tv U.S. Senate CSPAN May 25, 2012 9:00am-12:00pm EDT
as you know, colombia's faced decades of political violence. trying to make the transition in a way that both addresses accountability issues in a reasonable way and also moves forward in reconciliation is a challenge. but i think the attorney general's office and others have been very mindful of the need to strengthen the judicial system to move forward in a way affirmatively to build institutions that will protect all colombian people. and we are with them in trying to address those issues if an important strategic dialogue we have with them and in other ways we can be helpful. >> we'll take indira and two more. >> thanks. i wanted to ask you to highlight in iran what you feel is different in 2011 versus previous years and particularly compared to the green movement start in 2009. and i'd also like to ask you about eritrea. am i right in reading this that
they're really the bottom of the barrel here, you know, is -- 199th on this list? >> first of all, in iran, sadly, 2011 was a continuation of many negative trends; intolerance of dissent, particularly a crackdown on demonstrators in february, free speech restricted, internet freedom restricted, political participation severely circumscribed, unfair trials, amputations, floggingses, lots of death penalty including some this year, many held in secret. so it's a very grim picture, and can i want in particular to single out the case of the seven, the high leaders who were sentenced to 20 years in prison. the sentence was reinstated last year.
they're now, in may they marked four years of a 20-year sentence for, basically, practicing their religion. it is a human rights situation that is very disturbing, and we'll continue to call it out. eritrea, likewise, is a situation where there are a range of very serious problems. it's a government that restricts any kind of dissent or openness. i wouldn't -- we don't rank countries. unfortunately, there are a number of countries that have consistent gross human rights violations. they would certainly be on that list. >> wondering about afghanistan. the report calls -- [inaudible] marginally improved. but it also calls the gains tenuous. i'm wondering looking forward, are you concerned about 2014 and what happens when we transition? >> we are concerned, and afghan women and women's leaders are
also greatly concerned. women are critical actors in the reconciliation and reintegration process. they need to be not marginal to the political process, they need to be fully engaged and their rights fully respected. and we are very mindful in having spent a lot of time with women leaders there, i can tell you that there is a big, a tall agenda in terms of integrating women into the political process. and making sure that women and girls' rights are protected going forward. we're very mindful of the challenge. at the same time, there is a vital and vibrant civil society there. they're more engaged. and so i think it's in our interests to figure out how we can help them, um, advance the agenda, amplify their voices so that they can be more effect bive in the coming years -- effective in the coming years. >>
[inaudible] >> i want to go back to china. this report, of course, every year. there are millions of people in china who are seeking freedom and democracy, especially those who are being persecuted in the name of religion, they cannot practice any kind of religion there. and also -- [inaudible] and when secretary said that you are not alone, we are with you, they're still asking the united states that when will you be with us? and finally, as far as pakistan is concerned, journalists and extrajudicial killings and -- [inaudible] in pakistan? is. >> on china i would say this, you know, there's a long agenda, a big agenda on human rights. we deal with it in different ways. last month harold coe, legal adviser here and i, participated
in a legal experts' discussion where we discussed a range of issues including the independence of the courts, independence of lawyers, detention issues and the like. um, we were part of, i was part of the strategic and economic tie log, and this summer -- dialogue, and this summer we will have a human rights dialogue where we raise these issues. so these issues come up in many different contexts. we're very mindful of the situation of religious minorities, the tibetans. we're very concerned about the self-immolation. we're concerned about the situation, the uighurs and elsewhere. we are going to raise these issues as well as some of the individual cases, some of which i've mentioned. we're going to continue to raise our concerns about labor issues and about a range of other things that matter to chinese people. these are issues that they're now increasingly debating within their own society. again, we're going to amplify their voices, and we're going to
try to be reinforcing of that. on pakistan i would say you've mentioned the extrajudicial killings which is certainly one of the things the report singles out. we're very concerned about the violence in balochistan, we're concerned about the effects of those who challenge some of the laws like the blasphemy law, that case continues to be a cause for concern. we have a big agenda. it's a tough discussion, but we're going to keep having it. [inaudible conversations] >> i think we have to let the assistant secretary -- [inaudible] if you have additional questions, we'll take them, and we'll answer them for you -- [inaudible conversations] one on mexico, and then we'll let you go. >> [inaudible] watching and holding -- [inaudible] in your report you say that security forces, especially the
mexican army and navy -- [inaudible] it's conditional to the performance of human rights in mexican -- [inaudible] i just wonder if what you said in your report is going to be applied on the policy of the american initiative? because the mexican society is complaining a lot under calderon calderon -- [inaudible] so far more than 50,000 people dead in fife and a half years -- five and a half years. so what is your response to this situation? >> well -- >> american issue. >> there's two points on that. one, as you say, mexico is a country where there's been endemic violence, much of it related to the drug trade and the government's efforts to curtail that.
an aspect be, obviously, that government has not only the right, but the obligation to try to protect it own citizens. there are a number of reports, and we document them in this report, of abuses by or violations by the mexican military. we've had discussions, i've been down there several times meeting with mexican government including mexican military leaders about how to improve accountability for those violations. the longer-term effort has to be to build a police structure and a criminal justice structure that deals with these cases outside of the military. president calderon understands that and so does everybody else. but we are very attentiff to these issues -- attentive to these issues. we're working closely with the many mexican government, but also consulting broadly with human rights activists and others who share our concerns. >> and also just to remind you
international space development conference in washington. his remarks will coincide with the scheduled docking of the first commercial space capsule at the international space station. it's part of the obama administration's long-term plan for replacing the space shuttle program which ended in 2011. the goal is to have private companies handling flights to and from the space station, allowing nasa to focus on deep space missions. this is live coverage on c-span2. [inaudible conversations]
>> good morning. good morning, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the national space society's 31st annual international space adopt conference. my name is paul damphousse, i'm the executive director of the national space society, and on behalf of the members, chapters, supporters and leadership of the nss, i'd like to express our sincere thanks to all of you for participating in the what we feel will be the best conference in years. this year we have an outstanding lineup of speakers and topics from industry, government, academia and the new commercial space sector. and from you, the public, and our members of the nss. the nss is an independent educational nonprofit organization dedicated to the creation of a space-faring
civilization. simply stated, our vision is that of people living and working in thriving communities off the earth and using the vast resources of space for the betterment of humanity. nss is widely acknowledged as the preeminent citizens' voice in space, and we proudly boast thousands of members and support beers in over 50 chapters in the united states and around the world. the society also publishes a magazine, an award-winning periodical, chronicling the most important developments in space. and as you'll see over the next few days, our international space development conference is the premier forum for the community. now, it should also be noted that the nss was originally founded at the national space institute first in 1974 and the l5 society inspired by gerard o'neill in 975. -- 1975. the two organizations merge today form what's today's national space society in 1987,
and if you look in your program book, there's a copy of that merger problem proclamation. so this year is our anniversary, and while we will take time to are e fleck on where we've been, we'll do so with an eye towards where we are today and where we are going tomorrow, more importantly. and from where i sit, i can't think of a more exciting time for our future in space. now, while we face many challenges -- not the least of which is moving forward in a highly constrained and uncertain budget environment -- the opportunities for reaching our goals could not be greater than they are today. this morning's activities, as you'll, as we were seeing earlier on the screen -- [laughter] with the spacex dragon vehicle at the international space station is just one example of this excitement. and we would really like to send our sincere congratulations to elan and the entire spacex team for what's looking like will be a successful mission.
[applause] yes, please. [applause] you know, in addition to that it's not just about the mission, but it's also about having that vision and pursuing that vision and pursuing it even when it seems difficult. and elan and his team are to be commended for that. right now real companies are building real hardware. not powerpoint charts, not animations, real hardware. and many of them are actually flying now including armadillo, blue origin, to name just a few. virgin galactic continues to pursue a vigorous test program, eventually leading to powered flight followed by subor thal flight. -- suborbital flight. syria nevada -- sierra nevada,
once achieved the larger commercial crew program will lift the burden of surfacing low-earth orr wit, freeing up our program to focus on much more ambitious goals and opening up new frontiers in space. so we'll hear more about sierra nevada's progress from chairman mark sirangelo during his talks today and tonight. and real funding is beginning to flow into the commercial sector. a new generation of savvy space entrepreneurs is bringing us closer to that tipping point where space will someday be accessible to us all. with the google lunar x prize, nearly three dozen teams are competing for the largest prize in history and to ignite a new era in lieu far exploration. robotic sentinels continue to unlock the secrets of the universe around us. the keepler spacecraft is bringing us tax risingly --
tantalizingly close to that day when we will find other earth-like planets. close ore to home, relatively speaking, the reconnaissance of the solar system is nearly complete as the new horizon speeds its way to a 2015 rendezvous at pluto. and just a few weeks ago plan story resources announced its plan to mine asteroids for profit and elicited a response from tv comedian jon stewart. he said, finally, a headline worthy of the year 2012. so we'll hear more about planetary resources from its co-founder and co-chairman, eric anderson, today at lunch in what i'm sure is going to be a really compelling talk. so it's a really, really cool time to be involved in space, and it's only going to get better. we'll bring some of that excitement to you directly. this year's conference theme is onward, upward, reflecting this positive energy surrounding space today. so in addition to the speakers i've mentioned, we have a who's
who of key people who are bringing this excitement to life. this afternoon we will look deeper into the business side of things with the space investment summit, and in conjunction with aiaa, we'll present the space settlement track in our design presentations. tomorrow we'll explore mars, the asteroids, space ports and space solar power. in a follow-up to his talk last year, jeff grayson will share his latest words of wisdom with us at tomorrow's dinner. if you saw his talk last year on space settlement, it quickly went viral, and we're all excited about seeing his follow-up to that. sunday we're going to have talks on the google lunar x prize, live anything space and a special announcement from excalibur -- [inaudible] and sunday morning we have a very special event as we host an nss heritage panel where we reflect on the national space institute, the l5 society and the merger that brought them together to form the national space society. and we're really happy to be joined by many of the leaders from that time including nasa's
deputy director -- administrator and former executive director of the nss, ms. lori forward very. she will also join us on sunday night as we host our annual awards dinner. we'll wrap up on monday with, perhaps, two of the most important topics, education and outreach. and education and outreach are two of the most important things we do at the nss. s.t.e.m., science, technology, engineering and math are those topics that we encourage students to take on today to lead us into a brighter and stronger future. now, at this conference we have over 300 students in attendance from around the world, and if i could ask the students to, please, stand up and be recognized. if you're a student, please, stand up. [applause] so how many students do we have from india in where's india? there we are. [applause]
how about romania? i know romania has a big presence. there we are, romania. wow. [applause] some other countries. >> ireland. >> ireland! [applause] where are our u.s. students? give us a big shout out. all right. [applause] well, this is fantastic. and i would encourage those of you who have been doing this for a while, been in the space community and you have stories and wisdom to share, find only of these young people in the next few days and share that wisdom and provide them with counsel. probably the single greatest highlight of this year's conference will occur tonight at our gala and our annual governors' dinner. so we'll with moving just across the national mall to the air and space museum where we'll present space pioneer awards for lifetime achievement to our guest can of honor -- guests of honor, john glenn and scott
carpenter. the evening's theme of standing on the shoulders of giants, we will look to honor these american heroes but with an eye, again, towards the great things to come in space. it will be a truly spectacular event at a truly spectacular location. and we hope to see you all there. there are still some tickets available, so get them while they are still available. see one of the istc staff to get yourself a ticket. so rather than wait until the end of the conference which i know that we normally do when we're wrapping things up and while i still have some semblance of your attention, i these to recognize the tremendous effort of the isdc team for their incredible effort for this year's conference. this year's conference chair is nss' very own senior vice president and senior operating officer josh powers. where is josh? josh is probably directing traffic out there somewhere. [laughter]
so really what's remarkable about josh is that he didn't actually take on this job until just a mere about four months ago, and he only had one requirement. he said i want to have a strong staff supporting me. and i think that he'll probably agree with me that that's exactly what he got. debbie cohen and angela pura, i don't know if they're in the room. i know they were up very, very late putting out fires. they've proven that you can pull a conference of this magnitude together in just under five months. and their work really has been nothing short of herculean. there is josh, he just walked in the room. they thought they put the lights in my eyes, and i couldn't see him. [applause] i'd also like to recognize our management services company, john flatly and darcy chuba for their data day support of our -- day-to-day support of our
headquarters. and all the volunteers who have come together in the last several days to really help the conference take flight. if you're a volunteer, can you, please, stand? most of the volunteers are probably out -- there's one of our volunteers here, there's some in the back. there we are. so give them a round of applause. [applause] and i suspect she's probably not in the room either, but i really need to thank tunisia forson who's been the jack of all trades. she's really the person who keeps the headquarters operating smoothly and keeping our membership services running very smoothly, and she really keeps me out of trouble on a daily basis. so, again, please help me give these folks a round of applause for all of our volunteers and staff. [applause] so, again, if you see any of these folks, pull them aside and give them personal thanks. i'm sure that they'll appreciate it very, very much. so it's now my distinct honor to
introduce our opening keynote speaker, the 12th nasa administrator, charles f. bolden jr. as administrator, he leads nasa's team and manages its resources to advance the agency's missions and goals. general bolden's 34-year career with the u.s. marine corps including. >> years z -- 14 years as a member of nasa's astronaut office. he traveled to orbit four times aboard the space shuttle between 1986 and 994 commanding two of those missions. his flights included the deployment of the hub el space tell cope and the first joint u.s./russian space mission. now, i personally have had the pleasure of knowing general bolden not only in this capacity, but also during the time when we both wore the uniform of the u.s. marine corpses and the wings of gold of a naval aviator. so our paths have crossed a number of times over the years, but the one that stands out curred as i was aboard the
uss -- [inaudible] general bolden came aboard to fly with our squadron, and after the evening meal in the ship's ward room, we had a very candid conversation. he had a very candid conversation with the squadron's junior officers on leadership, service and really believing in something that's larger than yourself. and so i was one of those junior officers in the ward room that night and came away with an even stronger degree of respect for general bolden as a leader and as a man of principles. so i consider myself very fortunate and honored to introduce him today. so, please, join me in welcoming nasa administrator general charles f. bolden jr. [applause] >> colonel damphousse, thank you very much for that very kind introduction. and for those of you who are
officially attached to nss, you could not be in better hands than having a marine, particularly a marine aviator, leading the charge. [laughter] so i feel really good about where you are. you know, it's great to be here at another international space development conference, and i think as has already been mentioned, your theme for this year, onward and upward, could not be more appropriate. before i do get into formal comments, i'd like to acknowledge -- and he may have been already been, but you can never do it enough -- the presence of buzz aldrin messing with his land yard, trying to figure out how to get it undone. [laughter] [applause] when you talk about some of us standing on the shoulders of giants, i don't need to tell any of you about the giant status that he has in the space program, particularly in human space flight. you know, as we gather here this morning, and you've been watching it a little bit, as we
gather to talk about the future of exploration, hopefully all of you understand that that future is being defined even as we speak. and history is being made. right now spacex dragon capsule is joining itself to the international space station, and for those of you who may have come in late and said, well, i thought this was going to happen at 8:10 or something like that, i'll tell you a story. so that you understand what we're doing here. um, you know, the birthing process is still underway, and the last note i got from bill who's in mission control down in houston, the grapple should occur no earlier than 10:40 this morning. it's a cardinal resupply mission that is actually two flights in one. it's the second and third demonstration flight for spacex. i think many of you though that and know the trillion. their first flight -- know the drill. their first flight was in december 2010 when they became the first private company to launch a vehicle into space,
orbit, safely return and land intact. now every milestone that they achieve is a first. so i described to people when we were down in the florida for the launch earlier this week that, um, this is an incredibly exciting and historic time for all of us because every evolution that they get behind them is history having been made. and they're now about 30 meters away from station and holding and getting ready to let the crew bring them on in to the grapple point where don pettitte will use the shuttle -- the shuttle, the station's arm to reach out, grab dragon and then pull it in and what we call birth it to the international space station. um, it's truly a major milestone, and president obama's ambitious exploration plan, one that seeks to rely on private industry to take over transportation to low-earth orbit so that nasa can focus on the really hard stuff.
i was his back. very simple process. we had trained for this for more than a year. we had a backup ready in case we needed it but, of course, we would not need it because everything was going to be really straightforward. steve and i got there, and steve checked out the arm and lauren and i put the vehicle in the proper position for deploy. steve reached in and grappled hubble and everything looked great. we started lifting it out and all of a sudden the things we planned to have happened started coming unraveled. because, you know, hubble was huge. weighed about 25,000 pounds. if you stuck your hand kanye get your best in the payload bay between the sides of hubble. that's a big it was. that's all the room it had. with the first movement of the telescope, steve and i noticed that they said it was starting to swivel. it wasn't coming straight out.
and so, steve had to meticulously continually adjust the arm as he brought hubble out of the payload bay so we wouldn't hang it or do anything bad. and what was have taken maybe 10 minutes into the taking is almost an hour. just to get out of the payload bay. we put into the deploy position, or in the pre-position where the crown king in his was going to deploy the solar rays, combination of the key menus and and the team about goddard space flight center. so we begin appendages began to come out. high gain antenna on both sets, great. solar array on one side, great. solar array on the other side. not great. it got about 16 inches out and stopped. everybody's heart kind of went boom, boom, boom, boom. because that wasn't supposed to happen. and so for the next almost 10 hours of the day, the team, this
evolution was supposed to take less than an hour. a number of critical things that now check you change your plan. this is where the plan is developed and perfected, and in life happens. so really important things like do not fire jets on the orbiter while hubble is on the end of the arm. because we didn't want to do anything bet. well now, we are out there just kind of, the orbiter's drifting for an hour, two hours, getting out of attitude. we are starting to worry about temperatures on the telescope because everything was such that would have the right amount of sunlight on it and everything. after several hours a team said okay, we've got to maneuver because you can't just let the telescope sit out there and freeze. and so they went to a lot of analysis and decided that we could do some minor maneuvering to get the vehicle back in position, and we did that. and another part of the crown king, particularly goddard, kept under to get what was wrong.
this should not happen. the crew had been to bristol england, to british aerospace, the makers of the solar rays and we had used their water table so we could manually get them all the way out. you literally crank them out. so we now do that. we're hoping we wouldn't have to do because if you went to a manual deploy, then it really messed up the telescope. it would limit its life and a lot of other things we did not want to do it that we knew that that's what my come down to. so the flight control team said okay, get bruce and kathy ready to i was the crewmen, which means my job was to get them in there since. bruce and kathy sullivan and i floated down to middeck. went into the airlock, block out the emu's, the spaces and started to dress them. we got them ready. we got him into the airlock, close the airlock and started to depressurize. and nothing, could not figure it out.
about five minutes away, the airlock was completely depressurize. we are probably five minutes away from having bruce and kathy open the hatch and go outside to manually deploy the solar ray. when, as i'm told, i wasn't there so i'm relating a story. this is many hand story but it sounds good. [laughter] young engineer at the goddard space flight center said you know, i don't think we have a problem at all. i don't think we have a mechanical problem. there's a module in the telescope called a tension monitoring module and there's been there for the specific purpose to keep the solar rays from ripping themselves apart if they meet some resistance. i just think that the tension monitoring module has gotten a bad one or bad zero. if we can override everything will be okay. to those left in the vehicle is have a somewhat from their but it sounded absurd because as bruce said, that first thing in the morning when the solar array start. bruce new hubble better than any human being i think because he'd been in on the design and development and everything. and present something about him
when his attention money module is bad. we didn't think the time to ask this because we thought okay, bruce is, he was just bragging. so we didn't pay any attention so they said we think whenever problem with the tension monitoring module. we will let you know what to do. sure enough, they changed the one to zero, and opt, and the solar array deployed. they said okay, get into attitude very quickly, get the telescope released and we will go on. and so we did that. we didn't have time to get bruce and kathy out of the airlock. they had trained for more than two years of this event to be there with cameras and everything, and see their baby, the hubble space telescope, deploy. and they were in the airlock and they couldn't see anything because there was a little bitty hole looking out into the payload bay, and it was nothing in the payload bay because hubble was gone. and so we deployed hubble.
we are jumping up and down. we weren't jumping. you know, yelling and everything to bruce and kathy isn't what's happening? we were describing it to them. they were not happy to. [laughter] to put it mildly. but i tell you that story because that's sort of like what happened this morning. there's an incredibly elaborate plan that was put together by the spacex nasa team, and then life happened. dairy center i will let the experts explain it to you later but very simply where a lot of sensors on dragon. x-band come all kinds of stuff. and the two sensors, laser range finders every once in a while started locking on to the gym module. we had to figure that out. we have to understand. so spacex has made some real-time changes to the field of view of the lidar everybody thinks that we're okay to go near. some of you may be getting more information than i am, but right
now if i don't talk too long, i will be down and you get to see the grapple. so anyway, but i just wanted to tell you that story so that windows were skeptics start to write stories tonight, just tell the okay, show me one part that went flawlessly. sts-125, the final hubble servicing mission had acted back to back to back to back pdas. five deviates on consecutive days. none of us thought we could do that. and yet we pulled out. but it was not flawless. we had little things that happen all through that, but the key with the teamwork between the team on the ground and the team in the vehicle that solved problems as they arose and made things happen. that's exactly what you're seeing happening today. there is no spacex teen. there is no nasa team. right now today it's american team that's getting dragon in position so that it can be grappled by an international
crew, not an american crew, by an international crew and birth to the interest they station. and further, make history. that's a big deal. so you all, hopefully you can jump up and down here. hopefully you will jump up and down and scream when it occurs within a few hours. we now transfer discovery, the vehicle just talked about, to the smithsonian. we sent in a price up to new york and it is waiting its move from a hanger at jfk. you must be from new york. are you really? hey. we are criticized for sending enterprise to new york, by the way. people want to know what the heck destiny of have to do with space? and i have to remind them periodically tonight we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of scott carpenter's return to earth from space during his mission. and guess what he was picked up and brought back home? uss intrepid. so, you know, when people say
what does new york have to do with, you know, long island, new york where aerospace was, and the uss intrepid that picked up american astronauts, so, maybe not but i think that connects them to the space program, appropriately. private industry control of asks us to low-earth orbit is rapidly becoming a reality. we continue to make tangible progress on the heavy-lift rocket and the all right in crew exploration vehicle to take our astronauts to deep space. our effort to developing the many associate technologies is picking up steam. nasa's also making substantial and exciting progress in our earth and space science mission. our space technology and innovation efforts and inner eric not ask -- aeronautics research. so while our flagship program of 30 years now undertakes a new mission in museums to inspire the next generation of explorers, the space program remains very much a dynamic thing. a living history that we are creating every day. today is, and i'm not
overstating this, a day that will go down in history. after a vigorous public discussion, the debate about our direction is over. we are moving strongly in to implement some very exciting plans. plans developed with bipartisan agreement between president obama and a bipartisan leadership in the congress. if you're still wondering if this new air israel, i think the spacex success this week should begin to dispel those notions. our current plans, follow suit later this year with their module launched on their vehicle. behind them are dream chases, the cst 100, liberty and other innovative private industry candidates to carry our u.s. astronauts to the iss and other legal destinations in the years to come. i'm not going to talk about it, but i hope you paid attention to my other destinations but i know there's a session, i think it's later on today, though it may be tomorrow, but it talks about the
industry, a space industry and what makes that. and while you all are here, some of you need to focus on destinations. because we have a lot of launch vehicles, but launch vehicles don't make an industry. what's going to make this industry viable is destinations, places where people and scientists and experiments and other things can go and spend long periods of time in the microgravity environment of space but and a port and international space station or a vehicle that has a crew on it, that is not constant microgravity. every time i get on a treadmill and exercise, i jiggle the vehicle. and if i have a protein crystal growth experiments or in material science expo, i have agreed to the disturbance but i'm not happy with it because i know that i don't have to be in that environment. so some of you, and the are some common but some of you have to push for other destinations. places that have a state where
somebody is doing materials processing or protein crystal growth, or anything like that, can put an experiment for six months, a year or more and not have to worry about some astronaut on a treadmill, on a rowing machine or bicycle or something else disturbing the microgravity environment. and i say that in all sincerity. pay attention. in fiscal year 2013, nasa plans for at least three flights delivering research and logistics hardware to the international space station. u.s. develop cargo delivery systems. as you've heard me say before, i'm committed to launching astronauts from american soil on spacecraft built by american companies. i use the term i, and i should not say that, but since i am the voice of nasa, i use the term i but i mean nasa. nasa is committed to launching american astronauts from american soil on spacecraft built by american companies because we are a family. i don't even consider us a team. we are a family and that's
really big to us. nasa's fy '13 budget provides the funding needed to bring our human space launches back home to the u.s. and get american companies transporting our astronauts once again. right now, we are looking at proposals for our commercial crew integrated capability initiative. with these proposals were asking industry to complete the design of a fully integrated commercial crew transportation system that consists of the spacecraft, launch vehicle, ground operations and mission control. these proposals are going to lead to spacex a grimace for initial development and bulletins our efforts to help nasa and the u.s. achieve safe, reliable, cost-effective human access to space. all of our commercial partners continue to work diligently and innovatively toward their milestones. brad -- supporting boeing company during the development of its cst 100 spacecraft in nasa's commercial crew development round two, completed mission duration hot fire test
on a bunch mission in march. blue origin has successfully tested the aerodynamic design of its next-generation space vehicle in development. and the vehicles have completed a series of wind tunnel test. throughout the field i've seen tangible examples like these. another important indicator of the future is that people still want to be astronauts. we had a record, a near record number of 6300 applicants for the class of 2013. and the 2009 class is already well into training for the missions of the future. their first stop is going to be international space station. now coming into its own as a laboratory and technology tested like no other. nasa's robotic refueling mission experiment aboard the iss, for example, recently demonstrated remotely controlled robots and specialized tools can perform precise satellite servicing tasks in space. we do great things on the international space station. more than 400 scientific studies
were conducted on station last year. in an array of discipline, not just those related to human health. there are probably five to 10 investigations going on on any given day. these studies are proving helpful with everyday problems of people of all ages right here on earth. they're also apical to astronauts on long space voyages. we're learning a lot about the human immune system. in a response imbalance, visual acuity changes, and bone density loss, for example. some of this, particular research is especially relevant to our senior population here on earth. the call for advanced development proposal to space launch system just closed. j. to x. powerpack test of their and links are slated for this summer at the a1 test and help us learn more about the upper stage. the main engine inventory has been relocated to stennis in
mississippi for use in the core. i hope we have the opportunity learned a lot an sls failed that is scheduled to be held later on today. thermal protection system work for the module continues at the ames research center in mountain view, california. a lockheed martin flight of orion will take place in 2014. that's two years from now. less than two years. with the first time crew acid test like a vinegar capsule and rocket scheduled for 2017. the 2014 flight will simulate a about 80% of the speed of a lunar entry and will tell us a lot about the struggle protection system and provide many other data points to buy down risk on orion for nasa flight to our commitment to science remains strong. although there has never been a time when they were not more things on her wish list and were able to pursue given our fiscal resources. but we will be at jupiter with juno and pluto with new horizons
before you know. not to mention don's flight to the dwarf planet which will begin when it leaves the asteroid best at this summer. i hope you've seen the amazing results don has continued to send us about the best the excel. must of this is unexpected data that will help inform our future missions to asteroid with humans. information is still flowing in by the terabytes. somebody told me the other day, are you sure you mean terabytes and not terabits? so i don't know. [laughter] so i'm going to ask someone here can do i mean terabytes? terabytes? terabytes? probably. i like that answer. okay. i'm sticking with it. that's what's in the script of information is still flowing in by the terabytes from hubble, l. o r., mro, stl, swift, and many others. documenting an ever-increasing
number of planets. showing that our solar system is just one of countless others. at james webb space telescope is being developed for launch in 2018. as the successor to the hubble space telescope, web will allow us to continue to revolutionize our understanding of the universe. by appearing across space and back in time to the formation of the first stars in galaxy. it recent reach a hard work milestone with completion of the backplane that will support the telescopes mayors, instruments and thermal control systems. the mars rover known as curiosity will land on mars in august. they are it will demonstrate precise, precision landing technology, enabling us to probe the mysteries of the red planet in unprecedented new ways. this nation is also an excellent example of the synergy we're trying to nurture between exploration and science. as the rover performs amazing
research using the most sophisticated suite of tools, we have ever been able to send to mars. at the same time, we're also developing an integrated strategy to ensure that the next steps for mars exploration will support a science as well as human exploration goals. and potentially take advance of the 2018-2020 exploration window for mars missions. in space technology, there are about 1000 projects developing the technologies we need for today, tomorrow's mission. in the nation's laboratories and test chambers, mass is driving advances in high payoff space technologies and developing amateur and broadly applicable technology in areas such as in space propulsion, robotics, space power systems, deep space communications, cryogenic fluid handling and entry descent and landing, all of which are essential for exploration beyond low-earth orbit. the space technology program has recently given out the second round of space technology
fellowships to help us develop tomorrow's leaders and benefit from their work now. you should also know that we haven't forgotten the first aid in nasa. in aronofsky our investments are driving technology breakthroughs for cleaner, safer, or efficient aircraft. the millions of air travelers around the world will benefit from our work and a partnership with the greater aviation community to transform our air travel system. we are accelerating the nation's transition to the next generation air transportation system, or nextgen, and making commercial aviation safer, more fuel-efficient, quieter and more environmentally friendly through investments in revolutionary concepts for air vehicles and air traffic management. so with the retirement of the shuttle, nasa is not only still in business, we are pushing the envelope of current capabilities and bringing new ones to life. you can do a lot with a $17.7 billion budget request we have for fy '13, and we will and
we are. our budget is stable, and while some tough decisions have to be made, that's true for everyone these days, from government agencies to households. i believe with the right balance to accomplish great things now and into the future. i believe that the best is yet to come. are bigger dreams are just starting to come to fruition. at its core, nasa has more than ever about american innovation and american ingenuity. i want to stop amid. students, stand up again. please. look around, those of you who are older and students. [applause] look down at this group. this is our future, and they are from all over the world. and they believe that we're going to do the things that we've been talking about for decades. thank you all very much, but that is the future of.
[laughter] [applause] this is all about keeping the u.s., the world leader in space exploration, and not for any bragging rights or anything. buddies because our international partners expect us to be the leaders. they expect us to maintain our leadership. they look to us to be the leaders in this center. you know, if you haven't effort, and there is a leader, then you are going nowhere. in the international partners really depend on us. to get this done. so we cannot disappoint. i ready believe this is going to be an amazing ride. you know, the future is literally happening right now, and nasa intends to lead the march to a. i hope most of you share my enthusiasm, and you're willing to join us in this great adventure. i thank you very much again for allowing me to be with you this morning. i have enjoyed it. i think i have time to take a
few questions if some of you have them. so we will give it a shot and see how it works, but thank you all very much. [applause] >> i believe we have several microphones around the auditorium, so if you want to queue up for questions. i will take the personal. thank you very much for that speech and for your leadership as we move forward to the future. at a recent senate hearing, it really struck me in something you said about the dragon vehicle. can we pull the image backup? we are getting really, really close. that's a perfect setting for questions and for what general bolden said at the senate hearing. and the graviton of what's about to happen, when dragon is grappled, brought into the station berth, locked in place, the hatch is open to you said those two spacecraft become one and they start sharing moment of inertia and atmosphere. and i was wondering if you could
just expand upon that although for us. >> i, very simply. when we connect just as we always do no matter what the vehicle is, when we connect dragged into the international space station and the crew verifies the pressures on both sides of the hatch are equal so that we can open the hatch, and they open the hatch, the breathing air is the same. i mean, it's one support system. and that's really, really, really important. and for the week or so that dragon is going to be berth to the internet space station are criminals we put in a just as it were another module on station. so it is, you know, it stops being spacex is dragon module for a week and it becomes just another part of the international space station. and julie need to grasp that because that's really, really, really important. we've got a lot, i won't call it, i won't say that, but we have a lot of detractors who
really won't let go of progress. and the fact that history is being made today. you know, while not the same as man's first footsteps on the moon, this is an incredibly historic milestone, and it sets the tone for a new path on which the u.s. and our international partners are entering. when nasa doesn't have to spend its time and its valuable assets on providing access to low-earth orbit. that's what american industry is going to do. and i think you will see over time not just american industry, that industry from other nations. and that's what we're looking for, so thanks very much. all right. thank you. [applause] >> there's a possibility of a
sequestration later on in the year. how would that affect nasa plans and programs? would be an across the board cut, or would you have to cancel specific programs? >> we really haven't taken the time to spend a lot of -- we don't spend a lot of time analyzing what the result of a sequestration would be. that's what we've been told as a part of the administration to just move along with the plans as we have them, work on what we hope to do with a twinkle budget when it is finally settled, and if sequestration comes, which we are all hoping that congress and administration, everybody, reasonable people can agree and we will have to do that. but as it is set up a sequestration is supposed to be across the board cuts, across the federal government. so i don't need to tell you what that would mean in terms of many of the programs that we have. but we are not playing for sequestration. we are not, you know, we are not developing alternative plans for the budget or any of that kind of stuff you're we are being
goldens eternal optimists. >> questions about the terrestrial planet finder. i've been out of the loop for a while. what is the status? is that still operational? a little bit about the astrobiology program. >> i'm sorry, i'm, for some reason i was looking at my coffee cup and i miss your very first statement. you were saying about -- >> question about the treasure planet finder that is going to look at extrasolar atmosphere is. is that still online? and a little bit about astrobiology, future of nasa. >> i can talk a little bit to astrobiology but i'm going to have two, where is -- let me find out about the terrestrial planet guide. because i don't know. ..
>> and there is some absolutely incredible work going on. when you talk about sending humans to mars, for example, food, construction material, all those kinds of things, the you're talking about weight, you're trying to get it down. some of the more elaborate areas of astrobiologic research right now are producing food from microbes, producing building material from microbes. they actually showed me some microbes that they're using to build to make concrete. and, you know, when they test it against portland cement -- i guess that's the gold standard -- it is as strong as cement samples that we've gotten
from the major cement makers here in the united states. so the future is, astrobiology is playing a critical role in that, okay? >> i notice that president obama has set a goal of us going to the asteroid, of sending a manned mission to an asteroid in 2035 which, obviously, is about 23 years from now. isn't that a little bit underwhelming? and i have the impression that it'll probably be canceled. and then there'll be no goal after that. instead shouldn't we go to mars, like maybe follow robert srx ubrin's plan to mars or something more ambitious? >> well, it's actually 2025, and we don't have an asteroid identified yet. it's very difficult to find -- i mean, i know it sounds, okay, piece of cake. we've got to do several things. we have to identify and
characterize an asteroid that is bigger than a rocket ship. and right now there are a very small number of candidates that will be available in 2025. the other thing about an asteroid mission unlike going to a planet is, you know, if you pick an asteroid that's going to be in your window for a short period of time and you miss it, then you've missed it. and, you know, there's no, okay, we'll hold and wait until it comes back around on its next orbit. we're not going to do that. so i don't think it's underwhelming to say 2025 for an asteroid. going directly to mars would be nice if we knew how to do that. we don't have the capability to do it just yet. and there are other nations that think we should go other places before mars. our ultimate goal stated by president obama is mars in the 2030s. and that's why you see the heavy lift launch vehicle, that's why you see commercial crew. all of this are milestones on the road to getting humans to mars by 2030. >> yeah. also if we go to an asteroid,
what are we going to do there except -- we're not going to exploit it -- >> well, i'd ask you to talk to the guys, you know, who are talking about mining asteroids. and i don't -- look, i don't second guess anybody. i try to facilitate the success of entrepreneurs and people who dream big dreams and people who talk about mining asteroids, i think they would probably want to discuss it with you. but i'm not, you know, i'm not the one to do that. >> okay. >> yeah. >> we've got a question in the back there. >> hello, dr. bolden. what can a grassroots volunteer education and advocacy organization like the national space society do to best, to best help nasa achieve our mutual goals? >> you know, i think one of your basic goals and objectives is the fostering of s.t.e.m. education and the like, and we, you know, we have technical challenges with going to space.
we have a major societal challenge in solving the puzzle of how to get our kids interested in science and math and engineering and main tape that interest -- maintain that interest and be able to track them so that we know which programs are successful and which ones we should shed. you know, we don't have very good metrics right now. i can tell you about nasa. for which of our programs are successful in reaching kids and bringing them to s.t.e.m.-related jobs, if you will. so the work that nss is doing, i think, is key. collaboration with other nonprofit organizations that are doing the same kind of thing, plus american industry. you know, we talk to industry quite a bit now about our s.t.e.m. initiatives, trying to collaborate wherever possible because there are just, you know, there are limited funds for everything. and you frequently find the first thing that gets cut is education. wrong, you know? i don't think that's the right tack to take.
but it's very easy for people to target funding for education and say we'll get around to it when we can. we need to get around to it right now. so i would say the work that you're doing is key. okay, yes. >> good morning, general bolden. you mentioned earlier during your talk about being an optimist on being optimistic, so i have an optimistic question to ask especially in the light of the birthing going on here with the dragon capsule. is it possible or are there any plans for, um, an acceleration of commercial space flight activities based on this success that we're all looking at now and based on the plans with the competitors, basically, of spaceand? spacex? are there plans sooner than possibly 2016, 2017 if these successes continue?
>> that actually depends on the ability of the private companies to get through the development process with their vehicles. we've said -- and we've taken a guess, a swag. we've set 2017 at -- as the operational ready date because nasa's budget says if we do the support that we think we can do, then this is technically where we think companies will be when they're able to provide support for crew. some companies are saying they'll be ready two years earlier. you know, if that happens, then that's great. but right now based on nasa's funding alone as an investor, if you will, we see 2017 as the date. that's too long, i admit, much too long. but that's where we are based on the congressional funding, the congressional level of funding. you know, if you remember, um, and we do have to -- we continue to work with congress. and i will say the bipartisan support that we have gotten and continue to get in this day and
age is incredible. you know, everybody wants nasa to be successful. everybody wants the private industry to be successful. in spite of what you may hear and what you may think. it's just that everybody's not the same, not a believer at the same level just yet. after today i think you're going to find that there are many more believers than there were an hour ago. [laughter] because, and it's -- think about it, okay? at nasa i tell our family, look, folks, let's plan well, and then let's execute. if we deliver things on time and on cost, people will believe what we say. the reason that we're struggling right now is because prior to this administration, um, you know, we were not getting the funding requested, and we were not able to deliver on time and on cost. anytime you get less money for something than you forecast
needing, a couple of things happen. either you stretch it which means it gets more expensive, you know, it never gets cheaper. never gets cheaper by taking off the funding contrary to what some people may think. so i think we're on the right path. 2017 is a conservative estimate depending on how industry performs. we could be quicker. i keep my fingers crossed. >> one last question. >> thank you. >> first of all, can we get one more round of applause for this successful grappling? [cheers and applause] that's what i'm talking about. my question for you, mr. bolden, thank you very much, is you were talking about how the contracts for the sos were closed. have, has nasa selected someone that could possibly be doing liquid rocket boosters instead of the solids, or is that something that might be looked
at in the future? >> no, i didn't -- if i said that, i was in error. i did not intend to say contracts were closed, i said work on the sls and orion continues. you know, we have a prime contractor for orion, it's lockheed martin. that's been settled. while we have contractors involved in the space launch system, we still have a number of things that are open. advance boosters that are going to take us to 120, 130 metric ton vehicle. when we launch sls in 2017, it's going to be with the existing rocket motor provided, originally intended for shuttle. it will have shuttle main engines that have been modified to be the core for a liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen main propulse system. -- propulsion system. and then, you know, the structure itself will be what we have today. you'll have stainless steel tankage and the like. when we go to mars or when we go
to places beyond low earth orbit in the future with humans, ideally, we're going to have composite tanks, we're going to have a lot of different components that are much lighter and more resilient than what we have today. that's the source of our -- or that's the purpose of our technology development program. and when i tell people that the space launch system is an evolving system, it is not something -- what we're used to in the past in nasa is we decide on a design, set the architecture, and we go with it. and ten years later you end up with a vehicle that's ten years old, and it hasn't even flown. shuttle was that way, to be quite honest. you know, we, we made an upgrade to shuttle when i was still in the astronaut office of measurement units. we took some from the b-1 bomber that were going to offload the general purpose computers, found out that the architecture was so rigid that you would have had to design the software package on shuttle completely to be able to accommodate the new inner cial
measurement unit. so we could not do what we wanted to be able to do. what we've said with sls is we want to be open architecture to the greatest extent possible. so software decisions probably won't be made until a year out or months out or whatever. it'll be like spacex. some of you know that spacex slid because they made some late software modifications to their rendezvous software which, incredible flexibility. nasa's not quite ready to do that yet as flexibly as industry is. and so it took us a while, you know, people need to understand this is a team. so, you know, spacex's name was in the spotlight, but every once in a while some of the delays were delays that we had to impart because we were trying to catch up in some cases. it's an incredible team when you watch 'em. i mean, just sitting on the net this morning listening to the decisions being made realtime, how do we deal with these thicks
that we're -- things that we're seeing, how do you deal with life when it occurs? we had a great plan, but things happened that were not anticipated. but in going through what are the failure modes that can occur in your planning, the team said, okay, we think we understand this. here's what we need to do. and the first backout, the first reverse al qaim from hawthorne. spacex said we don't like what we're seeing, we're opening. they informed mission control that, hey, we're going to stop, we're going to back out a little bit because with we see something we don't like. that's great. that's what you want the team to do, and that's what they did. i want to thank you all very much for allowing me to spend this time with you and, you know, hopefully, you're as excite bed as i am. i -- excited as i am. i mean, we are, the future is incredibly bright for us, and we just have to stick to it and be resilient and, you know, don't give up because we're doing okay. thanks very much. [applause]
>> so we'd like to present you this small token of our appreciation. it says presented at the 3 be 1st -- 31st annual national space society conference, and you see it surrounded by the moon and mars and, fittingly for today, the national space station. so, please, accept that honor. >> thank you. [applause] okay. we're going to be a little bit flexible with the morning here because of the events with,
with -- at the international space station. i would like to right now take a ten-minute break, a firm ten-minute break. we want to reset on some of our speakers. we are potentially going to have a speaker from spacex this morning, and so we want to be flexible on that. but ten minutes. and at the risk of getting in front of the ipc staff, i believe we will have some time later this morning to get the registration issues sorted out. so you don't necessarily need to jump into line right now. is that a good order? [inaudible conversations] okay. if you're attending the lunch today, we will have a list at the door for lunch, and you can do your registration there when you enter into the lunch, and that will help us figure it out -- >> we're going to move on from our, with our programming now. you can see the speech that you just saw online at c-span.org or in our video library.
at 12:30 eastern here on c-span2, highlights of the british inquiry into the connection between key politicians and the press. the leveson inquiry talks to james murdoch who once headed news international, rupert murdoch who started news corporation and former editor of the closed "news of the world" tabloid, rebekah brooks. they talk about their relationships with current and former prime ministers and opposition leaders. c-span will be live at 11 eastern as the brookings institution hosts a discussion of the international role of the u.s. panelists discuss global security threats and how the united states works with the international community in dealing with them. wisconsin voters go to the polls in about a week and a half to decide whether to replace republican governor scott walker less than two years after he was elected. governor walker will debate his democratic opponent, milwaukee mayor tom barrett. you can see the debate live from
milwaukee tonight at 9 eastern on c-span, and the debate will also be on c-span radio and c-span.org. this is an extra day of booktv this holiday weekend on c-span2. aaron burr may be best remembered for his duel with alexander hamilton. h.w. brands on a different side of the new york politician and vice president, saturday night at 8:30 eastern. and on "after words," the former director for asian affairs at the national security council, victor cha, on the impossible state, north korea. >> dialogue with the north koreans on human rights is, it's kind of a ridiculous dialogue. because you can tell them you need to improve your human rights situation, and their response to you will be -- and we've had this conversation at the official level -- their response to you will be, well, you, the united states, have human rights problems too. i mean, that is not a comparable discussion. >> that's saturday night at 10.
also this weekend marcus luttrell details operation red wing from "service: a navy seal at war." sunday night at 10 eastern. three days of booktv, this weekend on c-span2. the senate veterans affairs committee addressed the backlog of military disability claims during a hearing wednesday. a government accountability office report says some service members are waiting a year or more to receive decisions and benefits. defense and veterans department officials tell the committee that the current system is better, but say there's room for improvement. senator patty murray chairs the committee, senator richard burr serves as the ranking member. it's about an hour and a half. >> good morning and welcome to today's hearing to examine the ongoing efforts of the department of defense and the department of veterans affairs to provide a truly seamless transition for our service members and our veterans.
almost a year ago today this committee held a hearing on va and dod efforts to improve transition. we explored a number of issues including the integrated disability evaluation system. at the hearing we had an opportunity to hear from both departments about the state of the joint program. the departments' testimony that day spoke to how the departments had created a more transparent, consistent and expeditious disability evaluation process. their testimony also states ides is a fairer, faster process. well, now that that joint system has been implemented nationwide, i have to say that i am far from convinced myself that the departments have implemented a disability evaluation process that is truly transparent, consistent or expeditious. there are now over 27,000 service members involved in the disability evaluation system. as more and more men and women return from afghanistan and as
the military downsizes, we are going to see an even larger group of service members transition from the military through the disability evaluation process. this process impacts every aspect of a service member's life while they transition out of the military, but it doesn't stop there. if the system doesn't work right, it can also negatively effect the service member and their family well after they have left active duty. getting this right is a big challenge, but it's one that we have no choice but to step up to meet. i've seen the impacts of a broken system, whether it's from a wrong diagnosis, an improper decision or never-ending wait times. and when the system doesn't work and service members can't get a proper mental health evaluation or diagnosis, it means they are not getting the care that they need. without the proper care, these men and women may find themselves struggling to readjust to family or civilian life, and they often struggle to find work.
worse yet, we've heard stories of soldiers overdosing on drugs and in far too many cases taking their own lives. these are real tragedies affecting real service members, and they're happening despite a system intended to provide greater support to our wounded, ill and injured. i've seen firsthand the impact an improper decision can have on a soldier and his family. earlier this year i met sergeant first class steven davis and his wife, kim. stationed at joint base lewis-mcchord in washington. er gent davis led his men in combat in both iraq and afghanistan. he was exposed to multiple ied explosions during his service, and after being treated by the army for years for ptsd and other mental health disorders, he was told during the disability evaluation process that he was making up his ailments. from speaking with him, i can tell you that sergeant davis and the hundreds of other men and women at joint base
lewis-mcchord are far from satisfied with the transparency and consistency of the disability evaluation process. all of these men and women had been diagnosed with and in many cases were receiving treatment for ptsd during service, but then during the disability evaluation process they were told they were exaggerating their symptoms, they were labeled asthma lingerers, and their behavioral health diagnose know cease were changed. since then the army has launched investigations, and hundreds of soldiers are now being reevaluated in an effort to make this right. in fact, the most recent update from the army shows that out of the 196 cases that have been reevaluated, 108 have resulted in a diagnosis of ptsd. that is more than half of these men and women. still more have received other significant behavioral health diagnosis. other referrals and evaluations are still occurring. and i'm still hearing from those who have completed their
reevaluations only to find themselves stuck back in the same disability evaluation system that failed them. despite all these men and women have been through, they continue of to have their behavioral health injuries minimized and feel like their chain of command doesn't understand what they're going through. clearly, more needs to be done to build uniformity and accountability into the process of identifying those who are struggling with ptsd and other behavioral health problems. in recent weeks the army has taken a number of steps in the right direction. their recent policy on the diagnosis and treatment of ptsd addresses a number of the concerns that identify raised. it standardizes the army mental health care through the use of proven treatments and assessments, it recognizes how extraordinarily rare it is for service members to fake symptoms of ptsd, and this acknowledgment is critical as we saw all too often that accusation at mad
began army medical center. additional, the army took a critical step forward by announcing a comprehensive, army-wide review of behavioral health evaluations and diagnosis in support of the disability evaluation system. i want to applaud the army leadership for taking some significant steps towards addressing these issues. this is going to take continued engagement from the army leadership. now, i know some may argue that this is just a joint base lewis lewis-mcchord problem or an army problem, but it is not. this is a system-wide problem. we will continue to see similar issues similar to those at madigan until we insure policies and actions like those we've seen in recent weeks are adopted across the services and throughout the joint system. insuring service members receive a proper diagnosis and the care and benefits they earned is an obligation we have as a nation. we owe it to these men and women
to get this right. these are not the only challenges confronting integrated disability evaluation system. we're going to hear today from gao about other challenges facing the d., challenges -- the department, challenges which i must say sound all too familiar. everyone on this committee knows of v.a.'s struggles to address the claims backlog. i'm troubled, because numbers paint a similar picture. enrollment continues to climb, the number of service members' cases meeting the department's timeliness goals is unacceptably low, and the amount of time it takes to separate and provide benefits to a service member through this system has risen each year since its inception. this continued rise in the amount of time it takes to provide a service member with a decision has to be addressed. the goal the d.s have set -- the departments have set for completing is 275 days for active duty and 305 days for
reservists. last year on average it took active duty service members 394 days and reservists, 420 days. that's around 100 days longer than your goal, and it is similarly unacceptable. dr. rooney, mr. gingrich, right now the departments are failing these service members. the only thing this committee's interested in are the solutions to this problem and the dedication of your leadership in making things better. we cannot allow the same problems that plague the larger disability claims system to negatively impact the transition of thousands of service members in the next few years. the consequences are too severe. clearly, a lot of work remains to be done. what we've seen the army moving in the right direction. now dod and v.a. need to take these lessons learned and apply them across the entire system. not only will this require or quick action, but most importantly, this effort is going to require the total engagement, cooperation and support of all senior leaders at both departments to get this
done right. while dod and v.a. are at a critical juncture, i'm confident that by working harder and smarter and faster, the departments can improve the system for thousands of men and women who will be transitioning in the next couple of years. and with that, i will turn to but senator burr has been at another meeting, just joined us, so we will turn statement. you, chairman murray, and thank you for holding this hearing to discuss how well this evaluation system is working and what is being done to improve it. joining us today. it's clear that the integrated disability evaluation system, or ides, is still facing real and taking more than one year for service members to the v.a. and department of defense intended. at some military bases, it is
still taking much longer than that. in fact, only 18% of active duty service members are transitioning to civilian life within the agency's 295-day goal. during this time wiewbded, ill -- wounded, ill and injured service members are waiting to find out whether they can continue serving in the military or will have to build new lives to move on with their lives, this must seem like an eternity. i think the number of service members in this process who are administratively discharged or court-martialed or died from unnatural causes including suicides and overdoses raises serious questions about what the well being of our nation's wounded warriors. also i think we need to consider whether the ides is truly setting them up to succeed after leaving the military. as the committee has been told by many service members going through this process, the
uncertainty about where -- when and where they might leave the military can actually prevent them from getting their civilian lives in order such as buying a house, finding a school or taking a job. on top of that, it appears this system is not as straightforward or user-friendly as it was intended. listen to what the wounded warrior project said about the ides project earlier this year. our wounded warriors still encounter great difficulty navigating a system they find difficult to understand, unnecessarily contentious and often ponderously slow. other words that have been used to describe ides include adversarial, long and disjointed. there's another hidden liability here that i think is important to note, and that is the potential impact that the backlog may have on our military readiness. particularly in a time when some in washington are talking about
drawing down our force strength. right now there are about 19,000 soldiers in just the army who are in this process. i am under the impression that these service members are still considered as being in the military, so that comes out of the bottom line for army's end strength and cannot be replaced until they have completed the ids process. based on these and other issues we'll hear about today, it's having created a seamless transition for many wounded, ill and injured have a good discussion about what can be done to simplify this disability system, speed up the process for those who are ready to move on with their yield back. >> thank you very much. senator? >> i just ask unanimous concept to put my statement in the record. thank you.
report mr. "after the bell" put out it is 394 days and 79% accurate. we have an issue here and the reason i know why we have an issue is because we have veterans calling me all the time. it is too complicated and they don't know how to get through it and quite frankly the folks of this country deserves better. we have to figure out how to get this right. a look forward to that if you do correct me. the bottom line is what this committee does is important but what is more important is the service we give our veterans and the folks who need help need to get it now. thank you, madam chair. >> at this time i would like to introduce today's witnesses. the representative of the department of defense is undersecretary jo ann rooney. we have a chance to talk about several issues that the appeals hearing i held a few months ago
and i appreciate your willingness to testify before this committee and continue to focus on this issue. joining us from the department of veterans affairs is chief of staff john gingrich and from government accountability, daniel bertoni, director of education, work force and security issue. thank you for joining us this morning and we look forward to hearing your testimony. your prepared remarks will appear in the record. we begin with dr. rooney. >> thank you. good morning. chairman murray, ranking member burke and members of the committee. it is my pleasure to testify on current efforts to review and improve the integrated disability evaluation system. i am please to appear with one of my partners from the department of veterans affairs.
i am looking forward to -- wounded, ill or injured sir dismembers as a transition to veteran status. taking care of our service members is the highest priority of the department of defense. part of taking care of our service members includes insuring their honorable service is recognized and they are compensated in dod and be a systems for injuries that occurred during that service. the department has taken care to accomplish this that there's more work to be done. the department of defense and veterans affairs have worked together with guidance from congress to reform but cumbersome and often confusing bureaucratic processes which provide care and benefits to injured service members when and where they need them.
working closely, deliberately and collaborative we and our department have established governments at the highest levels to facilitate continued improvement. the joint executive council cochaired by the of the aid that the severe gold, each bimonthly meeting to reviewing the progress and understanding the ongoing actions toward achieving our goal of seamless transition from service members to veterans. similarly the quarterly meeting conducted jointly by the secretary of defense and secretary of veterans affairs with their senior leaders to oversee and drive progress towards the stated goals. one of these efforts ides is, which has a more consistent devaluation and compensation,
easier transition to veteran status, case management advocacy an established relationship between the service member and be a prior to separation. it provides increase transparency through better information flow to service members and their families as well as a reduced gap between separation or retirement from service and receipt of va benefits. the ides streamlines the system with service members receiving a single set of physical disability examinations conducted according to va examination protocol. proposed disability ratings prepared by the a that those departments can use and dual processing to ensure the earliest the ability of disability benefits. currently the ides is at 139 locations across all services. since november of 2007, 19,518
service members have completed the ides process. the ides reduced opposed separation benefits gap between dod and va from an average of 240 days in 2007 to 50 days currently. which means disabled veterans receive their va benefits 79% faster under the current ides than before. even with a marked improvement in performance the va has -- the ides has brought to the process we have much work remaining. both departments are committed to constant evaluation of each step throughout the process and will continue to seek long-term innovative solutions focus on improving the experience of our wounded warriors. we must do that. we also must carefully review the critical steps in ides to reach the 295 d. a. completion
goal for 60% of those entering the process by the end of this calendar year. the military services are in the process of implementing actions to improve efficiency and effectiveness. since october of 2011, this fall, the army had 513 medical evaluation board and physical evaluation board personnel and enhance the accountability by establishing performance metric to measure the productivity of board staff. the army completed assessment of the execution of the ides installations across the army. this assessment identifies specific actions required to enhance and standardize performance across the army. the navy and marine corps added ten doctors and 37 case managers to their medical evaluation board staff last year and anticipate the addition of 23
more doctors next year. physical evaluation board staff have increased navy and marine corps by 47% allowing them to process 75% of the navy and 69% of the marine cases through this particular phase in less than the 120 days goal. the air force has started to utilize air force national guard personnel to support the evaluation process and establish a free ides screening process to increase efficiency. the office of the secretary of defense has removed policy impediments and implemented procedural improvements and enhanced oversight and assistance to the services. examples include reducing minimum informal physically evaluation board staffing requirements from three members to two members. authorizing dr. levels and
psychologists to sign medical evaluation forms prior l.a. were not able to. allowing military department to process initial trainees to the legacy ides system. they ao they is working with va partners to improve ides execution by improving training and case management software, implementing a paperless standard for electronic transfer of files by this summer and developing other integrated electronic record file sharing methods which will enhance the efficiency of the ides. department anticipate these improvements when implemented this summer of 2012 will reduce ides time on average by 20 to 30 days. the department can finish the disability evaluation of compensation of injured, 0 and wounded serve as members is thorough, fair and accurate. we are continually reviewing the process in requirements adequately staff and when
necessary surge the ides to remain responsive to recovering service members in the services as they draw down and reset their forces. we understand there is room for improvement in all parts of our processes and are committed towards working that end. an all volunteer force has seen marked improvement in survival of previously and survivable combat injuries. the expectations of what happens after a service member becomes ill or injured are fundamentally different. the department is now focused on taking advantage of all the advances in medical care, restorative therapy and rehabilitation to allow service members to achieve his or her greatest potential. this includes retention in military service whenever possible. this concept is being made whole, reflects a commitment to service members to restore the
highest level of function possible physically, mental leap, spiritually and financially and providing all benefits that are justified. the target of 295 days to complete the ides process was identified to express concerns and frustrations of service members who did not believe they were being properly cared for and felt they were languishing and in sensitive system. sins these issues surfaced many resources have been brought to bear to improve the coordination and care and education of benefits. the complexity of injuries, sophisticated treatment strategy, coordination of care and change in a philosophical -- patient centers and military department centric has redefined the timeline for completion of the system. it is more centered on improving and defining ability rather than
focus on transition of a service member to veteran status and is individualized to achieve this goal. the department reaffirms its commitment to care for an audit those who protected the nation by serving in uniform in order to meet our sacred responsibility to this next greatest generation we must fully leverage the capabilities and strategies and strengths of both the department of defense and veterans affairs. we must break down the barriers that prevent us delivering the highest quality care to those who need it and deserve it. thank you again for the opportunity to be with you today. i look forward to questions. >> mr. gingrich. [inaudible] >> joined by undersecretary --
okay. under secretary jo ann rooney. to discuss the ides system. we have come a long way since the issues of walter reed army medical center identified in 2007. at that time va and the dod were miles apart. simply stated the lack of integration and cooperation between the departments did not serve wounded service members well. since that time together we have committed to achieve a seamless transition to a multi pronged approach with ides as one of the critical initiatives. the joint ides process was designed to eliminate time-consuming and often confusing elements of the separate disability processes. the goals of the joint process were to increase transparency, reduce processing time, improved consistency and reduce the benefits gap to achieve greater transparency for serve as members we have enhanced our
online tool. the my healthy that and keep benefits to all service members and ides to view lab results and track their claims. internally we have increased transparency to the ides board to attract each ides site. secretaries have charged us to reach a combined performance goal of 295 days for 60% of service members by the end of this year. to insure we reach this goal i hold by weekly reviews with 116 stations. in a relatively short period of time we have seen positive results. in january the oldest case being worked for proposed disability rating was 254 days. today there were no cases over 280 days. from february of 2011 to april of 2012 we have reduced the average claim development time
by 62% and a medical examination time by 60%. on april 5th i committed to the army vice chief of staff that va would clear within 60 days the entire inventory of army cases awaiting proposed rating decisions. we have cleared 76% of those for both preliminary and final ratings the combined productivity of our three disability rating activity sites increased 15% in the last month. we have several projects to enhance our efficiency and effectiveness such as veteran tracking application that will increase the pool of information electronically from dod to va and electronic case file transfer system. we have made progress in improving transparency, improving consistency and
reducing process time but our biggest achievement has been closing the benefit gap. serve as members no longer wait six to nine months to receive compensation they have learned. yet with all these achievements we are not satisfied because we are not meeting the requirement for every single service member. we will continue to work with dod to improve systems and processes until we achieve all of our objectives in 100 days for each service member. i will often referred to cases or claims today but let me assure you i never lose sight of the fact that behind the claim is a service member and his or her family who depend on va to get it right. we will continue to partner with dod to effectively and be efficiently get him or her back to their unit to continue military service or if discharge
provide the benefits they have earned. as partners we will overcome the remaining challenges. together to achieve the seamless transition service members deserve. this is a commitment we must meet. i look forward to answering any questions you may have. >> thanks very much. mr bertoni. >> chairman murray, ranking member burr, i am pleased to discuss department of defense veterans affairs performance of the integrated fiscally evaluation system which is the standard process for disabilities worldwide. since it started to monitor the evolution, we made several recommendations for other challenges. my statement is based on the ongoing work for the committee and focus on how ides is meeting ongoing efforts to improve performance. we found overall time is worse than the average days to
complete can't claims for active-duty service that is increasing from 283 days in 2008 to 394 days last year. that is well above the stated goal of 295 days. in the same period the proportion of active duty cases also decreased very steeply from 63% to 19%. with the exception of the physical valuation board phase ides claims fell short of interim medical evaluation board, transition, benefit phases. processing delays were significant completing medical evaluation board processing. in 2011 only 20% of active duty cases met the goal for obtaining medical board decisions. in addition to timeliness service member satisfaction, which we found had shortcomings in administration such as limiting who received the survey and competing average scores in a way that may overstate satisfaction and limit
usefulness of this data in performance management. using an alternative calculation that eliminates mutual responses we found satisfaction rates several times lower than the of the reports. taking a number of actions to address ides challenges which we identified in prior work. for example prior recommendation top leadership developed a more robust monitoring and oversight process to improve communication and accountability which include more frequent contact between the departments to discuss progress of various funds. regular meetings by the chief of staff that includes reviews of performance and for local and regional facility commanders to provide feedback on best practices for current challenges. va hold conferences with local staff responsible for their portion of the process. the department are working to address longstanding medical board and va ratings challenges. the army is in the midst of hiring double medical board
staff including liaison, physician and support personnel. va tripled staffing at ides rating sites. departments also working to address limitations in the automated systems including taking steps to improve the ability of local facilities to electronically track and monitor case progress and improve quality of case data which we found to be problematic. key of gray dust appending and various sites rely on at hawk local and potentially redundant processes to manage their cases. despite efforts by dod to improve data quality the current ides tracking system lacks control to prevent staff entering erroneous data. keeping case load date and accurate will remain challenging going forward. to further improve and expedite, dod has initiated a process review to understand how each that impact processing times to identify further ides opportunities. such an effort could you short and long term recommendations
for improvements. timetable for completion is yet to be established. in conclusion of a merger of two disability evaluation systems shows promise for expediting benefits to service but nearly five years out delays continue to affect progress and the causes are not fully understood. recent initiative to improve processing and isolate problems are promising but remains to be seen what their long-term impact will be. we will continue to assess dot process as we proceed to work for the committee. this concludes my statement and i will answer any questions you might have. >> i want to let committee members know that following the revelation that hundreds of soldiers had their pt sp diagnosed because people did not want to spend money on care and benefits these service members would receive i asked our
committee staff to investigate the evaluation system. we are an interim debt that in this investigation. today staff has reviewed 121 cases from 23 different ides site focusing on mental health diagnosis in general and ptsd diagnosis in particular. i am troubled by what they found. they found evaluations that focus on perceived exaggeration similar to what we saw at madigan. without documentation of opprobrious standardize interview techniques. they have encountered in adequate medical examinations especially in relation to brain injuries and rating decisions based -- issued as part of the joint process containing errors which in some cases impact the level of benefits to veterans should have received. before we begin today's questions i am entering the results of this investigation into the record at this point and there will be more to come.
let me start with dr. jo ann rooney. we have had discussions about the joint disability evaluation system and the challenges service members face going through this process. it has come to my attention that our service members involved in the disability process, and unsupported behavior from the chains of command with a limited duty and waiting for disability decisions. service members forced to participate in activities in direct violation of doctor's orders to have been disciplined for behavior of health conditions who struggled to get access to care, and cooperate with treatment requirements. i think you agree with me that is completely unacceptable. and leaders understand these
medical issues and difficult process that service members are going through and have to provide leadership and support these men and women need. i begin by asking you what needs to be done to provide supportive and compassionate leadership for these injured service members the decision. >> the information you just shared is troubling on many levels and i would be interested in speaking with you and your staff so we can determine what these issues are occurring. and the leadership does know that -- which is the department's position and leadership at many levels i am familiar with that that cannot be tolerated. we must understand what is necessary for the care. there are no sticklers associated with being able to address behavioral or mental health issues and that is a department position. in those cases if there are substantive issues not only do
we need to find out where those are to work directly with that leadership and correct that situation we can continue with our ongoing work at all levels of command not just at the senior level but we understand it needs to go through the command level of every installation to assure that the situation is not occurring. >> we need to make sure that is happening because these are challenging situations and retribution should not be tolerated whether it is one case or many. i will share those with you but i want to make sure systemwide leaders throughout the chain of command all the way to the bottom are clearly understanding what these voters are going through and not having any kind of repercussions on those individuals. >> from the perspective of someone who served in many leadership positions in the military what can we do to educate our military leaders on not only this process but
medical issues facing so many young men and women? >> i see a lot of things the army is doing because i have been -- we are told they are now bringing in layers of the way to the vice chief of staff. and current level discussion groups, major-general all the way up to those discussion groups. getting the information out is the biggest key and the biggest challenge we have. the secretary spoke to the sergeant major academy and the army and sergeant majors understanding this is a problem we have to take on, two departments and not just one. >> a lot of work to do. there is no doubt that the events of madigan have shaken trust and confidence of service members in the disability
evaluation system. i believe transparency and sharing information about the revaluations happening today and actions from the army and dod taking to remedy this situation will go along way towards restoring trust in the system. i wanted to ask you today what we learn from the investigation the army is conducting at madigan. >> as you pointed out earlier there have been 1963 evaluations completed of which 108 of those have been diagnosed as having ptsd. >> let me just say they had been diagnosed with ptsd. they were told they did not. you said you did indeed -- >> 108 of 190. >> there are 419 that have been
determined -- 287 from the original looked at. the army actually opened the aperture up. and forensic psychiatrists, it was 419. eligible for re-evaluation. at this point there are three in progress and will schedule. what we learned -- the process put into place at that time did not function as originally designed. there was a mean-spirited attempt really to create, they similar diagnoses. that was not something that occurred so the army has taken lessons from here and is going back to 2001 to reevaluate all the cases where we might have a similar situation. we are not only learning from what army is doing and looking
at these revaluations but reducing new standards that in many ways advances in medical and behavioral health areas to better diagnosis ptsd but taking those lessons learned across the other services as well. sins army has the greatest majority of people going through currently about 68% of people in the disability evaluation process are from army we will take lessons learned from there and apply those to all the services. >> i appreciate the army's announcement they are going to do a comprehensive review of ptsd behavior throughout the army. i believe that is the first and important major step for the army to be doing but i did want to ask you i have been told about the secretary -- the issues we were seeing at madigan were not systemwide and the secretary announced a comprehensive view across all systems. we didn't believe it was a systemwide problem what led the
army to look at comprehensive review? >> we had numerous conversations and the use of forensic psychiatrist was primarily isolated to madigan. that is where i believe -- it came out it was not systemwide. that additional power -- >> the forensic system wasn't systemwide but systemwide we have issues with people not being diagnosed quickly. >> we want to look across the system and a short if we had issues we identify those and able to get those individuals that in this system. i believe at this point it was a forward meaning approach to say we need to look across the system not that we are convinced similar problems existed but this is the right thing to do for the individual sins as you pointed out we see a number of revaluations. it is the right thing to do for people to look across. >> it is important we find anybody who was misdiagnosed and get them care so we will focus on it. with that wet me turn it over to
senator boozman. >> i will defer to senator burr and come back when appropriate. >> i thank my colleague. thank you for this hearing. mr. gingrich, i share your cold. it is not fun. dr. rooney, do you disagree with the gao's testimony? >> we look at the g a o as a partner to help us evaluate how we are doing. they brought up very good points in their report. when you are using statistics we may look a little differently at particular statistics. however i will say there is nothing that we didn't think really helped us further understand where our emphasis needs to be but there are improvements. we have been open about saying this is a system that needs
improvement. i think the gao said the same thing so we are looking to continue to work with them and take the information they provided. putting resources to it. the internal analysis goes deeper to say these improvements are making -- are they resources making improvements to this system which we all know and totally agree. >> do you disagree with the testimony? >> no. i look forward to the discussions we had before the testimony and the report because i believe when somebody gives you insights what you are doing you can take care of one more veteran or service member to make their life better in this transition process we need to look at. >> we are all in agreement we are just south of 400 days in the cycle of being processed, 395 or 394.
the secretary of defense and secretary of veterans affairs committed to -- could be 190 days and went further to agreed to explore options to be 175 days. i had too many of these every year. we hear the same thing. look at what we are doing. i heard the most glowing progress report and get realities of the days and change. we met some improvement in certain areas. i commend you on the timeliness goals that have been better but the reality is we have a broken system and we are five years into it and i hear testimony where we are starting to begin to review business processes. why did it take five years to
get to this? what can you convey that tells me a year from now, when you said earlier we are instituting changes this summer that will improve times by 30 or 40, you said days so now my expectations are we are going to be down 360 days which exceeds the secretary of va by 1 k -- 110 days over what their goal was today. we are actually going to do this. >> that was one of the steps. in addition it was indicating
army has hired -- we are adding people to the process. >> the first individuals we hired in five years. >> the largest group. >> we hired people, the overall time of completion went up, not down. >> many of these were fairly recent. >> the army deputy chief of staff, the process fundamentally flawed, adversarial and disjointed. do you agree? >> i sat next to my colleague many times and we had discussions and we both acknowledge it is a system that while initially designed and conceived to be smooth and transparent and easy we have not achieved that result. >> what we doing to change it? >> my colleague and i have indicated we are looking case by
case. we are following cohorts through each step of the process to see when we add people are we actually improving the times? we are not able to improve it for those in the system. we have to make sure we are tracking -- it is going step by step. >> i don't want to seem adversarial. i think we are all after the same goal but a statement that the system can't be fixed. if you agree with that is it time for us to start over again? to say how do we designed this in a way for the benefits of the service members? the number one priority, i don't question that, who are called in a system that is unacceptable today from the standpoint of the length of time and the accuracy
senator murray talked-about. my question to you would be if given a blank slate would be army design ides the same way or would you do it differently? if your answer is differently then let's do it. tell us what we can do to be partners to change this in a way that it works versus to keep the structure of something that individuals involved in it say fundamentally flawed. adversarial, disjointed. that is not the relationship we want with our service members. the chairman has been kind to me. i want to ask one last question of mr. gingrich. you made the statement in your testimony that va has the
capacity to make compensation as early as they choose to after a service member is discharged. is that accurate? >> we can make compensation the day after the discharge. that is correct. >> the day after. >> by law we cannot do compensation until they have been discharged. >> how long does it take the first va check to arrive after a service member went through the ides is discharged from the military? not the decision letter from the va but the actual track? >> right now is taking too long. is taking 60 days. it is not an excuse but part of the reason we do it by month so the person is discharge, we're working through that and one of the things they will give us is the information we need electronically at the discharge so we can speed the process up. i am confident we will get close to the 30 day bowl.
we talked, it will be in place in june and not only allow us to track the payment but also allow us to track the ratings in the discrepancies in the ratings. >> the chair has been kind and i appreciate it. would you share with us the data at the 60 day average for payment? >> i will do that. >> thank you very much. >> i want to go back to what senator brewer was asking about and dr. rooney and do things need to be changed at ides? >> yes. >> mr. gingrich, do things need to be changed at ides? >> yes. >> i don't want to know them now but could you get back to the
committee with your recommendations on what needs to be changed at ides? >> yes. >> yes. >> i would anticipate those changes would add to simplifying and consolidating as your goals were set up between va and dod. i want to make sure the changes would add to the simplification. yes? >> mr bertoni, as you look at ides its goal was to simplify but has it simplified? >> i would say yes. when you look at what was happening on the legacy system it is much more. >> is there an opportunity to
get feedback and address questions and concerns? is that part of the system? >> the survey mechanism whereby service members are surveyed after each phase of the process. the physical valuation board. >> that is pretty user friendly from your perspective. >> four questions her face. and to receive that survey. if you don't opt to do that early on the personal excluded in the latter phase. we have an opportunity to weigh in on that transparency and other factors. >> is it important to get that and put? >> absolutely. it would be a good idea to look
at how there are surveying service members. >> i don't want to get out of my wayne but madigan said there were 198 folks for the diagnosis change. was that done under ides? >> many of them were. some were under the old process. they were roughly 2008 before the old process. >> the 198, those figures broke out. what i want to get at is a over half the folks get the proper rating. and an understatement. the question is is ides doing an accurate job making the assessment for the disability or not doing as good a job as the
old system? >> those people -- that would be the old system and also adding the forensic psychiatrist which is a different aspect to the system so the new process and protocol and the fact that the department has an integrated mental-health strategy how to do this should by all data we have seen improve that significantly into the new process. >> does that mean all the folks who got rated before 2008 we should call them back up and have a memory rated? >> that is what army is doing and we will take the lessons learned as i indicated to senator murray. [talking over each other] >> let me clarify. a large number of the ones who were misdiagnosed had their diagnosis change in accurately were asked in 2008 after the forensic psychology. it was put in place.
>> i appreciate that. we give -- we get a lot of calls upon this kind of stuff. although i appreciate folks calling their senators to get this squared away what it tells me is there is an inherent problem here. when you combine that with the fact the we had misdiagnoses over 50%, that is not acceptable. it has got to be fixed. if it is a fact we bring in a forensic psychologist and that fixes the problem is that tells me we are not one person. >> that was the issue of adding that additional layer when the initial diagnoses were changed and we had a review. that piece adding forensic psychiatrist in the process has been stopped and that does not occur anyplace across the
department. >> i got a lot of questions. my time is long past. i look forward to your recommendations on what can be done to improve ides and appreciate the work you are trying to do, but we are not where we need to be by a long shot. when i heard your testimony there was good stuff and you should be touting this stuff. but we have a long way to go. don't you think? >> absolutely. >> how do we get to point -- what do we need to do? is it manpower? more professional people? what is it? folks coming back and the numbers that warm with afghanistan, it is good. the question is these folks need help and need help early. that save the money long term especially with an seen injuries and where do we go? where we go to get this fixed?
>> you indicated earlier on we will get back to specific recommendation we're seeing from our team is going on as to how we move this forward. >> thank you for your testimony and your work. >> thank you very much. >> mr bertoni, who is in charge of -- we have dod here and we have va. is there a person who is actually in charge of the whole process? >> the secretaries would say they were in charge of this process. >> secretary of defense? [talking over each other] >> capable folks under them tasked with doing difficult -- better when there's
a person to oversee, layperson the secretary of defense and secretary of va designated to get these things worked out? man for these -- >> you have the authority over dod also? >> i don't have authority but we have been working remarkably well on partnership. i don't say that loosely. i sit down with vice chief of staff of the army of 68% and we sit down monthly at different levels of va with the army and worked through this. part of the issue to address the problem is we didn't have a very good mechanism prior to when we fully implemented ides september of last year. weakened go to every single facility, 116 senior
executives--the army has the same thing and we go by insulation, individual by individual which we couldn't track it for. it sounds like we are not moving but we are able to track every single individual where they are in the system and the rating they got and where they going. [talking over each other] >> in business and general things, you like a person to be accountable. >> thank you for the va portion of this. >> i would like to see somebody and you may be that person but it is not fair to you if you don't have the authority to see it through. i personally think the two secretaries need to designate somebody who has the authority. we don't do that very well in government at all but that is a basic thing.
where do you see the bottle neck, mr bertoni? is it decisionmaking? >> since 2007, talk about this process comes down to three critical things. on many of these sites it was a sense of urgency following walter reed and a rush to stand them up. they didn't have proper technology or proper people in significant processes in place. service member ratios were insufficient in many respects that were stood up anyway and servicemen came and were overwhelmed and this system is paying for it to this day. we have identified processes the last several years, areas of process that were inefficient and causing backlogs. they have addressed some of
them. we keep pressing that they do and wesley technology. we have a disability system but the system hasn't caught up. we have processes that are combined and decisionsmaking that is combined but the systems process where the demand of the end user. >> do you feel in follow-up to mr. burr's comment that the framework we have now in ides is such that we can meet the goals? >> it is more transparent in how it operates. if you take a funnel land put water in and it comes out the other end it works but if you pour water in too fast you will quickly find out where the inefficiencies are. that is what is happening with rapid increases in enrollments and the inefficiencies and bottlenecks in the system are becoming readily apparent and
with this process. >> my concern is we have a difficult to deal with these by people all the time that are separating -- just retiring. it is not uncommon to wait a your retirement. that is without all of this other stuff going on. so again i think we have some real problems we need to look at and i would welcome also and i think it is important to understand i am with you but i do think it is important we get some feedback how we help you streamline that process and similar processes. thank you, madam chair. >> thank you for holding this
hearing. you can tell the frustration of the committee members in this town. sometimes it is hard to find bipartisanship as we all know. i guarantee that frustration is very bipartisan. everybody is frustrated. i don't care which end of the diocese it on. i was looking through some of the numbers. mr bertoni talked about them a little bit in your testimony. overall average time to complete ides active components the goal is 295 days at 395. it is 537 days. that is stunning. i can't even believe that. the percentage of active duty
members to complete ides within the 295 day bowl. the goal is 60% actual results are 18% at fort meade, it is zero%. nobody. overall average time to complete ides for guard members excluding those who returned to duty agency's goal is 395 days, 408 days is the actual, 651 days at fort carson. it is embarrassing to go to these statistics. the concerning thing, i don't see anything that makes me feel we are going to turn the corner here. i am going to walk away from this hearing very worried that
whatever we have done to get on top of the system as it works, so mr. bertoni, let me ask a direct question. how long is it going to take. one year, five years to actually see progress to meeting these goals? >> i can't give you a specific time frame. one thing the services are dealing with, 4,000 enrollments, 2010 about 9,000 last year, we have multitudes coming in to this program rapidly and that will increase further. they need to continually look at their processes and streamlining
opportunities. we need to get staff aligned with what they think they need to be doing. automation, you can leverage so much with automation that accounts for so many people. they must continue to look at what they're doing and look for efficiencies and to their credit more recent data in that phase shows the data is turning positive lead over the last six months. the medical exam had never been able to meet that goal at the time the review was 70 days. this month they are at 39 days. there is positive trending. that is the good news. the bad news is those cases are being pushed to the test. those times are rapidly increasing. that are 120 day bowl and pushing against that threshold. what is going on and causing inefficiencies, what do they do
to create efficiencies? you can learn from those. this mapping exercise, i think could be valuable. data should have done it earlier before each major phase. it would be a better physician. -- position. i can't give you a time frame but i'm hopeful next year the numbers will be better. >> do you agree -- let me ask two other witnesses. do you think you are turning the corner? >> i am convinced we are turning the corner. we have gotten our protection up and we will do 2500 cases a month which we believe is looking at the flow coming in and going out that is about 2500. if we sustain that starting in august we will be able to move forward. we didn't get our claims -- none of our processes in va last year were meeting the standard. we are now 62% in april of the service members we process in the process were on time.
that is up from now. one of the things we have done to take risk is we decided with the army to say let's get all the old jobs at 254 days and get them out of the system because they are holding up everybody and extending it. numbers will go up a little bit when you start to take the older cases out but those individuals have been in the system too long. we are making progress. will we get the 295 days and 60% of service members by 31 december? there is risk but i think services and dod and va as partners came together to say how we going to get there? the secretary said three months ago that we were sitting at the meeting of the two secretaries and we want to get 60%. we want to get 100% but instead of trying to fight folding let's get 60% by december 31st and
take the rest of it to get 100% because every one of these service members we are doing this to become veterans is we talked before about 50 or 60 or 70 years and we need to get them in the system and make sure they transition correctly. the other part is we don't get this right by this summer we are going to be challenged. this is 10% of the population falling through and the congress graciously gave us to implement a process that is even bigger. the things we are putting in place will get both of those systems -- >> i have run out of time. i hate to cut you off, i am sure you had a thought too and feel free to submit that in writing if you like. i just wrap up my questions with a request to mr bertoni.
i think it would be good if you could assess this for us in some kind of periodic basis. just give us some indication that progress is in fact being made. it would be terribly unfortunate if we showed up in six months and nothing is happening and that would be terribly unfortunate. that would be my individual request. the chair runs the committee. that is something we would like to see. >> we have been in this makes sense it was an exercise in 2007. i have testified on multiple product. it would be worth it if we are not in there. in reference to your issue of diagnostic differences two years ago this was an issue it could be problematic in terms of service members and backlogs of cases. if you have a diagnostic difference you keep going back to do exams and get caught on
this hamster wheel. you have to do it over again. we ask that this issue be looked at. it didn't do what we thought should be done. what should have been done is what you are doing now. the extent of nature and extent of these diagnostic differences and guidance are around that and training around that and you catch your data going forward so you can identify how pockets interpret what is going forward. ..
to review all army cases but it still is not systemwide. and i think that has to be part of it and something we are very focused on. we will work with you to make sure we are continued to stay on top of this. i want to go back dr. rené, i am very concerned about what i continue to hear about the warrior transition units on the i death experience itself. i hear from servicemembers who are in the disability process that they are languishing in this process without any meaningful or productive things to do. servicemembers tell us that they feel that their commanders are out to get them and on the other hand we hear from commanders that they feel the servicemembers are being deliberately obstructive in delaying the process in order to be more difficult. that kind of adversarial relationship can't be beneficial for either the unit or the servicemember who is trying to move on with their life and of course frankly i continue to hear about servicemembers who are overdosing on drugs,
committing suicide, committing serious crimes and a joint base base source in the court in my home state of washington, six servicemembers have died from suicide, auto accidents or -- while they are in the process. that is happening in bases across the nation so i hope you share my belief that we can do this better but i wanted to ask you what is the department going to do to make sure that there is an effective, supportive leadership at all levels, to make sure that this is not happening? >> some of the specifics you pointed out in terms of making sure that we are looking at that transition process proactively, working with the servicemembers going through that process so that they can identify skills and possible career opportunities. those programs, some of those are already in place. we will be doing more and piloting more notches for those in the disability process but throughout transition as we have talked before starting this summer. that is one piece. the second one is as we
indicated earlier is making sure the communication is not just at the senior leadership but absolutely translated down through the chains of command right to the base. i believe mr. gingrich pointed out in meetings with the sergeant majors and other senior enlisted, and that is going on in the department as well. each of the service chiefs have been going out to meet directly with various commands. as you know and i've mentioned to you i spent probably half of my time on issues surrounding this and have then back out to washington state, have been down to san antonio so i could also go out to the basis and help reinforce and see what is happening there so we can identify where there are those disconnects and get that message consistently across the department. so it's not only across dod but it's also with our partners in the va and we are continually sending the message and working at this and where there are issues, not looking aside from those but going right out and identifying where are they, what
is the problem and whether that is because their seems to be a backlog in cases and why is that in certain installations. we will target efforts to make sure is that a process issue, is it a command issued? what are the various pieces to do this? we do have a broke and down succinct way and that is where we are falling through. >> i appreciate that and i appreciate you setting before this committee and saying that we want results from this. and i'm sure you do too. so it has to be a lot more than just a testimony before this committee. it has to be real action all the way down and we will be really following that. we can't have these hearings every six months or every year and keep hearing the same things. and one of the things that i hear most often from servicemembers in this joint process is that they don't have any idea of when they are going to separate from the service. they want to make plans to move. to school or get back with their families or whatever they are doing and as we heard today, those numbers keep rising.
last fiscal year the average processing time as we heard was 394 days for active duty and 420 for guard and reserve. that is unacceptable for someone who is just waiting to figure out what they are going to do with the rest of their lives. i really believe servicemembers would benefit from knowing what time it's actually going to be at the installations that they are ads rather than we have a gold hear of so many days but what is it in your installation, even if it's not what we like it at least telling them a reality number and i would like both of your departments to look into that and report back to this committee on the possibility of having real information. >> let me also say that the only way that we are going to restore trust, which is really important, is by focusing on consistency and accuracy of decisions and i hope that both the va and the dod have really
learned from the va claim system struggles to how important is to get the disability decisions correct the first time. i am concerned because committee oversight has revealed as i talked about earlier, decisions with errors. given that the military relies on the disability level assigned by the va, these areas could impact the benefits of servicemembers and also the benefits from the va. so mr. gingrich when the dba identifies an error in a rating decision deal alert dod that the error can be fixed before separation? >> madam chairman, there are two things we do. it if it's before separation we notified the individual and we get the correction done before. if it's after in the person is now a veteran and rediscover, one case so far we found the individual was a discrepancy in the rating and they wouldn't have changed the rating. we have helped that individual and gone back to the service and help that individual get their
records correct. >> what recourse do they have to go back and get the dod rating? >> if we substantiate it, it would be very, fairly simple for them to get it corrected. if it's not a mistake that we made or not an error that was made at the time and the condition has changed later than it would be much more difficult. but we talked about yesterday and we decided we have to make sure the processes process is such that the veteran or the active duty servicemember doesn't have to do anything. we take care of it and we do it for them to get it started and give them the information they need and then they work the system. we will be proactively involved in any errors we find. >> we will have more information about what we are finding on that. >> we look forward to that and we are working on every case. >> i have several other questions for the record that i did want to focus on the integrated electronic health record. we know that delays in ides are
driven in part by problems in accessing information sharing paper files between departments. those challenges are not unique to ides but they do affect every access of the servicemembers service -- transition today including how their health and benefits information is shared. we have heard a lot of talk from va and dod that they are making progress on data-sharing and the virtual lifeline electronic record. but according to this week's press release only two sites will have initial joint electronic health record capability by 2014, with 2017 actually being the target date for implementation of this. now the department have both said that the key to their collaboration in the and the key to the success or failure of disability evaluations in transition are these electronic health records. it seems to me that they should be a priority for absolutely everybody. the project has been plagued as you well know by false starts
and budget issues and planning has been complete. and i understand that a lot of positions in the office responsible for staffing and managing these projects are unfilled yet. i understand only 30% are staffed but how can the department save -- say this is a priority when it's only 30% staff and we are talking about 2017 is a target date? >> i believe looking at the most recent numbers, we continually add staff tuesday -- but that is not impeding progress at the current point. there have been substantial progress made in terms of the inter-agency program office with their new director actually named within the past three months with extensive experience and you are right. those secretaries announced early this week that by 2014 both in san antonio and hampton roads we will have initial operating capability of the system which will have a couple areas from our missing on down to medical records that are
functional. and they think they also pointed out when they announced it was we are moving forward but we are also moving forward deliberately because we cannot afford to have any errors and these actual records going forward. so this is a safety concern for individuals to be able to get this right. we do have some systems currently in one of the things both secretaries did when they were in chicago was an example where we have been able to use existing systems and it's not the long-term solution but it's one that is working now and begin to exchange data much better so we are learning from that and integrating that into this electronic health record. so it is a priority. we are putting in the staffing but we also want to make sure that there is no chance for errors because this is people's information and we cannot afford to have any errors. >> mr. gingrich? >> i agree with secretary rooney. this is a priority of this department and the secretary has made it his number one party.
he has pushed it hard and we do see the numbers. it sounds like it's not much but the ability with a single sign-on to be able to look at a screen and get data from either vista or all to and be able to do a medical evaluation and it's clear, it's clean and it's doable. we are looking at how do we do that in other places. i also think the integration of the hospital pharmacy has to be done as we will talk about. that is very complicated but they are doing it there and making it work so we are making progress. are we making progress as best as both secretaries would like? probably not that we are making progress and we are pushing it and that is why talk about things like the bta. that's not the electronic health record but it will inform the electronic health record and it will also form a vbms and things like that we will have so we are doing the little pieces as we are going along in addition to the electronic health record.
>> i really don't have anymore questions but i think the point that you made madam chair up out, if we could really give these folks a realistic idea of what is going on. i know in my life, i think all of our lives the most difficult time is when you're in a period of uncertainty, and you know these are professionals. they are used to bureaucracy and this and that. being in the service they have been in but i do think that is such a little thing but it is a huge deal so if we can work on that. the other thing is that, you know we have a situation where this is you know the number one goal of the secretaries and things to try and get this sorted out. something we might consider is maybe he'll and the ranking member and senator burr and perhaps chairman miller, ranking member filner. i know they are as concerned as we are about this that may be on
some sort of a basis, i don't know about monthly or whatever you feel like is appropriate or somebody you designate for you all to get together and basically you know, let's talk about you know, how things are going and the other thing is, is how we as a congress, if there are things that we can do that again to facilitate and just really all work together. you know, i know that you all want and all of your capacities to get this worked out as much as anybody and certainly we want to be there to help you but it is something we have to get worked out. >> thank you madam chair. >> thank you very much and let me just say ensuring an accurate, efficient and seamless disability evaluation process for our servicemembers really is a critical part of making sure that they receive the care and benefits that they deserved. clearly there is a lot more work to be done. we have seen some steps in the right direction but it's going to take continued engagement and cooperation from both
departments to get this right. that has been a message that i would really urge both of you dr. rooney and mr. gingrich to share with secretary shinseki and panetta. we also need to share this message with the lower levels too. it's very clear the squad member leaders and squad leaders and they interact everyday with the servicemembers and need to get the message as well so i hope you follow up on that. this system has been experiencing a lot of challenges for a very long time. but we owe it to our military members who have served his country to get this right and that is what this committee is focused on and we want to urge you to really really from the top all the way to the bottom work to get this done right. so thank you very much for your testimony today and work on this and with that this hearing is adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
>> life is incredibly precious and it passes by far too quickly. said doing -- during your time, use all of your unique, god-given talent to serve one another as that will be the true measure by which your life will be judged. follow the golden rule. >> this morning "washington journal" talked with cnbc anchor maria bartiromo about wall street british ducks about financial sector credibility and
challenges after the facebook ipo and losses by jpmorgan chase. it's about 45 minutes. >> host: on your screen is friday morning is maria bartiromo. she has been covering wall street and financial markets for quite a long time now and summer for venues include anchor of cnbc's closing bell host and managing editor of "the wall street journal" report and she is a monthly column for "usa today." she is here this morning to talk with you about the state of the u.s. economy and take your calls. good morning. i'm going to start with headlines in the newspaper about europe. for example, "the wall street journal" this morning -- for the eurozone and below that i have "the new york times" facing a teetering greece, europe plans for the worse. in what way will what is happening in europe affect the united states economy and financial markets quest. >> guest: in a couple of ways. first of the european debt crisis has been front and center for the global market so what is happening in europe and the
perception of what is happening in europe more importantly is affecting markets here. earlier this week we had a comment from the former prime minister of greece who basically said yes considerations are underway for reese to leave the euro. that is completely upset the u.s. markets because the euro actually dropped in value and the u.s. stock market followed along with it. so, just any headlines or sort of expectations of what may happen in terms of the euro breaking up is affecting the global markets and the u.s. market in particular. that is number one. never two europe is our largest trading partner sewed to see the economy there to cheer it amidst all of this debt in various countries there we are actually seeing the slowdown in business. our exports are going there so the u.s. is certainly impacted on a fundamental way by the weakness in europe. and then of course there is just the market disruption, the uncertainty as far as who is
holding what. u.s. banks, you're in bean banks in some regard holds some of that debt in europe and when we see markets get disrupted and when we see volatility, we see those banks stocks trade lower and the valuation and a number of european banks are down sharply because people are unclear as far as who is holding what and where the exposure is in this very connected world. >> host: we want to give you our call-in numbers or you can join in the conversation about the u.s. economy and also about washington's regulations. in the wake of the 2008 meltdown and what effect if any of his head on the financial markets and the banking system. our phone numbers or (202)727-0003 and -- you can also tweet us at c-span wj and we have an e-mail address so you can be involved and ask questions and make comments. we are talking about the banks. let's move onto the jpmorgan
unit story. it is on the front page of "the wall street journal" once again, jpmorgan began it made risky bets on firms. let me read a little bit to her audience of a haven't -- the jpmorgan chase and company unit has wrong way bets on corporate credit cost the bank more than $2 billion includes a group invested and financially challenged companies including lightsquared incorporated, the wireless broadband provider that filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this month. the investments raise new questions about the risk being taken by the bank's chief investment officer, cio which jpmorgan has said is tasked primarily with investing excess cash and managing risks for the new york company. may maybe too soon to draw lessons from jpmorgan but what kind of consensus opinion is developing on the street about what happened there? >> guest: well i think people believe that they made aggressive bets with their own money and some of those bets obviously failed. and it was frankly a stupid mistake. and so i think that overall,
people are looking at the trading laws of jpmorgan and saying okay we did not realize that the chief investment officer at jpmorgan was being as aggressive as they are in terms of their own money. the good news here is this is not taxpayer money. this is excess cash at jpmorgan in testing for jpmorgan bank. i think clearly the so-called aggressive trader that was behind all of these trades was way too aggressive and you heard that from the chairman and ceo, jamie dimon who basically called this self-inflicted, called its stupidity, called it excessive use of the firm's cash, and as a result, the stock has lost a considerable amount of failure. we are talking about a 2 billion-dollar mistake. some people are saying the losses could go higher, 3 billion even $5 billion but again the market value lost to
jpmorgan is some $30 billion since this was actually revealed. so the firm is doing damage control right now and these are risky bets taken again in the chief investment officer at jpmorgan with jpmorgan money. >> host: having made the point that it's jpmorgan money washington has taken -- jamie dimon agreeing to testify before congress. is there a role for washington in the sense that it was jpmorgan's own money? >> guest: i think the broader issue here is looking at the kind of risk that is being taken at jpmorgan and other major banks. it opens up a new can of forms and a in a debate as far as whether or not we need more regulation at the banks. now on the one side jpmorgan will say again, what i just said, and that is this is the banks money. this is not impacting taxpayers and he does not impacting the broad public so this is the jpmorgan affair. on the other hand, given what we
have been through in 2008 in the financial crisis and how we all know that interconnected the banking system is around the world and how one mistake and bring can bring down an entire industry like we saw with aig, like we saw with so many banks in 2008, the other side would say love, this is clearly evidence that this bank, the entire system needs heavier regulation, needs more oversight to ensure risky bets are not taken to possibly jeopardize the entire financial system. this is not going to jeopardize the entire financial system but it's a broader issue about the regulatory environment. jamie dimon sort of stuck his neck out over the last year and was very vocal about regulators, relaxed. too much regulation, you're getting on us and we are trying to conduct business. this is too much bureaucracy. now, he sort of has ag on his face because he was the one who is very vocal about it. the issue in trading, and it's
really in many cases what this was, is the fact that the bank is making risky bets with its own money but the regulators will say at some point -- this was not deposited money so this was actually not proprietary trading. what i'm having a difficulty understanding is how the regulators are actually going to define the criteria trading. i have a hard time actually seeing the volcker rule being implemented in its current form because if you look at a situation where, let's say i am jpmorgan or xyz bank and i get a call from a customer who says i have a million shares of abc to unload. me, as their bank, i have to do business on behalf of my client so i need to sell that million shares of xyz, whatever stock that is. of course i'm not going to unload all that stock and one
showing because if i do that i immediately dumped the stock on the market and at night impact the market, and it's a real big selloff and it's impacting the entire market. so i'm going to pick my spot as a thing. i have to get on the other side of that trade because that is my customer. they want to sell 1 million shares of xyz so i have to buy that 1 million shares of xyz and sat on it and figure out when i'm going to sell it at the best prices for my account. so the question at the end of the day is, is that proprietary trading? in my trading for my own account or am i acting on behalf of my customer, which is the normal business of these institutions. that is what is very hard to define. if you can't define what proprietary trading is, how will you implement it? this is what is being debated right now and this is why the issue of proprietary trading and the volcker rule really become somewhat cloudy. >> host: let's get a flavor of the kinds of questions
washington is asking about jpmorgan. here's a clip from a senate hearing. mary schapiro who is head of the securities and exchange committee went before the committee and democratic senator from new jersey bob menendez asking her about who is to blame for the 2 billion-dollar loss. >> with reference to what happened at jpmorgan, where huge losses they are take place, have you determined who is responsible at this point for that? >> no. as i said our focus is very much, because we did not regulate the london branch of jpmorgan bank. that is an otc regulated entity. also this is on the quality of their risk disclosure and their specific disclosures as a public company. they talked about their potential, the risks they face as a businessman i talk about potential losses under their model. we are very focused on the
accuracy and timeliness of that disclosure. >> host: maria bartiromo let me ask you not to much to respond to that but to talk about the securities and exchange commission posts dodd-frank. how have they changed their focus? how are they stacked up and what are americans citizens getting from that oversight agency, the regulatory body in the wake of the financial meltdown? >> guest: i think they are still watching the changes and we are still in dissipating changes. the issue here with the securities and exchange commission is it does not appear that the snp has the firepower, enough firepower. they need a much bigger policing up of staff. they need a much bigger beefing up of sort of empowerment to take on the kinds of things that it is taking on under this new regulatory environment. because it is giving the fcc much more oversight on top of hedge funds, private equity, the major winan shall institutions
and without an enormous amount of new cases it has follow. it is not necessarily beefed-up its own people and sort of wherewithal to do that so i think it is in a tough spot. they need to have a stronger oversight of what is going on post 2008 and yet they don't necessarily have the people in place that understand the complexity and the people in place to actually look at all of the cases that are now under its purview. >> host: i want to get some calls in. we have more shoes to talk about but our viewers are raring to go. our are lines related up with comments alleged "shrewsbury pennsylvania. geraldine is a republican there. morning, you are on with maria bartiromo. >> caller: good morning to you and maria i enjoy your show. i have heard there countries now buying oil in either gold or their own currency. is this going to lead the currency wars and how would all of that affect the dollar? >> guest: right now the
biggest effect on the dollar has been the implications for the euro, and that is also by the way impacting the commodities market, oil included. this week for example of the happenings in the headlines in europe, many of the negative, actually impact the euro and set the dollar higher. i think you know when you look at the entire currency market people will view the dollar sort of a risky market. we are unclear as far as what will happen to the euro. i think many people expected some point greece to leave the euro. whether or not that up opens a new can of forms with portugal and italy and really collapse the euro remains to be same. i don't think that would happen but it is unknown and it really depends on the orderliness of an exit by greece. if that were to happen in an orderly fashion then i think the market would stay stable but if we see disorderly action in terms of the euro