tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 29, 2015 12:00am-2:01am EST
lity in funding over time and the ability to make the decisions on what will shape our services to operate the funding levels less than predicted. for the air force to be looked back to the budget is where he came out of the begin execute this with strategic guidance. it's low budget projection for fy16 was $21 billion more per year than we will have the bca levels. 21 billion a year for choirs very tough decisions to be made some very hard and unpopular decisions to be made that without the ability to make those decisions will continue to be stuck and not sure where we are going in the future. >> the clock is ticking away on that predictability is that general? >> yes sir it is. >> my colleagues have spoken to the number that is the dollar value but i would say the verb sequestered as you know that's an algorithm and we have been through this. it gets incremented in and we spent months reprogram with your
help up here on the hill and we lose months. we move loose four, five, six months to hire replacement program or we don't have time. so shipbuilding gets held up. projects get held up. people were tired and that loses that trust with the industry. so precluding getting sequestered as helpful and in the continuing resolutions having a similar effect in that we are not doing any new projects and some of these are pretty critical as we move into the years and need to modernize. >> senator the first comment i would make is over the last two years where above the level of sequestration and the army was only 33% ready. and so yes flexibility will give us the ability to manage insufficient funds in our department but that's all it does. it allows us to better manage because today we extend our aviation programs so the cost for every apache has gone up to
the cost for every ua 60 has gone up. the cost for every ch-47 has gone up because we have extend the programs longer and longer so we are paying more money for system so we are inefficient even with the last dollars we have so that exacerbates the readiness problems even more. flexibility would help but it's not going to solve the problem we have which is a problem of insufficient funds sent to sustain the right level. >> let me ask briefly there was a decision we were going to pivot to asia-pacific. to what extent do the joint chiefs of staff consult on that? we have got eastern europe and we have rush and we still have the middle east and we can go on from there. it doesn't seem to have calmed down as some people thought. to what extent was this a pentagon decision that we could even have a reputed re-pivot to asia-pacific and afford it? >> that was part of our
discussion. we had numerous discussions with the white house and the pentagon where we did the defense strategic guidance and 2012 so that was one of the kind of foundations of that strategy. i would say i felt we had a good discussion on what we called the rebalanced asia-pacific. >> i would agree with that. we have thorough discussions that we thought china in 2012 is important and we had to have the capability response potentially to that and also the problem of north korea and other problems in the asia-pacific. we made some assumptions about where we would be in the rest of the world. this is not quite played out the way we thought with iraq isis and specifically russia and their increased aggression. the strategy is still good. we just have to recognize that there are some additional threats out there that we didn't expect and we are going to have to deal with those. that increases the risk as we
look at sequestration and other budget cuts. >> thank you gentlemen. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you all for your service. general welsch i wanted to ask you in regards to her nuclear mission it's a very critical mission obviously. what impact this sequestration going to have on your efforts in this area? >> sir into specific areas i thank at the top of the list. the first is the infrastructure mentioned before. we are at a point in time where we have got to start modernizing every capitalizing that infrastructure in terms of the told -- facilities that were built 50 years ago now. we have an investment plan design prepared to be put into place. we have it in the president's budget this year. if we go to sequestration all of the facility maintenance and new buildings we have put into that proposal will fall off the table
except for single weapon storage area and one of the bases. that is the first . the second one as we do have a requirement as a nation to make decisions on what do we want to recapitalize and modernize in terms of nuclear weapons and nuclear command-and-control capability over capability over the next 15 to 20 years? that affects the air force and navy. the decision seemed to be made in the near future. sequestration and the ca cabs will limit the amount of things you can do in that arena and make those decisions more important to make earlier so we don't waste money money during a time when those things have to be done. >> admiral how will this affect the plans you have for the ohio class? >> if i get back to the verb if we are sequestered we lose months as i was saying before hiring engineers and we are on a tight timetable to start building the first ohio in 2021 so that's one piece. we have to continue to do that. a sea-based strategic
replacement is my number one program but in fiscal fiscal year 17 to 20 we $5 billion invested as advance procurement for the first ohio which in 2021 is $9 billion on top of the shipbuilding plan we have now. very difficult to do. we have to do it so we'll have to continue to work in that regard. >> thank you and i obviously have the concern you all do on our warfighting capabilities. when you look at the difficulties in syria and iraq and that area what are the kinds of things we are not able to do there that you look in you go if we were doing this and this it would help move the ball forward forward? were you being placed in a tighter spot right now? general odierno if he could give us a start. >> i were to say the first thing is this fight against isil in iraq and syria is a long-term issue.
this is not something that's going to be resolved in weeks or months. something that will have to be resolved in years and is going to require a combination of efforts with the local indigenous governments. it's going to require for term training indigenous forces and support for a very long period of time. it's going to require continued assessments and adjustments on how we believe we will continue to support that effort. i think over time if that threat continues we will have to reassess. that's the hard part about it. this is not a short-term problem problem. it's a long-term problem is going to take a dedicated effort to solve the across many lines of effort whether the diplomatic efforts or a combination of joint capability and our ability to train indigenous forces in the capability we will need to do that. >> so in effect you are facing a long-term challenge and as you look long-term you may have less
tools in the toolbox to deal with that. >> that's correct. >> general dunford. >> thank you for the question. we have taken the rest not with our deploying units but in its organizations everything general austin has asked us to do from a marine corps respectively are able to do. as general odierno said should this continue it's a question of capacity. everything we are doing at a sustainable deployment. to give you some idea of how fast our marines are turning right now we are deploying from seven months home for 14 months and in some cases less than a backup for seven months in perpetuity. that sustained level of operation tempo something that concerns me and isil is just a part of that. >> that also makes it pretty difficult on the homefront doesn't it? >> senator there are two issues. one of the time available to train for all of the missions in the second is obviously the time
available to spend time with family. we are particularly concerned with or mitt grade enlisted marines when it comes to that particular challenge. >> general odierno as we look forward how are you planning to mix with the national guard and how does that figure into your plans as we look forward? >> clearly if you look what we have done in the end you have full sequestration we are taking 150,000 people out of the active army so a large majority for cuts are coming out of the active army. because of that they will have to rely on the national guard u.s. army reserves and we have to remember what we are trying to achieve is our national guard and reserve deaths to respond to complex problems. as we have to rely in some areas more on them in the beginning such as logistics and areas like
that where we don't have enough structure because of these reductions will have to rely more heavily on the national guard and u.s. army reserve for things such as that. in terms of the combat capability they are still going to have to provide is the depth. we might have you said that the earlier for less capability in the active component. this all gets to this balance that we are trying to achieve. i worry about the fact that if we reduce the active component to much our ability to respond quickly is going to be affected because the world today spends much quicker than it used to. instability happens quicker and the necessity of us to respond has to be quicker. i worry that we are going to lose that capability. that is what we expect our active component to do and expect the national guard or messieurs to be right behind us helping us as we move forward with this. i worry about that as well.
>> thank you all for your leadership. thank you mr. chairman. >> chairwoman hannah. >> thank you chairman. appreciate it. i want to thank all of you for your leadership and what you are doing for the country and most importantly this discussion about sequestration and i think it's very clear the impact is going to happen our ability to defend the nation is one that calls all of us to act to address this for each of you. i think you are being so clear about what impact will be today. yesterday we heard the same thing from general mattis and general keane and admiral fallin about the impacts of sequestration i think there's a clear consensus among those who have served in formerly served in the military the devastating impact on our ability to defend the nation and our men and women in uniform. i want to ask each of you when our men and women volunteered
for service in the armed services they give up a the number of rights that the rest of us enjoy. they volunteer to tell our government we tell them what to wear and what to do, where to live and to some extent they give up some degree what they can say. most importantly they obviously are willing to sacrifice their lives to defend our nation. in return for these restrictions and expectations congress has guaranteed these brave men and women the ability to communicate with us. i believe this is very important. in fact congress put in place a law code 1034 that prohibits anyone from restricting a member of the armed forces and communicating with a member of congress. do all of you agree that this was important, yes or no? >> yes. >> yes.
>> absolutely. >> yes senator. >> general wasser wants to ask you about comments that have come to my attention that were reported to have been made by major general james post the vice commander of air combat command and he is reported to make these comments when addressing a group of airmen this month. what he is said to have made in comments to the airman was anyone who was passing information to congress about a 10 capabilities is committing treason and is part of those comments he also said if anyone accuses me of saying this i will deny it. let me ask you this general welsh. do you find those comments to be acceptable in any way to accuse our men and women in uniform to say you are committing treason if you communicate with congress
about the capabilities of the a-10 are the capabilities of any other of our weapons systems yes or no? >> no maam, not at all and there is an investigation currently ongoing with the incident. when i read the newspaper article i contacted the general officer involved and his commander. the department of defense by eg is overseeing an investigation and will present the facts of the committee as soon as the investigation is complete. >> i hope this is a thorough investigation because obviously i think this is very serious to accuse people of treason for communicating with congress. one thing i would like your commitment on that i think is very important do you unconditionally denounce it is bound to be trimmed by the way air combat command in responding to press inquiries about this
has not denied the general made those comments but do you denounce those comments and do you support the legal rights of members of the air force to communicate lawfully with congress about the a-10 or any other issue and you commit the air force will take no punitive action against airmen who are exercising their lawful right to communicate with congress? >> senator i completely commit to the lawfulness of the communication with congress. i supported the airman's right to discuss anything you would like to discuss with them and give you their honest opinion. my job is to wait until the facts are on like recommendations my secretary and we will report the decisions he makes as a result of that when it's done. >> i appreciate that general welsh because it worries me about the climate in tone that is that if members air men and women are told they would be
committing treason for communicating with us. i just want to be clear because what i'm hearing is that there is actually an investigation going on in reverse to find out who has communicated with congress and to me that seems the opposite of what we would be trying to accomplish in looking at what general post said the weather was lawful or not. so i hope there will be no punishment for any kind of pursuit of people trying to communicate with congress. will you commit to me on that? >> senator i know of nothing along those lines at all. certainly i'm not part of it in the secretary is not part of it and i would not condone it. >> thank you. >> senator shaheen happy birthday. >> thank you mr. chairman. we won't talk about which birthday it is. certainly better than the alternative so i appreciate that. thank you very much for being
here gentlemen and for your service to the country. apropos senator ayotte's questions one of the things i would hope is our men and women in the military would let members of congress know about their concerns with respect to sequestration because i do think it's helpful for each of us to hear from people serving what they see first-hand about the impacts of some of these policy decisions. so i'm hopeful we will hear more of those discussions. you know, i have been pleased that chairman mccain has started the armed services committee hearings this year with a broader view of national security policy and one of the issues that has been brought up with respect to national security policy is one of the concerns is the fact that we
have not had ongoing budget process that people can count on that we have a debt that in the future is a concern it would be important for us to address that. i certainly put sequestration in that category. important for us to address this and to do it in a way that provides certainty that deals with the shortfalls that our military spacing and it's important for us to do that with respect to all of the agencies of the federal government that deal with national security. i wonder gentlemen if you would agree that that's important goal that we should be working towards in congress. general or do you know? >> i think the strength of our country is based on many factors.
we certainly understand that. what i would say to that is that the important part of our defense spending an important part the role that place in ensuring our security should also be considered. and i know you know that. >> does everyone agree with that? >> yes maam. >> yes maam. see i guess senator. >> thank you. to be a little parochial this morning as i think most of you are aware the portsmouth battleship yard that is shared between new hampshire and maine and as i think one of our very important public shipyards and i know you know this. i wonder if you could talk about the importance and the impact of sequestration on her shipyards and depots in the concern that provides. we talked a lot about the impact on our active-duty military but are our civilian workforce is also affected.
>> thank you senator. i would say the impact was very much underestimated and that's part of your point. if you facts the loss 75,000 mandates that we had to defer because we had little overtime and we couldn't hire and on top of that we furloughed so how do they feel about the importance of it? we lost you will understand the 1700 submarine bases so that's like taking five submarines and tying them up for a year. that's the kind of impact so i worry about and as i said it takes five years to recover from that collectively. we talked about the importance of the nuclear deterrence. these public shipyards underwrite all that. that's because of portsmouth i can do work on the ssbn. portsmouth is a major part of a ship maintenance enterprise that
we must have and i worry about it with sequestration. >> thank you very much. is anybody want to add to the impact on depots in the country? >> senator i can add from an aviation perspective when we did furlough folks we lost a lot of engineers. right now 50% of our f-18s are underreporting. also importantly because it was mentioned in her opening statement to talk about trust and retaining high-quality people. predictability is important and i fear some of those folks that were furloughed welcome back because they have other opportunities. >> i certainly share that and i know you appreciate that with respect to the shipyard. one of the things i have heard is as we are looking at the aging workforce and need to hire
new people and a shortage of stem educated people that engineers mathematicians and scientists are all in short supply. if they don't feel their certainty about government work they are going to go to the private sector in that creates a real issue for all of us. >> sender if i could add we have reduced 4500 out of our tepco contractor employees but what we found following the furlough issue pointed out is our doctors, our engineers, our behavior health specialist all of these people because they are worried about the the uncertainty in their jobs available from other places. they are taking those jobs at a higher rate than they have in the past. that's the impact this house. this capability we develop an experienced of developing we are losing. it's a big concern for us specifically in the stem area you are talking about.
>> thank you all very much. my time has expired. >> colonel ernst. >> thank you mr. chairman. gentlemen thank you for being here today. appreciate your continued service to the united states. general odierno thank you for mentioning in your brief the reserve and national guard forces and also senator donnelly for bringing that point up as well. we do feel the impact. we are hurting through sequestration. with respect to the dod and sequestration general you mentioned just this morning that we must appropriately care for our soldiers and our soldiers and their families are bearing the burden of our decisions. we must train, maintain and sustain our force and our equipment. but with sequestration in place
we also recognize we have to utilize taxpayer dollars to the best of our ability. could you please give examples to the panel on where we are holding our military leaders accountable and how they are best utilizing taxpayer dollars at such a time as this? >> there are couple of things we continue to do that i think are important. we are reducing all of our headquarters and the reason we are doing that is so we can get more capability to soldiers that are serving. we made a decision in the army to reduce all of our our headquarters down to the two-star level by 25% and with that to free up dollars to train our soldiers which helps. we have reorganized combat teams and eliminated headquarters so we are able to fund and train the best we can. we are trying to organize in our aviation capability so we are getting rid of aircraft that are no longer capable of doing
things we needed to do. we are transforming our training strategies. we have just now developed a strategy a total for strategy in forces command where we are training all the training we do as a combination of active guard and u.s. army reserve so he can maintain that capacity. we are trying to make it as efficient as possible. we are also looking at how we are making the most out of our training dollars in live training in virtual and constructive training. all of those things are the kind of things we are doing. we are also streamlining some of our sustainment activity. we became too over reliance on contractors especially during the peak years in iraq and afghanistan. we want to retrain our green suit capability because we have to sustain that high levels. that also will reduce our dollars we are spending on contracts.
these are just a sample of the things it of trying to put money back and that allows us to take care of our soldiers in the best way to take care of our soldiers in my pennies to make sure they are prepared and trained to do the job. >> thank you general and as a follow on to that and maybe all of you can very briefly respond, just last week we had the state of the union. i had invited a friend of mine from iowa state. we were -- together. he lives in washington d.c. at least temporary and he responded joni i would love to but i can't. i'm being fitted for my new leg and he was stationed at fort bragg but he lives now at walter reed. a great friend of mine. i was able to visit with him on monday. so his last tour to afghanistan was a little more difficult than most and because of that he has lost his left leg. we have a lot of soldiers, a lot
of members that are going through difficulties and challenges. i would like to know just briefly from each of you the impact of sequestration in regard to our medical care care and follow on for soldiers and their families just very briefly gentlemen. >> one of the issues we are working through that we have to watch carefully we have to consolidate our medical capability and facilities. as we do that we have to make sure every soldier gets provided the same level of support no matter where they are stationed. that becomes a challenge as we start to reduce. we have to be careful to ensure that. we will still have the best and highest level care. the issue becomes the sustain care over time across the country and overseas because where people are serving and making sure they get the right coverage for themselves and their families. there are some difficult decisions that are going to be have to be made and i do worry
one of the things they should be able to rely on is the best medical care for them and their families as we move forward. this is something we will have to watch very carefully as we move forward. >> admiral. >> i think the general got the key points there. for us it's about the resiliency programs and the wounded warrior care and recovery programs. we have to fund them and we have to make sure they don't get caught up in some overall reduction. we have to be very vigilant. for us it's a program called safe harbor. i watched it myself to make sure we don't inadvertently and heaven help us to do it consciously but in a berkeley have these things caught up in the verb to get sequestered so we have to watch that. >> thank you. >> i think the key for us is what john said identifying where they could get caught up in this and come to announce rachel. i know you will provided in this committee will provide it. this is one of those sacred
trust things we all were people. >> senator i would address the nonmedical care aspect of it. we established it would warrior regiment to take care were wanted warriors and we are proud of the way we take care of our wounded warriors. it's about keeping faith. we are funded through oh funding someone of the challenges as we move forward and oh goes away we move to the base. we have to move into the base at the same time we are dealing with sequestration. that will remain a priority for us but it will be one of the other things that competes with the resources we are going to have fewer of. >> thank you very much gentlemen. thank you mr. chair. >> senator kaine. >> to the witnesses thank you all. i did my back of envelope math and i think this is 156 years of service to united states setting the force of the table in the military capacity and we owe you thanks that we also ought to listen to you. for the record i voted with
enthusiasm for the nominations that were before us that there were 42 nominations for lieutenant colonel and colonel and there was no one woman among the nominees. those nominated were superb qualifications but that is an active interest that is a fact of interest and i just wanted to bring it up that people on the committee pay attention to that. the sequester was voted in by congress in august of 2011 and i think as some of your testimony indicates and we all know when it was voted in every one wanted not to happen. the idea was congress would find a better path forward and all agreed the sequestered path would have exactly the kinds of consequences you have testified to this morning. since august the 2011 as you have testified the world has not gotten simpler. we have seen the rise of isil and the goal of the threat increasing russian bellicosity towards nations cyberattacks
devastating civil war in syria and fluxing of a muscles by the chinese and the iranians and the challenges have gotten only more intense sense of august the 2011. while the challenges are getting more intense we are needlessly inflicting pain through budgetary mechanisms on our military. general mattis testified yesterday in the chairman indicated in his opening statements it's a pretty powerful statement when you think about it. no one can wreak such havoc in our security than what sequestration is achieving. there are powerful foes in the field. general -- none of them will have as much effect on american national security is sequestered. that's why it's imperative we reverse it. we have to take steps to reverse it. budgets tell you about priorities. we can say all we want about how
we value military service in the defense mission but at the end of the day or are budgets tell us something about what we really value. in 20151.3% of america's gdp was spent on interest payment. that number is rising. 3.2% of the gdp was on defense and that numbers dramatically falling. 3.3% on non-defense discretionary that number is falling even more dramatically. 5.6% of our gdp was spent on federal health care. that is growing dramatically. 4.9% on social security. that is growing dramatically but by far the largest item on the expenditure side is tax expenditures, $1.5 billion a year of deductions and exemptions and loopholes credits etc.. 8.1% of the gdp and rising. what our budget is telling us is that we support tax expenditures much more than any of these other areas. we need to find appropriate ways to rebalance the budget and
sequester and invest what we need to combat the challenges we have discussed. general dunford i want to dig in on the testimony he gave on the relationships there means in readiness and forward the planet. we have demanded that you be more forward-deployed in the aftermath for example of the horrible tragedy and a gutsy. we have asked you to restructure to have expeditionary units and rapid response teams closer to reaction as other other service branches. forward to pot -- forward deployment has a cause. talk about whether you have to have them back home and investigates what is the effect of that on our ability to respond to crisis? >> thank you for the question. our ability to be forward-deployed is based on capacity. if we get sequestered we would
reduce capacity and reduced capacity to the point where we'll dig ozar to the one-to-one dwell rate meaning our marines and sailors will be deployed for settlements and backed out for seven months and deploy for seven months. that's a significant cost. we are about that level for five years ago at the peak of the requirements in afghanistan and iraq. that's the biggest impact on sequestration as they reduce capacity. that's the most significant one. the other impact is because of its minuses that cuts across all the lines you'll also have an impact on home station training facilities available and amount of ammunition and batteries and things you need to do to properly train when you are back at home station. the number of marines that are forward-deployed and as we have discussed before in the wake of
benghazi it's an expectation of marines and sailors will be there and respond within hours to a threat against our diplomatic corps u.s. citizens interests abroad. if you are marines and sailors forward to play the longer timeline it is for us to be able to respond. and sequestration about the capabilities of those marines have been equipping and training perspective and human factor because of the quick turnaround from deployment to dwell perspective. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> colonel sullivan. >> thank you mr. chairman. gentlemen thank you for your wonderful service to our country. i just wanted to echo what senator wicker mentioned or colonel wicker in terms of general mattis' comments yesterday about the strategic aspects from a national security perspective of the national debt
that we have racked up over the last several years, 18 trillion increasing. i think we all say we are struggling with the issues of sequestration and issues of readiness but with the broader issues of how our fiscal situation this country impacts national security. so appreciate the testimony here. i also appreciate the focus on what is happening and what potentially could be happening with regard to training readiness of morale particularly given the global security threats that i know we all recognize are out there. similar to senator shaheen i would like to focus a little more local impacts. i think it's important to the people that we represent also here the potential for local impacts could be with regard to sequestration. i am sure all of you gentlemen would agree alaska is one of the
most strategic most important military places that we have in this country whether its missile defense, world-class unrivaled training areas and ranges platform for rapid deployment into the asia-pacific and eurasia. you'll be hearing me talk about that a little bit in some of our hearings. i'm sure my colleagues will as well. but the large number of army and air force bases and personnel in alaska i think is a testament to the important geostrategic location and general well as you mentioned the importance of training. j. part alaska is probably the premier air sprays for air force training in the world larger than several american states. general odierno i know you are heading up to alaska soon. sir we are looking forward to that i wanted to let you know there's an article today and in the alaska dispatch that mentioned how the army is looking to eliminate 120,000
positions looking at potentially 30 installations that could be impacted. including a couple of combat brigades possibly from fort rich or fort wainwright and obviously this is having the concerns of my stay. his sequestration driving this focus in the army to look at 30 different installations including brigades in alaska? is that something that is being driven directly by sequestration? >> it is being driven directly by sequestration and the fact that we will have to reduce significantly the amount of forces we have interactive component in national guard reserve component. so we have to throughout all of the united states and overseas we will have to take reductions. every installation could be affected as we make these decisions. >> that exercise right now is
described in alaska dispatch as a direct result of you preparing for sequestration? >> a direct result. >> okay. general welsh i know the f-35 is a top program with regard to the air force. i'll ask as you know is a front-runner for future f-35 basing something we are quite excited about and it would be great not only for alaska but for the country given our location for a look forward having future discussions with you on how to cement that decision. i actually wanted to ask you about the impact of sequestration on that program. if there is in a comment if the future basing could be delayed or undermined with regard to the f-35 because that's something that could also be impacted by sequestration. >> senator sequestration occurred in 16 it might be necessary to defer some of the aircraft by fy16 out of 16 in
the details of that will be in our budget rollout. we will be rollout. will be able to discusses in detail with you and your staff beginning next week. but that is a possibility. we have defended this program as you know from the beginning. it's a priority program for us so we hope that does not become reality. that would not by the way and put the operational capability arrest in my view and clearly her emphasis on the strategic benefits of the state of laska and the training capability at jae park are pretty well supported by the decisions we are trying to make with the f-22 already made the tanker already made and i would agree with everything you said about the location having strategic value. >> yes sir thank you and again i look forward to having that discussion in more depth with you and other members of your staff. general dunford you mentioned and several of you mentioned your experience with when you
initially join the service kind of the hollow army or the hollow marine corps that could you provide more detail. all of you are in if you quickly on specifics of then and now? when you join the service and saw the initial hollow military versus the high-level training we have had with regard to our troops. >> sir i would start by talking about the quality of the people. in the aggregate their sadly no comparison between the quality of the men and women we have in uniform today and the quality we had in the wake of vietnam during the late 1970s. we certainly had some very very good people but the comparison i would make today in the quality people would be very significant. really what was going on in the 1970s as we didn't have sufficient money to train so the training was not effective in our capabilities were not running. we didn't have a significant amount of money to take care of
infrastructure in their barracks and frankly murmured the days of this pestis carpeting raw sewage in the barracks and the conditions of habitability that frankly we were embarrassed about in the 1970s. i think the one thing that's different today than the 1970s is the spirit in the willen is this one in addition to being well-equipped. much of it them and we had was old but the intangible quality in the force today and we have spoken about trust and we have all spoken about the ability to predict the support you will have when you go in harm's way. all of those things that have given us the spirit will and discipline of those are the things i'd be most concerned about losing is the quality of the forcing characteristics we see in her soldiers sailors airmen and marines today. >> senator manchin. >> thank you mr. chairman and thank you for your outstanding service to our country. i don't know the person west virginia that wouldn't sacrifice
for military, not one. that wouldn't give up something they are getting now benefit for military. i don't know one but they do ask the question can we do it better? can we make it more efficient and i just remember the omnibus bill we passed that was $5 billion of new equipment from the department of defense that understandably asked for. i'm sure if it was built in my state we would be pushing it up. it has to be a more effective and efficient way of procurement. after enough for science and the chairman has bottomless forever. i heard him when i was governor the state in one as the legislature. there's got to be a better way and when eisenhower said the industrial military complex he knew what he was talking about. even back to george washington a new there could be a problem. we have got to break that so we can go back to the people willing to sacrifice whether it's in my state of west virginia or arizona or wherever it may be.
i will sacrifice but are we doing it better? we don't have an audit so without an audit i've never been able to run a business without an audit on where my problems are. we have a problem getting an audit from the department of defense so we know are the deficiencies are. we forced up on you and i know it makes it politically very challenging that we have got to be there for you and if we are going to have the best readiness and be prepared and give support support, the greatest defense department the world has ever seen went to make sure we are doing in the most efficient fashion. so i look at that and i have a whole different approach to this two years of military service. i was a product of a mandatory rotc and i enjoyed it. i never had the chance in the draft process and everything that went with that. i still believe in two years of public service for every young
person and really we could tie it to the two years of college by the president and you earn two years of college if you get two years of public service. it doesn't have to be the military. we still have that option. i think it has more value to our country if we do that. i just want to know and i have the most frustration with the procurement of this process of ours, why take so long to get an idea for new technology to market. why is that so long for us to get that and the cost that goes into that? f-35 i know our chairman has been on this for his many years as i can remember. there is no quid pro quo. there is no incentive or reward or penalty it seems like. in the private sector we don't run like we run up to terminate a military like i know of. it's kind of an open-ended that would like anybody's come into effect to chime in.
we can start with general odey are now and if any of you want to chime in on this together some direction we can help you and how an audit would work to reveal inefficiencies so the transparency we need appear to give you the support you need. >> senator thank you. first we are working very hard towards audit ability. we are starting to put the systems in place. enabling us to better see ourselves and where we are spending money where we are wasting money and where we are underfunding money. we are getting there. requirements by 17 are working fast to get the and starting to see some of that come to fruition. we are taking that it very seriously and making progress. we are not where we need to be but we are making progress and we should be prepared by 17 to meet that goal. a couple of things on what you said yes we are still having to procure systems we don't need excess tanks as an example in the army hundreds of millions of
dollars spent on tanks that we simply don't have the structure for anymore. there are reasons for that understand that there are things that go on and when we are talking about tight budgets a couple hundred million dollars is a lot of money. we have got to understand that and another thing it's another lots of people who have moved toward procure or form. one thing that has been frustrating to me as chief of staff of the army is how little authority and responsibility i have in the procurement process. i have a say in requirements to some extent but i have very little say in what i have to do is use my influence use my influence as a four-star general and chief of staff of the army to try to enforce the process but frankly i have no authority inside of that process outside of the requirements. so i think when you're in this position and you have been serving for decades you have fought wars in you have experience in what is needed and how we develop and procure
items. i would like to see us get a bit more involved. i would ask as we review this we all take a look at that. >> we too are working our ability this year. we are going under what is called the schedule of budgetary activity and that means the financial transactions. we should complete that by december and that takes us to the neps step which is the 44 classic years of audit ability. i would tell you the navy is on track and we'll continue to keep the committee and yourself informed. when i look at the pier kermit progress -- process ray has it right. we need to clarify the chain of command. there are too many people involved in the process. if i say i need a thing and it starts moving towards some might building it in a whole lot of people are telling us this is what you really need and i'm talking about in the pentagon. that's one. two we need to be able to
compromise point to tell somebody to build a something. if i say it has to be this fast in this grade and i'm reaching hard it is quite expensive in the technology may not be there. we may need to descope this. it won't deliver on time. cost and schedule need to become a much bigger factor in this process that it is today. i think it ought to be a key performance parameter. if you breach this you have to go back and stop and take a pause and look at it again. >> if i can just finish. my time is up but i would love to speak up i can because i'm interested in the pier kermit and how we do it. i'm more interested in finding how many ideas come from you all towards what you describe is what you need versus what some on the outside think you should need. those are the things i'd like you think about an outcome and visit visit with u.s. than visit with you if i may. thank you very much mems are in mr. chairman's.
>> thank you senator manchin and that is her second top priority item for this committee in the coming session. senator tell us. >> thank you mr. chairman and gentlemen thank you for being your new leadership and your service to our nation. i apologize for being out. i had a committee and judiciary for the appointment of the nominee. my question to you is i came from north carolina legislature. we had a budget crisis in 2011 we had to cut. what i heard from the heads of the various administrations members where they could absorb some of these cuts if the legislature was willing to provide them with the flexibility to determine where they needed. potentially changing some of the processes alluding to what the admiral said on procurement processes. has there have been much of a comprehensive focus on if you
could make changes to the way you procure deploy and prioritize spending and provide that feedback to the congress that's one. another question with respect to sequestration i don't know that much about although i do know i will vote to repeal it. can you describe what kinds of constraints prevent you from being able to absorb the suggested cuts to sequestration and would it make it easier for to stay in place? go down the line. >> senator the one thing i would say is i think sequestration level of budget is simply not enough budget for us to meet the demands on the force. i want to be very clear about that upfront. i just think it does not allow us to be what we believe is our defense strategy and defend strategic guidance we are operating under now. that said we are inefficient and in the sequestration itself is
inefficient. it is in some cases salami slice cuts that limit how you manage. what it has done this stretch programs more than they need to be so because britain is more. causing us to reduce training and some of our other modernization activities much more broadly than we need to. it is causing us to cut defense strength too quickly. all of us add to an efficient use of the resources we are providing. so we can make some adjustments around that and it would help up we were able to change mechanisms associated with sequestration. that said i believe the level of funding under sequestration is not enough for us to do things we need to do. >> general does that suggest and if i were to have that discussion with someone in business the question i would ask is how productive and how efficient do you think your organization is? are you suggesting that now the
cuts suggested by sequestration are beyond your capacity to derive additional efficiencies and productivity? >> no i would not. there is our german army for continued efficiency. we have taken several steps to try to improve our efficiency whether it be how we do contracts how we size or headquarters and how we manage some of our programs. we i said to be that in adjusting it and adapting how we do things. there's always room for that. but the levels we are talking about really hinders us and what i believe in a difficult security environment to meet the needs. >> admiral. >> i echo what general odierno said. the absolute value of money that it takes to do this strategy and what the country needs the
military to do today doesn't balance. so what i'm saying in my testimony was you have to change what you are asking us to do. the world is getting a vote on this so there's a mismatch and an imbalance in math. as general odierno said i will give you a quick anecdote. in the president's budget 15 which we brought up. there was a money billion-dollar change over what we say or difference in what we said we needed and what we had. 20 billion of that we made up through red reductions efficiencies and by more efficiently do better buying power. so we are doing our best to be as efficient as possible. i would say that takes time for these things to come jurors. he efficiencies the kinds of reductions we are talking about are today. so there's a mismatch in that as well. >> thank you. general welsh. >> sequestration is a blunt force in german.
it was intended to be as was referenced earlier in the hearing so we can keep it in the law. a problem with that is there's nothing about that instrument you can use in the business world. he would never expect to create savings the first year you decided to restructure your time. >> for the record that's why i agree strategically it's a poor approach towards addressing or driving out efficiency so i agree with that general welsh. >> when it comes to efficiency within the air force have not used our auditor general will. we have never done implementation audits for new programs and organizations. we started that over the last 18 months. we found if you get off to good start start in the changes you've a better success. the same applies acquisition programs. if you start procure with a bad funding plan or bad acquisition strategy we will end up explaining why the program is stale. we have got to do a better job of starting the right way and that involves a number of people supporting us in changing policy
law and thus pay more attention to it. >> general dunford. >> i would associate myself with the comments of the chief and what about the methodology makes it difficult? in 2013 are manpower was exempt from sequestration. he spends 70% of our budget just towards people. the full weight of sequestration fell within 30% of our budget so blue and back to sequestration 2016 he would be a similar impact with the full weight of sequestration comes against 30% of the budget. not only does it have no flexibility in its application but it's a very narrow part of my budget where the four-way sequestration would fall. >> thank you general. that gets to the point about the constraints. thank you mr. chair. >> senator cain. >> thank you mr. chairman. i just returned from the budget committee and i missed some of it.
>> not accepted. >> thank you, always a pleasure to work with you. [laughter] >> i want to stress the sequestration was designed to be stupid. it was expressly designed to be so stupid and unacceptable congress would never allow it to go into place for their member campaigning in 2012 people said what he think of the sequestered and i said it will never happen but here we are. one of the reasons it doesn't make much sense as we are focusing all of our budgetary attention on a declining part of the budget. the growth in the budget right now is in mandatory programs and particularly in health care costs medicare medicaid children's health programs. that is what's driving the federal deficit. it's not defense. it's not national parks. it's not a the head start program and we are focusing --
-- the sequestered is like invading brazil after pearl harbor. it's a vigorous reaction but it's the wrong target because this is not where the problem is and we are headed for a moment by the way mr. chairman were discretionary spending including defenses at the lowest level ever ever. we simply really shouldn't be having this discussion because it's such a pointless exercise in terms of trying to do what the budget. we need to be talking about a much larger question particularly the extraordinary cost of health care in this country as a percentage of gdp and per-capita. i know you have had the testimony we heard at the beginning about how devastating it will be and we really have to start talking about how to deal with it.
i hope mr. chairman that this committee which sees the impact of sequester more than any other committee in congress because it's more than half of those falls within our jurisdiction can lead the way and in trying to find some kind of solution that will make sense. i don't really have any specific questions except to underline what i heard all you gentlemen say in your opening statement that this will really be devastating. americans lives are being put at risk by this policy. would you agree with that general odierno? >> yes, sir. >> admiral? >> yes sir i do. >> yes sir. >> yes sir. >> that should be the headline. americans lives are being put at risk and we go to extraordinary lengths to protect the lives of our people yet by compromising readiness and by compromising
morale and modernization and compromising training that's the inevitable result. you guys are having to go through these extraordinary gyrations to try to deal with this uncertain budget situation and the danger is a risk to american lives both our people in uniform and our civilians. so i certainly want to thank you for your testimony. also i would like to ask one other question. i would assume the uncertainty of this whole situation is almost as bad as the dollars. is that correct general? >> there's a lot of angst in the force about what's in the future and what's going to happen. the focus on what they are doing today but they worry about what it means to them for the future and their families who is creating angst in the force. that is concerning to me and for the army especially because we
are reducing so much for structure and might be required to reduce more for structure periods creating great angst in the force. >> one final question for you admiral. talk about the risk to the industrial base. my concern is you can't turn on and off the industrial base. when welders leave to go somewhere else you can't just pick them back up the next year. isn't that a deep concern to the navy? >> it is senator. we are at the point where in and our shipbuilding plan we are at minimum sustaining. the good news is we are buying efficiently but that comes unraveled at the start dropping out ships here or there. aircraft and weapons we are sustaining. what happens is people think the big primes are going to go under. it's kind of the mom and pop the smaller business people that make very specific and refined equipment.
over half of our nuclear industrial base's sole-source so we really need them. this lack of planning and inability can't keep them open. you can't buy and economic quality -- quantity. as you said you can't bring it back fast. >> irony is when you have to delayed multiyear procurement you end up paying more in and so the taxpayers lose both ways. >> they absolutely do. some say you are eating at 7-eleven every night. it's not sustainable when it's more expensive. >> i have 7-eleven's in maine so not going to comment. thank you mr. chair. >> senator king i want to thank you for the work you are doing up along with a number of efforts to address this -- address this issue and i thank you very much. senator cotton. >> thank you chairman mccain and thank you gentlemen for your distinguished service to our country. i want to look back on a few the
statements he made at the last hearing we had general odierno starting with you. you said of sequestration level reduction continue in fy14, 85% of our dct with's would not be at readiness levels for contingency. >> we got down to 90% at what time in 13 because of the bba. they built that backup and 14 and 15 to 33% but if sequestration begins of 16 will be headed down to those numbers again. >> how are you managing that lack of readiness? >> what we have had to do is develop it for so we are going to take this amount of army amount of arming and training to the highest level which means the rest of the army is training at significantly lower levels which concerns me. what i worry about and i've got
to have some level of force capable of deploying to an unknown contingency but what that does is not funding the rest of the force affects morale and capabilities and takes longer to recover from it. >> is on a concrete sense does that mean certain bct's are path were collective training? >> individual squad. >> you said 20% of operating force for collective training. is that the case? >> that was the case and when we got the additional money above sequestration we were able to increase that to 35% of the force. but if it kicks in and 16 will go right back down. >> where do we stand on schools basic professional schools? >> right now they are funded
fully. if sequestration kicks in we will start to see reduction in our special training school. a knock in be not we will fund those. we will have to limit ranger airborne pathfinder 85,000 spaces will be unfounded in our specialty schools which are critical to providing high level confidence that we need. >> what kind of percentage would that be for the specialty training schools like ranger? >> it will be somewhere around 50 to 60% level. >> have you seen that affecting retention? >> we have not done it yet. we would have to do that if we go back into sequestration. >> do expect retention? >> all of this affects retention. the most important thing we do is make sure they are trained to do their mission. we'll may start backing off on the ability to will affect retention. >> he projected the need to go from just over 530,000 troops to
420. is that still your assessment? >> that is in fact sir. >> at what levels will we see the most declines in personnel and nco and company grade officer? >> we managed officers and we are going through boards now. you just get it for 90 where we are and voluntarily separating officers at the major colonel upon reducing the amount of ncos and reducing the amount of soldiers we are bringing in and actually over the last couple of years and reduce that the ability for people to reenlist. i will increase if we go to sequestration. >> at those levels are their soldiers that tend to have multiple combat deployments? >> that is absolutely correct. >> they are losing their combat experience and the privates and lieutenants who don't have it? gem of -- general dunford your predecessor predicted projected he would have to decrease your end strength 187,000 to 174,000.
is that projection still accurate? >> senator that is correct with sequestration. >> could you explain to a layman what may seem like relatively small reduction of 13,000 to be so hurtful? >> thank you for the question. the biggest impact would be reduced capacity would have an impact on the deployment of the lower ratio of marines. today we consider today we consider that small force the media to study in 2011, the optimal force with the 186,800 marines. that would allow marines to be on for seven months home for 21 months and gone for seven months again we call that one to three deployments will. we are deploying seven months home for 14 months in backup for seven months. we go down to 174,000 the marine security guard it would be 175
and the only change i would make for my predecessors comment. many of our units would be closer to one-to-one and one to two summaries would be home for eight or nine months between seven-month deployments with an impact on the quality of training we would provide as well as impact on families. >> admiral you testified if sequestration remained in place we would only be able to sustain 255 ships which is approximately 50 less than today. is that still correct? >> that was about 15 months ago when i did that testimony. that was a scenario based on using force structure retirement to garner savings and mandates from congress have taken that off the table so i would look into other avenues probably other modernization and concerns when i talk about capability in the future that's more likely where we would go for that
savings. >> my time has expired. thank you all. >> senator mccaskill. >> thank you mr. chairman and you might be old until i don't have a voice today and in fact his being celebrated in many places around you today. i won't spend time questioning. senator manchin touched on acquisition process. i would certainly recommend to this committee and leaders in our military the report that was issued by the permanent subcommittee on investigations under the leadership of senator mccain and levin where they took information from a variety of important experts about our acquisition process and particularly the challenges the bifurcation represents between a civilian in the military and how awkward that has been and how expensive it has been in the long run. that is a technical term. i figure i can say that since i
can't talk. i will just use his time to briefly ask one question. one of the things i've discovered as i have done an enormous amount of work in the area of acquisition and by the way getting rid of sequestration i think is maybe the most imperative bipartisan challenge we have in the senate. and it is a bipartisan challenge. we are going to have a lot of them and how we on this committee step up on a bar person way to address it i think will be meaningful. one of the problems in the military is it is based on leadership and durability to be promoted. and what positions you have are relevant to whether or not you are promoted. it's kind of the short stick to get to be a systems manager. so what happens these program managers don't want to hang out in those jobs because they get out the heat when things go wrong. they are not seeing as bright
and rising stars within the military. it's not the career path that is the most desirable whether you are back in the days of me couldn't get the companies to give anybody with authority that clipboard to check on contracting. when i started doing this it was the lamest member of the company that was handed that clipboard to do the contracting checks. so i would love if not now in writing later how you all believe you can elevate these positions so they are seen as part of a trajectory of success within the military cousin tilly get quality leaders running these acquisition systems, these programs we are going to continue to struggle with costs we frankly can can't afford in this country anymore. i have only got three minutes
left so if any of you want to take a stab at that it would be great and i apologize for my voice. >> senator we are very aware of the issue you just brought up in terms of ensuring in certain parts of our service they have the ability to move up and get rewarded for the work they are doing. we manage it very carefully. with their acquisition course specifically we have management guidelines we are attempting to follow. for me it's more it's not only that but it's more about the mixture of experience of acquisition and operational experience and that would help also in that area. we make sure we have that dual experience and we have moved away from that a little bit where we make someone an acquisition office early on. but that said we have put programs in place to ensure the promotion rates are at least equal. but that said i believe we have to constantly review it look at
it and ensure they have the opportunities for promotion and i will respond in writing with more detail. >> mammon and maybe we have a core called acquisition professionals. so subspecialty and it's in statute how they are promoted and what jobs they are required. we need to do some work on that. number one report of fitness history similar to an understood deadline office so the attributes that they are evaluated on don't match up with the reality of what they do day in and day out. we need to revise that. that's in progress and i'm working with our authorization professional. number two company to cross pollinate. people who may not be acquisition professionals need to understand what they do so as we go back and forth and describe what i need what they need in their reality we need to understand that so they can do better. number three the assignment
process needs to be comments like a conga line right now through need to go in and find out to your point who are these people who are performing well, get them in the right job and keep them there so they can develop a program and we are not just shifting people through there. lastly encourager program managers to come forward. the program is not going what we have do we have to value a pad and report them for coming forward and saying we have a problem. what happens is they fill in the data and they say check it out. i've got to get out of here before this thing goes bad. and the poor person that comes in and explodes gets the heat. >> senator i think it's a fascinating area for study. i spent two and a half years in a acquisition business in the thing i walked away with was i didn't understand the rules when i left anymore than i did when i walked in. what understand is the quality people we have an acquisition business in the air force for its especially for as we get lot of people wanting to come to the
air force. the talent level is phenomenal. or we start to lose them as when they become disconnected in her duties when i get to the midcareer with what the rest of the air force is doing. they don't feel they are critically important to the big air force. they feel they are critically important to the program and not having that connection is a big problem in my view. we have a number of general acquisition officers so there is a path for them if we can make them want to stay long enough to enjoy. it's tough work and you have to be very talented to do it well. ..
>> i believe it is about 3%. >> i think it is 2.3. can you do me a favor and check amongst your selves? finally a number that the military abuse that this is relative to the gdp? and also add into that letter the average that the nation has been spending on defense, let's say since vietnam. i think that that would be very instructive to the committee to understand the true effects of sequestration. and i believe it's around 2.3% and that is about half of what we normally spend on defense. but i couldn't stand corrected if you just let us know. and have each of you talk to the president about this problem with sequestration?
>> yes, sir. >> what does he say? >> well, the conversations that we are having, i think as you see our submission of this budget, you will see that our budget is well above sequestration and that is a budget that we have worked with the president so i think the you can be that he believes the the department of defense cannot operate under sequestration. >> has a suggested a solution to repeal this beyond this budget? >> not that i can tell. >> does he seem upset when you mention the consequences of what the congress has decided to do with his mentor two. >> i think that the discussions that we have had with the president, he understands the challenges that we have and he understands the security
environment and the pressures that are being put on all of our services. >> but had he submitted a plan to you to say that i understand what you are telling me this is unacceptable, here is how i intend to fix it. has he suggested such a plan to any of you two. >> i am not aware of one sir. >> i think that applies to us as well. we're the ones who created this mess. the president signed a bill and so it's not just fair for me to comment, but the congress is on the same vote. it is challenging some of us on the committee to find a plan. mr. president, help us, we cannot do this by ourselves, we need the commander in chief to weigh-in and inform the american people that the sequestration cuts are unacceptable not just on the defense side but are you
familiar with the foreign operations account under the 150 account? the foreign aid account? >> okay. >> do you agree that that is a vital program in terms of national defense all of its own? have you looked at what happens under sequestration to our ability to be engaged in africa and to deal with malaria and aids and a variety of other health care issues? >> i have not, senator. >> have you, general? >> we have through our commands understanding the cuts and what it could mean to ability. >> you need to take a look because the military has been the strongest advocate. if you think that sequestration is a problem for you you should look at what it does for the state department. having said all that do you all agree that once we get sequestration fixed and right, whatever that turns out to be
that we should reform our benefit and pay in concentration packages to make the military more sustainable. >> yes senator. >> because otherwise we would have to pay for significant cuts in our capacity. >> do all of you agree? >> i agree. >> would urge congress to look at this seriously? >> sir, i would urge them to look at it seriously and not get into the details of the report itself. >> i would just suggest that we need to look outperforming and paying benefits as to the marine corps, what is the infrastructure looking like? >> senator, we are programmed for about 70% of the dod recommended amount against the infrastructure.
>> what does that mean to marine corps remount. >> it means that we have an unprecedented a billion dollar construction program over the last two years and will happen is that we won't be able to properly maintain it that means that there could be more than in the barracks, that means that they may not be maintained at a rate that is suitable, that means that the rangers won't be properly sustained, those are some of the impacts. >> to of the other services have similar concerns? >> absolutely. >> will that affect retention and family holiday of life? you might guess, it will affect family programs and quality of life and the ability to train the way that we need to train. >> thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i would apologize for being absent. but i know that my apology will be rejected. so i will not even endeavor.
because there is no committee hearing more important than this one going on today. >> you are forgiven. [applause] >> thank you. but on a more serious note i would like to thank the chairman for his constant and relentless focus on this topic and forward facing it again at the outset of this session so that we can put a lot of these issues in context, many of my constituents who are digging out from a major weather event in the northeast might be forgiven for comparing sequestration to the weather, there is an old saying that everyone talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it. we have talked about sequestration a lot on this side but the congress has yet to do anything meaningful about it. so i think the chairman for putting it on the front burner as we begin consideration of
this budget. and i take it that in your testimony there is no mention of this because there is no planning for it and nothing is on the table at this point. >> the department has requested this and in my testimony i did not speak to it. i am always open to this, it is a good process and i'm satisfied with the navies of the structure as it existed. >> there is no immediate need for this interview? >> i am satisfied with this, but again the process makes the basis that i have that much more efficient. >> he spoke very cogently in your testimony about the
fragility of the maritime base which is a major consideration that the public doesn't always understand, a consequence of sequestration. you note that the damage can be long-lasting and hard to reverse, that is true of facilities and manufacturing plants not only at places like this, but also in the supply chain across the country and in connecticut, for example, where parts and components and supplies are necessary to in effect make the weapon systems and platforms that make our military as powerful as it is. is that correct? >> yes, sir, it is correct. i would worry less about a company like this a larger company, but as these that the key is that they have to go to
these sub primes if you will, particularly nuclear and we understand that this is a huge asymmetric advantage of ours that is at risk when these smaller businesses close, where do we go overseas? this is really a serious subject sir. >> thank you. there has been some discussion of the mental health consequences as a result of the sequestration process as you may know, senator mccain and i have spearheaded a bill to provide better mental health care to our veterans, which i hope will be voted on literally in the next day or so in the next few days if not today and it general, i'm wondering if you can speak to that issue because it is very concerning, the suicide rate among veterans is 22 per day within the active military also
deeply troubling, perhaps you could elaborate on that point. >> thank you, senator. unfortunately we have had to decrease the capabilities over the last couple of years. it's not something that we want to do. and this is during a time of concern where we believe that we should be increasing our behavior capabilities in order to support our soldiers this is a long-term problem and it's not one that goes away because we are out of iraq or afghanistan but one that will assist you in itself for a period of time. so it's one thing that is very important to us. we are trying to be as efficient as we can and get it down to the lowest levels possible. but i worry about that. and it is an issue that is of great concern to us. frankly when we had to for low civilians, one of the specialties that walked away from us was a behavior health specialist because there is such
a need for them and many other walks of life as well, they decided because of the uncertainty that they will work someone else. and that is very problematic for us. >> let me ask generally, there has been a lot of talk about retention. which is extraordinarily important. what about recruitment? which is as important, you want the best to be attractive having sequestration recruitment. >> we have been able to meet our goals for recruiting. but it is starting to get more difficult and so we are a bit concerned as we look ahead, we have been able to meet those standards for frankly part of the population is decreasing because of the other problems that we are having in the youth of our society. so for us it is becoming critical.
i think the uncertainty of a military service and the constant discussion of reducing military budget is going to have an effect on the potentials and recruitment. >> we are meeting goals, but one of the measures is what we of the month of the four weeks do you find this and we are starting to get into the third week, which is very unusual for the last four years in the high-tech ratings. >> thank you a. >> senator, the big draw is a word-of-mouth and those that have served increasingly that testimony is through social media and people see this on other comments, sequestration lit it up this job sucks kind of comments, that has died off but it will come stronger back then before, and the testimony this is what i'm worried about.
but we haven't seen an impact yet. >> we are certainly complacent about this, we have not yet seen this. >> thank you, senator blumenthal for your leadership on this issue that you just discussed with the witnesses. i am afraid that it is only the beginning, but i think it's a good beginning. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as we struggle with sequestration and yes we all agree that we should eliminate it but as we say struggling with how to do that generally when confronted with an issue like this, we look at how we can achieve more efficiency and we have talked about that. there is a range of other things that should be on the table and i think the senator also mention that we should be looking at the mandatory spending side of things which is a whole
different set of problems. but shouldn't we be looking at the revenue side of things in order to look at how best can we have more revenue so that we can have less of these kinds of huge things all across the board, not just in the military but the domestic side. do you have any thoughts about that? any of you? >> i am not sure what you are referring to by the revenue side. if you're talking about what is internal to our budget -- >> we are talking about the tax structure. >> that is really the situation. we have making recommendations
based on military risk and we have to consider risks for many different reasons. >> is there anyone out time and? talk about this i think that we need to have an honest discussion on the revenue side. general, i noticed that you mentioned that supplement and even as we speak the army is conducting this in hawaii and i think we can agree that the men and women have major menace contributions to our national security as to our men and women in other areas i'm also aware that we have been preparing to
leave for joint military exercises and that is in thailand and south korea and the philippines, can you speak to the importance of this kind of program in maintaining stability in the asia-pacific region? especially when the rest of the world is in the middle east and africa they have been very unstable with us providing that level of instability. i think that that is worth exploring. would you give us your opinion? >> this program is what we call pacific pathways and it is an incredibly important program that we have done for the third year that we have done it and it is increasing.
and with us being reduced it's important that we are able to leverage this on multinational platforms we are able to do so through these exercises, working together gaining confidence, getting ready to work with each other and it's actually critical to our future strategy. you know having these is incredibly important to us because that gets us about halfway there. and it becomes much more difficult. so having those forces in hawaii becomes very important for us because the ability to do this is in a quicker fashion. >> is sequestration going to negatively impact our ability to engage? >> yes, it will. it will reduce the dollars that we have to do events like this and we would certainly rather not have it produced, we think it's important but i believe that we will not be able to do
events like that as much. we will have to reduce them and it will cause us problems in developing a future security architecture throughout the pacific region. >> can you provide the specific -- the specifics of which of these kinds of programs you would like to reduce if 2016 sequester comes into play? >> the modernization accounts and other accounts which funds many of these exercises, so we will have to make decisions on which exercises we do not do. and so although we would like to continue to do some of these all will be affected great so we are going to have to reduce them to some level. and frankly we will also reduce the readiness of those conducting these missions.
>> thank you a. >> and some of your testimony can you discuss the importance of investment in technological infrastructure and as we know that cyberwarfare is very much upon a. to what you can see is the increased threat of cyberwarfare, can you talk about the cybersecurity capabilities should sequestration come into play. >> we have increased this, but we have a lot of infrastructure kind of things to better protect our networks that better protect our nation. so that is going to be pro. last year we were hoping for about $800 million and we were able to improve the infrastructure aimed at increasing cybersecurity and that was unfortunately not approved. but because of that, that puts more strain on the dollars for four or five years and so sequestration comes into play
and it will take us longer to consolidate our networks, making them more capable, protecting them from outsider attacks and i'm very concerned about that. >> although my time is up i was doing that the rest of you agree that this is going to make it very difficult for you to keep cybersecurity infrastructure in place or to even build it. >> it would be hard, but it will be a top priority. >> yes ma'am same comment. >> it is a quirky capability that is going to suffer from the same effects as all the other usability areas with sequestration. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank all of you for your service and really or your decade of commitment. seeing the level of experience
at this single table, it highlights something that i believe is worth mentioning just so that you the public understands why these procurement issues are important. the military is fundamentally different from other government agencies, the private sector you cannot hire a general from the private sector or from another agent he. and i think the incredible amount of experience that all of you represent really helps to highlight that to our constituency. i have a couple of russians and i would like to ask the general in particular, and i want to thank you with my first question, speaking to this issue in the media recently it is something that i have been very concerned about recently. and that is with respect to
aircraft pilots and the cruise that make those missions possible. i have become very concerned about the current level of resources supporting the training and read training and the retention of the personnel. and i know you share some of that concern than what i want to ask you is if we are as challenged as we appear to be because of the tempo based in large part -- if the budget control act goes into effect, can you give us a sense of a scalable we will be facing in terms of not meeting the demands with regard to remotely piloted aircraft in a way that is really going to put us at an enormous
disadvantage in my view and i don't want to put words in your mouth, but i want you to articulate, if you would the scale of this for my colleagues. >> sequestration went into effect and we believe that we would have to cut the number of orbits at the other crew members fly. which in a strange way would make the problem we are discussing better. we have enough to fly 55 orbits with a sustainable life over time, but we are flying 10 above that. and we have been since 2007. that's a number that is above what we had. because we have talked about this nine times in eight years on this horse. those groups understand, they are excited about it. if we went to 45, we would create a more sustainable rhythm as soon as that happens. so the problem would be operational requirements that
wouldn't be met but alleviated to a great extent and that is the issue that is really leading to that that's a different problem but still a significant one. >> you see the demand tobacco endowment future? >> know, senator i do not we keep thinking that we haven't talked out and then it increases again. and we have been chasing this for a long time. we have to get ahead of it because we have to be able to train more people and we haven't been able to do that yet. because all of the trainers are doing operational support. >> right. on another. >> at the levels to go into effect do you see any ways to modernize the nuclear deterrence that we have?
>> it will have to be modernized, but parts of it do you modernize. >> i guess i should say it in its entirety, that force us into some difficult conversations we have seen within last few days would it enforce those kinds of decisions? >> i don't think that discussion will ever go away. i'm a believer in it. but clearly we have to have discussions with congress, the national security council, deciding where is the commission going to go with this. we just don't have enough to do with this to do all the monetization that we need to do if we took everyone's desire and tried to mediate. >> thank you all. >> i want to thank the witnesses and as for the record, i know the answers but if
sequestration returns next year can your service execute the strategic guidance? >> know, mr. chairman. >> no mr. chairman. >> want to thank you for your straightforward and candid testimony. i would like to mention two things with you. what is referred to earlier that is the commission on pay compensation that is reporting that they will be appearing before the committee and looking at their recommendations. we are going to need your input as to whether those are doable and so i hope and i know that you will be looking at the commission's recommendations and we will need to have your input and evaluation of it.
and it was raised by several members and we are here fighting as hard as we can to repeal sequestration and that is a bipartisan effort, but we have to do a better job on acquisition reform and we are going to be spending a lot of time on that in this committee. so i've come to one conclusion already and that is the whole process requires your input in a much more meaningful fashion, and i think he would all agree with that. and if you are responsible, you should play a much greater role in the process and that is one of the conclusions that i think that we are in agreement on and we will probably try to add. but there's a lot more that needs to be done. so i will be counting upon you to understand the you will probably ask some tough questions in the days ahead. so i thank you for being here.
[inaudible question] >> coming up next on c-span2, president obama joined a tribute ceremony for outgoing defense secretary chuck hagel. then transportation secretary anthony foxx on the highway transportation fund. later tonight, the senate armed services committee examines the effect of budget cuts on national security. >> the second day of testimony for loretta lynch begins tenney 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span.
>> updating sanctions live at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3. >> this sunday on "q&a." doctor frances jensen on the discoveries about the teenage brain. >> the frontal lobes are not at the ready, they are not as readily acceptable. it's not that connections can be made as quickly for split-second decision-making and also don't forget a lot of the hormones are changing a lot in the body and many times you haven't seen it since teenagers, so the brain is trying to learn and i think that
this contributes to this kind of roller coaster kind of experience that we have watched as parents. >> sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern and pacific on "q&a." >> president obama, vice president biden and the joint chiefs of staff chairman contribute to outgoing defense secretary chuck hagel on went they is is 45 minutes. two. >> before i began, i would like to ask you to join me in recognizing that they are quite
simply the best at what they do, those behind me. thank you very much. [applause] >> mr. secretary, i couldn't help thinking as the national answer was playing i hope this provides an enduring memory of your time. mr. president, mr. vice president good afternoon. it is an honor to be here with the secretary for the incredible and remarkable service.
young man you have six months to be back in college, he said or you are going to be drafted into the vietnam war, where he said i tried college, three colleges actually and let's just say it wasn't in the best interest of those academic institutions and so i think that it may not be the best thing for the army. and it's better than being on the spot to serve his country just as his grandfather had done in world war i and his father in world war ii, that same sense of responsibility characterizes leadership.
and you can thoroughly believe that success, real success, he said, does not depend upon the position that you hold but how you carry yourself. and it is the very right situation and we thank you for your service and your sacrifice and understanding and tireless support. ladies and gentlemen, please give a round of applause to the chuck hagel family. [applause] [applause] >> on this day in history 55 years ago today, the dallas cowboys joined the national football league and as a fan i consider this a day of sadness.
but this is of course timely with the super bowls coming up. many don't know that secretary chuck hagel had asked to play football himself. not for the dallas cowboys but he wanted to play for the university of nebraska cornhuskers. sports can teach so many valuable lessons and teddy roosevelt also said that the principle to follow is this. headline hard don't foul and shirk but headline hard. and that is certainly the principle that the secretary learned during his time in columbus nebraska, and that includes when he became secretary of art defense. they assured everything they needed and in order to accomplish this around the
world. as new challenges are merged, the from russian aggression in the ukraine and others, what he provided leadership ensuring that the department could respond quickly to keep our nation secure. and his leadership did not stop there, he has reinforced the notion that we who work in the defense of the nation are called to live on common lives. the secretary has been an incredible advocate and with the american people, delivering on his promise and people and families he has served. he is a devoted family man and an exemplary person. he is a man of character that was forged by those that value hard work and perseverance, he has been tested in the crucible of combat.
this includes work and convulse and the shrapnel, a permanent reminder. a 20-year-old, timothy hagel made the decision to volunteer because there was an outside war going on and he also wanted to set an example for his brothers. the secretary said that my father had suddenly passed away and i just wasn't coming together the way that i should. today i can say without question that he came together all right. and i'm certain that the old world war ii be 25 jo bonner that charlie would agree. we thank you for your leadership, mr. secretary, and i am proud to have served fireside. it's now my honor to introduce the vice president now of the
united states. back. >> mr. president chairman dempsey, fellow members, i know it has been hard, but you have done a very good job. chuck, there is no one i know and we have been close friends for a long time. there is no one i know that better fits the standard that president kennedy set out for our generation when he said that her success or failure will be measured by the answered four questions. were we men of courage remap were we men of judgment?
were we men of integrity? were we truly men of dedication? chuck is a lot more than just physical courage that i admire it's your courage and political courage. you have more of that than anyone i've ever served with in all the years that i have served in the senate. gray man whose judgment and counsel i have always thought during our 12 years together the foreign relations committee and many tens of thousands we have traveled around the world into northern iraq and we wanted to go in to this deal.
and this is before the war had commenced and the turks decided to let us through. and they decided to stick us in a car with title like something of one of these modern-day warrior movies, we are both sitting in the backseat and they told us to make sure that you lie down as often as you can because you do not want to be seen. and i remember chuck saying i am worried about my mom. we are running through the mountains and you are on the phone, he's got a cell phone, he called his mother. but it is a pretty interesting fellow, mr. president, who was on an important mission that never forgets what was important to him.
and your integrity chuck is something that everyone in the united states senate, everyone in the previous administrations a forklift has recognized. you always have meant what you said and said what you mean and in my neighborhood and yours, the promise made is a promise kept and i cannot find anyone who has ever known you when you have ever not kept a commitment and whatever commitment that you have made. her dedication to the country and your family goes without having to even make reference to it. and so your experience as a fellow warrior to all of your comrades here it has established an unusual bond between you and the troops and i remember everybody else was talking to generals and i look at you and your climbing in a
humvee with two sergeants asking them what is going on. what the problem is. i remember us being in baghdad and afghanistan. always walking away and talking. they knew it and they understood it and they got the straight scoop and you also known which i think is not unique but is critically important something that the president understands and has exemplified. that we not only lead by the example of our power, but by the power of our example. you've understood that the power and prestige ultimately rests upon the men and women in uniform that are assembled here today and you feel as all of us do here that we have a lot of obligations as a country.