tv [untitled] May 23, 2012 10:30pm-11:00pm EDT
this will allow the navy to assign missions reserved from peace to war. while we'll first have the opportunity to budget for such use in fiscal year 2014, i want you to know how important the efforts were to the future force, while having the opportunity to do so. i'm also appreciative of your support for the navy unique fleet. they want us to be more cost effective and flexible, and thus more relevant well into the future. our 2013 budget request will enable the navy reserve to continue supporting current operations while maximizing the strategic value of the navy reserve, a value for the readiness, innovation, agility and accessibility.
the true prize for the sailors and the navy alike will be the real and meaningful work as part of america's navy of global force for good. as an example of this work, the navy reservists once again assumed 100% of the navy's commitment to the overseas contingency operation for fiscal year 2013 and beyond. i believe we must be asked, and even required to do those missions we are able to do. so the active component can focus on the missions they must do. this is my fourth and final year appearing before your committee. i'm proud of the accomplishments of our sailors and the navy. on behalf of our sailors and the families and civilians thank you for the commitment to our navy
reserv reserve. >> mr. chairman, senator cochran, first of all, it's an honor to be here. thank you for the support you continue to give our soldiers and our nation. on behalf of the 205,000 soldiers in the army reserve that are serving the nation. what i refer to as a national treasure. and i think what epitomizes what the soldiers are all about is the young soldier i brought with me today. so instead of being eloquent in an opening statement and everything. i wanted to introduce him to you. seated to my left is sergeant daniel burgess and his wife janette. he is up from the cleveland area. belongs to a psychological operations unit up there. last year he was in afghanistan, and he was in southern afghanistan attached to the
marines. while doing that, he himself stepped on an ied. he lost his leg. severe wounds to the rest of his body. the first thing janette said when she contacted him is i'm not getting out. i'm staying in. today he is down in ft. houston at the warrior training brigade rehabbing so he can get back in force. we have to make sure we're doing everything in our power in an area where we are looking to save money and reduce debt, but
we cannot afford to shortchange the great soldiers. and as the admiral said, they are indispensable. our army can't do what it does without them. i use him as a symbol of why i'm here. and i look forward to your questions, sir. >> thank you to your service to our nation. we're very proud of you. please be recognized. >> and also your wife. [ applause ]
i'll call upon the marine general. >> thank you very much, chairman inouye. vice chairman cochran, and members of the committee. it's an honor and privilege to speak with you here today on behalf of your united states marine corps reserve. mr. chairman, we welcome your leadership and support. the sub committee's continued unwaivering support for marine corp. reserve and the associated programs enables marines and sailors to professionally to perform in a capacity greatly presented. with me today are my two senior listeded a viruss and leaders. sergeant james e. booker and command master chief eric e.kuzan. these gentlemen e pet miz the navy marine corps team and proudly represent our services
enlisted marines and sailors who collectively form the backbone of marine forces reserve. the marine corps is as strong today as ever in the 236-year history. the marines have been doing what they have done best since 1775. standing shoulder to shoulder, to fight our nation's battles. i'm pleased to report to you today that today's marine corps attends to the commitments at a total force. it's integrated into all areas since never before. since 2001 the great nation required the marine corps to be continuously engaged in combat operations in iraq and afghanistan, as well as in regional security cooperation and crisis prevention activities
in support of various geographical combatant commanders. almost 80,000 reservists have been activated and mobilized since september 11th. this has been unprecedented in the generations of marine corps reservists. they evolve from a strategic cold war reserve to an operational force, capable of filling both roles. both the strategic and the operational role. in the operational role the marine sources has formed routine combatant commander and service requirements across a variety of military operations. marine forces reserve continues to perform its strategic role with combatant commander
exercise involvement, and focused readiness that enables a rapid transition to operational roles or support to major contingency operations. as i sit here today, we have almost 1500 marines and sailors deployed on five continents in support of six geographic combatant commanders, which includes conducting combat operations in afghanistan to theater security activities by special marine air ground task force in eastern africa. as they reshape to a force of 180-1. the depth and range will be able to mitigate risk and maximize opportunities where available. they are appropriate for providing us with personnel required to support the total
force during active component builddown. accordingly, these are essential tools in achieving 100% of our strength and continued use of the programs is critically important as we rebalance the total force. . it's a privilege to serve in these important times, especially as a leader of our all volunteer reserve component force. with your continued support, i'm highly confident that your marine corps reserve will remain a ready, relevant and responsive force that continues to be fully vested in the total force marine corps. thank you for your demonstrated support, for the reservists, the families and their employers, and from your marines, chairman inouye and distinguished members of the committee. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much, general.
>> thank you for the opportunity to appear here before you today. i would like to introduce my newest command chief and have her stand, please. chief master sergeant kathleen buckner. i strongly believe we're an operational component of the total force because of the capability, kpas capacity and accessibility as a title ten reforce. we are seamlessly integrated into every service corps function across the full spectrum of operations. they are responsive to security needs and an effective, efficient and affordable component of your air force.
our air force reserve personnel, most of whom come to us from the active force average seven years of additional experience over the counter parts and our capability rates reflects that every day. without a doubt the reserve is able to maintain the vast investment in human capital and maintain a hedge against unanticipated requirements. the reserve has experience in over 20 years of continuous operational engagement in both combat and humanitarian missions, and we balanced this tempo while maintaining our nation's critical strategic surge capability. our air force reserve succeeds as being operationally engaged and prepared due to the focus on maintaining the right balance.
and our air force resourcing prior tos should be flexed such. the president and secretary of defense are clear about the need for reversability of resources. the air force reserve is a leverage to make this happen. they will be there when called, prepared paired, trained and equipped. we are forecasted to reduce by 900 personnel. however, that figure is just the proposed fy-13 president's budget and is the tip of the iceberg. the loss are in specialties still essential to the total force an aircraft maintainer with 17 years of experience cannot become a cyber warrior with 17 years of experience
overnight. the air force is losing the capability of 5,000 to 6,000 experienced and trained personnel. the alternative to these losses once again is to focus on the correct balance to adjust all three components mix to maintain crucial capacity. globally fielded in small numbers and highly responsive. there should be a more ro bust reserve component as a projection force. we can support the president's reversability plan, contribute to the nation's economic recovery and ensure the security of our nation and its interest. mr. chairman, members of the committee, senator cochran, i am honored to have served the last
four years as chief of the air force reserve and commander of the air force reserve command. i appreciate this committee' enduring support of our airmen and stand ready for your questions. thank you. >> thank you very much. during your tenure as chief of the army reserve, you were called upon to transform from strategic to operational. can you give us an update on where you are at this moment. how do you think the operational reserve can be used in afghanistan. >> yes, sir. >> coming into this job six years ago, which i planned to stay for four, that was really the task at hand. how to transfer to an
operational footing and put them on a rotational basis. and do that while trying to fight a war on two fronts. i can report to you today, sir. that that has been a success. during iaf and oaf, we have mobilized over 200,000 of our soldiers and put them into support missions both in iraq, afghanistan and here at home. we kept on active duty soldiers every day since the inception. those soldiers are doing critical missions. i say our force is indespensable because we are what we call the enablers for the army. the engineers, the medical structure, the logistics, transportation, military policemen, all those kind of
capabilities that the army over time has shifted more and more into the reserve component. as an example, today if you look at the trchgs capability as we're looking to produce a footprint in afghanistan. the transportation to get soldiers and get equipment out of there is critical. 85% of the capability for the army rests in the guard and reserve. 70% of the medical capability rest fls the guard and reserve. civil affairs and psychological operations rest in the reserve. so the army can't do what they do with without us. it's been hugely successful. i'll tell you why. it's not the leadership that i have given. it's the dedication our soldiers have given.
soldiers in the army reserve today have joined the force or reenlisted to stay if the force while the nation is at war. they know what they signed up for. that culture says i'm goinging to go and do something to serve tb country. i'm not joining to be a weekend warrior, the strategic reserve. the challenge we've got, sir, is how do we keep them? it's critical we have the right training to make sure to retain the force and keep them ready. because we're not very good at predicting the future. and the army will have to call upon us on short notice to sustain operations. that's why it's so critical to me. that allows me flexibility to buy equipment that i need now, that is not programmed yet.
i can buy assimilation equipments to maintain the edge and keep them ready. so the money that we're transferring around $250 mlt r million to provide extra training days for the rotation cycle is critical. the army reserve is an operational force. it's highly successful and it's successful because of soldiers like sergeant burgess and other soldiers. >> we've been advised that you have -- how is that impacting your mission? >> the -- what i can tell you, sir is if you look at the figures it says equipment on hand for the army reserves, we're better than we've ever been. 86%.
we're 66% modernized. the equipment that we have in a lot of cases is old equipment. now as far as our soldiers being able to do their job in iraq and afghanistan and other places, not an issue. because we make sure they're using modernized equipment in those theaters. where it impacts me is back home. it impacts me back home because now, and especially now that we've drawn out of iraq and we're going to draw down out of afghanistan, i'm focusing on home station training. how do i keep the soldiers trained at home so they're ready to go? and i need that modernized equipment back here. it's a morale factor. if you're a young soldier trained and equipped with the best standards and come home and go to the weekend drill in your army reserve unit, and there's a piece of old equipment that you
know we don't use anymore in a wartime environment. it has an impact on the soldier saying, why aren't we training with what we just had in afghanistan? and so to me, the modernization of that equipment is critical for our retention. it's critical for our readiness. because to be ready, i've got to train on the right equipment. o right equipment. >> are you satisfied with the pace of modernization is sufficient? >> say again? >> are you satisfied that the modernization program as we have now is adequate? >> i have some concerns, sir. my concern, i guess, would be that as the army is going through restructure and as the army has announced they're drawing down over a period of years, i think that's going to lead us to make some equipping decisions for the future that might say we can delay some modernization until we can say what the forestructure looks
like, and i can't afford to wait because my soldiers need equipment today. and it's probably a smart thing to do in some cases f. we're going to draw down units in the active force that have modern equipment, then it would cascade to me, and i would have that modern equipment so the army might say we're not going to go buy more. we'll just give you what we have in the active when we do away with those units. however, that's going to be several years down the road. and i can't afford to wait. that's why the ngrea funding that you give us is so critical because if the army says we're not going to buy any more modernized trucks, for instance, because we're going to probably take some of the active trucks and give them to you in 2016, i can go ahead and buy some today and put them in my units, and then when the other ones come, fill out the rest of the units. so i'm not satisfied that our modernization strategy will meet my needs for the immediate future, no, sir. >> i'd like to ask a question of all of you.
the strategic plans for the next five years call for drastic reduction in end strength which gives you an opportunity to get active duty people transition ing to the reserves. do you have any plans to bring this about? >> chairman inouye, we certainly do in the navy, and our primary office we put up a couple of years ago, the career transition office in millington that is handling all of these transit n transitio transitions, we're proud of the work that they've done to reduce the time it takes to make the transition what used to literally be four to six months down to somewhere two or three days by analyzing the process and making it smoother. we do believe that as we look forward here in the next couple of years that the active component that's been so full and stayed full starts to
transition will have an opportunity to bring those sailors into the reserve component. we want to make that transition as seamless as possible and most of that we've discovered has been our regulations and policies within the department. there have been several things over the last several years that you all have been very helpful with in making that happen. i would say the most important thing we need to do, as i mentioned earlier, is to have real and meaningful work for those sailors, soldiers, airmen, marines do when they get to the component and that's why assured access and other provisions will be very important to us moving forward. >> what about the marines? >> thank you, mr. chairman? the commandant has recently, since he's taken over as the commandant, general amos has revamped the transition assistance program from the active component, and he has various aspects. used to be it would be bring the marines together for a couple of days. give them some fast and furious
education and training, and then they'd be out the door. now there's a couple times in their transition, a year before they get out, right before they get out, and then all of this information is put on the web so that they can get access to it for that legendary marine who wants to get out and go surfing in mexico four months before he wants to get a job or go to school. in the meantime, along that, there are four track tracts provided. one is a trade skill tract, if they're going to go to school for a trade school, a business tract, if they want to get into business or if they want to start a business. there's a entrepreneurial tract. with regard to the reserves, we have room for them in our 396 with our latitude. we do do see the individual ready reserve increasing. right now we're about 57,000.
an estimate would be up to perhaps 75,000. those are marines we also pay attention to and take care of as much as we can even though they're not drilling reservists, so there is a plan. we are tightly integrated with the active component in that continuum, in that marine for life program that brings them and trains them and gives them the opportunity to join the reserves if they want to and then continue to be valuable citizens throughout their life. thank you. >> how about the air force? [ inaudible ] >> are you hearing me? we, too, have a robust program, and we have worked very closely with our active component over t the last couple of years as they have worked aggressively to downsize. the critical skills that we're shorting are the ones we're focusing on and we have in
service recruiters that interview every single person that is leaving the active force and offer them the opportunity to continue to serve in those particular areas where we have the needs. we try to match the critical skills to where the needs are. we also offer cross training to the folks who might be interested in continuing to participate in a different career field. just as importantly, i think the active force has used some very significant tools to include voluntary early retirement and other options to depart the active force which does, in fact, put some is folks into what general hummer mentioned in the irr. we're also working on musters inside those irr members once a year at several different locations targeting the skills we need and mustering folks in because we found that within that first year after somebody leaves, they may not be just as satisfied as they thought they were going to be and we have found a lucrative recruiting ground from some of those folks who come back to us in the
reserve component. we're working aggressively with our partners to keep the critical skills that have been trained. we can't afford to retrain, and we must keep that compaapacity capability. >> are you satisfied with your program? >> we are. >> general stultz? >> yes, sir. it is a critical part of our strategy for the future, our human capital strategy. and we have learned from my good friend, steve hummer here of the marine corps, that the marine for life mentality needs to be in the army, also. a soldier for life mentality. we're doing several things, sir. we are putting -- i am putting manpower on the active duty installations to start working more aggressively with the transition process much further out than we have in the past. that soldier that decides he's going to leave the army from an active status, we're telling him he's not getting out. he's transitioning. he's transitioning into reserve status, whether it's active or inactive reserve status, he's
still going to be a soldier. but we need to start talk iing him six to nine months before he leaves not two weeks. we need to start talking to him first of all about what he's going to do for civilian work, and we need to help him get a job. and so one of the cornerstones of our program is our employer support program that we've developed over the last four years where we now have over 3,000 employers across america that have partnered with us. we have 700,000 jobs on the web portal that are available out there and we have program support managers on the ground, contractors that we've hired, to help facilitate between the employer and that soldier, and we want to facilitate that before he ever leaves active service. we want to have a smooth transition where he can come off of active duty, go right into a civilian job, if that's what he chooses to do, and we can also facilitate him coming into the reserve whether he comes in active reserve status or whether
he says i just want to take a break for a while and be in the irr. fine, you're still going to belong to us. when you're ready to come back and start drilling with us, we'll bring you back. it's that employer piece that's critical because if i bring a soldier into the reserve and he doesn't have a job, i'm at risk. because he has to pay his mortgage. he has to pay for the kids to go to college. he needs to have a good, comfortable career. we're putting forces on the installatio installations, with the employers, and we're going to make that as a cornerstone of our program. i can tell you today it's working. and the past couple of years we've already put 1,000 soldiers that we know into civilian jobs in our force. there's many thousands of others web gotten jobs and the employers are telling us, and we didn't even know the soldier because the soldier just used the technology themselves to do