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Joint Experimentation And Transformation
Question. In the fall of 2000, the Chief of Staff of the Army announced a farreaching initiative to transform the Army's combat units and the systems that the Army would field to support those units. The effort continues along several lines including formation of the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCTs) and the associated variants of Stryker, and an aggressive effort to develop and field the Future Combat Systems.
General Shinseki, please comment on the progress the Army has made toward transforming itself over the past three years, and on those initiatives you feel are most important to maintaining the momentum for change.
Answer. With the unwavering support of the Administration and Congress, we have made great strides towards achieving our Army Vision of People, Readiness, and Transformation over the past three years.
Our people—soldiers, civilians, and their families—have risen to the challenges posed by our vision. For three consecutive years, the Army—Active, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard—has achieved its recruiting mission with quality recruits, who exceeded the Department of Defense (DoD) standard of 90 percent high school graduates. We have the lowest officer attrition rate in 15 years. Satisfaction indicators such as basic pay, retirements, and job satisfaction are at a 10-year high. We continue to meet our retention goals in all categories and components as we have every year since 1998. Our soldiers are seeing vast improvements in housing as a result of the Residential Communities Initiative. By the end of fiscal year 2005, the Army will have privatized over 71,000 homes, equaling 82 percent of the Army family housing inventory in the United States.
Our soldiers remain ready to meet the demands of an uncertain world and the war on terrorism. The Army has manned its warfighting units to 100 percent. We have maintained rotations of our battalions and brigades through our unmatched training centers and our battle command training program for both the Active and Reserve Component headquarters. The Army has played an active role in Joint experimentation in such exercises as Millennium Challenge 2002. The Army has created the Installation Management Agency to streamline the control of our installations and enhance their readiness. We continue to enhance leadership through the transformation of the officer education system at every echelon from the upcoming Basic Officer's Leader Course for newly commissioned officers up to the ongoing Army Strategic Leadership Program for general officers.
We have structured Army Transformation along three broad and mutually supporting vectors. We have laid the groundwork for developing the Objective Force: the Army Transformation Campaign Plan with supporting subordinate command plans; the operational and organizational plan for the Objective Force unit of action; and the operational requirements document for the Future Combat System (FCS) of systems. The Army has taken the lead in DoD's transformation of the acquisition process, in conjunction with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, to contract for a Lead Systems Integrator to accelerate the transition of FCS to the system development and demonstration phase following the Milestone B decision in May. In just over three years from concept to execution, we developed a medium capability—the Stryker Brigade Combat Team—to fill the operational gap between our heavy and light forces. Once certified following successful completion of the operational evaluation, our first SBCT will achieve its initial operating capability providing a capability to the combatant commanders with a responsive force that can deploy where access is limited.
Our second SBCT will act as the test unit for the Stryker's initial operational test and evaluation this year and will achieve its certification in May 2004. The third SBCT will begin fielding new equipment this year while acting as the Army's test bed for a hybrid unit-manning concept. It will achieve its certification in May 2005. Funding for our fifth and sixth SBCTs remains on hold until we complete a study required by DoD that will examine possible enhancements to the SBCT force structure.
While our Legacy Force is presently engaged in fighting the war on terrorism, we have accelerated the insertion of transformational technologies such as unmanned aerial vehicles and blue force tracking to enhance the combat power and situational awareness of our deployed forces. We are proud of our efforts within these three vectors of Army Transformation.
Obviously the Army cannot rest on its laurels, we must continue our efforts to attain irreversible momentum for transforming the Army as part of the Joint force. On the materiel side, we must continue to fund the FCS and other transformational systems, such as the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical System, Medium Extended Air Defense System, the Joint Tactical Radio System, and the Army Airborne Command and Control System that will enable Objective Force. We must continue our efforts in the area of aviation modernization: to field the Comanche armed reconnaissance helicopter; to upgrade our Apache Longbow aircraft, and Chinook heavy lift aircraft in Doth Army and Special Operations variants; and to continue the development of unmanned aerial vehicles. We must field all six of our Stryker Brigade Combat Teams. We need to support our efforts to achieve Reserve Component transformation through actions such as the Army National Guard Restructuring Initiative. We must support initiatives that allow us to achieve the best mix of force structure within the Active and Reserve Components and allow us to develop a continuum of service. We must continue our efforts to support our soldiers, civilians, families and retirees through efforts such as the Residential Communities Initiative and barracks revitalization. In addition, we require transformed business practices, which achieve the best value for the taxpayers dollars, conserve limited resources for investment, enhance the management of our personnel, installations, and contracting, and accelerate innovation throughout the force. With your continued support for our efforts, we will fully realize the Army Vision—People, Readiness, and Transformation.
Question. Please explain the Army's experimentation plan, and how it supports both Army Transformation and Joint Forces Command s initiatives in the Joint arena.
Answer. The Army developed its Transformation Concept Development and Experimentation Campaign Plan (AT-CDEP) to integrate and synchronize Army experimentation to support Objective Force development, integrate Army concept development and experimentation, and shape and support Joint concept development and experimentation. The AT-CDEP's four components—exploratory concept development and experimentation (CD&E); developmental CD&E; Service/Joint engagement; and annual integrating experiments—provide the respective focus areas for innovative and aggressive experimentation, Objective Force development, integrating and linking Army and Joint experimentation and ensuring Objective Force networked system of systems are fully integrated within the Army and within a Joint context. This plan and its processes fully support DOD's transformational pillars to strengthen Joint operations, experiment with new approaches to warfare, exploit intelligence advantages, and develop transformational capabilities. The Army reviews and updates the AT-CDEP annually to integrate, synchronize, and prioritize Army experimentation with Joint experimentation through ongoing collaboration and long-range planning. The recent decision by the Army and Joint Forces Command to co-sponsor the upcoming Army Transformation Wargame as a fully joint wargame (Unified Quest 03) is an excellent example of this collaboration and integration. We see this trend continuing as Army Transformation becomes fully embedded within Joint transformation.
Redeployment Of Army Forces From Europe
Question. Given that the Department of Defense is studying the possibility of adjusting force levels in Europe, does it also make sense to study possibly redeploying European-based forces, now deployed to Southwest Asia, back to the continental United States (CONUS) locations after operations in Southwest Asia are complete?
Answer. The Secretary of the Army has directed the Army Staff to conduct an extensive review of Army strategic posture looking out over the next ten years. The intent is to ensure that the Army is able to meet all the requirements of the combatant commanders and is well positioned to seamlessly transform to the Objective Force. Concurrently, the Secretary of Defense has directed that his staff, the Joint Staff, and the combatant commanders review future posture and overseas basing. The Army is working in coordination with these efforts to ensure the synchronization necessary to meet the Army's responsibilities for flexible power projection and sustained land dominance as part of the Joint Force. The Army will continue to work closely with the combatant commanders, the Joint Staff, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense to ensure we have the appropriate posture and force structure to meet both the current strategic requirements and the many future challenges to our national security.
Soldier Support Equipment
Question. General Shinseki, please define by type of equipment and the unit requirements for soldier support equipment such as body armor, ballistic plates, basic communications equipment, basic navigation equipment, cold weather clothing and related items.
Answer. The Army is dedicated to reducing the weight our soldiers have to carry. Our benchmark soldier—the Infantryman—currently carries a standard basic load of 77 pounds; the heaviest load soldiers carry on the battlefield. The Army leadership directed an objective reduction in that overall weight to 40 pounds. The Army's Rapid Fielding Initiative (RFI) best illustrates our efforts to transform and provide improved, reduced-weight soldier support equipment. Program Executive Office— Soldier (PEO-Soldier) provided much of this equipment to units in current operations.
This equipment express includes advanced environmental protection, individual protection, lethality enhancements, leader systems and specific equipment for military operations in urban terrain (MOUT). The soldier environmental protection equipment includes a new cold weather cap, silk weight underwear, Cool max Tshirts, black fleece bibs, Smartwool socks, and improved desert boots. Individual protective equipment enhancements include the Advanced Combat Helmet, sand/ wind/dust goggles, Interceptor Body Armor, and knee and elbow pads. New lethality enhancements include improved close combat optics, target acquisition scopes, machine-gun optics for the squad automatic machine gun, rail kits for light and medium weight machine guns, and new M4/M16 rifle magazines. Advanced leader systems include the multi-band, inter-squad, tactical radio; mini-global positioning system; small binoculars; and cutting edge laser target designators. MOUT equipment advances embrace new assault ladders, grappling hooks, quickie saws, door rams, and entry tools.
Question. General Shinseki, please tell us what the Army is learning about soldier's equipment as we prosecute the global war on terrorism in disparate, challenging environments, like Afghanistan, and as we prepare for a possible conflict with Iraq. In your response please address such items as body armor, hydration systems, boots, undergarments, weapons optics and enhancements, communications gear, and night vision devices.
Answer. The primary lesson learned from our soldiers who had served in Afghanistan was that soldiers and units required items of field equipment, which they had not received through normal supply procedures. In many cases, soldiers were buying items with their personal funds. These shortages represent the highest-priority, Army-wide soldier equipment shortages. Based on these lessons learned, the Army senior leadership directed PEO-Soldier to initiate the RFI. The aforementioned items are being procured as a result of the RFI.
Question. Are there new or contingency item fielding plans? If so, who is receiving this equipment and what are the timelines? Will Guard and Reserve soldiers get this equipment?
Answer. Recognizing that both funding and commercial production rates for equipment would limit the scope of RFI, and based on Army guidance to focus on the 'soldier who sleeps on the ground and walks a patrol, we decided that RFI would focus strictly on the deployable Brigade Combat Teams (BCT). This puts the equipment into the hands of the infantry battalions, engineer, squads, medics, artillery forward observers, air defense teams, and military police that are at the very sharpest point of the spear.
In fiscal year 2003, the RFI provided equipment to units in current operations. To institutionalize and continue the RFI, we have identified the requirement to resource nine BCTs in fiscal year 2004—a requirement which is currently unfunded. The Army is competing funds in the Program Objective Memorandum for RFI to continue at a rate of nine BCTs per year. At that rate, each BCT will be revisited approximately every fourth year. This accomplishes one of the significant goals of RFI to get newer, better, commercially available equipment into the hands of our troops as quickly as possible. This will allow the Army to field to each BCT new equipment that capitalizes on the rapid advances in the commercial sector. A new cutting-edge technology weapon sight, a small lighter hand-held GPS, and improved cold-weather gear are just a few examples of the types of equipment that develop and improve rapidly in the commercial sector. The Army's plan is to field all Active and some Reserve Component units in the first round of RFI.
Question. The Committee has heard reports of deploying soldiers paying for soldier support equipment (boots, some clothing items, gloves, etc.) out of their own pockets. How widespread is this, and does the Army nave a plan to address this?
Answer. While the Army cannot track every individual expenditure, personnel in some units have spent their own funds to buy private equipment ranging from socks to commercial GPS units. Lessons learned following combat operations in Afghanistan in 2002 validated this fact prompting the Army to direct PEO-Soldier to initiate the RFI.
PEO-Soldier assessed what items soldiers were procuring and what was currently not in the Army supply system. These were mainly commercial items, newly available on the market, which had not been previously considered for procurement or fielding by the Army. PEO-Soldier conducted follow-up visits with soldiers and leaders to verify lessons learned and validate required items. In November 2002, PEOSoldier fielded 15 types of equipment units preparing to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. PEO-Soldier used $11 million of internal funds for this equipment.
The Army organized a team to extend RFI to the remainder of the Army and compiled a list of equipment that would be most useful to soldiers in the field. After reviewing and prioritizing the list, a standard "kit" for each BCT was approved and validated. The RFI kit is in the process of being fielded and includes items that soldiers were most commonly buying for themselves.
Question. The Committee understands that the Army and other services have taken steps recently to ensure that our soldiers have the right equipment should we face chemical or biological weapons attacks in Southwest Asia. Please comment on the state of readiness in this area and what you've done to prepare for this possibility.
Answer. Over the past nine months, the Army has aggressively addressed over 60 chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) issues and taken preparatory actions in support of combatant commanders. In broad terms, the Army has increased force readiness and combat capability in individual protective equipment, biological warfare defense, decontamination, collective protection, medical support to CBRN defense, radiological detection, chemical detection, and sensitive site exploitation and elimination operations.
U.S. forces serving in Iraq and throughout the Gulf region are trained and ready to operate in contaminated environments. Nuclear, biological, and chemical contamination on the battlefield poses significant challenges and difficulties, but these challenges are not insurmountable. Our forces are trained, and they have the equipment they need to survive and sustain operations in such an environment.
Question. What is the Army doing to insure that non-deployed units are receiving the same high levels of equipment, and not having to sacrifice training funds to buy individual equipment?
Answer. Non-deployed units have continued to conduct tough, realistic training. The Army's OPTEMPO funding program remains intact, and nondeployed units are executing aggressive home station and combined arms training strategies. Acquisition project managers are funded to acquire and field modernized individual equipment, and units are budgeted to enable them to replenish the equipment to which they are authorized.
Guard And Reserve Force Protection Mission
Question. Mr. Secretary, please explain how the Reserve component forces have been or are involved in anti-terrorism/force protection missions this year.
Answer. Reserve component (RC) forces have been and are still involved in antiterrorism/force protection missions by supporting Active component forces within and outside continental United States locations, with security forces conducting access control and military police duties on Active and Reserve installations. RC forces also provide military intelligence support for anti-terrorism programs and other operations. Additionally, RC forces support the Active component by working in military operation centers and support federal government agencies in intelligence analysis and foreign language interpretations.
Question. What is the number of Reserve forces currently mobilized for Operation Noble Eagle to fill those requirements?
Answer. The Army has approximately 18,100 National Guard soldiers providing force protection augmentation at Army and Air Force installations. The Army has approximately 9,600 National Guard soldiers providing force protection augmentation at Army installations and approximately 8,500 National Guard soldiers providing force protection augmentation at Air Force installations.
Question. The Committee understands that the Air Force lacks the required number of security forces to provide the appropriate level of security for their facilities worldwide. Please explain why the Army National Guard is supplying soldiers to support the Air Force for their security requirements.
Answer. The Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Air Force asked the Army to provide force protection augmentation to Air Force installations. After analysis and further coordination with the Air Force, we determined the Army could support the request. The Army and Air Force developed a memorandum of agreement where the Army would provide force protection augmentation to selected Air Force installations for up to two years. Before the end of the first year, the Army and Air Force will meet to determine the level of support for the second year. The Army expects to complete this mission in December 2004.
Question. What is the number of Reserve personnel mobilized, and the length of time they will be providing security forces?
Answer. The Army has approximately 18,100 National Guard soldiers providing force protection augmentation at Army and Air Force installations. The Army rotation policy requires soldiers and units executing missions outside the continental United States to serve for six months and soldiers and units executing missions within the continental United States to serve for 12 months. We expect the mission to end in December 2004.
At this time, we cannot give a firm time when Reserve personnel force protection augmentation will cease. The requirement to provide force protection augmentation is based on threat and vulnerability assessments, commitment of Active Component forces at various installations, identification of critical infrastructure sites, and the force protection condition level. As we prepare for the follow-on rotation of forces, we review each one of these factors to determine if we can reduce or eliminate the augmentation.
Question. What are the incremental personnel and O&M costs associated with this mission for the Army? Describe the funding agreement between the Army and Air Force.
Answer. The current memorandum of agreement between the Air Force and Army provides for full reimbursement for the Army's force protection support at Air Force installations. Under this agreement, there are no incremental costs to the Army, as the Air Force pays all costs.
Anti-terrorism And Force Protection (AT/FP)
Question. The fiscal year 2002 Army budget provided $345 million for anti-terrorism and force protection. That amount funded nearly 100 percent of the perceived requirement. In the current fiscal year Army funding for anti-terrorism and force protection grew to $505 million as a result of congressional increases. However, the requirement for fiscal year 2003 is assessed at $615 million. In the fiscal year 2004 request, the Army has sustained the increased level of AT/FP funding from 2003, but the estimated requirement has grown to $945 million.
Please discuss the Army's method or management framework for establishing anti-terrorism/force protection requirements, and the progress being made in achieving goals.
Answer. The Army is directed by Department of Defense directives and instructions to establish its own guidance, which is accomplished in Army Regulation (AR) 525-13, a regulation for all Army Major Commands (MACOMs) to execute their AT programs. The regulatory requirements and taskings provide an assessment checklist for each MACOM level AT program manager to assess their AT program as well as their subordinate units' AT programs. For several years, the Army has conducted Force Protection Assessment Team (FPAT) assessments of each of the Army MACOM AT programs by using the requirements in AR 525-13 to assess the MACOMs.
The Army also manages the overall FP programs by funding MACOM regulatory requirements. Based on the findings of these FPAT assessments, the improving of the overall FP program requirements, and the shift to controlled-access status at all Army installations, funding requirements have increased in recent years. The Army prioritizes MACOM funding requirements based on threats and vulnerabilities to their installations. The Army has made significant progress in meeting the new AT/ FP requirements for our installations. In fiscal year 2003 approximately $211 million will be spent on AT/FP military construction projects related to installation access control. In addition, approximately $302.4 million of Other Procurement, Army funds will be spent on physical security equipment controlling installation access.
Question. How do you rate the Army, overall, in terms of AT/FP preparedness?
Answer. The Army rating scheme is based on red, amber, and green scores. The Army rates itself in the area of AT/FP preparedness as amber. This reflects that some deficiencies still exist, but with a limited impact on mission accomplishment. Our annual FPAT assessment of MACOM AT/FP preparedness and the overall rating of their FP programs show steady improvement. In addition, the Army's initiative to control installation access has given command emphasis to the AT/FP preparedness, which will increasingly improve our overall rating. The access control initiative is being accomplished through both enhanced physical security improvements and deployment of security forces to conduct force protection within and outside the continental United States.