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tv   National Commission on the Future of the Army News Conference  CSPAN  February 1, 2016 10:05am-11:42am EST

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the issue that i'm interested in is border control. i think we got too many illegal aliens and too many problems in this country right now to continue to have this type of thing. >> i'm here supporting governor chris christie. he's -- keeps recognizing all over the state of iowa the rule of power program and the co-ops and very proud of his effort on our behalf and just glad he ekzs all of these efforts as we try to fight the clean power plan and come up with a better solution, all of the above. including nuclear and other non-carbon resources. the national commission on the future of the army just
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released its final report on the army's structure, size and force mix with recommendations from congress. this is an hour and a half. >> the commission, as you know, was formed by the congress and the national defense authorization act of 2015, and it was charged with a number of tasks, two of them at the forefront were how should the army be organized in a period of challenging resources and seemingly expanding threats. and secondly, a specific charge to address the army's proposal as advanced through the aviation restructure initiative endorsed by the department of defense to transfer all apache aircraft from the army national guard to the regular army. there are several other tasks you're all familiar with. but those were the guiding, the two foundational tasks charged to the commission. over the time that the commission has been in
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existence, we have engaged more than 320 individual units, regular army, army national guard and army reserve across the force. we have visited 17 states and the district of columbia. we have met or corresponded with each of the 54 adjutants general that lead the national guard across the nation. 30 governors, nearly 80 members of congress. we met with all six geographic combatant commanders, several subunified commanders and some of the functional combatant commanders all of that in an effort to make sure we clearly understood particularly from the governors and from the geographic combat and commands what their demands were for army forces. we met with the associations who have represent so many of our soldiers of all three components with think tanks, with subject matter experts, academics and
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others who have studied the army and national security and defense policy, some within the government and many without, and we did all of that in an effort to meet the requirement of the law that we conduct a comprehensive assessment. we felt for the eight of us that it was important to receive as many varied and informed inputs as we could to make sure that we were balancing our assessments to the degree possible. we also asked each of the eight commissioners and each member of the staff frankly to check their predispositions at the door when they joined this commission and say let's go where the facts take us rather than what your predispositions might be. and i'm glad to report that that was certainly the case as we conducted our work. to me, the single most important event that we conducted was the thing called the comprehensive analytical review.
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a couple of days at the institutes for defense analysis but that were months in preparation by the staff and many other analysts who helped us and it was in that classified session that we were able to conduct a number of modeling exercises varying the inputs, for example, varying the mix of regular army, army national guard, army reserve forces, varying the number of apache battalions, varying the duration of boots on the ground or deployment times, varying the periods at home either dwell time or periods where reserve component units were not activated or mobilized. all of that yielded to us some informed decisions that led to our findings and recommendations. you'll see throughout the report 63 individual recommendations. i'll address just one and the
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other commissioners will address the others. what we found will not be a surprise to you. america has the strongest army in the world. it is made so by the women and men who every day choose to serve this nation when they have many, many other opportunities. the nation must sustain and maintain the all volunteer force. it's the collective judgment of the commissioners that a return to anything other than the all volunteer force will not yield the quality army that the nation requires now, nor in the future. with that, let me turn to the vice chairman, secretary lamont. >> thank you, mr. chairman. good afternoon, everyone. as vice chairman of the commission i want to second the chairman's comments on the tremendous effort put forth by my fellow commissioners and staff. it was a pleasure most of the time serving on this commission. no, it was, it really was.
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a pleasure. >> it says that because the chairman beat us periodically. >> let me pick up -- let me pick up where the chairman left off talking about the army budget and the critical budgetary recommendations. this commission would never have existed if not for the severe budget cuts imposed by the budget control act. making matters worse, since at least 2011, military budget projections have been on a roller coaster, changing substantially most every year. from the budget control act of 2011 as we know as the sequester to the bipartisan budget act of 2015, you can only imagine the challenges that the army has gone through. now add to this the fact that the army and dod operated under continuing resolutions in each of the last eight years.
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had a plan for government shutdown, at least half a dozen times and, in fact, did have to endure a 16-day shutdown in 2013. with this kind of turmoil, the budgetal operating environment severely and adversely impacted the army in terms of readiness, modernization and in strength. budget tear turmoil has sadly become the norm. but even if we managed to return to regular order, the army still faces huge problems created by lower defense spending. from fiscal years 2010 to 2015, d.o.d. funding declined 7%. but army funding declined 14%. now part of your mandate was determine anticipated future resources. after considering several alternatives, the commission strongly recommends future funding at the president's fy-'16 level, which would
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provide the army with the minimum resources necessary to meet requirements at acceptable risk. now, recall that was the charge of this commission, to look at acceptable risk and anticipated future resources. however, given recent changes in the strategic environment, even that may prove inadequate. let me turn to the army's limited investment in modernization, a source of significant long-term concern to the commission. the army budgeted manpower and readiness to support near-term demands. that's entirely understandable. but this left a gaping hole in the modernization program, which in that same time period fy-'10 to '15 saw a funding decline in
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investment and modernization of 35% in the army. soldiers are only as good as the training they receive and the equipment they have. after all, an army of 1 million perfectly trained soldiers provides little capability if they're carrying muskets. the army made difficult choices to cancel several important program, including the ground combat vehicle and aerial scout. what primary goal is to achieve decisive overmatch. never go into a fair fight. modernization ensures our soldiers maintain a decisive advantage on the battlefield. current funding levels risk squandering this overmatch capability. so funding at the president's level, fy-'16 would allow the
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army to achieve a balance between readiness and modernization. but just barely. so again, the commission strongly recommends administration and congress commit to providing spending bills that are on time and contain reasonable level of funding. all right. i'm going to turn the page here. lastly, on a little bit of a lighter note, as the only commissioner from the national guard, i wanted to briefly touch on the allocation of guard forces to the states and territories, which is a consideration congress specifically asked us to evaluate. after thorough review, we found that the regulations covering the aloe case process are too complicated and sometimes do not reflect the way the process has evolved. however, the processes are sound and use objective, quantified metrics verified by the states and territories. so the commission therefore.
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recommends the army update regulations and policy to clarify and codify the allocation processes in use. and lastly, just one comment about the overall theme throughout this report. and it is, we are one army. one army acting under the integrated and operational total force policy. and we will strive to maintain that with whatever we do. in all these recommendations. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thanks. dr. hicks? >> thank you very much to general ham and to secretary lamont, my fellow commissioners and, of course, to the staff for all their hard work. as the chairman said in his opening remarks, the army has a supply and demand problem. the supply-ready army forces is struggling to keep up with the demand of the future and the future doesn't look much better than today. it's not a sustainable situation from the viewpoint of the commission. one of the commission's two
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primary tasks was to answer this basic question -- how should the army best organize and employ the total force in the time of declining resources and diverse threats. the commission used contingency planning assessments, scenario, intelligence estimates, all to evaluate army capacity and capabilities as part of the joint force. we applied data within simple and complex models, and we used our own judgment to examine plausible relationships between supply and demand for forces over time. after all we've heard, read, seen and analyzed, we find that an army of 980,000 soldiers is the minimally sufficient force to meet current and anticipated missions at an acceptable risk. within that army of 980,000, the commission finds a regular army of 450,000, an army national guard of 335,000 and an army reserve of 195,000 represent the right mix of forces and again, the absolute minimum personnel levels to meet america's national security objectives. this includes sufficient
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disaster response and homeland defense capabilities to support current and anticipated requirements, accepting certain key enablers, i'll discuss momentarily. let me add an important caveat. these forces must be maintained a current planned readiness levels and every effort should be made to increase modernization funding as secretary lamont pointed to. this cannot be done on the cheap. maintaining a 980,000 force with adequate readiness and modernization requires funding for the army at or above the levels proposed in the president's fy-'16 budget request. funding at the budget control act level is simply not sufficient. even with full access of the army components, this force size provides only limited ability to react to unforeseen circumstances. of note, under current strategic guidance, the army and ore defense components are directed no the to size for large scale, long duration stability operations. the commission concludes that the army has complied with this
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guidance and is, in fact, neither sized nor shaped for conducting such large scale long duration missions at acceptable risk. but the current guidance to the force may be inadequate in light of the evolving security environment. this includes ongoing missions in afghanistan and iraq, the global challenge posed by isil and rush why's operations in ukraine and beyond. the commission requests clarifies to clarify the environment to strategy mismatch. the commission's analysis did point to improve given the emerging world environment. we draw particular attention to aviation, which commissioners hale and thurman will discus in more detail, armored brigade team capacity, chemical, biological and radiological capability. remedying these shortfalls within a 980,000 soldier army would require difficult but necessary tradeoffs. if army and strength cannot increase, our assessment
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indicates that the army could consider reducing up to two infantry brigrad combat teams in the regular army to provide the manning necessary to strengthen aviation, short range air defense and other capabilities that i discussed. doing so, we believe, would reduce overall risk to mission. however, even if end strength targets can be met through such reductions, it would not produce the additional funding needed to mitigate these shortfalls. let me end there. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you to all of my fellow commissioners for their tremendous effort in helping to produce this report. i love the army, and i think we all love the army, and we believe the recommendations that we havemade will in this report make the army even better. i also want to echo the comments of chairman ham concerning the all-voluntary force.
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i am personally very concerned about the future of what we call the all-voluntary force. i believe we may be reaching a breaking point. so we have to do all that we can to sustain this vital piece of our defense architecture. as the commission traveled around the country, soldiers and leaders in the guard and the reserves told us that they were not being used to levels they expected. those who joined the national guard and the reserves fully expect to be deployed, and they indicated that they were disappointed when they weren't used. now, this is a bit of an eye-opener for me, and i think for the commission. this gets at the heart of the all-voluntary force. our soldiers are all just volunteers. they have freely made up their minds to serve this great country.
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then we heard that they are becoming disappointed about what they volunteered to do in the first place. this is what concerns me. this is what makes the whole thing fragile and a little delicate piece of our defense architecture. so this leads to the obvious question. what happens when we can't get enough volunteers? currently, the d.o.d. goal for the guard and reserve is one year mobilized followed by five years at home. and this is known as dwell time. guard and reserve members and many employers repeatedly told the commission that they could meet a 1 to 4 mobilization to dwell ratio. the governors agreed and promoted even greater use of the guard and reserve in federal missions. the governors and employers only ask that deployments be
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predictable. the commission overwhelmingly agrees that giving the guard and reserve personnel better predictability, not only makes them better soldiers, but also, helps make them better in their day to day civilian lives. and again, this gets at the heart of why they volunteered to start with. commissioner stoltz will shortly discuss important recommendations on making better use of 1, 2, 3, 0, 4 bravo authority which could help with this predictability issue. as for the current 1 to 5 ratio, the commissioners does not recommend a change. but we do advocate for greater flexibility in the use of this authority. the commission also found that a significant source of friction
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between the components was an inconsistency in deployment policies. by that, i mean the duration of time actually spent in a deployed status, known as boots on the ground or b.o.g. while the secretary of the army move active guard and reserve to a nine-month boots on the ground policy, that could easily be undone as soon as the next contingency is on the horizon. the commission concluded that making boots on the ground times common across the active, the guard and the reserve would go a long way to achieving this important priority. that is, fostering an integrated total force culture. so this commission recommends that the secretary of defense update the utilization of the total force memo to allow for
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more flexible and voluntary mobilization periods necessary to maintain a common boots on the ground times in all three components. additionally, the commission found that personnel from the active, guard and reserve must find ways to better understand each other. by having them serve together in all levels will improve readiness and break down the cultural barriers we found. another means to help break down cultural barriers between the components would be to cross -- do cross component assignments. the commission offers recommendations in to that regard in this report. lastly, a word about training centers or ctcs as we refer to them. the ctc is a culminating event
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to determine if units are ready to deploy. if we want to train and fight as one army, all army units need to benefit from this critical training. the commission found that the number of brigade combat teams, or the bcts, exceed the ctcs through-put capacity. some bcts, particularly guard bcts, do not gain the full benefit from this training during their projected readiness cycles. we found examples of more than a decade between ctc rotations for some of our national guard bcts. so the commission recommends the army increase the number of annual ctc rotations for national guard bcts. but not at the expense of the regular army rotations. this would enhance total army
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readiness and build inner operatability between the components. i will end there. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. general stultz? >> thank you. all of the commissioners i've worked with have been wonderful to work with this. all the of the commissioners i have served with are first rate an it's been an honor and pleasure to serve with them. as you have heard, one theme running throughout this commission has been we are one army. and if we're going to be one army the commission concluded that we've got to do more to integrate many programs across the three components. for this report, i'm just going to focus on three of those. making better use of reserve
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component through the 12304-b authority, improving one army administration and consolidating army marketing and recruiting. 12304-b, can get very complicated, but simply, in 2012 congress gave the authority, call 12304-b, which allows the actization of reserve component personnel for planned missions. think of missions like kosovo, sinai, theatre engagement. those type of missions. as general ellis just pointed out, one of the things we heard back from the governors, from the soldiers was predictability. 12304 bravo allows predictability by having preplanned missions. however, to use 12304 bravo, the
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missions have to be planned two years in advance. and this really limits how we can use that authority. also forces command every year has repeatedly requested funding for 3,000 man years. not 3,000 men. 3,000 man years for funding of 12304 bravo missions and the army has continued to fund one third of that request. consequently, regular army units are using short dwell time when you have active, army reserve, national guard units available that are same type units but can't do it because 12304 bravo funding is not available. the army must program 3,000 man years annually for 12304 bravo
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missions. congress needs to expand the authority and flexibility so 12304 bravo can be used for more near term, immediate and near term missions. next, since we train and fight as one army, we have to manage the army as one army. the three army components operate separate personnel and pay systems. this is wasteful, harder for soldiers to transition between components and the commission believes a single personnel and pay system is the most important step toward implementing a total force policy. the good news is the army's ipsa program offers a solution. it's a web-based self service 24/7 service that integrates personnel and pay for a soldi soldier's entire career. the first elements of ipse have been fielded. and more are scheduled for 2018 and beyond.
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the commission strongly recommends that army and congress continue to adequately fund the program and maintain the current schedule. we would caution, however, that accelerated implementation or adding more requirements could create problems similar to those we have experienced in past failed software programs. and then lastly in 2014 the army -- the army, recruited 115,000 soldiers. using about 11,000 recruiters. but this was done with the regular army, national guard and the army reserve all vying for the same potential recruits. and in some case, competing against each other for a shrinking pool of qualified candidates. we have to recruit as one army. to integrate recruiting, congress should authorize and fund a pilot program to allow the recruiters of all three
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components to work together and be able to recruit for all three components. matching applicants to the component best suited for to improve overall effectiveness in recruiting. the army agent spends about $280 million annually for the regular army and the guard. multiple marketing efforts weaken the branding. and less efficient. so the commission therefore recommends that the army consolidate all marketing under the army marketing and research group. more information on these are in the chapters in the report called developing one army. thank you for your time and, mr. chairman, i'll yield back to you. >> thanks. >> thank you, sir. it's a great day to be a soldier. and to be able a retired soldier or ones that worked with soldiers. but i'd like to echo the
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comments of the rest of the commissioners to this point. it's been a fabulous opportunity to serve. we have had a phenomenal staff who are sprinkled amongst the audience here who have really made it easy for the eight of us to do our job or relatively speaking easily. i'd like to thank you, mr. chairman, for your leadership and the focus that you helped us to focus on as we move forward. this afternoon i'm going to talk about some issues that are clearly part of what i did as -- for the last 35 years and that i hope will be taken into account and to help our army get better than it is today which is the best army in the world. part after what makes our army what it is is the huge investment in leader development and training. i think it's easy to prove we have the envy of the world by the students that attend our schools and education and the immense interest on how we
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develop leaders. we also do a phenomenal job on training but we have some issues and i would like to talk about that. the operational tempo over the last 13-plus years made our leader development and training suffer. for many different reasons. and all of them are good. but the challenge has been how do you generate the next generation of leaders while you're simultaneously conducting operations around the world? we've had to make some short cuts. we had one course that originally started off as six weeks long. it's the initial leader development course for the army. now called the basic leader course. and that was eroded over time to about a two-week course. still the same content, still the same learning outcome. if you're an educator or understand a little bit of education, you really can't smash six weeks into two and
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expect the same level of leadership development and education. we also saw a lot of issues that had to do with overcapacity. you know, across the army, we have a tremendous amount of learning institutions. some would say too much. for example, there are 54 regional training institutions spread across the states and territories along with the active component education opportunities and those in the army reserve. what we need to do is take a hard look at those and determine whether or not we have an overcapacity challenge and whether or not we can combine some of these institutions and the students which will help to break down some of the cultural myths that are across the three components. i would say that this is a great opportunity to make a concrete total force policy impact when you have students in the same classroom from different components that are sharing
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their own experiences about what it means to be a guard or a reservist or someone on active duty. if you take that and spread it across the life cycle of a soldier from private and many case to sergeant major or from lieutenant to general officer, learning will occur and the ability to work together as a team will grow. we also need to take a hard look at training. the commission strongly believes a force of 980,000 soldiers will require increased rhee license on the reserve component. given that reality, the army needs a quantifiable readiness training. the army has not yet full limb i plemted the t-level assessment moat oddology for for those of who don't know, the highest training level is called t-1.
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thus the objective "t" name. the commissioner found it's a big improvement on current assessment methods based on quantity final measurements and strongly recommends the army implement it quickly. for more information on these topics, they can be found in developing one army chapter of the report. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. thank you very much. secretary hale? >> thank you. i spent 12 years as a department of defense, the air force and then d.o.d. comptroller have a motto. we're not happy until you're not happy. we don't get invited on a lot of dates. i appreciate the chance to serve. one primary assignment of this commission was to look at the apa che transfer issue. it's part of the structure. we focused on the transfers in accord dance with the law. the commission gathered extensive information.
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i won't go through it again. i'll save in the aviation area, we use that information to evaluate options based on four criteria. wartime capacity. another was wartime surge capability. how well can you build up quickly if threats change? peacetime deployments, stress was a concern. as, of course, were costs and we measured costs relative to the ahi. we look first at the restructure initiative. it has 20 battalions of a pay chis with 24 aircraft and no apaches in the guard or the reserve. the ari is a well crafted initiative. designed to hold downb#Ășcost, t free up money for modernization. it offers substantial wartime capacity though there are some shortfalls in that key scenario, early and slightly larger shortfalls later in the scenario. and there's no surge capacity
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under the ari since there's no apaches in the guard or reserve. finally, ari works count tore the one army goal of the commission. apaches would be one more area without a connective tissue between if you will the regular army and the guard. we looked at the national guard brew row option, as well. substantial surge capability but less wartime capacity than the ari and it does add to costs. the commission then looked at wide voo ryety of other options. more bah talttalions than the g. in the end we recommend that the army maintain 24 battalions of apaches, 20 of them in the regular army, they would each be equipped with 24 aircraft. that's the same as the ari and modify ari to keep four
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battalions of apaches in the national guard. each equipped with 18 aircraft or helicopters. in you need 24 to fight. what they would do during a mobilization is borrow helicopters from another unit and it works call it cross living. it's something the guard does fairly routinely and works. not all deploying at the same time. the commission option provides more wartime capacity than the ari. yet also provides some surge capability. it does add to costs and that's a potential disadvantage. we estimated operating costs go up $165 million a year under the commission proposal. and it would be one time procurement costs of $400 million. we did offer offsets to pay for these added costs. we felt we should in light of the budget tear situation. if those costs have to be offset, we recommend that the army look at the black hawk
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fleet. they're very important to the army's war fighting capability but it is a big fleet and so you could reduce slightly the size of that fleet under ari, the four black hawk battalions transferred to the guard. the commission would transfer only two battalions, the same under the national guard proposal. they transferred two, also. and we would modestly slow the modernization of the black hawk fleet buying 5 to 10 fewer newer a year and pay for the option. there are disadvantages to this without question but we felt that they were outweighed by the advantages of keeping some apaches in the guard. i should say while we spent time on the costs and they're important, there are other important factors. i have mentioned two. wartime capacity and surge capability. keeping apaches in the guard
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integrate it is regular army and the guard and that's a commission's overarching goal. under the proposal, the apaches and the guard, another area where the regular army and the guard trade together in peacetime and if necessary fight together in war. that completes the very brief discussion of the transfers. more detail, of course, in the report and glad to take questions when that time comes. mr. chairman. >> thank you, secretary. lastly, general thurman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i want to tell you it's been an honor for me to serve with all of these great professionals and particularly under your leadership. i think we can all take pride in what we have plishled. i think we did due diligence with this report and, number one, we answered what the congress and the administration asked us to do. i want to focus my remarks on some important aviation issues
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outside the apache question which mr. hale just outlined. and also, discuss putting an armored brigade combat team permanently back in europe. first, the commission recommends keeping a forge station in korea. right now, the regular army plans to remove a cab from korea as it goes from a 11 to 10 cabs. to mitigate the risk given terrain and the complexities of that commission, and the importance of fight tonight readiness on that peninsula, we believe that it is necessary to leave a regular army cab forward stationed in korea. the commission also believes that even at ten cabs one should be left there and not be
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rotated. the army currently meets that by rotating that force over but we think that's taking on undue risk that needs to be mitigated. the commission also strongly recommends that the regular army retain 11 combat aviation brigades. that's what the demand is. yes, sir. that is costly. it costs about $1.9 billion but when you look at the capabilities that are being asked for by the combatant commands, aviation is right at the top of the list. 11 cabs would help meet the ongoing high demands for aviation and provide more capacity for contingencies and help the regular army coming to one year deployed for every two years at home. right now they don't meet that. retaining a 11th cab, again, would require buying necessary additional 48 aircraft, ah-64s
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costing $1.9 billion. that's going to require a greater aloe case across the defense budget to fulfill this need. second, i want to address a concern about aviation flight training hours. the current level of flying hours for the regular army aviators only allows units to maintain proficiency at platoon and maybe company level. that is simply not good enough. we should be at battalion level proficiency with the regular army. aviation units in the reserve componentless also have training shortfalls. without additional flying hours, individual and collective training proficiency will decline. contributing to further shortfalls in readiness and could lead to higher accident rates. the commission therefore recommends the army determine
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the amount and aloe case in flight training hours per pilot per month across the army. however, we believe an increase of two hours may be appropriate. again, this would increase cost between $250 million and $300 million a year. but the commission believes this training is critical and i got to tell you, it needs to be about proficiency. not currency. to meet the requirements that these formations are being asked to perform around the globe by combatant commands. third, we think the army should expand the use of multicomponent aviation units to improve readiness and better zbe grate the regular army and reserve components. they should be co-located so they can routinely train together. that would be an observation we saw as we traveled around. we're recommending that there be
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a pilot to -- that we're asking the -- recommending that the army conduct a pilot to work on this integration and see how that might work for them to improve readiness. the united states air force makes substantial use of multicomponent approaches and the army could learn from its experience. i'm not saying the army and the air force are is t same. there's a huge difference with collective train. we know that. at the end of the day they do some things that may very well help ease some of the friction that could be associated with multicomponent units. the army is already experimenting with multicomponent fixed wing armt. units and we believe, again, a pilot program is necessary. lastly, let me address europe. the army is now rotating armored brigade combat teams around the
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globe. rotating in korea an they're rotating in europe. in the regular army there are nine armored brigade combat teams. there's also one in the middle east. so you can do the math. you have somebody in motion all the time. so we believe the security environment in europe is increasingly unstable and an armored brigade combat team will help increase deterrence in europe. given some of the latest activities that we have seen from the russians and what ms. hicks addressed. nato allies like sufficient units. it could be used for potential contingencies in the middle east. and fourth, deploying from the united states takes time that we may not have. the commission, again, believes that forward stationing a bct team in europe would require
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minimal additional staffing. the details on all these issues can be found in the army of the future and in the apache transfer chapter. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. over the past two days the commission's had the opportunity to brief senior leaders at did department of defense, the national security council, uniformed and civilian leaders at did department of the army, chief of the national guard bureau and this morning with congressional leaders and their staffs. going forward from this point, i suspect we'll see some of you tomorrow at the defense writers group and a think tank session kindly hosted by csis tomorrow, as well. the following week there are commissioners will travel to the united states army sergeants major academy. you might guess who might lead that team. also, to the united states military academy, the command and general staff college and a bit later in the month to the army war college.
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there are also scheduled sessions with the governors' council, later with the add gentleman opportunity general schedule and a hearing with the subcommittees will likely schedule a hearing as well as we go forward. the commission staff will remain in place. the commission dis exists for 90 days beginning after today after the releases of defense. so with that, again, thank you for your attendance. let me turn to colonel chris dixon who has very ably handled all of our public affairs and media relations over the past many months. she'll be our facilitator.
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for a period of questions and answers. two rules. if you're a commissioned staff member, you are not allowed to ask any questions. and the second rule is all hard questions go to the sergeant major of the army. >> thank you, sir. thank you, sir. >> secretary lamont just whispered in my ear. there is, for a small number of you in the room, there's a classified annex that offers the summary of much of the work that we did that underpins several of the recommendations. so those with the requisite security clearance that need to know they have access to that classified annex as well. colonel dixon? >> thank you, sir. before we begin, i would like to go over some expectations or notes to the audience. so you can see we have cameras here in the house. it is c-span and fox. for c-span it's being taped for later tonight. for the press, the press who are here who have registered will be asking the questions. for those press who not
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preregistered, if you would like to answer a question, we would like to get you accommodated for after we're done here. for the press when i call on you, please restate your name and direct your questions to the chairman, general ham. he will answer those questions or direct it -- mr. ham, not to me. he will answer those himself or direct them to another commissioner. keep your questions in relation to the report and the activities of the commission. so with that, we'll begin. john donnalley, congressional quarterly. >> can you talk a little bit about some of the feedback you've received and the brief beings you've given so far
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and a little bit about what kind of pushback you expect going forward, maybe preempt some of the arguments you expect to get. >> as we briefed the various organizations that i have addressed, for the most part they have not had the opportunity to read the report. some of the staff had the opportunity to review the classified annex. so we think that review -- we know that review is ongoing now. we actually expect a more full discussion in the coming days. so the first discussions were simply to say frankly, we were mostly in transmit, saying here's what we did, here's what we found. and we're expecting here is the dialogue. >> so i would speculate the one area of pushback would be costs. we made a number of recommendations. in the case of the apache transfer, we proposed an offset. many of the other areas, we didn't propose offsets related to the option, but we did
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propose some broad offsets, like efficiencies. doctor dr. hicks discussed the two combat teams and possible disestablishment. if you tried to do everything in this report, the army would need added funding and i think that's going to be a potential pushback in an area the congress and the administration will have to deal with. >> do you have any figures what the total additional costs would be? >> we focused on the aviational units for costing. if you did everything with no offsets, it's close to $1 billion a year in added costs and $2 billion in procurement costs. some of that we paid for, or would if they accepted our offsets. but there clearly is some added funding needed if we tried to do all of those things in aviation, and especially with the other short fall, meeting the other short falls that are identified. >> that's for all the aviation recommendation. >> right.
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the big one is retaining 11 combat aviation brigades in the regular army. that one alone adds $450 million a year in operating costs. and about $2 billion in procurement costs. >> the other thing that we cannot lose sight of, and that's stated up front in this report, is sustaining the whole volunteer force. we're going to break the force if we're not careful. because we looked at risk in two ways -- risk to force, risk to mission. and we could very well break this force. the risk is not right when you look at supply and command. combat and commands are asking for army ground forces. that's what's been requested out there.
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and that's why we're making these recommendations, one, to help mitigate some of this risk and, you know, there's one thing about it. when the nation calls and they call up the army, they expect us to deploy and not ask how long it's going to take, but get there with the best trained force and the best equipped force there is. and not take days to figure this out. that's what this nation expects us to do. >> austin wright, politico. >> the offsets to slow down blackhawk purchases, does that fully pay for the cost of the additional four apache battalions that the commission is recommending? and can you talk a little bit about that tradeoff? i mean, what would be the strategic down sides of slowing
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down the blackhawk purchases? >> the combination of slowing, reducing the number of blackhawk units and modestly slowing modernization, buying five to ten fewer a year and a few other offsets pay for the added costs of the apache transfer. >> blackhawks are important. they're assault helicopters. they carry troops into battle. they carry supplies. so you would have about 3% less of them to do that. our modeling suggests that it's a lower risk area, but obviously anytime you have fewer forces, you have taking some risk. that help? >> that helps. thank you. >> appreciate you guys talking to us today. you mentioned in the forward a little bit of discord between some active duty troops that you've spoken with and national
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guard troops you've spoken with. can you kind of elaborate on what the issue might be there snf and how do you go about fixing that? you talk about it in the report but i haven't read it yet. >> sure. i'll give a first shout at it. others may wish to comment. i think in some cases, we found individuals principally in the regular army, in the army national guard who made rather disparaging comments about the other component. some of that is budget driven, some of that is cultural. i think it's also manifest in the fact that over the past couple of years, as secretary lamont has mentioned, some reserve component units who were scheduled for deployment were off-ramped and replaced by regular army units. while they were budgetary reasons why that happened, it fostered a bit of mistrust, if you will, between the commissions. the point -- or between the
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components. i think the point of the commission is that's got to stop. the nation has one army. again, for sound reasons, three distinct interdependent but each essential component. and when those components are in proper balance and properly integrated, the nation has the one army that it needs. >> i served in the guard until i was 60 years. i had an extension. and that's not as long ago as some of you might think. back in the day, there was an issue of the guard not being the kind of force that it is today. as our equipment and training all dramatically increased and carrying through to the last 12
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year, it has dramatically changed. so there's much difference here. those who have trained and worked and fought together, there's not a problem out there. you can't tell the difference between a guardsman and a regular army. and i think our general officers here would certainly say that. there is a generational difference. some of those still go back to the era, i would suggest some of our more senior folks in both the guard and the army, some who prefer to see themselves maybe as weekend warriors, but not anymore for the rest of the group. we are not weekend warriors anymore. we are part of a one army total force concept. and that's the way they want to be viewed. that's the way they want to be used. and we think that will change. it may be a little bit, as i say, generational, but if you
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give them the right training and the right resourcing, there's no difference. i think you'll see it gradually change. i think it has in many areas already, but there's still vestiges in that concern. >> i think it starts in the institutional side. and it starts in the training. and that you've got to integrate all components under the same training umbrella so that they're going through the same training together, to the same standards. and they understand the cultures they're coming from, but they also say -- the best example i can use. we used to have two drill sergeant schools in the army. you had one for the active army and one for the reserve. and one for the active army, you went and you went a number of weeks and you got certified as a
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drill sergeant. the one in the reserve, you went periodically each year during your annual training periods and over a period of time, you got trained as a drill sergeant. we abolished that. and we said if you're going to be a drill sergeant in the army, you go to one school and you go for that length of time and become a drill sergeant. what that resulted in is in the training basis, you go down to fort bening, fort jackson, whatever, you've got drill sergeants. you don't have reserve drill sergeants or active drill sergeants. you've got drill sergeants. they're all working together. and you can't tell what component they're coming from because they all trained to the same standard. that's one of the key things
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we've got to do. get the one-army school system really working. >> just real quickly, you know, when the commission got to travel and we traveled pretty extensively, i got a chance to talk to more junior soldiers. there was no argument whatsoever about, you know, i'm in the guard or regular army or the army reserve. none of that. what you did hear was that, i am in whatever component i'm in, to fight and when our nation's wars and do what needs to be done. now, if i'm going to train, especially in the guard and reserve extensively, and then not be used, that's going to frustrate me. if i'm going to go through additional training and i'm going to prepare myself for an ntc rotation and then that's it, let's pack it up and head home, there is a growing frustration out there. amongst junior soldiers, hey, why am i doing this? that goes back to what general thurman were speaking about the all-volunteer force. we've got to use the guard and reserve to fill the needs of what nation is asking the army to do. we'll get to that tipping point where we'll be unable to get them to do what the army asks people to do. you can't just use half the
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army. >> the up tempo, the strain and stress on active duty component is too much sometimes. particularly in various types of units. special forces and so on. they're not at that one to two-b.o.g. dwell. so we have to use the guard and the reserves as they want to be used, to allow some of our regular army folks to take a knee on occasion. we need to do that. >> hi. you know in a few budget cycles, we could see full sequestration again. and a lot of budgets require extra money and working within constraints of the fy-16 budget requests. how might there be changes in
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your recommendations or what effect will full sequestration? or could it have on what you've recommended here that works within this constrained suggest? >> our recommendations could not be sustained in an era of sequestration. we make that very clear. that's first and foremost. one of the things i mentioned early on and is mentioned as a recommendation in the report is for re-examination of strategy to budget. so you can give way on means, which is by giving more money. you can try to come up with extremely innovative ways. we looked hard, we didn't see anything so spectacularly innovative on the horizon that it negates the need for the size of the force that's ready and modernized as we've called for. or you can change the ends. and right now, our view is that national ambition is outpacing the budget and that that condition will not fundamentally change in the near term. that, in fact, the threat
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environment is unpredictable, but doesn't look to be demonstratably decreasing as it thought to at least somewhat decrease when the guidance was first issued in 2012 and in different budget environment, different strategic environment. so the answer is, when we're asked to look at the range of acceptable approaches, we had to think about the budget environment. but that budget environment is very unclear. as you say, we could be doing back in two years under the budget caps. we could be going back to sequestration. or the opposite. we could have a different kind of decision at the national level on budget. so we tried to stay within a range of outcomes that we thought were likely, but we can't predict. we're not able to predict the future. >> let me add, i agree with everything dr. hicks said. i can't predict the future, but i think if you look at the history of the defense budget, it is clearly cyclical with peaks.
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you look at the korean war, afghan wars that reagan built up, one of the few periods of relative peace. we're at the average level of a drawdown in terms of real defense spending. i think of history as a guide and given the threats this country faces, there's some reasonable chance of some increases in defense spending. and we'll get a new administration and as dr. hicks said, hopefully a broad budget deal that looks at more than just defense and nondefense spending. but entitlements and perhaps taxes as well. >> ellen mitchell, inside the army. >> ellen mitchell, inside the army. to what extent did current events factor into the whole process? keeping in mind activities in ukraine with russia, isis, and the growing threat of north korea, did you take into account any of these?
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>> there are current and anticipated security challenges. that the nation and the army will face. we do, in fact, talk about each of those threats that you just mentioned. the real challenge is that when these budgets were built and when this army was constructed, and planned, those threats were not anticipated. we did not expect there would be a sizable continuing force in afghanistan. they thought there would be a very, very small force if any in iraq. isil was not on the planning horizon. relationship with russia was envisioned to be very different than it has developed. the unpredictable nature of north korea.
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those factored large in our considerations. as we were required to do. but to look at our best estimate of what we thought the future security environment would require of the army and based our recommendations on that. >> that's exactly right. it's important to point out. with some exceptions at a classified level, we're confident. we have the strongest army in the world. we're confident about our capability to win decisively over any given adversary, but the real art, the difficulty, the complexity is the number, the simultaneity, you know, what kinds of actions might the army be called upon to undertake. that are overlapping in nature. that's why we came up with a viewpoint that 980, equipped and
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ready, with the components used fully can execute a reasonable combination of actions that we think the united states army might be called upon to execute as part of the joint force. but we can't exactly predict how those will unfold, and that gives us a lot of pause, because we're right at that edge of confidence in our ability to do so. so i just want to rush to say it's not a view that the army we have today can't succeed. it's concern about the complexity of the environment and exactly how that complexity may manifest across the world. >> just so you understand, too. we also reached out to learn from others who are the experts
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in this field to identify what those risks are. so we could make those kinds of assessments then. >> and i think also, what we looked at were the shortages that we have right now today with this force, which we believe is minimally acceptable. you got shortages and failed artillery. you've got shortages in short-range air defense. you've got shortages in water craft. you've got shortages intact call mobility, transportation, water purification. so even with that force, the aermt is going to have to do some adjustments to meet some of the future requirements, and some of the requirements become enduring. >> and that's in the chapter that i think, if you like a look at it, you'll see there's been pretty good work done on the analytics of what is needed for not only now, but into the future. >> sidney freeberg, breaking
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i'm way in the back here. in stealth mode. sidney friedberg, breaking defense. one thing that jumped out at me here, besides the aviation issues, the other big short fall you mentioned was, i guess, short range air defense. not something we think about much except for humvees and stingers after 9/11. is it the russian drone artillery spotter in ukraine that's bringing that to the fore? what's the specific threat that's driving you to say that's a real shortfall and besides dissolving two infantry brigades how do you fix that? >> so again, when the army was -- the army that exists today was planned several years ago the threat from enemy adversary air forces
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to u.s. army ground forces was considered pretty low. that's changed. as we've seen it play out in syria, certainly in eastern ukraine and crimea, we see potential adversaries who possess increased capability that could in fact in conflict threaten u.s. army ground forces. for all kinds of understandable reasons there are today in the regular army no short-range air defense battalions. they all exist in the reserve components. and a large component, large percentage of the national guard's short-range air defense is for all the right reasons and completely justifiable committed to defense of the national capital region. we live under that umbrella
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right here, and we're thankful for that. but it leaves insufficient capacity for short-range air defense, for other army forces in other contingencies. >> if i could just add, the one thing i'd just add is yes, of course the russian threat is critical but we were extremely mindful as we -- and hopefully you'll see in the chapter we have on the future challenges that those kinds of weapons, and this is true well beyond short-range artillery issues, are exponentially dissipating across the globe. so the russian and chinese arms market is quite extensive. we acknowledge the fact that technology is defusing much more rapidly than probably was anticipated. and that's one of those threat areas that whether or not there is a specific russian challenge today we should be anticipating that capability will spread across the globe. >> look at the proliferation of unmanned aerial systems. i can go to best buy right now
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and buy me a uav. i'd go in just about any place and buy a uav and i could probably arm that thing. that is a threat to ground forces. where before we used to say we can mitigate that risk because we believe we've got the best air force in the world and we haven't had a bomb dropped on us. that may not be true in the future. when you look at this with the proliferation of these technologies. >> scott mosione, federal news radio. >> good afternoon. you talk a lot about retention and recruitment in a lot of your chapters, and i don't really see -- i see a lot of things about deployment but not necessarily about benefits or trying to kind of change the way that the soldier can kind of live life outside of the army per se. is that because you have faith
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in the reforms of the future and the reforms that secretary carter is having, or do you feel that the army's already pretty steady in what they're doing now, or do they need changes and you just didn't get a chance to get around to it? >> i think it's perhaps a bit simpler than that. it was not in our mandate, in the law to look at those particular items. nor did we have the time, energy, or expertise to replicate the work done by the compensation commission and others. >> i'd concur with that. did a little footwork on that also. >> yeah, i think what we talked about before. one of the key things that the integrated personnel system, because i think what you're getting to and what we'd all like to see is a continuum of service, where someone joins the army, they don't join a component. and the recruiter says right now you're best suited to go into the national guard because you already have a job and you like where you live whereas you don't have a job and you need a job
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and you need to go in the active component. but over your career you may choose to go back and forth or the army may choose to move you back and forth because your situation, your desires in a change. and you may say over here i've had enough of the active side, i'd like to move over here to the guard or reserve and likewise this guy wants to become active. the pay and personnel systems right now make that very, very difficult. and that's what we're saying, is we need to be able to simplify that so the individual and the army can manage their personnel across all three components as one army. and then tie in with the employment base out there to have that happening. so to me a great example, cyber. if we had a continuum of service and we had an agreement with companies like mcafee, microsoft, symantec and others that says we're going to constantly float people back and forth. and so you're spending three years over here on the active
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side and now you're going to go for the microsoft for several years and while you're at microsoft this guy's coming back over here, to maintain cutting-edge technology and knowledge and everything, that's what the army of the future needs to look like. >> we know some people need to do that. one of our visits was at fort lewis joint base, lewis mcchord in washington. we talked to a reserve unit. and we said, well, are you able to take advantage of some of the cyber companies, the microsoft in washington? and they said, sir, yes. we have people who really want to serve. now, they'd love to come in and out. but they're in -- they serve in the reserve. you should see our parking lot. the number. you'd be surprised the kind of cars we have in our parking lot. >> the one thing i'd add is that from a soldier perspective, you know, the army's got a lot of different initiatives going on in how to better recruit and
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retain individuals. i'll submit to you i don't think that was really part of our charter. i think what our charter was how do we look at the total force policy and make recommendations to ensure that we do things more effectively and efficiently at the army national guard and army reserve levels. so we work together as one team. focused together on one thing, to recruit an individual, to be part of the total force. >> christina wong, the hill. >> thank you. christina wong with "the hill." just two questions. one simple. does every recommendation that costs more money, does that come with any kind of offset or a recommendation? secondly i wanted to know how
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far out in the future you looked and dr. hicks, you swore you addressed part of this. the recommendation for a total force of 980980,000, is that for the foreseeable future and are the requirements expected to continue at least throughout sequestration? i just want to look at the horizon the commission was looking at. >> with regard to the cost average, secretary hale mentioned we paid particular attention to the aviation requirements, and there are offset figures associated with those. the other recommendations are mostly not costed. for example, we identify a shortfall in short-range air defense capabilities as general thurman has mentioned and dr. hicks has mentioned but we did not make a specific recommendation to how many units that would lead to some cost estimate. but rather that's for the army to make that determination. >> no, i think that -- just to finish that piece. then i'll go to the overall time frame. the recommendations that relate
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to those capabilities -- many of those capability areas, in many cases we recommend the army study them or that congress tasks studying for them. because we felt that as much analysis as we did we know there's a wealth more that can be done. and we felt it needed to be done in order to make those kinds of tradeoffs. we do put forward among the various things we talked about here, secretary hale mentioned of course efficiencies, things like barack, brack, compensation commissions. we go back through those items. and we did put on the table this notion of the two ibcts up to the two ibcts as potential trade space. but as secretary hale said, we recognize that even, you know, in the reality of what you're likely to get there's probably more money because a lot of those things are politically extremely difficult to do. on the time frame we looked out ten years, ten-plus years, but i think ten is safe. you know, i would say strategists never believe that
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strategy is set. you always are looking and refining. so for the 980-plus ready plus modernized, that's where we felt we are today and can comfortably say that for the next two years. as you look ahead through the next cycle, budget cycle. but that could change based on the environment. but our assessment on the 980, et cetera, was looking at the world we see ten years out, assuming all that stays relatively static that's the size of source that if modernized appropriately and ready would be appropriate for that future. >> dan parsons, defense daily. >> you mentioned that the report as a whole recommends -- the recommendations would involve a net cost above what's available now. but given that it might be ambitious to achieve all of it,
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do you have a priority of recommendations that you would like to see accomplished such that you would feel that the commission's work was not done in vain? >> well, in general, i think no matter what happens i don't believe the commission's work is done in vain. it is our hope we inform the discussion and the debate. none of us at this table are decision makers. that rests with the senior leadership in the department of defense, department of the army, the commander in chief in the administration and with the members of congress and the governors. so we hope our report will offer them some food for thought, if you will, and some considerations as they anticipate their future
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requirements and face the very, very difficult decisions that they will have to make. we did not choose to prioritize. we think recommendation a, b, c, or d is the most important. it won't surprise you, we think all 63 recommendations are important. but they are offered in the spirit to help those who must make those decisions consider those facts. >> roxanna tyrone, bloomberg news. >> i did not have a question. thank you. >> that's great. does any other member of the press have any more questions for follow-up? go ahead. >> i'd ask one follow-up. the report is critical of the army's aviation restructuring plan, saying it looks strategic depth and it violates the total force policy. the fact that the army looked at this and came up with a plan that would take all of the guard's apache helicopters away, does that to you signal a
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breakdown in the budget process and that it favors -- the way the process works favors too heavily the interests of the active service versus the reserve components? >> i'll try first and then defer to the expert. i don't agree with that premise. i think as we state in the report we believe the army's restructuring initiative was well crafted, well designed. it does in fact cut costs. and that's what it was intended to do, given the budgetary environment that the army faced. it does in fact in our assessment lead to obviously an absence of that capability in the army national guard. we think that's counter to the idea of one army. it did in fact lead to a shortfall in capacity longer
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term in the case of an operational deployment. you still had the 24, or 20 battalions in the regular army that could meet immediate needs, but then you had nothing behind that. and that's one of the reasons as secretary hale mentioned that we offered the alternative that we did. >> so the army, like all the services, faced some very difficult budget times. i was there with them and know the kinds of pressures that were put on them. i think they and the other services responded in good faith trying to find ways to meet those budget limits. the air force, for example, trade to retire all the a-10s. that hadn't worked out. we'll have to see what happens with a.r.i. but no, i don't think it's a breakdown, but i think when you step back and take a broader look at the a.r.i. and the decisions on the apaches that at least this commission feels that it would be better to modify -- we'd keep most of it but to modify it to keep a modest number of apaches in the guard for the one army and the other reasons i've mentioned. >> those of you who attended the
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first couple meetings are open meetings where we had testimony from the army budgetary and aviation leaders. the question was asked too them repeatedly, were it not for budgetary constraints, would you have crafted a.r.i. the way you did? and the answer is universally no. it was driven by budget. this isn't ideal. they understand that. they did the best they could do under the circumstances and the facts that were given them. and what they were told to do. but it is not ideal. and we realize that it was a budget result frankly. >> all right. again, if i call on you, could you say your full name and your outlet? go ahead. >> roxanna -- i do have a
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question. you did brief obviously the stakeholders. i don't know if you can be open about this. but how was the report received initially? particularly obviously in the active duty army and on the hill. what's your sense of how the combinations were received? are you getting a sense it's going to be another long fight on the hill between the stakeholders or did you strike a fine balance? >> i think it's too soon to tell. i will tell you that each of the groups we briefed, the briefing was received politely and respectfully. but in fairness to those we briefed we had not yet had an opportunity to delve into the report and understand its -- the comprehensiveness and in some cases the complexity of the recommendations. so we stand ready to continue the dialogue with those parties but i think it's too soon to tell. >> nor was it our province to make everyone satisfied or happy in this. we couldn't look at it that way. >> remember the motto we're not happy till you're not happy. we kind of followed some of that.
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>> jen? >> hi. jen johnson with defense news. now, looking at the apache -- potential apache buy for the guard, i'm curious if you dove deeply into how and when those potential apaches could be fielded. i understand they probably have to be new build aircraft and boeing would have to sort of ramp up a production line. they have a remanufacturing line but they don't have one for new builds that's as quick. from my understanding. so it seems like that would be a
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very future down the road type buy than in the next couple of years. did you look at when you might be able to get guard apaches? >> again, i'll begin by turning to the two experts. it is important to recognize that the recommendations are distinct. the base recommendation that establishes our recommendation would establish 20 -- battalions of 24 aircraft in the regular army. four battalions of 18 aircraft in the army national guard can be paid for in the offsets secretary hale mentioned that requires no new air frames. it does require as you mentioned the one-time cost to modernize the fleet that would move from apache d models to e models. but that capability exists today. shifting to the larger issue of an 11th combat to retain an 11th combat aviation brigade in the army national guard -- or in the regular army. that would indeed require a new buy of apaches. we did not delve into the specifics of that, particularly the timeline, when might it take a manufacturer to restart that line, retool and be ready to produce.
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we did have a rough cost estimate as general thurman and secretary hale mentioned, somewhere in the 1.9 to 2 billion range. >> so on the first one, and general hammond has it exactly right. the d to e modernization, 24. unless there's changes made in corpus christi to speed up the production it's probably several years perhaps outside the fidp before they get -- that doesn't mean the guard wouldn't keep the battalions for four years. they would have d models in some of those. the new buy as general hamm said, we did not delve into the details but it would be several years off before that could be accomplished. >> yes, dan. >> dan parsons. regarding the brigade in europe
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general hodges has said over and over again he's had to do with 30,000 troops what his predecessors had 300,000 troops to do. is it the commission's finding that the efforts to increase lethality, the european capability sets, the things that are being done now to build partnership capacity are not adequate to perform the deterrence mission there? >> for the record i'm one of his predecessors. i don't recall 300,000. but i think -- yeah. but i take the point. i think the main point, and i'll turn to dr. hicks, but the main point i think from the commission's standpoint is the security environment today and into the future is different than what we anticipated. when the decisions were made to reposition forces from europe to include the removal and redeployment of the two armored brigade combat teams that were there, those were perhaps logical decisions at the time,
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but the security environment is different now and it's our best assessment that one of the ways to cope with that changed security environment from both deterrence and assurance as general thurman mentioned is forward stationing an armored brigade combat team in europe. >> let me add that while we were undertaking our work over the last year the department is running hard on its own work with regard to approaches, i guess i would say, for deterrence and assurance, deterring russia and assuring in europe. so we were -- in doing our work we were -- we had to get in front of the department is the only way i can put it. their analysis is ongoing. we couldn't rely on work there to the same extent that we could rely on work in other regions that the department and the army have already done.
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so we weren't -- we weren't comfortable making a whole slate of recommendations with regard to what the army's already doing in europe and where it had to go all over, you know, in a comprehensive way. what we did see was improvements in deterrence and assurance on what is already happening. and as general thurman pointed out, we did see already kind of wherever the department ends up going in its full assessment of its counter russia approach we see no way around the fact that an armored bct forward station has to be a part of that. we know that's a very hard message politically on the hill. but we think it's a no-brainer strategically. so we felt it was important to put it out there given what we already see as the challenge set in the region. >> no, that's exactly right. the other issue has to do with
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rotation of forces and the whole rotational force makes sense. but when you only have so many elements, at some point you exceed your capacity. and that's what's happened today. you don't have enough armor. so the army's got to look at how it balances that. inside the armored capabilities. not only looking at a.c. but also looking at army national guard, armored brigade combat teams. to help relieve some of the stress. see, here's the deal. the russians today are conducting their own mtc rotation in syria. they're practicing with their new kit over. they understand their ground integration. they've gone to school on us. and to maintain credible deterrence you've got to match that and be serious about it in my mind. >> any other questions?
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so this closes the q&a for the press piece. as you know, it is an open meeting. so we can take questions from the floor with the open public. so does anyone from the open public have any questions for the commission? okay. >> you asked them all. did your job. >> okay. all right. >> with that, again, thanks for your interest and participation today, and i think with that the last time mr. designated federal officer -- >> here we go. >> this meeting is now closed. >> we'd also ask anyone with the press who is signed up -- c-span's campaign 2016 is taking you on the road to the white house for the iowa caucuses.
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tonight at 7:00 eastern, we begin with precaucus coverage. at 8:00 eastern we take you to a republican caucus on c-span and democrat caucus an c-span2. every election cycle, we're reminded how important it is for citizens to be informed. c-span is a vehicle for empowering people to make good choices. it really is like you are getting a seven-course gourmet five-star meal of policy. boy, do i sound like a nerd, but it's true. >> c-span is a home for political junkies and a way to track the government as it happens, whether on capitol hill or the agencies. >> most staffers seem to have a television on their desk and c-span is on. i think it's a great way for us to stay informed. >> i urge my colleagues to vote
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for this amendment. >> there are a lot of c-span fans on the hill. my colleagues, when i go back today, they are going to say, i saw you on c-span. >> you can get something like the history of grain elevators in pennsylvania or landmark supreme court decisions. >> there is so much more c-span does in terms of its programming to make sure people outside the beltway know what's going on inside it. >> i am proud to announce -- >> i announce my candidacy. >> i'm officially running -- >> for president of the united states. >> a reporter who covers politics. for so many of my stories in "the washington post," c-span has been part of my research providing me with quotes and insights about people. >> there are so many niches within the political blogosphere. all those policy areas get covered.
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>> how many nuclear war heads does russia have aimed at the u.s. and the u.s. have aimed at russia? >> it's a place i can go that lets me do the thinking and do the decision-making. >> we follow tons of c-span here, house meetings. >> good morning, phone lines are open. start dialing in. >> the interaction with callers on c-span is great. you never know what you are going to get. >> you're right i'm from down south. >> oh gosh, mom. >> and i'm your mother and i disagree that all families are like ours. i don't know many families that are fighting at thanksgiving. >> welcome to booktv's live coverage of the 32nd annual miami book fair. >> c-span2 on the weekends becomes booktv. >> it's been a wonderful way of accessing the work of those folks writing really great books. >> every weekend cspan3 becomes american history tv.
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you're a history junkie? you've got to watch. >> whether we are talking about a congressional hearing or we are talking about an era in history, there's so much information that you can convey if you've got that kind of programming. >> whether it's at the capitol or on the campaign trail, they have a camera capturing history as it happens. it brings you inside these chambers, inside the conversations on capitol hill and lets you have a seat at the table. you can't find that anywhere else. >> i'm a c-span fan. >> i'm a c-span fan. >> i'm a c-span fan. >> yes, i am a c-span fan. >> that's the power of c-span, access for everyone to be part of the conversation. today the house begins legislative work at 2:00 p.m. eastern. they take up a bill to
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reauthorize the coast guard and another to protect children from sex trafficking. any votes postponed until 6:30 eastern. tuesday they are scheduled to vote on overriding the president's veto of a bill that would repeal sections of the health care law. the senate gavels today at 3:00 eastern and debate amendments to an energy bill dealing with u.s. oil exports and nuclear energy research. live coverage of the house on c-span and the senate on c-span2. days after north korea tested a hydrogen bomb. the program is about an hour.

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