tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN February 26, 2016 9:00am-11:01am EST
captioning performed by vitac very briefly. >> congressman, secretary mentioned exercises and you've asked the questions specifically about posture forces on the border, would that make a difference. i would say what the european reassurance initiative does increasing exercises is two things. it helps us develop inner operability with our nato partners so that's important. the exercises general breedlove designs underline our commitment to article 5 of the nato alliance. as importantly if russia faces nato they face the full wait of the capability of 28 nations, the full economy of 28 nations
and full political will of 28 nations, quite frankly if you put all that together that's an overwhelming challenge for the russians. our exercise is designed to make sure one part of that is clear that we can bring the full weight of the military capability of 28 nations to bear in the event of a contingency. >> thank you. non-nato ally support for ukraine would be appreciated i know by the ukrainians. they're still waiting. mr. crenshaw. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you all for your service to our men and women in uniform. secretary carter you pretty well laid out all the diverse threats that we face. i can't think of a time where we faced any more on near term, short term or long-term bases and we're facing them at a time of shrinking budgets. and this subcommittee i this i has a role to play. some of us served under different presidents and different secretaries of defense, and i think we all
bring unique perspective, and i want to, mr. secretary, have a brief discussion with you about your decision to end the combat ship program at 40. if you look at that program you can see that it was set up to a 52-ship program and that decision the mem row and reason i say it's your decision because there's a memo you wrote secretary of the navy was reported in the press it talked about maybe some of the fallity wasn't there, almost like i guess reported said the navy spends too much money on ships and not enough money on some of the other platforms like the e2d hawk way or p8 or the f-18 and i happen to be a big supporter of all those programs. i'm not sure it's correct to
justify them xarlg them to other programs. i read that memo and talk to other senior members of the department of defense maybe it is more of a presence ship like patrol border frigot it doesn't have the high-tech capabilities to deal with china, deal with russia, deal with iran. so i guess my concern is i guess that's one opinion. you read articles how important it can be, you talk to some of the folks on them over in the asia-pacific and they'd tell you, you almost need those kinds of ships to defeat some of the folks over there. so i guess my question is, is if the navy says we need 52, that was of their estimate and reiterated that after they did a
year-long study that we actually asked them to do, and then your decision is they need 40, i guess the question becomes how does that requirement change so quickly and will we get to see an analysis that went into your decision. in other words, do you really believe we need less combat ships or do you believe we need to spend more money in other areas? bottom line, is that a decision based on long-term national security or is that a decision based on a short term budget? >> it's a decision based on long-term security and i'll explain the decision. the combat ship is a successful program. it is an excellent ship and it will be much better than the mine counter measure ships, patrol craft and so forth that it replaces. these are critical capabilities. and in general, in shipbuilding,
this budget makes a huge investment in shipbuilding, new ddgs, new virginia class submarines, aircraft carriers the overall maintenance of aircraft carriers, amphibious ships, the first ohio class replacement submarine. so there's an enormous amount and also the added virginia payload modules for the submarine program so there's a lot that goes into shipbuilding and the number of ships in the u.s. navy is actually increasing. it's going to go to 308 from about 280 today. so we're going to have a bigger navy, not a smaller navy. that's our plan, and that's in the budget in front of you, a navy that gets larger. but to the question, of the combat ship the navies fighting analysis concluded 40 of them
were enough and yes, we did want to apply resources elsewhere to the lethality of our ships. that's critically important that we not only have enough ships and more ships, which we're going to have but that they're the very best. that's why we're investing in combat systems, that's why we're investing in all the new missiles and weapons that i talked about. we have a new lightweight torpedo, new heavyweight torpedo program, various anti-ship missiles including the new capability for the sm-6 missiles, surface-to-air missiles, all the stuff that makes our navy most lethal in the face of russia, china, iran, others who have that capability. there is some balancing that needs to be done between high-end and very important lower end ships, like the latora combat ships. there's nothing wrong with latora combat ships. we like it. our plan is not to buy 52 but to
buy 40. that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the program. it is successful and needed in those numbers. >> thank you, thank you, mr. chair opinion. >> ms. mccollum and mr. grays, the gentleman from georgia. >> thank you. mr. secretary-general dunford the 2017 funds will be available to support the policies and the programs of the next president. the next president the american people elect in november. leading candidate for president is telling the american people and the world that torture works. he says he will use torture to help defeat isil, including things way beyond waterboarding. he says he will order our military to take out the families of islamic terrorists. i presume that means directing the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff to use men and women under your military command to intentionally kill innocent family members including
children that might be suspected terrorists. i find these rants frightening and dangerous to our nation. general dunford, do you support allowing u.s. troops or the intelligence community to use torture to exact information from suspected terrorists? does the use of torture advance the military or national interests of the united states? >> congressman, before the chairman answers your question, i really need to say something, and it's -- the question is a fair question. i want to say something about the framing of it that i believe in very strongly however. >> please, sir. >> which is, this is an election year. we'll have a new president. i recognize that. i feel very strongly that our department needs to stand apart from the electoral season. so i respectfully decline to answer any questions that arise
from the political debate going on. i just don't think that's appropriate, and i want general dunford especially even more so than me not to be involved in political debate. i think if you address the general question of how we try to conduct ourselves as a military in the air in syria, you were a commander in afgh afghanistan that's fine but with great respect i just want to -- >> we respect your decision. >> well, we had discussions on the political nature of a guantanamo and president obama. will you just make a blanket statement as to the military's role of the use of torture? because we've had a lot of hearings on this. this caused a lot of angst in this congress. we went through one administration that used it, and as far as i know, we're working to stop and ban the use of torture because it does not serve our national interests. >> congresswoman, let me answer
the question broadly without getting into what secretary carter highlighted. one of the things that makes me proud to wear this uniform is that we represent the values of the american people, and when our young men and women go to war, they go with their values and i think our perform as on the battlefield over the past decade plus of war reflects that young men and women from this country bring their values with them. when we find exceptions, you can see how aggressively we pursue addressing those exceptions. i guess what i would say in response to your question is, we should never apologize for going to war with the values of the american people. that's what we have done historically. that's what we expect to do in the future, and again, that's what makes me proud to wear this uniform. >> mr. chairman, i'm assuming the values of the american people do not include torture. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i agree with you. i agree with the general statement as well. mr. grays, and then miss captor, thank you both of you, everybody, for their patience.
>> thank you, mr. secretary. i'm very concerned with the time line and the funding reduction included in this year's budget for the jstar's recap and wanted to discuss that for a few minutes. the timeline for ioc has gone from 2022 to '23, to '24 and the existing jstar fleet's life cycle costs are going to go through the roof. every year the air force defers recapitalization, they are missing out on $100 million or more in reduced operations and maintenance cost. secondly the current ea aircraft are reaching the end of their service life and require waivers and additional funds to maintain themselv themselves. this will likely lead to a lengthy capabilities gap, depriving more fighters the gmti and battle management and recently half the fleet was in depo maintenance. it's all been ensured there will be a huge gap in the 2020 time frame before replacement
aircraft would be ready right now. now we're being told there is need for more tech maturation. this is completely at odds with the plan that we've heard from the air force over the last four years. they've repeatedly said that the recap will involve mature technology, and that the recap will only, will be only integration effort. can you just help us understand and maybe explain why this year's budget includes additional delays, which result in additional expenses and some gaps and capability? >> i can. i'll describe the acquisition strategy. first of all, you're absolutely right, the air force does have a continuing requirement for ground moving target indicator gmti radars and the kind, jstars is, a 707-based aircraft now, been around for a long time and
they have to be recapitalized because we need that capability, and you don't need as big physically a radar anymore. radars have gotten smaller. we flew a bunch of them and general dunford's forces flew them in afghanistan and we've flown them elsewhere so the air force is committed and our budget does lay in the funds for a jstar's recap. they have not chosen, they want to do a competitive source selection for that, both for the radar and the integration with the airframe. so they haven't picked a winner of that yet. they have announced that competition for a jstar's replacement and put in money, i think it's somewhere between $2 billion and $3 billion in this five-year defense plan to begin the recapitalization. so that's the acquisition strategy. we can get you more detail on that but i think the thing i can say as secretary of defense we're committed to that
capability. we have to recapitalize the jstars because it's an airframe now decades old and we can't keep flying it. we need the capability. >> thank you, mr. secretary, and you're absolutely right. it's a very old platform, but a very needed platform today, and my understanding and some of the briefings i've been in, and not too distant time from now, half of the fleet will be at its full life cycle, 100% plus of its life cycle, and we still don't seem to be on a time line that would fill that gap, and i think we've had tremendous support on this committee for this program and for advancing it and moving in as swiftly as possible because of our deep concern for our troops and the capabilities that they have in the field so any additional support or hurriedness on this would be greatly appreciated. >> thank you, mr. graves. miss captor, and then mr.
calvert. >> thank you mr. secretary, general dunford, thaus for your service to our country. i'll ask my questions quickly and you can use the time remaining them to answer if you could, please. first of all, the four topics, russian propaganda, isil's growth, the state partnership program and survivor benefits. on russian propaganda, i read general dunford, your statement and the testimony the russian military presents the greatest challenge to u.s. interests. i agree. i want to express my own deep concern about russia's well-funded and organized propaganda war in eukraine, the balance ticks, europe and even here in the west. and i observe the west's approach to confront that force, force of hybrid warfare, it's fragmented and underfunded. can you respond potentially review what is being done across
various departments? a design strategy to counter russia in their efforts including assigning a lead in the administration to this task working with our allies? number two, on the state partnership program, i think it's one of the most effective tools in working with our european allies to meet the challenge we face in europe. ohio, for example, our guard has a relationship ongoing with hungary and serbia. california with ukraine, illinois with poland. what does the budget do to facilitate this growing capability that is auto essenti carrying out activities in that realm? thirdly, describe the development and size of isil as a terrorist force, and the motivation for what seems to be drawing additional adherence, and would appreciate for the record what is dod's view of victory in syria and finally on the matter of survivor benefits, i was recently contacted by a veteran constituent with three
children who is an afghanistan veteran herself at the e7 level, and has pts. she's a gold star wife due to the death of her husband in iraq in 2004. under current law, required offset in payments between her dependency and dependent compensation plan prohibits her from receiving the full amount of both. forever the record let me state 5% of military widows remarry, 95% of widowers do. for women with children, it seems to me there ought to be something going on at dod that would help those who have so nobly served our nation so i wanted to put that on the record and if youn't fully answer it, i appreciate it in a written reply. first on the russian propaganda issue. >> thank you very much, congresswoman and i'll start on the russian propaganda thing. it is related to hybrid warfare.
russia has bought media in the west, no question about it. you can turn it on in your own living room, and of course, you know, sometimes that contains what i've called the big lie, and our principal response to that as a country in the west is the truth, and, but we have to watch the effect of that, and it is related and the state department does that, intelligence communities does that and others. for our part you asked us, it is related to hybrid warfare and earlier we were discussing the european reassurance initiative and its parts, and we were talking about territorial defense, which is important, but another critical part of the eri is hardening the states of europe to essentially subversion, which is hybrid
warfare shades into subversion. hardening them by helping them to defend themselves from cyber manipulation and from other kinds of insidious influences that we saw proceed the russian actions in crimea and ukraine. so we're trying to learn from that. that's exactly what hybrid warfare means, why hybrid warfare is part of the new playbook as i call it for nato. it's not like your nato was long ago, which in the full de gap which was a more conventional kind of conflict. we have to expect a more unconventional kind of conflict and that is exactly what the chairman and i and general breedlove think about and plan for when it comes to europe. i'll stop there, except just one, if i may put in a plug for
the state partnership program with you. we get huge value out of these state partnership programs. we fund them and their people are very enthusiastic. the countries tell me all the time how much they love the state that is their partner. it's a great way of tying america to others and complimenting what the defense department does institutionally. so they're great programs and i appreciate your support. >> i hope, mr. secretary, with that endorsement that you will find ways to broaden it, to fully utilize it, particularly in those places which are so much at risk right now and on the propaganda front. i really hope in your position you can lead an administration effort to be a little more coordinated not just dod but we need a strategy to totally combat the propaganda that is flooding nations like ukraine. it is not in our interests, it is not in liberty it's interesto continue without an equal response and the west response is anemic compared to what's coming out of the russian.
>> let me commend miss captor on her insistence. while you're aiming at a russian propaganda, we may come up with a game plan for islamic state and isis as well. mr. calvert and mr. ryan after. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary carter, general dunford, mr. mccord, thank you for being here. thank you for your service to our country. we certainly appreciate it. i want to expand on chairman rogers' questions regarding china and obviously china has been closing the technology gap between our countries, it's military until recent history, as you mentioned historically was focused internally, the primary mission to protengt the communist party and existing government within their country. recent history, they've been interested in projecting military power just in their own region. i would argue that we win wars not just because we're just the
best trained and most proficient, because we're very good at large scale strategic operational and tactical logistics. supply, maintenance procedures and practices, we're good at getting our people and our equipment anywhere on the globe in a timely manner and have decades of conflict experience through the world, and prepping and executing these combat service support functions. china's new to this. china is new to power projection. i question their ability to conduct these functions effectively in fighting the conflict beyond their shores. you can have the largest military in the world, but if you can't feed or supply them after three days, they become worthless. can you comment on china's ability to effectively project fighting power beyond its shores but especially with regard to their ability to conduct effective logistics, supply maintenance operations, external to china?
i don't think we put a lot of thought into that. >> congressman, thanks for the question. first of all, i agree with you, that our logistics capability is one of our competitive advantages. i also agree that, from a power projection perspective, the chinese capability is relatively immature. however, if we're talking about within the pacific, they do have one advantage, which is interior lines. in other words, from a geographical perspective, if we talk about a conflict in the south china sea, if we talk about a conflict in the east china sea, in taiwan and those areas their logistics challenge less than the challenge we would have as we project power to places like the middle east or to the pacific. i do see, you know, from my own personal experience when you talk about putting equipment at sea, when you talk about employees sea-based capabilities, when you ta you can about logistics over long distances, that takes many, many years. we have maritime preposition ships. i was around the early days of maritime preposition ships when we put equipment aboard a ship,
six months later try to take it off the ship and fuel turned to sludge. we had to make sure the level of maintenance and readiness was a discovery process that took many, many years to develop that. i would agree with the thesis that the chinese have a long way to go in terms of developing power projection. i guess what i would say is that if you look at the investments that they're making, the attention they're paying it to it, the reorganization they did is a recognition in part of the comment you made. recently they're looking at our capabilities in terms of jointness and integration, a piece of with i is our logistics capability and made some major reorganization inside the chinese military which is in part to mitigate the challenges that you've identified and that they know exist. so do i think they have a legitimate power projection capability today? no. do i see forces deployed to places like djibouti, do i see the maritime development like you mentioned, the aviation capabilities developed, yes. so it's fair from my perspective, i don't look at
intent. i look at capability and i look at the trajectory to china and it's fair to say at some point in the future were they continue to make the investments they're making now, that they will develop a power projection capability but i would agree with you, i think that's some time away. but again in the near term, what they are developing would provide them a capability much easier to attain, that is the capability with interior lines in the pacific scenario to project power and one of the scenarios that i mentioned. >> mr. ryan, and then mr. womack. >> thank you mr. chairman and mr. secretary. mr. chairman, thank you for being here. in one issue we talk about here, the budget, money, how are we going to free up money and i know we have a lot of priorities, and the challenges we face today are i think unlike we've ever had to, as far as dealing with these global challenges, the technology,
making sure the third offset, all these new investments that we have to make, so we've got to be very smart in how we try to free up money. we've been spending since 2001 a good deal more money on health care, and so one of the issues i want to ask you about just briefly and put a plug in for, when we look at rates of tie beets, and blood pressure and all these things that are causing us to spend a lot of money in the health care system, military health care system, i want to talk to you about the healthy base initiative, what kind of food we have coming in, what kind of nutrition that we're giving these elite warriors, and we know that a lot of these issues are caused, they are diet related and i this i it would be smart for us to take a wholistic approach here and just say hey, if we know we start feeding our soldiers, airmen and the rest healthy food that a lot of these problems can be avoided, with i freeze up money for us to put into the third
offset and some of these other things. you don't have to necessarily comment, maybe comment for the recovered on the healthy base initiative and what we can do to make sure we start driving down some of the health care costs to free up money for some of these other things. i know it was mentioned the defense industrial base issue, youngstown, ohio, is dome who america makes, the additive manufacturing institute. it's doing a phenomenal onajob i think can transform manufacturing so i want to make sure we robustly support these institutes as we move forward into the future. and then just to touch base quickly on what mr. israel said on the idea of these kind of mind fitness training, again, mind, body, health, how we prepare these men and women to function at the highest level possible, and using the most cost-effective ways to do it. i know we mentioned liz stanley, mr. chairman, she's not doing
any more work within the military now and i would just like to say we need to reconsider that and i think not just offer it but ramp it up because i think that would be a huge opportunity for us to reduce some of the suicides. so and increase performance. lastly, and a question. in youngstown at our airbase there, we have the only aerial spray unit, and we are now dealing with the global zika issue, and i see we are reducing our c-130j requests by three, and i just wonder, can you touch upon the zika issue, keeping our troops safe around the world, making sure that we have the capacity to address this issue, and also will the reduction of c-130js affect our ability within the aerial spray unit and others to combat this global problem? you have a minute and a half to kind of deal with all of this. >> if you can do it.
>> i'll be brief and we'll get back to you on the healthy base initiative. we spend $50 billion a year on health care so it is a big part of our budget. obviously like everywhere else in the economy we want to not see that grow too quickly. one of the ways you do that is to keep people healthy and one of the ways you dekeep people healthy is teach them what is healthier. that's an important initiative. the manufacturing institutes are a tremendous success. these are tunnel slr/private partnerships, model ways of doing things and critical to keeping manufacturing and high skilled jobs but more importantly industry supporting defense from our point of view in the united states. i'll say this about zika and get back to you on the c-130j. i'm not aware that in any way the spraying program is at risk as a consequence of the overall
buy. we have several hundred c130js and we ajust the buy accordi accordingly. with respect to zika, we have not been assigned a role yet in that. there are some funds that congress have made available to the department of health and human services for combating see it ka and they're doing various things. we stand ready to help them with research, with spraying, whatever they end up asking for, so we're kind of on tiptoes if we're asked to do things. we've not been asked to do things yet but we'll play a role if we're asked to play a role. >> the only other side of the see it ka vir zika vir us, our commanders identified individuals at high risk, pregnant women and south america and those things and afforded them an opportunity to leave the area, whether at risk forever the zika virus. we're making sure that our force, wherever they're deployed particularly in areas where the zika virus is present, we're taking all the measures to make sure we have a healthy force,
and i would say of the things we do, congressman, you know, our medical professionals are very experienced and very good in preventative health in areas something like this. they're very good at making sure we're proactive and keeping the force healthy and ready. >> thank you. >> thank you. the committee would like to commend the department for addressing the ebola. your command and control of that was very important moving towards its eradication. mr. womack, thank you for your patience. >> thank you mr. secretary, general dunford always great to see you. mr. secretary i'm a big picture guy and it's obvious with your third offset strategy you're a big picture guy. i truly appreciate that. there's another big picture of you that is stark reality, and everybody on this dais knows it. we talk about it a lot, and that's the trajectory of the federal budget and the squeeze that is happening as a result of the growth and the mandatory
programs and the fewer and fewer dollars there seem to be for s discretionary programs including the defense of our country. it's alarming to me and we don't have an answer for that. that said, as a result of sequestration and the budget control act, we have lost a lot of what i believe is readiness capability, because of a very difficult constrained resource environment. it looks like we're going to be trying to buy back some of that readiness now in deferring some of our other obligations to the future, which this congress is pretty good at. i hate to see the department of defense having to do the same but that's the reality of the constrained resource environment that we happen to be in.
i'm just going to throw that out on the table as a concern from this member of congress and ask you to comment and give us the reality of what's happening in the pentagon and how we are having to push a lot of very vital procurement needs to the future to be able to buy back some of this readiness that has been lost to date. >> i'll start and ask the chairman do the same. you're right, we are trying to give priority in this budget both to restoring readiness, particularly full spectrum readiness, and to modernization. we have to balance those two, no question about it. we're trying to find the money for those two priorities elsewhere in the budget, and that's why as i said, the shape of our budget is so different this year and how we're trying to turn a strategic corner. with respect to readiness, each of the services is somewhat different, but they're all
trying to get back to full spectrum readiness. we are funding their return to full spectrum readiness. the stability you gave us with the bipartisan budget act is absolutely critical. without that, we can't be on that trajectory to full spectrum readiness, so the stability is very important and you began your question by talking about everything that goes in to stability, we're only the department of defense. we're part of the discretionary budget. we understand you all have to deal with all of the parts of the federal budget, but we can't just keep focusing all our energy on the discretionary part of the budget, as has been the case and that's why i'm so glad that the budget agreement was reached and gave us some stability but readiness is a big priority for us. i could go through each of the services but i don't have time. let me ask the chairman to
comment in general on readiness. >> two quick comments congressman. thanks for the question. as you know with readiness, we can't actually buy our way out of the problem that we have right now. there's a couple of things that impact. we certainly need resources and we've asked for those. there's a factor of time, it's going to take time. the operational tempo that we're experiencing right now has an effect on readiness, and then some of the impact of the last few years with regard to the industrial base and the maintenance backlog that has resulted there's a physics issues in terms of getting all the equipment fixed that needs to be fixed and of course the modernization that's been deferred also impacts readiness because some of the equipment buys we would have done two, three or four years ago now are out now three, four years from now. but what i would say i tried to do when making recommendations to the secretary for this budget is you look at readiness and you look at force structure and you look at modernization and then you look at the foundational elements of infrastructure and so forth. what my perspective was that, given the resources that we
have, we've got to try to achieve some balance among those four areas, and posture our sefds for the next five or seven years. so you're right, what you don't want to do is make decisions always for the near term that actually mortgage the future. i think in '17 what we really tried to do and that's highlighted by the capability areas that we've emphasized is, we have lived year to year and i know this from previous life as a service chief, we've just tried to get through the fiscal year and we've delayed some of those decisions three to five years. i think we reached a point this year where we recognized in some very critical capability areas we could no longer wait before we started to make those investments. and so what we tried to do is achieve the best balance we could in those four areas i mentioned so that we were making some investment in the future, even while being attentive and i will tell you, job number one has been for the secretary and i making sure that the young men and women we're deploying today have the wherewithal to accomplish the mission with minimal loss of life or equipment. go inthat we made other
decisions to alou us to balance near-term read ints with long-term modernization and of course readiness. i describe that as health of the force today and wellness. the investments you make are about wellness of the force of tomorrow. tough decisions had to be made and again i would say we came out of fy '17 balancing the resources we had the best way we could but you've identified something that actually is my number one concern. my number one is concern less what we're doing in fy '17 or where we are today. my number one concern is where will we be five to seven years now if we don't change the trajectory we're on now. where will we be five to seven years from now if we don't make investments to allow us to have the same conversation this morning where we could say russia is a challenge, sure it is. nk nblg, e north korea, iran, china all challenges. make no mistake about it, we have the competitive advantage and can dominate the chills today. i'm not sure we can say that in 2022 if we're maintaining the same path today and that's what
we're concerned. >> i appreciate the service of the gentlemen and yield back my time. >> we thank you for the service and you didn't put a plug in but others referred to the enormous contribution of our national guard of which you were part of for many, many years. there's a lot of keen interest, i know we're past high noon, but we're going to labor on and let me know if there's any ill ease at the front table. i'd like to talk a little bit about the whole issue of defl t deflecting of our, deconfliction with russians and others in the middle east. can you comment on that? there's a lot of open source information there. we have in iraq we are with the elements of the quds force to some extent we see russian superiority in major portions over syria.
can you talk a little bit about what we're doing? there's a report in "the washington post" that we've been getting sort of a, letting the russians know where certain operations are occurring. can we talk a little bit about that in this session here? >> we can, and i obviously will go into greater detail with you private will i in another sly id i'll start. i'll do syria and you can do iraq or whatever. in terms of the russians in syria, we have a memorandum of understanding with them that is, and the word is accurate and precise to deconflict our war on isil from what the russians are doing, which unfortunately is something quite different, which is supporting assad in the civil war, which is not what they said
they were going to do. and so they're off on a whole wrong trajectory of fueling the civil war in syria, a somewhat separate subject, and we don't agree with them and that we can't align ourselves with that strategy in that way and our deconfliction doesn't mean we're aligning ourselves with the are uses. it means we're working with them so that we don't inadvertently run into each other in the air or on the ground. they are, i have to say, abiding about i that memorandum of understanding. it's very professional. it's military to military at a very operational professional level, not the chairman and me, and the russians conduct themselves in accordance with that agreement, and therefore don't impede our campaign against isil. at the same time, i just have to repeat, we don't otherwise associate ourselves with what the russians are doing in syria
because it's totally wrong-headed. >> in iraq, i mean, to some extent the quds force have been able to unite disparate group of shiite militias and been enormously successful in terms of influencing, you know, the course of action there. i just wonder how, do you have any degree of discomfort, and what's your feeling about what's happening there? >> chairman, thanks. in iraq there's really two issues. you talked about us being collocated with forces. i would tell you from a recent trip i'm satisfied, we have a very aggressive counter intelligence program in iraq to make sure the force protection of our men and women is taken care of. that's a piece of i think what you alluded to. with regard to the provisional military forces that happen to be backed by iran, the one thing i'm encouraged by is the iraqi government particularly in operations like ramadi, they recognize that our support was conditioned on not having those iranian-backed forces in and around that area so they weren't
participating in ramadi. i also know that there is a great deal of energy being applied to talk about how to integrate those forces into legitimate iraqi security forces and we are not at any time providing support for any forces that aren't actually legitimate, read part of the iraqi government in baghdad and under prime minister abadi's control and responsibility. >> we're interested and of course all of us are interested in the issue of force protection and just because at this point in time people that are shall we say cheeked with us are "leaving us alone," one has to assume that they are, that they themselves are doing what we're doing. >> chairman, i can tell you just to make sure it's clear, we are concerned about that. we are watching that very closely, and i wouldn't suggest to you for a minute that we're complacent about it. our commanders on the ground aren't complacent about it either. we have a significant amount of resources dedicated to make sure that we can recognize the
changes and take appropriate action in anticipation of those changes. >> good to have that public reassurance. on the issues of rules of engagement, one of the benefits of congressional travel is that we often separate ourselves from general officers to talk with the men and women who do remarkable things, and i followed a little bit of the lead of my predecessor getting out to bethesda, walter reed and from time to time i run into situations where remarkable people who have done courageous things have been injured, and it bothers me when i hear that they didn't get the air support that they needed. as you've pointed out, maybe the afghans are ready for prime time, but i do hear more than anecdotal information that some of those forces don't fight at night, and as a result, some of
our men have been put in compromising positions. i'd like -- and it's sort of hinges on what in my introductory remarks which were not political, there is a feeling out there, and i this i this is shared by a lot of members of congress, that there's somehow forces of higher up and i understand the chain of command, that are, that people have to check with a variety of different people before they shall we say look after the mission that they are involved in. could you comment a little bit about that and give, again, a level of reassurance here to think that somebody would be sort of checking on you and the remarkable people who are in positions of command, and second-guessing you, assure me that's not happening. >> chairman, again, let me try to explain it.
first of all, i wouldn't understate the concerns of the folks you talked to at bethesda, walter reed or talked in the field. i've talked to them, sometimes they have confusion and questions and believe it or not even though i'm a general they bring it up to me as well. the nice thing about our force they don't hesitate to unload. if you make yourself available for questions you got to be prepared to answer them because they're going to ask them. but i would distinguish, you know, rules of engagement, kind of has become a catch-all phrase for a whole wide range of activities that take place in the battlefield. i can assure you of this. when it comes to the right of self-protection, there's nothing that limits a soldier, sailor, airman or marine from taking appropriate action if they are threatened. no question about that. that's the fundamentals of rules of engagement. what you're really referring to though is when, where, how we employ our arms on the battlefield. i will tell you there are times when those decisions are made at a more senior level and frankly, i made them at a senior level on occasion, because there are strategic implications sometimes
with regard to civilian casualties and so forth. >> collateral damage? >> collateral damage so that sometimes has to be managed. we have vafrious levels of authorities that are associated with the numbers of civilian casualties and the amount of collateral damage that may take place in a certain operation. and that is sometimes elevated to the general officer level. in my experience is that, you know, when it comes to soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines taking action that involves of their right of force protection, they can crush a hand so to speak and call in, combine arms and do what must be doen. when it comes to conducting a deliberate strike that may have strategic implications, we have, we do and we will make those decisions at a level where managed, where risk can be managed appropriately to make sure what appears to be tactical actions with strategic consequences, the decision-making is being made at the right level. in my case it was managing a very difficult relationship with the governor of afghanistan. in some cases, our very presence
and ability to conduct counterterrorism operations was being mangled as a result of these strikes. and so from the troop size, i don't understate for a second their concerns and i try to explain to them just like i've tried to explain to you, it isn't we don't trust you. you can't necessarily see everyone looks through a soda straw in combat and everybody soda straw is slightly different. when you sit there as a commander your soda straw is a little wider than a squad leader or platoon commander. when it comes to them doing what needs to be done to take care of themselves or their unit it's completely decentralized. when it comes to managing broader strategic relationships, sometimes we manage at the level the troops, the lieutenants, the captains would prefer to make the decisions themselves and those of us that have become more senior feel like sometimes we ought to make those decisions in the balance. >> we are, i'm glad to hear it because i do think as our footprint shrinks and there's that certain inevitability that force protection, you know, we
have every soldier and whoever is representing our government, you know, deserves that assurance and i just wanted to make sure you've made it quite clear that that is the case. mr. vislowsky. >> if i return to the european reassurance initiative contained in oco, and we've had a number of interchanges as to difficult in planning year to year, any sense given at least my impression that this is going to be a permanent situation for some period of time, us vis-a-vis the russians, that some of those monies migrate into the base budget as opposed to end up in oco, say in '18? >> the reality there is that this is money that we need to spend on a requirement that has quickly come upon us. therefore, it's appropriate that
it be in oco. there are other things that we're doing about the russians and the kind of threat represented by the russians that are in the base and are part of our enduring investment. so there's a mix here, and i think that, if the question is, are we going to be doing more about the general kind of threat represented by russia and china in the base budget in the future, you see that in fy '17 already, and i think you'll see it in the out years, assuming that what the chairman said is our biggest risk here strategic risk, which is a snap, a collapse of budget agreement and reversion to the budget control act which is what he was referring to early. that's the biggest risk to everything we're trying to do, eri and everything else. >> if i were to ask one more question and more if you want to address the issue of the budget recommendations on health care
retirement, i've mentioned in the past i think congress has a huge burden to bare and blame, not that the administration is always right in these, but something has to be done. mr. womack mentioned mandatory. i mandatory on the civilian side. you suffer from the same problem. what if you would from the administration's perspective your jurs justification of doins from a budgetary standpoint six, seven years out? >> we've made proposals and the department continues to ask for your support and we haven't always gotten the support, not necessarily this committee, but of congress for what we regard as reasonable steps to make our provision of health care more efficient and to cap the rise in the growth of health care costs. we try to do that in a way that's -- doesn't compromise the quality of care, doesn't restrict the number of people receiving care but i'll give you
some examples of that and then perhaps the chair will want to comment on it as well. medical treatment facilities, using them more efficiently. the issue of co-pays, i know, has come up in past years and these are very small co-pays we ask for. their basic purpose is to make people ask themselves do i need to go to an emergency room for this or take a different route. if they need to go the emergency room, we want them to go. it's a little signal in that regard. we try to allocate these efforts across the populations so that we protect the parts of our military family, active duty and retired who have the greatest needs and have fewer -- the fewest alternatives. so we try to do it as carefully as we can. we know it's difficult. we know that we've not received 100% support.
we're grateful for the support we've gotten from this committee and others. but it's tough. it's tough on us. we under it's tough on congress as well. with respect to retirement we do have a, thanks to our partnership with congress, an approach to retirement for new members, blended retirement system. i think that's a good thing. i think it will be good for the all volunteer force going forward, just to remind you for members of service who are already in, they don't have to go that blended retirement if they don't want to, nobody is changing the deal for people in the military. this is a program that will be available to folks in the future. that's a few things about health care, perhaps the chairman would like to add. >> maybe just a quick perspective from where i sit. sometimes we look at health care and compensation as separate from training and equipment. to me it's all about taking care of people. it's all about our number one
responsibility which is to bring our young people home alive. and to keeping faith. so there's a balance. i can just share with you why we're so focused on these areas now. as a service chief, in the marine corps, they have a little bit different dynamic, in the department as a whole we spend 55% close to 60% if we keep going on people. in the marine corps we spent close to 70% on people. in health care i think it's gone from 4% of the budget to some 9% of the budget if i'm not mistaken. so as i started to as a service chief look at the trajectory of the cost to people i realize look there's absolutely no way i can make sure these folks are properly train and equipped as well as paid, compensated. there's a balance that has to be achieved. these initiatives are, in fact, design. number one provide better programs to recruit and retain high quality people but also to start control the costs and take care of people. when i explain this to families they get it. when i talk to spouse, even, i
say look here's the reason why we try to control the cost of personnel over the last couple of years. we used to spend and this was again a service perspective we used to spend 12% on modernization. now i'm close down to 8%. at the end of the day you may be well paid, live in a good house, have good medical care but we may not have the wherewithal to provide you with the best training and equipment. spouses look at me and say hey you better not compromise on the equipment and training you provide to my loved one. to me this is a question -- i look at compensation holistically. it's the entire package that ensures we have the most well trained, most well equipped and most well incentivized force we can possibly have. i appreciate the latitude we've had to make these decisions. we share high quality people that are recruited and retained and frankly in the right skill sets and so forth and we also
share making sure when we ask them to do something we give them the wherewithal to properly do it. >> one real quick followup, back to eri for just a moment the rotational brigades and a plug for the reserve component since my chairman brought that up just a minute ago. rotational brigades idea for formation. does a lot of things. won't go into all of those here. state partnership programs particularly with host nation support. the relationships that are forged there become combat multipliers for us if necessary. so just put in a plug for that. i've gotten to no general hodges pretty well and what a remarkable person to be able to make 30,000 look like 300,000 on a given day. and i know he relies heavily on these state partnership programs for that too.
i just throw that out there and ask for your continued support in that regard. >> thank you. i know two gentlemen that have done most of the speaking today also rely on secretary michael mccord and while he didn't say anything may i commend you the close relationship you had with our staff and other committee members. never been a time when we've requested information that we haven't gotten the facts that we needed to do the job. >> thank you, mr. chairman. if i could make -- >> please do. >> on the discussion on the imis and the value of those. we're looking carefully at possibly sending programming this year to create one more. not a final decision. but that's a possibility. >> you could be sure we would take a look at all the reprograms you send. and ask for full -- yes. >> i would be remiss as a notre dame grad for congratulating the comptroller on defeating notre
dame and next day they beat the women's maryland team. rolls on forever. >> i wasn't going to bring that up. >> that's why i respect. >> i thank you for thanking undersecretary mccord. he's terrific and we're very much benefiting and i'm delighted to hear that he works so well. >> on behalf of the remarkable men and women you represent, please extend our thanks and gratefulness for their dedication and service, all volunteers and as i said at the beginning the best of america. we need to look after them and their families. we stand adjourned. thank you very much.dgr
the safety of the nation's food supply is the topic of the hearing this morning. held by the house homeland security subcommittee on emergency preparedness. safety of the nation's food supply in case of a natural disaster or terror attack. the subcommittee is chaired by congressman dan donovan of new york.
while we wait, show you discussion now on how president obama and the senate should proceed in filling the now vacant supreme court seat. member of the judiciary committee in the house, you got a big hearing coming up next week on apple encryption and the fbi. where do you currently stand on that issue? >> well at this point in time, this is going become one of the defining issues here in the next little bit. we talked -- we've had classified hearing already in the judiciary but we can be on a slippery slope. i think apple is fighting back. i think they should be fighting back. because i believe that if you -- i guess where does it start and where does it stop? the question is not just a one off here. not simply saying where is, can apple give me this phone on just this information but where do we really start and stop this conversation? it does need to be handled the courts.
it does need be a one off between the department of justice and apple. this needs to be solved on capitol hill. we need to make a determination in congress on what the issue is and how we're looking best to protect the country. now i served in iraq. i've been overseas.wb0g i understand the terrorist threat that we're in. but also there's very much a concern here that you're the, the government is coercing someone to do something, not to stop something, not to -- they are saying you will give us a way in. you know, almost an analogous saying is there a skeleton key for everybody's house. is there a balance to be struck? yes. it does not need to be struck in the courts. starting with hearings next week. >> fbi director comey spoke on capitol hill yesterday and i just want you to get to respond a little bit of his argument. >> this case and all cases are very, very important but there's a broader policy question, that is far larger than any individual case that we all have to grapple with.
but to the case, first i think the answer would best come from a technical expert and a good lawyer. i'm neither of those but i'll take a shot at it. i do think that it is potentially, whatever the judge's decision is in california, i'm sure it will be appealed no matter how it ends up, will be instructive for other courts and there may will be other cases that involve the same kind of phone and the same operating system. what the experts have told me is the combination -- here's where i'll get out of my depth of a 5c and this particular operating system is unusual that it's unlikely to be a trail blazer because of technology being the limiting principle. but, sure, a decision by a judge, the judge weighing a decision in brooklyn right now all of those decisions will guide how other courts handle similar requests. >> i think it's what i just said. the reason that i have. he talks about a judge in california, a judge in new york,
judges in different areas. do we really want to take an issue in which most people carry the iphone, carry a data phone no matter who the manufacturer is, are we going leave that up to multiple jurisdictions opinions on how we answer this question? in this case they make a compelling case it's one phone of a dead terrorist and say we'll take this one phone. next question you get a court order for them to do that for that phone what's the next step to get a court order for what they want to do. that's the concern. i think that's the bigger issue. and why i disagree with the fbi director here who i believe intentions are good but i have a healthy skepticism on the privacy aspect especially when we throw national security interest as the reason that we need to make an exception. >> doug collins from the hill this morning, house conservative leaders want to break the spending deal. there seems to be quite a bit of talk about a budget resolution and whether or not the republicans can pass one.
>> that's going to be an interesting time. i for one voted against the bill that actually did raise the caps. i believe we got to get back to priority spending. something i talked about all over since i've been elected. we're not empowered to spend any more. we're simply looking at ideas and saying we got manufacture because we got about 80% of our budget is off the books. we don't touch it. we don't deal with medicaid, medicare, big items driving the small and smaller percentage of our discretionary spending. we've done a good job of cutting. down to 2008 discretionary spending levels. the deficit has come down. it's not where i want it to be. the question is now are we going to make this conscious decision that many republicans, in fact the mast majority of republicans voted against back in october to do this and now we're saying is this the way we want to go forward and i think it will be a very hard lift. >> how is paul ryan doing in your view? >> he's doing what he said he would do. he's been working with
individuals. he's been working with different members. he has always made the decision that i might have made? >>. but he never promised he would. but i'll open up the process. i served in a situation in which we now have members who were openly critical of previous speakers who serve on the steering committee. paul ryan gave up power. for anybody who thinks this speaker is the same as the last speaker look at what's happened. we're seeing more amendments being made in order, more debate and encouraging our committees to have a debate that we need to have. >> yesterday in the "new york times" was an article about the house, and about paul ryan. i don't know if you saw it. >> i heard a little bit about it. >> i'll sum it up and i'll be incorrect but i hope i get it right which is essentially paul ryan is trying to develop a conservative platform. and use the house as the model. the senate is not, it's more of
a -- we're going to play a little bit of small ball here. is the congress going to be relevant this year in the political debate? >> i want it to be. i don't believe -- i said this many times. i don't believe my kids and my wife back home come up here and basically what i say many times go through the motions. i like the fact we're looking at a bigger agenda. election year politics from presidential to other times are going to affect our debate process. but you look from a conservative perspective, you take any major issue in this country over the last two to three years, especially the house has taken it up, passed it and sent it to the senate. many times we get to it the senate and they are not taking it up. they get caught in their votes, won't discuss the filibuster issue. it's very frustrating. i go back home. this past week i did many town halls and one in particular it got to the point they asked the question. here's what we passed. what happened to it. it went to the senate and couldn't get the votes.
sits legislative reality. if we don't start putting ideas together and the senate, even in an election year, we're always in cycle -- didn't catch up on anybody here. the american people, you can see it in the presidential race and congressional races they are simply saying get out there, fight for what matters, fight for getting our country back in fiscally order. let us just get up and go to work and let government be the government of a deft touch and not a heavy touch. we're seeing the electorate discuss that and also very passionate and inflamed way. >> you originally supported scott walker for president. who are you supporting today? >> after we left scott walker threat race and left us -- >> communications will come to order. the subcommittee's meeting today to receive testimony regarding the efforts to defend our nation's food and agricultural sector. i now recognize myself for an opening statement. let me first say this is my last subcommittee hearing that i will
be chairing. technical lly i've handed my gal to my colleague from new york. since we planned this hearing we decided to do our change of command ceremony at the end of the hearing. it's an honor to be chairing this subcommittee and working with my colleagues and ranking member mr. payne. i'll be remaining on the subcommittee but i'll be chairing the maritime subcommittee now, which is obviously quite important for my district and looking forward to continued leadership opportunities. back to the topic at hand. throughout this congress this subcommittee on emergency preparedness response and communications has taken a deep dive into the world of biological terrorism. we've held hearings to sees the threat, tuned scope of the biodefense problem, and examine federal programs aimed attackling some of the biodefense challenges. our oversight thus far has primarily been on the human impacts of biological terrorism. today we'll take a different perspective and look at the
impacts to the nation from a terrorist attack on or natural disruption of our agricultural or food systems. an attack would impact the most basic of human needs. the food we eat. furthermore the food in the agricultural sector is critically important to our nation's economy. u.s. food and agriculture accounts for roughly one fifth of the nation's economic activity. it's responsible for one out of every 12 u.s. jobs. in my home state of arizona ranching and agriculture contributes around $10 billion a year to the state's economy. intentional attack or natural disruption of u.s. agriculture or food therefore would present a serious threat to this nation and cause major economic damage on a number of levels. there will be costs related to containing disease and destruction of livestock. compensating farmers for loss of agricultural commodities and
losses in other related industries and trade embargoes imposed by other nations. intelligence indicates terrorists have discussed vulnerabilities in various components of this sector. food and agriculture is an attractive target to terrorists because many agents are easy to obtain. minimal technology is required to execute an attack and our food travels across the country and world quickly and efficiently. furthermore even if there are few human casualties, an attack would undermine public confidence in the government. increasing general concerns about the safety of our food supply as well as the effectiveness of biological defense planning. this goes to the heart of what we know groups like isis are trying to do. terrorize by all means possible. we only need to look at the impacts of the highly pathogeni influenza, a devastating act how an intentional act could be.
18 trading partners banned all imports of u.s. poultry and products and additional 28 trading partner imposed other ban. this high liked the challenge the sector faces related to effective biosecurity, especially during a large scale response. we must ensure we're able to assess our level of preparedness for any major type of disruption to u.s. food or agriculture. our goal today is to gain a better understanding of what government along with the private-sector and academia are doing. we hope to gain a better understanding of the scope of the problem. and identify ways in which we as members of congress focus on homeland security issues can help prevent attacks and improve
our readiness and our ability to respond. i hope to hear about information sharing with the government. is food and agriculture engaged in our process including things like the fusion centers. are your getting the threat and risk information you need? i want to understand your connectedness to the human health side of things. our current biosurveillance systems integrating the human animal and plant data to form one true one health picture. with that i welcome our witnesses and look forward to your testimony. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new jersey mr. payne for any opening statement he may have. >> thank you, madam chair, and good morning to all here. i would like to thank subcommittee chair for holding today's hearing. and madam chair, i wish you the best of luck as you take over the subcommittee on border and maritime security. biological threats are evolving.
as these athletes evolve so toes our perspective about how we can best protect against the damage that they can inflict. this subcommittee has historically focused on the human health impact of the biological threats. i am pleased that we're expanding the scope of our oversight to include the impact to u.s. agriculture in the food supply. i represent the 10th congressional district of the state of new jersey. now my district is not known for its rolling fields of corn, hog pens or open cattle ranges. it is, however, home of the port of newark and newark liberty international airport. customs and protection agricultural specialists' airport clear up 20,000 passengers every day. at port north, one of the busiest ports on the east coast, specialists inspect imported food, items, marble slabs, tiles
and wood packing material all of which can carry insects and other snails that could harm our domestic agriculture. yet, just this week i heard the cpb employees in my district about insufficient agricultural specialist staffing. the port of newark and newark international airport are top performing ports with top interception numbers and several first in the nation insect finds. but i am concerned that unless the staffing challenges are resolved there's a risk that a new foreign insect could go undetected and do harm to an agricultural industry and the safety of the food supply. although i recognize that we may not be able to stop every dangerous insect or pathogen from entering our borders we
must be vigilante. i also recognize there's domestic risk to the agricultural industry and the food supply. related to natural disasters and emerging diseases and bad actors. last year, for example, an avian influenza outbreak was responsible for $400 million in losses to the ag and poultry industry and consumers paid the price at the grocery store. although the avian influenza was a naturally occurring event the financial loss sustained served as a sobering example of the economic damage that's significant agricultural incident could inflict. the food and agricultural industry is valued at nearly a trillion dollars in the united states and it is critically -- critically to open the american people's -- the american people is without question. that is why the federal
government has designated the food and agricultural sector a critical infrastructure sector since 2003. although there are multiple efforts to enhance the security of the agricultural industry under way at the federal and state level as well as within the industry, significant challenges remain. for example, earlier this month this subcommittee held a hearing on the department of homeland security's struggle to achieve a national bio surveillance capability to collect and analyze biosurveillance data related to human health, animal health and plant health. unfortunately, this bio surveillance integration center has struggled to effectively execute its mission for nearly a decade. to the detriment of efforts to improve the agricultural bio surveillance capabilities. i'll be interested to know what, if any, recommendations the
witnesses have to improve the national bio surveillance capability in that regard. additionally, i would be interested in understanding how information related to emergie s ing and terrorist threats is shared with stakeholders in the agricultural industry and whether the information is actionable. finally i'm eager to learn from our witnesses how the private sector, educational institutions and nongovernment entities can play an active role in developing, and enhancing biosecurity protocols for the agricultural industry as a whole. i thank the witnesses for being here today. i look forward to hearing your testimony. madam chair w-that i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you. other members of the subcommittee are reminded that opening statements may be submitted for the record. we're pleased to have a very
distinguished panel before us. dr. doug mikus is a north carolina veterinarian. he served as branch chief at u.s. department of homeland security where he provided oversight and management of the department's implementation of homeland security presidential directive 9. defense of the united states agricultural and food integrating the efforts of other dhs components and coordinating them with the appropriate federal agencies. dr. tammy beckham is dean of the college of veterinary medicine at kansas state university. she served as director of the institute for infectious animal diseases, a department of homeland security center of excellence in college station, texas where she led the effort to perform research and develop
products to defend the nation from high consequence foreign animal emerging and other diseases. did i say that right? excellent. i was a premed biology major in college. my professors would not be proud of me. anyway. dr. beckham also served as director of the texas a&m veterinary medical die agnostic lab. previously dr. beckham was director of the foreign animal disease diagnostic center in new york. her responsibilities include managing diagnosis of animal diseases, overseeing diagnostic test for nationwide system and coordinating efforts with the department of homeland security and national animal health laboratory networks. dr. bobby acord has been a
consultant for the national pork producers council since 2004. prior to that he served as administrator for the u.s. department of agriculture. from 20010 to 2004. as afis he was responsible for protecting u.s. health from exotic pests and diseases. carried out wildlife management activities. he served as afis associate administrator from 1999 to 2001. dr. brian williams is an assistant extension professor at the mississippi state university department of agricultural economics. dr. williams focus on the primary areas of commodity marketing, farm management, production economics and agricultural policy. since joining the department he has served as a member of the
mississippi state university disaster response team where he has focused on assessing damage to the agricultural sector after natural disasters. the witnesses full written statements will appear in the record. the chair now recognizes dr. mekes for five minutes. >> chairman mcsally, ranking member of payne, identify prepared a short response. my name is doug mekes i'm director of the veterinary division in north carolina. the division serves the poultry industry, livestock industry and manages and operates four veterinary diagnostic laboratories in north carolina. thank you for the opportunity to speak about north carolina's ongoing efforts to communicate with stakeholders during emergencies. north carolina enjoys a robust agriculture business which contributes nearly $80 billion
annually to north carolina's economy. 67% of that figure is associated with animal agriculture. the industry accounts for 17% of states income and employs 16% of the workforce. chairman mcsally and ranking member payne have spoken knowledge about the food and ag sectors and i will not speak to that. but mindful of the contributions of the food in ag sector to the nation in january 2004, homeland security presidential directive 9 was related and established a national policy to defend agriculture, food and food systems against terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies. included in hs 9 were 18 line items which provide guidance to address then identified gaps in our nation's ability to identify agriculture and food. 12 years later gaps remain in our efforts to full the directives. i will speak to north carolina's concerns over three of those
gaps today. federal state and local response capabilities, availability of vaccine for foot-and-mouth disease and national animal health laboratory network resources. line item 14 of hs 9 directs participating departments and agencies to ensure that the federal state and local response capabilities are adequate to respond effectively to a terrorist attack to major disease outbreak or other disaster. even before hs 9 my predecessor in north carolina recognized the need for such capability. and that need was precipitated bay series of events in the state, in the nation and internationally. in september 1999 hurricane floyd made land fall in north carolina and that resulted in $813 million in agricultural loss. in february of 2001 an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the united kingdom cause ad crisis in agriculture and tourism. finally 9/11 brought new concerns of attacks on our
agriculture and food systems. the likelihood of agro terrorism for the purpose of generating fear and causing economic losses and undermining social stability took on new meaning. in the midst of these events north carolina's veterinary division lost an effort to meet the challenges of agriculture and food in the 21st century. as a result the emergency programs division was created within the department to reduce the vulnerability, minimize the impact of any manmade or natural disaster or terrorist attack and to facilitate a rapid return to normalcy. now it's reached maturity and has more fulfilled its hazardous response mission. development of this capability has been funded by state and various federal grants. $18 million in state fund, 7.3 million in federal funds,
relatively small investment. consider what similar investments would mean to other states so affected. minnesota experienced 1.6 to 1.8 billion on 180 premises. continued federal, state funding will be necessary to maintain current capability to develop new capability to train, to exercise, to replace equipment as-needed. unfortunately funding for north carolina's emergency program division continues to decline in places the state's preparedness and response at risk. north carolina's second concern line item 18a of hs 9 speaks to the necessarytive developing a national veterinary stockpile containing sufficient amounts of animal vaccine, anti-virals, therapeutic products to respond to the most damaging animal diseases. foremost in minds of states with most agricultural production is possibility of foot-and-mouth disease outbreak.
certainly that's the case in north carolina. home to 9 million hogs. the size, the structure, the efficiency and extensive movement inherent in the livestock industry will present unp unprecedented challenges. it will requires tens of millions of doses of foot-and-mouth vaccine. however there are not tens of millions of doses of foot-and-mouth disease available. not anywhere in the world. because there is no excess production capacity. current production meets daily needs. and there is no excess capacity. the reality has been evident since 2004 when the national veterinary stockpile was created but there's never been sufficient funding for the stockpile -- to stockpile foot-and-mouth vaccines. fmd remains north carolina's animal agriculture greatest athlete. the pork industry, the economy, communities, businesses and families in north carolina would be devastated bay
foot-and-mouthoutbreak. a cooperative collaborative effort which includes all stakeholders must be initiated to develop and implement a plan for establishing an effective stock pill. north carolina's third concern is veterinary diagnostic laboratory capability. line item 8, directs departments and agencies to develop a nationwide laboratory network for food, veterinary planned health and water resources that integrate federal and state laboratory resources. the national animal health laboratory network was created as a result of this directive and is now part of the nationwide strategy to coordinate the work of all organizations providing animal disease, surveillance and testing services. north carolina's veterinary diagnostic laboratory system is a part diagnosing animals. however state and federal support of and full funding for the nation's nonlaboratory
system are necessary to optimize capability. the absence of full funding for the nom was recently noted in the bipartisan report on biodefense which stated, the nom has struggled to maintain even $10 million worth of annual funding. it's appropriations cutoff the years to pay for other programs. as a result laboratories are unable to meet the threat and at times eliminate positions in testing capacity for foreign animal diseases. after struggling for years to obtain sufficient funding congress in 2014 authorized a specific funding line for nom of $15 million. nom must be funded at this towards level in order to meet need. thank you for the opportunity to speak today on behalf of north carolina about issues related to the defense of food and agriculture. i'm happy to address any questions you may have. >> thank you, dr. mekes. the chair now recognizes dr. beckham for five minutes. >> good morning chairman
mcsally, ranking member payne and members of the house subcommittee on emergency preparedness response and communications. my name is tammy beckham and i'm the dean of the kansas state college of veterinary medicine. thank you for the opportunity to sanctify today about the role that we play. as i testified before you today u.s. citizens reap the benefits of an industry that provides them access to a safe and affordable food supply. it is also more vulnerable to natural or intentional biological agent. more than of our agricultural industries are at risk from a variety of threats to disrupt our economy. threats to our u.s.ing aal sector can come in a variety of forms to include natural or foreign animal emerging. many agents on the list of those
most likely to be utilized execute an agro terror event such at foot-and-mouth disease or ebola is particular in countries such as islamic state, al qaeda, boko haram have intent to harm the united states. any of these agents could lead to devastating economic and public late implications with the most recent study completed by researchers at kansas state university predicting the cost would result in a total of $188 billion in losses. our ability to defend the u.s. livestock industries from these threats is heavily dependent on a coordinated collaborative and comprehensive approach involving state and federal government, law enforcement, industry both biofarmer, livestock and
academia. academia play very unique and critic role in supporting the agricultural defense mission. working with our stakeholders and federal partners we perform cutting-edge research. our ability to work in each segment of the development pipeline provides subject matter expertise, perform research to address specific questions and act as a hub for reach back capabilitys is some of the attributes that makes academia a strong partner. we work hard about informing the public about technology. we have strong relationships with our stakeholders built on trust and understanding and perhaps most importantly to homeland security provide a venue for brokered unbiassed discussion and communication between the state and federal government and our agricultural
sector. we're in a unique position to facilitate discussion and oftentimes work to bridge the trust gaps socom pleks strategies can be found. we're capable as acting as a trusted partner in what can be a very complex relationship. colleges of veterinary medicine and agriculture across the u.s. are playing the most important role in homeland security and that's teaching, training and preparing the next generation of homeland security workforce. our graduates do indeed understand the role of animal health and success of the nation's agricultural system and further recognize that veterinarians serve as the first line of defense in identifying transboundary diseases. i would be remiss not to mention that on a site adjacent to the kansas state university dhs is constructing the national bioagro defense. this presents an opportunity to
further strengthen resource are for addressing the threat. these a need to allocate adequate resources as well to address the nation's vulnerability in this area. efforts such as dhs northwest territories of excellence should receive additional resourcing. and increased funding for programs housed within the national bioagro defense facility. with construction of the state-of-the-art 1.25 billion facility it's critical to ensure a stable and appropriate level of resources and funding for the research and training and diagnostic missions housed within it. current budget for usda and dhs do not account for the planned expansion of the programs and research diagnostic and training that will occur in the new facility. so i urge you today to increase
agency budgets in the future for the mission so that the full potential of the facility and it's dhs and usda programs and partnerships to include the national laboratory network can be achieved. in summary, address tlegt posed by the intentional or unintentional introduction of how consequence is a collaborative process. the role of academics is one component. preparedness is and will be dependent on a holistic enterprise approach and solving the complex problems will depend on a strong public/private partnership that's built on trust, collaboration and resolve. finally, chairman mcsally, ranking member payne and members of the subcommittee i want to thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, dr. beckham. the chair now recognizes mr. acord for five minutes. >> madam chairwoman, ranking member payne, members of the subcommittee, the u.s.
department of agriculture industry in the u.s. food supply always have been at great risk from pest and disease. that risk has continued to increase over the years because of increases in travel, tourism and trade. each passenger handbag, each piece of luggage brought into the united states poses a risk. every parcel mailed to the u.s. poses a risk. large volumes of commodities and products from a wide range of countries are transported legally and some illegally to the united states every year by different conveyances all of which may be carrying a disease or hitchhiking pest. now the country faces a new risk, terrorists weaponizing disease to create harm on the u.s. economy. of particular concern to the livestock industry is foot-and-mouth disease. it affects all clove and hoof animals. this makes the u.s. particularly vulnerable to a large scale
foot-and-mouth disease outbreak. there's an estimated 1 million pigs and 400 cattle moved daily. some over long distance and numerous auctions, fair, exhibits that concentrate large numbers of animals in a single location. those moments and concentrations provide opportunities for just one infected or exposed animal to infect many others. the u.s. industry is also concerned about african swine fever that has reared its ugly head in russia, belarusvmzóñ an eastern european countries that border russia and those other countries. it's a disease from which there's no means of control. as dr. mekes mentioned there's an insufficient quantity of foot and mount disease. with support of the livestock industry, we have vaccination in
smallest of outbreaks. in discussing how this policy would be implemented there's not enough vaccine to deal with an outbreak, and there is no capability of finding or producing a sufficient quantity to deal with an outbreak in the u.s. the livestock industry made it clear a stluolution to the vacc shortage must have an antigen type and contract be awarded for surge capacity to produce sufficient quantity of vaccine in the event of an outbreak in the livestock herd. there are gaps in the u.s. biosecurity system and most outbreaks the first problem encountered is lack of bio security which contributes to the spread of disease. one solution in addition to test exercises federal and state agencies need a morrow bust review of bio security measures
in each section of the agriculture industry. we need morrow bust scrutiny of imports. federal agencies are relying too much on the ports of entry as the first line of defense. more emphasis must be placed on what happens during procession, production of products in countries of origin. we had an out break in the united states in 2013. and the means and method by which that introduction was brought to the u.s. has never been discovered. if that gap in the security system is still open then it's open for fmd and all other diseases as well. we have a serious problem with animal traceability in this country. it's inadequate for the use in an animal disease outbreak. it's not even recognized as adequate to meet the requirements of some of the major u.s. trading partners. many of the short falls identified today are the result
of lack of adequate resources. risk to u.s. agriculture and u.s. food supply have increased dramatically over the last few years and have now been exacerbated by threat of terrorists targeting agriculture production. at the same time, funding provided to maintain the country's safeguarding system has been reduced. we simply can't have it both ways. in conclusion there seems tube growing consensus that there are sears flaws in the country's preparedness to deal with threats to the u.s. agriculture and food supply. the bipartisan report of the blue ribbon study panel on biodefense high liked the need for improvements in the system for texting u.s. livestock herd and the nation's food supply. a lot of information has been gathered from that report, from thaergs that you've healed, from hearings that have been held in the depth -- department of agriculture. there's a lot of information that's now been developed and i want seems that from the
perspective of the national pork producers council and probably more largely the livestock industry it's time to take action and to work with the obama administration to let's fill these gaps and let's not continue to just look let's act at this point. thank you and i would be happy to answer any questions. >> thank you. the chair recognizes mr. williams for five minutes. >> chairman mcsally and members of the subcommittee thank you for the opportunity to appear today to talk about the risk that our nation face from agro tourism. i spend a large portion of my time studying ag markets. our country's ag and food production system faces many challenges today. one of which is the risk of a major disruption to the system. it is essential that we be prepared to face these threats, to prevent and/or minimize the
impacts they may have on our food system. as mentioned by my fellow witnesses our poultry faces a devastating influenza outbreak in 2015. in iowa alone 30 million layers were lost and 1.5 turkeys were lost resulting in a direct impact. other industries are also impacted. this is known as a multiplier effect and that multiplier effect resulted in a total economic impact of $1.2 billion and more than 8,000 jobs lost. on a positive note, some of those losses in iowa were partially offset with increases in sales in other states. mississippi alone, egg producers year-over-year increase in sales. keep in mind those increased egg prices were also passed on to consumers. so there's a negative on that side of things as well.
prior to the avian influenza outbreak the poultry industry had several bio security measures put in place by several companies who own the birds and contract the producers to grow and raise those birds. the state and federal agencies also helped to develop those guidelines. despite all of these mers that were already in place, the industry was not prepared for an outbreak when disaster struck. in the time since the outbreak industry leaders, state agencies and federal agencies have all come together to develop a plan to quickly and efficiently address future outbreaks. this can also be applied to agro terrorism and provides an excellent framework for other industries to work from. one benefit of agriculture is the production is spread over a wide area. as a result natural disasters and other disruptions are quite common but typically have minimal impacts.
the snowstorm about a month ago that hit the state of nebraska, but shut down the packing, meat-packing industry for nearly two days. yet the markets didn't respond to that shock. another example, a similar snowstorm earlier this year in texas and new mexico killed more than 30,000 dairy cows. and caused significant damage on a local level. yet nationally, the be milk futures only increased for a week before returning to their previous levels. one of the greatest threats from agritourism we face is an introduction that can shut down our export industry. an example of this is in 2003 when we had a bse cow test positive for bse in washington state that shut down our export industry on our beef cattle.
it took seven years for exports to return back to the level that they were before that positive test of bse. but despite that shut down in exports the that shut down, the cattle markets were not impacted on a large scale. with with fruits and vegetables, the biggest threat we face is something that could potentially harm us as humans. the introduction of e. coli or salmonella. they are grown outside in the ground or close to the grouped. they are susceptible from a natural from birds or introduced from terrorists. there is a system some place to detect and track these introductions, there is still room for improvement in the area. the damage must be on a large
scale to have a significant impact on the nation's economy. the biggest threat that we face right now is drought. a widespread drought, as we saw in 2012. the 2012 drought took nearly three years for our nation's grow crop industry to really get back to normal levels. the other thing to keep in mind on that side of things is conditions have to be nearly perfect at the field level for a terrorist to introduce a pathogen that would really take hold and spread. so the likelihood of that is not very high. in conclusion, past incidences have shown the usa g sector is remarkably resilient.
what is really key to minimizing these effects is to take measures to keep them at a localized level. if these impacts are at a localized level or ag sector has shown a remarkable ability to bounce back from these types of incidences. ? great. thank you, dr. williams. the chair will recognize myself for five minutes for questions. i want to be efficient with my time. this committee has very much been focused on fusion centers and information sharing not just between buehrle partners but federal, state, and local. not just on the government side but with private sector and others that need a place or maybe can be a place regionally or statewide to come together and get the information that they need on threats and, you know, sharing information with both directions. i would love to hear pro expect if's from any of the witnesses
whether you have been invited or involved in any of your fusion centers or whether that is an area we need to improve to be voting members to industry to address the agri terrorism threat and to have that shared at the fusion centers. >> the chairman, i'll speak to our situation in north carolina. as i indicated, the emergency programs division came into being in 2002. and they have been intimately involved with law enforcement, with emergency management response teams all across the state of north carolina with the fusion centers. and, again, i would suggest that the emergency programs division model might be something that other states would consider. because it has taken the burden of trying to manage that piece of agriculture and food defense off our veterinary division in that this group focuses solely
on what's needed for a response. and of course we are integrated with them on a day-to-day basis in all activities. so, yes, in answer to your question, north carolina does have input and does receive input from the fusion centers and emergency management. >> is that all virtual? or do you have somebody that is invited there or sits there? are there ttps? >> we actively engaged immediately our emergency operations center for the state of north carolina. and we would have run out of that emergency operation center. >> to my knowledge, there has been no discussion or contact from those centers with the pork industry. i haven't heard of any. i can make you aware of one
circumstance where communication is not good. and with the national animal health laboratory network. the challenge that we have there is that most of these laboratories can't communicate with each other. and that's serious, serious consequence of not being able to immediately post what you find in a laboratory in minnesota, iowa, kansas. and that has to be fixed if we're going to have an effective system. and it current doesn't work. >> interesting. doctor? >> that goes back to biosurveillance and having the ability for systems to communicate with each other to include the laboratory systems as currently stands right now, the ability for the labs to message test results and communicate with one another as dr. a corn says is not as robust as it could be. in addition, getting information from the field, from the
veterinarians to the state animal health official or two other officials who need to have that information, right now there is not a robust system out there for that. there are some efforts under way that are all of enterprise efforts from the industries to the health officials funded by department of homeland security and coordinated with usda to develop surveillance systems that ultimately can talk between each other in the diagnostic labs. but that's still under way. it has not reached its full potential, much less even broached the idea of communicating with our public health sector. >> so we had a hearing about two weeks ago taking a look at biosurveillance systems and particularly look at national biosurveillance integration center. so is that the place -- there's a lot of shortfalls and shortcomings to that.
in nirvana, is that a place that should be integrating in a very two-way and across regionally as well? >> so i think there's some challenges associated with that. i think some of the challenges are the willingness to share information. someone has to act as a trusted agent, which is what i a leaded to in my testimony. the industries, i will, willing to share information, but the information has to be protected. there has to be clear policies and procedures on how one will react to certain types of information. so those things need to be worked out. and i think, you know, one of the projects i had previously worked on was headed that way. if you could get people to share information. more importantly, you have to give them something back. they can't just give you information and you not give anything back. so it's a two-way street. there has to be good communication and there has to be truck. i'm not sure that is the place for that. i would let my other witnesses
up here comment on that. i think dug is ready to do that. but i can sure tell you that academia is a good place or maybe another third party that can act as a trusted agent would be a great place to hold information or to share information. i'll say one more thing. the unique thing about some of the systems out there now, you don't have to hold the information. you can reach back to that information and gather that information and only use it when you need to use it. therefore it stays with the owner, the actual owner of the information. so that's another way getting access to information and being able to utilize information but not storing information in big data bases, which can sometimes be very scary. >> now that you are saying that, it just made me think of a parallel we had with cybersecurity. and we actually passed legislation out of this committee providing to build the trust and liability issues so
they could share what information is. i have more questions but i'm out of time. i'm go on a second round. i want to give time to ranking member payne for five minutes. >> thank you, madam share. this question is for all the witnesses. what is the biggest gap in our ability to mitigate the effects of an agri terrorism event and what is the most critical investment we can make to prevent such an event? >> early detection. early detection is key. so we've got to know something is here. we've got to be able to localize it, keep it localized. so early detention, biosurveillance. the investment of these laboratories, the investment of that infrastructure is critical.
vaccines are a good way for foot and mouth disease. compare it to what we put in the national veterinary stockpile. we do not have the funding to prepare the nation to respond on to with vaccines and diagnostics. we have to have the capabilities to respond. in order to do that, we have to have the resources allocated before. we cannot be reactive. we have to be proactive. >> $1 million to $2 million. contrast to the strategic national