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Although every armor unit will not be equipped with the M1A2SEP tank, all Active Component units, less 3rd Infantry Division, will receive a new AIM tank providing even greater survivability, mobility, and increased operational readiness rates. The 3rd Infantry Division is scheduled to keep their newer M1A1 heavy armor tanks providing them with a similar level of armor protection.
The Army is preparing a response to a Congressional report requirement requesting a study on the compatibility of a mixed tank fleet and the adequacy of such a mixed fleet to meet the heavy corps mission. We expect this study to be finished in July 2003.
Question. Can this Committee be assured that if it provides the Army additional resources to procure the required M1A2SEP tanks ana Bradley A3 vehicles that the Army will spend the funds tor that purpose and that the Army will provide the balance of funding required to complete that procurement?
Answer. Yes, to the extent that the Army is continually reviewing the delicate balance of the Army's contributions to the Joint war fight. Modernizing the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment is one of the Army's top priorities and every effort will be made to use all available assets to accomplish that goal.
Question. Would the Army be willing to work with the contractors for each of these combat vehicles to find an innovative solution to resourcing the needed M1A2SEP tank and Bradley A3s to include zero sum movements of funding within each program?
Answer. The Army shares your concerns about the long-term viability of United Defense LP and General Dynamics Land Systems. We have initiated a series of discussions with corporate representatives in an effort to ensure these facilities can successfully bridge the gap between the end of the production of legacy systems and the initial production of the Future Combat Systems. We will continue to support the Abrams fleet as the Army transitions to the Objective Force, maintaining minimal risk on all fronts.
Stryker/mobile Gun System
Question. Modernization of the Stryker family of vehicles is generally considered a success story. Stryker is going from "factory to foxhole" faster, perhaps, than any other major system.
The Mobile Gun System (MGS) represents the vehicle in the Stryker family that will bring the most combat power. The fiscal year 2004 request funds procurement of Strykers for the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, a unit that will have more MGS vehicles than any other Stryker unit. Is this procurement rate adequate? If not, what would it take to accelerate it?
Answer. Yes, the procurement rate is adequate. The initial low-rate production decision is scheduled for December 2003 with first unit deliveries scheduled for December 2004. First unit fieldings to 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, will occur in late 2004 to support the MGS initial operational test and evaluation. The 2nd Cavalry Regiment will begin receiving MGSs in the second quarter of fiscal year 2005.
Question. The cannons for the Motorized Gun System (MGS) are made at the Watervliet Arsenal. These cannons require 18 months of production lead-time. Does the procurement request address, adequately, this lead-time or is there the possibility of a delay.
Answer. Correct, Watervliet Arsenal is the manufacturer of the MGS cannon, and it requires 18 months lead before its production is complete and it can be installed into the platform. The additional funds provided in the FY04 congressional marks adequately address the procurement of this specific subcomponent of the MGS.
Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge
Question. One of the 24 programs proposed for termination is the Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge (AVLB) Upgrade Program, a tactical assault bridge. The AVLB was supposed to replace the recently terminated Wolverine Heavy Assault Bridge program. Is there any allegation that the AVLB cannot do the job?
Answer. The Armored Vehicle Launched Bridge (AVLB) is capable of providing the maneuver commander assault bridging capability on the battlefield within limitations. The AVLB was not designed to replace the Wolverine. The Wolverine was developed to replace the 1960s technology AVLBs; however, the program was terminated in fiscal year 2000. The AVLB continues to provide the majority of the assault bridging capability in the Army today. The AVLB comes on two separate chassis, the M48A5 and the M60A1. Both versions can carry the military load classification (MLC) 60 or MLC 70 ton bridges that can support, with restrictions, gap crossing for the Ml Abrams tank. To support the Ml tank crossing on the MLC 60 bridge, a high-risk gap crossing must be conducted and limits the maximum crossing distance to 15 meters. The MLC 70 bridge is capable of supporting the Ml tank crossing up to 18 meters.
The Army currently has 79 MLC 70 bridges in the inventory. In the area of capability, the AVLB cannot keep pace with the newer Abrams and Bradley vehicles it supports. To mitigate the termination of the Wolverine program, and to provide a more reliable AVLB, the AVLB recapitalization program was developed. The AVLB recapitalization program was to provide both readiness and performance enhancements to a select number of the AVLB fleet. The program was designed to provide 65 AVLBs upgrades for the electronics, hydraulics, track, transmission, and final drive and provide MLC 70 bridge capability. The remaining AVLBs would have received the electrical and hydraulic upgrades and any modification work orders not applied to the vehicles. This program was terminated in December 2002 with the Army assuming risk in assault bridging capability to fund higher priority programs. The remaining fiscal year 2003 funding will continue to allow electrical and hydraulic upgrades for 54 systems. The 54 systems will support the Counterattack Corps, augmented with the 44 Wolverine Heavy Assault Bridges procured.
Question. How will the Army perform its assault bridging mission in Iraq or in any other conflict?
Answer. The Wolverine and both AVLB variants are supporting the 3rd and 4th Infantry Divisions in Iraq. Currently, the Army has 44 Wolverines programmed, with 25 fielded to the 4th Infantry Division. Ultimately, the 4th Infantry Division and the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment will only have the Wolverine heavy assault bridge. The remainder of the Army will continue to be supported by the AVLB (with MLC 70 or MLC 60 bridges). These are assigned to mechanized engineer units at the division and corps level and to the armored cavalry regiments.
Preparations For Military Operations In Iraq
Question. One weekend ago, I had the privilege of traveling with Congressman Jack Murtha and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi to Qatar and Kuwait. The purpose of the trip was to review the preparations for possible military action in Iraq. Our soldiers are all ready, motivated, and a great credit to the United States.
Inevitably, the congressional delegation asked "what do you need from us?" The principal response was "more bandwidth for communications." Despite buying commercial, there is still not enough. How can we help?
Answer. Both military and commercial satellite communications would be used extensively in any potential operations in Iraq. Units deployed to the Persian Gulf have sufficient bandwidth to accomplish their missions, although additional satellite hardware and bandwidth would provide more flexibility to execute operations.
Question. The next response was "more SOF (Special Forces) troops and helicopters." How can we help there?
Answer. In response to the increasing demand for Army Special Operations (ARSOF) support to Joint force commander campaign plans, the Army has validated and resourced growth in its SOF structure. Army support to SOF aviation, combat service support, Special Forces, civil affairs. Rangers, and psychological operations has been critical to the SOF transformation strategy. The agreement between the Army and the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to transfer 1,788 manpower spaces to Major Force Program (MPF)-11 beginning in fiscal year 2003 is the first step in the U.S. Army Special Operations Command's transition toward their Objective Force. The Office of the Secretary of Defense's (OSD's) recent Program Decision Memorandum (PDM-1) directed the Army to transfer an additional 677 manpower spaces in fiscal year 2004 to support USSOCOM and enhance ARSOF aviation and psychological operations. This represents a transfer of 2,465 spaces from the Army to USSOCOM in support of SOF transformation.
Since the commencement of ARSOF operations in support of the global war on terrorism, the Army has provided over $1 billion in new equipment to enhance ARSOF firepower, communications, and ground and air mobility. PDM-1 also directs the Army to transfer 16 CH-47 aircraft to USSOCOM in support of SOF aviation. OSD has identified a total shortfall for USSOCOM of 24 MH-47 aircraft. Given the mission levels and existing shortfalls in the Army CH—47 fleet, the Army would request Congressional funding assistance directly to the USSOCOM MPF-11 funding line for the procurement of the eight additional MH-47G new builds to meet the USSOCOM MH-47 shortfall.
The future SOF Objective Force will meet Secretary of Defense and combatant commander requirements with enhanced lethality, precision, speed, stealth, survivability, and sustainability.
Question. Although you have done a Herculean job with this most difficult deployment, some of it was so fast that it lacked coordination. The example given is: delivery of trucks before arrival of drivers. What can be done to synchronize and sequence this?
Answer. Without a specific unit example, we cannot know whether the deployment plan intended for the trucks to show up before the drivers. In many instances, equipment is scheduled to arrive first to avoid soldiers sitting idle waiting for their equipment. As part of routine procedure, ports of debarkation have the capability to move vehicles and equipment to staging areas. In many cases, a unit advance party will arrive in conjunction with the equipment and prepare for the arrival of the unit's main body. Specific examples of drivers scheduled to arrive in advance of unit equipment, but did not arrive as scheduled would need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Considering the size of the deployment, it is possible that personnel and equipment schedules were altered, thereby causing synchronization problems. The Army will gather lessons learned to identify improvements as a part of our efforts to improve the synchronization of personnel and equipment arrivals.
Question. I understand that there is a plan to arm and uniform a band of ragtag Iraqi dissidents. Are you comfortable enough with this group to put the imprimatur of the United States of America on them? What legal implications does this have?
Answer. I believe an operational question such as this is best answered by the Combatant Commander, United States Central Command. As for the legal implications I would again defer to the Combatant Commander and his legal staff.
[clerk's Note.—End of questions submitted by Mr. Hobson. Questions submitted by Mr. Bonilla and the answers thereto follow:]
Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Question. Secretary White, as we have discussed before, I am very interested in the new capabilities that Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are showing on the modern battlefield. UAVs are now being recognized as a vital tool.
I was pleased to see that the budget substantially increases our investment in UAVs. However, this increase will go primarily to larger UAVs. I believe that there is still tremendous need for a small UAV. I know the Army has been examining this issue for some time now, but the time has come to get a small UAV on the battlefield.
Currently, the Congressionally funded Buster UAV, is mature enough to serve our ground forces. Buster weighs only ten pounds and has a night vision sensor. It is fully automated from take off to landing. It also has the ability to have way points programmed into the flight management system and accept inflight changes.
What role do you see for smaller UAVs (UAVs that are carried with the soldier)?
Answer. Unmanned systems will be a critical component at all levels of the FCS initiative. Current Army small unmanned aerial vehicle (SUAV) use is in the initial testing and developmental stages. SUAVs will provide an "over-the-hill or building" tactical reconnaissance and surveillance capability—a capability that currently does not exist. With this capability, the squad could have "eye in the sky" ability, as well as the ability to observe in an urban setting.
SUAVs are envisioned as part of a family of UAVs identified as Class I (hackpackable) and Class II (off the fender). All are hand-launched, reusable SUAVs using existing commercial off-the-shelf technology. SUAV ground control stations are envisioned as small, handheld rugged computers ranging in size from laptop to personal digital assistant size capable of flight planning, flight monitoring, and video storage. The Army intends to pursue a common control interface for the SUAV ground control stations. This will ensure the ground control station is compatible with all SUAVs in use.
Buster, a small, fully-automated UAV in its fourth year of development, is among several potential candidates that can respond to the request for proposal issued in response to the FCS requirements.
Question. What is the Army doing to bring small UAVs to the battlefield?
Answer. The Army currently has several advanced concept technology demonstrations (ACTD) ongoing with DARPA that focus on a scalable, lift-augmented, ductedfan SUAVs—basically a "flying donut" with the propeller in the middle. Called the micro air vehicle and organic air vehicle, these ACTDs provide for a SUAV that can hover outside windows, perch on a building, or loiter over a target where traditional, fixed-wing SUAVs cannot.
The micro air vehicle program provides a vertical take-off and landing UAV in the Class I category and is focused to support squad and platoon level units. The organic air is vehicle focused on platoon and company level units for the Class II requirement.
[clerk's Note.—End of questions submitted by Mr. Bonilla. Questions submitted by Mr. Frelinghuysen and the answers thereto follow:]
M855 "green Tip" Ammunition
Question. In a recent visit to U.S. soldiers injured in combat overseas, I learned of an issue of concern to U.S. Special Operations forces in Afghanistan. Results of testing conducted at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey show that the 5.56mm M855 62-grain green tip projectile "over-penetrates" and does not effectively incapacitate the enemy at close range. Please comment on this concern.
Answer. After action reports from Afghanistan state that the M855 5.56mm, 62grain green tip bullet does not immediately incapacitate or kill an unprotected enemy at close range.
The projectile in the M855 cartridge was designed for superior penetration in hard and semi-hard targets, i.e., helmets and body armor, and targets at medium to long ranges. Its full metal jacketed, steel-tipped design is not the most efficient close quarters battle projectile.
The Army is investigating an improved close quarters projectile to be used strictly by Special Operations units in the war against terrorism. The Army is reviewing cartridges currently used by law enforcement agencies and conducting ballistic tests to determine the best 5.56mm close quarters projectile. In the near term, Special Operations Command has procured a commercial cartridge with a 77-grain projectile that has more mass to impart on the target and should improve the situation in Afghanistan.
[clerk's Note.—End of questions submitted by Mr. Frelinghuysen. Questions submitted by Mr. Lewis and the answers thereto follow:]
Fiscal Year 2003 Supplemental Requirements
Question. The global war on terrorism operations, ranging from the protective air cap in the homeland, to the Philippines, to Afghanistan, and operations in the Iraq area have placed enormous strains on your operating accounts. The Army reports that it has borrowed against both the third and fourth quarter funding for fiscal year 2003 to continue operations.
Secretary White, when do you expect that the Congress will receive a supplemental funding request?
Answer. We are optimistic that the President's request will be submitted in order for Congress to consider it before the Spring recess.
Question. Will we see one request, or more than one?
Answer. Based on current planning assumptions, we understand there will be one Department of Defense request.
Question. Please describe the costs that will be covered in the supplemental request. Will the estimated cost of war be covered?
Answer. We anticipate the Defense supplemental request will cover incremental costs for mobilized Reserve Component personnel and other military personnel costs, projected military operations, transportation, reconstitution, replenishment of munitions and equipment, and preparatory actions for military operations. The supplemental is intended to cover the cost of the war, based on current planning assumptions, with the exception of long-term reconstitution and recapitalization, which we cannot predict at this time.
Question. Will redeployment of our forces back to their home stations be covered?
Answer. Yes, the Army's request will include a component for returning the forces to their home stations. Total redeployment costs will be based on the actual return dates and cannot be estimated at this time. Not all redeployment costs will incur in fiscal year 2003.
Question. Will reconstitution costs be covered?
Answer. The Defense request will include a component for reconstitution. However, we cannot predict definitive and total reconstitution requirements at this time.
Question. Are funds included for post-war assistance to rebuild Iraq?
Answer. It is our understanding that the President's request will include funds for post-war assistance to Iraq.
Army Personnel Issues
Question. Please explain your active duty military personnel end strength levels to the Committee. What was the number of personnel on board in October when you started fiscal year 2003? Was that number over the authorized end strength level for the Army?
Answer. Fiscal year 2002 Active Army end strength, which approximates the starting strength for October 2002, was 486,543, which included 2,200 stop-loss personnel. This exceeded the authorized strength of 480,000 by 6,543. To meet current contingencies, end strength has continued to increase through fiscal year 2003. The projected fiscal year 2003 Active Army end strength is 508,800, including 20,600 stop-loss personnel. This will be 28,800 over the authorized strength of 480,000.
Question. Did the increase of personnel include those under a stop-loss action? Did it include any mobilized Reservists? If so, what were those numbers?
Answer. Stop-loss has significantly contributed to the increase in Active Army end strength. Since the end of fiscal year 2002, the Active Army end strength has grown by 22,200. Stop-loss accounts for approximately 18,400 of this Active Army end strength growth. This estimate does not include mobilized Reservists
Question. To date, what is the number of Army National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers currently on active duty in support of the mobilization?
Answer. The total number of National Guard and Reserve soldiers on active duty to support the mobilization is 130,101. This includes 68,424 Army National Guard; 59,049 Army Reserve; 1,935 Individual Mobilization Augmentees; and 693 Individual Ready Reserve.
Question. What is the Army's current mobilization cap?
Answer. The Army's current mobilization cap is 168,003.
Question. What stop-loss action is currently in effect, and how many military personnel are affected by that?
Answer. The global war on terrorism and, operations in Iraq have required the Army to use limited stop-loss. The estimated fiscal year 2003 stop-loss end strength is 20,600, which includes a military occupational specialty stop-loss of 3,800 and an operational unit stop-loss of 16,800.
Question. Can you estimate what your end strength level will be in September 2003, the end of this fiscal year, and starting fiscal year 2004? What level of end strength is funded in the budget request for fiscal year 2004?
Answer. The current fiscal year 2003 Active Army end strength projection is 508,800, which includes an estimated stop-loss strength of 20,600 to support the global war on terrorism and operations in Iraq. The budgeted fiscal year 2004 end strength and average manyear strength are both 480,000. Average strength equates to personnel cost. The projected fiscal year 2004 Active Army end strength is 485,600 and, due to the high fiscal year 2004 starting strength, the projected fiscal year 2004 average manyear strength is 492,200. The projected fiscal year 2004 Active Army strength estimates assume that stop-loss is lifted at the end of fiscal year 2003 and that the Army accesses 72,500 personnel in fiscal year 2004 to maintain future force readiness.
Question. Currently, what is the monthly "burn rate" for your personnel costs?
Answer. The burn rate for active duty military personnel costs, to include those for soldiers mobilized in support of the global war on terrorism, is expected to average $3.0 billion per month, from March through September 2003.
Question. When do you anticipate the military personnel accounts will run out of money? Are you using your third or fourth quarter funds now?
Answer. The Army is using third and fourth quarter military personnel funding now. Without supplemental funding, the Army will run out of Military Personnel, Army funding in June 2003.
Question. Are you considering implementing the authorities of the 'Teed and Forage Act"?
Answer. Without timely and sufficient supplemental funding, the Army would have to consider implementing the authorities of the "Feed and Forage Act."
Question. What is the amount of supplemental funding you will need for military pay and allowances through the end of this fiscal year?
Answer. We are currently working with the DoD Comptroller to refine our military pay and allowances requirements based on revised operational planning assumptions.