tv [untitled] May 9, 2012 10:30am-11:00am EDT
the gentleman from texas? so many as are in favor will say aye. those opposed say no. the ayes have it. the motion is agreed to. the committee will receive the report of the subcommittee on c power and forces. we will postpone all recorded votes on the amendments in this particular subcommittee mark until the end of the subcommittee mark. the chair recognizes the gentleman from missouri for any comments he would like to make. >> good morning. the c-power projection forces subcommittee held several hearings and briefings in consideration of the president's request. the subcommittee's portfolio consists of navy ship building, ship weapons, maritime patrol
aircraft and air force bombers, mobility and tanker aircraft. due to fiscal constraints the navy had to make some cuts specifically one destroyer and one submarine. this mark facilitates the navy being able to restore both the destroyer and the submarine providing much needed stability to the navy and the industrial base while authorizing a multi year procurement for both up to a quantity of ten. all told our subcommittee added roughly a billion dollars to navy ship building. with the delivery of the 30-year ship building plan we found that the new target for structure for the navy is 300 ships down from the previous floor of 313. this is somewhat strange when the national strategy after a decade of land wars has pivoted
to the asia, pacific and middle east where both c power and air force projection forces are critical due to larger distances involved. the obama administration proposal to pivot to asia while cutting navy ship building and air force projection power makes no sense. another important provision in our mark was the requirement for the navy to maintain a minimum of 12 ballistic missile submarines which institutes 1/3 of the stealthiest leg. the navy plan delayed by two years the construction start of the first boat of the class which will replace our ohio class submarines. the two year delay equated to over a decade where there would be only ten votes. this mark also maintains strong funding for the air force bomber programs tankers and air lifters. there are other important
provisions in this mark that are meant to maintain the greatest navy and long range air force the world has ever seen. i want to thank my friend, mr. forps for his work on the readiness subcommittee. we interfaced with the process of trying to get the additional submarine and additional destroyer and work through how those numbers are going to work from the readiness point of view. we have taken important steps towards insuring that we have the navy and air force we need to project power and keep peace through strength. as always i would like to thank mr. mcintire for working with me on this work and thank the staff for their fine work. i yield back. >> the chair now recognizes the ranking member of the subcommittee. the gentleman from north carolina, mr. mcintire for any
comments he would like to make. >> the mark before the members today continues the strong bipartisan tradition of support for our men and women in uniform. i would like to thank the members of the subcommittee and subcommittee staff for their efforts in enabling us to present this mark for inclusion in the national defense authorization act. there is multi year procurement authority. this provision gives incremental funding authority and restores advanced procurement. also multi year procurement authority for up to ten destroyers. also extension of the aircraft carrier funding from five to six years. this mark with these examples and others shows that there is a
balanced authorization of programs under the jurisdiction of this subcommittee and it meets the needs of our men and women in uniform. i want to thank chairman aikman for his work and look forward towards moving this mark. with that i yield back my time. >> gentleman yields back. is there any discussion on the subcommittee's report? hearing none the chair now recognizes mr. aiken for the purposes of introducing an on block package. >> i ask consent to call up a package of amendments worked and approved by the minority side. >> without objections so ordered. will the clerk please pass out the amendments to be offered on block? without objection reading of the amendments will be dispensed
with. gentleman is recognized for five minutes for the purpose of offering and explaining his on block amendments. >> i call up on block amendment package number one compromised of an amendment to state a sense of congress encouraging the navy to prioritize early engineer in ship construction to require to review the acls program quality and review the navy's operation and sustainment support.
amendment by myself has been submitted. amendment to state a sense of congress on amphibious lift and presence requirements. amendment by myself and mr. mcintire to modify section 211 with regard to air force long range strike. amendment by mr. johnson to require the secretary of the navy to submit a report on comparative cost and effectiveness. amendment by myself to amend section 1021 regarding nuclear surface combatants. >> is there any discussion on the on block package? >> mr. chairman. >> yes. >> i want to thank the committee for accepting my amendment for the gao to review the quality
control operations of the lcs program. when congress was first told about this program we were told it would be light, fast and cheap. each day brings more news about how the program is failing to meet its key performance parameters. taxpayers have already paid $7.6 billion for the development and procurement of the variant and for their money they are getting a ship that is cracking and corroding. the problem in the cutting edge program were basic ship building blunders. the program installed a cooling system and it exploded when it took on sea water. the navy told congress that the stern door couldn't seal. pictures show you can stick your hand through the gap. correcting the problems adds weight. some of this is to be expected. i am worried that these problems threaten the affordability and
the viability. we are not finding out about these problems from the navy but instead congress must rely on the press and outside organizations to tell us when the navy isn't cooperating with the testing office. the navy assures us after the fact that these problems are a year old and being corrected in the follow on versions of the ship but has not dismissed charges that these problems reflect systemic design issues. this amendment asks for the gao to review the navy's quality control to ensure we are not accepting shotty ships. the navy confronts significant challenges in integrating its mission modules into both variants. i am concerned that the initial optimistic expectations that supported for this program are no longer true. i'm asking the gao to review the lcs program operation and
sustainment strategy to ensure the navy has the tools to control costs and risks moving forward. it is time for an independent assessment of what is really going on with this program. i want to thank the committee for continuing to exercise vigilant review of the program. >> chair recognizes mr. bartlett for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. the development of the lcs did not follow the usual development of a class of ships in the navy. it was the dream of admiral vern clark. he saw it as a solution to the problems we faced and the kinds of wars we are now fighting where there was a level of activity in the literals. the contract was left before there was analysis of
alternatives, where the mission had been competed. during the early development of the ships the navy changed the rules. the ship was bid with commercial design criteria. the navy then said that it needed to meet naval surface vessel rules which obviously would result in increased costs. the $220 million figure was really never the cost of the first ship but the cost of ships during production. there has been a lot of misinformation out there about this ship. considering how hastily the contract was put in production the ship had really gone compared with other classes of ships quite well. the second ship from marinet
marine they say has very high accolades from the navy. there are lessons to be learned from this development and that is probably we should not do development without analysis of alternatives, without competing the mission and we certainly shouldn't begin development before we knew the rules under which the ship was to be developed. considering all of these things i think the general consensus is the ship has gone quite well. if we were to have a 300 or 330 ship navy there will have to be a lot of lcss in it because whatever the problems it is very much less expensive than any other ship. they are not going to get near a 300-ship navy. i think that although there have been concerns these should result in lessons learned so we
don't make the mistakes again. i think the development is on course and the present ships being delivered are okay. i yield back. >> further debate on the on block? >> mr. chairman. >> gentleman recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. on the first amendment i would just like to say it is pretty self-explanatory. it's good for the navy and the marine corps and for our american ship builders and a great price for the american taxpayer and that is prioritizing early engineering for large ship construction. on the second amendment i have introduced to express a need for and a necessary investment in present requirements. the core of our capability is
amphibious assault. it is to accomplish a wide range of combat operations. the marine corps has a requirement for 38 assault ships to meet a wide range of operations. for budget reasons that requirement has been dropped to 33. that minimum is being lowered and our ship building plans to 28. i overheard someone say you can give the marine corps a can opener and a mission and they will figure out a way to get the job done and that is so true. the marines will also do the best to complete the mission. this is not a time to take on additional risks. we all know about the threats that face us on the pacific. many of the threats have no greater enemy than the united states marine corps embarked on. the navy needs to consider it a priority to place a priority on investment and procurement of survivable warships in according
with current requirements and maintaining the capability. i thank the chairman for accepting this amendment and block and yield back my time. >> any further debate on the amendment? questions on the adoption of the amendment offered by mr. aikman. in favor say aye. the amendment is agreed to. if there are no further amendments the chair recognizes the gentleman from missouri for the purpose of offering a motion. >> i move that we adopt the amendment. >> the subcommittee report?
the questions on the motion of the gentleman from missouri of adopting the subcommittee report as amended. in favor say aye. those opposed say no. the ayes have it. the motion is agreed to. committee will now receive the report on the subcommittee on readiness pursuant to committee rule 17 and we will postpone the recorded amendments on this particular subcommittee mark until the end. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia for any comments he would like to make. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i first want to thank you for your commitment and leadership to reverse the dangerous effects of arbitrary defense cuts. we have a long way to go if we
continue to support american interests. this year the readiness subcommittee has worked diligently to fully understand and address issues impacting the readiness of our military. together through considerable discussion and negotiations we have made several significant improvements to readiness and remedies many short falls. the readiness portion of this reflects several initiatives to ensure the readiness of our force. this portion does not include provisions. i believe another brac is flawed. it presumes that the administration's proposal for reduced force structure is correct. i refuse to accept a diminished force of defense.
we also have had considerable discussion with the department and industry regarding depot maintenance. i believe this strengthens and improves current statutes by aircraft carrier fuelling and refuelling as well as special requirements returning the nation to long standing policy. the mark also strengthens current law by more clearly defining requirements and by strengthening the waive of authority. these changes are a step towards restoring balance. as to our force structure this mark includes funding to retain three missile cruisers that the navy proposed to retire well before the end of the service life.
by restoring the necessary funding we found a cost effective way to maintain need ed naval capability as we undergo a strategic rebalancing. in this year's budget request we note that the department is reducing the workforce by increasing the contractor equivalence. in this bill we direct gao to provide their assessment of what measures dod is taking to appropriately ebalance its current and future workforce in light of the draw down in iraq and afghanistan as compared to previous historical trends. i have always supported objective information as prerequisite for our decision and believe this will provide the rigor. in conclusion i want to thank the members of our committee especially our ranking member
for her help and for their help in providing the unyielding support for the men and women who so heavily rely on our efforts. i want to personally want to th staff i believe are the most dedicated in congress and personal staff of our subcommittee members. thank you for your leadership and i yield back. >> the chairman yields back and the gentle lady from guam, miss bordallo, for any comments she would like to make. >> thy thank you, mr. chairman and want to take this opportunity to thank the committee chairman, mr. forbes for the fine working relationship we have. again, i thank the staff who put countless hours to help us develop this bill and thank them for their hard work. we continue the tradition making sure the men and women in uniform are provided with resources to be well trained and
equipped. although the war in iraq is over and we begin a drawdown for surge forces in afghanistan, we continue to face challenges with our readiness. our mark will support the department's reset efforts which are important to addressing readiness challenges in other global commands, particularly in the united states pacific command. i am pleased we are reauthorizing the multi-trades project for depo employees, expanding the product improvement pilot program to all the other military departments and extending for one year premium pay for federal civilians working overseas. i appreciate our mark provides more than $119 billion in funding for construction projects including family housing and realignment of military forces in the pacific including the military build-up on guam. as we pivot to the asia pacific
region, it is critical we have a laydown plan that is resilient and sustainable. i believe we're moving in that direction. i appreciate the committee's continued support for the strategic realignment in the asia-pacific region. additionally, our mark supports energy initiatives within the department of defense very important investments in the future security of our nation and has some important environmental provisions that enhance the readiness of our military. however, as i stated in pre-mark meetings, i have some concerns about our mark. the mark prohibits the retirement of class cruisers at the cost of nearly $630 million in this fiscal year only. what's most concerning about this amendment is the unfunded mandate it places on the navy in the future years. we live in a time where we must make difficult decisions and i
fear this provision ignores this basic premise. our actions will deny the navy the ability to reinvest these dollars into a newer more agile, more capable network centric fleet which is necessary to meet our strategic goals. i feel this provision is more focused on parochial needs than the greater strategic good of our u.s. navy. despite my reservations and concerns about the cruisers, i do support the underlying mark and urge its adoption. i yield back. >> the gentle lady yields back. before entertaining amendments, any discussion on the subcommittee report? the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> i seek time and recognition to speak on an important issue here, chairman. thank you very much chairman forbes for all your efforts on this. i plan to withdraw my amendment but first i want to speak on the
importance of arsenals. the organic base provides a great service to our war fighters. because of that, the military needs to regularly develop plans for its bases in organic facilities for the in and out years so our war fighters have the tools they needs to accomplish the task set before them. this is prudent planning something that should be done especially given the changes proposed to our country's force structure and forward projections. having a full knowledge of the organic base and what it sccan provide and having it ready for future conflicts is essential. i look forward to working with it in the future so the organic base can prepare for the future safety of our war fighters? of with that, i yield back. >> je gentleman withdraws his amendment? >> yes. >> gentleman from iowa. you're recognized for five
minutes. >> thank you, mr. chair. i would like to echo my colleague from illinois about what he just said about the role of arsenals. i knew he was going to withdraw the amendment. i really cannot stress how critical the arsenals are to our readiness, national security and ability to equip our troops should the need arise. one of the greatest assets is to have ready capacity and manufacture needed items. that capability has proven essentially time and again to our ability to supply our troops rapidly for equipment they need. when our troops needed to be up armored to protect the troops, rock arsenal produced them within a month of receiving the order. this life save iing armor had t get in the field as troop as quickly to save our troops lives and they only had the capability to do it and did it by armoring
striker vehicles. the men and wochlen at rock arsenal worked 24 hours a day seven days a week to make the armor the troops needed. as we maintain and withdraw over what we have maintained the last decade, it is essential we maintain our ability to respond to a national security emergency and maintain ability to rapidly equip our troops for a future contingency. we must identify the manufacturing capabilities essential to our readiness and national security and workload necessary to insure those capabilities remain viable. doing so will inform this committee's work to protect our national security and make sure our troops have the equipment they need when they need it. this is about our readiness to face the threats our nation faces. i look forward to working with the rank iing chairman and membs to make sure our arsenal is
strong and workforce is maint n maintained and our ability to produce the equipment we need to respond to a national emergency is preserved. thank you. i yield back. >> just a reminder, we're still on general debate on this section. then we will get to amendments. mr. forbes. >> mr. chairman, i'd like to move to strike the last word. i just want to recognize the great work that mr. schilling and mr. lope sa-- loebsack have done working with the arsenals and depots. and we will continue to work with them over the next years to make sure we're headed in the right direction. want to compliment both of them for the leadership and work they have do done. >> the gentleman from new jersey, mr. runyan, recognized
for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to particularly thank chairman forms and ranking member bordial in the readiness mark this year. it is an issue we addressed last year also. if you're aware of the 2005 brack, it was combined from three separate facilities into one in new jersey and been a great success. one problem remains, the wage gap parity issue. it caused a separation between the fort dix and mcguire bases to the laker's side which the fort dix maguire is paid at a philadelphia wage grade and laker side paid at a new york. while haska has addressed this issue now for the second year, opm has indicated they want to resolve this situation and pay the wage system employees at the
joint based new york level and have yet to make this change, requiring opm to report to the senate armed services committee and the house armed services committee by june 302012 is an important step in fixing this. i look forward to working with the committee to continue to fix this and to obviously fiscal intent of congress and the house to fix this problem and i thank the chairman for his support and yield back the balance of my time. >> any economiacademy report? >> mr. chairman, i would like to