.S. military's most impactful missions, but future Comfort 
deployments are in jeopardy due to the U.S. Navy's budget constraints.

 
 
 
          Spotlight: Partnership with NGOs Aboard the Comfort
       -----------------------------------------------------------
          More than 400 volunteers from NGOs and academic
         institutions worked alongside U.S. military members,
         serving as doctors, nurses, and surgeons. USNS Comfort
         also hosted the NGO Operation SMILE, which provided 279
         life-changing surgeries to patients in the region.
 


    Additionally, our annual Beyond the Horizon and New Horizons 
humanitarian exercises help advance security, prosperity, and good 
governance in equal measure, while also building the capacity of 
partner nations to respond to disasters without request for U.S. 
assistance. As part of these exercises, United States Air Force and 
Army medical teams conducted readiness training that treated over 
30,000 patients in El Salvador, Panama, and Honduras. In partnership 
with regional militaries and civilian agencies, we constructed disaster 
relief warehouses, emergency operation centers, schools, clinics, and 
hospitals in remote or under-serviced areas. These exercises were 
supported by private sector and NGO partners, who provided nearly $4 
million in donations of gifts-in-kind and services for the citizens of 
Latin America. In these and other activities, we work closely with 
other U.S. agencies--including the Department of State and USAID--to 
support their efforts in promoting resilient democratic societies 
through sustainable, long-term development.
    I would also like to highlight one of our most successful capacity-
building efforts: the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI). In 
partnership with the State Department, GPOI allowed us to train and 
equip more than 3,500 peacekeepers (male and female) from six partner 
nations. These partners are currently deployed to four United Nations 
(UN) peacekeeping missions in Africa and Haiti. The relatively small 
investment--$7.6 million in fiscal year 2015--not only supported 
training and equipping of peacekeepers, but also enabled El Salvador to 
deploy an attack helicopter unit to the U.N. Mission in Mali; allowed 
Peru to deploy a heavy engineer company to the U.N. mission in the 
Central African Republic; assisted Chile's efforts to create a regional 
gender integration training capability; and helped Uruguay sustain 
critical enabling helicopter and riverine capabilities supporting the 
U.N. mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. All of these efforts 
help maintain stability in war-torn states and troubled regions, 
protect civilians, and deliver critical humanitarian aid. Given the 
multiple benefits of GPOI, I fully support continuing and expanding 
this important program throughout the region.
    The State Partnership Program and our multinational exercises 
continue to build a strong Inter-American system of persistent defense 
cooperation. A force multiplier to our efforts, National Guard units 
from 19 states conducted 215 activities that developed core 
competencies in regional military forces, promoted the concept of 
citizen-soldiers as public servants, and reinforced our bilateral 
relationships with 28 countries. In the Caribbean, we conducted a 
highly successful iteration of our annual Tradewinds exercise, which 
brought together more than 750 participants from 17 different nations 
to work together on real-life training scenarios related to disaster 
response and CTOC operations.
    As part of Southern Seas 2015, UNITAS--the United States Navy's 
longest-running annual maritime exercise--brought together North 
American, South American, Pacific, and African maritime forces from 
eight countries to improve interoperability and build working 
relationships at sea. Last year we had the largest U.S. Force 
participating in the exercise's history, courtesy of the creative 
employment of the USS George Washington and associated air wing during 
her transit through the region. While these types of maritime 
engagements offer unparalleled opportunity to engage with our partners 
in areas of maritime law and policy, discussion of issues like 
excessive maritime claims can become derailed by the United States' 
status as a non-party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of 
the Sea. Accession to the Convention gives the United States a seat at 
the table and thus an immeasurably stronger position from which to 
engage our partners on maritime security concerns.
    Finally, contingency planning and preparation--which includes other 
exercises like Panamax, Fused Response, Fuerzas Humanitarias and 
Integrated Advance--prepares our team to respond to regional crises and 
enhances interoperability with our interagency and regional partners. 
These efforts not only improve our planning, training, and readiness, 
they build invaluable relationships across agencies, departments, and 
governments. For example, in the event of a natural disaster in Central 
America, our Joint Task Force Bravo--located at Soto Cano Airbase in 
Honduras--will be at the forefront of our response efforts. Essentially 
a small aviation regiment with 18 helicopters, JTF-Bravo is our only 
permanently deployed contingency force in the region. The outstanding 
men and women of JTF-Bravo regularly conduct life-saving search and 
rescue missions and provide humanitarian assistance and logistical 
support to Honduran and regional counterdrug operations.
    We train for a variety of contingencies, one of which is a mass 
migration event. We work closely with our interagency partners in the 
State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and other 
regional partners to monitor increased migrant flows. Last year, we 
conducted a mission rehearsal exercise at United States Naval Station 
Guantanamo Bay to test our ability to support a response to a 
humanitarian crisis in the Caribbean. As the only permanent Department 
of Defense base in Latin America, the United States Naval Station 
provides persistent U.S. presence and immediate access to the entire 
region. It serves as a forward operating base for DHS-led migrant 
operations and a distribution and staging area for foreign humanitarian 
assistance and disaster relief operations. If directed to execute 
today, resource and capacity challenges at the Naval Station would 
significantly impact our support to the Department of Homeland Security 
and the Department of State operational and contingency plans. These 
challenges call into question our ability to provide safe care, 
custody, and transportation of interdicted migrants, which is 
especially concerning given recent increases in migrant flows.
                      critical needs and concerns
    U.S. Southern Command is committed to honoring the trust American 
taxpayers place in us, and we strive to make every defense dollar 
count. Through better business practices, we are working to mitigate 
funding reductions and gain efficiencies throughout our headquarters. 
Our most significant challenge is under-sourcing of assets, an issue 
that will be compounded should sequestration return. For every 
additional capacity-building activity we conduct, we can further 
strengthen the security network that keeps our partners stable and our 
Homeland secure. For every additional ship and air asset we are able to 
dedicate to the detection and monitoring mission, we can disrupt 
approximately 20 more metric tons of cocaine. For every additional ISR 
resource we are provided, we can better illuminate threat networks in 
the region. Yet even with the limited resources we have, we punch well 
above our weight class. We are in fact, a world-class welterweight: we 
are fast and agile; we are well trained; and we have the strength and 
stamina for the long run--qualities that are essential for success 
against the threats and challenges in our area of responsibility.
    To help mitigate shortfalls in the detection and monitoring 
mission, we employ creative and non-traditional approaches like 
adapting anti-IED technology for use in counterdrug operations in dense 
jungle and mountainous terrain. Looking ahead, we will continue to 
explore alternatives to traditional sourcing solutions, including 
driving innovation and experimentation into training and exercises. 
With a multitude of willing and welcoming partners in Latin America and 
the Caribbean, we have a unique experimentation training environment, 
perfect for expanding war gaming; testing new operational concepts, 
tactics, technologies and procedures; and exploring new ways to combine 
capabilities and improve interoperability. Additionally, we will 
continue to pursue opportunities to use innovative ISR platforms. I 
especially want to thank the Congress for the additional funding, which 
is helping increase our domain awareness and enhance ongoing CTOC 
operations.
    While JIATF-South--through excellent interagency and partner nation 
coordination--has developed impressive air and maritime awareness of 
drug movements, when the networks hit terra firma we go dark. To 
address these blind spots, we are exploring how we might partner even 
more closely with the interagency and partner nations to improve 
synchronization and fully illuminate threat networks. We will work with 
our Central American partners, the Department of State, the 
intelligence and law enforcement communities, and U.S. Country Teams 
every step of the way as we improve our collective effort to degrade 
and disrupt the corrosive operations of criminal networks.
    Finally, I thank the Congress for your continued support to U.S. 
Southern Command's talented men and women and their families. 
Unfortunately, our servicemembers, especially our junior enlisted 
personnel, face a significant quality-of-life challenge: the lack of 
affordable housing. In almost all respects, Miami is the perfect city 
for our headquarters. I say `almost' because the cost of living is one 
of the highest in the nation. Many of our assigned personnel cannot 
afford to live near the command, and government housing acquired 
through domestic leasing is expensive and extremely competitive. We are 
currently working with the Department of Army to develop our formal 
housing requirement, and we will work closely with the Congress as we 
move forward to improve the quality of life of our men and women in 
uniform.
                               conclusion
    In closing, I am sure members of this Committee will agree: nowhere 
is our own security more inextricably intertwined to that of our 
neighbors, partners, and friends than in Latin America and the 
Caribbean. In an increasingly chaotic and insecure world, this region 
can and should serve as a beacon of hope, peace, prosperity, and 
partnership. This is both the promise and the potential of our shared 
home. It is a goal shared by our partners and one that we can achieve--
but only by remaining engaged and only by working together. Day in and 
day out, the outstanding team at U.S. Southern Command is doing exactly 
that: we are building partnerships that protect our interests, defend 
our Homeland, uphold the global common good, and advance security, good 
governance, and opportunity. Once again, thank you for your persistent, 
sustained support for your U.S. Southern Command, and I look forward to 
our discussion.
       Annex: 2015 Joint Task Force and Component Accomplishments
     joint interagency task force south (jiatf-s) key west, florida
      Joint Interagency Task Force South contributed to the 
disruption of 192 metric tons of cocaine in fiscal year 2015, worth 
nearly $3.9 billion wholesale. This represents 76 percent of all 
documented U.S. cocaine removals that were likely directed towards the 
U.S. market. JIATF-S employs an integrated defense forward capability 
for the ongoing efforts at the U.S. Southwest Border and for U.S. 
operations in the Western Hemisphere using tactical control (TACON) 
ship days, TACON flight hours, and by monitoring illicit air activity 
using Forces Surveillance Support Center relocatable over-the-horizon 
radar.
      Operation MARTILLO: The vast majority of JIATF-South 
successes came as a result of JIATF-South leadership and coordination 
of Operation (OP) MARTILLO, the multi-lateral effects-based operation 
designed to deny the Central American littoral routes to illicit 
traffickers. Begun on January 15, 2012, OP MARTILLO results to date 
include the disruption of 595 metric tons of cocaine, the seizure of 
$25.8 million in bulk cash, and the seizure of 1486 detainees and 478 
vessels and aircraft. OP MARTILLO has had the desired effect of 
increasing partner nation participation in U.S. efforts to disrupt 
illicit trafficking and counter transnational organized crime.
      Operational Results and Impact: In the air domain, over 
the past year, JIATF-South documented a 53 percent decrease in illicit 
air tra20.cks destined for Central America (primarily Honduras). 
Decisions made by some of our partner nations to establish lethal air 
interdiction policies have impeded JIATF-South's efforts to share 
illicit air track information with those partner nations. Ultimately, 
air trafficking continues to be a declining percentage (3 percent) of 
overall cocaine flows. In the maritime domain, during the same period, 
JIATF-South documented a 20 percent increase in the overall volume of 
cocaine departing the source zone in South America. Eastern Pacific 
flow currently accounts for more than 68 percent of documented cocaine 
movement. It is assessed the increase in Eastern Pacific cocaine 
movement is at least partially caused by trafficker adaptation to 
focused law enforcement pressure in the Western Caribbean. JIATF-South 
is currently developing strategies to better apply requisite pressure 
against each threat vector, so as to curtail transit options available 
to traffickers. The increase in documented flow is partially due to 
increased law enforcement reporting and contributions from partner 
nations to augment collective situational awareness. JIATF-South 
identified several transatlantic maritime cases in fiscal year 2015 and 
established a liaison officer at the Maritime Analysis Operations 
Center-Narcotics in Lisbon, Portugal to facilitate the targeting of 
these cases by European law enforcement agencies. JIATF-South Counter 
Threat Finance team targeted $30.5 million in bulk cash and closely 
worked with DEA Lima, Peru on several investigations. JIATF-South 
Container Cell supported investigations resulting in 7 MTs of cocaine 
seized in commercial shipping containers and continues to develop 
relationships to increase situational awareness of global movements of 
cocaine via commercial shipping.
      Supporting Defense of the Homeland. The establishment of 
three Department of Homeland Security Joint Task Forces, JTF-East, JTF-
West, and JTF-Investigations in 2015 has the potential to greatly 
enhance the interagency effort to defend the southern approaches. 
JIATF-South has been integrally involved with and fully supports the 
development of these organizations so that efforts to counter illicit 
trafficking will be synchronized to produce the greatest combined 
effect. Since its inception in September 2012, OP Unified Resolve, the 
counter illicit trafficking operation supporting Puerto Rico, has 
substantially improved and formalized interoperability between JIATF-
South, Coast Guard District 7, Coast Guard Sector San Juan, and the 
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Air and Marine Caribbean 
Air and Marine Branch in our shared Counter Illicit Trafficking 
operations. Under the new DHS JTF construct OP Unified Resolve will be 
coordinated by Joint Task Force-East.
      Role of Partner Nations: In fiscal year 2015, 50 percent 
of JIATF-South disruptions were marked by partner nation participation. 
The role of our Latin American partners should not be understated. Of 
the 250 illicit trafficking events disrupted by JIATF-South in fiscal 
year 2015, 88 of these (35 percent) would not have been successful 
without the support of our international partners. Many Central 
American partners have greatly increased their ability to respond to 
illicit trafficking cases cued by JIATF-South including Guatemala, 
Panama, and Costa Rica who collectively responded to twice the number 
of events in fiscal year 2015 compared to fiscal year 2014. The success 
of JIATF-South continues to draw support as several additional nations 
have expressed interest in joining the international effort to counter 
illicit trafficking. The contributions of ships and aircraft to the 
Transit Zone effort by the U.K., France, the Netherlands, and Canada 
continue to be significant and needed.
      Innovation and Transition to Counter Network Operations: 
Recognizing the holistic nature of the threats and challenges to the 
U.S. from TCOs in the Western Hemisphere, JIATF-South's planning 
process is orienting the command and its focus towards countering the 
organizations responsible for undermining the stability and security of 
the region. With their authorities firmly planted in the detection and 
monitoring (D&M) of illicit trafficking, JIATF-South will employ 
several initiatives to focus their core mission set on illuminating 
illicit networks for disruption. Network focused D&M will rely on 
Tactical Development Analysis, Threat Finance Information, and 
Container Cell intelligence to develop awareness and increase 
effectiveness in a fiscally austere environment. Additionally, JIATF-
South is leveraging interagency partnerships to develop the ability to 
detect and monitor illicit trafficking activity, using the cyber 
domain.
                 joint task force guantanamo (jtf-gtmo)
                          guantanamo bay, cuba
      Safe and Humane Custody and Control: JTF-GTMO conducted 
safe, humane, legal, and transparent custody and control of detainees, 
including those convicted by military commission. High Value Detainees 
(HVDs) and non-HVDs maintained family contact via mail, telephone calls 
and, in areas which support this service, videophone conferences 
coordinated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). 
High quality care, to include routine and urgent medical care, was 
provided to detainees on a 24-hour basis. General surgical care, dental 
care, preventative medicine, optometry and mental health services were 
provided, or arranged, as was targeted specialty care on a recurring 
basis.
      Legal and Transparent Operations: Assessments of 
detention conditions by the ICRC continued with four visits in 2015. 
All detainees were provided the opportunity to meet with ICRC delegates 
and medical personnel during these visits. Additionally, detainees are 
granted access to legal representation. For non-High Value Detainees, 
during fiscal year 2015 JTF-GTMO scheduled 385 habeas meetings (259 
were completed) and 222 commissions meetings (141 completed). With 
respect to High Value Detainees, JTF-GTMO scheduled 43 habeas meetings 
(29 completed) and 1,781 commissions meetings (894 completed). 
Committed to transparency, JTF-GTMO hosted 75 media representatives 
from 40 domestic and international news organizations and answered 
hundreds of media queries during the past year. Similarly, JTF-GTMO 
also hosted 166 Distinguished Visitor visits totaling more than 1100 
personnel, including seven Congressional Delegations, Service Chiefs 
and senior DOD, DHS, DOJ and DOS policy makers.
      Military Commissions: Support for the Military 
Commissions process is a priority of JTF-GTMO. These proceedings are 
open to observation by the media, victim family members, non-
governmental organizations and other visitors. In fiscal year 2015, 
JTF-GTMO supported 3 days of hearings which addressed pre-trial motions 
in the case of United States v. Mohammad, et al., the five individuals 
accused of coordinating the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United 
States (referred to in the press as ``the 9/11 Five'') and 4 days of 
hearings to address pre-trial motions in the case of United States v. 
Al Nashiri, the alleged USS Cole bomber. Additionally, the Court 
arraigned and conducted 7 days of hearings to address pre-trial motions 
in the case of United States v. al Iraqi, an alleged al Qaeda commander 
charged with law of war offenses.
        In the ``9/11 Five'' military commission, the judge's 7 
January 2015 interim order bars female guards from touching (absent 
exigent circumstances) the 9/11 Five detainee-accused during movements 
to and from attorney-client meetings and commission hearings. This 
order remains in effect until the judge hears evidence and argument and 
makes a final ruling. The cancellation of several commissions sessions 
in 2015 prevented the resolution of this issue. The practical effect of 
the judge's order is that it prohibits female guards from participating 
in commissions-related movements of the 9/11 Five detainee-accused. 
Male guards therefore complete extra duties that female guards may not 
perform. The judge's order resulted in fifteen (15) Equal Opportunity 
(EO) complaints because a portion of the guard force cannot perform 
their assigned duties based on gender. The EO complaints are 
unresolved.
      Infrastructure: Sustainment costs continue to rise due to 
the many facilities at JTF-GTMO that are past their designated 
lifecycle. Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization (SRM) costs have 
steadily increased the last four years ($19M, $20M, $21M, $24M). Eight 
military construction (MILCON) projects, valued at $231M, were planned 
for fiscal year 2015-18 to address infrastructure concerns. Six of 
those projects, valued at $207M, or 90 percent of the total Military 
Construction (MILCON) budget were cancelled in January 2015.
      Detainee Movement Operations: JTF-GTMO conducted 12 
Detainee Movement Operations during fiscal year 2015 which transferred 
35 detainees to 10 different countries.
                     joint task force-bravo (jtf-b)
                      soto cano air base, honduras
      Joint Task Force-Bravo is a forward-based expeditionary 
joint task force operating as U.S. Southern Command's lead forward 
element in the Central American (CENTAM) region. The Joint Task Force 
integrates and synchronizes efforts, provides assets and capabilities 
to enable others to operate, and executes operations in support of the 
CCDR's priorities of Countering Transnational Organized Crime (CTOC), 
Humanitarian Assistance / Disaster Relief, Building Partner Nation 
Security Capacity, and Contingency planning/support to promote regional 
cooperation and enhance security throughout Central America. JTF-Bravo 
performs the following missions:
      Facilitates integration of Partner Nation and U.S. 
Government agencies to develop a common understanding of Transnational 
Criminal Organizations (TCO) and enables operations to counter 
identified TCO networks.
      Conducts combined operations with military and law 
enforcement elements from the U.S. and Partner Nations to disrupt and 
deter organized crime networks in Central America.
      Consistently refines and evolves a common understanding 
of the environment and its efforts to enable partners to counter 
threats to both the CENTAM region and the American Homeland
      Provides a running estimate of the environment to both 
synchronize and integrate operations to achieve the right, overall 
effects against Criminal Transnational Organizations / Illicit 
Facilitation Networks.
      Supports efforts dedicated to Building Partner Capacity 
by providing subject matter expertise and capabilities throughout 
CENTAM in areas ranging from medical support to the local population 
and fire-fighting capabilities, to logistical support to partner nation 
militaries.
      Serves as U.S. Southern Command's first responder for 
natural disasters and humanitarian events within CENTAM.
      Is prepared to provide SOUTHCOM a no-notice command and 
control node throughout CENTAM in a natural disaster scenario.
      Manages the only all-weather day/night C-5 Galaxy-capable 
airfield in CENTAM, supporting ongoing operations and maintaining 
readiness to facilitate humanitarian assistance and disaster relief 
throughout CENTAM.
      JTF-B's operations enable DOD, DOS, IA, and PN efforts 
throughout CENTAM. Over the past year, JTF-B provided air movement 
support to the Honduran military for twelve iterations of Operation 
CARAVANA during 2015 (moving 3,525 pax and 135,500 pounds of 
equipment), allowing them to position forces into isolated regions of 
eastern Honduras and posturing them to effectively deter Illicit 
Facilitation Networks. JTF-B also conducted 25 medical missions during 
2015. These missions provided vital care to underserviced communities 
within Central America, increasing the local population's faith in 
government, providing HN medical training, and fostering goodwill 
across the region. In addition, JTF-B also assisted the Government of 
Belize in drug eradication efforts and supported U.S. Law Enforcement 
and military units in training the Belizean Defense Forces--providing 
time and space as the Belize forces continue to develop capacity.
      Finally, JTF-B conducted or directly supported a number 
of vital Contingency Operations, such as a high visibility mission to 
repatriate Central American citizens back to their home counties, 
supported 15 MEDEVAC missions in 2015--including a Honduran soldier 
seriously injured in a drug interdiction off the shore of Gracias a 
Dios, Honduras, a Search and Rescue mission of a missing American off 
the coast of Roatan, Honduras, as well as in the search effort for 
survivors of a capsized ferry off the coast of Nicaragua. JTF-B's 
continuing activities demonstrate U.S. commitment to CENTAM, posturing 
our Nation as the partner of choice and a force that will serve the 
people of Central America for years to come.
                       u.s. army south (arsouth)
                  headquarters: ft sam houston, texas
      Security Cooperation: ARSOUTH conducted 164 security 
cooperation events with 23 countries in U.S. Southern Command's area of 
responsibility. These events represent both engagements and building 
Partner Nation capabilities with other militaries in the region.
      Countering Transnational Organized Crime (CTOC): ARSOUTH, 
with the support of the Texas Army National Guard, 72nd IBCT, conducted 
CTOC tactical training in Guatemala and Honduras. They also conducted 
information training in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The four 
Mission Essential tasks trained were: Border Control Operations, 
Command Post Activities, Information Support to Operations, and 
Sustainment Operations. These training efforts contributed to the 
capacity-building efforts of our Partner Nations, enabling selected 
elements of their security forces to better focus on basic border 
control and security operations. U.S. Army South has supported 60 
operations in the SOUTHCOM AOR, contributing to the arrest of 71 
individuals including 14 HVT's, and seizure of 12.5 metrics tons of 
cocaine and $12.3 million. These operations have contributed to the 
disruption of TCO networks especially in Honduras and Guatemala.
      Information Security Cooperation: In addition to the CTOC 
training effort, ARSOUTH conducted Information engagements as a part of 
the Distinguished Visitor Program, Bilateral Staff Talks, and all 
regional Professional Development Exchanges, enabling military 
information capacity building in support of Guatemala, Honduras, El 
Salvador, Colombia, Chile and Peru.
      Counter Terrorism: ARSOUTH conducted 10 Subject Matter 
Expert Exchanges in six countries that included over 750 host nation 
soldiers. The engagements included: Medical, Search and Rescue, 
Logistics, Maintenance and Communications.
      Civil-Military Relations: ARSOUTH conducted Civil-
Military Relations Professional Development Exchanges in Brazil, 
Colombia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, 
Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, improving the ability of these 
countries to conduct inter-organizational coordination during 
humanitarian assistance / disaster relief operations and in countering 
transnational criminal organizations. These exchanges demonstrate the 
synergy and value of interagency collaboration and provide an effective 
forum for executive-level information-sharing, both bilaterally and 
regionally.
      Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP): HAP focuses on 
activities which help build partner nation capacity to provide 
essential services to their populace, with particular emphasis on 
response to disasters and other crises, reinforcing citizen security, 
and sustaining stability in a particular country or throughout the 
region. ARSOUTH, as USSOUTHCOM's Executive Agent for the construction 
facet of HAP, completed 21 projects in 2015, and also initiated the 
planning for 22 future construction projects across the AOR.
      Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI): GPOI is a 
security assistance program to enhance international capacity to 
conduct United Nations and regional peace support operations. ARSOUTH, 
as USSOUTHCOM's GPOI construction executive agent, executed 14 projects 
in Central and South America and initiated the planning for three 
future projects (El Salvador and Uruguay).
      Conference of the American Armies (CAA): The CAA (20 
member Armies, 5 observer Armies and two International Military 
Organizations) strengthens relationships and improves interoperability 
in peacekeeping and disaster relief operations through the creation and 
implementation of practical initiatives approved by the Army 
commanders. Army South organized and led delegations representing the 
U.S. Army Chief of Staff at conferences on IEDs, Disaster Response, 
Interagency Operations and CAA Procedures in Colombia, Mexico, Brazil 
and Chile.
      Exercise Beyond the Horizon (BTH): Humanitarian and Civic 
Assistance Field Training Exercises were conducted in El Salvador and 
Panama. BTH El Salvador yielded six engineer projects and three general 
Medical Readiness Training Exercises (MEDRETEs), treating a total of 
24,627 patients. In the El Salvador effort, over 1,760 U.S troops 
participated, and the host nation provided 163 security, engineering 
and medical personnel. BTH Panama included an Ophthalmology specialty 
MEDRETE which removed 250 cataracts from pre-screened patients, while a 
general MEDRETE treated 4,760 local patients. Forty eight U.S. troops 
participated in these efforts, while the Panamanian Ministry of Health 
and the Panamanian National Police provided over 60 personnel for this 
bilateral collaborative initiative.
      Exercise Fuerzas Aliadas--Humanitarias (FA-HUM): This 
year's Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief Table Top Exercise (TTX) 
was hosted by Honduras, to build Partner Nation capacity to respond to 
a major disaster and strengthen military/security force collaboration 
and cooperation in the region. The TTX exercised the coordination, 
response and integration of Honduras' SINAGER (National Risk Management 
System) members and other International Cooperation members. It greatly 
improved their ability to respond to an adverse event, activating 
SINAGER and national, regional, and international emergency protocols.
      Exercise PANAMAX 2015: This year's Joint/Combined 
operational exercise focused on the defense of the Panama Canal and 
designated ARSOUTH as HQ, Multi-National Forces-South. The Crisis 
Action Planning Phase had 127 participants--82 U.S. and 45 Partner 
Nation personnel from 9 countries. ARSOUTH also hosted the CFLCC with 
Colombia as the lead country which included 62 personnel from 15 
Partner Nations and 29 U.S. personnel. In addition, ARSOUTH 
participated in a bilateral exercise with the Government of Panama 
(PANAMAX-Alpha) where 20 United States personnel worked with the 
Panamanians coordinating United States forces assistance during 
simulated security operations.
      Exercise Integrated Advance 2015: For 2015 Integrated 
Advance is a Command Post (CPX) and Field Training Exercise (FTX) 
focused in the Caribbean and designed to conduct combined security, 
peacekeeping and selected maritime operations. This Joint operational 
exercise focused on the interagency planning required for a United 
States response to a Caribbean Mass Migration. ARSOUTH formed the core 
of the JTF-MIGOPS with 127 personnel (including 52 from other military 
services and government agencies).
              u.s. naval forces southern command (usnavso)
                     headquarters: mayport, florida
      U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. FOURTH Fleet 
(USNAVSO/FOURTHFLT) employs maritime forces in cooperative maritime 
security operations in order to maintain access, enhance 
interoperability, and build enduring partnerships that foster regional 
security in the USSOUTHCOM Area of Responsibility (AOR).
      Continuing Promise 2015 (CP 15): U.S. Navy Hospital Ship 
USNS Comfort completed her longest and most successful CP in history, 
conducting mission stops in 11 partner nations (Belize, Guatemala, 
Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Colombia, Dominica, the 
Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Haiti) from April through September 
2015. The CP-15 medical team treated 122,268 patients, including 1,255 
surgeries conducted aboard the Comfort, along with 279 surgeries 
conducted by the non-government organization ``Operation Smile'' aboard 
the Comfort. The CP-15 also featured 1,285 subject matter expert 
exchanges, 94 engineering projects, and 85 community relations events. 
Almost 400 members of non-government organizations deployed as part of 
the CP team, which included approximately $5.24 million dollars in 
donations to the 11 partner nations. CP-15 sent a strong message of 
U.S. commitment and partnership with the people of the Caribbean, 
Central and South America, and directly impacted more people in our 
partner nations than any other U.S. Navy mission.
      Southern Seas 2015 (SS 15): Task Force 49 (TF 49), led by 
Commander Carrier Strike Group Nine, deployed to the USSOUTHCOM AOR, 
sailing around South America from the end of September through mid-
December 2015. TF-49 participated in both UNITAS Pacific, hosted by 
Chile, and UNITAS Atlantic, hosted by Brazil. This was the largest and 
most capable U.S. Force to participate in UNITAS in the more than 50-
year history of the multi-national maritime exercise. UNITAS is the 
longest-running naval exercise in the world. USS George Washington also 
conducted multi-day bilateral exercises with the Japan Self-Defense 
Force, the Peruvian Navy, the Chilean Air Force, and the Brazilian Navy 
as well as receiving distinguished visitors from Panama, Colombia, 
Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay.
      Southern Partnership Station (SPS): SPS is a series of 
Navy/Marine Corps engagements focused on Theater Security Cooperation 
(TSC), specifically Building Partner Capacity (BPC), through Subject 
Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEEs) with partner nation militaries and 
civilian security forces. SPS engagements include Community Relations 
projects that focus on our partnerships, shared interests, and shared 
values. 2015 SPS Deployments:
        SPS Joint High Speed Vessel 2015 (SPS JHSV 15): USNS 
Spearhead built partner capacity while conducting TSC engagements 
through the use of Adaptive Force Packages (AFPs) ashore in Belize, 
Guatemala, Colombia, and Honduras. The sailors, marines, soldiers, 
airmen, NCIS agents, and civilian mariners making up the Spearhead Team 
built upon the firm foundation of the JHSV 14 deployment, and the 
persistent annual presence of Spearhead and the AFPs in the USSOUTHCOM 
AOR are reaping rewards of partnership and interoperability.
        SPS Oceanographic 2015 (SPS OCEANO 15): With the 
support of the Naval Oceanographic Office, survey ship USNS Pathfinder 
conducted hydrographic surveys in the Western Caribbean, shore-based 
Fleet Survey Teams conducted hydrographic surveys in coastal waters of 
Peru, Honduras, and Jamaica, and a Light Detection and Ranging aircraft 
and crew conducted hydrographic surveys in the coastal waters of 
Honduras. All SPS OCEANO surveys are conducted with the assistance of 
partner nation personnel and equipment, and support USSOUTHCOM's 
Oceanographic, Hydrographic, and Bathymetric Program and the Chief of 
Naval Operations Global Maritime Partnership Initiative. All 
hydrographic survey and environmental assessment data is shared to 
enable safe and effective maritime navigation and access to the 
littoral for naval and joint forces.
      Operation MARTILLO: Two frigates, one destroyer, one 
coastal patrol ship, JHSV SPEARHEAD, four fixed-wing maritime patrol 
aircraft squadrons, and one scientific development squadron detachment 
deployed to support Operation MARTILLO, conducting D&M Operations under 
the tactical control of Joint Interagency Task Force South, targeting 
illicit trafficking routes in the waters off Central America.
      USS Columbus: The Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine 
deployed to the USSOUTHCOM AOR. Columbus visited United States Naval 
Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and made two Panama Canal transits.
      PANAMAX 2015: Chile served as Combined Forces Maritime 
Component Commander (CFMCC) for the annual PANAMAX Exercise, which 
exercises defense of the approaches to the Panama Canal. Chile led a 
multinational staff of more than 50 military and civilian personnel 
from 16 Partner Nations (including the U.S.), all based at USNAVSO/
FOURTHFLT Headquarters in Mayport. In this year's PANAMAX, the CFMCC 
staff worked through the Navy Planning Process to produce a Concept of 
Operations (CONOP) with notional forces, for presentation to the 
Combined Joint Task Force led by U.S. Army South. Now in its 13th year, 
PANAMAX focuses on ensuring the defense of the Panama Canal, increasing 
multinational force interoperability while supporting the training 
requirements of all participating nations' civil and military services.
                  12th air force (air forces southern)
            headquarters: davis-monthan afb, tucson, arizona
      Security Cooperation: Twelfth Air Force (Air Forces 
Southern) (hereafter AFSOUTH) led 50 security cooperation events in 11 
USSOUTHCOM partner nations. Engagements focused on countering 
transnational organized crime, communications, aircraft operations and 
maintenance, ISR, space, cyberspace security, safety, command and 
control, space capabilities, aerospace medicine, air evacuation, 
expeditionary medicine, information sharing, mobility, Future 
Engagement Talks, logistics, aircrew search and rescue, and 
humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. The 571st Mobility Support 
Advisory Squadron completed 19 air advisor events in Belize, Brazil, 
Colombia, Curacao, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, 
and Peru, training 417 partner nation military members.
      Legal: The AFSOUTH Staff Judge Advocate promoted Law of 
Armed Conflict adherence and Human Rights Law in 9 legal engagement 
activities with Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, and 
Trinidad & Tobago.
      Airlift Missions: AFSOUTH executed 85 theater airlift 
missions, moving more than 4,267 passengers and 406 tons of cargo 
throughout USSOUTHCOM's area of responsibility.
      System of Cooperation among the American Air Forces 
(SICOFAA): SICOFAA strengthens relationships and improves 
interoperability in peacekeeping and disaster relief operations through 
the creation and implementation of practical initiatives approved by 
the commanders of the 20 SICOFAA member Air Forces and the 5 observer 
Air Forces. USAF Chief of Staff and the 12 AF (AFSOUTH) Commander 
participated in the annual American Air Chiefs Summit (CONJEFAMER) in 
Mexico City in June 2015. Delegates from USAF and AFSOUTH participated 
in five SICOFAA committee meetings and the CONJEFAMER planning 
conference.
      Medical Support: AFSOUTH provided medical planning and 
oversight of detainee movement operations and forward operating 
location missions; delivered operational health expertise and steady-
state planning for contingency and real world operations across 
USSOUTHCOM AOR; supplied counterdrug operations medical guidance and 
planning support; and coordinated USAF medical engagements for New 
Horizons and Beyond the Horizon exercises. Surgeon General provided 
Crisis Action Team support for PANAMAX and Integrated Advance. AFSOUTH 
International Health Specialists conducted 15 Theater Security 
Cooperation global health engagements with partner nations addressing 
flight medicine, air evacuation, force health protection, and 
expeditionary medicine advancing regional collaboration across the 
aerospace medicine enterprise.
      New Horizons 2015 (Honduras): AFSOUTH trained 120 U.S. 
Military personnel in this joint exercise. Engineering personnel 
constructed one new 1400 square foot school and drilled two water wells 
supporting 3,000 Honduran citizens. During the exercise, deployed 
medical personnel not only provided care for U.S. members, but also 
volunteered their medical capabilities to the local hospital emergency 
room by treating 678 Honduran civilians and providing over 100 surgery 
consults. Additionally, deployed communications support personnel wired 
the local hospital offices for internet capability. International 
Health Specialists conducted a 12 day infectious disease assessment for 
the local Ministry of Health and provided a final report with 
recommendations to improve local health conditions.
      ISR: AFSOUTH provided command and control for ISR 
missions in support of USSOUTHCOM priorities. AFSOUTH executed 939 ISR 
missions and 5,423 flight hours, resulting in over 4,544 images and 
nearly 9,235 minutes of video. This information assisted in numerous 
drug trafficking seizures in the SOUTHCOM AOR by the United States and 
its partner nations in fiscal year 2015. AFSOUTH continues to assist 
critical partner nations in counter-drug/counter-narcotics trafficking 
efforts and is currently working to enable Air Force operational and 
ISR capability in both Guatemala and Honduras. AFSOUTH assists both 
Colombia and Peru in maintaining the strategic initiative against 
illegally-armed combatants who previously threatened the very existence 
of those nations.
                marine corps forces south (marforsouth)
                      headquarters: doral, florida
      Theater Security Cooperation: In 2015, MARFORSOUTH 
completed more than 120 Security Cooperation events in 21 countries. 
This resulted in over 750 Partner Nation Marine Corps and Defense Force 
personnel trained. While continuing to foster long-term relationships 
based on mutual respect and common values, MARFORSOUTH conducted a 
variety of key leader engagements throughout the USSOUTHCOM area of 
responsibility that reinforced our commitment to partner nation 
leadership. To meet shared security objectives in combatting 
transnational organized crime, MARFORSOUTH delivered tailor-made 
training to our partners by establishing persistent presence security 
cooperation teams in Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. This 
was training often conducted hand-in-hand with our Colombian Marine 
Corps partners through the United States/Colombia Action Plan.
      SPMAGTF-SC-15: From June to November 2015, U.S. Marine 
Corps Forces, South deployed Special-Purpose Marine, Air, Ground Task 
Force-SOUTHCOM (SPMAGTF-SC) to Central America. Leveraging a force one-
tenth the size of those in CENTCOM and AFRICOM, SPMAGTF-SC temporarily 
deployed to one of the most austere locations in Honduras to provide 
support to partner nation militaries and populations living in extreme 
poverty and at the highest risk for involvement in illicit activities. 
Using SPMAGTF-organic aircraft and engineering support, marines and 
sailors throughout Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Belize focused 
on building and maintaining partnership capacity through shared values, 
challenges, and responsibility. The Marines built three schools, 
improved a partner nation military airfield, and provided essential 
water services to those in need. This force was instrumental in 
bringing together the national level government of Honduras with remote 
populations mostly segregated by terrain, expanding governance and 
visibility on key issues in the region.
      SPS-JHSV 15--Marine Detachment (MARDET): MARFORSOUTH 
deployed 35 Marines and Sailors to Guatemala and Honduras in support of 
United States Naval Forces Southern Command/United States Fourth 
Fleet's Southern Partnership Station (SPS) initiative. The MARDET 
provided engineer support to the SPS mission and met emergent 
requirements under OPERATION ESCUDO UNIDO. This is the first iteration 
of SPS that included a USMC Deputy Mission Commander, who was an 
integral part of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command's C2 structure 
for the mission. 32 of the engineers supported airfield construction at 
Mocoron in Gracias a Dios, as well as humanitarian construction 
assistance and water purification projects in the area.
      Tradewinds Phase II (Ground): In June 2015, MARFORSOUTH, 
in partnership with the Belize Defence Force, Canada, and 17 other 
partner nations from the Caribbean Region, executed Exercise Tradewinds 
2015 Phase II (Ground), a combined Field Training Exercise (FTX) in 
Belize, in order to enhance combined Counter Transnational Organized 
Crime (CTOC) operations capability and promote interoperability and 
multinational relationships throughout the theater. There were over 400 
participants in the Belize-hosted, MARFORSOUTH-led ground portion of 
the exercise that accomplished the capacity building exercise through 
five distinct exercise tracks in a Subject Matter Expert Exchange 
(SMEE). The tracks included nine days of interoperability training in 
command and control, jungle tactics, military support to law 
enforcement, instinctive shooting, and riverine skills. Of note, 
Tradewinds 2015 facilitated the positive increase of mil-to-mil 
relationships between Mexico and Belize that resulted in training and 
cooperation that was exclusive of the exercise and enhances the border 
security of both nations.
      MLAC-15: In August 2015 United States Marine Corps 
Forces, South executed the Marine Leaders of the Americas Conference in 
Cartagena, Colombia to increase professional exchanges and strengthen 
relations among naval infantry forces within the Western Hemisphere. 
This sixth iteration was co-hosted by commander, United States Marine 
Corps Forces Command on behalf of the Commandant of the U.S. Marine 
Corps, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South and the Infanteria de Marina de 
Colombia. This event provided the Commandant of the Marine Corps with 
an opportunity to meet and engage senior Marine Corps and naval 
infantry leaders from 15 partner nations.
      UNITAS Amphibious 2015: From 14-25 November 2015, 
approximately 1,000 representatives from Brazil, Canada, Chile, 
Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and the United States participated in 
UNITAS Amphibious 2015, a combined Field Training Exercise in the 
vicinity of the Ilha do Governador and Ilha da Marambaia, Brazil, in 
order to enhance interoperability in Amphibious Operations, and 
Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief (HA/DR) missions. The U.S.-
sponsored exercise, UA 2015, develops and sustains relationships--which 
improve the capacity of our PN security forces to achieve common 
desired regional goals. This annual exercise fosters friendly 
cooperation and understanding among all participating forces.
      Security Augmentation Force (SAF): The SAF is 
MARFORSOUTH's designated company of marines that reinforces Diplomatic 
Missions in the AOR, as required in support of `New Normal' 
requirements. In close coordination with Department of State, the SAF 
is postured in CONUS should an Ambassador decide that the local guard 
force is unwilling, unable, or insufficient to provide security to his 
mission. While there are currently no high threat posts in the AOR, the 
potential for a natural disaster is possible for some Embassy 
locations. MARFORSOUTH deploys its Marine Liaison Element to visit each 
Embassy, solidifies plans of action with the Country Team, and captures 
relevant information that will enable SAF in rapidly responding to 
crisis.
              special operations command south (socsouth)
                    headquarters: homestead, florida
      Building Partner Capacity: SOCSOUTH elements worked with 
Partner Nation units in Belize, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican 
Republic, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Guyana, Panama, and Peru to 
improve their capacity to conduct ground and maritime interdiction, 
broaden and reinforce their civil affairs programs, engage in Military 
Information Support Operations (MISO), and develop their intelligence 
capacities. Through active engagement, SOCSOUTH helped Partner Nations 
develop self-sustaining capabilities to better protect themselves, 
contribute to regional security and stability, and collaborate with 
U.S. and other forces.
        SOCSOUTH used episodic engagements-including 26 Joint 
Combined Exchange Training (JCET) events--with multiple Central 
American, South American, and Caribbean partners to develop United 
States forces' skills and enhance Partner Nation interoperability.
        In Brazil, SOCSOUTH JCETs allowed United States and 
Brazilian counter-terrorism forces to share best practices for 
operating in a range of complex environments and assisted the 
Brazilians' capacity building efforts in preparation for the upcoming 
Olympic Games.
        In Colombia and Peru, SOCSOUTH continued to partner 
with these Andean Ridge nations as they confronted narco-terrorist 
insurgencies and global illicit trafficking networks. Colombia's 
enhanced capacity is a significant supporting element of that nation's 
ongoing peace process.
        In Honduras, SOCSOUTH teams and Colombian counterparts 
continued to help train National Police officers of the TIGRES special 
response unit as part of expanded United States support to Honduran 
authorities as they confront sources of insecurity in urban and remote 
rural areas.
        In Belize, El Salvador, and Guatemala, SOCSOUTH teams 
engaged the Partner Nation in cooperative activities to reinforce their 
Naval Special Forces maritime interdiction capabilities. Guatemalan and 
Salvadoran Naval Special Forces conducted seven major maritime 
interdiction operations in support of Joint Interagency Task Force-
South's (JIATF-S) multinational collaborative efforts against regional 
illicit traffickers.
      Civil Affairs: In 2015, 14 civil affairs teams and civil-
military support elements engaged eight Partner Nations as they worked 
to enhance civil-military relations, reduce the vulnerability of key 
populations impacted by transnational organized crime or violent 
extremism, and improve/extend governance in underserved regions.
      Military Information Support Operations: SOCSOUTH 
maintained military information support teams in six Partner Nations 
supporting Colombia's Demobilization and Counter Recruitment Programs, 
Guatemalan Interagency Task Forces, Panamanian security services' 
outreach programs in the Darien border region, the global DOD Rewards 
Program, and United States Government Anti-Trafficking in Persons 
efforts. These activities supported a broad range of efforts against 
transnational organized criminal and violent extremist organizations.
      Intelligence Analytical Support to U.S. Country Teams: 
SOCSOUTH provided support to U.S. Country Teams efforts focused on 
terrorism, human smuggling network s, and transnational organized 
crime.
        SOCSOUTH helped develop host nation capabilities and 
country team support through a number of subject matter exchanges.
        SOCSOUTH supported multiple U.S. Country Team and 
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) collaborations with Partner 
Nations, with emphasis on countering Special Interest Aliens involved 
in cross-border criminal activities.
      Building Intellectual Capital: SOCSOUTH, in conjunction 
with the Colombian Joint Staff College, conducted six Counter-Terrorism 
Fellowship Program (CTFP)-funded seminars in Bogota, Colombia during 
2015. Subject-matter expert presenters from the United States, 
Colombia, and other nations collaborated with hundreds of participants 
from 18 Western Hemisphere and NATO countries. Late in the year, 
SOCSOUTH worked with Partner Nation defense and security institutions 
in El Salvador to build a complementary regional CTFP series in that 
country.
      Fuerzas Comando 2015: Fuerzas Comando is a USSOUTHCOM-
sponsored, SOCSOUTH-executed multinational exercise featuring a Special 
Operations skills competition and a Senior Leader Seminar designed to 
promote military-to-military relationships , increased 
interoperability, and improved regional security. Approximately 700 
military, law enforcement, and civilian personnel took part. The 2015 
skills competition was held in Poptun, Guatemala and included 
participation by 18 Partner Nations and the United States. In the city 
of Antigua, distinguished representatives from each nation discussed 
approaches to combating terrorism, organized crime, and illicit 
trafficking at the Senior Leader Seminar.
      Fused Response 2015: SOCSOUTH executes an annual CJCS-
directed exercise to validate time sensitive crisis action planning, as 
well as training, readiness, interoperability and capability of Special 
Operations Forces in support of regional crises and contingencies. 
Fused Response 2015 was a Joint and Combined exercise held across 
several locations in Honduras. United States military and civilian 
personnel and aircraft operated with their Honduran counterparts to 
refine rapid crisis response procedures and learn from each other's 
best practices.
      Panamax 2015: In this annual USSOUTHCOM-sponsored, 19-
nation exercise, regional forces support the Government of Panama as it 
protects safe passage through the Panama Canal, ensures its neutrality, 
and preserves its national sovereignty. SOCSOUTH took part as a member 
of the multinational Special Operations team led by Brazil.
      Gator Aide 2015: Exercise Gator Aide is a Personnel 
Recovery exercise designed to validate USSOUTHCOM's non-conventional 
assisted recovery capabilities. SOCSOUTH worked with U.S. interagency 
partners to enhance each other's readiness to prepare for, plan, and 
conduct specialized search and rescue operations throughout the region.

    Chairman McCain. Thank you very much, Admiral Tidd.
    Admiral Gortney, it's been described by many Governors and 
law enforcement individuals in the Northeast and the Midwest 
that the drug overdose deaths of manufactured heroin is now, in 
the view of some Governors, a, quote, ``epidemic.'' That is now 
being brought to my attention, and many, many others, 
particularly those who represent these States. How's it getting 
in?
    Admiral Gortney. It's coming through the traditional legal 
border crossings in very small quantities, some----
    Chairman McCain. By individuals or vehicles, or both, or--
--
    Admiral Gortney. Both. Both, sir. By very small quantities, 
because of the profit margin. I was just down in--at the San 
Diego-Tijuana border crossing, an immense challenge separating 
the legal versus the illegal activity that comes across the 
border and how the technology is--that our Custom and Border 
Patrol and Immigration are using is being circumvented by a 
very adaptable enemy.
    Chairman McCain. What do we need to do?
    Admiral Gortney. Well, two things, sir. We need to work on 
the technologies that allow us to detect this. We need to work 
at the root cause within Mexico, in the case of the poppy 
production and the eradication of the poppies. We'd work with 
SEDENA [Secretariat of National Defense] and SEMAR [Secretariat 
of Navy] on that, in our mil-to-mil responsibilities, as well 
as working with our partners north of the border. We do that 
through JTF [Joint Task Force] North, helping them improve 
their--our mission partners improve their capability and 
capacity where----
    Chairman McCain. Should we expect more of the Mexican 
Government?
    Admiral Gortney. I would think we--yes, sir, we do need to 
expect more of the Mexican Government and all of the agencies 
within the Mexican Government.
    Chairman McCain. The manufactured heroin is much easier 
than cultivated heroin.
    Admiral Gortney. Yes, sir. Between heroin and 
methamphetamines, the precursors in methamphetamines are coming 
from China, factories in China, and we have to tackle all of 
the illicit drugs that are coming across the border, sir.
    Chairman McCain. Part of it, as you mentioned in your 
remarks, it has got to do with the fundamentals of economics, 
and that's supply and demand. If there's a demand, there's 
going to be a supply.
    Admiral Gortney. That's absolutely correct, sir.
    Chairman McCain. Admiral Tidd, you, I think very correctly, 
applauded the agreement in Colombia with the FARC. I think it 
is a testimony to the Colombian people and government, first of 
all, but it is a sign and a story that we should understand 
better, and that is, it's been a long-term investment by the 
United States of America of billions over time because the 
heroin--excuse me--the cocaine was obviously a threat to the 
United States of America. But, now we are hearing that poppy 
cultivation--or cocaine--is way up. Is that correct?
    Admiral Tidd. Yes, sir, that's correct. I think in the next 
set of figures that will come out, we're going to see a very 
significant increase in coca production.
    Chairman McCain. With the cocoa production up, that means 
there's going to be more cocoa coming into the--cocaine coming 
in the United States.
    Admiral Tidd. I'd--that's what I would expect, yes, sir.
    Chairman McCain. That's where the market is. What do we 
need to do there? Because obviously it will lower the cost of 
cocaine, the--more people will find it affordable. What do we 
do there?
    Admiral Tidd. Sir, I think it's a multifaceted approach. 
First and foremost, we need to continue to stand steadfast with 
our Colombian friends. As you recognized, it's a--it is a 
relationship that extends over decades. We will need to 
continue to work very closely with them.
    With regard to the actual movement of cocaine, those 
transnational criminal networks that have moved the cocaine, we 
need to do everything that we can to apply pressure on them to 
detect, to illuminate, and then to disrupt them. That 
disruptive work will require the efforts of both--all of our 
interagency partners as well as allied partners.
    Chairman McCain. Admiral Gortney, what--we know that Mr. 
Baghdadi, the head of ISIS, has--is sending people out of ISIS 
in the wave of refugees that have left Syria and Iraq. What is 
the threat of someone--individual or individuals coming across 
our southern border?
    Admiral Gortney. I think if someone can find a seam to 
enter into our country, legally or illegally, they're going to 
exploit that particular seam. That's why we work very closely 
with our mission and partners to the south while we look into 
the drugs, we look to the left and right to see, within those 
seams, if there's anything else that be moving--in this case, 
terrorists.
    Chairman McCain. What more do we need to do in order to 
secure our southern border? Have we made progress in securing 
our southern border, or is it basically the status quo?
    Admiral Gortney. I think the efforts have been effective, 
but not nearly as effective as we would like them to be. We're 
working against a very adaptive enemy who will exploit the 
seams. As we make an advance in one area, they're very quickly 
able to overcome that. We're not able to stay out in front of 
that, their OODA [observe, orient, decide and act] loop, so to 
speak. That's where we need to--that's where we need----
    Chairman McCain. Well--so, what do we need to do? Isn't it 
true that more and more of those who are being apprehended are 
what we call OTM [on the move], other than Mexican?
    Admiral Gortney. That's correct. There's--as I look at it, 
it's the mass migration that are escaping the conditions within 
Central America, and the cartels are moving the people. The 
other problem is the drugs. The one that is the most concerning 
to us is the heroin that is being produced and shipped out of 
Mexico, and the methamphetamines. Moved by the same cartels.
    Chairman McCain. What do we need to do?
    Admiral Gortney. We need to tackle both. They both have 
different problem sets.
    Chairman McCain. I mean, do we need more Border Patrol? Do 
we need more towers? Do we need more--in other words, what more 
do we need to do to increase our border security?
    Admiral Gortney. The first thing, for the people, is 
improving the conditions within Central America, a whole-of-
government approach, working with the countries down there to 
improve the conditions so that people want to remain within----
    Chairman McCain. That's a long-term project. What about 
the----
    Admiral Gortney. Yes, sir.
    Chairman McCain. What about the short term?
    Admiral Gortney. Sir, both of them demand long-term 
problems. This is a 30-year fight that we have to confront. 
When it comes to the drugs, it's working with our mission 
partners in those countries, as well as Mexico. It's improving 
the technology along----
    Chairman McCain. What about security on the border itself? 
Is it--we need more technology? We need more towers? We need 
more Border Patrol? What do we need?
    Admiral Gortney. I would say that the--having been on the 
Mexican-Guatemalan border and then the Arizona and the Mexican 
border, the threat is a function of the--what we need is a 
combination of analyzing the threat, the terrain, the 
technology, and the training of the people. Efforts along all 
of those, both with our people and then working with Mexico and 
with Guatemala and Belize is exactly in order against all of 
those.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Reed.
    Senator Reed. Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Let me begin with Admiral Haney. Admiral Haney, we are in 
the process of modernizing the triad, for very obvious and 
compelling reasons. With respect to the air aspects, there is 
proposals for a new penetrating bomber, but that bomber also 
needs ordnance to carry. Two items which you could comment upon 
are the replacement for our existing air-launched cruise 
missile and also the B61-12 gravity bomb. But, a related issue 
would be timing of--improvements on these delivery systems 
might, in fact, be--come along before the new penetrating 
bomber, but they would be very, very useful on whatever 
platform it's applying. I presume that, but you might confirm 
or refute.
    Admiral Haney. Ranking Member Reed, the air leg associated 
with our triad of platforms is very important, in terms of 
complex deterrents that any adversary that would want to 
escalate their way out of a failed conflict would have to also 
deal with. That's important in strategic stability. As you've 
indicated here, and I will articulate, it's very important that 
we move forward with the replacement bomber, in that our B-52 
fleet, the planes flying today were off the assembly line in 
1962. We'll still be flying that plane into the 2040s. Even our 
B-2 fleet is about 25 years old. It's important that we're able 
to have that capability--stealth platform to deliver both 
nuclear and conventional missions.
    With regards to nuclear arsenals for that plane in order to 
have both flexible deterrents as well as visible deterrents, 
it's important that we replace the air-launch cruise missile. 
It was built in the '70s for a 10-year lifespan, well beyond 
that span today. That's why it's very important that we replace 
it with the long-range standoff cruise missile program that's 
just now getting underway in part of the President's budget for 
2017. We already have a cruise missile, but it's well beyond 
its lifespan, and we need to replace it.
    We also have programs associated with the B61-12 nuclear 
bomb that replaces four variants of, again, aging bombs. This 
helps us reduce our stockpile and have a more effective 
deterrent.
    Senator Reed. Just a follow-up question. As you develop 
this new air-launch cruise missile, it--I presume, and correct 
me if wrong, it could be launched from numerous platforms, even 
existing platforms. Is that correct?
    Admiral Haney. Absolutely. B-52, for example, which 
launches our air-launch cruise missile, doesn't have stealth 
characteristics. We'll use this new long-range standoff.
    Senator Reed. Thank you.
    Admiral Haney. You're welcome.
    Senator Reed. Admiral Gortney, you have many 
responsibilities in your--as you've indicated in your testimony 
and your response to the Chairman. One issue, though, is 
missile defense--national missile defense. Can you give us, 
sort of, an update on the long-range discrimination radar? How 
is it going? Also, generally, our posture when it comes to 
missile defense.
    Admiral Gortney. We're on track with long-range 
discriminating radar and the necessary investments to keep our 
ballistic missile defense architecture to make it the very best 
we can and then to improve it. We want to thank the Members of 
Congress for those investments. We're in good shape there, sir. 
We're on path to have 44 interceptors in the ground by the end 
of 2017; 40 in the great State of Alaska and four in 
California.
    Also, we thank you for the investments to help us get on 
the correct side of the cost curve, because right now we're on 
the wrong side of the cost curve, both in theater ballistic 
missile defense and intercontinental ballistic missile defense 
against rogue nations. Admiral Jim Syring, at MDA, and I asked 
for those investments and the research and development to help 
us get on the correct side of the cost curve. They're in the 
budget, and we thank you for that. Those that pay out, we'll be 
coming to you and asking you to put those into production once 
we understand what they do. I'm confident in the capability 
that we have today.
    Senator Reed. Just a follow-up question. This is always a 
subject of constant evaluation and reevaluation, but, at this 
juncture, your view would--on the need for an East Coast array 
of missiles, that need is not evident at this moment?
    Admiral Gortney. I do not see it, sir. If the threat 
manifested itself from Iran today, I have the ability to engage 
it today. If I had one dollar to invest, I'd put it to where we 
could engage in those capabilities that get us on the correct 
side of the cost curve. Those capabilities will work both for 
theater ballistic missile defense for our servicemembers and 
their families overseas, as well as ballistic missile defense 
for here in the Homeland.
    Senator Reed. Thank you.
    Admiral Gortney. Yes, sir.
    Senator Reed. My time is run out. But, Admiral Tidd, I want 
to commend your efforts and also the--your testimony today. One 
of the chief issues that I think emerges from your testimony is 
the need to build capacity in our allies in the region, that we 
can't, by far, do it alone. That is a multi-agency effort, not 
just SOUTHCOM, but SOUTHCOM plays a very critical role, 
because, for many in Latin America and South America, you used 
to represent not just Department of Defense, but the United 
States in your command. A quick comment, because my time is 
expired.
    Admiral Tidd. Yes, sir. Thanks very much.
    Where the Department is--of Defense--is able to play a 
useful is, we have a regional and a subregional look. The 
actual activities occur on a country-by-country basis, but 
we're able to look across the entire region and, I think, 
provide a very useful service to our interagency partners.
    Senator Reed. Thank you, sir.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Inhofe.
    Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I--in this morning's Air Force Times, Admiral Haney, I 
noticed the--it caught my eye because Senator Rounds and I were 
just on Diego Garcia--that the Air Force is deploying three B-
2s there. You're quoted in the article, announcing--making this 
announcement in this morning's Air Force Times. Any comments 
you want to make about that deployment of those three B-2s in 
Diego Garcia?
    Admiral Haney. Senator Inhofe, I would not describe it as a 
deployment. We take our global----
    Senator Inhofe. That's how it was characterized in the 
article, though.
    Admiral Haney. Well, I didn't get interviewed by----
    Senator Inhofe. All right.
    Admiral Haney.--Air Force Times, so I would say they 
probably mixed some of my earlier statements, et cetera.
    We actually send out our bombers--B-52s, B-2s--number one, 
were we invited to participate in exercises with our allies and 
partners. We do that throughout the globe. We do Pacific 
operations, as well.
    Senator Inhofe. Yeah. Well, that's good.
    I want to--there's an area where I have sensed that there 
is a disagreement between our military intelligence, on one 
side, and the State Department, on the other side, having to do 
with the Open Skies Treaty. Russia has reportedly announced its 
intent to submit plans for aerial surveillance flights, which I 
understand are permitted under the Open Skies Treaty, over the 
United States using advanced digital cameras. Several in the--I 
think Clapper made some comments, and certainly Lieutenant 
General Vincent Stewart, Director of Defense Intelligence 
Agency, with--concerned about this because of the advanced 
technology that's out there. To quote him, he says, ``The 
things that you can see, the amount of data you can collect, 
the things you can do with post-processing allows Russia, in my 
opinion, to get incredible foundational intelligence on 
critical infrastructure, bases, ports, all of our facilities.'' 
He was critical of this. What is your thinking about this? 
Where do you fall down on this?
    Admiral Haney. Senator Inhofe, I think, as with all things, 
we have to take a balanced approach, but we have to look at 
this very carefully. Clearly, we, back here recently, did an 
Open Skies Treaty mission over Russia with one of the 32 other 
signors of the treaty. It's a mechanism by which we are able to 
have transparent mechanisms with our allies and other partners 
in that group, while at the same time we have to be careful as 
we look through the technology advances using digital media 
versus film. Sustaining film is problematic today. This is--got 
to be in balance. Clearly, I'm concerned of any Russian ability 
to gain intelligence on our critical infrastructure.
    Senator Inhofe. Now, when we were going over Russia, were 
we using the advanced digital equipment?
    Admiral Haney. We were not, because we haven't gotten that 
far yet.
    Senator Inhofe. They're ahead of us, then. All right.
    The--when Senator Reed was talking about the--all three 
legs, you were concentrating on the air legs of the triad. 
The--Admiral Winnifeld recently made the statement--and I'll 
quote him--he said, ``Any remaining margin we have for 
investing in our nuclear deterrent has been steadily whittled 
away as we've pushed investments further and further into the 
future.'' Do you think, Admiral Haney, that Russia is actively 
modernizing their nuclear weapons delivery system and we're 
just--are they ahead of us?
    Admiral Haney. Well, I would----
    Senator Inhofe. If so, is this a concern?
    Admiral Haney. Well, Russia's modernization program in 
their nuclear deterrent forces is of concern. Period. Dot. End. 
The piece when you look at what they've been modernizing, it 
didn't just start. They've been doing this, quite frankly, for 
some time, with a lot of crescendo of activity over the last 
decade and a half.
    Senator Inhofe. Yes, we've been talking about it for a long 
period of time, that we have not been keeping up in our 
program, as many people think we should. A lot of us, when 
we're back in the--our own States, we hear things that are 
going on, and some things really catch the attention of the 
American people. I brought up these two issues, because these 
are two that do make a difference and the people are aware of, 
and there are concerns out there.
    Thank you.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Nelson.
    Senator Nelson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Admiral Tidd, welcome to Florida. Welcome to Miami.
    Admiral Tidd. Sir, it's a delightful place to live.
    Senator Nelson. In your three Cs and three Gs, you talked 
about this efficient network that moves things from south to 
north, not only drugs, human trafficking, all kinds of 
contraband. Do you have enough resources to do that in the 
President's Budget?
    Admiral Tidd. Sir, the simple fact of the matter is, we do 
not. I do not have the ships, I do not have the aircraft to be 
able to execute the detection and monitoring mission to the 
level that has been established for us to achieve.
    Senator Nelson. This is a unique role, where the Navy in 
the Caribbean and the Pacific coordinates with the law 
enforcement arm of the Coast Guard. They need assistance, too, 
don't they?
    Admiral Tidd. Sir, I would agree completely. It is very 
much a team sport. The activities that are orchestrated by our 
Joint Interagency Task Force South in Key West Florida involve 
the efforts of all of the State--excuse me--all of the Federal 
law enforcement agencies as well as the Department of Defense. 
Coast Guard plays a very significant role.
    Senator Nelson. We have seen some lessening of the violence 
and the drug lords in Honduras. That used to be the number-one 
murder capital in the world. Just this past weekend, I met, on 
several occasions, with the President of Costa Rica. They seem 
to be fairly stabilized. But, we're getting more drugs coming 
into stable places in the past, such as Panama. That being the 
Panama Canal, an expanded canal, what do you think is the 
threat there?
    Admiral Tidd. Senator, the adversary that we are dealing 
with is very flexible, very agile, and it's like squeezing a 
balloon; when we squeeze in one place, if we are not able to 
apply pressure across the entire breadth of the network, they 
will adapt and move to the area that they think they can get 
in. As we have been--had some success working with our Honduran 
partners, as they have been able to get out and apply greater 
pressure in areas that previously had been denied to them, 
we're seeing the--that the drug traffickers are moving the 
landing points for the--where the drugs are coming ashore in 
Central America to different countries.
    Senator Nelson. Couldn't we get a lot more support from 
Mexico, where all these drugs, basically, other than the ones 
that are going the water route to Puerto Rico, some to Haiti--
couldn't we get a lot more support from Mexico, since they come 
there and then they go across the border?
    Admiral Tidd. Senator, I would defer that specific question 
to----
    Senator Nelson. I know----
    Admiral Tidd.--to Admiral Gortney.
    Senator Nelson.--it's not in your AOR, but what do you 
think?
    Admiral Tidd. What I think is that we continue to work very 
closely with the militaries of all of the countries of Central 
America. I know that NORTHCOM works closely with the Mexican 
military to improve their capability and capacity to get this 
problem. Our ability to share information effectively plays a 
significant role.
    Senator Nelson. Well, at least we got El Chapo. That was a 
step in the right direction.
    Tell me about Haiti. They've got this interim government. 
Is it working until they can finally declare a President?
    Admiral Tidd. Sir, I think the situation in Haiti--every 
morning that we wake up, we watch--and to make sure that they 
have not had significant crises that have occurred there. 
They're going to have their hands full for a long time to come.
    The role played by the U.N. peacekeeping operation, 
MINUSTAH [United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti], there 
has been absolutely critical in sustaining that--the stability 
that is there. We've got some key partners in the nation, most 
notably Brazil that has been a real backbone of that MINUSTAH 
operation. We would hope that countries like that would 
continue to make those contributions.
    Senator Nelson. Basically, bottom line, until they improve 
in their economic depravity, it's going to be a nation whose 
government is always subject to a lot of corruption.
    Admiral Gortney, what do you think about Mexico in helping 
us out?
    Admiral Gortney. I think they're in a 30-year fight, going 
after immense challenges. The number-one problem is corruption. 
If you look at the root cause that you've got to solve first--
and this is Admiral Soberon's words, not mine--is to go after 
the corruption within the country. We need to assist them 
across our whole-of-government approach in this 30-year fight. 
They're great mission partners. SEDENA and SEMAR are great 
mission partners, but they have an immense challenge. We do 
everything we can to assist them with that.
    Senator Nelson. Isn't it interesting that you can rely on 
that elite unit at the federal level, but you get anywhere 
below that, it's just--you can't even say anything about intel; 
otherwise, it gets to the drug lords.
    Admiral Gortney. Yes, sir. You mentioned the--recapture of 
El Chapo. Those Mexican marines were trained by United States 
marines.
    Senator Nelson. Well, that's very good.
    With that, I'll say, Mr. Chairman, the marines are standing 
tall.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Fischer.
    Senator Fischer. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Admiral Gortney, our adversaries are continuing to invest 
in developing advanced long-range cruise missiles. That can 
hold the United States at risk. I think we have really thin 
defenses against those. Can you talk a little bit about the 
JLENS program and what role this plays in defending the United 
States against a cruise missile attack?
    Admiral Gortney. Yes, ma'am. The three types of missiles we 
worry about, the third one is the cruise missile attack. The 
Russians have--are employing these cruise missiles in Syria 
today, both from bombers, ships, and submarines. When there's 
no operational or tactical requirement in the battlefield to do 
it, they're messaging us that they have this capability, and 
those missiles can--have made it either a conventional or a 
nuclear-tipped warhead.
    In order to defeat this threat--I've been defending against 
them since I was a lieutenant JG, and I've shot over 1300 of 
them. If you want to defeat this threat, you have to be able to 
detect it. In order to do that, you need an array--a radar that 
is above the horizon. That can come in many forms. It can be 
the AWACs, it can be the E-2 Hawkeye for the Navy, or it can be 
JLENS [Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted 
Sensor System]. What it does for us here in the national 
capital region as we're executing our test, is putting this 
array up. It fills a gap--at the classified level I can't say 
in this forum--it fills a cap--a capability gap that I do not 
have today. We look forward to restarting the JLENS program 
after the very unfortunate mishap that we have. We understand 
what happened. We've put in place the mitigation efforts. We 
look forward to completing it, because, should it bear out, it 
fills a gap that I do not have today against this particular 
threat.
    Senator Fischer. Thank you, sir.
    Admiral Haney, last week General Rand, who commands Global 
Strike Command, he testified that the Huey helicopters 
providing security for our ICBM fields, they cannot meet the 
emergency response requirements. Can you talk about the current 
capability gap that we have and the need that we see to replace 
those helicopters?
    Admiral Haney. Senator Fischer, the--General Rand's 
comments were spot on the mark there. These current 
helicopters, these UH-1Ns, don't have the lift capability, the 
speed capability to meet the requirements that have been 
improved--validated through a number of studies, as well as 
Might Guardian exercises, and what have you. They don't have 
the lift to get the amount of security forces to the scene. 
When you look at these missile fields, they're vast, and they 
cover large areas, as you well know. They--in order to meet 
those kinds of requirements, we need a new helicopter.
    Senator Fischer. Would you say that need is urgent?
    Admiral Haney. I would definitely say the need is urgent.
    Senator Fischer. Thank you, Admiral.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have to run, to preside.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Manchin.
    Senator Manchin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Thank you all for your service and for being here today.
    I think, Admiral Tidd, if I could, you know, you were 
talking about the drugs, and this and that. If you were going 
to rate--and I've just heard a couple of statistics--but how 
the drugs are getting here, most predominantly--by air, sea, 
over ground, or through tunnels?
    Admiral Tidd. I would defer to Admiral Gortney to----
    Senator Manchin. Okay.
    Admiral Tidd.--talk how they actually get across the U.S. 
border into the United States. But, as they go through the 
SOUTHCOM region, they go by air and by sea.
    Senator Manchin. Okay.
    Admiral Tidd. Then over land of Central America.
    Senator Manchin. How do they get into the United States 
border? Across it----
    Admiral Gortney. Through all mechanisms, sir. Everything 
that we talked about, that Admiral Tidd talked about, through 
the tunnels----
    Senator Manchin. I've heard that--and, sir--and, Admiral, 
that's the--I had not heard that tunnels were so prevalent. I 
heard that tunnels are probably one of the most pervasive ways 
that this stuff is getting in, and we're not doing a whole lot 
about the tunnels.
    Admiral Gortney. Well, sir, I've been in one of the 
tunnels.
    Senator Manchin. Okay.
    Admiral Gortney. I've looked at the tunnel detection 
capability that Custom and Border Patrol use, the technology 
that they have applied to that, and then crawled through the 
tunnels with them. It's a--once again, it's a very adaptive 
enemy that goes out there. If they can find a mechanism in 
order to----
    Senator Manchin. Are we destroying the tunnels?
    Admiral Gortney. Yes, sir, we are, those that we find. As 
they detect them, they then work the law enforcement piece on 
each side to find out where the entry and exit piece is, what 
is the network that is controlling that entry and exit piece 
after that, and working both sides of the borders on it. Then, 
once the--once they understand that, they'll go ahead and 
destroy and fill in the tunnel.
    Senator Manchin. Do you think a wall is needed?
    Admiral Gortney. Sir, we--a wall will not solve the immense 
problems that go out there. You need all of the technology.
    Senator Manchin. I know. Would it help? I'm just saying--
because people believe--of course, there's a lot of rhetoric 
about a wall----
    Admiral Gortney. Yeah.
    Senator Manchin.--these days in the news, but I'm--
sincerely, do you believe that it could help, or would help, 
more----
    Admiral Gortney. Well----
    Senator Manchin.--than not having a wall?
    Admiral Gortney. The--I have flown the border between what 
we call our middle border, on the Arizona side, and I've seen 
the technology that is applied there, be it sensors, be it 
fencing. Every type of fencing that happens to be out there, 
because the terrain demands different types of fencing----
    Senator Manchin. Sure.
    Admiral Gortney.--for it, and we need to put in place all 
of that technology across our border as we try and work with 
our mission partners south of the border, as well as cut back 
significantly the demand signal here in our country.
    Senator Manchin. If I could follow up with you again, 
Admiral, as--yesterday, Lieutenant General Thomas submitted in 
written testimony that ISIS-inspired lone actors pose the most 
direct and immediate threat to United States Homeland. As we 
saw in San Bernardino and Dallas. There are many folks in my 
State of West Virginia that have a lot of concerns with our 
Government when our Government considers accepting refugees 
from overseas. They're more concerned about, Are we doing the 
proper vetting process? I would ask, Should we accept Syrian 
refugees into this country at this time? Are we able to do the 
proper vetting, since we have such little facts about those 
people coming?
    Admiral Gortney. Homeland Security has a very robust 
vetting process for everybody that comes into this country, 
particularly focused on the Syrian refugee challenge that's 
coming this way. I have confidence in the program, but no 
program is perfect, sir. When I look at people that are trying 
to come to do nefarious activity in our country, the ones that 
I am not--I am most concerned are those that enter the country 
legally, under a legal means, because then they have freedom of 
maneuver to operate within the United States. Those that try 
and enter illegally have hooks that we may have opportunities 
to pick up. Then, if they're maneuvering inside, they have--do 
not have the freedom of maneuver inside the country. It is the 
vetting process, a very robust vetting process that Homeland 
Security has, that is absolutely critical----
    Senator Manchin. But, you all recommend that we do not 
reduce that vetting process whatsoever.
    Admiral Gortney. No, I would not----
    Senator Manchin. Thank you.
    Admiral Gortney.--at all.
    Senator Manchin. Admiral Haney, if I could ask you. In 
recent days, we have once again seen North Korea threaten to 
conduct a preemptive nuclear strike and reduce Seoul into a sea 
of fire and ashes. Now, I know we always hear that rhetoric 
anytime we partner with South Korea, as we're doing right now, 
to conduct military exercises, but it seems to be a lot 
stronger this time. It seems to be growing stronger every year. 
Do you feel there is a linkage to North Korea's ratcheted 
rhetoric and their more aggressive missile test?
    Admiral Haney. Well, I won't, Senator, try to rationale----
    Senator Manchin. Right.
    Admiral Haney.--North Korean behavior and Kim Jung Un's 
behavior. I will state that the nuclear test, the fourth test 
they just did here, and the space launch that they just did, 
further enhanced their understanding and knowledge associated 
with this. North Korea has made many claims--miniaturization of 
nuclear warheads. They've paraded around their KNO-8 
intercontinental ballistic missile. I think we have to take 
these problems seriously, because it's clear to me they are 
working hard to----
    Senator Manchin. Is it more aggressive than you've seen in 
the past?
    Admiral Haney. Absolutely.
    Senator Manchin. So--thank you.
    Thank all of you.
    Chairman McCain. Admiral, if I could just follow up. Your 
greater concern is people who come into this country legally, 
as opposed to coming across our border. Is that a correct----
    Admiral Gortney. Yes, sir, because it's their ability of 
freedom of maneuver to operate within our country. Anytime that 
someone is--comes through illegally, we have the--a better 
opportunity to detect them and pick them up. As they're in the 
country, just as the San Bernardino attack showed out, the 
woman involved entered the country legally. We did not have the 
sensors, the ability to detect what she wanted to do. You've 
got to tackle both of them as we go forward.
    If you look at the Paris attacks, they entered the EU 
legally. They operated--they had freedom of maneuver to operate 
within the EU on the continent, because of the policies that 
they have in the EU--operated and planned the attack in a 
country that did not have the authorities that Paris did, and 
then freely move into France to conduct the attack. Disabling 
their--this freedom of maneuver is--I think is absolutely 
critical, which goes back to the vetting policy that was asked 
before, sir.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Cotton.
    Senator Cotton. Thank you.
    Admiral Tidd, I want to talk about the potential for 
migrant flows into the United States from Latin America, as we 
saw during the migrant crisis in the summer of 2014. Obviously, 
there are push factors involved, given the crime and the 
violence in, say, Central America. But, there are always pull 
factors involved, as well. This is one reason why President 
Obama stated, in 2014, that parents in Central America 
shouldn't send their children to the United States through 
coyotes or human traffickers. Similarly, you see, in Europe, 
after Chancellor Merkel said that Germany would take all 
migrants and refugees, there was a significant increase in the 
flows, not just from places like Syria and Iraq, but from many 
other countries in Africa and Asia.
    Therefore, I'm very troubled by what I heard last night in 
the Democratic debate. It's easy to write off political debates 
as theater, but we're the world's superpower. There's only six 
people right now who are likely to be our next President of the 
United States, our next Commander in Chief. Last night, the two 
candidates in the Democratic side said, essentially, that they 
would never send any children back to their country of origin 
if they make it to the United States. What kind of message did 
that send to families in Central America and South America 
about the risk they're willing to undertake to send their 
children to the United States through human traffickers and 
through coyotes?
    Admiral Tidd. Senator, I think one of the most effective 
things that the Department of Homeland Security was able to do 
to begin to curtail that movement of children coming into the 
country back in 2014 was to try to change the messages that 
were being communicated via social media back to family 
members, that, ``It's safe, it's easy to come in. You won't be 
incarcerated.'' They put a hard push to communicate that, if 
you come across the border, you will be held until you can be 
processed for return back home. I think all of the steps that 
can be taken to deal with those pull factors would be critical.
    Senator Cotton. I agree. I mean, I don't think it's an 
especially moral policy what Chancellor Merkel has proposed in 
Europe or what we heard last night. We're essentially saying, 
to people who are poor and oftentimes in countries racked by 
violence, that if you can survive, you can stay here.
    Admiral Tidd. The critical work that you identified to try 
to change the push factors out of those countries, the long-
term sustained work that's being done by Department of State, 
by USAID [United States Agency for International Development] 
to try to provide economic opportunities so that those--the 
people will find that it is economically a much better decision 
to remain home, and then the work that's being done to try to 
improve security within those countries so that it is not a--
it's a life-or-death decision to remain home--that's the key to 
the long-term----
    Senator Cotton. I agree, on the long-term solution, the 
work that you and all the men and women of SOUTHCOM do and have 
done for many years are critical to build that kind of capacity 
in the countries that send the most migrants here. But, I also 
think that statements by American leaders, that essentially 
create a full employment opportunity for human traffickers are 
very damaging, not just for our country, but for the young 
children that might be sent here.
    I'd like to stay in your AO [area of operation] and turn to 
Guantanamo Bay. I led a delegation of the freshmen on this 
committee and the Intelligence Committee last year to see 
Guantanamo Bay. We were very impressed by the operations. We 
were even more impressed by the men and women you have serving 
there. Could you explain to us a little bit about the stressful 
and sometimes dangerous working conditions they face handling 
these depraved terrorists?
    Admiral Tidd. Senator, thanks for the opportunity. We--
I've--in the short two months that I've been in the--this 
position, I've visited Guantanamo Bay twice to see for myself, 
to be able to assess exactly the high degree of professionalism 
and discipline that the men and women execute that mission. As 
you observed, it is very difficult, very challenging, 
oftentimes under enormous pressure from both the expectations 
from outside, but then also just the actions of the detainees 
there. There have been a--in the last 12 months, 100 assaults 
committed by the detainees on our guard force, assaults in the 
form of splashing, scratching, pushing, shoving, those sorts of 
activities, and then threats of worse if they had the ability 
to do that. The fact that our men and women never respond in a 
negative way, that they continue to remain very professional, I 
think is testimony to the fact that they are supremely well 
trained, they are exceptionally well qualified for the mission 
that we ask them to do. All of the American people can be very 
proud of the job that they've done--that they have done and 
continue to do.
    Senator Cotton. Thank you.
    My time is expired.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Blumenthal.
    Senator Blumenthal. Thanks, Mr. Chairman.
    Admiral Haney, you note in your testimony, and I'm quoting, 
``Recapitalizing our sea-based strategic deterrent'' remains 
your top priority, end quote. Considering the gap that we're 
facing in submarine capabilities, do you think that we ought to 
consider building three submarines a year--two Virginia-class 
and one Ohio replacement?
    Admiral Haney. Oh, Senator Blumenthal, I am supportive, and 
as you correctly stated----
    Senator Blumenthal. I am, too. I am, too, and I appreciate 
your support.
    Admiral Haney.--the building and the capability that we 
need to have, in terms of the Ohio replacement, SSBN, is a top 
priority. As I mentioned also, having conventional capability 
across our joint military forces is also important. We've got 
to get that balance right. I'm not--to give you an acquisition 
strategy on the number per year and what have you, there, I 
will say we need to have a--I depend upon the strong submarine 
force and all their capabilities, but, in particular, to have 
that strategic survivable capability underwater is very 
important to our Nation as a whole.
    Senator Blumenthal. I didn't ask you to commit to doing it, 
but to consider doing it, which I think is really important. 
Privately, I think that the Navy has been receptive to this 
idea of two Virginia-class submarines a year, plus the ORP 
[Office of Research Protections] at least for some period of 
time. In order----
    Admiral Haney. Well, I can I'd like to see five per year, 
but, you know, we have to do things in reason. From the spirit 
of what we need as a country as a whole, we've got to get that 
balance right. We do know, as I'm thinking you're implying, 
correctly so, that our submarine force does bring significant 
value to our Nation.
    Senator Blumenthal. Admiral Tidd, some of the reports that 
we've had indicate that we can actually see illicit 
substances--opioids, heroin--transported across waters, even 
across borders, but we lack the equipment and manpower to 
intercept and interdict and stop them. Is that true?
    Admiral Tidd. Senator, it is. First, what I'd like to do is 
thank the exceptional efforts of the Congress to provide 
additional resources as they became available for us to be able 
to increase the resources that we do have. The--we've been able 
to apply those resources very quickly in some new ways and to 
be able to take advantage of some nontraditional capabilities 
to increase our ability to see the movement and things that are 
going on.
    It still only gives us glimpses. We're not able to maintain 
a persistent view of activities going on within the theater. As 
you rightly point out, our ability to interdict is extremely 
limited. The number of surface ships largely provided by the 
U.S. Coast Guard, but the U.S. Navy also provides some limited 
capability, as well, but even that, it's not enough for us to 
be able to deal with the--what we're able to see.
    We try to mitigate that by increasing the capability of our 
partner nations, and they've--and the development that we've 
been able to do in their intercept capability and interdiction 
capability has made a significant improvement. As it stands 
right now, about half of the interdictions that occur, occur 
with the help of partner nations.
    Senator Blumenthal. Well, my time is limited, but let me 
just emphasize how important I think the American people 
believe it is to interdict and intercept the flow of these 
illicit substances. Clearly, the demand side needs to be 
addressed. In fact, we are seeking to do so through the 
Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which is only a step 
in the right direction, because it lacks the resources to 
provide the kind of treatment and services and even law 
enforcement support that we need to do. The demand side is 
important, but equally so, the work that you're doing is 
absolutely critical. I recognize that the dedicated men and 
women under your command are working as hard and long as they 
can with the limited resources they have.
    I'm hopeful that we can get from you a more specific list 
of resources, whether it's equipment, ships, aircraft, that you 
think are necessary. I'm not asking you to provide it now, but 
I would, for the record, ask that you provide it to the 
committee.
    Thank you, sir.
    Admiral Tidd. Sure.
    Senator Blumenthal. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Thank you all for your dedicated service to our Nation.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Ayotte.
    Senator Ayotte. Thank you, Chairman.
    I want to thank all of you for your service and leadership 
for our country.
    Admiral Gortney, in the 2016 NDAA [National Defense 
Authorization Act], I was able to include a very--a bipartisan 
effort that was focused in asking the Secretary of Defense to 
carry out research, development, testing, and evaluation 
activities with Israel on anti-tunnel capabilities to detect, 
map, and neutralize Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist tunnels that, 
of course, are used for those tunnels to come up and commit 
attacks in Israel. But, we also know that this is a very 
important issue, not only in protection of our friend and ally, 
Israel, but also on our southern border, because we know that 
tunnels on our southern border can be used to smuggle drugs, 
like heroin and Fentanyl, which are devastating my State, into 
the United States, and they also presumably could be used by 
other bad actors, including terrorists.
    Admiral Gortney, has there been collaboration with Israel 
on terror tunnels that has benefited NORTHCOM's and the Joint 
Task Force North's efforts to develop technology to detect, 
map, and neutralize drug-smuggling tunnels on our southern 
border?
    Admiral Gortney. Absolutely, ma'am. It's very, very helpful 
for us. You know, we don't have a monopoly on good ideas in our 
country. When we can partner with our partners overseas that 
have a similar challenge, it's very, very--it's been very, very 
beneficial, both for us and for our partners in the Custom and 
Border Patrol.
    Senator Ayotte. Excellent. I'm glad to hear it. I look 
forward to continuing to focus on those efforts.
    How much of this is an issue as we look at--in New 
Hampshire, we had a record number of drug overdose deaths this 
year from heroin and Fentanyl--420. It's been devastating. In 
fact, right now, on the Senate floor, we have the Comprehensive 
Addiction Recovery Act, which is focused, obviously, on the 
prevention, the treatment, and support for our first responders 
so that they can help bring people back from drug overdoses. 
But, thinking about the interdiction piece, what's happening 
over our southern border on this issue? This is something I've 
raised also with Secretary Johnson. Can you give us an update 
on your interdiction efforts?
    Admiral Gortney. Yes, ma'am. Our interdiction efforts, we 
work both sides of our middle border. North of our border, we 
do the Department of Defense support with our mission partners 
through JTF North. You know, just last year, it was a $10.7 
million program that we were given for JTF North, and they 
assisted in pulling--taking $436 million of drugs off the 
street with our mission partners. We use the services in order 
to do that. In a 30-day period, over one stretch of territory 
that Custom and Border Patrol was asking us to take a look at, 
they were able to interdict 1 pound of marijuana and only one 
trafficker. We put United States Marine Corps ground sensor 
platoon who were in their training in order to deploy, and, in 
that same 30--in another 30-day period over that same terrain, 
they were able to pull up 1200 pounds of marijuana and 75 
traffickers. Being able to assist with them is absolutely 
critical for that.
    Senator Ayotte. What are you seeing on heroin and Fentanyl?
    Admiral Gortney. Heroin and Fentanyl are coming through our 
normal passages, the legal entry control points across our 
border. Heroin, predominantly through the San Diego passage. 
Very, very small shipments, which is very, very difficult for 
our partners to be able to detect with the technology that they 
have today.
    Senator Ayotte. What more could we do to assist you to give 
you some more technological tools or personnel to try to 
address this? Because what's happening in New Hampshire and 
across the country is, the price of heroin and Fentanyl, of 
course, have gone down dramatically, and you've got people----
    Admiral Gortney. Ten dollars a pop in any----
    Senator Ayotte. Yeah. They're going from prescription 
drugs, unfortunately, to heroin, and people are dying.
    Admiral Gortney. That's correct. Everywhere, ma'am. We've 
got to--we have to tackle this from both sides of the problem. 
Where our mission partners--what do our mission partners need 
in the capabilities to detect, improvements with all of our 
whole-of-government approach with Mexico and Central and South 
America. I'm responsible for the Mexican piece, of the mil-to-
mil piece. Then we have to work on the demand signal. Sir, I 
want to--Senator Donnelly, with your anti-opiate bill that goes 
to the floor today, absolutely critical. You know, we look at 
this, the three of us look at this through not only military 
officers that are tasked to defend the Nation and what we can 
do in order to do that, but we look at it as fathers and 
grandfathers, as well. We have to go after the demand signal 
while we work the interdiction piece.
    Senator Ayotte. Let me just thank Senator Donnelly, because 
this is something that he's been a great leader on that we've 
worked together, and appreciate his efforts on this and focus 
on it, and others on this panel who have been working on it.
    I also wanted to ask, Admiral Gortney, in your prepared 
statement, you said that you assess that Iran may be able to 
deploy an operational ICBM by 2020 if the regime chooses to. 
Well, we know, in the last several days--first of all, we had a 
ballistic missile test in October, one in November, and, in the 
last 2 days, we've had several ballistic missile tests from 
Iran. Can you give us the detail on that assessment? Obviously, 
they're testing this capacity--where they stand on this 
development.
    Admiral Gortney. Yeah. None of their tests violate any of 
the agreements that are out there, but I think it's indicative 
of where their minds are. I don't see a change in their 
behavior. If they had the capability today, I have the ability 
to engage it today. We watch very closely. We thank the 
committee and all of Congress for the investments that allow us 
to be able to outpace that particular threat.
    Reading their intentions, I don't see a change from the 
Iranians' behavior.
    Senator Ayotte. In other words, bad behavior.
    Admiral Gortney. Yes, ma'am.
    Senator Ayotte. Thank you.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Donnelly.
    Senator Donnelly. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I would like to thank Senator Ayotte. She's been a great 
partner in this effort to try to stop the flow of heroin. I 
know what a challenge it's been in New Hampshire and in my 
State. We've both worked in a real bipartisan way to try to get 
this done. She's been a great partner.
    The Chairman mentioned, at the beginning, about the fact 
that this is an epidemic. I just want to tell you, a little 
town in my State, Connorsville, Indiana, and it's, you know, a 
little southeast of Indy. We've lost young person after young 
person after young person, older people, too, to heroin deaths. 
Six dollars per is what it's taking, in terms of each time they 
use heroin, it's 6 bucks. The extraordinary talent we're 
losing, the extraordinary family damage it causes, it takes 
your breath away, as all of you know. In some of the saddest 
cases, they are vets. They're our family in the military who 
this has happened to. We know we have a demand problem. We're 
trying to get our hands around that and get it fixed. But, as 
you look at this, how much is getting through that--you know, 
that--whether it's the heroin or the Fentanyl or whatever--that 
you look, and you go--of the percentage coming through, how 
much are we stopping?
    Admiral Gortney. I don't have the percentages in front of 
me, and----
    Senator Donnelly. I'm not looking for an exact number.
    Admiral Gortney. Yeah. I'm hesitant of using the percentage 
of our confiscation as a metric of success, because of the 
increase--you know, if you're measuring from 2 years ago or----
    Senator Donnelly. Right.
    Admiral Gortney.--or that, it's--I just don't think it's a 
very good metric that we can either hang on our hat on--that we 
would not want to hang our hat on. We have to do more. We have 
to do more throughout Central--Mexico and Central and South 
America with those mission partners, our whole-of-government 
approach with that, with the eradication effort, which, you 
know, currently 570 hectometers--hecta-acres, the Mexican--
SEDENA, the navy, has eradicated of--just in poppies last year. 
But, it's still not enough. Once again, as Admiral Tidd talked 
about, the balloon--when we think about the balloon, the 
pressure to stop the interdiction, we also have to work the 
demand piece on top of it.
    Senator Donnelly. Do we have intelligence services who are 
working this to try to find out--you know, as we talked, 
Admiral, about it's this group and that group and that group--
do we have intelligence agencies that are working to try to 
find out when this is going out, where it's going out, to try 
to help with that effort?
    Admiral Gortney. Absolutely, sir. We're working and passing 
that information with our mission partners, as well as 
developing their capability to determine that on their own.
    Senator Donnelly. Well, if you could both put together, in 
effect, almost--I don't know if this is the right term--a wish 
list saying, ``Look, if we had this, we could stop this much 
more. If we had this, we could prevent this portion.'' If you 
could provide that to us, I'd be very, very grateful.
    Admiral Gortney. We'll take that for a task, sir.
    Senator Donnelly. Thank you.
    Senator Donnelly. Admiral Haney, when you look at 
hypersonics, there's a wealth of open-source reporting on 
efforts by Russia, and particularly China, to develop 
hypersonic weapons that could pose a serious challenge to our 
missile defenses. Within DOD, our most advanced hypersonic 
effort is CPGS [conventional prompt global strike], and I was 
wondering what your thoughts are on the value of CPGS to 
STRATCOM and the Nation.
    Admiral Haney. I feel that the Conventional Prompt Global 
Strike is a very important----
    Senator Donnelly. I apologize, I use----
    Admiral Haney.--program----
    Senator Donnelly.--I use military-speak.
    Admiral Haney.--is also a very important approach that we 
have to continue to pursue, one, to understand that technology, 
but, as you've stated, since other nations are also pursuing 
it, our ability to counter it is also very important.
    Senator Donnelly. Admiral Gortney, I want to get your 
perspective on our missile defense priorities this year. You 
know I work with Senator Sessions and a number of our wonderful 
colleagues here in regards to this area. We have a strong 
commitment to the success of our GMD [Ground Based Midcourse 
Defense] system. I was wondering if you could let me know if 
our current GMD architecture with interceptors in Alaska and 
California provide cover for the entire continental United 
States, including the East Coast, against the threats.
    Admiral Gortney. Yes, sir, I am able to deal with rogue 
nations from any direction at this particular time with what we 
have. We appreciate the investments in making that which we've 
got, as best as we got, the improvement in sensor and, again, 
like we talked, the necessary R&D investments to get us on the 
correct side of the cost curve and continue to outpace the 
threat.
    Senator Donnelly. Well, I want to thank all of you for your 
service. As I mentioned, we have a lot of threats overseas, but 
every week, there are stories about young men and women who are 
dying from heroin, from opioids. Our EMTs are overwhelmed and 
using Narcan to try to bring people back in anti-overdose 
situations. We not only want to protect our country from our 
enemies overseas, but to keep our people safe. You're right on 
the front line. We appreciate your hard work on this. Don't 
ever think, for a minute, that we don't realize what a 
challenge it is and that you don't have our full support.
    Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Sullivan.
    Senator Sullivan. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I wanted to thank you, gentlemen, for your service.
    I also want to follow up on the line of questioning that 
Senator Donnelly was just talking about, in terms of missile 
defense. He and Senator Sessions--actually, everybody on this 
committee has been a real strong supporter of that. Having both 
the two COCOM [combatant command] commanders in front of us who 
are tasked with that, I'd like to dig into some details.
    Admiral Haney and Admiral Gortney, can North Korea range 
any part of the United States right now, in terms of their 
missile capability? That's either the mainland or Alaska or 
Hawaii or any American territories in the Pacific.
    Admiral Gortney. Sir, as the Commander accountable of 
holding the trigger to defend the Nation against that 
particular threat, I assess that they have the ability to put 
an ICBM in space and range the continental United States and 
Canada. The----
    Senator Sullivan. Clearly, then, Hawaii and Alaska are in 
range.
    Admiral Gortney. Absolutely. Yes, sir.
    Senator Sullivan. Would--do we anticipate that will have 
a--you say ICBM, but nuclear capability ICBM now----
    Admiral Gortney. Yes, sir.
    Senator Sullivan.--or soon?
    Admiral Gortney. I assess, as the commander there, that 
it's the prudent decision on my part to assume that he has the 
capability to nuclearize--miniaturize and nuclearize--
miniaturize a nuclear weapon and put it on an ICBM. I have the 
ability----
    Senator Sullivan. Today.
    Admiral Gortney. Today.
    Senator Sullivan. Range the continental United States.
    Admiral Gortney. Range all of the States of the United 
States and Canada. We have the ability to engage that threat. 
Intel community gives it a very low probability of success, but 
I don't--do not believe the American people want to base my 
readiness assessment on a low probability.
    Senator Sullivan. I think you're very correct on that.
    How about Iran? Same question.
    Admiral Gortney. Iran, we do not assess they have the 
ability to do it today. Should they have the ability to do it 
today, I have the ability to engage it today.
    Senator Sullivan. When do you think they'll have the 
ability?
    Admiral Gortney. It's a decision on their part, sir, and 
it's a decision if they want to nuclearize, whether they want 
to develop--complete the development of an ICBM and then the 
reentry vehicle. We track very carefully all three of those 
pieces.
    Senator Sullivan. Do you think they're cooperating with 
North Korea on some of this right now to----
    Admiral Gortney. Absolutely. Absolutely.
    Senator Sullivan. You anticipate that that threat will 
continue to grow and probably they'll be able to reach Hawaii, 
Alaska, the East Coast, continental U.S. within----
    Admiral Gortney. The----
    Senator Sullivan.--five years?
    Admiral Gortney. Well----
    Senator Sullivan. If they continue on their current path.
    Admiral Gortney. We look at it in a one, two, and three, a 
decision to nuclearize, a decision to put it on a warhead, and 
a decision to be able to actually put the reentry vehicle all 
together. When they make that decision, it's a one-two-three 
decision on their part. We track--and we look very closely--we 
have the intel community looking very closely at each one of 
those pieces.
    Senator Sullivan. I've been supportive of the Department of 
Defense, Obama administration's missile defense budget. You 
probably saw, this committee's been very supportive of that. 
I've lately heard concerns that maybe in this year's budget 
there's not enough. Can you--either of--Admiral Haney or 
Admiral Gortney, can you talk about what you think, in terms 
of--given these threats, which are quite significant, the role 
of Fort Greeley, the role of our GBIs [Ground Based 
Interceptors]. Do we think we have enough right now? 
Importantly, do we have enough--particularly on the radar and 
ground-base interceptor element right now, but do we have 
enough to deal with the threat that certainly seems to be 
increasing? Does 41 do it, or should we anticipate having more? 
Because it doesn't look like the Iranians or North Koreans are 
going to be standing down their missile capability anytime 
soon.
    Admiral Gortney. It'll be 44 interceptors by the end of 
2017.
    Senator Sullivan. Fourty-four.
    Admiral Gortney. Fourty-four in Fort Greeley in the great 
State of Alaska, and the necessary sensors are going all in 
place of Alaska because of the strategic importance of Alaska. 
It's not going to be enough, because it's not going to be able 
to outpace the threat in the number of rate counts, the number 
that can be shot at us as----
    Senator Sullivan. Right.
    Admiral Gortney.--we project into the future, which is why 
the investments that you all have supported in our research and 
development are so important, to get us on the correct side of 
the cost curve. Because, on our current path, using the current 
technologies and a one interceptor versus one warhead in 
midcourse is a failing proposition----
    Senator Sullivan. Yeah.
    Admiral Gortney.--because they can produce more than we can 
ever possibly afford to put in the ground.
    Senator Sullivan. Do we--do you anticipate, in 5 to 10 
years, as the threat grows, as the rogue-nation missile 
capability increases, as the number of missiles they have 
increases, as their ability to nuclearize payloads--miniaturize 
the nuclear payloads increases, are we going to need more 
ground-base interceptors to keep up with that threat?
    Admiral Gortney. We're going to need more capability to 
engage the threat throughout its flight, keep them on the 
ground, kill them on the rails, kill them in boost phase, and 
then get more warheads in space in midcourse. We have to be 
able to engage it right now throughout the flight of the 
profile, not just in midcourse with a--one rocket against a 
very--one very expensive rocket against another rocket.
    Senator Sullivan. In your professional military opinion, do 
we have enough--is the current budget on these issues, given 
the threat, which you've just laid out is quite significant, 
including North Korea being able to hit the continental United 
States--does the current budget, in your professional military 
opinion, have enough resources dedicated to missile defense to 
keep us safe now and, importantly, to keep up with this growing 
threat?
    Admiral Gortney. Working very closely with Admiral Syring, 
who's in charge of developing this at the Missile Defense 
Agency. Last year's budget, we think, was adequate for us to 
improve what we have and invest in those technologies and see 
if those technologies will bear out to get us on the correct 
side of other cost curve and engage throughout the flight of 
these missiles.
    Senator Sullivan. This year's budget?
    Admiral Gortney. This year's budget, yes, sir.
    But, should--should those technologies come forward, the 
budget's not enough to put those capabilities into production 
and to deliver those capabilities. Once we prove, say, the 
laser technology that can hit their--multi-object kill vehicle 
technology that's out there--should those technologies bear 
out--and they are very, very promising--then we're going to be 
needing an increase in the budget to put those capabilities in 
place.
    Senator Sullivan. Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Reed [presiding]. On behalf of Chairman McCain, 
Senator King.
    Senator King. Thank you, Senator Reed.
    We've been talking a lot--I think the fact that you've--
practically every Senator has asked questions about drugs is an 
indication of how serious this problem is in all of our States. 
We've talked about the border. We've talked about maritime 
asset ships, intelligence. But, these drugs--you mentioned 
Colombia, Mexico--are grown in great big fields. What effort is 
being made with these other countries to put a stop to that? I 
mean, if somebody in Iowa was growing 100 acres of poppies and 
turning it into heroin, I think we'd do something about it. Is 
there any effort made, in terms of our relationship with these 
so-called partner countries, to control the production of this 
stuff?
    Admiral Tidd?
    Admiral Tidd. I'll start on that one. Senator, yes, 
Colombia has made some very significant efforts. I think you're 
familiar with their aerial eradication program. That was----
    Senator King. But, haven't they backed off----
    Admiral Tidd.--making progress----
    Senator King.--recently?
    Admiral Tidd. That is correct. As they have negotiated a--
the peace accord, one of the conditions of that peace accord 
included stopping the aerial eradication program and now going 
in for manual eradication. One of the challenges with manual 
eradication, they have to be able to put their military forces 
into and control the territory that right now has been denied 
territory to them. That's going to be one of the reasons 
they're going to be facing some very stiff fights even as the 
peace accord, if signed, comes into effect, because they will 
be going up against narcotraffickers who control that land, as 
well as the actual growers, the peasants themselves. This is 
their source of livelihood, and they are going to be giving up 
that source of livelihood. It'll be a----
    Senator King. It may be a source of livelihood, but it's a 
source of death up here.
    Admiral Tidd. Absolutely.
    Senator King. I don't understand calling somebody an ally 
who's--and having them produce these death-dealing substances.
    Same question about Mexico, Admiral Gortney.
    Admiral Gortney. Yes, sir. The--in the crop eradication, 
just SEDENA alone, their navy and marine corps, about 270,000 
hecta-acres and 500---of marijuana--and 570,000 hecta-acres of 
poppy. It's not nearly enough. As a result, they've just 
purchased more helicopters, a little bit cheaper than----
    Senator King. ``They'' being the Mexicans?
    Admiral Gortney. Mexicans--SEDENA and SEMAR--to increase 
that poppy eradication effort, as well as the other internal 
security challenges that they're confronting as they're working 
their way against the cartels.
    Senator King. Changing the subject. Admiral Gortney, your--
have jurisdiction over the Arctic, or at least a significant 
part of it. The administration proposed, this year--and I 
support the proposal--for the beginning, a downpayment, if you 
will, on a new icebreaker. That's good. The problem is, that 
icebreaker will really replace what we have; it doesn't 
increase our capacity. Isn't it true that we really need more 
icebreaker capacity as the Arctic begins to open up for trade 
and development and transport?
    Admiral Gortney. Well, speaking for my closest mission 
partner, other maritime partner, which is the United States 
Coast Guard, I would agree with them that they do need more 
icebreaker, more capacity and capability out there.
    Senator King. Yeah. I don't want to look a gift horse in 
the mouth. We've got to get this new one started. But, it's 
really--that really is replacing the----
    Admiral Gortney. Yes, sir.
    Senator King.--the Polar Star, not giving us any new 
capacity. Okay.
    Admiral Haney, deterrence has been a strategic basis of our 
nuclear strategy since 1945 or thereabouts, but deterrence 
rests on a theory of a semblance of rationality on the other 
side. Does deterrence work with North Korea? Are they concerned 
about the possibility of being obliterated if they attack?
    Admiral Haney. Senator King, I think--I can't tell you 
exactly what Kim Jung Un, the leader of North Korea, thinks 
today, this very minute, but he has to know that he faces a 
very credible response across our joint military forces if he 
decides to do the unthinkable.
    Senator King. That--the deterrence, the fact that that 
would--there would be a--assured destruction is a fact that's 
known in North Korea.
    Admiral Haney. Again, I have not had a opportunity to talk 
to the leaders of North Korea, but I am convinced they look at 
our whole joint military force. That's why we see reactions to 
some of our exercises and what have you. I think they have a 
keen appreciation to the fact of what we bring as a complete 
force, not just the nuclear capability I lead.
    Senator King. As they say, it would behoove us to let there 
be no misunderstanding. Of course, the other side of this 
question is deterrence against nonstate actors, which is even 
more of a difficult--from a theoretical point of view, 
particularly people who don't care about dying. Where do you 
strike back? Where do you--where is the retaliation? I think 
that's a--that's a second level of theoretical problem with the 
theory of deterrence as applied to current threats that we 
face.
    Admiral Haney. Senator, as you have articulated, deterrence 
is complex, and it requires a deep understanding of the 
adversary, an understanding of what feeds the adversary and, 
consequently, has to be tailored for each specific adversary. 
That requires a lot of critical thinking and overall 
comprehensive approaches in multiple domains as we see 
adversaries even--including violent extremist organizations, 
use cyberspace, for example, in order to recruit and in order 
to finance their mechanisms. Those kind of things have to 
become more costly for them to pursue, and it is still--I would 
argue that deterrence is complex, but the fundamentals still 
apply.
    Senator King. Thank you.
    I'm out of time. For the record, could Admiral Gortney and 
Admiral Tidd give us something in writing on why we should not 
join NORTHCOM and SOUTHCOM and if there's a Goldwater-Nichols 
II--not now, because I am out of time, but perhaps a written 
statement? Because I know that's a question that's going to 
come up before the committee.
    Admiral Gortney. Yes, sir. Be happy to do that.
    Admiral Tidd. Yes, sir.
    Senator King. Thank you.
    Senator Reed. On behalf of Chairman McCain, Senator Ernst.
    Senator Ernst. Thank you, Senator Reed.
    I'm disappointed that our Chairman stepped out. We have 
some wonderful naval officers here in front of us today. Thank 
you so much.
    But, Senator Reed, I would have you notice that the senior 
enlisted advisor to Admiral Tidd is an Army command sergeant 
major from Iowa.
    Thank you so much for being with us today, Sergeant Major. 
Thank you, gentlemen, for your great service to our Nation.
    Admiral Tidd, we had a wonderful conversation the other 
day, and we did talk, during our conversation, about SOUTHCOM's 
limited Active Duty capabilities due to the prioritization from 
DOD in other areas of operation. But, I am very proud of the 
job that our citizen soldiers do in that area. Our National 
Guard has done a lot of work in the SOUTHCOM AOR to support 
United States security and to build our partner capabilities in 
Central and South America. Whether, as we discussed, it's 
serving with honor and integrity at Guantanamo Bay or working 
to end the flow of narcotics into the country or partnering 
through state partnership programs with many of our allies, our 
Guard has been vital to SOUTHCOM and to our regional security.
    Sir, if you could please describe some of the ongoing 
efforts by the Guard in SOUTHCOM, please.
    Admiral Tidd. Absolutely, Senator. I think it goes without 
saying, we would not be able to execute the lion's share of our 
missions in the absence of contributions by the National Guard, 
whether in the form of units rotating through Guantanamo Bay, 
as has been so effectively accomplished, to state partnership 
programs that provide a sustained continuity of contact with 
countries over the years, building their partner capacity, 
enabling them to do the sorts of jobs, and also going to the 
Army's recently established regionally aligned force prospect 
that the lion's share of the regionally aligned force to the 
SOUTHCOM region comes out of the National Guard. It is--it's 
absolutely critical to our ability to execute our mission.
    Senator Ernst. Okay, thank you. I appreciate it so much.
    We also briefly discussed the activities of Russia, Iran, 
and China, and Central and South America. Could you just tell 
us, in this open forum, what activities you've seen in that 
area? That came as a surprise to me.
    Admiral Tidd. Thank you, Senator.
    The--as we look at the transregional nature of our 
activities, if you are interested in what Russia is engaged in, 
you don't just look at eastern Europe. If you're interested in 
what China is engaged in, you don't just look at the South 
China Sea. Iran, the same story, you don't just look at the 
Middle East. Russia, who--which, arguably, has virtually no 
strategic interests of note in the southern region, is engaged 
in a direct competition to displace the United States for 
influence within the region. They are going back in and 
redeveloping the historical contacts that they had with a 
number of countries throughout the region, developing weapon 
sales at extremely low rates--low costs. What gives us great 
concern is, they are engaging in a concerted effort to convince 
partners that the United States is not a reliable ally, that we 
are withdrawing from the region.
    Essentially, any steps that plays into that narrative that 
makes it look like the United States does not provide the 
forces or is shrinking down the presence of the United States 
or consolidating to get at--slightly, at Senator King's point 
that consolidating combatant commanders simply plays into that 
false narrative that the United States is not interested in the 
region.
    In China, it's largely an economic competition. They're 
looking for markets and resources. Iran is essentially 
establishing cultural centers and other sorts of activities, 
but, we think, at a higher level of classification, we can talk 
to some of the other activities they're engaged in.
    Senator Ernst. But, bottom line up front, you do believe 
this is something we need to keep an eye on.
    Admiral Tidd. They--if you are concerned about those 
countries on a global scale, you cannot afford not to be 
watching what they are engaged in, in the SOUTHCOM region.
    Senator Ernst. Thank you very much.
    Thank you, gentlemen.
    I'll yield back my time.
    Chairman McCain [presiding]. Senator Heinrich.
    Senator Heinrich. Thank you, Chairman.
    Admiral Gortney, we've dramatically increased resources for 
Border Patrol in recent years, and we need to continue that 
push. I think the Chairman pressed you hard on that issue. But, 
we've often neglected the equally critical role that our 
Customs and Border Protection officers play in protecting the 
overall integrity of that border. Your comments really got to 
that when you mentioned the incredible problem of manufactured 
heroin in small quantities that are actually moving through our 
ports of entry. Should we be resourcing those ports of entry as 
seriously as we resource the border overall?
    For some of our colleagues who don't come from border 
States, it's just important to remember that we have Border 
Patrol agents, the guys in the green uniforms, who are out 
there all along the border, from east to west, and then we have 
these officers, whose job it is to sit at the ports of entry 
and make sure that we stop any illegal activity, being it 
moving narcotics, cash, other contraband, back and forth across 
that border.
    Admiral Gortney. Yes, sir. We need to invest for all of 
them. When I was at the port of entry there in San Diego, I was 
extremely impressed with the dedication of the patriots that 
are doing that. A very, very difficult task. Their motivation, 
their training, their professionalism, confronting an immense 
challenge. Anything we can do to increase their capacity and 
their capability, this Nation needs to invest in.
    Senator Heinrich. Thank you for your comments on that.
    I want to follow up with Admiral Tidd and go back to 2014, 
when your predecessor, General Kelly, said that he was able to 
see 75 percent of the cocaine trafficking heading towards the 
United States, but that they had to, quote, ``simply sit and 
watch it go by,'' unquote, because of the lack of resources. 
Now, I know some of that has changed, but we should all find 
this unacceptable, especially considering that the drug cartels 
are making on order of $85 billion a year in annual profits, 
which is literally what is fueling the violence, the corruption 
in Central America, and driving the refugee crisis that we see.
    Admiral Tidd, how many interdiction assets do you have at 
your disposal? What are your requirements?
    Admiral Tidd. On a given day, on average, we tend to have 
between five and six surface ships--those are largely Coast 
Guard cutters; one to two U.S. Navy platforms. The established 
requirement in order to interdict at the established target 
level of 40 percent is up to 21 surface platforms. It is--it's 
a question of resources.
    Senator Heinrich. Right.
    Admiral Tidd. Allocation of resources and priorities across 
all of the threats the country faces is--I don't question that. 
I understand it. I was involved in it. But, it is simply a 
matter of resources.
    Senator Heinrich. I want to thank you for your work on this 
front. I asked that question specifically to shine a light on 
how wide a gap there is between how we have resourced your men 
and women who do that work, and where we would like that to be, 
which is why I asked you specifically what the requirement is. 
We're nowhere close. We've gotten better. We need to keep a 
focus on that and not let that slip.
    Let me ask you, too, What percentage of your ISR 
requirements are being met today?
    Admiral Tidd. Overall, approximately 11 percent of the 
requirement.
    Senator Heinrich. I think that--that's a pretty sobering 
number for all of us, as well, Mr. Chair.
    My time is almost done. I want to switch to Admiral Haney 
and just ask you a broad question about why you believe the 
combination of LRSO and LRSB is so important. My hope is you 
can also explain the strategic importance of nuclear 
modernization efforts and the tools that they will provide the 
combatant commanders like yourself.
    Admiral Haney. Well, to your first question, it is very 
important for our Nation to have the adequate strategic 
deterrence and assurance mechanisms and methodologies and 
capabilities. From the air leg of our triad, it's very 
important that our platforms are appropriately armed in order 
to be credible. That includes B-52 aircraft, B-2s, which we 
will be flying both of those for some time to come, as well as 
the long-range strike bomber, stealth aircraft. Even while we 
have stealth aircraft, it's important that we have standoff 
capability. As we watch our adversaries work to have better 
anti-access aerial denial kinds of capabilities, we must have 
standoff in order to manage strategic stability as we should. 
As a result, I see the long-range strike--long-range standoff 
option being critical to all of those platforms, all three of 
them.
    Senator Heinrich. Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
    Chairman McCain. Senator Tillis.
    Senator Tillis. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Gentlemen, I apologize for not being in the hearing. I've 
got a competing Judiciary hearing, and I've got to run for a 
vote. Admiral Haney and Admiral Gortney, thank you for being 
here.
    Admiral Tidd, I want to focus a little bit more on your 
command in--at a couple of things. One, I think the 11 percent 
coverage for a very critical area of other region is important. 
I'd like for you to talk--I know a lot of times we talk about 
SOUTHCOM, we talk about the work we're doing in Colombia and 
down in Latin America, drug interdiction, but you and I have 
had discussions. One thing I'd like for you to expand on, and 
it relates to a question that Senator Ernst asked, and maybe 
even focus a little bit on Iran's activity in Hezbollah and a 
number of other things that we're seeing there that are 
potentially systematically over time going to change the 
environment in your sphere of influence. Can you talk a little 
bit about that?
    Admiral Tidd. With--specifically with regard to Iran, there 
has been a longstanding presence of Hezbollah, one of other 
principal surrogates of Iran in the region. Their activities 
have largely been involved in logistics support, providing 
funds back to Lebanon, to Hezbollah itself, but it also is 
available as a potential to conduct other activities. It's a 
force in being, obviously, and they watch very closely what 
the--we watch very closely what they are doing, where they are.
    The--what makes it particularly noteworthy is, there are 
not large implantations within Central and South America of 
Muslim communities. They tend to be very small. This interest 
on the part of Iran is in developing partnerships, 
relationships, in order to escape the diplomatic isolation that 
they found themselves in over the last decade--couple of 
decades.
    The greater concern that we're beginning to see now is on 
the part of Islamist extremist groups. There is now a general 
recognition throughout the region in meetings with senior 
security chiefs from across the Caribbean, in particular, but 
also Central American countries. They recognize the risk of 
radicalization--self-radicalization occurring within their 
countries. There have already been a number of fighters that 
have gone over to Iraq and Syria to fight. We have seen 
indications--there have been a number of them that have been 
killed. I think we all saw the video of the 14-year-old from 
Trinidad-Tobago that was videotaped engaged in an act of 
terrorism, executing a Syrian combatant. That is there, and the 
countries are worried about the return flow of those foreign 
fighters coming back.
    Senator Tillis. Thank you.
    I don't want you to comment, because it relates to policy, 
but, you know, you could make a logical argument that, as 
Iran's economy improves, as money returns back to Iran as a 
result of this--the Iran agreement that I opposed, that we 
could even see more shifting of resources. It could accelerate 
the pace of what they're doing in your area of responsibility. 
I think we need to make sure that we're paying attention to it. 
It's not one that you normally think about when you talk about 
the--think about the Iran threat.
    I want to, in my remaining time, have you talk about 
Guantanamo Bay, and not with respect to the detainees. But, 
there's also discussions out there about, you know, maybe we 
don't need Guantanamo Bay or our presence there at all. Could 
you give me some sense of what you think the strategic 
significance of that land mass is with respect to your area of 
responsibility and our ability to respond in that part of the 
world?
    Admiral Tidd. Senator, the first time I visited Guantanamo 
Bay was in 1979. We have significant strategic interests at the 
Naval Station Guantanamo Bay that will continue long past 
whenever detention operations end. It is a critical point to 
support Coast Guard operations and the detection and monitoring 
mission across the Caribbean Basin. It is absolutely critical 
to supporting any sort of a migrant crisis that might occur. In 
fact, as I know you're aware, there is a very small MILCON 
[military construction] request in to do some basic level 
construction. If we were to have a migrant crisis, we would 
need to be able to rapidly build up the facilities to deal with 
up to 10,000 migrants in a 72-hour period, and as many as 
45,000 beyond that. Without that MILCON, we--it--we--right now, 
we are completely incapable of meeting that timeline, should we 
have to do it, and we would need that, to be able to have a 
fighting chance of being able to do it so that we would not 
have--bring that large number of migrants into the United 
States. It's a--it is a small downpayment that we think is 
probably a prudent investment to be able to do that.
    Guantanamo Bay will remain critical long past the detention 
operations.
    Senator Tillis. I think that we just need to underscore 
that. If you talk about our ability to complete missions, the 
humanitarian missions alone, in addition to other potential 
uses, that it would be irresponsible for us to consider any 
dialogue around not having that continue to be an important 
asset for us in that part of the country.
    Gentlemen, thank you all for your time. I will--because my 
colleague here almost never misses a hearing to talk about the 
four-two-five, I will say that I still share his opinion that 
that's a very important capability that we have in Alaska. I'm 
glad that General Milley seems to have taken that position, and 
I look forward to us coming to the resolution that I think my 
colleague from Alaska hopes we get to.
    Thank you all.
    Thank you, Senator.
    Senator Reed [presiding]. Thank you.
    On behalf of Chairman McCain, Senator Hirono.
    Senator Hirono. Last, but not least. Thank you, Mr. 
Chairman.
    Thank all of you for your testimony and being here today.
    You've been asked a lot of questions, particularly, Admiral 
Gortney, on our missile defense system. I'm probably going to 
want to chat with you further, or perhaps for the record, on 
whether or not we are--in terms of our need to increase our 
capability to stop the missiles throughout the flight of the 
missile, whether we're putting our resources in the right 
proportions with regard to stopping these missiles. That--I 
just wanted to mention that to you as a follow-up later.
    Senator Hirono. Admiral Haney, cyber has become a 
significant part of the DOD establishment. The Army and the Air 
Force have laid out requirements and started establishing 
cyber-protection teams and units around the country, with many 
of them in the National Guard units. I wanted to ask, How is 
this process working? What is your forecast for when future 
units will be established to meet these requirements? I'd note 
that, in Hawaii, we have everything that is going on in the 
Asia-Pacific region and where--the home of PACOM [Pacific 
Command], NSA [National Security Agency] Hawaii, much of our 
defense infrastructure in the Pacific. I would certainly like 
to have you keep Hawaii in mind as you move forward with these 
cyber-protection units. Can you talk a little bit about how 
things are going?
    Admiral Haney. Senator Hirono, the--this initiative of 
using Guard units to also augment our Active Duty units, I 
think is critical for our future. This was a start. Clearly, 
National Guard gets a vote, in terms of how we continue to 
progress in this regard. As you know, the threats to our Nation 
and our international community of nations is pretty high 
regarding how actors, both nonstate and state actors, are 
applying malfeasance, in terms of working against us in the 
cyber domain. Critical to our critical infrastructure, critical 
to how we fight as a military, and what have you. Quite 
frankly, we continue to grow. I'm proud of the cyber-protection 
teams I, as the combatant commander, have gotten to work with. 
I know, as I've talked to other combatant commands, including 
the two to my left, we appreciate the work that they are able 
to do. We're still growing these teams. We don't have them all 
at the right level yet. More to follow.
    Senator Hirono. Of course, once you develop the teams, we 
must be ever-flexible, because they--what happens in the cyber 
arena is constantly changing. In terms of the timeframe for 
these future units to at least be put in place, what is your 
timeframe? Are we talking about 2 more years? A year?
    Admiral Haney. I'd have to take that question for the 
record, Senator. I don't have that. I know there's work going. 
We've just gotten started. In terms of how we will continue to 
build for the future, more to follow.
    Senator Hirono. Thank you very much.
    Admiral Tidd, regional epidemics like the Zika virus are 
concerning and threatening the well-being of our citizens. One 
case of the Zika virus was reported this year, so far, in 
Hawaii, and four were also reported in 2015 and 2014. Can you 
describe the role that SOUTHCOM has in dealing with epidemics 
such as these?
    Admiral Tidd. Yes, Senator. The--as a result of the initial 
Ebola outbreak, a large interagency network was put together, 
and SOUTHCOM was a key participant in that. That was 
reenergized with the outbreak of Zika that we're seeing.
    We remain postured to be able to respond to requests for 
assistance from our partner nations in SOUTHCOM, but we have 
put out specific guidance to the men and women, part of our 
command, who are operating down in that region Those--the 
policies that affect them, the protective measures, are largely 
the--exactly the same protective measures that have been in 
place to protect them from exposure to dengue fever, to the 
Chikungunya, and other mosquito-borne illnesses. We continue to 
emphasize that.
    To date, we've had only two of our military personnel--two 
males--who have been diagnosed and confirmed to have had Zika. 
They've recovered and returned to duty. We've had one family 
member--a pregnant female family member who has taken advantage 
of a policy to return to the United States. The family was--had 
been scheduled to return already, and it was a slightly 
accelerated return on her part.
    But, we're working with the countries, primarily in 
training in the mosquito eradication programs. Their militaries 
obviously are very heavily engaged in those activities. That's 
where we stand right now. We have a Navy medical unit down in 
Peru that has been doing a lot of work in the experimental 
development of vaccines and that type of work, and also in the 
detection.
    Senator Hirono. Thank you very much. Especially for places 
such as Hawaii, with so much tourist traffic from areas that 
have had these outbreaks, it is really important. Thank you 
very much for your efforts.
    Admiral Tidd. Senator.
    Senator Hirono. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Reed. On behalf of Chairman McCain, Senator Graham, 
please.
    Senator Graham. Thank you all.
    Admiral--I can say that to everybody. The Navy's doing well 
with these commands. Have any of you served in Iraq or 
Afghanistan?
    [A show of two hands.]
    Senator Graham. Admiral Gortney and Admiral Tidd. While 
there, did you serve with American Muslims in uniform?
    Admiral Gortney. Yes, sir, I did.
    Admiral Tidd. Yes, sir.
    Senator Graham. What is your view of the service of those 
who are Muslim in the United States military?
    Admiral Gortney. They're patriots who serve their Nation.
    Admiral Tidd. Concur.
    Senator Graham. Do you agree that we're in a war between 
radical Islam and the world at large?
    Admiral Gortney. Yes, sir. It's a generational war.
    Senator Graham. That the biggest victims of radical Islam 
are people within the faith who will not bend to their will: 
other Muslims.
    Admiral Gortney. I'd have to say they're a threat to both 
inside and outside the faith.
    Senator Graham. But, when you add up the numbers of people 
killed, there's more Muslims than anybody else.
    Admiral Gortney. That's correct.
    Senator Graham. Do you believe it's in our national 
security interest to help those in the faith who would fight 
back against radical Islam?
    Admiral Gortney. Yes, sir, I would.
    Admiral Tidd. Yes, sir.
    Senator Graham. Thank you.
    I just want to be on the record, here, that, to those 
3,500, plus or minus, American Muslims serving in uniform, I 
appreciate your service, that of your family, and I respect 
your faith.
    Admiral Gortney, in the next decade, if nothing changes in 
North Korea and potentially Iran, are we going to face more 
threats from a missile launch against the United States by a 
rogue nation, or less?
    Admiral Gortney. A greater threat, sir.
    Senator Graham. Okay. If we go back to sequestration, do we 
compromise your ability to deal with that threat?
    Admiral Gortney. I believe it would, sir.
    Senator Graham. Admiral Tidd, over the next decade, do you 
see more instability in the region in Southern Command, or 
less?
    Admiral Tidd. I see no less.
    Senator Graham. Okay.
    Admiral Tidd. I see no less.
    Senator Graham. How many ships are you supposed to have?
    Admiral Tidd. Senator, if I were to accomplish the goal of 
40 percent interdiction, I would require 21 ships.
    Senator Graham. How many do you have?
    Admiral Tidd. On average, about six to seven.
    Senator Graham. To get to where you need to go, you need 
more ships.
    Admiral Tidd. Correct.
    Senator Graham. How many Navy ships do you have available 
to you?
    Admiral Tidd. On average, one to two.
    Senator Graham. The rest are Coast Guard.
    Admiral Tidd. They are, yes, sir.
    Senator Graham. In Southern Command, the United States Navy 
is able to generate two ships?
    Admiral Tidd. In--because of the demand for surface 
platforms in other theaters that are a higher priority, yes, 
sir, that's correct.
    Senator Graham. If we sent you more ships, it wouldn't be a 
waste of money, would it?
    Admiral Tidd. Senator, it would come at the expense of 
other higher-priority theaters.
    Senator Graham. But, if we had a larger budget, it would 
make sense to build more Navy ships, at least from your 
command's point of view?
    Admiral Tidd. Sir, I would never turn down additional 
ships.
    Senator Graham. When you say you need 17--what number did 
you say?
    Admiral Tidd. Twenty-one.
    Senator Graham. Twenty-one. I'm sure somebody just didn't 
make that up. That was----
    Admiral Tidd. No, sir, there is a fairly lengthy study that 
went in to derive that requirement.
    Senator Graham. That 40 percent interdiction is drugs and 
other contraband coming to the country?
    Admiral Tidd. That's correct.
    Senator Graham. If we've got a drug problem here, we're not 
doing much to stop it, because we're certainly under-resourcing 
you. Would you agree with that?
    Admiral Tidd. I would.
    Senator Graham. It's one thing to build a wall, which makes 
sense to me. It--but, it also seems like we should build up the 
Navy to interdict the flow of drugs and other contraband into 
our country.
    If we go back to sequestration, the chance of you getting 
more ships goes down, not up. Is that correct?
    Admiral Tidd. Senator, we're still suffering from the 
hangover from the last sequestration. Ships that had delayed 
maintenance, aircraft that had delayed maintenance. Those ships 
are not available now to be able to operate in our theater. Any 
future sequestration would be catastrophic.
    Senator Graham. Admiral Haney, in your lane, what's the 
effect of going back to sequestration from your point of view?
    Admiral Haney. My point of view, going back to 
sequestration would be crippling, in that it would put 
significant risk of these programs that we need for our joint 
military force, as a whole, and particularly these long-term 
programs that are associated with my mission space.
    Senator Graham. Thank you all for your service.
    Senator Reed. Thank you, Senator Graham.
    On behalf of Chairman McCain, thank you, gentlemen, for 
your testimony and for your service.
    The hearing is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 12:03 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.]

    [Questions for the record with answers supplied follow:]

              Questions Submitted by Senator James Inhofe
                                northcom
    1. Senator Inhofe. How do you assess North Korea's current 
ballistic missile capabilities and how does the fiscal year 2017 budget 
request support your ability to counter the threats?
    Admiral Gortney. North Korea has been developing and producing 
ballistic missiles for over three decades. Through its space launches, 
North Korea has successfully demonstrated many of the technologies 
required for an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Meanwhile, 
North Korean military parades in recent years have showcased road-
mobile ICBMs, which we assess the regime is developing primarily as a 
means to deter external attack. Though not yet flight-tested, we assess 
they are capable of ranging the continental US, albeit with low 
reliability.
    We are well-postured against the current threat from a rogue 
nation. The Ground Based Midcourse Defense system covers all of the 
United States, including the East Coast, against missile threats from 
North Korea. Looking ahead, we must continue investments designed to 
improve our sensor architecture, enhance our kill vehicles, and 
sustain/test the entire ballistic missile defense system. Programs 
funded in the budget such as the Long Range Discrimination Radar, the 
Re-designed Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle, discrimination improvements 
for Homeland defense, and the Space-based Kill Assessment experiment 
are key contributors.

    2. Senator Inhofe. Do you believe that Russia is testing the 
readiness of our forces along the western boundary? Will the fiscal 
year 2017 DOD budget impact your ability to protect our shores from 
these threats?
    Admiral Gortney. With regard to Russian activities on their Western 
boundary (e.g. the Baltics or Ukraine), this is really a USEUCOM 
question, but yes, I believe they are testing our forces. As the 
Commander of NORAD and USNORTHCOM, I am especially cognizant of the 
potential of Russia's Northern Fleet and its Long Range Aviation based 
in the West to reach North America. Over the past six years, I have 
seen Russia resume some of its naval operations in the approaches to 
North America, and I have seen an increase in the amount of strategic 
heavy bomber activity globally.
    With regard to Russian activities to our West (e.g. in the United 
States Arctic, Alaska and the Aleutians or the West Coast of CONUS), 
yes, I am absolutely convinced they are testing our forces, assessing 
our capabilities, and sending strategic messages (like flying strategic 
heavy bombers off the West Coast on the 4th of July).
    I also believe that the fiscal year 2017 budget request strikes a 
prudent balance among the modernization of the joint force, its size, 
and its readiness, and continues to keep faith with servicemembers and 
their families. We are countering Russia's aggressive policies through 
investments in a broad range of capabilities. The fiscal year 2017 
budget request will allow us to modify and expand air defense systems, 
develop new unmanned systems, design a new long-range bomber and a new 
long-range stand-off cruise missile, and modernize our nuclear arsenal.

    3. Senator Inhofe. With across the board military personnel 
reductions, what other contingencies will fall back on the states that 
federal elements used to support?
    Admiral Gortney. I am confident that the Department, with its total 
force of Active, Reserve, and National Guard forces, is fully ready to 
carry out its missions, including responding to contingencies. 
Therefore, I do not foresee any contingencies falling back on the 
states.

    4. Senator Inhofe. You acknowledged in your opening statement that 
sequestration cuts deeply impacted NORTHCOM's readiness, how much will 
another year of sequestered funds impact the forces of NORTHCOM?
    Admiral Gortney. The stability provided by the Bipartisan Budget 
Act of 2015 is a much-needed step in the right direction. However, what 
is needed most is a permanent fix to the Budget Control Act of 2011 to 
restore predictability and stability into the budget process. Another 
year of sequestration will impact the Services' plans and schedules to 
regenerate force readiness and modernize capabilities in order to keep 
pace with existing threats.
                                stratcom
    5. Senator Inhofe. In order to ensure one of our nuclear triad legs 
remains effective, are the DOD and Navy budgets going far enough?
    Admiral Haney. Our current Triad systems are remaining in service 
well beyond their expected service lives and we must properly resource 
our recapitalization programs across all the Services to avoid 
unacceptable gaps is our deterrence capabilities. The Triad enterprise 
is receiving strong budget support from the Navy and Air Force. 
However, our continued success depends on the Department of Defense and 
Congress providing stable and adequate funding over the long-term.
    Recapitalizing our sea-based strategic deterrent force remains a 
top Defense Department and USSTRATCOM modernization priority. The 
fiscal year 2017 President's Budget request for Ohio-class SSBN 
sustainment, Trident II D5 missile modernization, and the Ohio 
Replacement SSBN program is sufficient to support USSTRATCOM mission 
requirements. When the Ohio-class submarines begin retiring in 2027, 
they will be the longest served submarines in U.S. Navy history at 42 
years. Given the previous decision to delay the Ohio Replacement 
program, there is no additional engineering margin to extend our Ohio-
class submarines. I fully support the Navy's effort to leverage 
lessons-learned from the Virginia-class attack submarine acquisition 
program as well as manage overall force cost by transitioning the very 
capable Trident II D5 missile into the Ohio Replacement SSBN.
    Similar to our sea-based deterrent force, our land-based strategic 
deterrent is in need of recapitalization to ensure it remains credible 
in the future. The Minuteman III was initially deployed in the 1970s 
and will remain in service through 2030, nearly sixty years of service. 
While the missile has gone through multiple life extension programs, 
much of the launch infrastructure has not been modernized since initial 
deployment in the 1960s. The Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program 
is the first substantial full weapon system recapitalization effort 
since the Minuteman III entered service and must start deploying by the 
mid-2020s to prevent a strategic capability gap.
    The Air Force is upgrading and recapitalizing air-delivered 
strategic capabilities to ensure the most flexible and visible Triad 
leg will continue to fully support U.S. deterrence and assurances 
commitments worldwide. USSTRATCOM fully supports Air Force ongoing 
efforts to sustain legacy platforms (B-2/B-52) until their planned end-
of-life, and develop and field the new B-21 dual-capable bomber and 
Long Range Stand-off cruise missile to maintain an effective and 
credible air delivered nuclear deterrent.

    6. Senator Inhofe. Are the systems currently in our arsenal 
currently degrading our nuclear deterrent? If so, when were the last 
modernizations completed?
    Admiral Haney. Today, our nuclear forces are safe, secure, 
effective, and ready to support our national security challenges. 
However, our legacy Triad delivery and weapon systems are at or well 
beyond their expected service lives, with little to no margin to absorb 
additional risk. The Defense Department is faced with two formidable 
but not insurmountable challenges: sustaining our current deterrent 
systems until retirement and deploying future forces without degrading 
our deterrent capabilities. USSTRATCOM fully supports ongoing efforts 
to sustain legacy platforms and develop and field those capabilities 
required to accomplish the Deterrence and Assurance mission. 
Development of these follow-on capabilities must remain on track to 
avoid strategic capability gaps.
    The Ohio-class SSBN fleet is undergoing significant sustainment 
efforts to maintain high operational availability and extend the 
service life. Simultaneously, the Navy is conducting a Trident II D5 
missile life extension in order to transition the missile to the Ohio 
Replacement SSBN. The Ohio Replacement Program is the first sea-based 
recapitalization effort in over 30 years and must proceed on schedule 
to maintain an effective and credible sea-based deterrent. There is no 
additional engineering margin to extend our Ohio-class submarines. When 
the Ohio-class submarines begin retiring in 2027 at 42 years of service 
life, they will be the longest serving submarines in U.S. Navy history.
    The Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) was 
initially deployed in the 1970s and will remain in service through 
2030. Unfortunately, much of the launch infrastructure has not been 
modernized since initial ICBM deployment in the 1960s. The Air Force 
estimates Minuteman III is sustainable until flight system attrition 
begins in the 2028. The Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program 
is the first substantial full weapon system recapitalization effort 
since the Minuteman III entered service and must start being fielded by 
the mid-2020s. Successfully fielding the GBSD weapon system will ensure 
our ICBM deterrent capability beyond 2030. Like the sea-based strategic 
deterrent, ICBM enterprise success depends on stable and adequate 
funding over the long-term.
    Our dual-capable B-52 and B-2 bombers and their associated weapons 
have performed their nuclear deterrent mission for over seven decades 
through significant sustainment and modernization efforts. The Air 
Force has ensured the effectiveness of these aging aircraft through 
multiple payload capabilities, survivability and communications 
upgrades. Our legacy capabilities are effective against current 
threats, but will be increasingly challenged in the 2020s as 
adversaries field more complex air defenses. The B-21 Long Range 
Strike-Bomber, Long Range Stand-off cruise missile, and B61-12 gravity 
bomb are all needed to provide the flexibility, visibility and 
capability to meet strategic mission needs and support extended 
deterrence commitments to our allies.

    7. Senator Inhofe. If it took six years to create the first 84 
teams, is it reasonable to assume that USCYBERCOM is still on track to 
create the remaining 50 in the next 30 months? How crucial is current 
funding levels to this goal?
    Admiral Haney. In 2013, my sub-unified command, USCYBERCOM, began 
to build the capability known as the Cyber Mission Force (CMF). Of the 
target total of 133 CMF teams, 123 are in varying levels of 
development. We have 33 teams that have achieved Full Operational 
Capability (FOC), and 68 have achieved Initial Operating Capability.
    USCYBERCOM, working with the Services, remains committed to 
achieving FOC for the entire Cyber Mission Force by 30 Sep 2018. The 
current funding levels and a consistent funding stream are crucial to 
meet the timelines given to USCYBERCOM. If the Defense Department is 
impacted by budget shortfalls or delays, this goal and associated 
timelines will be severely impacted.
                                southcom
    8. Senator Inhofe. Where is SOUTHCOM restricted in dealing with 
this problem prior to it reaching the United States? If you had 
additional allocations in the budget, how would you rectify this 
shortfall?
    Admiral Tidd. SOUTHCOM does not have any specific restrictions, 
however, we are limited in our ability to execute our statutory 
requirement to detect and monitor (in support of law enforcement 
interdiction) illicit traffic in maritime and sea domain en route to 
the United States due to a lack of resources. Our largest shortfall is 
not in funding, but in surface assets with which to conduct this 
mission.
    In order to meet the U.S. Government national goal to remove 40 
percent of documented cocaine movement through the transit zone, 
USSOUTHCOM requires 21 vessels. Over the last year, our average number 
of surface assets has been seven, the vast majority of which were U.S. 
Coast Guard assets. Our current ideal breakdown of the 21 vessels 
includes 14 medium range ships (similar to the Littoral Combat Ship or 
future Offshore Patrol Cutter), 3 long range ships (like a Cruiser, 
Destroyer, or National Security Cutter), and 4 coastal patrol boats. 
The most useful vessels to USSOUTHCOM are medium and long range ships 
equipped with a flight deck that provides persistent offshore presence, 
capable of conducting Airborne Use of Force (AUF), with embarked law 
enforcement teams.
    As the Services face asset shortfalls and readiness challenges, 
those shortfalls trickle down to the Combatant Commands. Frankly, 
SOUTHCOM feels the cuts associated with those shortfalls in a 
disproportionate manner. Because we cannot buy our way out of an asset 
shortfall, we use any additional funds to build our partners' capacity 
to complement our interdiction efforts and protect their own 
territorial land and waters. We also look at innovative ways to employ 
contract and experimental surface and air platforms.

    9. Senator Inhofe. Despite the excellent job our troops at GITMO 
under very difficult circumstances, a court order is denying our female 
troops from performing the jobs they are trained to do--what is the 
current status of this court order? What impact is it having on the 
morale of our service-members there?
    Admiral Tidd. Thank you for your recognition of our troops, 
Senator. All of the personnel participating in the detention operations 
mission at GTMO--to include military, civilian, male, and female--
perform their duties with the utmost professionalism, to the highest 
standards.
    This ``temporary'' court order was issued on January 7, 2015 and is 
still in effect. The court's order limits ``the use of female guards to 
physically touch the accused during movements to and from attorney-
client meetings and Commission hearings, absent exigent 
circumstances.'' It has resulted in decreased unit readiness, decreased 
unit cohesion and a negative impact on morale. Additionally, the troops 
are concerned it could impact their career progression . . . .it is our 
responsibility to ensure that does not happen.

    10. Senator Inhofe. What specifically is SOUTHCOM conducting with 
Columbia to ensure our support is evident? Is WHINSEC (Western 
Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation) and IMET (International 
Military Education and Training) assisting in ridding Columbia of the 
FARC rebels?
    Admiral Tidd. Colombia is a strong strategic ally, with which we 
coordinate closely every day to further security throughout the entire 
region. Colombia's transformation has been remarkable, but it will 
still face an uncertain period with many new challenges even if a peace 
accord is reached. For Colombia to successfully consolidate its hard-
earned gains, the United States must remain as fully engaged a post-
peace accord partner as we ever were during Colombia's struggles. 
United States Southern Command will continue to support Colombia's 
efforts to take the FARC off the battlefield, successfully implement a 
new counternarcotic strategy, establish state presence in areas where 
it had not previously existed, conduct humanitarian demining, and 
transform the Colombian military to adapt to an evolving security 
environment.
    As a broader United States interagency, it is also essential that 
we continue providing Colombia a robust and agile assistance package 
that will help it successfully address the new security, developmental, 
and human rights challenges posed by a post-accord environment. This 
includes the training, education, and frankly, relationship-building 
that takes place through programs such as IMET at institutions such as 
the Inter-American Air Forces Academy (IAAFA), the United States Army 
Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA), the National Defense University 
(NDU), all U. S. Service War Colleges, and WHINSEC.
    WHINSEC plays a critical security cooperation role in Colombia and 
sets conditions for future access and long term relationships--in fact, 
many WHINSEC alumni have attained key positions of prominence across 
the Colombian military. The school's curriculum is an integral 
component of the Colombian military officers and non-commissioned 
officers' development and continued professionalization, ``Preparing 
the leadership of the future.''
    -  WHINSEC plays an important academic and technical advisory role 
assisting the Colombian Army to develop new courses to support 
transformation and creation of new military occupational skills to 
perform DDR related missions.
    -  WHINSEC's instructors have done a superb job integrating into 
Colombia the same academic core values used in the WHINSEC schoolhouse. 
Through collaboration with WHINSEC, Colombian military professional 
development courses now include elements of military justice systems & 
procedures, civil-military relations, and human rights modules, all of 
which will be directly integrated into DDR initiatives.
    -  WHINSEC's U.N. Peacekeeping Operations Course is another example 
where Colombian officers are trained to support DDR challenges using 
contemporary lessons. In these courses, Officers are given instruction 
and preparation to assume DDR management and advisory roles as 
transition staff members. Additionally, the Colombians utilize this 
course as part of their ``train the trainer'' program for the newly 
established Peace Operations and Civil Affairs Training Center (ESMAI) 
located in Bogota, which will support future Colombian Military U.N. 
PKO missions as part of their transformation Regional Security Exporter 
line of effort.
    Over the years the IMET account has been one of the most effective 
security cooperation programs in the SOUTHCOM arsenal. Not only has a 
large number of the Colombian military senior and mid-level leadership 
professionally benefited from IMET courses, but the application of the 
knowledge learned during IMET funded courses has been instrumental in 
improving the overall defense capabilities of the Colombians. The IMET 
program will continue to support the DDR and Colombian Ministry of 
Defense Transformation process through these specific types of courses:
    -  Strategy and Defense Policy--provide the Colombian military the 
skills needed to formulate policy and strategy to address security, 
developmental, and human rights challenges during the DDR process.
    -  Executive programs in Defense decision making--provide the 
Colombian military the knowledge and lessons that could be applied 
during the transformation planning.
    -  Joint Operations--educate the COLMIL officers in joint 
operations, decision making, and planning processes and combined-
operations in a joint environment.
                               __________
              Questions Submitted by Senator Kelly Ayotte
                              drug tunnels
    11. Senator Ayotte. You testified that the collaboration between 
Israel and the United States with regard to tunnels has ``been very, 
very beneficial, both for us and for our partners in Customs and Border 
Patrol.'' Can you provide some details?
    Admiral Gortney. Yes, collaboration with Israel has provided 
significant gains in terms of our knowledge of tunnel issues. With 
Israel, we share similar problem sets on the border. Four specific 
areas where we have gained invaluable knowledge are: magnetic, mapping 
and borehole technologies for sensing and detecting tunnel activities; 
remediation techniques to temporarily or permanently close tunnels; 
identification of key indicators of tunnel activity and tunnel 
improvised explosive devices; and adoption of Israeli equipment (`foam 
in a bag') currently in use in Arizona to block tunnel entry and exit 
points.

    12. Senator Ayotte. Will you keep my office updated on this and let 
us know what more we can do to help you to fight drug smuggling 
generally and also to fight drug tunnels under our southern border?
    Admiral Gortney. Yes, I will keep your office updated on our 
efforts. We support the Department of Homeland Security in carrying out 
its mission to secure the Southwest Border, including through detection 
and monitoring, as well as with tunnel detection capabilities and 
analytical support. Joint Task Force North is my lead for coordinating 
our Federal military support to law enforcement counternarcotics/
counter-transnational organized crime efforts along the Southwest 
Border, providing a critical link with Federal military, National 
Guard, and law enforcement partners through their long-standing 
relationships.
                 united states naval station guantanamo
    13. Senator Ayotte. Setting aside the detention center, what is the 
strategic and operational value of United States Naval Station 
Guantanamo?
    Admiral Tidd. The Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay is an important 
strategic base, and the only one of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. 
This base supports the Department of Defense and the broader U.S. 
Interagency, to include the Department of State (DOS) and Department of 
Homeland Security (DHS) in various mission sets. From this strategic 
base of operations, the U.S. conducts detection, monitoring, and 
intercept of illicit traffic and other threats, as well as staging for 
disaster and humanitarian relief efforts. There is also an active DOS 
and DHS Migrant Operations Center at GTMO that maintains a steady-state 
migrant processing mission.
    As Secretary of Defense Carter recently stated before the House 
Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Defense in response to a 
question about the future of the Naval Station, ``GTMO is a strategic 
location . . . The Naval Station is secure.''

    14. Senator Ayotte. Would it be a mistake to give it back to Cuba? 
If so, why?
    Admiral Tidd. I agree with the Secretary of Defense that Guantanamo 
Bay is a strategic operating base and that it would be a mistake to 
lose it. Again, it is the only one of its kind in the Western 
Hemisphere and the missions of various Departments would be compromised 
if we could no longer operate out of that facility.
                     milcon, substandard facilities
    15. Senator Ayotte. What are SOUTHCOM's MILCON requirements for JTF 
Gitmo so that we can ensure our troops there have the safe and quality 
living conditions they deserve?
    Admiral Tidd. Senator, thank you for your steadfast support of the 
personnel carrying out the important detention operations mission at 
Guantanamo Bay. I would also like to thank the Congress for funding two 
MILCON projects at GTMO that are already underway and will improve both 
the safety and quality of life of our troops--the dining facility, and 
the clinic that greatly reduces detainee movements which reduces risk 
to the guard force.
    As noted in our response to Chairman Thornberry of the House Armed 
Services Committee, we do have an unfunded requirement for 
unaccompanied personnel housing facilities at GTMO. The existing 
facilities were constructed 10 to 60 years ago. The Department has 
requested $13.7M in fiscal year 2017 Facilities, Sustainment, 
Restoration, and Modernization (FSRM) funding, but this will only 
provide a short-term fix. Full replacement of these facilities is the 
safest option, at a cost of $115M.
                               __________
              Questions Submitted by Senator Dan Sullivan
                   the arctic and the 4-25 ibct (abn)
    16. Senator Sullivan. In your best military judgment, considering 
the statements from senior military leaders below--both before and 
after the recent announcement--do you support General Milley's desire 
and best military judgment to keep the 4-25 IBCT (ABN)--in its 
entirety--in Alaska for at least another year, if not longer?
    Admiral Gortney. I support General Milley's decision to keep the 4-
25th IBCT (ABN) for another year. Alaska is a strategic location, and 
having one of the Army's five airborne brigade combat teams in Alaska 
gives the United States flexibility in a time of strategic instability. 
While not assigned to USNORTHCOM, the 4-25th IBCT (ABN) is able to take 
advantage of cold weather training facilities in an austere environment 
that are matched by few places in the world.

    17. Senator Sullivan. In your best military judgment, what kind of 
unique capabilities does the 4-25 IBCT (ABN) bring to USNORTHCOM?
    Admiral Gortney. The 4-25th IBCT (ABN) are worldwide deployable 
forces assigned to USPACOM. The 4-25th IBCT (ABN) has the capability to 
support USNORTHCOM's defense support of civil authorities and search 
and rescue missions throughout the austere conditions in the Alaska 
Joint Operations Area, when approved by the Secretary of Defense.

    18. Senator Sullivan. What kind of message does keeping the unique 
capabilities of 4-25 IBCT (ABN) in Alaska send to President Putin about 
United States resolve in the Arctic?
    Admiral Gortney. The 4-25th IBCT (ABN) is a worldwide deployable 
force assigned to USPACOM with a flexible warfighting capability for 
our nation similar to the other four airborne brigade combat teams in 
the United States. Their forward-based location in Alaska underscores 
the United States commitment to worldwide deployability and the 
capability to operate in all environments.
                               __________
                Questions Submitted by Senator Mike Lee
    19. Senator Lee. Between SOUTHCOM, NORTHCOM, the Drug Enforcement 
Agency, Department of Homeland Security, Central intelligence Agency, 
Department of Justice, and others agencies involved in the region, who 
is the lead on addressing the regional violence in Mexico and Central 
America as it pertains to U.S. security?
    Admiral Gortney. In line with the President's National Security 
Strategy of 2015, regional violence in Mexico and Central America is 
addressed through a whole-of-government approach, with U.S. military, 
intelligence, law enforcement, and other agencies working together in 
close coordination under their respective agency authorities to engage 
foreign partners and to defend the United States Homeland. I believe 
the primary threat to the U.S. security in this region stems from 
transnational criminal organizations and the violence and instability 
that results from their illicit activity. The U.S. Department of State 
and our Embassies in each country lead the coordination efforts of U.S. 
federal agencies as we support our partners in Mexico and Central 
America.
    Admiral Tidd. First and foremost, each nation has primary 
responsibility for securing its own sovereign territory, to include the 
security of its citizens. However, it is clearly in the interest of the 
U.S. to support those nations as they address internal as well as 
regional security because their security is inextricably tied to our 
own. As with all matters of foreign affairs, the State Department has 
the overall lead for U.S.engagement abroad. I can speak specifically to 
the Department of Defense's role, which is to support our partner 
nations and other U.S. Federal Agencies' efforts in the region within 
the authorities granted to the department.

    20. Senator Lee. What, if any, role has SOUTHCOM had in the United 
States' response to the Zika virus in Brazil and Latin America, and 
what role will this Combatant Command play in implementing programs or 
utilizing funding if granted by Congress?
    Admiral Tidd. The President's supplemental request of $1.9B for 
Zika response did not include any funds for the Department of Defense 
(DOD). However, the supplemental did include transfer authority to 
allow for flexibility across the Federal Government to respond to 
emerging requirements. The support that SOUTHCOM is currently providing 
to partner nations who request assistance is being funded out of our 
baseline OHDACA funds.
    To date, we have provided three minimal cost projects for Zika 
mitigation and prevention in Colombia, and one minimal cost project in 
Costa Rica. In Colombia, the projects provided for the purchase of 
basic preventative materials (i.e. mosquito repellent, mosquito nets) 
to be distributed to the local population in Zika endemic areas. In 
Costa Rica, the project will support the Ministry of Health in the form 
of laboratory reagents and supplies for Zika virus detection. In 
addition, as part of our State Partnership Program, we have provided 
Subject Matter Expert Exchanges (SMEEs) in vector control and disease 
surveillance for both Suriname and Guyana.
    Navy Medicine Research Unit-6 (NAMRU-6), located in Lima, Peru, 
developed a laboratory improvement program for partner nation military 
laboratories. PROMELA (Programa de Mejoramiento de Laboratorios de las 
Fuerzas Militares de Latinoamerica) improves partner nation military 
laboratories' capability to test for pathogens. In addition, NAMRU-6 is 
actively engaged in infectious disease research projects in the region 
through satellite sites in Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, 
Bolivia, Venezuela, and Peru and has the ability to test for the Zika 
virus.
    At the request of the Government of Paraguay, SOUTHCOM will partner 
with USAID, the Pan American Health Organization, and the Ministry of 
Health to identify gaps within their institutions to effectively 
respond to the Zika virus. An entomologist and virologist from NAMRU-6 
will conduct assessments to include an evaluation of the Paraguay's 
capacity to detect and diagnose the virus as well as addressing 
treatment, surveillance, pest management, waste disposal, and vector 
control.
    If requested, SOUTHCOM could provide additional regional support to 
include vector control education, supplies and materials; laboratory 
supplies; and SMEEs on field sanitation, disease surveillance, 
epidemiology, and entomology.

    21. Senator Lee. I have read in some slightly dated material that 
SOUTHCOM, ``. . . is supporting the development of a regional maritime 
interdiction strategy, as well as providing equipment and training to 
improve maritime and air domain awareness.'' What is the status of 
developing this multinational maritime strategy, and what plans does 
SOUTHCOM have going forward with this strategy?
    Admiral Tidd. The strategy to which you are referring is an annex 
to the larger U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America, an 
effort being led by the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement 
Bureau at the Department of State. The purpose of this annex is to 
assist partner nation maritime forces in building comprehensive 
maintenance and logistics systems that will improve maritime 
operational readiness within their littoral waters, and build the 
systems and a culture for effective preventative maintenance within the 
respective maritime service(s). This is funded by various State 
Department foreign assistance accounts, mainly International Narcotics 
Control & Law Enforcement, Foreign Military Financing, and 
International Military Education & Training.
    SOUTHCOM contributes to this effort via a broad range of activities 
which build partner nation capacity to counter illicit trafficking. Our 
primary focus is on those partner nation units which have a clearly 
established role in directly supporting law enforcement efforts. We 
have conducted baseline assessments of these units' capabilities, and 
provide a combination of training, equipment, and infrastructure 
support as appropriate to mitigate their most critical capability gaps. 
Examples include the provision of sensors for maritime patrol aircraft, 
high-speed interceptor boats and tactical radio systems, construction 
of coastal stations and command center facilities, and training on 
maintenance/logistics support systems.

    22. Senator Lee. In addition to the detention center at Guantanamo 
Bay, there is also the critical Naval Base. Why is this base so useful 
for our operations in the Caribbean? What strategic value do we gain by 
maintaining this presence?
    Admiral Tidd. The Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay is the only 
strategic base of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. This base 
supports the Department of Defense as well as the Department of State 
(DOS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in various mission 
sets. From this strategic base of operations, the U.S. conducts 
detection, monitoring, and intercept of illicit traffic and other 
transnational threats, as well as staging for disaster and humanitarian 
relief efforts. There is also an active DOS and DHS Migrant Operations 
Center at GTMO that maintains a steady-state migrant processing 
mission.
    As Secretary of Defense Carter recently stated before the House 
Appropriations Committee Subcommittee on Defense in response to a 
question about the future of the Naval Station, ``GTMO is a strategic 
location . . . The Naval Station is secure.''

    23. Senator Lee. Congress has previously taken an interest in the 
security situation surrounding the Olympic games, as they are known for 
being targets of terrorist attacks, havens for trafficking, and sources 
of international political tension. What are the security concerns 
surrounding the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, and how is 
SOUTHCOM involved in addressing them?
    Admiral Tidd. We share your concern that a gathering of this size 
with a high level of media exposure providing a world-wide audience is 
a natural target. We also share Brazil and the international 
community's commitment to ensuring a safe and secure 2016 Olympic 
Games.
    All U.S. security support for the Olympics is being coordinated by 
the International Security Events Group (ISEG), which is led by the 
Department of State. In response to specific Brazilian requests, 
SOUTHCOM has provided training, subject matter expert exchanges, and 
other support to assist Brazil in expanding its capacity to deal with 
threats in preparation for the Games. Brazilian Federal Police and 
Naval Special Forces are participating in a Joint Combined Exchange 
Training (JCET) with U.S. Special Forces with a focus on security 
operations at key Olympic venues. United States Special Forces units 
have also received an invitation to observe the Brazil Federal Police 
Special Operations Units at the Integrated Tactical Center in Rio de 
Janeiro, which is a great opportunity to integrate our nations' 
counterterrorism forces. We stand ready to support our Brazilian 
partners in achieving the goal of a safe Olympic Games.

    24. Senator Lee. As the Department of Defense has struggled with 
how to fight ISIL in the Middle East and North Africa, much attention 
ahs been given to this and other terrorist organizations in that 
region. We know, however, that terror groups also seek havens in South 
and Central America and have been successful in launching attacks in 
such places as Argentina in the past. What efforts are being made to 
prevent the growth of Sunni and Shia extremist groups in South 
America--both in terms of recruitment and plotting of attacks in the 
region? Has there been any noticeable increase in activity in the 
region, or any sense of competition between Iranian sponsored groups 
and ISIL?
    Admiral Tidd and Admiral Gortney. Both Sunni and Shi'a Islamic 
extremists are present in Latin America and primarily engage in support 
activities, radicalization, and recruitment on behalf of terrorist 
organizations abroad. We asses that extremists in the region do have 
the capability to support an attack against Western interests.
    Unlike other parts of the world, however, there is relative peace 
and understanding between Sunni and Shi'a Muslims in the region. Of 
concern is the possibility that those who are returning from conflict 
zones in the Middle East could enflame religious hostilities, possibly 
leading to widespread sectarian violence within the region's currently 
moderate Muslim communities. In a worst case scenario, this could lead 
to instability in some regional nations.
    ISIL's strategic communication efforts have resonated in parts of 
Latin America and the Caribbean. We believe at least 120 foreign 
terrorist fighters have traveled from the region to join ISIL in Syria 
or Iraq. The spread of violent extremist ideology in the Caribbean has 
been a long-standing concern--not just for us, but for our friends and 
partners across the region--especially given the Caribbean's close 
geographical, cultural, and linguistic ties to the United States. This 
is especially disconcerting given that many partner nations are unable 
to monitor the potential return of foreign fighters and often lack 
robust counterterrorism laws and capabilities to confront this threat.
    It has become apparent to us that with each advancement in our 
understanding comes a corresponding increase in our awareness of the 
threat and the potential these organizations have to threaten the U.S. 
and its interests within Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Lebanese Hezbollah maintains an extensive regional network of 
supporters and sympathizers, some of whom are involved in trade-based 
money laundering and other illicit activities to generate revenue (in 
the range of tens of millions of dollars annually), a portion of which 
goes to support the parent organization in the Middle East. Lebanese 
Hezbollah also maintains an infrastructure with the capability to 
conduct or support terrorist attacks. As with every aspect of our 
counterterrorism efforts, the United States Government remains vigilant 
against these threats, working closely with our partners to protect the 
southern approaches to the United States.
    SOUTHCOM's counterterrorism (CT) efforts focus on building and 
supporting partner nation capacity to detect and disrupt terrorist 
threats within their borders. We are working with partners from across 
the region to counter extremism, recruitment, and radicalization to 
violence in vulnerable communities. Over the past year our Special 
Operations Forces (SOF) conducted multiple engagements such as subject 
matter expert exchanges, counterterrorism-focused exercises, and civil 
affairs activities. These efforts--coupled with support to U.S. Country 
Teams and interagency operations--ensure our nation and those of our 
friends remain secure. We are also exploring how counter network 
approaches might improve our counterterrorism efforts.
                               __________
            Questions Submitted by Senator Claire McCaskill
                 commander, u.s. strategic command--b-2
    25. Senator McCaskill. With the recent deployment of three B-2 
Spirits from Whiteman Air Force Base to the U.S. Pacific Command area 
of responsibility, I am pleased to know that there is a program in 
place to upgrade their communications capabilities. I know there has 
been a lot of discussion regarding the affordability of maintaining and 
upgrading the nuclear triad and I also understand next generation 
programs can be a timely matter with the length of time the acquisition 
program can take. When will this upgrade be complete?
    Admiral Haney. Bombers are the most flexible and visible leg of the 
Triad. They provide key capabilities in support of U.S. deterrence and 
assurance commitments worldwide, and play an important role in 
conventional power projection. The B-2 Stealth Bomber plays a uniquely 
important role in U.S. conventional power projection and nuclear 
deterrence. Robust and survivable communications are essential to 
execute world-wide conventional and nuclear deterrence and assurance 
missions.
    The Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) SATCOM program 
provides robust anti-jam and highly survivable connectivity to ensure 
that the nation's only penetrating stealth bomber will continue to be 
able to strike any target worldwide. The B-2's AEHF and receive-only 
very low frequency (VLF) modernization programs are instrumental in 
supporting the bomber's conventional and nuclear missions, especially 
in anti-access, area denial environments. The B-2 AEHF program is fully 
funded and on track to field in 2021.
    The B-2 is also receiving Increment 1 of the Common Very Low 
Frequency Receiver (CVR Inc 1), which directly supports nuclear command 
and control effectiveness. CVR Inc 1 will start fielding in late 2017. 
The B-2's AEHF and CVR Inc 1 programs leverage communications 
investments made in other programs to lower risk and cost and provide 
leveraging options for other strategic platforms such as the B-52 and 
RC-135. USSTRATCOM fully supports both programs, and urges that they 
continue to be fully funded to avoid any mission gaps.

    26. Senator McCaskill. What would be the consequences of a delay in 
completing the communications upgrades on the B-2?
    Admiral Haney. Bombers are the most flexible and visible leg of the 
Triad. They provide key capabilities in support of U.S. deterrence and 
assurance commitments worldwide, and play an important role in 
conventional power projection. The B-2 Stealth Bomber plays a uniquely 
important role in U.S. conventional power projection and nuclear 
deterrence. Robust and survivable communications are essential to 
execute world-wide conventional and nuclear deterrence and assurance 
missions.
    The B-2's communications modernization programs are mission-
critical enablers for both nuclear and conventional missions. Previous 
efforts to modernize B-2 communications were delayed or cancelled due 
to funding and technical issues. Current efforts are fully supported, 
but further delays will create unacceptable mission limitations.
    The B-2's Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite 
communication (SATCOM) modernization will replace the bomber's legacy 
Ultra High Frequency (UHF) SATCOM capability. The UHF capability is 
vulnerable to jamming and does not effectively support the B-2's 
stealth capabilities. Furthermore, the satellite constellation which 
supports UHF SATCOM is approaching end-of-life. A previous 'just-in-
time' effort to add an AEHF capability to the B-2 was canceled in 2013 
due to technical and cost issues. Those issues have been resolved and 
the current AEHF effort is fully funded with program start in fiscal 
year 2017. This program can also be leveraged to cost-effectively meet 
Extremely High Frequency requirements for other strategic platforms 
such as the B-52 and RC-135.
    The B-2's Very Low Frequency (VLF) capability, known as Common VLF 
Receiver Increment 1 (CVR Inc 1), provides required receive only 
connectivity in support of nuclear command and control. It is fully 
funded and on schedule.
                    commander, u.s. northern command
    27. Senator McCaskill. As we look at ways to improve the efficiency 
and effectiveness of the Department of Defense, it has been suggested 
that we should relook at the Unified Command Plan which draws the 
geographical boundaries for Combatant Commands. If U.S. Northern 
Command and U.S. Southern Command were combined into one command, would 
the Commander be able to execute the missions and requirements of both 
commands?
    Admiral Gortney. From a span of control perspective, it would be 
extremely difficult for the Commander to execute the missions and 
requirements of both U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Southern Command if 
they were combined into one combatant command. Furthermore, I would be 
very concerned that this merger would dilute the Commander's focus on 
Homeland Defense, the Department's highest priority mission, as well as 
undermining the key Homeland and regional partnerships developed by 
U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Southern Command. In addition to the 
partnerships with Canada, Mexico, The Bahamas, 49 States, 2 
territories, and the District of Columbia, a merger would add an 
additional 31 countries, 15 dependencies and areas of special 
sovereignty to a merged Commander's portfolio. I believe this expanded 
span of responsibility would seriously challenge a single Commander's 
ability to sustain and develop our partnerships, with whom we share 
responsibility for the defense of North America.

    28. Senator McCaskill. What, if any, additional risks would the 
U.S. incur?
    Admiral Gortney. I believe that by combining U.S. Northern Command 
and U.S. Southern Command, the U.S. would incur risk to our Homeland 
defense mission as well as to our Homeland and regional partnerships. 
One of the many lessons learned from the terrorist attacks of September 
11, 2001 was the need for a single combatant command to be assigned the 
Homeland defense mission as its number one priority mission. U.S. 
Northern Command is responsible for defending all of the approaches to 
the US, including air, land and sea against threats, and we must 
coordinate with both of our North American neighbors who are part of 
our in-depth Homeland defense architecture. In addition, a merger would 
significantly undermine our ability to support civil authorities in 
responding to disasters and emergencies in the U.S. Homeland.
                    commander, u.s. southern command
    29. Senator McCaskill. As we look at ways to improve the efficiency 
and effectiveness of the Department of Defense, it has been suggested 
that we should relook at the Unified Command Plan which draws the 
geographical boundaries for Combatant Commands. If U.S. Southern 
Command and U.S. Northern Command were combined into one command, would 
the Commander be able to execute the missions and requirements of both 
commands?
    Admiral Tidd. If NORTHCOM and SOUTHCOM were combined into one 
command, I believe we would inevitably sub-optimize both critical 
mission sets. NORTHCOM's Homeland Defense mission and SOUTHCOM's 
external focus of Theater Security Cooperation in our shared 
neighborhood of the Western Hemisphere are very distinct in nature. 
Unless we decide as a nation that one of those missions is no longer 
important, I believe we will continue to need two separate Commands to 
focus on each unique mission.

    30. Senator McCaskill. What, if any, additional risks would the 
U.S. incur?
    Admiral Tidd. If SOUTHCOM and NORTHCOM were combined, again, we run 
the risk of sub-optimizing both unique missions. I would defer to 
Admiral Gortney to address the specific risks that would be involved in 
a suboptimization of NORTHCOM. However, I can tell you that our 
neighborhood, Latin America and the Caribbean, already perceives that 
the U.S. is losing interest in the region due to low prioritization of 
assets and resources. At the same time, extra-hemispheric actors such 
as Russia, China, and Iran are steadily increasing their engagements 
and investments in this region. Minimizing the strategic importance of 
this region by diluting the SOUTHCOM mission would only play into the 
current perception in the region and open the door to those external 
actors to gain influence in our near-abroad.
                               __________
           Questions Submitted by Senator Richard Blumenthal
                           illicit substances
    31. Senator Blumenthal. You noted during your testimony that 
USSOUTHCOM's ability to interdict flows of illicit substances is 
extremely limited. Can you please provide a list of resources--
equipment, ships, aircraft--that you believe are necessary to more 
effectively intercept and interdict the flow of illicit substances?
    Admiral Tidd. In order to meet the U.S. Government national goal to 
remove 40 percent of documented cocaine movement through the transit 
zone, USSOUTHCOM requires 21 vessels. Our current ideal breakdown of 
the 21 vessels includes 14 medium range ships (similar to the Littoral 
Combat Ship or future Offshore Patrol Cutter), 3 long range ships (like 
a Cruiser, Destroyer, or National Security Cutter), and 4 coastal 
patrol boats. The most useful vessels to USSOUTHCOM are medium and long 
range ships equipped with a flight deck that provides persistent 
offshore presence, capable of conducting Airborne Use of Force (AUF), 
with embarked law enforcement teams.
    As you know, we also face significant shortfalls in the area of 
intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR). To have a better 
understanding of the environment and threats in our region, we require 
persistent airborne and maritime ISR assets with precise geo-location 
and identification capabilities. Because of the geography in this part 
of the world, we would also need ISR capabilities able to collect in 
triple-canopy, adverse weather, across air, ground, and sea.


DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION FOR APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 
               2017 AND THE FUTURE YEARS DEFENSE PROGRAM

                              ----------                              


                        TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2016

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

                 POSTURE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:32 p.m. in Room 
SH-216, Hart Senate Office Building, Senator John McCain 
(chairman) presiding.
    Committee members present: Senators McCain, Inhofe, 
Sessions, Wicker, Ayotte, Fischer, Ernst, Tillis, Sullivan, 
Reed, Nelson, McCaskill, Shaheen, Gillibrand, Blumenthal, 
Donnelly, Hirono, Kaine, and King.

       OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR JOHN McCAIN, CHAIRMAN

    Chairman McCain. Good afternoon.
    The committee meets today to receive testimony on the plans 
and programs of the Department of the Navy for fiscal year 
2017.
    I want to thank each of our witnesses for their 
distinguished service to the Nation, as well as the sailors, 
marines, and civilians they lead who are serving around the 
world today.
    Last month, the Director of National Intelligence provided 
this committee a candid and unsettling picture of the worldwide 
threats to our national security, which have steadily increased 
since dangerous reductions in defense spending were enacted in 
2011.
    The unwillingness of the administration and too many in 
Congress to chart a different course has forced our sailors and 
marines to try to do more with less. By any measure, today's 
fleet of 272 ships is too small to address critical security 
challenges. Even with recent shipbuilding increases, the Navy 
will not achieve its requirement of 308 ships until 2021, and 
there is no plan to meet the bipartisan National Defense 
Panel's recommendation for a fleet of 323 to 346 ships.
    The last five carrier strike group deployments have 
exceeded 8 months, taking their toll on our ships, aircraft, 
and sailors. This has forced the Navy to accept carrier 
presence gaps in order to complete deferred maintenance.
    Similarly, by the end of this fiscal year, the Marine Corps 
will be reduced to 182,000 marines, even as General Neller 
testified last year that the optimal size for the force is 
186,000. The Marines have a requirement for 38 amphibious 
ships, but they only have 30 in the fleet. Marine Corps 
aviation is in crisis. Many aircraft are down hard. Pilots are 
not flying, and nondeployed Marine aviation squadrons are short 
in the number of aircraft needed to train or respond in a 
crisis.
    Budget cuts and force reductions, together with high 
operational tempo, have forced sacrifices of vital training and 
time at home with families, putting our All-Volunteer Force 
under considerable strain.
    Given the obvious needs of our Navy and Marine Corps to 
restore readiness and modernize their ships, aircraft, and 
combat vehicles, the President should have requested a defense 
budget that reflects the scale and scope of the national 
security threats we face and the growing demands they impose on 
our sailors and marines. Instead, the President chose to 
request the lowest level of defense spending authorized by last 
year's budget agreement and submitted a defense budget that is 
actually less in real dollars than last year, despite the fact 
that operational requirements have grown.
    Even with the relief of the Bipartisan Budget Act, 
insufficient funding has forced the Navy to propose 
inactivating seven guided missile cruisers for up to 10 years. 
I am particularly concerned about the Navy's proposal to cut a 
carrier air wing, which appears to ignore the versatility of 
our air wings to rely on overly optimistic projections for its 
yet unproven optimized fleet response plan and could reduce 
operational flexibility in a time of growing uncertainty.
    The answer to our forces' readiness shortfalls is not the 
reduction of squadrons but the proper funding of flight hours, 
depot maintenance, and the procurement of new aircraft, many of 
which such as additional F-18's were not requested purely for 
budgetary reasons.
    As we consider the future of the carrier air wing, I 
continue to believe the Nation needs an unmanned carrier-based 
penetrating strike aircraft. While I am frustrated with the 
slow pace of development towards this goal, I am hopeful the 
so-called MQ-25 Stingray will be an important step in this 
direction by facilitating the rapid development of unmanned 
carrier-based tanking and ISR [intelligence, reconnaissance, 
surveillance] capabilities.
    The President's Budget includes significant funding 
requests for major Navy and Marine Corps acquisition programs, 
which require continued oversight by this committee to ensure 
these programs make the best use of limited taxpayer dollars.
    Initial cost overruns more than doubled the cost of each 
littoral combat ship [LCS] and development costs now exceed $3 
billion and counting. Meanwhile, key warfighting capabilities 
of the LCS, including mine countermeasures and anti-submarine 
warfare, have fallen years behind schedule and remain unproven.
    Because of the long-running cost, schedule, and performance 
issues with this program, I support the Department's proposal 
to down-select to one variant no later than 2019 and reduce the 
inventory objective to 40 ships. I am encouraged to see the 
Navy has begun the process of identifying the LCS replacement, 
and I hope we can transition to a more capable, small surface 
combatant expeditiously.
    I am also pleased that after more than $2 billion in cost 
overruns for each of the first three Ford-class carriers, this 
budget request reflects cost reductions of nearly $700 million 
for these ships. I expect this to be just the start of cost 
reductions in this program. Given continued technological 
challenges and schedule delays, the Navy must take all steps 
necessary to control costs in this program.
    I also look forward to reviewing the Navy's report on 
alternative carrier designs, which is due to this committee on 
April 1st, which I expect to provide alternatives to the sole 
source status quo and options to increase competition.
    The Ohio-class replacement submarine is an equally 
important program which will carry about 70 percent of the 
Nation's deployed nuclear warheads. The cost of this program 
will be second only to the joint strike fighter. Make no 
mistake. The Nation and the Navy cannot afford--literally 
cannot afford--any margin for error or growth in cost of this 
program. We must get it right the first time with lessons 
learned from past acquisition experience, including accurate 
cost estimating, technology maturity, avoiding concurrent 
design, or development with production, off-ramps for high-risk 
systems, and meeting reliability targets for critical systems.
    Similarly, given the importance of replacing our aging 
fleet of amphibious vehicles, the Marine Corps must learn the 
lessons of past failures, such as the expeditionary fighting 
vehicle, and deliver this needed capability on time and cost 
and up to expectations.
    As the Navy and Marine Corps move forward with these 
significant acquisition programs, I would like to hear from our 
witnesses how they intend to implement the new acquisition 
authorities contained in last year's defense authorization bill 
to improve acquisition outcomes and save taxpayer dollars.
    Finally, Admiral Richardson, almost 2 months ago, the 
government of Iran captured 10 Navy sailors and their vessels 
in a blatant violation of international law. Senior 
administration officials reacted as if nothing out of the 
ordinary occurred. Indeed, some even praised and thanked the 
Iranians. By failing to affirm and defend basic principles of 
international law, the administration has placed our Navy and 
Coast Guard vessels and the men and women who sail them at 
greater risk in the future. While I understand the Navy is 
continuing to investigate this matter, I request that you bring 
the committee up to date on the findings of the investigation 
and the welfare of the crew members who were detained.
    I look forward to the testimony of our witnesses on these 
and many other important issues confronting our Navy and Marine 
Corps.
    Senator Reed?

                 STATEMENT OF SENATOR JACK REED

    Senator Reed. Well, thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Let 
me join you in welcoming Secretary Mabus and Admiral Richardson 
and General Neller. Thank you, gentlemen, for your service to 
the Nation.
    This afternoon, we will discuss the Department of the 
Navy's fiscal year 2017 authorization request. We certainly are 
grateful for your service, and I want to especially welcome 
Admiral Richardson and General Neller. This is your first 
posture hearing. welcome aboard I think they say in the Navy.
    You face a huge range of challenges as you strive to 
balance the need to support ongoing operations and sustain 
readiness with the need to modernize and keep the technological 
edge critical to our military's success.
    Last year, the Department of the Navy was facing serious 
readiness problems caused by deferred maintenance, reduced 
steaming and flying hours, and canceled training and 
deployments. The continued emphasis on readiness in this year's 
budget will address some of the Navy's most serious readiness 
problems. I am interested in hearing the witnesses' views on 
this matter, which are absolutely critical.
    All areas of our naval forces are maintaining an extremely 
high operational tempo. Demand is overwhelming for attack 
submarines, air and missile defense cruisers, destroyers and 
strike fighters. In addition, the Navy is now in its fourth 
year of operating with fewer than required 11 aircraft 
carriers. During the next decade, as a first priority, the Navy 
will need to buy a new class of strategic missile submarines to 
replace the Ohio-class submarines. I am interested in hearing 
how the Navy is managing current demands on its assets and how 
it plans to manage future modernization demands, particularly 
how it will use the National Sea-Based Deterrence Fund as we 
begin procurement funding of the Ohio replacement in fiscal 
year 2017.
    General Neller, you have stated in your words 
recapitalization of our force is essential to our future 
readiness with investments in ground combat vehicles, aviation, 
command and control, and digitally interoperable protected 
networks. The Marine Corps continues to make modernization of 
ground vehicles a priority by developing the Amphibious Combat 
Vehicle [ACV] to replace the aging inventory of Amphibious 
Assault Vehicles [AAV], as well as the Joint Light Tactical 
Vehicle [JLTV] in which the Marine Corps is partnering with the 
Army.
    Both programs awarded contracts last fall, but were 
subjected to protests. While the JLTV protest has been 
resolved, the Marine Corps is still awaiting a decision for the 
ACV. I would welcome an update from our witnesses on the status 
of these programs and if they believe there will be significant 
delays in fielding due to delays in the acquisition program.
    The Department of the Navy budget has its usual number of 
significant programs, some of which have issues with their 
execution. However, I want to note specifically one program, 
and that is the procurement of the V-22 tilt rotor aircraft. 
The Navy budget would break the current multiyear procurement 
contract. When Congress authorizes a multiyear procurement 
contract, we are agreeing to authorize the administration to 
commit future Congresses to a specific procurement program. In 
return, I believe that there is a commitment by the 
administration that absent remarkable changes in the situation, 
the administration will live up to the contract and future 
budget requests. I am very interested in hearing more about why 
the Navy proposes to break this contract.
    The Defense Department's Defense Strategic Guidance, issued 
in January 2012, followed by the 2014 QDR [Quadrennial Defense 
Review], announced a renewed strategy for United States 
military orientation on the Asia-Pacific. Consistent with that 
strategy, the Defense Department has been working to realign 
United States military forces of South Korea and Okinawa and 
plans to position Navy and Marine Corps forces in Australia, 
Singapore, and possibly elsewhere in the region.
    The Department has also begun implementing a plan to 
forward-deploy more ships, as shown by the Navy's rotational 
deployment of littoral combat ships to Singapore. I am 
interested in hearing how the Navy will ensure that the LCS 
deployments will not further delay operational testing of the 
LCS and the LCS mission modules which are both significantly 
behind schedule already.
    Again, let me thank you for your service and for your 
dedication to the men and women of the Navy and the Marine 
Corps. I look forward to your testimony.
    Chairman McCain. Secretary Mabus, welcome.

STATEMENT OF HONORABLE RAYMOND E. MABUS, JR., SECRETARY OF THE 
                              NAVY

    Mr. Mabus. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Reed, 
members of the committee. Thank you for the opportunity to 
discuss the Department of the Navy.
    As you pointed out, Mr. Chairman, this is the first budget 
testimony before this committee for the Chief of Naval 
Operations [CNO], Admiral Richardson, and the Commandant of the 
Marine Corps, General Neller. In the time since they took these 
positions, I have had the privilege of their frank, 
professional, and invaluable counsel. They are officers of the 
highest caliber who expertly lead our Navy and Marine Corps 
during ever-tightening fiscal constraints and an increasingly 
dynamic threat environment.
    This is my eighth time and my last to appear before you at 
a budget hearing. For me, leading the Department of the Navy is 
the greatest honor of my life. I could not be more proud of our 
sailors, our marines, and our civilians.
    I am also proud of the many steps we have taken and the 
changes we have made to ensure that the Navy and Marine Corps 
remain the greatest expeditionary fighting force the world has 
ever known.
    First and foremost, we continue to provide presence. That 
unrivaled advantage on, above, beneath, and from the seas gives 
our leaders options in times of crisis, reassures our allies, 
deters our adversaries. There is no next best thing to being 
there. Maintaining that presence requires gray hulls on the 
horizon.
    While there has been discussion about posture versus 
presence, the simple fact is that for the Navy and Marine 
Corps, our posture is presence. In every case, from high-end 
combat to a regular warfare to disaster relief, our naval 
assets get on station faster, we stay longer, we bring whatever 
we need with us, and since we operate from our ships, which are 
sovereign American territory, we can act without having to ask 
any other nation's permission.
    Resourcing that presence depends on four fundamentals: 
people, our sailors and our marines; platforms, our ships and 
aircraft and systems; power, how we use energy to make us 
better warfighters; and partnerships, our relationship with 
international allies and most importantly with the American 
people.
    When I took this post almost 7 years ago, we had an 
incredibly committed and capable force, but each of these four 
words staring with ``P'' was under pressure. Our people were 
under stress from high operational tempo and extended 
deployments. Our fleet was shrinking and too many of our 
platforms were costing too much. Our use of power was a 
vulnerability, and our partners were seeking reassurance of our 
sustained engagement. Now our people, platforms, power, and 
partnerships are stronger than they have been in many years, 
enabling us to provide that invaluable presence.
    People. We have instituted sweeping changes in personnel 
policy. Promotions are based more on merit and less on tenure. 
Commanding officers are empowered to meritoriously promote more 
sailors and marines. We have made career paths more flexible. 
One example, thanks to Congress, is the Career and Admission 
Program, which has been greatly expanded.
    We have also increased the professional development and 
educational opportunities to bring America's best ideas to the 
fleet by adding 30 graduate school slots through our Fleet 
Scholars Education Program and sending high-performing sailors 
on SECNAV [Secretary of the Navy] industry tours to great 
American companies like FedEx and Amazon where they learn 
private sector best practices that can be applied when they 
return.
    We are absolutely committed from leadership to the deck 
plates on combating the crime of sexual assault and the tragedy 
of suicide.
    We have also revamped physical fitness assessments, making 
them more realistically aligned with the jobs we do, and we 
have promoted healthier lifestyles through better nutrition and 
a culture of fitness.
    All billets in both services are now open to women. 
Standards will absolutely not be lowered, but anyone who can 
meet the standards will be able to do the job. This will make 
us a more effective combat force.
    We are trying to mitigate stress on sailors and marines and 
their families by making deployments more predictable, 
extending hours for child care, and creating collocation 
policies.
    To tap into the innovative culture inherent in the Navy and 
Marine Corps, we established task force innovation, which takes 
good ideas from deck plate sailors and field marines, 
recognizes funds, and rapidly moves these good ideas fleet-
wide.
    On platforms, we have reversed the decline in ship count, 
and thanks to Congress and, in particular, to this committee, 
our Navy will reach, as you pointed out, Mr. Chairman, 300 
ships by 2019 and our assessed need of 308 ships by 2021.
    In the 7 years before I took office, the Navy contracted 
for 41 ships. In my 7 years, we have contracted for 84, and we 
have done so while increasing aircraft purchases by 35 percent, 
all with a smaller top line. Practices like firm fixed price 
contracts, multiyear buys, stable requirements have driven down 
costs on virtually every class of ship, and we are also in the 
process of recapitalizing nearly every naval aviation program.
    We have expanded unmanned systems on, under, and above the 
sea and put increased focus on them by establishing a deputy 
assistant secretary for unmanned and an office of unmanned 
warfare systems on the CNO [Chief of Naval Operations] staff, 
known as N-99, designed specifically to coordinate all the 
unmanned programs.
    We are also implementing advanced energy technologies like 
electromagnetic railguns and laser weapons.
    Power. To increase our lethality and operational 
flexibility, I set goals of having 50 percent of sea and shore-
based energy derived from alternative sources by 2020, 
competitive with the price of conventional power. We met that 
goal ashore by the end of last year.
    Energy efficiency has also been greatly increased on our 
bases and at sea. Since 2009, both the Navy and Marine Corps 
have achieved large drops in oil consumption.
    Partnerships. I have traveled nearly 1.2 million miles to 
144 different countries and territories, visiting our sailors 
and marines, our allies and our partners. 12 of my trips have 
been to Afghanistan where I visited every Marine Corps forward-
operating base in Helmand to be with our forward-deployed men 
and women and have actively engaged with our allies and friends 
around the world to build and maintain a network of navies with 
whom we train, operate, and trust.
    We have worked in close partnership with Congress to 
fulfill the constitutional mandate to provide for and maintain 
a navy. As President George Washington said, it follows then as 
night succeeds the day that without a decisive naval force, we 
can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable 
and glorious.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Mabus follows:]

             Prepared Statement by the Honorable Ray Mabus
    Chairman McCain and Ranking Member Reed, members of the Committee, 
thank you for the opportunity to discuss the readiness and posture of 
the Department of the Navy. With Chief of Naval Operations John 
Richardson and Commandant of the Marine Corps Bob Neller, I have the 
great privilege of representing the sailors and marines who serve our 
nation around the world, the civilians who support them and all of 
their families.
    This is the first testimony before this committee for Admiral 
Richardson and General Neller in these positions. In the time since 
they took these critical posts, I have had the privilege of their 
frank, professional and invaluable counsel. They are officers of the 
highest caliber who expertly lead our Navy and Marine Corps during 
ever-tightening fiscal constraints and an increasingly dynamic threat 
environment.
    This is my eighth time, and my last, to appear before you. For me, 
leading the Department of the Navy is the greatest honor of my life. I 
could not be more proud of our sailors, marines, and civilians. I'm 
also proud of the many steps we've taken and changes we've made to 
ensure that the Navy and Marine Corps remain as they have been for over 
240 years as the greatest expeditionary fighting force the world has 
ever known
    This statement, together with those provided by Admiral Richardson 
and General Neller, presents to you and to the American people an 
overview of the Department of the Navy and highlights our priorities as 
we move forward with the fiscal year 2017 (FY17) budget process. As the 
Secretary of the Navy, I am responsible for recruiting, training, and 
equipping the sailors, marines, and civilians who spend every day 
working to defend the American people and our national interests.
    Every year, as we review our current posture, we must ask 
ourselves, as a Department, as a military, and as a nation, how to 
balance our national security demands. We face an increasing array of 
threats, conflicts and challenges around the globe, even as our fiscal 
and budgetary situation continues to strain resources. Consistently, 
when a crisis occurs, the leaders of this country want immediate 
options, so they ask for the Navy and Marine Corps, for our carrier 
strike groups and our amphibious ready groups, for our sailors and 
marines, for our presence. With 90 percent of global trade traveling by 
sea, 95 percent of all voice and data being transferred under the ocean 
and more than 80 percent of the world's population living within 60 
miles of the sea, there is no question that now, more than ever, we are 
living in a maritime century.
                         the value of presence
    What our Navy and Marine Corps uniquely provide is presence--around 
the globe, around the clock--ensuring stability, deterring adversaries, 
and providing the nation's leaders with options in times of crisis. We 
are ``America's away team'' because sailors and marines, equally in 
times of peace and war, are deployed around the world to be not just in 
the right place at the right time but in the right place all the time. 
In every case, from high-end combat to irregular warfare to disaster 
relief, our naval assets get on station faster, we stay longer, we 
bring whatever we need with us and, since we operate from our ships, 
which are sovereign American territory, we can act without having to 
ask any other nation's permission. While there has been discussion 
about posture versus presence, the simple fact is that for the Navy and 
Marine Corps, our posture is presence.
    For more than seven decades, Navy and Marine Corps presence has 
kept international sea lanes open around the world. For the first time 
in history, one nation--America--is protecting trade and commerce not 
just for ourselves and our allies but for everyone. Today, $9 trillion 
in goods are traded by sea annually, supporting 40 million jobs in the 
U.S. alone and benefiting nearly every consumer on earth. These 
statistics make it clear that the health of the world's economy depends 
in large part on the United States Navy and Marine Corps.
    The security and stability of the international system of trade and 
finance is tied irrevocably to the free movement of goods and data 
across, above and under the sea, and is more than just a military 
concern. It impacts every American in the prices we pay for goods and 
services and the very availability of those goods and services. While 
the Navy's activities often take place far away and out of sight of 
most citizens, the impact of our global naval presence isn't a 
theoretical construct; its effects are palpable throughout American 
life.
    The economic benefit is just one that comes from our sailors and 
marines doing their job across the globe. That ubiquitous presence 
reassures our allies and deters our adversaries. If conflict comes, we 
will fight and win. Our presence is an unrivaled advantage that we 
provide our nation. There is no ``next best thing'' to being there. 
Maintaining that presence requires gray hulls on the horizon.
    With each year's budget decisions, we determine what the future 
Navy and Marine Corps will look like. Just as the Fleet and Corps we 
have today are the result of decisions made a decade ago, so will 
tomorrow's Fleet and Corps be a result of the decisions we make today. 
For this reason, we have to balance the needs of our Navy and Marine 
Corps today with those of our nation tomorrow.
    Our combatant commanders understand the critical expeditionary 
capability the Navy and Marine Corps team brings to the fight. Whether 
we are conducting security cooperation around the world, deploying 
Marines in response to a humanitarian crisis or launching strikes from 
our carriers, it is clear Navy and Marine Corps presence provides great 
value to our decision makers and our nation. The emergence of a diverse 
set of challenges, including Russia, North Korea, China, Iran and ISIS 
demands continued emphasis on our Naval and expeditionary forces. We 
absolutely cannot afford to forfeit the capabilities of our future 
maritime power and superiority.
                   around the globe, around the clock
    You only need to look around the world to see our Navy and Marine 
Corps are first on-station and demonstrate an instrumental and 
prominent role in our national security strategy.
    For the first 54 days of the air campaign against Islamic State 
militants in Iraq and Syria, the only strikes came from Navy F/A-18 
Hornets off USS George H.W. Bush in the Arabian Gulf because land-based 
fighters could not participate until host nations approved.
    During a 10-month deployment ending in June 2015, USS Carl Vinson 
Strike Group conducted 12,300 sorties, including 2,383 combat missions 
against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
    The operational tempo of Naval Special Operations Forces (NAVSOF) 
remains high, as they continue operations in the Middle East, Horn of 
Africa, and Central Asia. NAVSOF is manning the Combined Joint Special 
Operations Task Force-Iraq and deploying forces to Afghanistan.
    In March 2015, USS Gary intercepted a suspected narcotics-
trafficking vessel off the coast of Central America and seized 5,200 
kilograms of cocaine.
    In July 2015, USS Porter entered the Black Sea to reassure NATO 
allies of our commitment to regional stability by conducting naval 
exercises with ships from 30 different nations including Spain, 
Portugal, France, Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria.
    Last fall, as a visible demonstration of our commitment to 
maintaining freedom of navigation for everyone, USS Lassen patrolled 
the Spratly Islands and nearby artificial reefs in the South China Sea. 
USS Curtis Wilbur conducted similar freedom of navigation operations by 
patrolling near the disputed Triton Island earlier this year.
    When tensions rose in Yemen last summer, marines embarked with 
sailors onboard Navy craft to shore up security and surveillance in 
surrounding waters in preparation for a potential crisis.
    The 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) deployed to Saipan to 
provide Defense Support to Civil Authorities after Typhoon Soudelor 
killed 30 people and displaced 150,000 others in the Commonwealth of 
the Northern Marianas.
    Within 40 hours of President Obama's order, a Special Purpose 
Marine Air-Ground Task Force deployed marines, sailors, aircraft and 
equipment to Liberia to respond to the Ebola crisis, providing critical 
airlift and surgical capability as part of U.S disaster relief efforts.
    Maritime presence has been a tenet of our democracy since its 
inception; the founding fathers wrote in the Constitution that Congress 
is authorized to ``raise'' an Army when needed, but mandated it 
``maintain'' a Navy. Maintaining our great Navy and Marine Corps is 
what assures Americans at home, our friends and allies, as well as our 
adversaries that we are ready to respond when called upon to any 
crisis, anywhere.
    Early on in my tenure as Secretary, I outlined four principles that 
enable our Navy and Marine Corps' to sustain their global presence. 
They are People, Platforms, Power and Partnerships. Those have been, 
and continue to be, the key factors in assuring the capability, 
capacity and success of our naval services, which is why they have 
been, and will remain, my top priorities.
 people--sustaining the world's most formidable expeditionary fighting 
                                 force
    The sailors, marines, and civilians serving today are the best 
force we've ever had. But for more than a decade we asked a lot of 
everyone, because unlike other services, we deploy equally in peacetime 
and wartime. There are no permanent homecomings for sailors and 
marines. Despite all we've asked, they have performed magnificently. 
We've taken steps to maintain the health and resilience of our force 
across every facet of the Department. We have addressed issues like 
operational readiness levels, personal well-being for our people and 
their families, creating more options for career flexibility, opening 
new slots for graduate education, improving our advancement process, 
and promoting equality of opportunity. We have made the Navy and Marine 
Corps stronger, focused not only on retaining the incredible expertise 
and professionalism that resides within these two services, but also 
that draws from the broadest talent pool America has to offer.
    Our sailors and marines make Navy and Marine Corps presence 
possible by operating the platforms, harnessing the power, and building 
the partnerships necessary to fulfill our national security strategy. 
Seven years ago when I took office, we had a committed and capable 
force, but our people, and our platforms, were under stress from high 
operational tempo and extended deployments.
    To return stability to our sailors, marines, their families, and to 
our maintenance cycles, one of our first priorities was to develop and 
institute the Optimized Fleet Response Plan (OFRP). This is a program 
that the Navy is using to schedule and plan our deployments and the 
maintenance of our platforms. Entering its third year since 
implementation, OFRP is beginning to fully demonstrate its advantages 
to the Fleet. USS Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group and USS Makin Island 
Expeditionary Strike Group will be first to deploy later this year 
entirely under the OFRP. Our men and women know there is no way to 
completely eliminate the unexpected, because events around the world 
can and do take on a life of their own. However, increasing the 
predictability of deployments will help improve resilience in our 
sailors and marines and their families and also has the added benefit 
of helping us properly support our maintenance requirements and 
readiness posture.
    Under the OFRP, we continue to meet all operational commitments, 
and sailors, marines, and their families are giving us positive 
feedback on this and other initiatives like increases to Hardship Duty 
Pay--Tempo (HDP-T), a pro-rated additional pay that kicks in when a 
deployment extends beyond more than 220 consecutive days, and Career 
Sea Pay, paid to those who have spent a total of three years at sea and 
Career Sea Pay-Premium for those E-6 and above who have spent a total 
of eight years in sea-going assignments. These incentives reward those 
who take the hard and challenging billets at sea, which form the 
backbone of our operations.
    Taking care of our people is about more than just operational 
stability. Through our 21st Century Sailor and Marine Initiative, 
implemented in 2012, we have provided a holistic approach to assuring 
we have the healthiest, fittest, and most resilient force in the world. 
We have focused on helping our sailors and marines maximize their 
personal and professional readiness by assisting them and their 
families with the mental, physical and emotional challenges of military 
service. Eliminating the stovepipes that existed between many of the 
programs designed to support our people allows us to better address 
issues like suicide and sexual assault in a comprehensive way that 
protects our sailors and marines and makes them stronger.
    In suicide prevention, we are continuing to accelerate our efforts 
in 2016 by becoming more assertive on early recognition, education and 
open dialogue to promote climates supportive of psychological health. 
We are expanding our Ask, Care, Treat (ACT) initiative that focuses on 
training, counseling, and intervention. To date, over 40,000 sailors 
have received training via Navy Operational Stress Control (OSC) 
courses. Our partnerships with the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health 
Center, the Defense Suicide Prevention Office, and the Bureau of Navy 
Medicine and Surgery have maximized our public health approach to 
suicide prevention. Furthermore, we are adding to the nearly 800 
Suicide Prevention Coordinators (SPC) trained in 2015, enhancing local 
suicide prevention efforts at the deckplate by having a qualified 
program advocate at nearly every command.
    Sexual assault is a crime with devastating impacts to the Navy and 
Marine Corps. Every sailor and marine deserves a working environment 
respectful of all, completely intolerant of sexual assault, and 
supported by programs of prevention, advocacy, and accountability. 
We've implemented many actions to attack this insidious threat. While 
there is still work to be done, we have instituted an increasingly 
effective Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program and Victim's 
Legal Counsel, which together encourage increased reporting and provide 
critical support to those who come forward, and I am the only Service 
Secretary who has my Sexual Assault Prevention Response Officer report 
directly to me. We are also taking steps to prevent and respond to 
perceptions of retaliation or ostracism on the part of the courageous 
people who report these crimes- whether by the chain of command or 
peers.
    Our Sexual Assault Prevention and Response programs are many and 
varied. Through our InterACT Bystander intervention training we've 
educated more than 52,000 sailors and marines at 220 training events on 
how to stop a potentially dangerous scenario from leading to an 
assault. Our Navy Chaplain Corps has teamed with clinicians to 
establish CREDO, a 48-hour retreat event with workshops focused on 
teamwork, community building, personal resiliency and reconciliation. 
In-person education is augmented by numerous interactive training tools 
available to all sailors and marines ashore and afloat. But no matter 
how much we've done and continue to do, we will not consider our 
mission a success until this crime is eliminated.
    Protecting our Department from instability and destructive and 
illegal behavior is important, but equally important is promoting 
healthy lifestyles that result in a more capable and ready fighting 
force. Our high operational tempo demands a year-round culture of 
fitness. We have completely revamped the Physical Fitness Assessment to 
focus on producing warfighters, capable of accomplishing any mission 
any time, a measure that not only improves readiness but reduces 
overall medical costs. To set sailors and marines up for success, we 
opened a 24-hour a day, seven-day a week gym on every base worldwide 
and we began issuing the Navy Fitness Suit, a uniform item the marines 
already have. sailors earn Fitness Suit patches for outstanding 
performance, and those who maintain that level of performance over 
three cycles receive the ``Outstanding Fitness Award.''
    To complement physical training with well-balanced diets, we've 
increased efforts to provide nutritious food options to sailors and 
marines at sea and ashore. In 2012, the Marines introduced the ``Fueled 
to Fight'' nutrition program, designed to promote a healthy lifestyle 
by providing more nutritious food choices. At base dining facilities, a 
labeling system identifies healthier options and enhances the Marine's 
ability to make a healthy choice. The Navy also created their version, 
called, ``Fuel to Fight,'' launched by the SEALS at Naval Amphibious 
Base Little Creek, which increases the availability of lean-proteins, 
vegetables, and complex carbohydrates in our galleys. We are further 
developing the concept at one sea-based and one shore-based unit this 
year and will implement it Fleet-wide in 2017.
    Part of overall health is emotional health. In order for sailors 
and marines to remain focused on the mission, they should not be 
distracted by concerns about their home life. The Department of the 
Navy takes very seriously its commitment to support our Navy and Marine 
Corps families, and we have taken actions to make service more family 
friendly. We established 24/7 Child Care Development Centers at three 
Fleet concentration areas and increased access to childcare by a total 
of four hours, two hours on either side of the previously existing 
timeframe, at all locations.
    In July of last year, I tripled paid maternity leave from 6 to 18 
weeks, a period subsequently reduced to 12 weeks by the Secretary of 
Defense. Meaningful maternity leave when it matters most is one of the 
best ways that we can support the women who serve our county. This 
flexibility is an investment in our people and our Services, and a 
safeguard against losing skilled servicemembers. In our line 
communities, for example, we were losing about twice as many female 
servicemembers as male, most leaving between 7-12 years of service. We 
believe extending maternity leave will save money and increase 
readiness in the Department of the Navy by keeping people in.
    Under a Congressional authorization, we piloted the Career 
Intermission Program (CIP) beginning in 2009. CIP allows a sailor or 
marine to take up to three years off, with a two-year payback for each 
year taken. When they return they compete against people who have been 
on active duty the same amount of time, as opposed to those from their 
previously assigned year-group. Career flexibility does not come at the 
cost of advancement potential. Our early participants have successfully 
rejoined the Fleet and, again due to Congressional action, we are 
expanding this program to help retain talented sailors and marines.
    While we have taken steps to provide additional services and career 
flexibility so sailors and marines can address their needs personal 
needs, we have also aggressively enhanced professional development 
opportunities to strengthen our All-Volunteer Force. In a world 
increasingly dependent on inter-service, inter-agency, and 
international cooperation, that development takes place over the entire 
span of one's career. To broaden background diversity in our officer 
corps, we re-opened NROTC units at Harvard, Yale, Columbia and 
Princeton after a 40-year hiatus.
    We also established the Fleet Scholars Education Program, adding 30 
new graduate school positions allocated by warfighting commanders to 
eligible officers. Our first participants are now studying at Harvard, 
Dartmouth, and Yale.
    Outside the classroom, we recognize the value that private sector 
ingenuity adds to American innovation, so we have also sent officers to 
work at places like FedEx and Amazon as part of SECNAV Industry Tours. 
Those who participate in these programs are our very best, and, in 
return for their experience, we expect them to bring their knowledge 
back to the Fleet and to continue to serve under the requirement that 
for every month spent away, a sailor or marine owes three months back.
    We want people to take advantage of these and other opportunities, 
and we want them to commit to a career beyond any prescribed service 
obligation. That means creating an advancement system based primarily 
on merit, not tenure. In the Navy, we removed arbitrary ``zone stamps'' 
from officer promotion boards this year which can unnecessarily create 
bias. Additionally, for enlisted, we increased the number of 
advancement opportunities available to Commanding Officers to spot 
promote their best and brightest sailors via the Meritorious 
Advancement Program. Next year, we expect those numbers to grow even 
further.
    In the Marine Corps we are revamping our manpower models to develop 
the force and address gaps in our Non-commissioned Officer ranks. Sixty 
percent of Marines are on their first tour and 40 percent are E-3 and 
below. We've implemented the Squad Leader Development Program to mature 
and further professionalize the force. This Program screens small unit 
infantry Marines, selects candidates based on performance and provides 
them with opportunities for education, qualification and assignment.
    After returning predictability to the Navy and Marine Corps and 
creating an environment that supports families and promotes 
professional development, I took actions to make a career in the 
Department attractive and viable to the broadest spectrum of American 
talent. We now actively cultivate a force representative of the nation 
it defends. Doing so maximizes our combat effectiveness, because a 
diverse force is a stronger force.
    This year, twenty-seven percent of the freshman class at the Naval 
Academy Class is comprised of women, more than a one-third increase 
from the summer of 2009 when I first took office. For the first time in 
American history, all billets in the Navy and Marine Corps will be open 
to every member of this year's graduating class, and to all others, 
officers and enlisted, throughout the Fleet.
    I started integrating women into previously closed jobs shortly 
after taking office by opening up submarines and the coastal riverines 
to women. Later, in 2013, Secretary Panetta and Chairman Dempsey 
decided that the default position would be to open all military 
positions to women or seek an exemption to the policy. When weighing 
this decision, I took a methodical and comprehensive approach. 
Ultimately, I decided that denying any individual who meets an 
established standard the opportunity to serve because of their gender 
not only goes against everything we value as Americans, but it will 
most certainly diminish our combat effectiveness. We have already 
proven that is the case with respect to things like the color of 
someone's skin or who they love.
    While we celebrate diversity in all of our people, we are uniform 
in purpose as part of an organization that prioritizes service over 
self. Rather than highlighting differences in our ranks, we have 
incorporated everyone as full-participants by moving, with some few 
exceptions, to common uniforms in both the Navy and the Marine Corps so 
that our forces have a common appearance. Now and in the future, we 
will present ourselves not as male and female sailors and marines, but 
as United States sailors and marines.
    In the Reserves, during fiscal year 2015 we mobilized 2,700 
individual Reserve sailors and marines to support operations worldwide. 
This allows us to focus our active component on filling critical sea 
billets to help ensure Fleet wholeness and readiness. This year, we 
were reminded of the sacrifices our Reserves make with the attack at 
Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Chattanooga that took the lives 
of five of our sailors and marines. At home, we have taken steps to 
provide force protection against these kinds of terrorist acts at off-
installation NOSCs, and as of December 2015, 70 of 71 off-installation 
NOSCs now have armed Selected Reservists. More than 150 NOSC staff 
personnel have graduated the Navy's Security Reaction Force Basic (SRF-
B) course in support of the Navy Reserve Force Protection mission. For 
Marine Corps reserve centers, 146 of 161 locations have armed duty 
personnel, and the remaining 15 sites are in the process of training 
personnel to be armed. Abroad, our Reserve sailors and marines are 
deployed globally, and we will continue to maintain a Reserve that is 
ready, relevant, and responsive to the nation's needs.
    The Department's civilian workforce supports our uniformed force 
and is critical to the success of our missions. Our civilian employees 
have endured multi-year pay freezes, a hiring freeze, furloughs and 
continued limits on performance awards that impacted morale. Results of 
a Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey indicated that, while our civilians 
appreciated the role they play in our mission, they felt recognition 
and training were lacking. Where possible, through such efforts as 
Operation Hiring Solutions, the Department has mitigated the impacts to 
Fleet readiness and operations and to increase civilian employee job 
satisfaction. Our efforts have produced tangible results, demonstrated 
by increased civilian retention rates over the last two consecutive 
years.
    This patriotic workforce is the foundation of how the Department of 
the Navy operates. In order to ensure we have the most capable people, 
in the right positions, we run a number of leadership development 
programs. Annually we select participants for senior leader, executive 
leader, and developing leader programs to provide education and 
training that will help our people tackle the issues we face now and in 
the future.
         platforms--growing our fleet despite shrinking budgets
    To provide the presence the American people and our nation's 
leaders expect and have come to rely on, our sailors and marines need 
the right number and composition of ships, aircraft, weapons, vehicles, 
and equipment to execute the missions mandated by our National Security 
Strategy. That means we must have a properly sized Fleet. Quantity has 
a quality all its own.
    When I first took office, I committed to growing the Fleet to meet 
our validated requirement and strengthen the acquisition process by 
employing stricter management and increased competition. In the seven 
fiscal years from 9/11/2001 to 2009, our Fleet declined from 316 to 278 
ships, and during that period, the Navy contracted for only 41 ships, 
not enough to keep our Fleet from declining nor keep our shipyards open 
and healthy. In the seven fiscal years following 2009, we will have 
contracted for 84 ships. We will have done so while increasing aircraft 
purchases by 35 percent, despite decreasing defense budgets.
                              shipbuilding
    Navy shipbuilding is an essential part of our country's larger 
shipbuilding and repair industry, which provides more than 400,000 jobs 
and contributes more than $37 billion to America's gross domestic 
product. Shipbuilding enhances and strengthens economic security as 
well as national security. The work we have done, and must continue to 
do, will reinforce the importance of maintaining a partnership with the 
industrial base, as well as keep our shipbuilding industry strong and 
ready to support the national security needs of our Navy and our 
country.
    Across our shipbuilding portfolio, we have employed direct, 
impactful actions including increased competition within and across 
product lines, using block buys and multi-year procurements when 
products are mature; ensuring designs are stable before entering into 
production; pursuing cross-program common-equipment buys; and achieving 
affordability through hard-but-fair bargaining. This would not have 
been possible without Congressional approval on items like multi-year 
procurements.
    Stability and predictability are critical to the health and 
sustainment of the industrial base that builds our Fleet. Changes in 
ship procurement plans are significant because of the long lead time, 
specialized skills, and extent of integration needed to build military 
ships. The skills required to build ships are perishable, and, in the 
past, we have lost talent in this critical industry when plans have 
changed. Each ship is a significant fraction of not only the Navy's 
shipbuilding budget but also industry's workload and regional 
employment. Consequently, the timing of ship procurements is a critical 
matter to the health of American shipbuilding industries, and has a 
two-to-three times economic multiplier at the local, regional and 
national levels.
    The Navy will continue to consider and, when appropriate, use 
innovative acquisition strategies that assure ship construction 
workload and sustain the vendor base while imposing cost competition. 
We will continue to invest in design for affordability, modularity and 
open systems architectures while incentivizing optimal build plans and 
shipyard facility improvements and supporting shipbuilding capability 
preservation agreements. These initiatives support affordability, 
minimize life-cycle costs, improve and ensure quality products, 
facilitate effective and efficient processes, and promote competition--
which all support Department priorities.
    Our efforts to maintain and affordably procure our Fleet's ships 
and submarines have continued through this past year. The Department 
has established a steady state Ford-class procurement plan designed to 
deliver each new ship in close alignment with the Nimitz-class ship it 
replaces. CVN 78 cost performance has remained stable since 2011 and 
this lead ship will deliver under the Congressional cost cap. The 
fiscal year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) reduced this 
cost cap for follow-on ships in the CVN 78 class by $100 million. 
Stability in requirements, design, schedule, and budget, is essential 
to controlling and improving CVN 79 cost, and therefore is of highest 
priority for the program. In transitioning from first-of-class to 
follow-on ships, the Navy has imposed strict configuration and cost 
controls to ensure CVN 79 is delivered below the cost cap. CVN 80 
planning and construction will continue to use class lessons learned to 
achieve cost and risk reduction. The CVN 80 strategy seeks to improve 
on CVN 79 efforts to schedule as much work as possible in the earliest 
phases of construction, where work is both predictable and more cost 
efficient.
    In our attack submarine program, we awarded the largest contract in 
Navy history, $18 billion, to build 10 Virginia-class submarines. 
Because Congress authorized a multi-year contract for these 10 boats, 
giving our shipyards stability and allowing them to order materials in 
economic quantities, we were able to save the taxpayer more than $2 
billion and effectively procured 10 boats for the price of nine.
    We are continuing procurement of two Virginia-class submarines per 
year under the Block IV 10-ship contract which runs through fiscal year 
2018. We will also continue to develop the Virginia Payload Module 
(VPM), which is planned for introduction in fiscal year 2019, as part 
of the next Virginia-class multiyear procurement (Block V).
    The Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) program is one of the Navy's most 
successful shipbuilding programs--62 of these ships are currently 
operating in the Fleet. We are in the fourth year of a multi-year 
procurement, and thanks to the work at shipyards in Mississippi and 
Maine and our acquisition team, the DDG 51 competitive multiyear 
contract is saving more than $2 billion. The two Arleigh Burke-class 
destroyers requested in fiscal year 2017, which will complete the 
current multiyear contracts, will provide significant upgrades to 
integrated air and missile defense and additional ballistic missile 
defense capability (Flight III) by incorporation of the Air and Missile 
Defense Radar.
    With our Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), the average ship construction 
cost, under the current block buy contracts, has decreased by nearly 50 
percent in comparison to LCS hulls contracted prior to 2009. We now 
have six ships of this class delivered, 18 currently on contract, and 
two additional ships to award this fiscal year. We are currently 
upgrading the design, which will significantly increase LCS lethality 
and survivability, to be introduced no later than fiscal year 2019, and 
potentially as early as fiscal year 2018. Because of these ships' 
enhanced counter-surface and counter-submarine capabilities, 
contributing to their role in Battle Group operations, we are re-
designating these future ships as Frigates.
    Our budget request also includes incremental funding for the next 
big deck amphibious assault ship, LHA 8. We are in the midst of an 
innovative solicitation which solicits bids for LHA 8, the replacement 
Fleet oiler T-AO(X), and early design efforts for the replacement for 
the LSD 41/49 class LX(R). These bids which uniquely support both 
stability and competition within the amphibious and auxiliary sectors 
of the industrial base, will be awarded this fiscal year
    Ohio Replacement (OR) remains our top priority program. Prior 
modernization programs, such as our first strategic deterrence 
procurement, ``41 for Freedom,'' were accompanied by topline increases. 
The Navy greatly appreciates Congressional support in overcoming the 
challenges posed by funding the OR Program.
    The fiscal realities facing the Navy make it imperative that we 
modernize and extend the service lives of our in-service ships to meet 
the Navy's Force Structure Assessment requirements. An important 
element of mitigation is the extension and modernization of our Arleigh 
Burke class destroyers and Ticonderoga class cruisers (CGs).
    The fiscal year 2017 President's Budget includes funding for the 
modernization of two destroyers to sustain combat effectiveness, ensure 
mission relevancy and to achieve the full expected service lives of the 
AEGIS Fleet. The destroyer modernization program includes Hull, 
Mechanical, and Electrical (HM&E) upgrades as well as combat systems 
improvements with upgraded AEGIS weapons systems. Advanced Capability 
Build (ACB) 12 to include open architecture computing environment, BMD 
capability, installation of the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM), 
integration of the SM-6 missile, and improved air dominance with 
processing upgrades and Naval Integrated Fire Control-Counter Air 
capability. This renovation reduces total ownership costs and expands 
mission capability for current and future combat capabilities.
    Cruiser modernization ensures long-term capability and capacity for 
purpose-built Air Defense Commander (ADC) platforms. Of our 22 total 
cruisers, 11 recently modernized CGs will perform the ADC function for 
deploying Carrier Strike Groups while the Navy modernizes our other 11 
ships. As these are completed, they will replace the first 11 on a one-
for-one basis as each older ship reaches the end of its service life 
(35 years) starting in fiscal year 2020. Our modernization schedule 
commenced in fiscal year 2015 on a 2-4-6 schedule in accordance with 
Congressional direction: two cruisers per year for a long-term phase 
modernization, for a period no longer than four years, and no greater 
than six ships in modernization at any given time.
    The Budget supports CG Modernization and proposes a plan that will 
save $3 billion over the FYDP by inducting the remaining cruisers into 
modernization following their current planned operational deployments. 
This differs from the current plan in that we would put a total of four 
CGs in phased modernization in fiscal year 2017. We understand that 
this request does not align with previous Congressional direction, but 
feel it is the best way to honor today's operational demands as we 
prepare for future strategic requirements.
                                aviation
    With the support of Congress, we continue to strengthen our Naval 
Aviation force. We are in the process of re-capitalizing every major 
aviation platform in the Navy and Marine Corps inventory. The MV-22B 
has replaced the CH-46E/CH-53D, and we are in the process of replacing 
all other Navy and Marine Corps aircraft. We also continue to focus on 
unmanned aviation. We are investing in the MQ-4C Triton, MQ-8C Fire 
Scout, RQ-21 Blackjack, and RQ-7B Shadow plus initiating efforts to 
provide carrier-based unmanned aviation capability with the RAQ-25 
Stingray.
    Our investments focus on developing and integrating capabilities by 
using a family of systems approach, when viable, to maintain 
superiority against rapidly evolving threats. Using current and future 
platforms, weapons, networks and technologies, we will ensure Naval 
Aviation relevance and dominance in the future. For legacy weapons 
systems, we are addressing aviation readiness by investing in 
operations and support accounts to mitigate training and platform 
readiness issues. Our procurement of new aircraft and synchronization 
of readiness enablers will improve our ability to project power over 
and from the sea.
    The Strike Fighter inventory should be viewed in two separate and 
distinct phases. The near term challenge is managing a Department of 
Navy Tactical Aviation (TACAIR) force that has been reduced in capacity 
through a combination of flying many more flight hours than planned, 
pressurized sustainment and enabler accounts, legacy F/A-18A-D Hornet 
depot throughput falling short of the required output due to 
sequestration and other factors, and the impact of delays to completing 
development of the Joint Strike Fighter program. As a result of 
aggressive efforts instituted in 2014 across the Department to improve 
depot throughput and return more aircraft back to service, fiscal year 
2015 depot throughput improved by 44 percent as compared to fiscal year 
2014, returning to pre-sequestration levels of throughput. TACAIR 
aviation depots are expected to continue to improve productivity 
through 2017, and fully recover the backlog of F/A-18A-D aircraft in 
2019 at which time the focus will shift toward F/A-18E/F service life 
extension. In the far term, the Strike Fighter inventory is 
predominantly affected by the rate at which we can procure new TACAIR 
aircraft. The fiscal year 2017 budget request increases both the F/A-
18E/F and F-35 strike fighter aircraft in order to mitigate near-term 
and far-term risks to our strike fighter inventory in the most 
affordable, effective manner possible.
    Critical to power projection from the sea, the E-2D Advanced 
Hawkeye, our new and upgraded airborne early-warning aircraft, 
completed Fleet integration and deployed with USS Roosevelt (CVN 71) 
Carrier Strike Group. We are continuing Full Rate Production under a 
multi-year contract and Fleet transition is underway. We expect to 
integrate the advanced capabilities with Forward Deployed Naval Forces 
(FDNF) by 2017. We continue to recapitalize the P-3C Orion with P-8As, 
and are on-schedule to complete the purchase within the FYDP to bring a 
total of 109 P-8As to the Fleet. Our P-8s will continue to undergo 
incremental improvements.
    Finally, we expect to complete EA-18G Growler Fleet transition in 
fiscal year 2016. As the DOD's premier tactical Airborne Electronic 
Attack / Electronic Warfare aircraft, the Growler is crucial to power 
projection ashore in a saturated electronic warfare environment. With 
Congress' addition of seven EA-18Gs in fiscal year 2016, we will have 
160 of these aircraft in 15 squadrons to support the Navy requirement. 
With the retirement of the Marine Corps' last EA-6B Prowlers in 2019, 
these highly capable aircraft take over the nation's airborne 
electronic attack mission.
    Our rotary wing and assault support communities are in the midst of 
large-scale recapitalization. In the vertical lift community, multi-
year production contracts for the MV-22 continue. We have taken 
advantage of joint service commonality in the V-22 to fill a crucial 
enabler in the Carrier On-board Delivery mission. In the Marine Corps, 
procurement of the AH-1Z continues to deliver combat proven-
capabilities. Finally, with its first flight last fall, the CH-53K King 
Stallion is poised to bring significant improvements in our heavy lift 
capabilities.
                            unmanned systems
    Currently, our warfare communities--air, sea, undersea and ground--
are all doing superb work in unmanned systems which are critical to our 
ability to be present. They increase the combat effectiveness of our 
deployed force while reducing the risk to our sailors and marines, 
allowing us to conduct missions that last longer, go farther, and take 
us beyond the physical limits of pilots and crews. Launching and 
recovering unmanned aircraft from the rolling decks of aircraft 
carriers, launching unmanned rotary-wing patrols from our small surface 
combatants, and deploying unmanned underwater vehicles globally are 
vital elements both now and in the future for maritime presence and 
naval warfare. We have enhanced our focus on unmanned systems and 
prioritized efforts under purposeful leadership at the level of the 
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Unmanned Systems and the new 
office of Unmanned Warfare Systems of the staff of the Chief of Naval 
Operations, also known as N99.
    We are moving ahead with a number of unmanned programs in the 
effort to rapidly integrate new capability into the fleet. The MQ-8B 
Fire Scout began regular deployments in 2014. When USS Fort Worth 
deployed to Singapore recently, the ship took a mixed aviation 
detachment of a manned MH-60R helicopter and MQ-8B Unmanned Aerial 
Vehicle's (UAV). This kind of hybrid employment, pairing our manned and 
unmanned systems to take advantage of the strengths of each, will be a 
hallmark of our future approach to unmanned systems. The first 
operational variant of the larger and more capable next generation Fire 
Scout, the MQ-8C, recently completed developmental testing and a 
successful operational assessment. This aircraft is scheduled to be 
deployable by the end of 2017 and will bring double the endurance and 
double the payload of the older versions.
    The MQ-4C Triton is a key component of the Navy Maritime Patrol 
Reconnaissance Force. Its persistent sensor dwell capability, combined 
with networked sensors, will enable it to effectively meet ISR 
requirements in support of the Navy Maritime Strategy. The MQ-4C Triton 
will establish five globally-distributed, persistent maritime ISR 
orbits beginning in fiscal year 2018 as part of the Navy's Maritime ISR 
transition plan. Currently, MQ-4C Triton test vehicles have completed 
53 total flights and will continue sensor flight testing this spring.
    In 2015, the Office of the Secretary of Defense conducted a 
comprehensive Strategic Portfolio Review (SPR) of DOD ISR programs. The 
results of the SPR, and a subsequent ISR portfolio review, as reflected 
in our PB17 budget is the restructure of the Unmanned Carrier-Launched 
Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program. The RAQ-25 Stingray 
will deliver the Navy's first carrier-based unmanned aircraft, a high-
endurance platform that will replace today's F/A-18E/F aircraft in its 
role as the aerial tanker for the Navy's Carrier Air Wing (CVW), thus 
preserving the strike fighter's flight hours for its primary missions. 
Stingray will also have the range and payload capacity associated with 
high-endurance unmanned aircraft to provide critically-needed, around 
the clock, sea-based ISR support to the Carrier Strike Group and the 
Joint Forces Commander. The Navy envisions that the open standards to 
be employed in the Stingray design will enable future capabilities to 
be introduced to the aircraft after it has been fully integrated into 
the CVW.
    Autonomous Undersea Vehicles (AUV) are a key component of the 
Navy's effort to expand undersea superiority AUVs are conducting sea 
sensing and mine countermeasure tasks today with human-in-the-loop 
supervision. While nominal force structure requirements for fiscal year 
2025 have not been determined, the Navy is committed to growing both 
the size and composition of the AUV force. In the near-term, AUVs 
present an opportunity to increase undersea superiority and offset the 
efforts of our adversaries.
    The Large Displacement Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (LDUUV) is an 
unmanned undersea vehicle to offload ``dull, dirty, dangerous'' 
missions from manned platforms beginning in 2022. LDUUV will be 
launched from a variety of platforms, including both surface ships and 
submarines. The craft's missions will include ISR, acoustic 
surveillance, ASW, mine counter-measures, and offensive operations.
    The Surface Mine Countermeasure Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (SMCM 
UUV) commonly referred to as Knifefish employs low-frequency broadband 
synthetic aperture sonar. Knifefish is planned for incorporation into 
increment four of the LCS mine countermeasures mission package.
                                weapons
    The fiscal year 2017 budget invests in a balanced portfolio of ship 
self-defense and strike warfare weapons programs. The Navy has made 
significant strides in extending the Fleet's layered defense battle-
space while also improving the capabilities of the individual ship 
defense layers in order to pace the increasing anti-ship missile 
threat.
    Standard Missile-6 (SM-6) provides theater and high value target 
area defense for the Fleet, and with Integrated Fire Control, has more 
than doubled its range in the counter-air mission. As the Secretary of 
Defense announced a few weeks ago, we are modifying the missile to 
provide vital anti-surface capability. The Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile 
(ESSM) program awarded the Block 2 Engineering Manufacturing and 
Development contract in 2015, which will borrow from the SM-6 active 
guidance section architecture to improve ship self-defense performance 
against stressing threats and environments. Rolling Airframe Missile 
(RAM) Block 2 achieved IOC in May 2015, providing improved terminal 
ship defense through higher maneuverability and improved threat 
detection.
    For strike warfare, the Department's Cruise Missile Strategy has 
been fully implemented with the PB17 budget submission. This strategy 
sustains Tomahawk Blocks III and IV through their service lives; 
integrates modernization and obsolescence upgrades to the Block IV 
Tomahawk during a mid-life recertification program which adds 15-years 
of additional missile service life; fields the Long Range Anti-Ship 
Missile (LRASM) as the Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare (OASuW) Increment 
1 solution to meet near to mid-term threats; and develops follow-on 
Next Generation Strike Capability (NGSC) weapons to address future 
threats and to replace or update legacy weapons. This plan brings next 
generation technologies into the Navy's standoff conventional strike 
capabilities. NGSC will address both the OASuW Increment 2 capabilities 
to counter long-term anti-surface warfare threats, and the Next 
Generation Land Attack Weapon (NGLAW) to initially complement, and then 
replace, current land attack cruise missile weapon systems.
                             ground forces
    The focus of our Marine Corps ground modernization efforts 
continues to be our ground combat and tactical vehicle (GCTV) 
portfolio, along with the Command and Control (C2) systems needed to 
optimize this effectiveness of the entire MAGTF once ashore.
    The key priority within the GCTV portfolio is the replacement of 
the legacy Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) with modern armored 
personnel carriers through a combination of complementary systems. The 
Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) program is the Marine Corps' highest 
ground modernization priority and will use an evolutionary, incremental 
approach to replace the aging AAVs with a vehicle that is capable of 
moving Marines ashore, initially with surface connectors and ultimately 
as a self-deploying vehicle. ACV consists of two increments, ACV 1.1 
and ACV 1.2. Increment 1.1 will field a personnel carrier with 
technologies that are currently mature. Increment 1.2 will improve upon 
the threshold mobility characteristics of ACV 1.1 and deliver C2 and 
recovery and maintenance mission role variants.
    In parallel with these modernization efforts, a science and 
technology portfolio is being developed to explore a range of high 
water speed technology approaches to provide for an affordable, phased 
modernization of legacy capability to enable extended range littoral 
maneuver. These efforts will develop the knowledge necessary to reach 
an informed decision point in the mid-2020s on the feasibility, 
affordability, and options for developing a high water speed capability 
for maneuver from ship-to-shore.
    We are also investing in the replacement of a portion of the high 
mobility, multi-purpose, wheeled vehicle (HMMWV) fleet which are 
typically exposed to enemy fires when in combat. In partnership with 
the Army, the Marine Corps has sequenced the Joint Light Tactical 
Vehicle (JLTV) program to ensure affordability of the entire GCTV 
portfolio while replacing about one third (5,500 vehicles) of the 
legacy HMMWV fleet with modern tactical trucks prior to the fielding of 
ACV 1.1.
    Critical to the success ashore of the MAGTF is our ability to 
coordinate and synchronize our distributed C2 sensors and systems. Our 
modernization priorities in this area are the Ground/Air task Oriented 
radar (G/ATOR) and the Common Aviation Command and Control System 
(CAC2S) Increment I. These systems will provide modern, interoperable 
technologies to support real-time surveillance, detection and targeting 
and the common C2 suite to enable the effective employment of that and 
other sensors and C2 suites across the MAGTF.
                               innovation
    As we continue to use better procurement strategies for ships, 
aircraft, and other weapons systems, we are also using better ideas to 
enhance the utility of current assets and to accelerate future 
capabilities to the Fleet. The Navy and Marine Corps have always been 
at the cutting edge of technology. To tap into the ingenuity inherent 
in our force, I created Task Force Innovation: a group from across the 
department comprised of thinkers, experts, and warfighters with diverse 
backgrounds and from every level. The Task Force is anchored in the 
Department as the Naval Innovation Advisory Council, with a location on 
each coast. These councils rely on feedback from databases such as 
``the Hatch,'' a crowdsourcing platform that cultivates solutions from 
those who know best, our deckplate sailors and marines in the field.
    To facilitate ways for new technologies to reach the Fleet 
unhindered by the overly-bureaucratic acquisitions process, we are 
implementing Rapid Prototyping strategies. This initiative provides a 
single, streamlined approach to prototyping emerging technologies and 
engineering innovations to rapidly response to Fleet needs and 
priorities.
    We are also continuing the research and development of promising 
technologies such as 3D printing, directed energy weapons, robotics, 
adaptive force packaging at sea and unmanned vehicles to counter 
projected threats and using the entire force to prove these concepts. 
We are continuing the development and testing of the Electromagnetic 
Railgun and Hyper Velocity Projectile (HVP) as part of a broader Gun/
Projectile Based Defense strategy. We plan to demonstrate this 
capability this fiscal year in preparation for follow-on at sea 
testing. In 2014, we deployed the first operational Laser Weapons 
System (LaWS) onboard PONCE in the Arabian Gulf. Lessons-learned from 
the 30 kilowatt LaWS installation are directly feeding the Navy's 
investment in Solid State Laser weapons. The Navy is developing a 100-
to-150 kilowatt laser prototype for at-sea testing by 2018.
    To secure our superiority in cyberspace, we are building a new 
cyber warfare center of excellence at the Naval Academy, and we have 
more than doubled our cyber workforce since 2009. In addition to 
growing the cyber domain, we are also re-designating appropriate 
positions to count as part of the cyber workforce. The Department is 
diligently working on ensuring cyber workforce billets are properly 
coded in our manpower databases for tracking and community management 
efforts.
    There has been a concerted effort to protect cyber positions from 
drawdowns and maximize direct and expedited civilian hiring authorities 
to improve cyber readiness and response. Additionally, the DON is 
supporting the DOD Cyber Strategy in the stand-up of the Cyber Mission 
Force teams; 40 teams by Navy, 3 teams by Marine Corps and 1,044 cyber 
security positions within Fleet Cyber and Marine Forces Cyber commands. 
These positions require unique cyber security skills and qualifications 
to perform a multitude of cyber security functions that will enhance 
the Department of the Navy cyber security and defense capability.
              power--alternative energy fueling the fight
    Energy is a necessary commodity for modern life, and it plays a 
critical geopolitical role around the world. Access to fuel is often 
used as a weapon, as we have seen with Russian action against Ukraine, 
and threats against the rest of Europe. Although the price of oil has 
recently declined, the overall trend strongly suggests that over time, 
the prices could return to the higher levels.
    Aside from the obvious economic instability that comes with the 
volatile price of oil, being overly reliant on outside energy sources 
poses a severe security risk, and we cannot afford to limit our sailors 
and marines with that vulnerability and lack of stability. When I 
became Secretary, our use of power was a vulnerability; we were losing 
too many Marines guarding fuel convoys in Afghanistan and volatile oil 
prices were stressing many areas, particularly training.
    In 2009, the Department of the Navy set out to change the way we 
procure, as well as use, energy, with the goal of having at least half 
of naval energy--both afloat and ashore--come from non-fossil fueled 
sources by 2020. By using alternative energy sources, we improve our 
warfighting capabilities; reduce our reliance on foreign sources of 
fossil fuels; and reduce the ability of potential adversaries the 
opportunity to use energy as a weapon against us and our partners.
    Pioneering new advancements in how we power our platforms and 
systems is nothing new for the Navy and Marine Corps. For two centuries 
we have been a driver of innovation, switching from sail to steam, 
steam to coal, coal to oil, and harnessed the power of nuclear 
propulsion. Operationally, energy matters now more than ever; our 
weapons platforms today use far more energy than their predecessors. 
The new technology we develop and acquire will ensure we maintain a 
strategic advantage for decades to come. Fueling the ships, aircraft, 
and vehicles of our Navy and Marine Corps is a vital operational 
concern and enables the global presence necessary to keep the nation 
secure.
    After successfully testing the Great Green Fleet at the Rim of the 
Pacific Exercise in 2012, just last month USS John C. Stennis Strike 
Group departed on a routine operational deployment, steaming on an 
blend of conventional and alternative fuels, as well as conducting 
underway replenishments at sea with these fuels. The three stipulations 
we have for our alternative fuels are they must be drop-in, they cannot 
take away from food production, and they must be cost competitive.
    The alternative fuels powering the Great Green Fleet 2016 were 
procured from a company that makes its fuel from waste beef fats. These 
alternative fuels cost the Department of Defense $2.05 per gallon. It 
is critical we continue to use cost-competitive blended alternative 
fuels in our ships and aircraft to ensure operational flexibility. For 
example, of the three crude oil refineries in Singapore one is 50 
percent owned by China, while an alternative fuel plant is owned by a 
Finnish company.
    This past year, we surpassed the goal the President set in his 2012 
State of the Union Address, when he directed the Department of the Navy 
to have a gigawatt (one-half of our total ashore energy needs in the 
U.S.) of renewable energy by 2020. The Renewable Energy Program Office 
(REPO) coordinates and manages the goal of producing or procuring cost-
effective renewable energy for our bases, and the power we are buying 
through our REPO projects will be cheaper than our current rates over 
the life of the contract. Today, we have in procurement more than 1.1 
gigawatts of renewable energy for our shore installations--five years 
ahead of schedule.
    In August, the Department of the Navy awarded the largest renewable 
contract in federal government history with the Western Area Power 
Administration. This solar project will meet a third of the energy 
needs for 14 Navy and Marine Corps installations, bringing them 210 MW 
of renewable power for 25 years, and saving the Navy $90 million.
    In the Marine Corps, the Expeditionary Energy Office (E2O) 
continues to focus on increasing their operational reach and empowering 
Marines in the field. E2O is doing amazing work. The Marine Corps hosts 
two expos--one on each coast--every year where they ask industry 
leaders to bring their latest technology, and, if the Marines see an 
operational use for it, they can buy it. They have invested in items 
such as small, flexible and portable solar panels that can save a 
company of Marines in the field 700 pounds in batteries. The Marines 
are also working on kinetic systems for backpacks and knee braces that 
harvest energy from a Marine's own movement. These technologies are 
making our Marines lighter, faster and more self-sustainable on the 
battlefield.
    Across the Fleet and Marine Corps, we have taken numerous energy 
conservation measures that are aimed at energy efficiency, and have had 
dramatic impact on our energy use.
    For example, two of our newest amphibious ships, USS Makin Island 
and USS America use a hybrid propulsion system that has an electric 
power plant for slower speeds and traditional engines for speeds over 
12 knots. When Makin Island returned from her maiden deployment, she 
came back with almost half her fuel budget, despite the fact she stayed 
at sea an additional 44 days.
    We had a Chief suggest we change all the lightbulbs on our ships to 
LEDs. Now every time a ship comes in for overhaul, we are changing out 
the bulbs. This simple change is saving us more than 20 thousand 
gallons of fuel per year per destroyer. They also last far longer, give 
off better light, and reduce our maintenance costs.
    Our sailors are using a Shipboard Energy Dashboard that provides 
them with real-time situational awareness of the energy demand on the 
various systems that are running, allowing sailors to see the impact 
the way they operate a ship can have on fuel consumption. Sailors 
across the Fleet are taking it upon themselves to make their own 
platforms as efficient as possible, and the results are tangible.
    The Department of the Navy's efforts in energy efficiency have 
strongly contributed to a decline in the Navy's demand for oil nearly 
15 percent from fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2014, and the Marines slashed 
their oil consumption 60 percent over that same period, according to a 
recent report by the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for 
Acquisitions, Technology and Logistics. While drawdowns in Iraq and 
Afghanistan have certainly contributed to these numbers, improvements 
in our use of energy have had an impact on our overall consumption.
    Diversifying our energy supply for our ships, our aircraft, and our 
bases helps guarantee our presence and ability to respond to any crisis 
because we can remain on station longer or extend our range, reducing 
the delays and vulnerabilities associated with refueling.
    We are a better Navy and Marine Corps for innovation, and this is 
our legacy. Employment of new energy sources has always been met with 
resistance, but in every case, adoption of new technologies enhanced 
the strategic position of our nation through improvements in the 
tactical and operational capabilities of our force. Our focus on power 
and energy is helping to ensure the United States Navy and Marine Corps 
remain the most powerful expeditionary fighting force in the world and 
enhance their ability to protect and advance American interests around 
the globe.
    partnerships--building partnerships to advance our shared values
    In this maritime century, cooperation with our international allies 
and partners is critical to defending the global system, as it broadens 
responsibility for security and stability, while diffusing tensions, 
reducing misunderstandings, and limiting conflict. It is through a 
cooperative effort that we will assure our navies can provide the 
necessary presence to maintain freedom of navigation and maritime 
security around the world.
    I have traveled almost 1.2 million miles and visited 144 countries 
and territories and all 50 states to meet with sailors and marines and 
to build partnerships both at home and abroad. International meetings 
establish the trust that helps us deter conflict and respond in a 
coordinated and effective manner to manmade or natural crises. We 
strengthen these partnerships in times of calm because, in times of 
crisis, you can surge people, you can surge equipment, but you cannot 
surge trust.
    We continue to focus our efforts on the rebalance of assets to the 
Pacific as an important part of our partnership efforts. Having the 
right platforms in the right places is a vital piece of ensuring our 
friends and allies understand our commitment to this complex and 
geopolitically critical region. We're moving more ships to the central 
and western Pacific to ensure our most advanced platforms and 
capabilities are in the region, including forward basing an additional 
attack submarine in Guam and forward stationing four Littoral Combat 
Ships in Singapore. Also, we're providing two additional multi-mission 
Ballistic Missile Defense destroyers to Forward Deployed Naval Forces 
(FDNF) in Japan and the P-8A maritime patrol aircraft are making their 
first rotational deployments in the region. Additionally, USS Ronald 
Reagan replaced USS George Washington as our carrier homeported in 
Japan.
    We are hubbing Expeditionary Transfer Docks (T-ESD) 1 and 2 in the 
vicinity of Korea/Northeast Asia, and hubbing Expeditionary Fast 
Transports (T-EPF) to Japan and Singapore. In the longer term, by 2018 
we will deploy an additional Amphibious Ready Group to the Pacific 
region and we will deploy a growing number of Expeditionary Fast 
Transports and an additional Expeditionary Sea Base there.
    The U.S. Seventh Fleet along with allies and partner nations 
combined for over 110 exercises throughout 2015 to train, build partner 
capability and relationships, and exchange information. The largest 
exercise, Talisman Sabre in the Asia-Pacific region, in July 2015, 
featured 21 ships, including U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS George 
Washington and more than 200 aircraft and three submarines. USS Fort 
Worth participated in Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 
exercises with partner navies from Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia, 
Indonesia, Brunei, and Bangladesh to conduct maritime security 
cooperation exercises.
    In addition to participating in many of the exercises as part of 
the Navy-Marine Corps team, the Marine Corps is also building its 
capacity to work with our Asia-Pacific partners. Marines participated 
in 46 exercises in the region in 2015. Examples include Cobra Gold, a 
crisis-response exercise with partners from Thailand, Singapore, Japan, 
Republic of Korea, Indonesia, and Malaysia, and exercise Talisman 
Saber, a United States-Australia exercise focusing on high-end combat 
operations and peacekeeping transitions. Additionally, Marine 
Rotational Force Darwin sustains more than 1,000 Marines on a revolving 
basis to conduct exercises, security cooperation and training with the 
Australian Defense Force and other countries in the region. This will 
increase over the next few years to a full Marine Air Ground Task 
Force.
    As we rebalance our expeditionary forces to the Pacific, we will 
remain focused on maintaining maritime superiority across all domains 
and geographies, ensuring we don't neglect obligations in places like 
Europe.
    As a continuation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's 65-
year mission to keep all nations free without claiming territory or 
tribute, we moved the fourth ballistic missile defense capable DDG, USS 
Carney, to Rota, Spain, to join USS Donald Cook, USS Ross and USS 
Porter to enhance our regional ballistic missile defense capability, 
provide maritime security, conduct bi-lateral and multilateral training 
exercises, and participate in NATO operations. We've also established 
an AEGIS ashore site in Romania to provide additional shore-based 
ballistic missile defense capability in Europe, with a second 
installation in Poland scheduled to come online in the 2018 timeframe.
    The Navy and Marine Corps continue to demonstrate support for our 
allies and friends and American interests in the European region. 
Alongside the Marine Corps' Black Sea Rotational Force's operations in 
Eastern Europe, a series of Navy ships have deployed into the Black Sea 
to ensure freedom of navigation and work with our partners there.
    This past fall USNS Spearhead completed the Southern Partnership 
Station 2015 in South America. As Spearhead sailed through the 
Americas, the sailors and marines aboard participated in subject matter 
expert exchanges and building partner capacity throughout the region. 
In October, USS George Washington and USS Chafee participated in the 
annual multinational exercise UNITAS, which was hosted by the Chilean 
Navy and included personnel from Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, 
Guatemala, Honduras, New Zealand and Panama to conduct intense training 
focused on coalition building, multinational security cooperation and 
promoting tactical interoperability with the participating partner 
nations. USS George Washington also deployed as part of Southern Seas 
2015, which seeks to enhance interoperability, increase regional 
stability, and build and maintain relationships with countries 
throughout the region while circumnavigating South America. A unique 
symbol of our desire to build a strong relationship is evident in 
deployments by our world class hospital ship USNS Comfort. As part of 
Continuing Promise 2015, medical and support staff from across the U.S. 
military and the region worked alongside nearly 400 volunteers to treat 
122,268 patients and conduct 1,255 surgeries. In an historic event 
during the USNS Comfort port call in Haiti, United States and Cuban 
medics worked side-by-side to treat Haiti's poor and exchange best 
medical practices. Continuing Promise is without doubt one of the U.S. 
military's most impactful missions, but future USNS Comfort deployments 
will be affected by today's budget realities. Our security is 
inextricably linked with that of our neighbors, and we continue to work 
with innovative and small-footprint approaches to enhance our 
interoperability with partners in the Americas.
    For some people around the world, sailors and marines who sail 
aboard our ships are the only Americans they will ever meet, and it is 
they who represent our country around the world.
    In December, I hosted the leaders of our partner navies from West 
Africa and from Europe and the Americas for the Gulf of Guinea Maritime 
Security Dialogue. Naval leaders from 16 nations bordering the Gulf of 
Guinea as well as 37 heads of navy, delegates and representatives from 
Europe and the Americas came to discuss collaborative solutions to 
piracy, extremism, trafficking and insecurity in the region. We 
discussed a unified code of conduct for maritime law enforcement and 
more direct cooperation in the region. As the economies in the Gulf of 
Guinea continue to grow, so does the increasing relevance of guarding 
against maritime terrorism, illicit trafficking of drugs, people and 
weapons, extremism moving from east to west, and other transnational 
crime. The United States Navy and Marine Corps will continue to work 
with our partners in West Africa and help them improve their 
capabilities and promote collaboration.
    Working alongside other navies enhances interoperability, provides 
key training opportunities, and develops the operational capabilities 
of the countries and navies with which we have shared values. As we 
look toward future operations, multinational cooperation will continue 
to be vital to suppressing global threats, and building these strong 
partnerships now seeks to enhance and ensure our operational 
superiority into the future.
    Outside of our international partnerships, the Department of the 
Navy's collaboration with industry, both in technology development and 
ship and aircraft building and repair, bolsters economic security as 
well as national security interests at home and abroad.
    Finally, our Navy and Marine Corps require the support of the 
American people to maintain presence. I continue to honor our most 
important partnership--the one with the American people--by naming 
ships after people, cities, and states, as a reflection of America's 
values and naval heritage, and to foster that powerful bond between the 
people of this country and the men and women of our Navy and Marine 
Corps.
                    fiscal year 2017 budget summary
    The Department of the Navy's proposed budget for fiscal year 2017 
is designed to achieve the President's Defense Strategic Guidance 
(DSG): protect the Homeland, build security globally, and project power 
and win decisively when called upon. In doing so we have looked across 
the FYDP to maintain our ability to conduct the primary missions listed 
in the DSG to 2021 and beyond. Overall the fiscal year 2017 President's 
Budget balances current readiness needed to execute assigned missions 
while sustaining a highly capable Fleet, all within a continually 
constrained and unpredictable fiscal climate.
    Our approach to this budget has focused on six objectives. First, 
maintain a credible and modern sea-based strategic deterrent. Second, 
sustain our forward global presence to ensure our ability to impact 
world events. Third, preserve the capability to defeat a regional 
adversary in a larger-scale, multi-phased campaign, while denying the 
objectives of--or imposing unacceptable costs on--a second aggressor in 
another region. Fourth, ensure that the force is ready for these 
operations through critical afloat and shore readiness and personnel 
issues. Fifth, continue and affordably enhance our asymmetric 
capabilities. Finally, sustain our industrial base to ensure our future 
capabilities, particularly in shipbuilding.
    Even as we deal with today's fiscal uncertainty, we cannot let slip 
away the progress we've made in shipbuilding. It takes a long time, 
measured in years, to produce a deployable ship. It is the least 
reversible thing we might do to deal with budget constraints. If we 
miss a year, if we cancel a ship, it is almost impossible to recover 
those ships because of the time involved and the inability of the 
industrial base to sustain a skilled set of people without the work to 
support them. To do the job America and our leaders expect and demand 
of us, we have to have those gray hulls on the horizon.
    Because of the long lead time needed for shipbuilding, it is not 
the responsibility of just one administration. This Administration and 
Congress, in previous budgets, have guaranteed we will reach a Fleet of 
300 ships by fiscal year 2019 and 308 by fiscal year 2021. This FYDP 
establishes a proposed shipbuilding trajectory for our Battle Force and 
its underpinning industrial base in the years following fiscal year 
2021, while maintaining decision space for the next Administration and 
Congress. As such, the fiscal year 2017 President's Budget requests 
funding for seven ships: two Virginia class attack submarines, two DDG 
51 Arleigh Burke class destroyers, two Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), and 
the LHA 8 Amphibious Assault Ship. The budget request also includes 
funding for refueling and complex overhauls (RCOH) for aircraft 
carriers USS George Washington and USS John C. Stennis.
    The plan for LCS/FF requests funding for two ships in fiscal year 
2017, preserving the viability of the industrial base in the near term 
and creating future decision space for Frigate procurement should 
operational requirements or national security risk dictate the need.
    The fiscal year 2017 President's Budget includes funding for the 
modernization of destroyers ($3.2 billion total invested in fiscal year 
2017-fiscal year 2021) to sustain combat effectiveness, to ensure 
mission relevancy, and to achieve the full expected service lives of 
the AEGIS Fleet. The budget also requests $521 million across the FYDP, 
in addition to current Ships Modernization, Operations and Sustainment 
Fund (SMOSF) funding, to support cruiser modernization. The Navy will 
continue to work with Congress to develop and evaluate funding options 
to continue this vital modernization.
    Above the sea, our naval aviation enterprise grows. Specifically, 
we continue our recapitalization efforts of all major platforms and 
increase procurement of F/A-18E/F and F-35 aircraft, and make key 
investments in current and future unmanned aviation systems and strike 
warfare weapons capabilities.
    While accelerating new platforms and capabilities to the Fleet is a 
priority, it is equally important to reduce the maintenance backlog 
created by sequestration. The fiscal year 2017 budget provides 
additional investments in shipyard and aviation depots in both civilian 
personnel and infrastructure to achieve that end. As we execute our 
readiness strategy, our focus remains on properly maintaining ships and 
aircraft to reach their expected service lives and supporting a 
sustainable operational tempo.
    The cyber domain and electromagnetic spectrum dominance remain 
Department priorities. The budget includes an increase of $370 million 
over the FYDP ($107 million in fiscal year 2017) across a spectrum of 
cyber programs, leading to significant improvements in the Department's 
cyber posture. Specific elements include funding for engineering of 
boundary defense for ship and aviation platforms and for afloat cyber 
situational awareness.
    While hardware upgrades and additions are crucial, our investment 
in people must be equally prioritized. The fiscal year 2017 budget 
includes a 1.6 percent pay raise for sailors and marines and adds 
billets for base security. Our personnel initiatives receive funding 
aimed to recruit, train, and retain America's best.
    Our priorities combine to achieve one objective--naval presence. 
That presence is weighted to meet the national security strategy. The 
fiscal year 2017 budget sustains a forward deployed presence and 
continues the rebalance to the Pacific. The number of ships operating 
in the Asia-Pacific will increase from 52 today to 65 by 2020.
    Crafting the Department of the Navy's budget did not come without 
hard choices. To achieve a balance between current and future 
capabilities, we were compelled to make several risk-informed 
decisions. We have proposed deactivating the 10th Carrier Air Wing. 
This primarily administrative move improves the alignment of carrier 
air wing and aircraft carrier deployment schedules and alleviates 
excessive time between deployments for CVWs attached to CVNs in lengthy 
maintenance phases, without losing any aircraft.
    Finally, throughout my tenure, as part of my Department of the Navy 
Transformation Plan, I have stressed the importance of accountability. 
We are moving very quickly to an audit ready environment. Congressional 
support has been critical in providing the resources we need to bring 
our systems into compliance.
                               conclusion
    As the longest-serving Secretary since World War I, I have truly 
been able to get to know the men and women of this Department, and I 
have led institutional change--from inception to reality.
    In order to provide our nation with presence, to deter our 
adversaries and assure our allies, and provide our nation's leaders 
with options in times of crisis, we have enhanced our capabilities 
across every area of this department. By focusing on our people, 
platforms, power and partnerships, we assure we remain the greatest 
expeditionary fighting force the world has ever known.
    Today there is no operational billet in the Navy or Marine Corps 
that is closed to anyone based on their gender. Men and women wear 
uniforms common in appearance so they are uniformly United States 
sailors and United States marines. Career paths are flexible and 
provide unprecedented opportunities for professional growth. We promote 
based more on merit and not just tenure. We are encouraging retention 
in the Department by creating an environment that doesn't force our 
sailors and marines to choose between serving their country and serving 
their families.
    We are seeking innovation from within the talent inherent in our 
sailors and marines. We have established an innovation network, with 
crowdsourcing platforms established to allow new ideas to get from the 
deckplates to our leaders.
    We are growing the fleet. By the end of this fiscal year, we will 
have contracted for 84 ships, which will give America a 300-ship Navy 
by 2019 and a 308-ship Navy by 2021. We stood up a new Deputy Assistant 
Secretary of the Navy and OPNAV staff for Unmanned Systems development, 
making us leaders in this emerging capability.
    The Navy has fundamentally changed the way we procure, use and 
think about energy. In the past seven years, the Navy and Marine Corps 
have significantly lowered fuel consumption. We have sailed the Great 
Green Fleet on alternative fuel blends and met our goal of having 1 
gigawatt of renewable energy powering our shore-based installations 
five years early.
    We are rebalancing our Fleet to meet the goal of having 60 percent 
of our assets in the Pacific region by the end of the decade, and we 
continue to contribute to security cooperation and international 
exercises with our friends and allies around the world.
    Since the inception of our nation, America's Navy and Marine Corps 
have paved the way forward for this country.
    As President George Washington once said, ``It follows then as 
certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval 
force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable 
and glorious.''

    Chairman McCain. General Neller?

STATEMENT OF GENERAL ROBERT B. NELLER, USMC, COMMANDANT OF THE 
                          MARINE CORPS

    General Neller. Chairman McCain, Ranking Member Reed, 
distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the 
opportunity to appear today to talk about the posture of the 
United States Marine Corps and your marines.
    Our marines remain forward-deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan 
embarked with their shipmates aboard Navy ships serving in 
every nation and every climb and place. Our goal and respective 
maritime character and expeditionary capability have been ably 
demonstrated during the past year.
    However, as we continue in conflict around the world, there 
really has not been what we would call an inter-war period to 
reset and reconstitute our force. Today's marines are deploying 
at a rate comparable to our commitment during Operation Iraqi 
Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
    As we focus our attention across the globe in a security 
environment where the only certainty is uncertainty, we must 
make decisions about strategy and structure that will determine 
our Nation's and our Marine Corps' capability in the future.
    History has not been kind to militaries that fail to evolve 
and change, and we see in the 21st century the potential for 
dramatic change. The character of the 21st century is rapid 
evolution, and it is imperative we keep pace with that change.
    The efforts of the 114th Congress provided sufficient 
resources to support the Marine Corps' near-term readiness, and 
we thank Congress and this committee for that stability.
    Nevertheless, as overall financial resources have been 
diminished, the Marine Corps has protected the near-term 
operational readiness of its deployed and next-to-deploy units 
in order to meet operational commitments. This means that our 
units today deploying are ready, but we do not have the depth 
on our bench for major contingencies. The Marine Corps is no 
longer in a position to simultaneously generate current 
readiness, reset our equipment, sustain our facilities, and 
modernize to ensure future readiness.
    Maintaining the quality of the men and women in today's 
Corps is our friendly center of gravity, that which we must 
protect. This is the foundation from which we make marines win 
our Nation's battles and return quality citizens to American 
society.
    As the Marine Corps draws down to 182,000 marines at the 
end of this fiscal year, we continue to assess the capabilities 
and needs of our future force, whether it be the use of the F-
35 fifth generation fighter, cyber warfare, information ops, 
special operations, embassy security guards, or our security 
cooperation group.
    Modernization is our future readiness and the 
recapitalization of our force is essential to this future 
readiness. Your continued investment in facilities sustainment, 
equipment reset, modernization, ground combat vehicles, 
aviation, command and control, and digitally interoperable 
protected networks is critical.
    The Congress' intent for your Marine Corps to serve as the 
Nation's force in readiness guides who we are and what we do, 
and being ready is central to our identity as marines. With the 
continued support of Congress, the Marine Corps will remain 
ready with ready forces today and modernize to generate 
readiness in the future.
    Again, I thank you for the opportunity to appear before you 
today, and I look forward to your questions.
    [The prepared statement of General Neller follows:]

             Prepared Statement by General Robert B. Neller
the commandant's posture of the united states marine corps president's 
                              budget 2017
                                prologue
    The United States Marine Corps is the Nation's expeditionary force 
in readiness. The intent of the 82nd Congress defined and shaped our 
culture, organization, training, equipment, and priorities. Marines 
appreciate the leadership of the 114th Congress in reaffirming that 
role, especially as the strategic landscape and pace of the 21st 
Century demands a ready Marine Corps to buy time, decision space, and 
options for our Nation's leaders. Congress and the American people 
expect Marines to answer the call, to fight, and to win.
    Our global orientation, maritime character, and expeditionary 
capability have all been ably demonstrated during the past year. The 
capabilities of our total force are the result of the planning and 
execution of committed marines and sailors operating under the 
leadership of my predecessors. These capabilities and the posture of 
our force would not be possible without the support and actions of the 
Congress. As our attention is spread across the globe in a security 
environment where the only certainty is uncertainty, we must make 
decisions about our strategy and structure that will determine our 
Nation's military capability in the future. Today's force is capable 
and our forward deployed forces are ready to fight, but we are fiscally 
stretched to maintain readiness across the depth of the force, and to 
modernize, in order to achieve future readiness.
                               situation
    The current global security environment is characterized by 
violence, conflict and instability. Multidimensional security threats 
challenge all aspects of our national power and the international 
system. The expansion of information, robotics, and weapons 
technologies are causing threats to emerge with increased speed and 
lethality.
    Over the last 15 years, the United States fought wars in the Middle 
East, and your Marines continue to respond to crises around the globe. 
There has not been an ``inter-war period'' to reset and reconstitute 
our force. Your marines and sailors have remained operationally 
committed at the same tempo as the height of our operations in Iraq and 
Afghanistan. As we have remained engaged in the current fight, our 
enemies and potential adversaries have not stood idle. They have 
developed new capabilities which now equal or in some cases exceed our 
own.
    This unstable and increasingly dangerous world situation is further 
complicated by a constrained resource environment from which we must 
continue current operations, reset our equipment, maintain our 
warfighting readiness, and at the same time, modernize the force. 
Therefore, it has become necessary that we continually balance our 
available resources between current commitments and future readiness 
requirements. This requires pragmatic institutional choices and a 
clear-eyed vision of where we need to be in 10-20 years.
                   what marines are doing today . . .
    Today, Marines remain forward deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 
ready to respond to crisis around the world. Marines and sailors are 
presently managing instability, building partner capacity, 
strengthening allies, projecting influence, and preparing for major 
theater combat operations. In 2015, Marines executed approximately 100 
operations, 20 amphibious operations, 140 theater security cooperation 
events, and 160 major exercises.
    Our Nation has Marines on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan today, 
and we anticipate our commitment could grow in the future. Marines 
continue to advise, train and enable the Iraqi Security Forces and 
other designated Iraqi forces with peer-to-peer advising and infantry 
training. In Afghanistan, Marines continue to serve as advisors with 
the Republic of Georgia's Liaison Teams (GLTs) in support of Operation 
Resolute Support. From forward-deployed locations afloat and ashore, 
Marine tactical aviation squadrons continue to support operations in 
Syria and Iraq. In 2015, aviation combat assets executed over 1,275 
tactical sorties and 325 kinetic strikes that have killed over 600 
enemy combatants and destroyed over 100 weapons systems and 100 
technical vehicles.
    Our Amphibious Ready Group/Marine Expeditionary Unit (ARG/MEU) 
Teams continue to show their capability a flexible and agile maritime 
force. In 2015, the Marine Corps deployed over 12,000 Marines with our 
shipmates on Navy warships. This past year, five separate MEUs 
supported every combatant commander, participating in exercises and 
executing major operations. The 31st MEU, our Forward Deployed Naval 
Force in the Pacific, performed disaster relief operations on Saipan 
after Typhoon Soudelor passed through the Commonwealth of the Northern 
Mariana Islands (CNMI). Marines were ashore to support the relief 
effort within 12 hours of notification and delivered a total of 11,000 
gallons of fresh water and 48,000 meals.
    As part of the New Normal your Corps deployed two Special Purpose 
Marine Air Ground Task Forces--Crisis Response (SPMAGTF-CR) to US 
Central Command and US Africa Command. These forces are tailored to 
respond to crises and conduct security cooperation activities with 
partner nations, but they do not provide the same flexibility and 
responsiveness of an ARG/MEU. Our SPMAGTF assigned to CENTCOM today 
provides dedicated Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP) 
support to Operation Inherent Resolve, in Iraq and Syria, and 
simultaneously provides a flexible force for crisis and contingency 
response. In AFRICOM, our SPMAGTF supported Embassies through 
reinforcement, evacuation, and operations to reopen a previously closed 
Embassy in Central African Republic. Your Marines also supported 
operations during the Ebola crisis and assisted with elections. 
Finally, a SPMAGTF deployed to the US Southern Command in 2015. 
SPMAGTF-SC's primary focus was the reconstruction of a runway in 
Mocoron Airbase, Honduras and theater security cooperation and training 
in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Belize.
    The Marine Corps' activities in the Pacific are led by Marine 
Forces Pacific (MARFORPAC) headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii, with a 
forward stationed Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), III MEF, 
headquartered in Okinawa, Japan. III MEF contributes to regional 
stability through persistent presence and Marines remain the Pacific 
Command's (PACOM) forward deployed, forward stationed force of choice 
for crisis response. The Marine Corps continues to rebalance its force 
lay-down in the Pacific to support Defense Strategic Guidance (DSG), 
with 22,500 Marines West of the International Date Line, forward-based, 
and operating within the Asia-Pacific Theater. The planned end state 
for geographically distributed, politically sustainable and 
operationally resilient MAGTFs in the Pacific is a long-term effort 
that will span the next 15 years. The Marine Rotational Force-Darwin 
(MRF-D), based in Australia's Robertson Barracks, is in its fourth year 
of operation. This year we will deploy approximately 1,200 Marines to 
Darwin for a six-month deployment.
    The Marine Corps continues to work closely with the State 
Department to provide security at our Embassies and Consulates. Today, 
Marines are routinely serving at 174 Embassies and Consulates in 146 
countries around the globe. Approximately 117 Embassies have increased 
support in accordance with the 2013 NDAA. We have added 603 Marines to 
the previously authorized 1,000 Marine Security Guards; 199 in new 
detachments, 274 towards increased manning at current detachments, and 
130 towards the Marine Security Augmentation Unit (MSAU). Additionally, 
the US Embassy in Havana, Cuba was reopened on July 2015, with Marines 
serving at this Embassy as they do in any other.
    Our partnering capabilities assure allies, deter adversaries, build 
partner capacity, and set conditions for the readiness to surge and 
aggregate with a Joint, Coalition or Special Operations force for major 
theater combat operations. Partnering also trains our Marines for 
environments in which we are likely to operate. In 2015, the Marine 
Corps, in conjunction with combatant commanders and the Marine Forces 
Component Commands, conducted more than 140 security cooperation 
activities, including exercises, training events, subject matter expert 
exchanges, formal education key leader engagements, and service staff 
talks. Your continued support has allowed the Marine Corps to operate 
throughout the world today; now we must ensure our readiness tomorrow.
                          five areas of focus
    Today, in addition to supporting the combatant commander's 
requirements, the Marine Corps is focused on near-term efforts in five 
interrelated areas that are vital to achieving our future success: 
People, Readiness, Training, Naval Integration, and Modernization. 
Across these five areas, three major themes run throughout: maintaining 
and improving the high quality people that make up today's Marine 
Corps; decentralizing the training and preparation for war while 
adhering to Maneuver Warfare principles in the conduct of training and 
operations; and modernizing the force, especially through leveraging 
new and emerging technologies. The future requires Marines to embrace 
change to leverage the rapid advancements in technology at the pace of 
the 21st Century in order to gain an operational advantage over any 
potential adversary we may face in the future.
                                 people
    The success of the Marine Corps hinges on the quality of our 
Marines. This is the foundation
    from which we make Marines, win our Nation's battles, and return 
quality citizens to American society. The Marine Corps will maintain a 
force of the highest quality which is smart, resilient, fit, 
disciplined and able to overcome adversity. Maintaining the quality of 
the men and women in today's Corps is our friendly center of gravity. 
Our goal is to ensure every Marine is set up for success on the 
battlefield and in life, and understands their value to the Marine 
Corps and the Nation.
    The Marine Corps continues to benefit from a healthy recruiting 
environment that attracts quality people who can accomplish the 
mission. Our recruiting force continues to meet our recruiting goals in 
quantity and quality and is postured to make this year's recruiting 
mission. We are on track to meet our active duty end strength goal of 
182,000 Marines in fiscal year 2016, and we will look to maximize the 
capabilities of each and every Marine. Where it makes sense, we will 
look to leverage the unique skills of our Reserve Marines to align what 
they bring from the civilian sector and better enable the readiness of 
our Total Force.
    As the Marine Corps completes our current draw down, competition 
for retention will continue. We will strive to retain the very best 
Marines capable of fulfilling our leadership and operational needs. 
This is accomplished through a competitive career designation process 
for officers and a thorough evaluation process for enlisted Marines 
designed to measure, analyze, and compare Marines' performance, 
accomplishments, and future potential. The Marine Corps continues to 
retain quality Marines in a majority of occupational fields while 
others, like aviation and infantry, are more challenging. An additional 
challenge for all Marines is remaining focused on training for war 
balanced against the volume of mandatory ``top down'' training 
requirements not directly associated with warfighting.
    Marine Leaders have a moral obligation to ensure the health and 
welfare of the Nation's Marines from the day they make the commitment 
to serve. We take this responsibility very seriously and strive to 
maintain the trust and confidence of Congress and the American People 
by immediately addressing any challenge to Marine Corps readiness and 
finding solutions through our people and readiness programs. We have 
reinvigorated the Marine for Life Program and continue to progress with 
our Marine Corps Force Integration Plan (MCFIP), Sexual Assault 
Prevention and Response Program (SAPR), Protect What You've Earned 
Campaign (PWYE), Suicide Prevention and Response Program, our Wounded 
Warrior Regiment, Marine and Family Programs, and Transition Assistance 
Programs. The Marine Corps remains focused on solutions to address the 
destructive behavior of sexual assault, suicide and hazing. The abuse 
of alcohol has proven to be a contributing factor across the spectrum 
of force preservation issues that impact the readiness of our force. 
Our goal continues to be the elimination of this destructive behavior 
from our ranks, and we believe that preserving our commanders' ability 
to lead in this area is a vital element to reaching this objective.
                               readiness
    The Congressional intent to serve as the ``Nation's Force in 
Readiness'' guides who we are and what we do--being ready is central to 
our identity as Marines. As a force, we will remain ready to fight and 
win across the range of military operations and in all five warfighting 
domains--maritime, land, air, cyber and space. The fiscal reductions 
and instability of the past few years have impacted our readiness. As 
resources have diminished, the Marine Corps has protected the near-term 
operational readiness of its deployed and next-to-deploy units in order 
to meet operational commitments. This has come at a risk.
    The Marine Corps will continue to prioritize the readiness of 
deployed and next-to-deploy units over non-deployed units. The majority 
of our units are deploying ready while our non-deployed commands lack 
sufficient resources to meet the necessary personnel, training, and 
equipment readiness levels in order to respond today. However, to meet 
Congress' intent that we remain the nation's force in readiness, the 
Marine Corps requires a ``ready bench'' that is able to deploy with 
minimal notice and maximum capability.
    Our aviation units are currently unable to meet our training and 
mission requirements primarily due to Ready Basic Aircraft shortfalls. 
We have developed an extensive plan to recover readiness across every 
type/model/series in the current inventory, while continuing the 
procurement of new aircraft to ensure future readiness. The recovery 
and sustainment of our current fleet is necessary to support both 
training and warfighting requirements. Each type/model/series requires 
attention and action in specific areas; maintenance, supply, depot 
backlog, and in-service repairs. For example, in our F/A-18 community 
we are 52 aircraft short of our training requirement and 43 aircraft 
short of our warfighting requirement due to back log and throughput at 
the Fleet Readiness Depot and our inventory of spares. If these 
squadrons were called to on to fight today they would be forced to 
execute with 86 less jets than they need. With the continued support of 
Congress, Marine Aviation can recover its readiness by re-capitalizing 
our aging fleet first as we procure new aircraft to meet our future 
needs and support our ground forces.
    Simultaneous readiness initiatives are occurring with our ground 
equipment. Our post-combat reset strategy and Equipment Optimization 
Plan (EOP) are key components of the overall ground equipment 
``Reconstitution'' effort. As of Jan 2016, the Marine Corps has reset 
78 percent of its ground equipment with 50 percent returned to the 
Operating Forces and our strategic equipment programs. This strategic 
war reserve is our geographically prepositioned combat equipment both 
afloat and ashore where it makes the most sense to respond to 
contingencies. We remain focused on this recovery effort and project 
its completion in May of 2019. This service-level strategy would not 
have been possible without the continued support of Congress and the 
hard work of your Marines.
    The Facility Sustainment, Restoration and Modernization (FSRM) 
initiative and current state of facilities is the single most important 
investment to support training, operations, and quality of life. The 
2017 budget proposes funding FSRM at 74 percent of the OSD Facilities 
Sustainment Model. This reduced funding level is an area of concern. 
FSRM is a top priority to fix.
    The sustainment of military construction (MILCON) funding is 
crucial to managing operational training and support projects. Marine 
Corps readiness is generated aboard our bases and stations. As we 
transition to new capabilities and realign our forces in the Pacific, 
adequate MILCON will be a key enabler for the Marine Corps' future 
success.
    Readiness is not just in our equipment supply and maintenance, but 
in the quality and challenging nature of our training through the 
mental, spiritual and physical readiness of marines and sailors across 
the force. Readiness is the result of a variety of factors: commitment 
by leadership, standards-based inspections, evaluated drills and 
training exercises, and an understanding by all marines and sailors 
that the call can come at any time. We must be ready and able to 
answer.
                training, simulation and experimentation
    The Marine Corps' training and education continuum requires 
parallel and complementary efforts, from Squad Leader to MAGTF 
Commander. Organizing and executing high quality training is a 
difficult task. It takes time, deliberate thought, and effort. Our 
approach to training must evolve. It will emphasize the basics: 
combined arms, competency in the use of our weapons and systems, and 
expeditionary operations; but it must reemphasize operations in a 
degraded command, control, communications, computers and intelligence 
(C41) environment, camouflage/deception, operations at night, 
operations in a nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) environment, and 
decision-making in rapidly unfolding and uncertain situations. We must 
provide opportunities to experiment and work with the latest 
technological advances.
    Our war gaming supports the combat development process in order to 
develop and refine emerging concepts, conceptualize force design, and 
identify future capabilities and deficiencies within the future 
operating environments. War gaming achieves this purpose by permitting 
the dynamic, risk free consideration of disruptive ideas and 
capabilities which enable innovation and inform Service priorities. War 
gaming also supports the development of operating concepts and 
facilitates analysis of alternatives across the ROMO. The Marine Corps 
is committed to the future development of a war gaming facility at 
Marine Corps Base Quantico to enhance the study of the evolving 
characteristics of, and the requirements for, successful warfighting in 
the future. The Marine Corps is working to leverage virtual and 
constructive training environments with better tools to train higher 
level staffs and a focus on our leaders, from the Battalion to the 
Marine Expeditionary Force level. Enabled by technology, we will 
increase the amount of training each unit can accomplish in mentally 
and physically stressing environments for all elements of the MAGTF 
before they execute on a live training range or in combat.
    Our current training schedule of major events will all focus on 
building on our maritime based operational capability and at the same 
time providing venues for experimentation. We will emphasize and 
increase opportunities for force-on-force training and operations in 
degraded environments in order to challenge Marines against a 
``thinking enemy'' and maximize realism.
    Demanding and challenging Professional Military Education (PME) is 
the best hedge against uncertainty and its purpose is to prepare for 
the unknown. Marines and sailors of all ranks have the responsibility 
to educate themselves. The Marine Corps University (MCU) educates over 
75 percent of Marine Corps' Captains and Majors and provides PME 
opportunities for 100 percent of our enlisted force. Our training and 
education initiatives contribute to our readiness and enhance our 
ability to integrate with the Naval and Joint Force.
               integration with the naval and joint force
    In order to be the Nation's expeditionary force in readiness the 
Marine Corps must remain a naval combined arms expeditionary force. Our 
naval heritage is based on more than tradition; it is mandated by law 
as our primary service responsibility. Marines will reinforce our role 
as a naval expeditionary force to create decision space for national 
leaders and assure access for the Joint force as part of a naval 
campaign. As the service with the primary Department of Defense 
Directive and Title 10 responsibility for the development of amphibious 
doctrine, tactics, techniques, and equipment, our capabilities are 
reliant on the Nation's investment in our partnered Navy programs. This 
requires the proper balance of amphibious platforms, surface 
connectors, and naval operating concepts to shape our force explicitly 
as part of the Joint Force, understanding where we will both leverage 
and enable the capabilities of the Army, Air Force and Special 
Operations Forces.
    The Navy and Marine Corps Team require 38 amphibious warships, with 
an operational availability of 90 percent, to support two Marine 
Expeditionary Brigades, in order to provide the Nation a forcible entry 
capability. The Marine Corps fully supports the Secretary of the Navy 
and Chief of Naval Operations' efforts to balance amphibious platforms 
and surface connectors that facilitate operational maneuver from the 
sea and ship-to-objective maneuver. The Long Range Ship Strategy (LRSS) 
increases the amphibious warship inventory to 34 by fiscal year 2022. 
We appreciate Congress providing the funding to procure a 12th LPD and 
the funding for a second ship with the same hull form.
    The LPD and the LX(R) represent the Department of the Navy's 
commitment to a modem expeditionary fleet. L-class ships with aircraft 
hangars and the command and control capabilities for the distributed 
and disaggregated operations that have become routine for our ARG/MEU 
teams. The Marine Corps fully supports the Navy's decision to use the 
LPD-17 hull for the LX(R) program. This decision is an acquisitions 
success story that provides a more capable ship, at lower cost, with 
increased capacity, on a shorter timeline to better support how Marines 
are operating today and are likely to in the future.
    Steady state demand and crisis response sea basing requirements 
must be met through creative integration of all platforms and 
formations. This requires an integrated approach that employs warships, 
alternative shipping and landing basing in a complementary manner. 
Corresponding to the amphibious ship effort is our investment in 
tactical ship-to-shore mobility because at some point in the naval 
campaign, the landing force is going to land. The Amphibious Combat 
Vehicle (ACV) is critical in the conduct of protected littoral maneuver 
and the projection of Marines from sea to land in permissive, 
uncertain, and hostile environments. Our planned investments are framed 
by our capstone service concept, Expeditionary Force 21 (EF-21). 
Working with our naval partners, we are aggressively exploring the 
feasibility of future and existing sea based platforms to enhance the 
connector capabilities of our LCACs and LCUs. We have a need to modify 
traditional employment methods and augment amphibious warships by 
adapting other vessels for sea-based littoral operations. Maritime 
Prepositioning Ship squadrons have one Maritime Landing Platform (MLP) 
that is effectively a ``pier in the ocean.'' These ships can move pre-
positioned war reserves into theater and serve as afloat staging bases 
to receive and transfer equipment and supplies as part of an integrated 
MAGTF or regionally oriented MEB. The end-state is a ``family of 
systems'' designed to enhance mobility, interoperability, 
survivability, and independent operational capabilities to further 
enhance sea basing and littoral maneuver capabilities well into the 
21st Century. The Marine Corps will continue to work closely with the 
Navy to implement the 30-year ship building plan and to address the 
current readiness challenges of the amphibious fleet.
    The continued development of Information Warfare and Command and 
Control capabilities are also required for the Marine Corps to operate 
against increasingly sophisticated adversaries. This requires 
investments in interoperable combat operations centers. We are 
identifying and developing command and control systems and information 
technology architecture to support operations and ensure our ability to 
maneuver. Framed by service-level concepts like the Navy's Cooperative 
Strategy 21 (CS-21), we will collaborate with the Navy on a Naval 
Operating Concept revision in order to shape future naval campaigning 
and naval expeditionary operations. This concept will include a greater 
Marine Corps contribution to Sea Control operations through 
interoperability with the Navy Composite Warfare Commander (CWC) 
structure in order to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Anti Access/Area 
Denial (A2/AD) threats and optimize the single naval battle success on 
and from the sea. Since Marines and Special Operations Forces (SOF) 
remain forward deployed, we must create true integration models to 
maximize the capabilities of the sea-based MAGTF, including command and 
control (C2), alongside our SOF partners. The end state is a fully 
integrated and ready Navy and Marine Corps team, trained and resourced 
to support our joint operating concept.
                      modernization and technology
    History has not been kind to militaries that fail to evolve, and 
the change we see in the 21st Century is as rapid and dramatic as the 
world has ever known. That said the Marine Corps' modernization and 
technology initiatives must deliver future capabilities and sustainable 
readiness. Marines will continue working to do what we do today better, 
but equally important, must be willing to consider how these same tasks 
might be done ``differently.'' The Marine Corps must continue to 
develop and evolve the MAGTF, ensuring it is able to operate in all 
warfighting domains. To do so Marines are invigorating experimentation 
of new concepts in order to advance our capabilities.
    We will continue to develop our concepts to take advantage of the 
capabilities of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and all of our emerging 
aviation platforms, particularly in regard to sensor fusion and 
electronic warfare. Marines will continue to experiment with and 
exercise new ways to get the most out of the MV-22 and challenge 
previous paradigms in order to provide the most effective MAGTFs to our 
combatant commanders.
    We will establish and define, in doctrine, our distributed 
operations capability in our MAGTFs by the end of fiscal year 2016. 
With distributed capabilities, we must also ensure our forces are not 
constrained at the littoral seams between combatant commanders. You can 
also expect the Marine Corps to continue to pursue technologies that 
enhance our warfighting capabilities such as unmanned aerial systems 
(UAS) and robotics, artificial intelligence, 3-D printing, and 
autonomous technologies that provide tactical and operational 
advantage.
    The Marine Corps Warfighting Lab leads our experimentation effort 
to capitalize on existing and emerging technology and MAGTF level 
exercises. In conjunction with our coalition partners, the Navy and 
Marine Corps team has experimented with dispersed sea based SPMAGTFs, 
integrated MAGTFs in Anti-Access/ Area Denial environments, 
incorporated emerging digital technologies with aviation platforms and 
our ground forces, and conducted naval integration with interoperable 
Special Operations Forces during Joint Exercises. We will continue to 
emphasize experimentation during our exercises as a way to inform the 
development of distributed doctrine and future operating concepts. 
Exercises serve as a test bed for experimentation as we search for 
faster, cheaper and smarter acquisition processes and programs.
    The following equipment platforms and acquisition initiatives 
require special mention:
                    amphibious combat vehicle (acv)
    The ACV is an advanced generation eight-wheeled, amphibious, 
armored personnel carrier that will support expeditionary maneuver 
warfare by enhancing tactical and operational mobility and 
survivability. The Marine Corps plans to procure 694 vehicles: 204 in 
the first increment and 490 in the second increment. Our plan is to 
have our first battalion initially capable in the 4th quarter of fiscal 
year 2020 and all battalions fully capable by the 4th quarter of fiscal 
year 2023. Your investment in this program provides the Marine Corps 
with an advanced ship to shore maneuver capability for the Joint Force.
                      joint strike fighter (f-35)
    The F-35 is a fifth generation fighter that will replace the Marine 
Corps' aging tactical aviation fleet of F/A-18 Hornets, AV-8B Harriers, 
and EA-6B Prowlers. The F-35 will have a transformational impact on 
Marine Corps doctrine as we work to both do what we're doing today 
better and ``differently.'' The Marine Corps plans to procure 420 
aircraft: 353 F-35Bs and 67 F-35Cs. The first F-35B squadron achieved 
initial operating capability in July 2015, and our second squadron will 
become operational in June 2016. The Marine Corps plans to complete its 
F-35 transition by 2031. We believe the Congressional support 
investment in this program will pay significant dividends for the 
capabilities of the Marine Corps and the Joint Force.
                                 ch-53k
    The Marine Corps' CH-53K ``King Stallion'' helicopter will fulfill 
the vertical lift requirement for amphibious and Joint Forcible Entry 
Operations. This CH-53 transition is critical to increasing the 
degraded readiness of the CH-53E community and decreasing the 
platform's operations and maintenance costs. The Marine Corps plans to 
procure 200 aircraft. The program achieved Milestone B in December 
2005. The CH-53K's first flight occurred in October 2015 and our two 
aircraft have flown 25.8 hours.
   command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (c41)
    The modernization and technology effort of the Marine Corps 
requires an integrated network that is deployable, digitally 
interoperable, and supportive of rapid advancements in technology and 
the evolution of combat capabilities. The Marine Corps Enterprise 
Network (MCEN) establishes a comprehensive framework requiring the 
development of command and control architecture to simplify and enable 
operating forces to use services in a deployed environment. The 
priority is to provide worldwide access to MCEN services from any base, 
post, camp, station network, tactical network and approved remote 
access connection. Our goal is to provide an agile command and control 
capability with the right data, at the right place, at the right time.
    Digital Interoperability (DI) is the effective integration of 
Marines, systems, and exchange of data, across all domains and networks 
throughout the MAGTF, Naval, Joint, and Coalition Forces, to include 
degraded or denied environments, in order to rapidly share information. 
This is a vital step in linking the MAGTF and the Joint Force to get 
the vast amount of information collected on all platforms into the 
hands of the warfighters that need it; in the air, on the ground and at 
sea.
    The Marine Corps' goal is to retain our tactical advantage across 
the range of military operations with today's and tomorrow's systems. 
Our end state is to field and operationalize ongoing programs and 
continue to develop solutions that will enhance institutional 
capabilities and retain our tactical advantage across the ROMO.
                             our challenges
    The character of the 21st Century is rapid evolution. Our potential 
adversaries have not stood still, and it is imperative that we keep 
pace with change. Two years ago, the 35th Commandant, came before 
Congress and testified that:

    ``...the 36th Commandant will reach a point, probably two years 
from now, where he's going to have to take a look at that readiness 
level and say, I'm going to have to lower that so that I can get back 
into thesefacilities that I can't ignore, my training ranges that I 
can't ignore, and the modernization that I'm going to have to do 
eventually. Otherwise we'll end up with an old Marine Corps that's out 
of date. `` \1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ Gen Amos. Posture of the United States Marine Corps. CMC, Mar 
2014.

    This is where we find ourselves today. The Marine Corps is no 
longer in a position to generate current readiness and reset our 
equipment, while sustaining our facilities, and modernizing to ensure 
our future readiness. The efforts of the I 14th Congress have provided 
sufficient resources to support the Marine Corps' near-term readiness 
and we thank the Congress for this fiscal stability. However, PB17 
increasingly stretches the Nation's Ready Force. We are deploying 
combat ready-forces at a rate comparable to the height of our 
commitment to Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom; we are 
facing future facilities challenges as we try to sustain our current 
installations; and we are struggling to keep pace as our potential 
adversaries rapidly modernize. This is not healthy for your Marine 
Corps or for the security of our Nation.
    The Marine Corps is now on its way down to 182,000 Marines by the 
end of fiscal year 2016. Although our recruiting force continues to 
meet our recruiting goals we are challenged to retain certain 
occupational fields like infantry and aviation. The 21st Century 
demands capabilities in 5th Generation Fighter Aircraft (F-35), Cyber 
Warfare, Information Operations, Special Operations, Embassy Security 
Guards, and the Security Cooperation Group that advises and assists our 
allies and partner nations. The Marine Corps must continue to develop 
and retain these capabilities with quality Marines.
    In last year's fiscal year 2015 budget we were compelled, due to 
fiscal pressures, to limit and reduce training for our operating 
forces. In this year's fiscal year 2016 budget our operation and 
maintenance funding was further reduced by 5.6 percent. This reduction 
has been carried forward into our fiscal year 2017 budget. Two years of 
fiscally constrained operation and maintenance funds will force us to 
employ a prioritized readiness model for our deploying forces and 
prevents us from our desired readiness recovery, both in operational 
training and facilities sustainment. This means the Marine Corps will 
not have as deep and as ready a bench to draw from for a major 
contingency.
    Modernization is future readiness. The recapitalization of our 
force is essential to our future readiness with investments in ground 
combat vehicles, aviation, command and control, and digitally 
interoperable protected networks. We have important combat programs 
under development that need your continued support. The Amphibious 
Combat Vehicle (ACV) will replace our Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV), 
which is now over four decades old. The Joint Strike Fighter will not 
only replace three aging platforms, but provides transformational 
warfighting capabilities for the future. Our ground combat vehicles 
like the Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) have an average age of 33 years 
and our Ml Al tanks have an average age of 26 years. The Marine Corps 
is grateful for Congress' support of our wartime acquisition and reset 
efforts of the MRAP, HMMWV, and the contracting of the Joint Light 
Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). In summary, the increasingly lean budgets of 
fiscal year 2016 and fiscal year 2017 will provide increased readiness 
challenges and cause shortfalls in key areas. This reality will force 
tradeoffs.
                               conclusion
    ``Onefact is etched with clarity; the Marine Corps, because of its 
readiness tofight, will have a vital role in anyfuture war.'' \2\ 
Senator Mike Mansfield
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\ Honorable Mansfield. Fixing the Personnel Strength of the 
United States Marine Corps, Adding the Commandant of the Marine Corps 
as a Member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 82nd Congress, 1st Session, 
House of Representatives, HR 82-666, 30 Jun 1951.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Marines will continue to meet the high standards the American 
people have set for us. As responsible stewards of the Nation's 
resources, the Marine Corps remains committed to its auditability in 
order to provide the best Marine Corps the Nation can afford. We will 
therefore continue to produce highly trained Marines, formed into 
combat-ready forces, and provide the capabilities the Joint Force 
requires. The wisdom of the 82nd Congress as reaffirmed by the 114th 
Congress remains valid today--the vital need of a strong force-in-
readiness. Marines are honored to serve in this role.

    Marines are innovators and the history of the Marine Corps is 
replete with examples of innovation out of necessity. With the 
continued support of Congress, the Marine Corps will maintain ready 
forces today and modernize to generate readiness in the future because 
when the Nation calls, Marines answer and advance to contact.

    Chairman McCain. Admiral Richardson?

 STATEMENT OF ADMIRAL JOHN M. RICHARDSON, USN, CHIEF OF NAVAL 
                           OPERATIONS

    Admiral Richardson. Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member Reed, 
distinguished members of the committee, I am honored and 
humbled to appear before you today as your CNO on behalf of our 
more than 500,000 active and Reserve sailors, our civilians, 
and families to discuss the Navy's budget request.
    To start, I want to thank you for your leadership in 
keeping our Nation secure and in keeping our Navy the strongest 
that has ever sailed the seas. This year's budget continues 
that important work.
    It is always good to start by framing the problem. America 
is a maritime nation, and our prosperity is tied to our ability 
to operate freely in the maritime environment. Today's 
strategic environment is increasingly globalized and 
increasingly competitive. Global systems are used more, 
stressed more, and contested more.
    The maritime system has seen explosive growth. For the 
first time in 25 years, there is competition for control of the 
seas. From the sea floor to space, from deep water to the 
shoreline, and in the information domain, things are 
accelerating. The global information system has become 
pervasive and has changed the way we all do business, including 
at sea. Technology is being introduced at an unprecedented rate 
and is being adopted by society just as fast.
    Finally, a new set of competitors are moving quickly to use 
these forces to their advantage, and for the first time in 25 
years, the U.S. is facing a return to great power competition. 
These new forces have changed what it means for the Navy and 
Marine Corps to provide maritime security.
    While the problems are much more numerous and complex, our 
responsibility remains the same. Naval forces must provide our 
leaders credible options to protect America from attack, 
advance our prosperity, further our strategic interest, assure 
our allies and partners, and deter our adversaries, which rests 
on the ability of the Navy and our sister services to win 
decisively if conflict breaks out. If we do not adapt, we will 
perform below our potential and worse, we may fall behind our 
competitors.
    To do this, the Navy is focusing on four lines of effort. 
We are going to strengthen our Navy team, strengthen our 
operating and warfighting at and from the sea, expand and 
strengthen our partnerships, and achieve high-velocity learning 
at every level.
    Unquestionably, the most part of our Navy is our team. 
Everything we do starts and ends with our sailors, civilians, 
and their families. As our platforms and missions become more 
complex, our need for talented people continues to be a 
challenge. We need to recruit, train, and retain the right 
people, and our sailor 2025 initiatives are aimed squarely at 
that challenge. These efforts are based on our core values of 
honor, courage, and commitment and demonstrated through four 
core attributes of integrity, accountability, initiative, and 
toughness. That team is committed to our mission, which 
requires us to strengthen naval power at and from the sea.
    This budget reflects some very tough choices as we achieve 
this aim. We have prioritized shipbuilding and the industrial 
base. First in that effort is the Ohio replacement program, 
which I believe is vital to our survival as a Nation. We are 
taking steps to more deeply engrain information warfare. We are 
also investing in our naval aviation enterprise, rapidly 
integrating unmanned systems, and bolstering our investments in 
advanced weapons.
    In addition to these investments, we are adjusting our 
behaviors to keep pace with a world that continues to 
accelerate. We are doubling down on an approach that relies 
more heavily on experimentation and prototyping. We are 
pursuing multiple avenues to drive shorter learning cycles into 
all that we do. We must learn faster.
    To close, I want to mention that recently I had the honor 
to spend time with Senior Chief Ed Byers, who was awarded the 
Medal of Honor by the President on behalf of the Congress. 
Senior Chief Byers represents the very best of our service men 
and women. He is emblematic of this generation's continued 
commitment to our core values and to their fellow Americans. 
The SEAL [Sea, Air, Land] ethos reads in part, my loyalty to 
country and team is beyond reproach. I humbly serve as a 
guardian to my fellow Americans, always ready to defend those 
who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the 
nature of my work nor seek recognition for my actions.
    Mr. Chairman, all our people want to do is protect their 
great Nation. It is my job to lead them well and prepare them 
for that task. The 2017 Navy budget is this year's best 
approach to solving the problems and seizing the opportunities 
that face the Navy today.
    I thank you and look forward to your questions.
    [The prepared statement of Admiral Richardson follows:]

            Prepared Statement by Admiral John M. Richardson
    Chairman McCain, Ranking Member Reed, and distinguished members of 
the Committee, it is an honor to appear before you today. This is my 
first of hopefully many chances to discuss the future of the United 
States Navy with you, and as your Chief of Naval Operations, I look 
forward to continuing to work closely with you to ensure that your Navy 
is best postured to defend America's interests around the globe.
    Prior to my confirmation, I testified that my most serious concern 
was the gap between challenges to America's security and prosperity and 
the resources available to protect them. In January of this year, I 
outlined this gap in more detail when I released A Design for 
Maintaining Maritime Superiority (the ``Design''), which describes an 
increasingly competitive environment and the lines of effort the Navy 
will pursue to execute our mission in that environment. The thinking in 
the Design reflects inputs from leaders inside and out of the Navy and 
is guiding our way forward. It shaped our budget submission and shapes 
my testimony below.
    The 2017 budget is this year's best approach to solving the 
problems and seizing the opportunities that face the Navy today. The 
budget reflects some constants; America has been a maritime nation 
since we began. Our prosperity continues to depend on our maritime 
security--over 90 percent of our trade is shipped over the seas--and 
this linkage will only tighten in the future. Against the backdrop of 
this historical truth, current problems and opportunities are growing 
rapidly. The maritime environment has remained remarkably constant 
since man first put to sea thousands of years ago. The oceans, seas, 
shipping lanes and chokepoints are physically unchanged in the modern 
era, but the maritime system has seen explosive growth in the past 25 
years. Traffic over the seas has increased by 400 percent since the 
early 1990's, driving and outpacing the global economy, which has 
almost doubled in the same period. Climate change has opened up trade 
routes previously closed. Access to resources on the seafloor has also 
increased, both as Arctic ice has receded and as technology has 
improved. Just as it has in the past, our future as a nation remains 
tied to our ability to operate freely on the seas.
    That maritime freedom is coming under increasing pressure and 
stress. For the first time in 25 years, there is competition for 
control of the seas. Nations like China and Russia are using their 
newfound maritime strength not only to advance their national goals, 
but also to challenge the very rules and standards of behavior upon 
which so many nations since the end of World War II have based their 
growth. We should interpret this challenge to international rules and 
order as a challenge to our own security and prosperity, and to the 
security and prosperity of all who support an open, fair architecture.
    It is against this background that I consider the gravity of the 
Navy's mission statement, as reflected in the Design:

        ``The United States Navy will be ready to conduct prompt and 
        sustained combat incident to operations at sea. Our Navy will 
        protect America from attack and preserve America's strategic 
        influence in key regions of the world. U.S. naval forces and 
        operations--from the sea floor to space, from deep water to the 
        littorals, and in the information domain--will deter aggression 
        and enable peaceful resolution of crises on terms acceptable to 
        the United States and our allies and partners. If deterrence 
        fails, the Navy will conduct decisive combat operations to 
        defeat any enemy.''

    To me these words are not an abstraction, and are easiest to 
appreciate in the context of what naval forces do every day. As just 
one example, there was a day last fall when:

      The destroyer USS Donald Cook transited the 
Mediterranean, following an 11-nation multinational exercise in the 
Black Sea and a port visit to Odessa, Ukraine--demonstrating our 
commitment to our NATO allies;
      Sailors at the Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command in 
Suffolk, VA monitored intrusion prevention sensors that actively 
mitigated almost 300,000 instances of unauthorized or adversary 
activity across the Navy network enterprise, including more than 60,000 
threats to afloat networks;
      The Kearsarge Amphibious Readiness Group, with the 26th 
Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard, participated in a Turkish-led 
amphibious exercise, demonstrating our combined capability and 
physically displaying our commitment to U.S. allies and partners;
      Five ballistic missile submarines patrolled the oceans 
(the latest in over 4,000 patrols since 1960), providing 100 percent 
readiness in providing strategic deterrence;
      USS Fort Worth, a Littoral Combat Ship, swapped crews in 
Singapore after participating in a Cooperation Afloat Readiness And 
Training (CARAT) exercise with the Bangladesh Navy, developing 
cooperative maritime security capabilities that support security and 
stability in South and Southeast Asia.
      Sailors from a Coastal Riverine Squadron and an Explosive 
Ordnance Disposal unit participated in an exercise in Cambodia, 
increasing maritime security cooperation and interoperability between 
the two navies;
      Navy SEALS trained and advised Iraqi forces in the fight 
against ISIL extremists, facilitating, mentoring, and enhancing their 
ability to secure their territory;
      Members of the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command provided 
tactical intelligence training to Ghanaian Maritime Law Enforcement and 
Naval servicemembers at Sekondi Naval Base, increasing our partners' 
capacity and capability to secure their territorial waters;
      The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan launched four F/A-
18 fighters to intercept and escort two approaching Russian TU-142 Bear 
aircraft that approached as the carrier was operating in the Sea of 
Japan, operating forward to preserve freedom of action; and
      The fast-attack submarine USS City of Corpus Christi 
operated in the Western Pacific, after participating with the Indian 
and Japanese Navies in Exercise Malabar 2015, increasing our level of 
engagement with our partners across the Indo-Asia Pacific.

    All of these events occurred on a single day: October 27, 2015. But 
none were in the headlines. That is because on that day the guided 
missile destroyer USS Lassen conducted a freedom of navigation 
operation in the South China Sea, one of the many visible 
demonstrations of our international leadership and national commitment 
to preserving a rules-based international order that the Navy conducts 
routinely around the world.
    Your Navy's ability to execute these responsibilities--our 
mission--is becoming more difficult as three interrelated forces act on 
the global economic and security environments, and as new actors rise 
to challenge us. I have already described the first force--the force 
exerted by the expanding use of the maritime domain, on, over, and 
under the seas. This global system is becoming more used, stressed, and 
contested than perhaps ever before, and these trends show no signs of 
reversing.
    The second force is the rise of the global information system. 
Newer than the maritime system, the information system is more 
pervasive, enabling an even greater multitude of connections between 
people and at a much lower cost of entry. Information, now passed in 
near-real time across links that continue to multiply, is in turn 
driving an accelerating rate of change.
    The third interrelated force is the rising tempo at which new 
technologies are being introduced. This is not just information 
technologies, but also those that incorporate advances in material 
science, increasingly sophisticated robotics, energy storage, 3-D 
printing, and networks of low-cost sensors, to name just a few 
examples. The potential of genetic science and artificial intelligence 
is just starting to be realized, and could fundamentally reshape every 
aspect of our lives. As technology is developed at ever-increasing 
speeds, it is being adopted by society more quickly as well--people are 
using these new tools as quickly as they are produced, in new and novel 
ways.
    Our competitors and adversaries are moving quickly to use these 
forces to their advantage, and they too are shifting. For the first 
time in decades, the United States is facing a return to great power 
competition. Russia and China demonstrate both the advanced 
capabilities and the desire to act as global powers. This past fall, 
the Russian Navy operated at a pace and in areas not seen since the 
mid-1990's, and the Chinese PLA(N) continued to extend its reach around 
the world. Their national aspirations are backed by a growing arsenal 
of high-end warfighting capabilities, many of which are focused 
specifically on our vulnerabilities. Both nations continue to develop 
information-enabled weapons with increasing range, precision and 
destructive capacity, and to sell those weapons to partners like Iran, 
Syria, and North Korea.
    From a strategic perspective, both China and Russia are also 
becoming increasingly adept in coercion and competition below the 
thresholds of outright conflict, finding ways to exploit weaknesses in 
the system of broadly accepted global rules and standards. For example, 
Russia has continued its occupation and attempted annexation of another 
nation's territory. As perhaps the most startling example, China's land 
reclamation and militarization of outposts amidst the busiest sea lanes 
on the planet casts doubt on the future accessibility of our maritime 
domain. China is literally redrawing the map in the South China Sea by 
creating artificial islands, to which they then claim sovereign 
territorial rights, now complete with surface to air missiles and high 
performance radars. Their activity creates great uncertainty about the 
intentions and credibility of their leadership.
    Russia and China are not the only actors seeking to contest United 
States and global interests in the emerging security environment. 
Others are also pursuing advanced technology, including military 
technologies that were once the exclusive province of great powers; 
this trend will persist. Coupled with an ongoing dedication to 
furthering its nuclear weapons and missile programs, North Korea's 
provocative actions continue to threaten security in Northeast Asia and 
beyond. Iran's advanced missiles, proxy forces and other conventional 
capabilities pose threats to which the Navy must remain prepared to 
respond. Finally, international terrorist groups such as ISIL and al 
Qaeda have proven their resilience and adaptability and pose a long-
term threat to stability and security around the world.
    In summary, these new forces have changed what it means for the 
Navy and Marine Corps to provide maritime security; the problems are 
more complex, demanding, and numerous than ever before. But our 
responsibility remains the same. Naval forces must provide our leaders 
credible options that allow them to advance the nation's prosperity, 
defend its security, further its strategic interests, assure its allies 
and partners, and deter its adversaries--which rests on the ability of 
the Navy and our sister services to decisively win if conflict breaks 
out. The breadth of challenges we face demands a range of options, and 
they must be credible. Only then can the United States effectively 
advocate as a maritime power for the system of global rules and 
standards that underpin shared prosperity now and in the future.
    It is becoming increasingly difficult for the Navy to present a 
sufficient number of credible options for leadership. While the 
predictability provided by the 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act is greatly 
appreciated, the Navy's fiscal year 2017 budget submission comes on the 
heels of four prior years' budgets that collectively provided $30 
billion less than requested levels to the Department of the Navy. It 
represents yet another reduction of almost $5 billion from 2016 funding 
levels. We have started the last six years with a continuing 
resolution, with an average duration of 120 days. In response, we have 
had to modify our behaviors with a host of inefficient practices, the 
use of short-term contracts offering less than best value to the 
government, and the associated increased workload on our shrinking 
headquarters staffs. Continuing Resolutions can also delay critical 
programs, including those with little to no margin for delay, such as 
the Ohio Replacement Program. It's worse than that: the fiscal 
uncertainty sends ripples through the entire system--the industrial 
base is hesitant to invest, and our people remain concerned about the 
next furlough or hiring freeze or overtime cap. This unpredictability 
adds to the burden on our Navy team and drives prices up.
    The challenges are increasing and funding is decreasing. America 
remains the primary leader of the free world, with the most capable 
military force on the planet. We remain a maritime nation whose future 
is inextricably tied to the seas. Our Navy has tremendous 
responsibilities to ensure that future is secure and prosperous. Within 
those constraints, our fiscal year 2017 budget proposal reflects the 
best portfolio of credible options to achieve our mission. Budget 
constraints are forcing choices that limit our naval capability in the 
face of growing and rising threats. The Navy's budget addresses our 
gaps on a prioritized basis, and starts to accelerate our capabilities 
so that we can maintain overmatch relative to our adversaries.
                strengthen our navy team for the future
    Without question, the most important part of our budget is our 
investment in our Navy Team--our Active and Reserve sailors, our Navy 
civilians, and their families. I am pleased that we were able to 
provide a 1.6 percent pay raise for our sailors this year, outpacing 
inflation and 0.3 percent more than last year. Just as important are 
the investments we are making to improve the environment for the Team. 
As the Design makes clear, some of the biggest impacts that we can make 
on our warfighting capability do not involve a lot of money, but 
instead are changes to how we do business.
    These changes can't come soon enough. As our platforms continue to 
become more technologically advanced and missions become more complex, 
our need for talented, qualified recruits will grow. Further, the 
competition for that talent grows more intense every day. This budget 
keeps us on a good path. Our sailor 2025 program is a dynamic set of 
initiatives, process improvements and management tools designed to 
increase career choice and flexibility, provide advanced, tailored 
learning, and expand support to our Navy families. In fiscal year 2017, 
we begin to fully invest in the Sailor 2025 Ready Relevant Learning 
initiative, which will begin to create a new way of training our 
sailors through mobile, modular learning, re-engineered content, and an 
improved IT infrastructure.
    In this budget, we fund a wide range of initiatives to strengthen 
our sailors individually and as a team. The Design highlights the 
importance of our core values of honor, courage and commitment, as 
demonstrated through four core attributes--integrity, accountability, 
initiative, and toughness. We are implementing a strategy, headed up by 
our 21st Century Sailor Office, to inculcate these attributes 
throughout the fleet and improve sailor readiness and resilience. We 
continue to further develop a climate of dignity and respect throughout 
the Fleet. We also look to eliminate the toxic behaviors that destroy 
the fabric of the team--including sexual harassment and assault, hazing 
and alcohol abuse. We have increased funding over the FYDP to address 
sexual assault prevention and response, adding 24 new positions to the 
Naval Criminal Investigative Service--on top of 127 additions in the 
previous two years--to speed investigations while continuing our 
support for programs aimed at prevention, investigation, 
accountability, and support for survivors such as the Victim Legal 
Counsel Program.
    As we seek greater efficiencies, planned adjustments allow us to 
take modest reductions (3,600 sailors in fiscal year 2017) in our 
active duty end strength. These are consistent with advances in 
training methods and with standing down the Carrier Air Wing 14. There 
will be no reductions in force or any other force-shaping initiatives--
we will achieve this through natural attrition. Nobody will lose their 
job.
    One of my observations since taking office is that we can do more 
to increase the synergy between our military and civilian workforces. 
Your Navy civilians are integral to all that we do. They work in our 
shipyards and aviation depots, provide scientific and technical 
expertise in our labs, and guard our bases and other facilities. To 
respond to increasing security concerns, we have invested this year in 
increased force protection measures, including in those civilians who 
keep our people and property safe. Some of the maintenance and 
readiness shortfalls we are still digging out from were made worse by 
civilian hiring and overtime freezes and a furlough in fiscal year 
2013. Worse, these actions strained the trust within our team. This 
budget adds a net of over 1,300 civilian positions in fiscal year 2017 
to support additional maintenance, enhance security, and operate our 
support ships, and continues the investments in our civilian shipmates 
that help to forge one seamless team. Even as we implement these key 
initiatives to address security and to recover readiness, we balance 
that growth with reductions over the FYDP of 3,200 FTE (1.8 percent), 
for a net reduction of 1,900.
               strengthen naval power at and from the sea
    That team, with our Marine Corps partners, is committed to our 
mission, which must be conducted in the environment I described above. 
The Design calls for us to strengthen naval power at and from the sea 
to address the growing scale, congestion, and challenge in the maritime 
domain. The Ohio Replacement Program (ORP) is paramount to that effort, 
and remains our top priority. In my opinion, it is foundational to our 
survival as a nation. This budget funds the ORP; construction is 
planned to start in fiscal year 2021. This start date is vitally 
important to prevent any impact to continuous at-sea deterrence at a 
time when it could be even more relevant than today.
    To the maximum extent possible, we have also prioritized 
shipbuilding and the industrial base that supports it. Our current 
fleet of 272 ships is too small to meet the array of mission 
requirements our nation demands. In this budget, we remain on a path to 
achieve 308 ships by 2021. This year, we are funding two advanced 
guided missile destroyers with upgraded radars (DDG Flight IIIs with 
SPY-6), two Virginia-class attack submarines, two Littoral Combat 
Ships, and the procurement of an amphibious assault ship replacement 
(LHA(R)). The Ford carrier remains under its cost cap and will deliver 
in 2016; we are continuing to exercise strong oversight and discipline 
to ensure the cost of her sister ships Kennedy and Enterprise also 
remain under budget. We have exceeded our shipyard investment goal--
we're at 8.1 percent, well beyond the 6 percent legislative 
requirement.
    As the Design emphasizes, we are fully committed to further 
ingraining information warfare into our routine operations. This is 
essential to the Navy's future. For example, we are increasing 
procurement of the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program 
(SEWIP) Block II and III by 45 units. We are also investing in network 
modernization afloat and ashore through 10 installations of the 
Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) system in 
fiscal year 2017.
    To help remediate one of our most stressed areas, we have enhanced 
our investments in the naval aviation enterprise. We are investing in 
bringing fifth generation aircraft to the fleet, adding ten F-35Cs over 
the FYDP. We are also replacing F-18 airframes that are meeting the end 
of their projected service lives faster than projected, adding 16F/A-18 
E/Fs over the next two years. Further, we are adding upgrades to the 
Super Hornet to make it more capable in a high-end fight. We are 
updating our strategy to more rapidly integrate unmanned aerial 
vehicles into our future air wing. Revisions to our unmanned carrier-
launched airborne surveillance and strike (UCLASS) program will help us 
to meet current mission shortfalls in carrier-based surveillance and 
aerial refueling capacity, and better inform us about the feasibility 
of future additional capabilities we desire.
    To meet an increasingly lethal threat, this budget bolsters our 
investments in advanced weapons across the FYDP. We are buying 100 
additional tactical Tomahawks, 79 more air-to-air AMRAAM missiles, 
additional sea-skimming targets, and accelerating our investments in 
SM-6 missile development in order to provide a full range of capability 
enhancements to the fleet. However, budget pressures also caused us to 
cut other weapons investments such as the Mk-48 torpedo and AIM-9X air-
to-air missile. Many of our production lines are at minimum sustaining 
rates, and the low weapons inventory is a continuing concern.
             achieve high velocity learning at every level
    All of these investments will deliver important capabilities to 
better posture us for the current and future environment. But, as or 
more importantly, we must also adjust our behavior if we are to keep 
pace with the accelerating world around us.
    This budget reflects some of that increase in pace. We are changing 
how we approach training and education to take advantage of new tools 
and to push learning out to where our sailors spend the bulk of their 
time--their units. The intent is not to burden those units more, but to 
empower their leaders and give sailors the best tools to support what 
science is increasingly revealing about how people learn most 
effectively.
    It also means that Navy leaders, up to and including me as the CNO, 
must exercise full ownership of how we develop and acquire new 
capabilities for the future. That ownership has four elements: 
authority, re