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COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS C. W. BILL YOUNG, Florida, Chairman
RALPH REGULA, Ohio
JERRY LEWIS, California
HAROLD ROGERS, Kentucky
FRANK R. WOLF, Virginia
JIM KOLBE, Arizona
JAMES T. WALSH, New York
CHARLES H. TAYLOR, North Carolina
DAVID L. HOBSON, Ohio
ERNEST J. ISTOOK, Jr., Oklahoma
HENRY BONILLA, Texas
JOE KNOLLENBERG, Michigan
JACK KINGSTON, Georgia
RODNEY P. FRELINGHUYSEN, New Jersey
ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi
GEORGE R NETHERCUTT, Jr., Washington
RANDY "DUKE" CUNNINGHAM, California
TODD TIAHRT, Kansas
ZACH WAMP, Tennessee
TOM LATHAM, Iowa
ANNE M. NORTHUP, Kentucky
ROBERT B. ADERHOLT, Alabama
JO ANN EMERSON, Missouri
KAY GRANGER, Texas
JOHN E. PETERSON, Pennsylvania
VHiGIL H. GOODE, Jr., Virginia
JOHN T. DOOLITTLE, California
RAY Lahood, Illinois
JOHN E. SWEENEY, New York
DAVID VITTER, Louisiana
DON SHERWOOD, Pennsylvania
DAVE WELDON, Florida
MICHAEL K SIMPSON, Idaho
JOHN ABNEY CULBERSON, Texas
MARK STEVEN KIRK, Illinois
ANDER CRENSHAW, Florida
DAVID R. OBEY, Wisconsin
JOHN P. MURTHA, Pennsylvania
NORMAN D. DICKS, Washington
MARTIN OLAV SABO, Minnesota
STENY H. HOYER, Maryland
ALAN B. MOLLOHAN, West Virginia
MARCY KAPTUR, Ohio
PETER J. VISCLOSKY, Indiana
NITA M. LOWEY, New York
JOSE E. SERRANO, New York
ROSA L. Delauro, Connecticut
JAMES P. MORAN, Virginia
JOHN W. OLVER, Massachusetts
ED PASTOR, Arizona
DAVID E. PRICE, North Carolina
CHET EDWARDS, Texas
ROBERT E. "BUD" CRAMER, Jr., Alabama
PATRICK J. KENNEDY, Rhode Island
JAMES E. CLYBURN, South Carolina
MAURICE D. HINCHEY, New York
LUCTLLE ROYBAL-ALLARD, California
SAM FARR, California
JESSE L. JACKSON, Jr., Illinois
CAROLYN C. KILPATRICK, Michigan
ALLEN BOYD, Florida
CHAKA FATTAH, Pennsylvania
STEVEN R ROTHMAN, New Jersey
SANFORD D. BISHOP, Jr., Georgia
MARION BERRY, Arkansas
James W. Dyer, Clerk and Staff Director
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS
Wednesday, March 12, 2003. FISCAL YEAR 2004 ARMY POSTURE
Hon. Thomas E. White, Secretary Of The Army
General Eric K. Shinseki, Chief Of Staff, United States Army
Mr. Lewis. The Committee will come to order.
General, I think we will begin by apologizing to both you and the Secretary for the delay in starting the hearing.
As you know, we lost some young soldiers overnight on a Black Hawk helicopter that went down. It is always painful when we lose our young people, and the members of the Committee want you to know that our hearts as well as our thoughts are with you and their families.
General Shinseki. Thank you.
Secretary White. Thank you.
Mr. Lewis. This afternoon the Committee welcomes the Honorable Thomas E. White, the Secretary of the Army, and General Eric K. Shinseki, Chief of Staff of the Army, as we hold an open, hearing on the posture and acquisition programs of the United States Army.
Mr. Secretary, General, on behalf of the Committee I want to welcome each of you and thank you for your service in these very difficult times. I will come back to that in just a moment.
Today, we meet to hear your testimony in support of the fiscal year 2004 budget request. I would note that this budget, and those that have preceded it in recent years, continue the path of change that you and your associates in Army leadership have embraced as the challenges of this new century have become steadily more apparent. It is not an understatement to say that your efforts to rethink the Army's organization of its forces; develop different and better equipment for a more agile and responsive Army; and, above all else, to hold true to the enduring importance of people, leadership and fielding an Army that fights as it trains, those basic tenets have been right on the mark in the view of this committee and at least from this member's perspective.
We want you to know that we are deeply appreciative of the thought that has gone into this. I think your insistence on these priorities have been highly regarded and legitimately so in many a circle. In my view, as time goes on, they will be historically sig
nificant to all who observe the work of our national forces during this critical time.
You have already achieved considerable success in this regard. The Congress and the American people have seen the results firsthand again and again from Bosnia to Kosovo to Afghanistan to the current operations pertaining to Iraq.
As we all know, the hardest tasks before those in leadership positions is to successfully promote and to produce change. And with respect to the Army, the two of you, the DOD, this Committee and others have all seen our share of frustrations along the way. This is not new, especially when it comes to developing and fielding equipment.
Many of us recall vividly a hearing this subcommittee held 3 years ago where representatives from the Army were unable to answer basic questions about the status and continued relevance of your acquisition programs. As a result, we pushed the Army to rethink both the process for developing and acquiring weapons and how the Army organizes itself to accomplish that task. Mr. Secretary and General Shinseki, you both heard us; and you have responded.
We know what it is like to propose new ideas and technologies. Not so long ago—we have talked about this a lot. Not so long ago, this Committee had to struggle with all of the military services to win the acceptance of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles as a regular element of the forces you deploy. Now, with the successes of these systems in the Balkans, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, one almost takes for granted the capabilities of these systems, what they bring to the fight and to each of the services as well.
And, General Shinseki, I would like to say to you that our troops who have used the Stryker medium combat vehicle, those troops and our warfighting commanders, they feel the same way about a system which was not brought into this world in a typical fashion, a major new program which will fill a dangerous void in our Nation's power projections capability.
Now it goes without saying that, even while we are here principally to discuss the 2004 budget request, all this takes place at a very dangerous time in our world history and indeed a very dangerous time for our Nation. Your forces are engaged around the clock supporting the global war on terrorism in Afghanistan and elsewhere. You have deployed thousands of troops for a likely conflict in Iraq, and events on the Korean peninsula continue to represent a cause of grave concern. And let us not forget those tens of thousands of Reservists who have been called to duty who are not only on the front lines overseas but also, in a way we have not seen since the Second World War, providing for our homeland security as well.
No one ever believed we would need soldiers to protect our places of business, production and public gatherings. But the troops who have taken on this job have been a soothing reminder of those who are willing to protect our Nation with their lives; and the soldiers have performed their duties with good cheer, grace, and efficiency that have made them welcome everywhere they have gone.
The lesson is that the world, at least for we Americans, has changed. Yet America's Army is where it has always been, on the front lines, wherever those front lines may be.
We understand the tremendous pressures that these events place on your equipment, your facilities and all of those Army families, the military and civilian, their loved ones, those called to duty, and those with ties of blood and history to those who serve.
We are here today to hear your views on these matters and have a number of questions we need to discuss with you in that regard. I want you to know that your entire statement will be included in the record as we proceed. This member and all of those sitting on this Committee have, over the years and especially since September 11, seen firsthand the hard work and the difficult missions carried out by our forces in the field.
Indeed, within the past few weeks, some of us have traveled to observe our forces deployed on the front line to see those young men and women firsthand; and indeed it is not just a thrilling but in many ways a frustrating experience.
This is a testament to all of the work of our Armed Forces, but the teamwork that exists in connection with this commitment in many ways is personified by a man who I believe has been in the right place at the right time. I would like to take just a moment, if you will, to talk about an individual. This young man of whom I speak, throughout his 37 years in the service of our country, beginning with West Point, to distinguished service in Vietnam, and then the postings with the Army in Europe during the Cold War, he served the Nation with distinction. He was part of that force which both kept the peace during that time and then made possible the dismantlement of so many of those walls in Europe.
Then, in the new world following the end of the Cold War, he assumed positions of increasing responsibility; and just 6 years ago he was placed in command of the multinational forces who helped bring some measure of peace to Bosnia and also Kosovo. Now, after 4 years as Chief of Staff, through those very tough, demanding years, he can look back as being the man who was ahead of many in making the concept of military transformation shift from being a slogan to a working reality. He did this with a clear vision, candid talk and perseverance and, by so doing, helped bring this Nation to the top of the Defense agenda.
He has done all of this while presiding over an Army which, following the shock of September 11, moved around the world to help liberate Afghanistan and which as we meet today is hunting terrorists and protecting America's interests in many places. That same Army today is now joined with the Navy, the Marines, the Air Force and others in carrying out what we all know is a very difficult, crucial and probably long-term mission in the Middle East.
Of course, you all know that I am referring to General Eric Shinseki. Ric, you have been a great friend of this Committee. We want the country to know what we think of your service. A soldier who has fought in the Nation's wars along with many others and who has also benefited from the opportunities granted by our country in the military that services it. General, we thank you for your work.
Mr. Secretary, we thank you for your work.