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“...prevent, protect against, & respond to acts of terrorism on our soil."
--President George W. Bush, 25 Nov 02
Mr. Lewis. Thank you very much, General Eberhart.
Normally our chairman of the full Committee is not able to be at every meeting we might have. But he especially wanted to be here today because he admires your work so much. And with that, I would like to call on the chairman.
U.S. NORTHCOM'S BUDGET
Mr. YOUNG. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much and you are exactly correct, I do admire General Eberhart. I have worked with him and watched him as he went through many different missions and assignments, and he always excelled in all of them. He is just the type of person that we are proud to have. And he and I had a very good meeting yesterday. I probably used up more of his time than he could afford, but nevertheless, he was generous with the time.
I am going to just briefly talk about something that, just to put on the record, and that is as we look at the President's request for your NORTHCOM budget, $134 million, that is in 2004. What about 2003, a supplemental for 2003?
General Eberhart. Yes, sir. When you look at our 2003 request, it is relatively small. It is designed to help us work things like continuing the FAA radar coverage that we have today. But there are two or three items in the supplemental that OSD is working now that we ask for your support. But again, I don't think there will be any problems with those issues because I think they will be very persuasive and convincing to the Committee.
Mr. Young. I don't think there will be any problem. We expect to move the supplemental just as quickly as we can. We are already starting to get a little pressure from downtown about a supplemental, but they haven't sent it to us yet. I would like to ask you the question, but I won't, but what I would like to ask you is how is the supplemental going to treat you based on your request versus what comes out of OMB, but I will not ask you that question. The few times I have asked that question in the last couple of weeks, I found out that I really shouldn't have asked that question, at least for the record.
But any way, we have—are you okay now, do you have any real pressing dollar needs? In other words, do you need that supplemental today or is it okay if it is two weeks from now? In some areas, they need the money last month but where do you fall in that situation?
General Eberhart. Sir, right now I can't stand in front of you and say I need the supplemental tomorrow or next week. At the same time, I know that my counterparts do, in fact, need it tomorrow. They needed it yesterday. But that is not the case for me.
RELATIONSHIP WITH DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
Mr. YOUNG. I know that you have spent considerable time with Secretary Ridge and his deputy, Gordon England. I get the feeling from you that as far as working together, their responsibility is one area, yours is another area, but you obviously have some overlapping. But I expect that you are working very well with them, they are working very well with you, and probably better than most people would expect.
General Eberhart. Yes, sir. And again, I don't want to say I am surprised by it. I am pleased that it is working as well as it does. When we do these various exercises, war games, they are in Colorado Springs and other places, members of their staff, members of their individual organizations that comprise the Office of the Department of Homeland Security, all participate. So we are all sitting around a table much like this, working our way through those various scenarios, some of which, as I said, are unthinkable, but we have to think about them.
Mr. Young. General, I for one feel very confident with you in that position. And I know you have a tremendous staff of officers and enlisted who work with you. And I think that my friend, Jerry Lewis, will tell you that we stand ready to respond to your needs, whatever they are, because your needs are the Nation's needs.
And Mr. Chairman I thank you very much for the good work that you do in getting us to the point of being able to move these defense related appropriations bills and you have been a strong leader and thank you very much.
Mr. Lewis. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I know you are pushed schedule-wise, so I appreciate you being with us.
I watched my friend from Pennsylvania, Jack Murtha, mulling over in great depth these charts that you were presenting, so I am sure he is full of questions.
Mr. Murtha. I don't understand this relationship between you and Homeland Defense, you report to the Secretary of Defense, you have no troops to speak of, you have administrative people. Tell me the exact relationship between you and Homeland, who decides what the threat is, who orders you to do something, how does that work?
General Eberhart. Sir, we start from the intelligence reports in the morning, and we all receive them first thing every morning.
Mr. Murtha. The intelligence you get from?
General Eberhart. I get the intelligence from a variety of sources, sir, but it is fused by our Intelligence Center in Colorado Springs. When I go into the intelligence briefing every morning it is different from what we grew up with in terms of intelligence, it's not just the classical military intelligence from service sources or from national intelligence agencies.
The Intelligence I get will also be gleaned from law enforcement agencies. I have an FBI agent that sits there in the intelligence brief and makes sure I get any information that might be relevant for homeland security and homeland defense. We have FAA representatives, we have National Security Agency, NSA reps, the list goes on and on.
So we are trying to get all that intelligence, in some cases, not classical intelligence, it is information, but when fused properly as the Secretary has said, allows us to connect the dots and get a picture that we act on. So let's take a situation where we decide that there is a credible threat against the Department of Energy facilities across the Nation. Then the next thing we do is we start working with the FBI and the Department of Energy to see if they need help securing those facilities.
RELATIONSHIP WITH DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
Mr. Murtha. Go back and tell me the relationship between the Department of Homeland Defense and yourself. For instance, what do they do?
General Eberhart. The Department of Homeland Security, sir?
Mr. Murtha. Yes. What is their job?
General Eberhart. Sir, they have just stood up, but they are doing the same thing. They are doing exactly the same thing. But I am looking at it through the eyes of what might I need to provide from a military perspective. They are looking at it through the eyes of what they are going to do with law enforcement agencies and other agencies out there that are part of their Department. What I am trying to anticipate is what we can bring to the fight, what solution set we can provide with military force.
Mr. Murtha. So you are looking at missile defense; you are not looking at containers that come into the country in and a danger that might be in those containers?
General Eberhart. I do look at that, sir. For example, I track every high interest vessel that is approaching our shores. I track that every day. I look and make sure that the Coast Guard is working that problem. That is their issue, they are the lead. I look at what might they need from us.
Mr. MURTHA. Does the Coast Guard work for you or Homeland Security?
General EBERHART. They work for Homeland Security, but they work like this with me. We cooperate together in our harbors ana off our shores. We will have Naval ships with Coast Guard law enforcement detachments on those Naval ships. So it is a partnership that predates NORTHCOM and is working exceedingly well. I spent last week with the Coast Guard. I went and visited the Coast Guard on the West Coast, and I went out to Hawaii to visit the Coast Guard. When I have a commander's conference, the two 3star Coast Guard commanders east and west coast come to those conferences. If you look at our wiring diagram, you see the Coast Guard into our headquarters with a dotted line.
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION—CrVIL SUPPORT TEAMS
Mr. Murtha. I guess what I don't understand, we set up 26 or 27 biological chemical warfare response teams in the National Guard all over the country. There are two teams, one Army and one Marine Corps. They don't fall into your jurisdiction normally, but you can ask for them to be attached to you if you had that kind of a threat that happens? For instance, the Olympics, would you run the Olympic security then in those cases?
General Eberhart. Yes, sir. Yes, sir, I would. And every day I track those Civil Support teams (CST) and the Chemical Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF) teams, I know their status, I know which teams are on gold alert, which teams are on less alert. We moved CST teams during the Columbia tragedy. We used those CST teams very effectively to support FEMA and NASA, we tracked that movement. We know that we can either move them under a Title 32 status or Title 10 status. Frankly it doesn't make any difference to me as long as we get the job done.