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be littered with biological and chemical agents is a most frightening prospect. I am not sure what you could say here in this setting, but obviously news reports point to alleged inadequacies in terms of training and thinks of this nature. I have no doubt that you have given your full concentration to all the possibilities and to all what I think you classified as unpredictables.
Can you give us some higher level of reassurance that those many troops on the ground are prepared for every eventuality?
General Shinseki. Congressman, as I have indicated earlier, this is the toughest part of our mission preparation. First of all, there are lots of unknowns, but what we do know about it we have taken steps to safeguard and protect and prepare our soldiers. As I indicated, over the past 6 years, 19 new chemical and biological defense systems, detectors; first of all, five detectors for chemical and biological agents that we didn't have in Desert Storm. Part of this has been a new protective overgarment and a new mask that replaces the one that we had and that every service member who deploys has four sets. That is a capability.
Now, we have taken our soldiers and put them in the most trying training conditions, and you operate fully protected with your mask on for a period of time to get you used to the discipline and stamina that goes with operating in this environment. And whether it is February at Fort Stewart, Georgia, or August in the National Training Center on a training exercise, you can expect that you will be fully protected and you will have to operate in that condition and complete your battle tasks as a part of that training scenario.
So I will tell you that we have made major efforts at preparation for the last year now. If you see the film footages of our formations that are forward in the area of responsibility today, a good portion of what you see are people operating that equipment. There are still unknowns, but our confidence level at being able to operate in this kind of an environment is significant.
Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Lewis. Thank you, Mr. Frelinghuysen.
Mr. VISCLOSKY. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. I do appreciate the work you do in transformation in trying to gain control over obviously a very large organization and ingrained cultures and habits and interests in trying to make a fundamental change. I would associate myself with the point Mr. Obey had made earlier, though, as far as the absolute size, given the TEMPO of operation, the commitments that have been made, the increased mobilization of Guard units and Reserve units, the changed demographics of enlisted personnel as far as their marital status and family-in-distress deployments cause in that situation, that we are not going to have the determination of that today or in the immediate future.
But at some point I do think we are going to have to examine whether we have enough people. Because in the end, as you both state in your testimony, each one of those individual Americans who have put that uniform on and decided to risk their lives for our interest are the most important components; and the question, ultimately, is you don't want to wear them out and their families out, too.
I am not really asking a question, but I do think you raised a very fundamental and important point.
General Shinseki. There is no disagreement here, Congressman. We are, you know, in agreement with you—violent agreement, in fact.
Mr. Visclosky. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Lewis. Thank you very much, Mr. Visclosky.
We are coming close to the end of this hearing, but I wanted to make a few comments in connection with all of this.
I mentioned earlier that oft times we are criticized for the portion of the national budget that goes to the national defense. It gets close to, among discretionary dollars, to half of our total national budget. Those of us who have been on this Committee for years have constantly tried to remind people that one of the very few really, really important reasons for national government in the first place is to secure our democracy and our freedom. Indeed, today, people understand just how important our being ready and prepared and doing the R&D, et cetera is. We don't hear very many calls about reducing numbers of troops at this moment, while not so long ago that was almost the byline around here.
We don't hear very many expressions of concern about recruitment, for example. We are breaking records regarding recruitment in the Army presently, and not so long ago our frustration was where do you find those volunteers and how do we pay them enough to keep them.
It is an evidence that when America is challenged our people respond, and it is reflected in the services across, but especially in the Army.
Mr. Secretary, I want you to know how much I appreciate your personal service here. You have made a very extended commitment beyond what most could ever ask, and you have carried forth this job extremely well, and I appreciate that.
Secretary WHITE. Thank you, sir.
Mr. Lewis. Speaking to my friend the Chief, Eric Shinseki, I will never forget—just very shortly after I was first given the privilege of having this job 4 years ago, I went to the swearing in of the new Chief of the Army; and I learned in that process that this fellow, when he was born in Hawaii, was a foreign alien, World War II time. Think of what it says about America to have a foreign-born alien now the Chief of the U.S. Army.
Think of what it means further to have that leader, after 37 years, not just lead the Army but do it so well. Indeed, it is a very, very impressive reflection of our process; and we ought to all be grateful for the fact that our system works as well as it does. America leads the world because they have got people who can help us lead.
So, with that, if there are no further questions, the Committee is adjourned. Thank you, gentlemen, very much.
[clerk's Note.—Questions submitted by Mr. Hobson and the answers thereto follow:]
Family Of Medium Tactical Vehicles
Question. The biggest Army procurement is the acquisition of 83,170 trucks and 10,000 trailers for a total of approximately $18 billion through the year 2024. Later this month—on March 26, 2003—the Army is to choose between two vendors who have been in a "bake off' to sell the next version of the FMTV.
Is this competition moving on schedule?
Answer. The Army is nearing contract award. The FMTV Al competitive rebuy contract award has been delayed until April 2003 while two remaining certifications/ notifications are provided to Congress.
Question. Will there be a gap Detween the end of the current contract and deliveries under the new contract?
Answer. There will be no gap between the end of the current contract's deliveries and deliveries under the new contract.
Army Corps Of Engineers
Question. It is being suggested that the Army Corps of Engineers—particularly the civil side—does not belong in the Army.
What was behind this proposal, and has the idea now been discredited?
Answer. One of the high priorities of the Secretary of Defense has been to reduce or eliminate activities within the Department of Defense that divert resources away from the primary defense mission. As part of this review, options were considered that could have led to the transfer of the Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works program to other agencies. The Army has no such initiative underway, nor has the Army been asked to undertake such an initiative. We understand that this matter is no longer being considered.
Section 109, Division D, of the fiscal year 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Act expressly prohibits use of any funding for this purpose in fiscal year 2003. The Civil Works program is resourced separately from other Army and Defense Department activities, so there is no question of diversion of military resources. Moreover, the Civil Works program provides a trained and ready engineering and scientific workforce within the Army, available to be reassigned as needed to defense missions such as environmental restoration of oil fields or rebuilding infrastructure in Kuwait, Bosnia, and Kosovo.
Question. For the third year in a row, fiscal year 2003 contained a plus-up from me for Portable Low-Power Blood Cooling and Storage Devices ("Hemacoolers ). You need this system now for portable, low-energy use, blood storage in forward deployed units.
How can I encourage the Combat Support Medical Procurement staff at Fort Det rick to move ahead on this?
Answer. The U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command at Fort Detrick is actively moving ahead with this important technology. The Command received $250,000 in research and development money in April 2001 for development of a low-power blood cooling and storage device. That money was provided to Energy Storage Technologies, Inc., of Dayton, Ohio, in the form of a cooperative research and development agreement. Energy Storage Technologies completed development of the device and provided a briefing to the Army on a prototype device on March 4, 2003. Testing is required on the device before a full production contract can be awarded.
Rotational Force In Europe
Question. General James Jones, Commander of United States Forces in Europe, has discussed the possibility of moving to a United States presence in Europe made up of (1) troops on short term rotation, (2) families left at home in the U.S., and (3) "lily pad" compact bases scattered in the New (Eastern) Europe and Africa. Camp Bondsteel would be a model. Such an approach would fall heavily on Heidelberg and the heavier United States Army. What is the Army opinion of this vision?
Answer. The Army Staff has been directed to conduct an extensive review of Army strategic posture looking out over the next ten years 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, overseas basing, and rotation policies. The Army is working in close 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. We will continue to work closely with the combatant commanders, the Joint Staff, and Office of the Secretary of Defense to develop and ensure the appropriate posture to meet both the current strategic requirements and the future challenges to our national security.
Question. Are all military construction projects in Europe on hold and is it because of this? Or something else?
Answer. The Office of the Secretary of Defense is withholding fiscal year 2003 military construction funding for Germany while General Jones conducts a review of force structure, stationing, and related infrastructure requirements in Europe. The Secretary of Defense has asked him to revalidate projects for the fiscal year 2003 and fiscal year 2004 military construction program within 30 to 60 days. This allows the Army to perform a more detailed assessment of facility requirements. Upon receipt of this assessment, project level execution plans will be developed to accommodate required changes to the current program.
Question. Is there the same situation for military construction projects in Korea?
Answer. Yes, the Korea combatant commander is also conducting a review of force structure, stationing, and related infrastructure requirements. We plan a similar relook at our construction program.
National Guard And Reserve Personnel
Question. In a September 13, 2002, letter to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, with a copy to you (Secretary White), I complained about the misuse of the Guard and Reserve. Part-time reservists are being turned into full time soldiers through extended and unpredictable active duty assignments. While reservists are more than willing to do their share, especially in a time of crisis, they signed on with the expectation that periods of active service would be relatively short.
Are we using the Guard and Reserve instead of asking for the higher level of Active Component troops actually needed?
Answer. When our endstrength was reduced to 480,000 several years ago, the Army chose to put the preponderance of some low-density specialties into the Reserve Component in order to maximize the Active Component combat power available for response to contingencies. Since that time, the level of contingency operations has risen, forcing us to draw from the Reserve Component for the soldiers with the right skill sets to support these deployments. We have had over 30,000 Reserve Component soldiers mobilized continuously since 9/11. I have testified that I believe the active Army is too small for its current mission profile. That said, there are a number of initiatives in process to address this issue. We are working to ensure that we optimize the mix of specialties in the Active and Reserve Components, as currently sized. We are also striving to use existing endstrength most efficiently through our Third Wave initiative, which aims to keep soldiers and Army civilians assigned to positions that are part of the Army's core competencies. Finally, we are using the flexibility Congress has provided us to mitigate the stress on our Reserve Components.
Question. What is your active strength and what should it be?
Answer. The Congressionally mandated fiscal year 2002 Active Army end strength was 480,000. However, nothing has changed since my last testimony—the Army is too small for its mission profile. The reality is that our operations tempo, already challenging before 9/11, has increased dramatically in the post 9/11 environment. Over the past 18 months, mobilizations have maintained a steady state of approximately 30,000 Reserve Component soldiers, effectively increasing our active duty strength to approximately 510,000. We recognize the necessity to ensure we look internally to obtain all possible efficiencies prior to making any determinations on potential end strength increases.
A study is currently underway to review Army non-core competencies—the Third Wave—with the expectation that some personnel savings will be generated for use in mitigating "force stress." Additionally, we are fully cognizant of the stress that this steady state mobilization is placing on our Reserve Components. Studies are underway to determine the correct balance of Active and Reserve forces, including an analysis exploring options for mitigating the current stress to the Reserve Component by ensuring that the correct type units are resourced within the Active Component.
Question. What percent of the mission is done by the Active Component, the Guard, and the Reserve?
Answer. First of all, the Guard and Reserve personnel we have mobilized have done an outstanding job and have been a valuable asset in the fight against terrorism. As for the percentage, the Active Component does roughly 60 percent of the mission and the Reserve Component does about 40 percent of the mission. As the war on terrorism continues, we will continue to rely heavily on the Reserve Component for critical specialties such as civil affairs, Special Forces, military police, and military intelligence.
Question. Do the Guard and Reserve requests for equipment and military construction projects reflect their share of the mission?
Answer. The Guard and Reserve continue to play an important role in the Army's missions and are being modernized and transformed along with the active forces. Equipment and military construction projects for all components are based on the requirements generated from The Army Plan and the Defense Strategy. This equipping is taking place across mission sets.
In recognition of the vital role played by the Reserve Components, the Army plans to convert a Reserve Component brigade in Pennsylvania to a Stryker Brigade. This conversion will enhance our strategic reserve and support the war on terrorism, small-scale contingencies, and homeland defense missions. All associated critical equipment and military construction projects are funded for this conversion. Similarly, for the Arnr/s Aviation Transformation Plan, the Reserve Components have been funded alongside their Active Component counterparts.
Additionally, the Army continues to implement the Army National Guard Division Redesign Study (ADRS Phase I & ID, a process that will convert six Army National Guard combat brigades to combat support and combat service support structure. In addition to ADRS, the Army has begun planning for the implementation of the Army's National Guard Restructure Initiative, an initiative that will convert additional heavy combat brigades to mobile light infantry brigades in order to take into account the new strategic roles and missions of our Reserve Components.
Finally, there are many other force structure changes that will require new equipment and construction for the Reserve Components, and these are based upon the requirements of the Defense Strategy. These changes include additional biological detection companies, civil support teams, military police, military intelligence, engineers, and otner similar units. Guard and Reserve forces are being equipped for these critical missions.
Abrams And Bradley Modernization Programs
Question. In order to pay for the Army of the future (the Objective Force), this Committee has supported the Army's termination and reduction of dozens of current programs over the past two years. In fiscal year 2004, the Army again asks us to support program terminations and reductions—this time a total of 48 programs impacted.
Two of these programs are the Abrams Tank and Bradley Fighting Vehicle. These are the current force's most potent weapons to ensure both enemy defeat and soldier survivability. The Army now proposed to terminate Abrams and Bradley modernization after fielding of modern versions of each vehicle to only two divisions. This leaves the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment—the other unit in what the Army calls the Counterattack Corps—with Abrams and Bradley vehicles that are more than 10 years old.
Please explain your rationale for terminating the M1A2SEP tank and Bradley A3 Fighting vehicle before fielding to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.
Answer. The Army favors a pure Abrams tank fleet for III Corps; however, as with many other major weapons systems, it is cost prohibitive to procure a M1A2 SEP tank for every armored crew. This is especially true when considering the significant bills we are faced with in order to transform the Army. As a result, the Army has made some difficult decisions on equipping the armor corps. The end state for the tank fleet based on these decisions will be M1A2SEP tanks in the 4th Infantry Division and 1st Cavalry, and M1A1HA, M1A1AIM or M1A2 tanks in the rest of the active force. We are currently working options to buy back M 1 A2SEPs and M3A3's or M1A1AIM-D+ tanks and M3A20DS++ for 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment giving them the digital architecture to communicate with the rest of the digitized III Corps.
Question. Please provide your analysis of this decision that shows how the need to terminate these programs for anordability reasons outweighs the operational combat risk.
Answer. The Army has made some difficult decisions on equipping the current force with the most modern and capable equipment. Although we have assumed some risk by not producing enough M1A2SEP tanks to equip the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and 3rd Infantry Division, we still maintain both survivability and lethality overmatch with the current tank force. The delicate balance required to transition from the current force to the Objective Force will require some acceptable risk, but never be to the extent of putting our troops at an unacceptable risk.