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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 8, 2016 4:00am-6:01am EST

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-- so you will see a lot of investments with that diversion of that capability they are huge investments that get to that of quantitative not just the qualitative problem. but pushing emissions down and with that capability of that date data of that squad level so that offset strategy is real to encourage them to be more
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clear and precise and to get the pentagon to react in in doing so before it is too late. it to succeed to make that offset strategy real so it is more satisfying. >> you are up. give us another perspective. and that terminology of
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spoiler -- alert with that budget request to throw cold water on it. and the perspective of the budget that came over recently. and what we will have with the new administration in place. the reality is and looking at the house of representatives of the of budget of $30 billion debate with the defense hawks and speaker ryan to see that
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budget expressed in oco which is roughly $23 billion higher. so even with the budget deal have not seen the debate to go beyond more than 10 or 20 year $30 million despite having the majority to put in for that last budget request the us senate announced a hearing or a budget that is essentially for them. we have a of a great discussion of the architecture of deep and
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important thinking that they probably will not have appropriations bills and that with that election coming into play and then to look at that budget request most would agree with the administration last budget is trying to set the table for the next administration some try to do that responsibly at the same time not try to jettison or abandon their priorities it it goes about saying that anybody else in one of the
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most notable things that has happened in the context of the evolution in the senator cruz and his thinking not to attack the rubio campaign that senator cruz came out not too long ago if you heard is an entirely different way to approach the there is a consensus among republicans that has some can -- has some that they are doing a little more
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on the topline now whether that is informed it does reflect something needs to be done in now registering with those in the campaign but even like the migration of his views that has not infiltrated the mindset or any stakeholders look at rubio or cruz hit it hasn't impacted those to hold up the migration of the budget. despite the fact their fearless leader there is
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more to see there but basically you will see no action or we will see is it increase but what goes on in the budget and the debate with the defense committee basically to embrace reform because that is spending less for those primary means in which to grow. with those procurements with
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that work on an acquisition reform but those other aspects of the budget is year after year after year with that military pay and there is an emphasis that is the way to see relief and others that have discussed earlier and then that goes to the oco there was some discussion but it is shocking to be developed a time to start to say russia
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is the number one threat? it is shocking. and the way you see the topline to explore that opportunity. that force planning construct that we will go ahead in and to fend off without a real explanation in now that is the silver lining the we have to operate them by the way the least to have those budgets
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that simply say even though we don't want to have to deal with nbc a consensus even through president cruz store someone else in it is tied into more realistic but i will pause there. >> i will focus on acquisition and that the part that i focus on. is impossible but to talk about the history and ended
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the era of sequestration there was the big hit on modernization and as a result of that. but there is a five-year troth with major weapons systems that babied the unnecessary response to have shown decreases this one was sharp and fast and keep better different time to draw that down after the reagan buildup. and then to live off the land of the modernization.
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id did to be very large at the end of the reagan administration and. id with certain services to be designed for the full spectrum was not modernized to focus on iraq and afghanistan and the assistance needed to fight the war and iran as the most logical thing to do with the army's modernization budget with a very old force in the that is a problem. so finally there were clear grieg's of daylight on the horizon risky for rumple dash from modernization and
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it was substantially higher so that $25 billion increase that was provided a good portion with into the modernization. but the chart did not go into detail but the budget levels out again but the way it is structured with the pay increases readiness is an issue so if there is a leveling of that topline it is in trouble. so the budget is down and if
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you really digging into the details most of that his aircraft. first line of the services is buying larger aircraft in recent years. with the recapitalization of the aviation so you see both cycles is coming to its logical conclusion before the army was a conscious choice they are not done but they have decided with that budget trade-off but as everybody knows a little bit of reduction as a trade-off. one thing i should note the
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of 35 is a case study because that reduction is coming down from a level after not having a lot of money from the of 35 plastered now that it is requested from last year to focus on modernization of last year's budget and said decrease compared to that. so that potentially the department of defense understand those priorities in thought maybe the right place that congress may apply increases. [laughter] we did take it a chance to
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put them up here with the truth telling rashid but that is a possibility. just one more comment its of the possibility that would've had to give the same reason they did in the last panel but it triune my background to say with certainty when congress is done with the budget to have a fact of life change the site inflation patterns or currency fluctuations, to execute differently a few billion dollars in the budget that did congress gets to the endgame there is opportunity that it is within the topline but it doesn't mean congress is take away a critical
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priority necessarily. so they will signal about when fax change. i will not get into a fish should or should not have been shared but to see that as a construct. but to summarize going forward the f-117 budget does not fix that pipeline so until that problem is addressed it will not be solved. the early absentee drives is relatively preserved at the other end of the budget. if there isn't i am
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concerned that increases of the acquisition system it is up to congress a talk very briefly the challenges of the next administration. that biggest challenge is central but second briefly is the question of adaptability. so in a security environment we see challenges we had not anticipated and i'm confident there albee changes next year that may or may not involved to organize the review of the budget but undoubtedly those
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challenges that will rise. we need that acquisition system and those are traces that you would normally hear. i will say it has done that at times and more recently the decision of the guns from europe and has been mentioned the decision to modify and an example of the case where it has proven that it can adapt pretty readily put that will remain a central challenge. and in some ways there is an irony in the fact because
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the navy has pioneered to leverage the platforms that you have to get a better return. so maybe one of those cases if you argue more. so those are the two big challenges. >> i will talk a little about sources antoine overarching theme it may seem like there is a gap between strategy in the current that was then in
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2013 in the south china sea with ukraine and the baltic sea and syria and then north korea and has that gap has opened up but to hear that discussion posture verses presence verses capability and i thank you heard that tension that exist to initially take the position that they would have better stuff or more staff? but they got some push back as they express that that
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this was of major change as the allies would backtrack the assembly emphasizing both of them but you will see that played out on the hill. >> so this tension and plays out in the army so to be quite outspoken to see the legislation on the hill media for 70 but then
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ultimately for 50. the legislation would freeze the drawdown in that indicates a concern. the other thing that plays out is some easing of the civil war component the army has the cart and the reserve there is some tension there as he complains about of militia so that is nothing new. when regular officers raised questions from the combat unit from what they were proposing or suggesting to
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cut back to be politically connected on the future of the army with recommendations and to ease those tensions that there is more money available in many can be a great lubricant in that may ease the civil war. >> of course, they got of a lot of attention in that capture those concerns to have some more capabilities but to say that is a
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disappointment from the $800 million ship that is the destroyer they told to cut back as the push back because it was becoming too small then you will see some of issues with the navy as they talk about that a little the aircraft that eight may be designed and decided not to produce it but turn it into a tanker so whenever we call that this month it will be the center
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of a lot of discussion of the carriers going forward it is useful with the day-to-day operations into be in a conflict with the peer competitor on the eastern edge of the mainland. so you will see that played out through much greater ranges to of about 1,000 miles an hour this 500 and the competitor will be extremely dangerous. and into a bridge that gap
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but to see this played out again with a lot of active reserve politics what. >> guest: to it to do? their defenses against their competitors are much too vulnerable. on the other hand, which the insurgents that looks like number three if you want to retire the fleet and that dynamics of that capacity.
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but what you see with the amphibious ship is a lot of innovation. traditionally they would deploy those around the globe somewhere that had been the logistics' with very innovative ways to meet certain requirements so has it has a strong amphibious ship but also take a vintage
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>> and with structure d.c. capitol hill what would it take? so obviously it is the great outstanding question but with the incoming administration but i agree with the naval forces the ship count is always a and issue but there is a lot of concern rainout they're all
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here is items but last year recently that is an area of future consideration high-level up but i completely agree with the panel very familiar with the a gamesmanship with those triturated counts with a little bit of standard and gamesmanship. so those are the big ticket
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items so what will the congress take on the next that? attack on military retirement last year now health care reform the administration accounts $3 billion of the health care proposals they have attempted to simplify in the health care structure but those proposals will be looked at very carefully in a political year but that is something that will be kicked to the next administration and. i know there has been a lot of talks with results of
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savings and mike suggested that many of you track the hearings from one senate armed services committee. and the broader context it is the defense hawks against the deficit hawks but i think the acquisition reform proposal was good but the question in my mind how will the defense department go with these proposals? will they be innovative? people tackle many issues in the last year of the administration.
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but i would defer to be untrue. he is the expert. >> i will go right to questions from the audience. we will bring around a microphone. >> than the survey to talk about joint forcing reform where do each of you think they need to go with the revised goal? are we talking about are we talking about greater ambitions to reduce the
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officers the way we are connected and if you get there how much will you see? >> i will start because that is a great introduction to our panel next week but from analysis of all the testimony produced we will take a look at that because the bottom is concerned of the agility of the department including the staff but there is no consensus how to bring that about but then the proposals
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to take the focus off and with the joint staff to increase their reach there is a lot of interest of that strategy formulation. >> and what we are trying to achieve it is looking at the fighting force so that is what they are emphasizing it
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is quite philosophical but then there is a cost component so that was way store unnecessary and there was a in a cost-saving serve very little to show for it to even though they would command them rather than remove or reduce that was 10 percent of the goal is essentially did not even come close. and the challenges of executing of how to do that. >> for me the question is
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what would that solve? that is somewhat problematic to figure out what problems exist so it is the pretty sporty dynamic and remember the original legislation was to go forward and it is fair to say that has been achieved but where there is room for debate in terms of inside the beltway are inside the pentagon and there the focus ought to be sure it doesn't come at the cost of competition of ideas
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? that is what you see right now with the joint staff these are orders of magnitude greater indebted even know where the services are. and that is an issue right for examination. so in those early years of the obama administration to make some progress with there is so much more that could be done. . .
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we do that with a budget deal, it didn't take a billion for that. so if you're going to add another 18 billion or so and oak oh within the house of publican caucus right now they will not go along with it. the strategy has been floated that maybe you wait and have an additional request in the next
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administration. you basically pond and then wait for a new administration and new congress takes office and then try to take a new higher level of funding them. what do people think about that. it is very uncertain what would happen because of the election. >> the trick here is whether if i can go back to the crs, the trick here is timing. what is the risk of the weight in a transition year despite whoever comes in, whatever party comes in, there is always a. of time sometimes a very substantial, think during the bush administration there is quick action to increase the defense budget but there is a huge risk.
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of course that could be a strategy but timing on it, who comes in with the contents of it are, constraints, those are all risks. after the defense department would really want to get this taken care of as soon as they can. >> this is a strategy, there's no sense in how we are going to rely on the next president to come in. it basically they're submitting to one of two things. they just want to help a guy out and i create another headache or they know they can't defeat the freedom caucus. it doesn't mean that somehow -- they don't require more investment resource. the next administration to come in and tinker with the previous administration.
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they'll say let's go ahead and give them a bump to the baseline now with $20 billion higher when the next administration came in. in that respect were talking about the freedom caucus and they can go ahead and do anything to effectuate, they can only bring down paul ryan. it's whether or not they're able to do anything to stop a budget again were just talking about a blueprint. none of it will be executed anyway. it will actually help the next ministration if there up there so inclined to point that budget blueprint and that's the direction we want to go.
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>> imac and a depart on that position was tremendously valuable. having said that, it does have a downside. you can't as he pointed out it is -- if it's the answer this year and next year it would fall off the clip again you are really no better off than you were. that is one point. the other point i would make is and roger has really set it, i think it's not so much the identity of the next president it does not answer anything. the problem is statutory. the congress is struggling this year to even deal with a cap that has been agreed-upon, what about those caps that nobody likes that are still in place in fy 18 or 19 and going forward. that is crucial. it is all about, other than
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defense discretionary. that is where the solution will be found. that will eventually feedback into the defense account. >> that may put my omb hat on. the first thing is on the cr because the level are the same as the 16 level you do not have a problem of a big jump. the amounts are are not that big of a deal. for a short period but when he start going six months it becomes a bigger deal. on the question earlier my observation coming from omb is that laster they added a proposed to add $38 billion in that past the congress.
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the administration would not accept it but it strikes me as if they tried to add a smaller amount, 18 billion, that might make it to the congress. maybe administration won't accept it but that might be the marker to put down. based on what they did laster that might be an approach. >> okay, i want to thank all of our panelists for joining us in being generous with your time. i think all of you for coming. [applause]. [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible]
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[inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible]scholar, he is eloqu,
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and he is principled, consistently out of all of the candidate so far. >> next, the air force gives an update on the b21 bomber being built by -- air force secretary deborah lee james and air force chief of staff also spoke about some of the other companies working on the b21 at this one hour briefing. [inaudible]
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>> thank you for being here at for the state-of-the-art air force conference. today we have the secretary of the air force and general marc welsh, chief of staff of the air force. as you been you been told today session will be considered on the record. we'll start with opening remarks and then we'll fall with open q&a. and once that is complete the general, the military deputy will remain behind to take some of your questions that are more in the detailed area that i know you will have. with that, will open with your remarks. >> thank you general cook and good afternoon everybody. thank you thank you for joining us here this afternoon. a few days ago i had the opportunity to attend a women's history month event on capitol hill. it was hosted by the first lady in the second lady.
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they honored not only all of the women veterans who served but also a real air force pioneer, brigadier general wilma -- she was the first woman controller to become a general officer. she was also the recently retired president of the women in the military service for america memorial foundation. other wise known as whims, it is the only that tells our story. so i could not help but be reminded by that event on capitol hill how far our military has come with respect to women and service. of course it is important progress continues today and it needs to remain strong moving forward for the future. as you know, we now have all of our combat career fields open to women, we have two female four-star generals in the air force. just last month she was
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confirmed as secretary of the air force which is the first time in history where one of our military services has been read by women. all in all it was a good start for the much month of march which is women histories month. thinking back to the last date of the air force address, it has been more than six months since we gathered here together in this form. a lot has happened since that time. in october, russia launched its first airstrike in syria. in november, days attacked terrorists again as well as lebanon, and san bernadino. in january, china landed an aircraft on a newly built runway in the south china sea. in february they install the surface-to-air missiles system on woody allen. a a few weeks ago north korea tested a nuclear weapon. meanwhile, in afghanistan the
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taliban, al qaeda, isis and other group continue to conduct attacks, undermine security and create challenges for the people and the government of afghanistan as they work to develop a more secure and prosperous nation. as i'm sure by now you have heard on saturday we conducted an airstrike in somalia against an al shabab training can't. the strike was in self-defense and in defense of our african union mission in somalia partners. we did use a mix of manned and unmanned platform. as more information is available we will be looking to provide it to you. that is the only information i'm able to provide at the time. the bottom line to all of this is that your air force has been extremely busy and extremely effective, all of that is being accomplished with 200,000 fewer people than we had an active duty in the days of desert storm.
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we have continued the fight against isis, we are gaining moments inches in the past year coalition air force's have upped have upped the ante fly more than 55000 in support of operation inherit resolve. that is a threefold increase increase of shorties compared to 2014. this is one strike aircraft like f 16, that 15, the b ones, they ones, they are deliberately and dynamically striking isis every day, enabling the iraq in syrian partners to recapture territory. there is the isr aircraft like the empty ones in ninth that are developing targets and striking when they expose themselves. then we have the kc 135 and kc ten refueling aircraft that is supporting them both iraq and syria and all around the world. there's more than 16000 airmen deployed in the region, they are working diligently to sustain the operation that i have supplied to you, seven days per week.
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as you know, this persistence effort against isis has been taking a toll on our aircraft, readiness and our airmen. while we continue to meet the increased demand for combat air power, for combat airpower, we must also modernize, maintain, upgrade our aircraft, take care of our people and i want to now talk about the b1. the b1 as you may now redeployed it in january, while the b1 will be receiving much-needed modernization and maintenance, the venerable b-52 which is similar capacity and accuracy and endurance remains ready and to meet command. we have been waiting for approval but that has been in infrastructure to support the b-52. additional details of that shouldn't happen will be available at the appropriate time. i would ask that we do not forget our airmen serving in harm's way. in the last six months in which we have left gathered we have
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lost 19 intrepid airmen, eight of whom were due to enemy activity. two were lost less than 48 hours after the last time we join together for state of the air force. on august 26, 2015 most of us awoke, 2015 most of us awoke surrounded by the comforts of home. but captain matt rowland and special tactics officer and staff sergeant forrest -- a combat controller woke up a world away in afghanistan. the sickening twist of fate, at a helmand province checkpoint, two men camouflaged as soldiers opened fire on a u.s. vehicle. we lost matt and forests that day. their day. their combined 12 years of service, matt and forced deployed seven times. in addition to the purple heart, force earns five brown stars including one for valor. very soon we will posthumously honor matt's heroism with the silver star.
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as you know that is one of the highest measures against enemies of the united states. they were not the only men lost since her august address. we also also been a painful farewell to major audrey anna, technical sergeant joseph, staff sergeant lewis, staff sergeant michael, staff sergeant chester mcbride and staff sergeant peter. another development since we last met was the contract award of the l rsp. we went through a gao protest and now work has begun. we have given the bomber designation, the b21 we have shared an artist rendering, we artist rendering, we have given a detailed acquisition approach explanation, and we have told you how we intend to hold down costs. don't forget we still need a
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name, airmen and their families cannot go to the air force global strike command website where they can link directly through a s .mil and some of their ideas. as well as get more information on submission guidelines. all of this is in the spirit of more transparency even though this is and will remain a highly classified program. it will continue to be as transparent as possible going forward with the appropriate oversights, people in congress being fully read him. today i have a bit more information i will share with you on the b21. specifically the seven major contractor partners who will join in building the nation bomber for the 21st century. these partners in the primary b21 work locations are, are, tread and whitney, east hartford, connecticut kit. nashua, new new hampshire, gkn aerospace, st. louis, missouri. janaki industry, washington. orbital 80k, clear ville, utah
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and dayton, dayton, ohio. rockwell collins, cedar rapids, iowa. and wichita, kansas. pratt and whitney is our engine provider, the other six will work on airframe or ignition system. again, that that is the totality of the information i'm able to share at this aspect of this time. after the chief and i conclude here today for those interested, general bunch will remain behind and will be prepared to give additional detail on the b21 contract structure which has been of interest to some of you in the audience today. we will do for those questions. finally for the last state of the air force we rolled out our budget and have completed three of our four budget hearings. each of the committees have express start appreciation for the stability of the bipartisan budget agreement. we also point out that agreement
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did leave a somewhat short of our budgetary means. 3.4 billion to be specific for the air force. we have detailed the investments we have made and try to detail the tough choices we have made for budgetary reasons. none of which are popular as you know, they're not popular with us either. that is. that is precisely what makes them tough. of course we always remind congress, please let's do a better job across all three top priorities which is taking part people, striking the right balance between readiness and modernization while always making every dollar counts. again, we thank you very much for being with us today. we'll now take your question. >> thank you. i have a question for either of you about the modernization of the nuclear force. a lot of those pieces belong to the air force, one that critics have focused on lately is the
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long range standoff weapon, former secretary has said canceling would not diminish a deterrent. i would wonder if you would give your view on that and more broadly why it is needed given all of the other priorities and requirements and support you just outlined. >> as he mentions bob, the l rso will be a replacement for an aging component. it will fulfill a combatant commander requirement for standoff capability. i believe it is very much needed for the future. maybe the chief can add more. >> it was established by your strategic command invalidated, they try to fill the job of the combatant commanders. that. that is our place in this activity.
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i think the discussion of what can we afford overtime and nuclear recapitalization, i don't think it is complete yet. i think it's a fair question question we should be prepared to defend it. that is where we are right now. >> their bank criticism and explanation and circular argument saying it is needed because of the requirement. the question is why is it required? >> i think the logic is in the classified realm. that is why you have not heard a lot of data about it. for example, if we do not have a capable penetrating bomber sufficient numbers to conduct major campaign, should that be required you need to have a capable penetrating weapon. so you would probably want that capability, the types a target, the range and significance is important here. i think that's why the requirement is important to complete. >> on task about the bomber in
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relation to congress. when the b-1 b and the beach who were taken in major battles, you are not an acquisition, what lessons to take away from this, the battles over the b1 and b2, what lessons, for do you want to avoid so the full% of the b21 is less contentious? strategic capabilities, what technologies are you i that could be deployed maybe the next couple of years. you talked about swarming the other day, they talk about swarming drones, i like to your thoughts on that. >> back to my memories from that. of time when when the house service committee. for one thing with the respect to the b2, after the fall of the
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warsaw pact and the soviet union i thought there are many people who were questioning where's the threat. that there is a perceived lack of threat. with the b21i do not see it that way, i think it's a different environment and i think is a place of recognition that we do have threats around the world that we do need this capability. another thing mime memory with with the b2 is requirement chains. and that and part drove cost increase. in in the case of b21 we are having very specific discipline to keep requirement stable. this is the chief control officer sitting to my left, any proposed change would have to go to the chief of staff of the air force and there have not been any so far. stable requirement is very different. number three, when it comes to the b2, everything was new. it was a a new airframe, it was new components going in to that airframe and the integration
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challenge was enormous. it was the equivalent of a miracle a day transpire. in the case of b21 we have a new airframe, integration is a challenge but we are using the chore technology. the risk is more bounded. number four, i think looking back on it and perhaps for best of reasons the b2 remained in the shadows for too long. the remained classified, too many details remain classified for too long. and we are leaning forward in trying to be more transparent with the b1. the fifth aspect i would give you is when the information was finally revealed on the b2, there was sticker shock in terms of dollars and ball. the dollars kept changing. in our case, remember cost has been built and from the very beginning starting with secretary gates and the price point he established, we are to keep tracking with that.
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we budgeted to an independent cost estimate which is higher than we believe will need, we have an incentive structure in the emd phase which requires the contractor to meet milestones and performance and cost parameters. assuming those things happen they get through. if they don't they will lose. it is backloaded to the point whereby they are incentivized to get through the emd phase as soon as practical and not drag it out. again, i think you can get more information from general bunch on that. we think there is a lot of differences here and we are very committed. it comes out to human beings ultimately to keep track of this but we are committed. >> committed for the dollar for this year but it doesn't have a lot of relevance for most people.
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>> this is where we have to keep working for more transparency and gets where we can talk more about the dollars. >> whether strategic capabilities officers we are looking to find anybody who is interested in helping work on affects that we can create in the future. one of the key components and ask tributes swarming gives you the ability to mass electronic a attack, it also when worried about capacity it does have quantity it gives you the chance to create more capacity for less cost in some scenarios. anybody we can find to work with us, we want to. >> 52 questions. one is about not collecting ge around the engine.
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that doesn't leave a lot of work, are you worried about the one engine? are you worried about cyber infiltration now that you have named them, people going after those contractors to get be 21 information. >> i will take the second part first. the companies are required to have protection plans in place and what allows us to tell you this today's those protection plans are in place. of course this is why these things remain in the classified world until we are able to reveal them. to make sure those protection plans have been developed. these are always concerns and that's always the balancing act we go through between wanting to be more transparent but also wanting to protect very important data.
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as to the first part of our question we are comfortable with the choices and strategy that was selected. >> you mentioned last week that you want to move that timeline ahead but the riff still remains the for radar integration. i was wondering again if you could elaborate on why there is so much rip with integrating radar and i believe you also mentioned one of the snakes in the program, general welch was a few issues, if you could maybe talk about with those issues are. >> the money we have in the budget for fy 17 is in that area. they are in the radar risk reduction. we believe there is some tech
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information that has to be done. by the end of this year we should have a good feel where we stand going forward. by the time were ready to release were confident this program can stay on track and be executed properly. we have the funding in the budget throughout the life of the program to do this. as soon as we understand completely we can then to whatever we can to accelerate the program. >> again, can you talk about what those issues were. >> no i cannot. >> two questions for you on two completely different subjects if i may. on drones, can you you bring us up-to-date since your last discussion about how you view the drone inventory and availability of active duty air force cruise, has that situation improved at all? do you still still have the equivalent of a shortage? completely different subject, as
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head of service and a member of the joint chief, to believe at this point there is any military utility for congress to repeal the law standing enhanced torture technique which is currently banned under the mccain law. it is a question of national conversation. do you see any military utility in reversing that law and going back to making enhanced interrogation techniques legal? >> my view on the second one is a topic that i am not qualified to comment on. their military utility, the military is not directly involved in using enhanced military techniques. the air force forces are not involved in using them at all. from my perspective the policy as it
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stands is acceptable. i think changing them is a very large debate that has to occur in the policy room. the military will execute as directed in that regard. it involves more people than the department of defense. i. i think on the other side of the house with the drone training, the issue there's have not changed. we have been making progress. we started about a month and a half ago as opposed to just 12 per class, we expected in fy 17, excuse me fy 16 will train about 334 remote attack pilots. those pilots will actually, remember the past we trained 180, we think we'll break 300 this year by the end of 17 will be at 384. if we can get to 384 will be making a big dent in the availability of making a big dent in the availability of pilots to fully man our crew force. we still have other work to do
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bike getting organizational structures right, figuring how to develop a new new infrastructure. another wing needs to stand up. we need to stand up a new disassociation group in the near future. the career tracks need to be finalized, all of those things are still working. on the training pipeline were making progress. >> is there any extent to which the actual mission targeting and carrying out of missions are constrained are limited by the current force you have available? other times when the air force has to say sorry we can't do it we don't have the assets? >> right now, no. we're find 60 caps and in the process of procuring their craft to do isr only. this is one of the great things about our workforce, they expand to meet the mission knee. they work as hard as they need to to get the job done and that is been the problem for the last eight years. they working too hard.
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it's been unlivable over time. we have got to get the manning right. we. we have get the organizational structure and training right. we have to make sure this is a career where people can excel and endure over the long haul. and be proud members of a professional missionary. they deserve that. >> senator mccain has said to block the bomber, he's been to the hill several times to defend acquisition strategy but mccain doesn't really seem to be backing down from what i have seen. have you had reassurances maybe that we have not seen in the press yet? what more can you do to convince >> the approach that we are taking is we are continuing to communicate to provide briefings both in the classified and
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unclassified session. as you mentioned we have both earlier. about a week ago. we just continue to tell the story. i do not have any assurances of anything other than this is the capability we need for the country. we put a very thoughtful process together looking to both successes as to programs that were not successful in the past. we have crafted crafted a good strategy going forward. >> is at the contracting structure now? >> the contracting has been wet. it's always possible to terminate a contract. you can rebid it, takes more money and time so these things are always possible. we certainly hope it will not come to that.
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>> how much does maintaining strategic ambiguity government the release of information on the b21 as opposed to the completion of the security plan and such? i would assume you're letting this information out so that russia, china and others can't go aha, that's what we need to build again. >> strategic ambiguity is important. the technology is important, so i do not perceive that you're going to know for years very much more about the technology. as i mentioned earlier this is a balancing act. a desire to share information with the public but also protect that information and not put out so much information that a possible adversary can connect dots and ways in which we do not wish the stats to be connected. ambiguity is certainly part of
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this. >> you mentioned the current your price, is there anything about the new bomber that you would like to talk about that perhaps you don't have the clearance to talk about right now. >> i do not have anything else to share the bomber today. >> almost since you came in we have heard and heard the air force story very well. when he first started out we talked about problems on capitol hill and you got pete a pretty bad last week, i feel bad for you. what is the problem with telling the air force story? is it you're not putting the right people in the legislative liaison? i not talking to the staff on the hill? are you not talking to us? what you what you think the problem is? >> i will just say that i think
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during periods of rising budgets and when there is more for programs and for all parts of the budget that is just an easier sell than when you are in tougher times when budgets are leveling off or decreasing. it is very difficult to make these tough choices. all of these programs are good programs. they all impact the national security. they all impact different parts of the country. it's very difficult to reduce. i think this is in part what we are facing. >> i think actually a relationship of congress in many ways is very good. i don't think there's a real problem overall that we see. >> it seems to be always you guys not the other service.
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>> i do wish we had heard that in some form other than a hearing. that's the first we heard. we will keep working this. every now and again it's good to remind myself to be more empathetic with others. >> given the recent statement from north korea and its government, how concerned are you that north korean ballistic missile can be launched at the continental united states and how confident are you that you could take that out? >> certainly the action of north korea are very worrisome which is why we have everything from our presence in the pacific as a general proposition, why we have an alliance with south korea, why we work very closely with them on our defense posture. north korea is a very big concern. >> and we worry about how we can
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be sure to take it out if they ever did develop the capability of a long range missile with a warhead that was operable. >> north korea? i don't think there at that stage yet. >> given that north korean provocations, china militarizing the south china sea, russian aggression in syria, has the world become a more dangerous place since you have all assumed your position? >> i would say it certainly is a more complicated place than just a mere two years ago. a lot of complexity, a lot of ambiguity. a lot of situation that it is different in terms of deterrence and maybe deterrence doesn't impact the weight traditional deterrence years ago impacted. >> the range of threats has increased. we see we see that in the headlines every day.
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>> there's some interesting congress on potentially funding the b21 and that navy's ohio's ohio class program through a joint fund. i wondered what the air force position is on that and what other options are you looking at right now? >> certainly if there is to be a fund for nuclear modernization seems to be appropriate that it be for all three legs of the triad. not just one leg of the triad. indeed if that's the approach i've selected it ought to be a joint fund. the fund. the key question though is where will the money come from. this is where we'll have to have a national debate, probably not going to be settled this year but he needs to to be settled in the next few years. are we or are we not going to modernize the forces and if we are, we must have the appropriate resources to do it. if we have to live within the existing top like this is going to create problems.
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here we are talking about the choices we put forth in the budget and they are not popular. if if we had to modernize the entirety of our triad think of all of the reduction that would have to occur. we are going to have to get this settled over the next couple of years. the question is what kind of military do the american people want going for. i believe we need these programs and will have to get the squared away. >> in orlando you discussed your desire, given everything going on in the world to increase the air force but one caveat was if you can find the right people. of course you singled out battlefield airman, isr, those guys don't exactly grow on trees. they need lots of time to develop.
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where are you going to be looking for these airmen to fill these crucial spots, are you you going to increase training opportunities, increase firm them to go on active duty? >> all of the above but the real crux of the matter is after 20 some years of downsizing in our air force, in order to now grow modestly, we need to infuse resources into both the recruiting force and the technical training base so that we can go out and attract the right talents and get them trained in the appropriate skills. we had to ramp up a certain degree the recruiting and training aspects to be able to bring in the new people. the other piece of this is to have the type of incentive to try to retain at a higher rate the key types of people that we want to retrain. when you are recruiting more and retaining more that is how you grow.
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that is the approach we are taking and again we hope to reset 317 -- 317,000 this year and provided we can get that right talent between the retention and recruiting aspect we could grow more and i think we need to. at which point we would go back and ask congress to consider a reprogramming action. >> can you talk a little bit about the strain that some of those career field you singled out our operating under. general welsh mentioned it but can you talk about the other career fields? >> a lot of them are high demand, low density. one that we did not mention a moment to go is the maintenance career field. in the maintenance arena, because we have aging platforms
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and whatnot, the maintenance needs are going up. we have thousands of maintainers and the force but we need more going forward. this is another focus area for us the next few years. >> with six fleets of airplanes over 50 years old, it just gets tougher to keep them flying. we see that all over the air force. maintenance are working hard and when they get under command and they start to drop you have to accelerate to refill the pot. >> in the opening you spoke about the air attack in somalia. could you tell us why that was in self-defense, what was al shabab planning to do and why was it important for us to stop that? and we have increased
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transparency for all of this taking place, can you speak a little bit about the a balancing act that about providing transparency in places where there is an active conflict,? >> my understanding is that there was intelligence, this was a training camp camp and these fighters would soon be embarking upon missions that would directly impact the u.s. and our partners. that is my it was self-defense matter. as to what that information was, i simply cannot discuss. >> the authorities to conduct the things outside are beyond dod authority. duty, personnel, who are included in that activity have no authority to discuss or become more transparent. we just heard from the white house as well, we'll see what the details
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are and how it affects everybody within the department of defense. >> let's go to the back corner, for both of you, can you focus more on the drones. he said there are 60 now and now and you're supposed to have ten more contractor for isr. give us a a timetable when that will happen for the new ones and with such a demand for the combatant commanders and more talk of providing more for the afghan troops, do you expect or hope to accelerate that? >> we would like to give the government on contract caps up as soon as we can. we have been given approval to buy 24 more to help in the effort. there's there's also a decision with the disc apartment to have 90 more. we'll use assets from the army, contractors and air force.
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were trying to get there as fast as we can. i don't know the timeline for the army. another year or 18 months for the air force. i don't i don't know the timeline for the army. >> thank you. thank you very much, as we said before will answer questions on the b21 if you would like. [inaudible] >> ..
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>> >> to deliver those capabilities and requirements. if a contractor doesn't make
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it on the expected date than the profit goes down and tell it is that zero. that is the way it is structured. the next scheduled incentive date is out there on the calendar they have to march to that date so it is incentivize to deliver on that criteria and capabilities. additionally to schedule incentives increased to the end of the program. the contractor is more heavily weighted so the feet early on it is lower and dramatically larger and as we deliver the aircraft with the test program. to those proposed cost and schedule with those formulas that go in there into the
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equation to give you an idea the schedule is the heavier of the two it is delivering capabilities in meeting those requirements to share more information as we go forward as we can and continue to be transparent with congress if we will continue to share information and with that i open it up. >> i want to ask about the thinking of the contract that boeing is making $1 million of losses people
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think why would he do that with obama? what is the thinking behind that? >> our thinking behind that many people are focusing on that with the effort in my mind is completely different than the bomber is a derivative aircraft but that was already hot and had a derivative of that. is to keep a commercial line open to commercial sales it to have the opportunity of foreign sales and you do not have that possibility of commercial sales are at this time to anticipate fund-raisers see you are
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building an aircraft never built before and integrating richard technologies integrated into a never used before platform. there were multiple discussions and the risk predominantly is technical in the ability or the desire in the event it is a situation. >> she said the risk is much lower. >> that is not exactly what i said. she was correct of that b-2
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test pilot i can relate to what we were trying to do we still have risk and how but it does not equate to that same level but we using the major technologies this still building a brand airplane we're integrating the richard technologies into the never before built airplane. so is that the same risk? know. is alone enough? is somewhere in between. >> what detail specifically will the contractors be performing? it sounds kind of vague. >> it is i will not go into that. >> what else would you like
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to be more transparent about? with the extent of what you are prepared? >> one thing will go into watching from the very beginning. and we will roll in in to the get the supply chain we have reached out to to have the right test structure set up to put an aircraft in the field to make assisted doubleheader all factors of the key attributes to make sure we year focused from the very beginning also to
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support it. >> if you had the chance to sit down with senator mccain to explain why the current contract set up make sense? >> it would be similar to what i've already explained to weigh the risk there is no one size fits all is most studies have shown few could have overruns on a fixed price we calexico's the did ago so well that we try to apply the lessons learned there is no one-size-fits-all. we're all passionate about national security in the idea is the flow we are trying to do it we will
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continue the dialogue. >> the b-2 was originally a degraded to you have comments as a of land that will be? >> no comment. >> to have the official operational capability? >> 2020 initially the day and requirement is something we will look at to establish the those criteria. >> talk about the cost based
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why is this so contentious right now? >> we have not changed our strategy. we have spent briefing the program is day classified the environment to put the cards on the table to be transparent with multiple meetings with our strategy and for word even before we release the request for proposals to outline the contract. we have been very transparent with what we're trying to do now we will communicate to s3 have the discussion. >> we believe we are executing and we don't have
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anything that would cause us to stop. >> i with the air force times. linda secretary showed the image the thought is that it looks all lot like the b-2. that has held up has there been any changes to the shape? >> when you have a requirement go back to local looks very similar to the 56 and it looks similar there is nothing special in it continued zaph fifth
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$23 billion contract. >> we're not telling you the contract but that cost assessment u.s. 23.5 billion that is the number we gave you the day we did the announcement we having given in the other never. >> but that contract valued dollar. >> i believe we will like cannot tell you exactly but we well. >> you hung your head on this today can you give a range? >> that is all i will say. hopefully we can release that. >> when? >> i will not commit to a
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date it is something we are discussing to make sure we have everything in place. >> the gao decision is in your car right now. >> we are going through the reduction rainout. i don't have that latest tavis by everybody looking at the security aspect. >> and release the final contract wiry not giving us the numbers? >> i am understand. >> talks about the
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transparency to get the public trust to make sure we protect the critical information. initially one of the big drivers we thought there might be a protest in now we are past that all to see when we can release that information. >> echoes back to use secretary james if you link those points together that we worry about we try to do. oh so in that first article was delivered to avoid those
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pitfalls there would not be a big wrapup. >> we factored didn't that value that we gave you before we try to make it a quantity of the budget goes up or down that was the focus item of what we were looking at we didn't expect to go those quantities so we factor that is in for the long-term. with that lockheed and boeing offer? >> but there is the few key
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allies is this us a discussion in the future? >> first we will not do anything special it is an offer but not the al winning offer that is something we could open the door later with those key allies in not considering at this point and. >> the attention to the navy programs i believe the aircraft carriers are unclassified so what makes that bomber any more worthy
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than an aircraft carrier? >> we believe we take the appropriate security measures so there is no unnecessary belief. i will leave it there. >> there was supposed to be an upgrade and open for competition. is it after the 100 or during? >> i don't know what he referred to but we had of focus of a life cycle cost focus that is a fundamental requirement to do those that technology changes to be
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able to cost effectively ended a more timely manner integrate new technologies and do competition to have a common interface that is what drives competition to keep the cost down. have a great day.
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