tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 16, 2015 2:00am-4:01am EST
of the national portrait gallery and organizer of this legend. thank you again. and guest of our speaker. and then the director of information that the austrian embassy. florence thompson, president of thomson and associates. [applause] . . this year marks the 50th birthday of the national endowment for the humanities independent federal agency that
is funded by taxpayers. our speaker is chair of the organization since mid-2014 and we hope to hear bro adams plans for marking that opportunity -- organization. it's politically eclipsed in recent years 146 million-dollar budget grants generally go to state humanities councils museums, research and educational institutions. than native of michigan adams has degrees from colorado college and the university of california and santa cruz. his formal education was interrupted by three years of service in the army including one year in vietnam. it was partly that experience he
says that motivated him to study and teach the humanities. he has said quote it made me serious in a certain way and as a 20-year-old combat infantry adviser i came face to face acutely with questions of writers artists philosophers and musicians are examining in our work starting with what does it mean to be human unquote. later he coordinated the great works in western culture program at stanford university and served as vice president and secretary of wesleyan university. he became president of lucknow university in 1995 and president of kolbe college in 2000. last spring president obama nominated adams to serve as a tenth chairman of the national endowment for the humanities. ladies and gentlemen please get that warm national press club
welcome to bro adams. [applause] >> thank you myron for those nice words and good afternoon everyone. welcome and thank you so much for coming. it's great to be here at the national press club and i want to thank its organizers for inviting me and giving me this chance to talk about any age and the wonderful work we are doing. i'm also very grateful for the inspiration of the cupcakes. [laughter] we have been talking a lot about the 50th neh and we haven't talked yet about cupcakes but i know now that's what we are going to do. that's all i have to say on the 50th but there will be cupcakes. some additional expressions of thanks to those of you here today i want to thank my colleagues from neh including
members of our national council and our national trust for being with us today and i want to especially thank judy have her man for making these arrangements. my guess at the table you have been heard them announced our great colleagues passionate advocates for the humanities and i'm honored by their presence. i'm also very grateful to the friends and colleagues from other humanities organizations around the region and many friends here today from kolbe college where he had the honor to serve as president for 14 years. thank you all for coming. i have come today particularly to announce an important new initiative at neh one that i think will bring humanities scholars and organizations to the forefront of discussions of american life but first and by way of important context to that i want to talk a little bit about neh come its history and its role in our cultural life in the united states. as myron said on september 29
1965 nearly 50 years ago president lyndon johnson signed the national foundation of the arts and humanities act. the act created both the national endowment for the arts and the national endowment for the humanities and it was part of it truly remarkable legislative agenda. consider this and every four years year span that congress passed in addition to this act the civil rights act of 1964 the voting rights act of 1964, the wilderness act of 1964, the so-so security amendments of 1965 which of course were medicare and medicaid. the national historic preservation trust act of 1966 in the civil rights act of 1968 also known as the fair housing act. wow, that's really an amazing legacy. and the legacy of these pieces of legislation are of course still being debated here in washington and elsewhere around
the country and maybe around the world but there's no question that they have changed this country profoundly and they have changed it forever. in the intervening 50 years neh has been leveraging an additional $2.4 billion in private philanthropy. these grants have supported scholars and teachers colleges and universities, museums libraries historical association and historical sites in every territory. they founded documentary filmmakers museum creators librarians and they have helped many small and large organizations preserve artifacts documents and collections that serve as the building blocks of cultural memory and history. it also enables humanities scholars and organizations to exploit digital technology increasingly with time to research presentation and the dissemination of humanities materials and resources.
the most significant result of this work i think and there have been many important ones but the most significant one i think has been the steady growth, what i want to call cultural capital of the united states. we have had a lot of partners in this work including humanities councils state and local governments private foundations represented by mellon here today generous individuals but without the endowment leadership and without a symbolic authority and without its singular commitment to the entire nations cultural legacies and capacity our cultural foundation which will benefit from today would be far less impressive than far less widely appreciated by the american people and by many others around the world. the importance of cultural capital measured in a number of ways beginning with the breadth and depth of public engagement that it creates and sustains.
two programs i want to mention our exemplary. in early 1970s under the leadership of chairman ronald berman neh made the fateful decision to invest in christ -- aggressively in museums in documentary filmmaking and television production. the results were felt almost immediately. on the museum's side an important part of what we still do the neh grant supported a number of large and hugely successful art exhibits and major museums around the country including the pathbreaking exhibit in 1976 which was seen by nearly 8 million people here in washington new york los angeles new orleans san francisco seattle and chicago. in new york alone nearly 30% of the visitors were first-time museum goers. this exhibit and several others like it and i'm sure bet she knows a great deal about this change forever the way museums think about the public in the
way the public thinks about museums. it also led wonderfully to a steve martin satirical song which you can still access on youtube. i did it the other day and i urge you to do it as well. neh investment in documentary filmmaking also has had an extraordinary impact and ken burns worked on all of the films we have done and there are many more. the brooklyn bridge came out in 1982 followed by the life and times of huey long in 1986 in the civil war which first started in 1990 and had in its first 12 million viewers. ken's most recent film which i'm sure many people in this room have seen the roosevelt, was seen by 33 million people in the first week of airing on public television stations across the country. now these productions are very impressive and very important to us. but they represent only the tip of the iceberg of neh' iceberg.
many more moore hasn't been touched in some way by the humanities council by neh supported libraries and exams are the work of neh funded scholars which included 18 pulitzer prizewinners and 20 bancroft prizewinners. by zimon arsonist is used for educators and by the courses these educators offered in the wake of their neh experience and there is also our web site excitement which offers humanities resources to primary and secondary schoolteachers around the country and more than 3 million visitors every year. public engagement really matters. it's very important to us the cultural capital matters in other ways. to that i want to mention briefly, the cultural economy is hugely important to the economic health of thousands of communities around the country. i came from one recently waterville main and matters more
as the economy shifts from being a manufacturing economy to one based on financial services health care retail human services education and support. more important still our democracy relies on the knowledge that citizens have of our political history and the principles and values that history was built upon and ensuring that this story is told broadly and powerfully is among neh's most important accomplishments. the legislation creating neh as was inspired by the report of the national commission on the humanities which was formed in 1963 through the combined energies of the american council of societies. the council of graduate schools of united chapter of phi beta kappa. i'm pleased to note this was not planned but it's true that the leaders of these organizations
pauline u and suzanne ortega and john churchill are here today. the commission was chaired by barbour kinney president of brown university and later annie h.'s first german included them marketable array of university scholars liberians -- librarians and included tom watson junior the second present an ambassador to the soviet union who presumably knew a thing or two about cultural imagination and technological innovation. the commission had several arguments for the establishment of these agencies devoted to arts and humanities that were later used in the founding legislation. i want to mention them briefly. here they are. the manatees embraced the great enduring values of justice freedom and equality virtue beauty and truth. without the deliberate cultivation of these virtues in the public sphere we risk losing sight of them.
american democracy demand citizens understand its history and its fundamental principles and values. the manatees promote the kind of cross-cultural and multicultural understanding that is required in an increasingly interconnected world. given its economic and military power in the world the united states must be a leader in the realm of the spirit and ideas and therefore has a compelling state interest in developing humanistic knowledge and institutions. shaping all of these arguments with the conviction that neh would have to be focused on two related but slightly different spheres of activity. on the one hand the agency would have to invest in fundamental research in the various skills composing the humanities philosophy art history archaeology anthropology language linguistics political
theory and so forth. at the same time the founders articulated early supporters in congress were also determined that humanities research at public meaning influence and impact. the legislation declared unequivocally quote in the humanities belong to all the people of the united states and accordingly nah had to be committed not just to the cultivation of the best of what has been fought and known and the often repeated words of matthew arnold's to the public and where the public actually lives. end quote the current condition of national life. that's also from the legislation. john watson who was an early member of our national council and was an official atlantic public school system expressed this populist impulse in a wonderful way which i love. when he called for the neh quote to broaden the general area of the humanities as the equipment
as the equipment of all the citizens. and so for nearly 50 years neh is carried on its work with these twin purposes in mind to ensure leadership in the realm of ideas in the spirit engaging the humanities with the public and with the circumstances of contemporary life. this marriage of what we think of or our might think of as the classical and the pragmatic or the scholarly and popular is not always been easy quite frankly. like many marriages my wife discouraged me from saying most marriages -- [laughter] like many marriages there is experience misunderstanding and even jealousy but it has also been enormous the creative and vital to neh's success in building the cultural capital of the country. it is with that achievement in mind and with an eye to the
celebration of our 50th anniversary that the agency is officially announcing today that a new initiative called the common good, the humanities and the public square. as the title suggest the purpose of this initiative is to engage humanities scholars and organizations with complex issues playing out in our public lives and to demonstrate the relevance and the power of the humanities and addressing those issues. the notion of the common good should be familiar to us and central to democratic political theory and practice and it expresses both the right and obligation of citizens to debate the general welfare. it is the aspirational goal the guiding ambition that anchors citizenship and participation in democratic politics and eight i found this passage recently been franklin said it well. benefits of the common good is defined.
so our hope that neh is to encourage humanities scholars and organizations to turn their attention toward public life and more specifically the initiative in humans to engage in eliminating the grand challenge is that we now face as a nation. no list of such challenges as definitive but here are a few about which i think humanists have a lot to say. how can the humanities illuminate both the positive and where some ways in which the remarkable advances in information technology are affecting individuals and communities in contemporary american life? how can humanities enrich the debate over the appropriate balance of security and privacy with security and liberty the technological advances placed before us. i dare say that in the wake of the events in france this question will become even more powerful and urgent. how can humanities deepen
understanding of the meaning of democratic citizenship in the 21st century? how can they manatees to contribute to the understanding of the relationship gene humans and the national world another of urgent mad dash urgent matters. and contribute to the achievement of a deeper and broader public understanding of the experience of work wrecks how can humanities contribute to the corporation of veterans and civilians life and help all of us appreciate their unique perspective? how can a they humanities assist the country and addressing the challenges and opportunities created by the changing demographics in many american communities? how can they humanities illuminate the enormous promise of new biomedical technologies and procedures and deepen our understanding of the complex ethical questions that they raise? beginning this month of neh will welcome proposals in all of our appropriate grant programs for
projects that draw on the resources and methods of the humanities to engage public understanding in public understood the standing of these and other important dimensions of our lives. several specific areas are worth mentioning. a few weeks ago in anticipation of today's announcement and age launched the public scholars program which will provide support for well researched books in the humanities intended to reach a broad public audience. the program aims to encourage scholarship that will be of interest broadly to the public and it will have lasting impact. over -- under the rubric of the comic of the endowment intends to expand its standing together initiative which supports projects in grant connecting the humanities to the experiences of veterans am war. this is initiative is supported work in 50 states and all the territories through a special grant we made last spring and we hope that it will be able to provide even more support in the
next budget year. as part of the common good initiative we are very pleased to announce today the new collaboration with andrew w. mellon foundation and i'm so pleased that phil lewis is here. the obama project is designed to give second life to outstanding out-of-print books in the humanities by making them freely accessible to the public as e-books. i will say that again. freely accessible as e-books. this is their first collaboration of this kind with mel and which of course in its own right has been a leading funder since 1969 and finally the museum and cultural organizations program at any age to encourage for public humanities programs to reach new underserved or underrepresented audiences. in this regard we have announced a major partnership with the american library association supporting community programs nationwide on the theme of
latino american 500 years of history. we believe that the common good is important and timely for several reasons. first we are convinced that the common good will be good for the humanities and for humanity scholarships. we are all aware of recent criticisms that humanists have become too inwardly and too professionally focused. this initiative will provide encouragement and support the scholars who wish to demonstrate the relevance of their professional abilities and interests through american life. my experience in talking about this with people suggest this encouragement will be welcomed both in and outside the academy. within the academy there is growing concern about the confines it places on what is and is not regarded as legitimate scholarship and beyond the academy i think there is a hunger for the particular angle and vision that humanists can bring to public concerns.
nicholas kristof of "the new york times" in case many of you might have seen spoke last summer when he said quote to me the humanities are not only relevant but also gives us a toolbox to think seriously about ourselves and about the world. the prospect of thinking seriously about ourselves and the world is what drew me and most humanists i know into the profession. we were convinced that ideas matter in the everyday world. we believe that the humanities are valuable because they are -- their study deepens our capacity to sort out the meaning of our experience. as my rent said i know this in a particular way. returning from the vietnam war and the turbulence of the 1960s the humanities offered me a way of thinking about what i had witnessed. i found in them perspective and meaning and since coming to neh by the way i've been very
pleased to note that other more recent combat veterans have been affected in a similar way by some of the programs that we have offered to veterans. a more engaged in public humanities profession will be good for the country as well for most of the great challenges, most of the great challenges we face as a nation challenges that defined us and will increasingly determine our future are not essentially problems of a technical or scientific nature. they are almost exclusively about our values but are fundamental beliefs and ideas and assumptions, better histories and about our cultures. these are the proper domain to the humanities and it's learning and its thinking. the public can help us understand where we have been, what we value and believe and where we are headed. by way of example and at the risk of being a little provocative and may be too
topical consider a scorching experience we have been through in the last few months in this country regarding the issue of race. this is hardly a new topic in american history and life. but it's one that appeared to some for brief period of time to have become less pressing. it's hard to believe now but remember in the wake of the election of 2008 some people even spoke of a post-racial society and then came ferguson and statin island and bedford stuyvesant. it's not clear how this difficult passage where it now and the broader conditions for which it comes will be resolved in what resolution means but i think most people would agree that there can be no adequate understanding of our current situation without a better appreciation of the history of race relations in the united states, our cultural assumptions
and divisions and of the ways in which we actually lived in and receive the world. plenty of work there for historians and social philosophers among others plenty of ground for reflection and questioning for all of us. i could use other examples but i think you see my point. we need to form understanding and knowledge embodied in the humanities historical emotional and psychological knowledge because they illuminate the conditions of our lives and they answered us more deeply into her own experience. the result is not the sudden disappearance by the way of the things that affects us but a deeper understanding of who we are, how we got here and how we might lead better lives. i know words like insight and understanding in illumination makes some people short-tempered
short-tempered. that's exactly what's wrong with the humanists. i can hear the grumpy anti-humanists say. they never get to the bottom of things and of course that's true true. if by the bottom of things we mean that and has been a cure for disease but if we are honest with ourselves about how we live in our personal lives and in our lives with others we know that we never get to the bottom of things in this particular sense. but sometimes we get wiser. i do not mean by this to undervalue other forms of knowledge. stem the progress of science and technology is hugely important to the country and all of us do we have recently invested time energy and resources in the advancement of stem in the government education the private sector but as we do we must keep other important investments in mind especially our investments in the humanities not just because they are the source of
great beauty and pleasure which of course they are but because we depend upon these forms of knowledge just as surely as we depend on scientific knowledge. the national endowment for the humanities will certainly continue its investments in research and education and public programs of all kinds in the preservation of historical material in the digital humanities institution building in the state and local humanities organizations and the cultural capital of this country will continue to expand as a result. and major cultural institutions and cities libraries and museums and historical sites and colleges and universities and high schools and in the work of humanities scholars and by way of the common good will make a difference bank urging humanities scholars and organizations to think and speak about things that matter in the public world. we all can make a difference. if i'm right that humanities are
central to the preservation of our cultural legacy in her history and for capacity to address the challenges we face as a nation than they are everyone's business everyone's responsibility. we need to defend them and we need to promote them and we need to support institutions in which they live. neh will celebrate its centenary in 2055. most of us won't be around. i'm sure i won't be around to learn how the next 50 years have gone and how an additional $5 billion maybe more hope it is, will have conjured it to our country's cultural resources. some future chair will be baby here speaking to the humanities community and his friends about the impact of 50 more years of leadership in grant-making and i'm certain that the report will be worth hearing. in the meantime thank you for coming today for your interest and support of the national endowment of the humanities.
thank you very much. [applause] [applause] >> thank you chairman adams were very insightful speech and as a journalist thank you for making news with the announcement of the common good initiative. the first question it at the neh you have championed a new public scholar program to win your words, inspire humanities scholars to do a different kind of work, to make sure it enters into the public realm where it can matter and have impact. what kind of impact do you feel public scholarship can and should have in our society today today?
>> thank you for the question. as i was just saying i think that kind of work can enter into this broad round of public discussion of these matters that are so important to us and that they will end out way provide greater insight into where we go with those issues. we all live and we are always engaged in our history, our culture our ideas and our values and to the degree that humanists can contribute to that sphere or those fears it will do a lot of public good. humanists don't agree about these things by the way so there will be discussion and debate as there should be but i think it's by attaching themselves to those problems and to those challenges that humanities scholars can make a great difference in our public discourse.
>> your new neh initiative is called the common good. the humanities in the public square. what is the 21st century's public square? >> it's complicated. the public square has a resonance of different times when we can all gather around the town square and debate the public good. of course we are very far-flung country now. we are big in numbers. we are big and territory and we have this entirely new and revolutionary thing called information technology and the internet to deal with. so the public square looks and feels quite different from what it used to be and indeed i think there are issues and questions about exactly what information technology has done to the public square and how it has changed it.
that means we are going to have to speak in many different kinds of ways to these things including ways that are more congenial to that sphere the internet information technology and all associated things. who knows, we might be supporting the scholarships in that is no longer expressed in a scholarly or academic monograph beyond the book. we may be going beyond the book with that kind of humanities were. indeed i think we didn't go beyond the book we would probably be losing ground so that is part of the meditation on the public scholar program is how those thoughts and contributions will be expressed. >> when you became any -- any age cherokees spoke about the two strains of public humanities the legacy of mark matthew arnold's ideas about how humanities enrich us because they are quote the best of what
has been thought and said unquote and also william james idea that humanities have a pragmatic purpose to shape quote the conduct of life unquote. in today's diverse and global universe are there still timeless questions? >> i think there are such questions. and for example in some of the veterans programs we have done we have supported a unique entity in new york at nyu called the tukwila theatre project and they have been using great tragedy and end with the production support provided by and for veterans and it's been interesting for me to see how timeless those texts are with respect to the issues that veterans are facing. i attended a meeting group in
maine funded by neh there are state humanities council in which veterans of three wars vietnam iraq and afghanistan were reading the odyssey was a scholar from the university of southern main maine map. the odyssey is a book about coming home from war if there ever was one. that's the book and i was again quite struck and pleased by how passionate these participants were about that text and how revealing they felt it was. so there are some dimensions of these timeless attributes of the humanities but we also need to be very attentive to the ways in which our current cultural circumstances has shaped all of these questions and i think combining the best of what lawton said the timeless with their current dilemmas challenges opportunities. i think that's where the real
power of this material comes out. >> thank you. is there such a thing as quote cultural literacy unquote today underlies civic engagement and ideas about the public good? >> absolutely the reason i mentioned more than once in my talk this tradition american political tradition historical and philosophical political theoretical is that literacy in a democratic context involves a deeper point is with those things. we are all worried, i know you are and i certainly am about the level and intensity of political participation. a lot of people are worrying about this. it's not going to get better certainly without a real national commitment to those cultural and historical legacies and to the revisiting of what the original material means in
the contemporary political and social context. so re-engaging civic engagement in that sense is a big thing for any age and about to be a big thing for anyone who cares about democratic politics in the united states. >> a follow-on question is political partisanship eroding the common good and if so what could be done about that? [laughter] >> while that's an easy question. is it eroding it? absolutely and the sense of national community that is necessary to democratic democratic politics has i thank been badly affected by that kind of oppositional politics. i suggested in my remarks when i mention the challenges we face that this challenge, the intensity of these political and almost always cultural divisions as being important material for
humanists to take up so without having an answer i would say as a field for discussion and humanistic research and writing communication and expression is a hugely important question and we have to be letting ourselves loose as humanists on that question and trying to understand those divisions better, what drives them and how we might find our way to other forms of community. so i don't have an answer. i do have some medicine. [laughter] >> how can that humanities illuminate the debate between security and privacy in our digital world? >> well, as i said this is a very urgent question and it has become urgent because of our own recent history what some people regard to be overly invasive
forms of technological intrusion so it's been a big issue here read this note in controversy of course raised it in another way and now it's been raised in still another way in france. how we balance these things how we provide a room for both sides of this value proposition in our lives in the work of our government and official and unofficial organizations i think is hugely important. i think again here this is an area where people a lot smarter than i am and with a lot more specific knowledge have a lot to say. i was talking with one of our grantees jeff rosen at the national constitution center recently and we hope to have some kind of discussion there back to center on the constitutional issues that are present here.
but to get beyond the white-hot material into a more deliberate and well paced reflection for example in the context of our constitutional passed a guarantees of liberty and so forth would be very helpful. we are going to be tested seriously on this. france a place i know something about is going to be really tested on this in the next few weeks and months and years i dare say. so it's going to become a more important conversation and i think whether it's from a constitutional point of view or other kinds of philosophical points of view i think again is something that humanists can ventilate and help us think through. >> speaking of the digital world it seems that the internet is designed to shorten the attention spans. that being the case do you have
any concerns for young people who live through their phones and communicate primarily through tax will never develop an appreciation for the humanities? >> yes, i do. it suggests two things to me. we have got to be more creatively engaged, all of us but neh and other organizations that support it and the implications of that technology and school settings for the way in which a humanities curriculum is advanced and talk about them presented and taught. we haven't done much in that area and i think we have to approach it. i think we also have to find it we are doing this much more at neh bennett first is we need to find ways of making humanities material what's the right way to put this?
presentable understandable and engagingly available in all types of technological settings. we have actually started working and i won't surprise people in this room. we have worked on things like games and apps and other things that make this technology connect to some of the humanities work that people are doing. we need to do much more of that too but i think all of us in the ways we are involved with secondary education have to also be involved with school curricula decisions school planning. i'm not a secondary schoolteacher. i have a daughter who is graduating from high school and i know what her attention span is like. and i don't think it's just that she doesn't like talking to me.
i think there's a lot of work to be done there. >> today's headlines illuminate the polarizing political and cultural issues that permeate american life. how can the humanities enrich public understanding about the meaning and opportunities of democratic citizenship today click scan the humanities enable people to connect to our founding political principles and values in 21st century terms? >> yes absolutely. i was reading an interesting piece the other day by robert ballard a talk about and he is a social philosopher than american setting and he was talking about important moments of civic humanism, a term i like and he said in that context that the most important moment of civic humanism and american history was of course the founding of for the constitutional founding. here we have a bunch of very smart people madison, jefferson
and hamilton and others writing pieces. i guess the contemporary analogue would be blogs, writing pieces in newspapers now collected in the federalist papers and arguing about the constitution. of course there was another side to this which we don't often resurrect and remember, the anti-federalist. they were very smart people too. they lost the argument but it was an argument and it was one that took place in a very public space the space of newspapers as they were then understood. these authors, brilliant and amazing people who by the way were deeply versed. we shouldn't forget this, deeply versed in the humanities tradition going all the way back to the roman and greek republics democracies. they were making these arguments in this very public way to the people who are going to decide
this. there are other moments of great civic humanism and american history but we need to jen up another one now. we need to connect it to the past but we also need to connect it to the contemporary state of the political institutions organizations and all of that. it's very important. we don't do it very well. we talk and worship always about the constitution and the declaration. we don't often read it and talk about it. we also don't bring it forward and played out in contemporary circumstances and we need to do much more of that. >> in 1965 as you pointed out president lyndon johnson signed legislation establishing the national endowment for the arts and the national endowment for the humanities and in 1996 the institute of museum and library
services was created. these three federal grant-making organizations constitute our country's arts and culture policymakers. is the time to consolidate these functions and create a cabinet level secretary of the arts? >> and humanities i hope. [laughter] >> i'm sure the white house would like this question. >> that question has been asked of me quite a bit and most ferociously by my wife who has been pestering me about this. it's a very fair and interesting question. i've been reading a lot in the history of our agency and just next door to it nea's history and we have had 50 years now of the separation not in spirit of course but in working back. for a lot of reasons i think personally it would be very hard
to consolidate these organizations and include imls which is another very important resource in the building of cultural capital in the united states. i think it would be difficult. now it's not inconceivable so i don't want to say it's inconceivable but it would be hard. i do think there are ways in which we could enjoy many more collaborative efficiencies. by the way omb agrees with me on this because they talk to us a lot about it and that's a good thing. they should. ..
resonates with virtually everybody. there are many who are interested in what we do. we're talking a lot about what we do. these grants are so important because they touch local communities. every one of them is about a local community in some way. we have to keep making that pitch. we also need to make this argument about the public relevance and how not only how much poorer we would be without them and the work that we do but how incapacitated we would become if we did not have these entities doing what they do. >> with only two years left
of the obama administration how do you approach priorities to get as much done as you can? >> i was just talking about this with a few people this morning. i think we have to think about the most important things 1st of all. and sort them out. things that would be reasonably pursued in his timetable. there is a way that i and my administration might have a longer life than that. we do understand there is this big moment coming. the scope of the work that
we agree to take on we don't want to take on things that could not reasonably be done for eight years. that is too far. trying as best as we can to sort this out and be prudent. >> some questioners have a concern about the election next year. would you be open to staying on to serve in the next administration regardless of the political party of the next president? [laughter] >> i think so. you know i am not a deeply experienced person in washington.
we are independent agencies. that is to say, the work that we do is not carry out or execute and any simple sense and administrations policy and most of the ways we understand it's because we get grants and are getting grants according to the excellence and impressiveness and persuasiveness of the grantees and i can't imagine a situation in which in the new administration from a different party that work can be done by me and my colleagues in a way that has integrity and a meeting. so it is conceivable that that could happen but i don't know. we will see. >> thank you for at least responding. this is the pen ultimate question before we have what
is known traditionally as the last question. 2015 marks the marks the beginning of the 50th anniversary commemorations of the vietnam war. he served in that war. do you see a lasting effect of that war on our nation's collective sense of its own identity? >> while. that is a humanities question, if i ever heard one. yes, in some ways i i do. i mention this amazing legislative agenda that the johnson administration had. what was so impressive to me is that it was achieved in circumstances that were extraordinarily difficult. there were a lot of people who remember how tough those times were and that all of this happened in the midst of the circumstances is really quite amazing.
i think their are ways in which that turbulence is deeply affected me and others of my generation. and so in many ways that are cultural and political i i think we are a very different place because of the. however at the same time we find ourselves coming out of 15 years, more than 15 years of almost continuous conflict in circumstances and in political frameworks that are not usually different. we're still talking about counterinsurgency. and so it is one of the reasons i am so interested in the question about the legacy of war how we as a people think about what we
have been through and keeping the memory of what we have been through a live. that is difficult, a difficult thing to do but it is important that it be done. when we go into these situations we are not thinking about what life is like when we come out of them. now that we are coming out of them we are confronted with very complicated questions about veterans, their lives, how they get reengaged in civilian life and those kind of questions need to be on our mind at the beginning as well as the end. >> we are almost out of time but before asking the last questions we have a couple of housekeeping matters to take care of. i i would like to remind you about our upcoming luncheon.
chairman of chairman of the federal energy regulatory commission will speak about the challenges her agency faces to maintain the reliability of the nation's electricity grid. nextel would like to present our guest with a traditional national press club mode. the last question, on a lighter note you were known to take in to the stage where you served as president of colby college literally. you both appeared on stage in a a musical. do you have a special love for broadway musicals? [laughter] >> i know as to whether we will appear on washington on stage my wife is something very much not. she humored me.
she was a musical theater actor for much of her early professional life and has a wonderful talent and voice. she put up with me. there were others in the jazz concert before we left. we did the great song fever. [laughter] would you like to come up and do it now? [laughter] but in any case my love for musical theater came from her. one of my heroes now. it has been a great part of our time together and is a gift that was given to me by my wife. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. thank you, chairman adams
>> thank you. hello, everyone. thank you for joining. since becoming the sec. of the air force we have dealt with many issues that are enormously critical to national security. first, the united states air force remains fully engaged in combat operations. to date we have provided more than 60 percent of the 16,000 plus. we also continue at the same time our enduring efforts to provide air and space superiority, intelligence, surveillance reconnaissance rapid global mobility nuclear forces and command-and-control. these of course, are our five core missions. we have never wavered, even even with this operation ongoing in the middle east
with our sizable and long-standing commitment in europe and throughout the pacific and certainly will not in the future. additionally we have been navigating through some challenging issues that are facing us as an institution including shortfalls in nuclear enterprise tackling sexual assaults and the tough decisions involving the downsizing. in order to increase our perspective the chief and i have i have made a commitment to routinely get outside the beltway and ensure we are getting first-hand feedback and looks at the missions being performed by our airmen. so we have been on the road again bit this past year. we are staying connected with sister services combatant commanders congress, industry, allies and international partners who we meet with routinely. and so the bottom line if i
step back everyone wants wants more air force. indeed, we have never been busier. demand for our services is up but we are meeting those demands with the smallest air force in our history. when you couple that smaller force against the backdrop of an austere budget and the huge demand what we have is a total force under significant strain. i mean our active duty national guard, reserved, civilians, and families. indeed. indeed, general welsh and i saw this strain first-hand. fortunately we have dedicated and professional people who have been getting the job done.
let me now briefly talk about the fy 15 budget as well as a bit of an outlook for fy 16 and beyond. then we would be happy to take your questions. for those of you who were with us in our last update in july you will remember that we made a call issued a call to congress which basically was that obviously we understand the constitutional prerogative of congress to rearrange our funding priorities but in so doing please do not detrimental readiness, make choices which end up with readiness as the bill payer. while we cannot accomplish her duties without congressional support command in that spirit i want to step back and thank the congress for supporting our air force readiness and modernization going forward. the congress appropriated the overwhelming majority of the air force portion of the
defense appropriation budget request for fy 15. we ended up with a higher top line than our original request, which i think is recognition of just how necessary and valuable our forces. with that said we did not agree on everything. congress restricted tough choices. but they did give us the funding that we needed to sustain the operations and to operate your current force structure levels for this year. most importantly they did not pay. for this we are grateful. speaking of force structure our travel shows us that when it comes to the downsizing we have undergoing, enough is enough indeed,. indeed, that is the number one source of strength for our airmen. we agree that we have now
downsized as much as we can and support of trying to balance resources and capabilities. indeed, we have announced there shall be no involuntary force in 2015. we are working toward an fy 15 goal 15 goal of maintaining strength, around 350,000 which is where we intend to remain. if anything we need to look about going out this goes to the guard and reserve. turning to the future the air force will face challenges as we continue to restore readiness, modernizer force and take care of our airmen with a focus on ending sexual assault. sexual assault response coordinators with whom i meet regularly tell me that
i -- we are making progress in this fight. the information contained bears this out, but it is not good enough. this past monday i kicked off our sexual assault prevention summit where we brought together over 150 airmen of different ranks and backgrounds to have discussions and workshops and particularly focus on prevention, but one of the many ongoing efforts designed to demonstrate that we will give this persistent focus persistent and persistent action going forwardhe congress to eliminate sequestration as well as to allow us to get rid of excess base infrastructure, and once again ask for the authority to divest older aircraft in
order to free up money plowed back into people readiness, and modernization. keeping in keeping in mind as we have said, if sequestration does return it we will have serious and devastating effects on some parts of the air force. we will ask congress to resource manpower requirements to meet needs, to support the combatant commanders. gen. welsh has coordinated very closely with our combatant commanders as we assembled the budget and we are committed to meeting their most pressing needs. we cannot share too much today but after the budget is submitted we we will have more to say about our key investments in the nuclear enterprise, cyber, space national guard and air force is and intelligence, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. i do have a few announcements. last june i visited an air force base and saw our remotely piloted aircraft
first-hand. the airmen who performed this essential mission do a phenomenal job but talks with the pilots and the center operators and their leaders certainly suggested to me that this is a force under significant stress significant stress from what is an unrelenting pace of operations. these pilots fly six days in a row working 13 14 hour days on average. to give you a contrast, an average pilot flies between 200 20300 hours per year. again, these are averages. the pilots lost four times that much ranging from 900
to 1100 flight hours per year. again, this is stressful because mistakes can cost lives. finally, i learned many of our experienced operators are nearing the end of there active-duty service commitment which means they we will have a choice in the not-too-distant future to either stay with us or leave the air force. to force. to start working on these problems and remedy some of these issues i want to share with you some of the steps we are taking now to address. immediately relieve some some of the strain while still meeting the command -- combatant commander requirements and recognize we we will have more work to do for the longer term to address the people side. here are the near-term steps. steps. we will maximize the use of the national guard and reserve and redirect
resources in order to provide money to bring additional personnel on active duty. we will seek recently qualified active-duty rpa pilot volunteers to deploy for six months to some of these distressed units. these are folks who have been rpa pilots but have gone back into their original airframes. we will seek volunteers. number three we we will delay the return of some of the rpa pilots who are on loan to the rpa world from other friends. those three items we are acting on now and believe we will provide near-term relief to the up-tempo and boost the quality of life.
we are also looking at pay. previously policy did not allow us to offer retention bonuses to pilots are only qualified to fly unmanned platforms. to get this changed. i will be utilizing my authority to compensate and incentivize career only rpa pilots who service obligations are expiring. as operators. the end of their initial commitment we we will increase the monthly incentive pay from 650 per month to $1,500. our combatant commanders expect and demand the unique isr capabilities that only the air force can provide. they have delivered time critical data prosecuted targets and supported
combatant commanders without fail. fail. it is critical we address these now and will have more to say as we finalize details in the next few months. this is the greatest air force anywhere in the world and is so primarily because of our airmen. the american people expect our air force will be able to fly, fight, and when and when against any adversary and combatant commanders expect the same. so again, thank you for joining us today and now we we will take your questions.
[inaudible question] >> no i do not. the current war against kayfive, their are a number of of platforms engaged. they are each contributing. i believe the statistic is 11% from the a-10 community. my.is,.is, it is a great contributor, but so are the other aircraft. even had we planned to retire even if that have been agreed to the wood have still have them in our inventory. >> and emotional issue. >> well, it is an emotional
issue inside the air force. i would be disappointed if they were not emotional about this. they love there airplane. they should. for the air force it is a sequestration driven decision. we do not have enough money to fund all of the things that we currently have. the good news is last year we were funded to continue operating. it has been intended to be around until 2019 and our intent is to use that great platform anyway we can. it it is not about not liking or wanting. it is about tough decisions to recapitalize and air force. >> can i ask you you have
spoken a lot about rpa. the combat lessons being learned airstrikes in yemen, just operationally people seem to think airstrikes are the thing that solves the problem. what are the limitations you are seeing from the use of drones and airstrikes more broadly in terms of limitations on what they can and cannot do? >> in general terms our rpa fleet is predominantly used for isr not strike activity we have the capability to conduct strikes from some platforms, and we have taken advantage of that but it is not the primary use.
limitations of using an rpa to conduct a a strike or similar to limitations of using an aircraft. you have to identify a target, clearly the conflict friend from flow, minimize civilian collateral damage. some of the limitation is you are trying to develop situational awareness as opposed to having a pilot over the battlefield looking and using a human brain sensor, which is pretty good ideally you would have both tools available. having people on the ground assist because it helps you.at the highest priority targets helps you do conflict friend from foe easier. all of those factors apply everywhere. >> do you think there is too much emphasis at the moment on the air part of the equation?
defeat may not be what is possible. >> i do not think speaking specifically the dod approach is not to defeat isis from the air. the emphasis is to give the ground force time to retrain you do not dictate into states from the air am to my controlled territory influence people, maintain lines of control. that will take a ground force being trained to try to make that effort. >> yes. amy butler. first with regard to the irc last year there was some
discussion about when it would happen in part because of the maintainer issue. i am curious if you can give us your current thinking on when it is likely to be able to declare and if you are looking at changing the parameters. secondly bigger picture with the joint strike fighter whatever you do, whether it is 2016 or 17 or whatever, they are not coming in at the rate you want. this will not become holy influential. there is a lot of talk that it we will be at a risk a risk of compromise because the proliferation of high-frequency radars. if you're looking at how to address that issue. >> you want to -- 1st of
all, i believe it we will be as scheduled between artist and august and december of 2016 and have seen nothing that changes my opinion of that. it is initial operational capability and means we we will have the capability to employ a number of aircraft to conduct operational activity. foc is the key when the airplane should be fully capable of doing the things we put in our requirement. our development of capabilities that are not available as far as i know at least recently. you get the airplane have initial capability continue to upgrade. by the time you declare it fully operational capable
that means it meets the requirements you defined. that is where you focus. in fact i am comfortable. none of the things coming out as far as concerns about software development are surprises. the program has tracked along a milestone set. i won't talk about before that but since then it has tracked consistently. we must continue to do that. the big challenges operationalizing maintenance and making sure the system is capable of supporting deployments. i feel good about that but the focus is capability, fully capable. stealth is an interesting discussion because people tend to identify a piece a piece of it and think someone we will compromise that piece. the reality is it is a combination of things.
speed observability, collecting data, collecting data, transmitting and protecting transmissions way of breaking killed chains. while he may have a new radar developed that allows an acquisition radar to cnn plane that does not mean it can pass the track off to a greater level data weapon and break the chain. you are successfully using stealth, and i don't see anything that indicates that is not going to be true ten years from now. >> just to clarify, the issue actually could be a showstopper. you don't think -- >> the development of the aircraft. the maintainer issue is not an f 35 problem. >> but it is critical for ioc declaration.
>> you have to have enough to operate your initial detachment, but we we will. >> we have enough people to prioritize this to the.where we we will be able to get to ioc. have some help from the congress today. >> i was wondering if you could speak to clarify, you we will attempt to retire aircraft. secondly, talk generally about how the operation has impacted the budget request?
>> i would answer that question by saying we are constantly monitoring what is going on in the world constantly making adjustments as a result. it is safe to say the budget submission overflight some of those changes. in terms of the retiring of the older aircraft i doubt it we will be identical but their will be similarities. >> very interested in new pay. is this for all pilots or just those nearing the end of their active service commitments? >> as you no right now, they get the same flight pay as a pilot a pilot in any other airplane. the difference is right now when pilots of manned aircraft are often aviator simulation pay which tries to keep them in the service. that is not available to rpa pilots. so what the secretary has done is done the approval to plus of that flight play to
1500 per month as an interop stop. the next is to pursue aviation simulation pay similar to what manned aircraft pilot gets. >> for all rpa pilots? >> rpa pilots that were currently operating. but the proposal for continuation pay we will be broader. >> effective this month. >> i'm not sure. but let us get back to you right after this on that. people double check. >> one way which i don't think has been explored is allowing and commissioned officers to fly them. is that something appear
force is interested in looking at? >> we are looking at two things. yes, things. yes, we should look at the enlisted force as a potential. there are pluses and minuses. we're looking at those now. the 2nd step is to look at other services might be divesting themselves of aviation assets and see if there's interest in the cruise for those assets. >> one last one. you have delayed the return of pilots on loan elsewhere. i was not quite sure what you meant by that. >> that. >> pilots have been trained and specialize in another airplane may spend some portion of their career in the rpa field but then the idea is to go back to the original airframe. we would delay that. >> how long? >> right now specifics
about 38 people who are on offer tours. they're scheduled to go back this summer. of those we are talking to each one of them and asking him about staying. we know their are five have been matched for other jobs and will leave. the other 33, we we will ask if they would consider staying. our crew force out there we will tell you that they enjoy the mission, like the work, are excited about the future but are just worn out this is not a knew problem. as a requirement keeps increasing solutions keep wagging. the biggest problem is training. we can only train about 180 per year and we are losing about 240 from the community. training 180 and losing 240 is not a winning
proposition, losing 240 is not a winning proposition and the reason is because they are only 63 percent manned. we can't we can't release the people from operational units. half of them are flying operational support missions. >> has the pressure the strain on the pilot led to a decline in the number of's you secam put out at any one time or a hope for growth that you had? the operational effect on these individual pilots. had to reduce the combatant
commanders. >> no, we have not. putting people in a position where they have to debate whether they want to continue doing this. >> just a follow a follow up quickly, do you think these initial steps that you have outlined here is this a 1st step forward you need something more from congress in order to build up the number of pilots needed? >> these are 1st steps. within the next few months we we will have a more robust plan but these are the immediate actions. investing in innovation. specifically with the air force expects him the saying
that the system is the one to invest in. >> if you are a service founded from technology and to be successful you are required to stay on the leading edge of technology over time anything that drives innovation within the department of defense which will likely benefit science technology research development is good for us. us. we are under the secretary's guidance now putting together a new strategic master plan that includes an annex that is purely science and technology ideas for the future. that will tie closely into this effort and we think we have a a number of ideas that will feed into this effort which may assist us
in moving faster or may give the department ideas for how they can move forward with other services. i think some of the standard ones are things like hypersonic technology, how you would use it, how you wouldn't the advanced engine technology demonstrator is a great example of a place where we could not only get better performance the same as much as 25 percent of fuel cost. we need to get that feel good. that is a game changer. there are great applications quantum computing springs to mind. training, how you interest people, how you teach people as we go forward.
the possibilities are just endless. >> the navy something similar to that. >> there a lot of efforts we could use. you should be looking at laser defense from exporting ways to five laser communications. there are a number of ways we should be moving forward. this is exciting. >> yes sir, 2nd row. >> secretary, why should a new entrant believes the air force is performing in good faith with its stunning six months away in certification >> i think we were all disappointed that it was not certified. we had high hopes. however they have come along way.
80 percent of the criteria are met with 20 percent still to go. this is real engineering work that needs to be demonstrated. so i hope they no that we are operating in good faith. the certifying official personally put a great deal of time and attention on this resources, people money to try to make sure we were doing everything that we needed to do to get this over the finish line. this is not a question of if they we will be certified but when. as you.out, it is it is still some months away but i am certain it we will be their. the last.i will make is that the certification process is written down, contained in a proprietary document and it
was signed by those parties, by the air force, by space ask. this lays out in detail what needs to happen. so it is important that all parties reread that document and understand what needs to happen. i am sure that final 20 percent will be done expeditiously. we will get there. >> we will you publicly release it? >> it is proprietary, so we we will not. >> a redacted version. >> i had not considered that. we will look into it him. >> i want to your reaction to elon musk's statements to bloomberg business. he says the people fighting the certification are in the bureaucracy of the pentagon
and the procurement officers who then go and work for boeing and lockheed. easy to understand this. essentially being asked to award a contract to a company where they probably won't get a job against the company whether friends are. this is a difficult thing to expect. kind of a slap a slap at the integrity of your acquisitions program. your reaction? >> i think those are rather unfortunate comments. i i do not no who he means her family is referring to but the people that i know i working very hard on the certification. and so i think those are unfortunate remarks, and i do not agree with them. the last.i would like to make is that after all is said and done i am going to set up an independent review
which we will be led by the former chief of staff who you may recall very recently did an excellent job doing an independent review of our nuclear enterprise. so enterprise. so he has agreed that he we will take this one on. we are finalizing the details of what the work plan we will look like. i am one that thinks that any process which we have now been operating under for about a year and a half what have we learned? other ways we can streamline, speeded up, do things differently. things differently but still protecting what we call mission assurance which means we want these satellites launched without failures the process and procedure and what we now call the certification process was born.
we do not want to sacrifice, but their can be lessons learned and i want to make sure we have and implement if it looks appropriate to do so. >> he said in a fairly deliberative manner, will you communicate your displeasure directly? by your acquisition professional and say the hell with him? >> it will not ripple through. i feel very confident about. i only wish that he would have said some of this to me directly when i called him to tell him that it had not quite made it. >> going back to renewing the push to retire we will be different this time around explain a little bit better to justify these cuts the question on a separate issue.
a lot of changes. continue strategy. >> in terms of what we will change, it's probably not a magic bullet answer him and we have to why continue to explain the tradition about why we need to invest. if we had a lot more money coming a lot more money we could do it all, but all but we're not going to have a lot more money so we have to make choices that which is what we are paid to do. so we will explain the story to the members who we have known for some time as well as to the new ones.
>> the infrastructure consolidations in europe are just that, consolidations. it is not giving up mission capability. there was an opportunity to save money over time by consolidating installations. and getting rid of three vases and consolidating one. they have the common infrastructure required to continue activity. it is much more efficient overtime. mildenhall is a base closure excessive compared to the combat capability that we get from the operations on the base command we have
other installations or that can be that it down. we can save the recapitalization cost of rebuilding the infrastructure. our partners in the uk have done a lot of downsizing and soul-searching on how they will operate for the last ten years and we are supportive although neither one of us really like giving things like this up. [inaudible question] >> for structure. playing into what used to be expeditionary wings. >> part of an ongoing effort to normalize the air force presence in that region,
career, uk, etc., uk, etc., expanding of the company tours, things like that do you expect it to continue at other locations? >> we will we are trying to do is support us central command desire in any way that we can away that makes sense that we can afford. when they decide on this long-term footprint we supported. if they would like to establish a more permanent presence over time and work that agreement with the department of defense policy folks, state folks, state department, then we figure out how to help them as the keepers of the installations and facilities whether it is new air operations center
are trying to expand family presence seven we can build stronger relationships. we relationships. we try to meet their requirements just like we try to meet their operational requirement. we are we are drawing down the number of operations in the greater middle east. and it we will be necessary to identify which we will be semipermanent to permanent. centcom's responsibility is to lead that effort, and our job is to try to make those facilities capable and credible. >> mdm. sec., madam secretary, going back to the question about force structure reduction since the congress told you we really don't like the idea of the second-tier of items and also are you going to submit a budget that has two levels of numbers.
>> i would suspect 1st of all that the president's budget proposal will be revealed in february. i'm february. i'm sorry that we cannot go into more detail about that specifics but i suspect that it we will be above the sequestration level. i suspect we will be asking for a level which is much closer than we think we need as opposed to what we might be forced to live under. that is my best guess at the moment. assuming i am right we would also, of course, just like we did last year explain to the congress that if we had to go to sequestration here would be the choices. again, if the choices were considered tough, and we certainly thought they were and we
certainly thought they were, sequestration will be much, much more severe. we say again that we will we will be bad for everyone and we need to lift sequestration. >> not specifically a 2nd tier budget for sequestration but a list of probable alternatives. >> that is what i suspect we we will do, yes. >> a follow-up from a question earlier. a lot of urgency and concern it sounds like you are saying that their will be enough. is there more happening? >> this is a a difficult problem to figure out. what we have been doing in the last month or so two months i guess since the final decisions were issued by the congress even trying to work our way through it. we think we are getting close to a solution which is
anything but perfect. if presumably what leverage a little bit of a flexibility that we were allowed in congress but it would leverage a number of different factors to try to bring us together so as not to risk the ioc but as you.out, they are not enough of the experienced maintenance people to go around which is why this is so difficult. >> if the proposals we come forward with are not agreed to than ioc is at risk. we are now to the 2nd set of solutions beyond what we thought was the best military approach because we have not been allowed to take that. we don't have 1000 extra maintenance people waiting for a job. they are doing other work.
we have to take them out of something else. it is the only way to develop them, or hire contractors or do ioc. we don't like the option of delaying ioc. we will do everything that we can several that we will be painful and different ways to try not to do that. >> when will those solutions start to be implemented back is it already happening? >> this is something we have been working on with folks on the hill for a while to try to get a solution to get this done. as the budget rolls out and we get into the discussion of the budget and the timeline it we will become clear. >> the rocket engine development program providing extra 220 million for that. use that to speed up processes. >> so we are trying to work through those details right now. him.
>> we don't have all those details flushed out yet. >> foreign policy. the department announced decisions to cut ten predator and repair combat air patrols and i was curious if the demand out of centcom and the islamic state has forced the defense department to reconsider that decision and how that will exacerbate some of these challenges you are talking about? ..
it is not a big number at all in the cost associated expanding its support from the guarded reserved to expand their manpower to bring people full-time to support more activity. that is what we have in our budget already but there is cost associated and over time it is part of the appropriation request. in the future it has to be part of appropriation. the sunday in the training pipeline is in the budget. i just don't know the amount that can get that for you. >> the solutions that you announce today's seed to be focused on the pilots that the broader mission kirk if
what potential solutions are you looking at to ease the stress of that force? id the damage by further cuts personnel lies are we talking about to see operation already disaffected? >> qb rob? >> we have been working retention and issues for a while now. there have been a number of initiatives we can give you a list over time but the crisis right now with the pilot force because of the way the two hours of service are organized we're reaching a point where some of them can go. that is why that is the focus but as far as future
discussions it is about the entire enterprise and has been the last eight years. we are considering everybody the specific items are to keep the pilot force is a gauge. and nt as you know, greengage in this enterprise. so 315,000. we cannot go any lower. it is too small to succeed rather than too big to fail. we have taken people out to shore up those areas. we have grown from 21 caps from 55 + and then they come out of other things where we change the ratio of the fly.
now we have to go back to get the of the bids above 85% because that is affecting capability get sports systole band and the intelligence forces up to full banding. then is why we think even moving hardware out of the airforce the software bring new people with that reserve component a and remand the air force squadrons. we can cut things out all we want but if we break squadron reroute of business >>, its duty to get the security fully manned? order the things we will be doing next year to process? i know capability was one of the key investments what we
do to keep that moving forward and what percentage of of budget will invest in a nuclear? >> we have read directed 11p repeople 2 + up the forces plus critical specialties we will make sure those are wedded to present and. -- when did% covered. and we were passionate not to go any lower and one of the things i have discovered is we are under may and in lots of areas of the airforce but we will not with the eight critical nuclear is. so we will continually
monitoring tests to critique and change. / will track that plant bright -- separately we cannot share the specifics of the of money at this point but it is an area of additional investment next year as well as the five-year plan which that will all be public in february. >> i with bloomberg. do have an update with a new form of program? is there any addition to the timeline? teeeight you speak to the urgency of it and if it is why is it better to spend this time and money for more aircraft? >> competition there is nothing new and it is on track.
the best guess projection is sometime in the late spring or early summer. no real changes to the programs. steady as she goes. do you want to talk about the operation apart? >> the b-2 is young but compared to other aircraft better able to operate 20 years from now it is sold. the timeline of the bomber allows us to start the tiring the b-52 flight -- feet over a 15 year period so we will still have b-2s in the inventory about the same we have now and hopefully by the mid 20's 40's 80 or 100 is the target number we have stuck with that for a specific reason and we believe that is what it takes to have significant
analysis to do nuclear deterrence and a large scale campaign. you need that number of bombers. it is of mathematical equation so we try very hard to keep prices in independent variables. in staying on a delivered track and the acquisition timeline is really important to us. that is the approach and right now we're
morning where they have passed an inch of snow that is like spring. [laughter] i am the executive director and we are here to -- delighted to have you here i like to think our team is managing director and all the insurance for all their help to put on this event and other events. we have of big announcement we made yesterday which was the launch of a new block of america's trade policy.com that was created in 2013 from the woodrow wilson center for scholars and we took over the management of the block and it is a new content platform that we welcome input from members of the trade committee for the information back outside
the room when you leave today. we are really pleased on the economic normalization with cuba they publish the first chapter on the blogging and you to find that on the web site as well. to other quickie beds posting a panel talking about the 2015 world congress report with women flourish weekend encounter. as well as the food program. on friday february 13th we will have our annual trade council program from the ways and means and finance committee that is friday
february 13. now today i will leave it to john veroneau to introduce our panel. a long time friend and onetime board member. and co-chair the international trade practice he worked in the department of defense in the '90s with then secretary:and senator collins and senator frist if i have that right. thanks for doing this. take it away. >> they explored the year and i will introduce the panel here in a moment but i want to open with a few remarks. the title is th