tv Hearing on U.S. Army Posture CSPAN April 8, 2016 10:01pm-12:31am EDT
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for the complete schedule go to c-span.org. army chief of staff general mark milley says the u.s. is at a quote high military risk due to low troop readiness levels and emerging threats. he made the statement while testifying alongside acting army secretary patrick murphy at a senate armed services hearing. the two were questioned by lawmakers about the u.s. role in iraq, defense mods dern nigh zags efforts, women in come bath and the pentagon's 2017 budget request. this is two and a half hours.
well good morning. we receive testimony on the posture of the united states army and review of the defense authorization request for fiscal year 2017, and the future year's defense program. i'm pleased to welcome acting secretary much too young patrick murphy and army chief of staff general mark milley. i thank you both for your years of distinguished service and your continued leadership of our army. 15 years of war have tested our army but time and time again our soldiers have met that test, and proved their commitment, courage and determination. it's the duty of this committee and this congress to do our utmost to provide them the support they need and deserve. that starts by recognizing that our army is still at war. at this moment, 186,000 soldiers are deployed in 140 locations around the globe. they're fighting terrorists and training our partners in afghanistan and supporting the
fight against isil, all the while defending south korea and reassuring our allies in eastern europe. the demands on our soldiers only continues to increase as the threats to our nation grow more diverse, more complex and more severe. but despite the stark and urgent realities of the threats to our nations and the risks they pose to our soldiers, the president continues to ask the army to do more with less and he's done so once again with his defense budget request. the president should have requested the defense budget that reflects the scale and scope of the national security threats we face and the growing demands they impose on our soldiers. instead, he chose to request the lowest level of defense spending authorized by last year's budget agreement and submitted defense budget that is actually less in real dollars than last year. a budget that will force our army to confront growing threats and increasing operational demands with shrinking and less ready forces and aging equipment.
by the end of the next fiscal year, the army will be cut down to 450,000 active duty soldiers from a wartime peak of 570,000. these budget driven, i repeat budget driven force reductions were decided before the rise of isil or the russia's invasions of ukraine. ignoring these strategic facts on the ground the budget request continues down the path to an army of 450,000 soldiers, an army that general h.r. mcmaster, an individual known to all of us as one of the wisest soldiers, testified earlier this week "the risk of being too small, risks being too small to secure the nation." we should be very clear when we minimize our army, we maximize the risk to our soldiers, the risk that in a crisis they will be forced to enter a fight too
few in number and without the training and equipment they need to win. that risk will only grow worse if mindless sequestration cuts are allowed to return and the army shrinks further to 420,000 soldiers. as our army shrinks, readiness suffers. just over one-third of the army's brigade combat teams are ready for deployment and decisive operations. indeed, just two, just two of the army's 60 brigade combat teams are at all combat readiness, and the army has no plan to return to full spectrum readiness until 2021, at the very earliest. as the national commission on the future of the united states army made clear in its recently published report, both the mission and the force are at risk. meanwhile, the army is woefully behind on modernization and as a result america's capability advantage in ground and airborne
combat weapons systems is not nearly as great as it once was. decades of underinvestment and acquisition malpractice have left with us an army that is not in balance, an army that lacks both the adequate capacity and the key capabilities to win decisively. as vice chief of staff of the army, general daniel allen recently testified, the army can no long ear ford the most modern equipment and we risk falling behind near peers in critical capabilities. indeed the army currently has no major ground combat vehicle development program under way and will continue to rely on the increasingly obsolete bradley fighting vehicle and abrams tanks, for most of the rest of this century. as general mcmaster phrased it earlier this week the army is "outranged and outgunned by many potential adversaries." confronted with the most diverse and complex national array of
national security threats since the end of world war ii, the army urgently needs to restore readiness, halt misguided reductions. instead the request is another empty promise to buy readiness today by reducing end strength and modernization for tomorrow. mortgaging the future of our army places an unnecessary and dangerous burden on our soldiers and i believe it is the urgent task of this committee to do all we can to chart a better course. i look forward to the testimony of our witnesses today, and their recommendations as to how we build the army the nation needs and provide our soldiers with the support they deserve. i would like now to call on a former army person for his remarks. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you for calling this important hearing. let me welcome secretary murphy and general milley, thank you for your distinguished service to the nation and as the chairman indicated, we are reviewing the army's proposals
for the fy '17 budget request and they're absolutely critical and we are facing extraordinary challenges, the chairman has outlined them very eloquently and precisely. we have to rebuild readiness. we have to modernize the force, also in this line i think another message, with all respect to secretary murphy getting at not an acting secretary but a permanent secretary and i hope we can move mr. fanning's nomination as soon as possible. the president's fy '17 budget submission for the department of the army includes $148.1 billion in total funding of which $125.1 billion is the base budget and $23 billion for overseas operations in the oco account. while the budget request complies with the funding levels in the bipartisan budget act of 2015 the army's top line is essentially flat as compared to the fy '16 enacted levels. as the committee considers the army's funding request we must
be mindful of the risk facing our country and national security challenges. it is highly unlikely that the demand for army force also diminish any time in the near future. currently as the chairman indicated, 190,000 soldiers across the active reserve component and active forces are serving in 140 countries and while we continue to field the most capable fighting force in the world, 15 years of sustained military operations focused almost exclusively on counterterrorism and counter insurgency has taken a toll on the readiness of our soldiers. today, less than one-quarter of our nation's army is ready to perform their core war time missions and some critical combat enabling units are in far worse shape. in addition the evolving threat facing our nation impacts readiness as the army needs to train and fight a competitor in a full spectrum competitive environment while additional fund something important it's not the solution to restoring
readiness levels. it takes time to build strategic deep and relief from high operational tempo. i applaud the army for making readiness the number one priority. general milley i look forward to your thoughts on the army's progress in rebuilding readiness within the time lines the army set and what additional resources may be needed. while readiness is vital we cannot neglect investments in the modernization of military platforms and equipment. building and maintaining readiness levels maintains the force are sustained and upgraded. the fiscal '17 budget request for modernization efforts, $7.5 billion for research development test and evaluation is a start. i'd like to know if our witnesses feel confident this funding for modernization is adequate and will not adversely impact the future readiness of aviation units particularly or add substantial costs. related to the army's acquisition process, they made important policies in the fy '16
national defense authorization act including giving the service chiefs significant responsibilities and i would be, appreciate the chief's and the secretary's comments on how these procedures are being worked into the system. the men and women in uniform in our military and civilian workforce remain a priority for our committee. we need to ensure the pay and benefits remain competitive in order to attract and retain the best for military and government service. the committee also understands however that military and personnel costs comprise nearly one-half of the department's budget and your insights how we can control the costs we very much appreciate it. finally, as i have stated and the chairman emphatically stated the budget control act is ineffective and short-sighted and i believe in a bipartisan fashion that we have to repeal the bca, establish a more reasonable limit on discretionary spending and equitable manner that meets domestic and defense needs and then move forward. again, i'd like to thank the witnesses and the chairman.
>> thank you, secretary murphy? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, senator reed and members of this committee for allowing me to be here to talk about your army. it's my 12th week on the job as acting secretary of the army. it's truly an honor to be back on the army team. i've traveled to see our soldiers, our civilians and their families in kentucky, missouri, texas, and kansas, and also to iraq and afghanistan. and the self-less service and dedication of our team should inspire us all. we are tasked with the solemn responsibility to fight and win our nation's wars and to keep our families safe here at home. our army must produce ready units today to deter and defeat our nation's enemies, defend the homeland, project power, and win decisively and by ready, we mean units that are fully manned, trained for combat, fully equipped according to design structure and led by competent leaders. we must also be ready for our
future fights by investing in modernization and research and development. we do not want our soldiers to have a fair fight. they must have the technical and tactical advantage over our enemies. with $125.1 billion based budget request, our army will focus its efforts on readiness for large scale high-end ground combat today. we do so because ignoring readiness shortfalls puts our nation at greatest risk for the following reasons. first, readiness wins wars. our army has never been the largest in the world, and at times we have not been the best equipped but since world war ii we have recognized that ready soldiers properly manned, trained, equipped and led can beat larger or more determined forces, whether confronting the barbaric acts of isis or the desperation of north korea, our army must be prepared to execute
and to win. we train like we fight, and our army must be ready to fight tonight. next, readiness deters are most dangerous threats and assures our allies. we are reminded with alarming frequency that great power conflicts are not dead. today, they manifest themselves on a regional basis, both russia and china are challenging america'sleness and ability to enforce international standards of conduct. ready army provides america the strength to deer is such actions and reassure our partners throughout the world. readiness also makes future training less costly. continuous operations since 2001 have left our force proficient and stability and counterterrorism operation but our future command sergeants major and brigade commanders
have not had the critical combat training experiences as junior leaders, trained for high-end ground combat, investing in readiness today builds a foundation necessary for long-term readiness, and finally, readiness prepares our force for potential future conflicts. we cannot fight the last fight. our army must be prepared to face the high-end and advanced combat power of an aggressive russia, more likely russian aggression employed by surrogate actors. the budget, this budget dedicates resources to develop solutions for this, to allow our force to develop new concepts and formed by the recommendations of the national commission on the future of the army, our formations must first be ready to execute against current and emerging threats. the choice though to invest in near term readiness does come with risk, smaller modernization investments risk our ability to fight and win in the future.
we have no new modernization programs this decade. smaller investments in end strength risk our ability to conduct multiple operations for sustained periods of time. in short, we are mortgaging our future readiness because we have to ensure in today's success against emerging threats, that's why initiatives like brac in 2019 are needed to be implemented now. let us manage your investment and this will result in $500 million a year in savings and return on your investment within five years. lastly, while we thank congress for a bipartisan budget act of 2015, which does provide short term relief and two years of predictable funding, we request your support for the enactment of our budget as proposed. we request your support for continued funding at levels that are calibrated to our national threats and our interests and we request your continued support
for our soldiers, civilians, and their families, so that our military and our army will continue to be the most capable fighting force in the world, and will win in the decisive battles and keep our families safe here at home. thank you. >> general milley? >> thank you chairman mccain and ranking member reed and other distinguished mechanics members of the committee for the opportunity to discuss the army. thank you for your support and commitment to our soldier action our civilians and our families. the united states army as i mentioned six months ago when i took this job must remain the most capable versatile and lethal ground for us, feared by our enemies. this mission in my view has one common thread and that thread is readiness. ready army is manned, trained,
equipped and well led as the foundation of the joint force. in order to conduct missions to deter and if deterrence fails to defeat a wide range of state and non-state actors today, tomorrow and into the future. as mentioned by the chairman, 15 years of continuous counter insurgency operations combined with recent reduced and unpredictable budgets created a gap in our proficiency to conduct combined ops operations against conventional or hybrid forces resulting in an army today that is less than ready to fight and win against emerging threats. america is a global power. our army must be capable of meeting a wide variety of threats under varying conditions, anywhere on earth. our challenge today is to sustain the counter terrorist and counter insurgency capabilities we developed with a high proefficiencily over the last 15 years while simultaneously rebuilding the
capability to win in ground combat against higher end threats such as russia, china, north korea and iran. we can wish away these cases, but we would be very foolish as a nation to do so. this budget prioritizes readiness because the global security environment is increasingly uncertain and complex. today in the middle east, south asia and africa, we see radical terrorism, the blind influence of iran threatening the regional order, destroying isis is the top operational priority of the president of the united states and the army conventional and special operations forces are both playing a key part in that effort. in europe or russia, modernized its military, invaded several sovereign countries since 2000 and continues to act aggressively toward its neighbors using multiple means of russian national power. army will play an increasing role in deterring or if necessary defeating an aggressive russia.
in asia, and the pacific, there are complex systemic challenges with the rising china that is increasingly assertive militarily especially in the south china seas, and a very provocative north korea, both situations are creating conditions for potential conflict. again, the united states army is key to assuring our allies in asia and deterring conflict or defeating the enemy, if conflict occurs. while none of us in this room or anywhere else can forecast precisely when and where the next contingency will arise it is my professional military view that if any contingency happens t will likely require a significant commitment of army grouped forces because war is ultimately an act of politics, requiring one side to impose its political will on the other. while wars often start from the air or the sea, wars ultimately end when political will is imposed on the ground. if one or more possible unforeseen contingencies happen,
then the united states army currently risks not having ready forces available to provide flexible options to our national leadership, and if committed, we risk not being able to accomplish the strategic tasks at hand, in an acceptable amount of time, and most importantly, we risk incurring significantly increased u.s. casualties. in sum, we risk the ability to conduct ground operations of sufficient scale and ample duration to achieve strategic objectives or win decisively where the unforgiving environment is ground combat. the army is committed to winning against radical terrorists and deterring conflict. right now as we speak, the army provides 46% of all of the combatant commander demands around the globe and 64% of all emerging combatant commander demand and as pointed out almost 190,000 soldiers are currently deployed in over 140 countries globally.
to sustain current operations and to mitigate the risks of deploying the unready force, the army will continue to fully fund readiness over end strength, modernization and infrastructure. this is not an easy choice. we recognize the risk to the future. while the army prefers our investment for both current and future readiness, the security environment of today and the near future drive investment into current readiness for global operations and potential contingencies. specifically, question ask your support to -- we ask your support to conduct realistic combined arms combat training at both home station and a combat training centers. we asked for modernization in aviation, command and control network, integrated air missile defense, combat vehicles and the emerging threats programs.
finally we ask and appreciate your continued support for our soldiers and families to retain high quality soldiers of character and competence. we request your support for the fy-17 budget and thank you for the bipartisan budget act of 2014 which did provide some short term relief in two years of predictable funding. with your support we'll fund readiness to meet our current demand and we will build for contingencies in the future. thank you for your continued support. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, general. i read yours and secretary murphy's written testimony which i think is excellent. it's not often that i quote from it, but in reference to the budget control act, you state this continued fiscal unpredictability beyond fy-17 is one of the army's single greatest challenges and inhibits our ability to generate readiness. i think that's a pretty straightforward -- it goes on to
say, this will force the army to continue to reduce end strength and delay modernization, decreasing army capability and capacity. a risk our nation should not accept. those are strong words and i thank you for them. i'm often a critic of the administration's policies, but that sentence can be laid at the doorstep of the congress of the united states of america and our failure to stop this mindless meat ax reductions in our capabilities to defend this nation. i thank you for the straightforward comments on that issue and if god forbid a crisis arises, part of the responsibility for our inability to act as efficiently and rapidly as possible will lay at the doorstep of the congress of the united states of america. which by the way is a majority
of my party. general milley, you -- in your statements you made it very clear, but let me just -- are we at high military risk? >> senator, yes. and i wrote a formal risk assessment as you know which is classified to the chairman -- through the chairman and on the secretary of defense and i characterize us at this current state at high military risk. >> high military risk is a very strong statement and i'm sure you thought long and hard before you made it. couldn't we substantiate that high military risk by pointing out that two of the brigade combat teams are at category one, the bcts, and approximately is it one-third that are category one or two? is that correct? so two-thirds of our bcts are --
would require some additional training equipment, whatever, before they would be ready to fight? is that the correct interpretation of that classification? >> yes, senator, in short, yes. i would say even those that are -- the couple that are at the highest level we could deploy them immediately. in fact, one of them is forward deployed already. the others even the ones in the second, third and all the rest of them they're going to require something. in terms of training to get them ready. but roughly speaking one-third across the board of our combat formations and our combat support is ready to go. >> so it would require depending on the unit some length of time to make them ready, to get into category one or two? >> that's correct. >> so two-thirds are not ready to defend this nation
immediately in time of crisis? >> that's correct. they would require some amount of time to bring them up to a satisfactory readiness to deploy in combat. >> you pointed out at the beginning and so did i of the 190-nation -- 186,000 soldiers in 140 locations around the globe. can we maintain that if we continue to reduce the end strength of the army down to 420,000? taking into consideration we're an all-volunteer force. >> yeah, if we -- to my knowledge, 420 is only under sequestration. this budget takes it to 450. but even at 450 for the active force, and some of those forces deployed overseas are national guard and reserve. 980 total army is stretched to
execute, you know, the global commitments. the real issue is if a contingency arises and then tough choices would have to be made. >> any sane observer of what's going on in the world would surmise as we incrementally increase our particularly army special forces deployments that the requirements at least in the short term or at least medium -- short and medium term is going to require more deployments, more training, more equipment in order to counter the rising threats that we see that secretary murphy outlined in his opening statement. is that true? >> i think that's a correct assessment, yes, senator. >> which is why you have a
assessed, come to the conclusion we are at quote, high military risk? >> that's correct. on the high military risk to be clear, we have sufficient capacity and readiness to fight counterinsurgency. and potential for great conflict and i'm talking about the time it takes to execute the tasks, high risk i would say we won't be able to accomplish all the tasks in the time necessary and the cost in terms of casualties and combined that equals my risk assessment. >> i thank both you and secretary murphy for your very forthright testimony before the committee today. i think it's extremely helpful. and senator mansion? >> thank you, i appreciate you being here. the past few day, general milley, i had a chance to talk with your general officers and i came away with the size of the
military and the size of the predictability. i have been shaking my head at sequestration for years now, it was a penalty that we put on ourselves because we never thought we'd go there, we'd be dysfunction or couldn't come together to prevent that from happening. we have to move on. so general milley, what i would ask could you walk me through specifically how the sequestration has forced the army to do its size to the most critical -- reduce the size to the most critical level with all the threats we are facing? >> i think there's a couple of points to be made. one is the unpredictability, the year to year budgeting and then in reality because we go with continuing resolutions, it really ends up being a nine month cycle.
so the short term nature of it does not allow for longer term planning projection and some certainty for equipment, for example, with industry, or for training plans for units it's -- that's a big deal. the uncertainty. the second piece of it is just the magnitude of the cuts. since 2008 we have had the army -- the army has had about a 74% or 75% cut in the modernization account writ large. and about a 50% cut in r&d writ large. so in eight year -- less than ten years that's a significant cut. so if we think ten years ahead, and look ten years behind if that trend continues, that's not
good. so if you are a -- if you're -- we're focusing on today's readiness. so the 20 and 21 and 22-year-olds, et cetera, that are in the army today, we're focusing on them being ready to deploy and conduct combat operations because that's necessary. but if you're 10 years old today, i'm worried about the 10-year-old who's going to be the soldier ten years from now. that that -- that is the -- that is a bigger risk that we're taking but we're compelled into the risk based on the top line we're given. >> with time limited we're going to 180,000 i guess troop strength. >> that's correct. >> i -- everything i heard from all of your front line generals is basically there's no way that question meet the imminent threat we have around the world with 980,000 people? >> high risk. >> if you confirm that at high risk what would it take for us not to be at high risk? these artificial caps and all the other bull crap we're dealing with. >> i have a series of studies that are ongoing. if we operate under the current national security strategy the current defense planning guidance, in order to reduce to significant risk or moderate risk it would take roughly speaking about a 1.2 million person --
>> so with we're over 200,000 troops short? >> right. for every 10,000 soldiers that money is not there so we're making the most efficient and effective use of the army that we have. >> secretary murphy, if i may, i have a lot of -- a lot of concerns regarding the level contract support. we have talked about this. i have never gotten a good handle on it. i've heard it's two for one. for every one soldier we have in uniform we have two people backing that person up, roughly. so anything -- so my question to you, how are the long term savings that some of your bean counters tell us by having a contractor, long term savings, that provides substantial or is the number of contractors driven by the arbitrary troop force caps that prevent from us deploying the soldiers from doing the jobs? are they telling us it's long term savings here and with these caps here the only way you're getting around the caps is by having more contractors on the back end that more soldiers
should be doing? >> after 9/11 we went from the gate guards in bosnia, to private contractors. i'm not trying to be disrespectful, but they were not at the level of readiness. that's what we have been doing for 15 years. we have cut civilians 46,000, 16% civilians and contractors, 16% that's 146 -- 46,000 of them. so i'm looking at this. i mean, the -- >> how many troops have we cut over the same period of time? >> we cut 150,000. 13% is soldier, 16% civilians and contractors. i'm trying to balance this, senator. we talked about the cuts. >> making decisions based on the caps that we have -- >> right.
>> somebody put caps in there for some reason, because we didn't want people in uniform. i can't explain to the good people of twv why you don't want -- of west virginia why you don't want people in uniform who are trained to do the job. >> when i was where you were five years ago in congress, we didn't know how many contractors we had. >> still don't know. >> we're making sure it makes the most fiscal sense but mostly for national security. >> if i could say this. if we go with 1 million 2, if we somehow we had the resolve to do what we needed to do to meet the imminent threats we have, do we proption nat contractors, or would that 1 million 2 do the jobs that the contractors are doing right now? >> i would say some more of the soldiers will do more of the jobs but they're trained for brigade combat teams and to win. >> we look forward to the day you can tell us how many
contractors are employed by -- in the department of defense. that'll be one of the most wonderful days of my political career. senator fisher? >> thank you. general, this committee has held a number of hearings about the future of warfare and what new technologies are going to be required and this is something the secretary and the deputy secretary have discussed at length as well. we have heard some very bold predictions about incorporating robotic systems on the battlefield as soon as the next ten years. do you think we're going to see a real revolution in the role of unmanned systems on the battlefield in the next ten years? and do you think that's a goal that we should be working towards in the view of other near term requirements that you are facing?
>> thank you, senator. i think revolution might be too strong a word, but i do see a very, very significant increased use of robotic, both manually controlled and autonomous in ground warfare over the coming years. specifically, i don't see some sort of revolution like we'll go from the horse to the tank or the musket to the rifle. but i do see the introduction at about the ten-year mark or so really widespread use of robotics in ground warfare. we are seeing it in air platforms and we're seeing its in naval platforms. the ground warfare is a much more complex and dirty environment but i do anticipate that we'll refine the use of robots significantly and it will be a large use of them in ground combat by call it 2030. >> okay. as the service secretary, what role do you have in the third offset initiative? we have heard that it will be exploring some new operational
concepts and capabilities for ground combat. is that something that the army is leading on? >> senator, i would say that with the third offset we need to lead from the front. we are talking about leap ahead technologies. as you look back at the second offset we are talking about precision munitions and gps which gave us the -- you know, when i was in iraq, you know, we did our operations -- most of the operations at night. we had night vision goggles. this is the technology when i say we want a fair fight. when you talk about the leap ahead technology the third offset i think it's robotics. you know, i think robotics, cyber, electronic warfare, the gains we need to make there. by the way, ma'am, you know, other -- our peer competitors are investing in those things too. and we can't be outmanned and outgunned. we need to make sure we have the technical and tactical advantage. so i am definitely part of that within the army and within the department of defense.
>> comment, ma'am? >> yes, certainly. >> i think for the next five or ten years for ground warfare, you'll see evolutions and you will see acceleration of some of the technologies but they'll be episodic. i think ten years and beyond i do see a very significant transformation of ground warfare. the character of war, not the nature of war. that would include robotics. cyber. lasers. rail guns. very advanced information technologies to see -- miniaturization. 3-d printing. all of the technologies that are emerging in the commercial world will have military application. just past a decade from now, and i think we the army need to invest in the r&d and the modernization of that or we'll
find the qualitative overmatch gap between the united states and adversaries closed. and we're already seeing that gap closing today. >> when we talk about the third offset, many times we focus on the stuff. we focus on the new technologies that are out there and we hear about the robotics. we hear about the lasers. i'd like to know how much input both of you would have when it comes to setting goals and missions and then trying to figure out what technologies are out there, what needs to be designed in order to meet those goals instead of reacting to technology that's there. how do you view that? >> i mean, it's an interactive process, number one. number two, say 25, 30, 40 years ago much innovation was done by the department of defense. in terms of technology. today, most technological innovation is being done by the commercial world. so it's important that we have linkages into the commercial
sector. silicon valley, boston, so on. all the innovative centers. we need to keep in touch with them closely and we do have a lot of input, not just personally, but also through the organization of the army. so we do have a lot of input into it. there's a lot of technological advances out there. the challenge -- there's a couple of challenges. one is what does the year 2025, 2030, 2040, 2050 look like demographically, politically, socially, et cetera, but also technologically. once we can figure that out, then we can derive the ways in which we desire to fight, once you figure that out then you can figure out the equipment. the organizations. the training plans, et cetera. to create that organization. but we first have to define what exactly is that world going to
look like? at least as best we can. we won't get it exactly right, but we want to get it more right than the enemy. >> thank you, general. i wish you good luck in trying to figure that out and meet those goals for the future. thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, thank you for your testimony again and you have put the focus on readiness which is i think appropriate. if additional resources could be freed up in this process, general milley, where would you focus in terms of more emphasis on readiness? >> couple of key places. senator, thank you. one would be aviation flight hours. i think that's important. we dropped aviation flight hours to about 14 or 15, down to about ten. we bumped it up to 12, but we need some more. secondly, more importantly, home station training. we want all of the brigade combat teams to go to the national training center or the training center in germany. so key to success at one of those big ticket training
centers is the home station preparatory training prior to going. all the gunneries, et cetera. that has been underfunded over the past years. if we can get home station training up to a level then the units will come out of the ctcs at a much higher level. so i would put it probably in aviation flight hours and in the home station training. lastly, and third to last would be if we did have additional monies i would probably put it towards additional ctc training for the national guard. the national guard is going to be very, very important because of the capacity issue of the regular army to deal with the current day to day, but also the contingency operation. so we need to increase in short order we need to increase the readiness of the army national guard's combat formations. >> this year i believe you have two scheduled rotations, training centers for national
guard brigade. >> that's right. we're trying to increase it to four. >> four, okay. a related issue in terms of the emphasis on flying hours and readiness, et cetera, particularly in army aviation, the procurement and the acquisition process, are you at a point now where you could jeopardize long term aviation programs or do you still have a little bit of head space? >> i think we're approaching the margin of -- it's very tight right now. so what we have done is we have had to stretch out aviation modernization in order to reap that for readiness. aviation is about roughly speaking, you know, 20% or so, 25% of the operating budget. so we have stretched out aviation modernization to take that and those monies and put it into readiness.
>> one of the points i think that you have made in your comments is that the emphasis on training which means at home station which means the units have to be at home essentially. dwell element rather than deploy element. >> that's correct. >> so if we were -- not in terms of the major contingency, but in terms of the current situation began to increase our footprint in places around the world, that would -- the dilemma that would rob you of the time and the available troops to get ready for the next big battle. is that a fair statement? >> sort of, senator. in that some of these overseas exercises actually improve your readiness. >> i'm not talking about readiness, but i'm talking -- >> operational commitment, that would consume readiness, that's correct. >> if it happens we'll do it. but we have to understand the cost not only short term, but
long term we fall further behind in the readiness curve. >> that's correct. >> the point that has been made very, very powerfully by the chairman and myself is the sequestration has to be eliminated because this year might be manageable. next year if sequestration is imposed it's impossible and you have to tell us that you probably could not perform your mission. is that a fair -- >> i think if sequestration were imposed and went to those levels that we could not perform the missions assigned to us under the current strategy. and we -- most important to me is as a commissioned officer and important to this committee is we would risk american lives if we were committed into combat. >> again, thank you sir for your service and thank you mr. secretary for your service. thank you. >> thank you. thank you, gentlemen, for appearing before us. general milley i want to return to the priorities you laid out
for senator reed. if i heard them right, it was more aviation hours for regular army units and finally, more ctc training time for national guard? >> those would be three of the areas. there's other areas, but those would be three, that's correct. >> is that -- those are the priorities if you got the first extra dollar or those limited to your priorities for more readiness? >> those are readiness dollars. >> okay. you had mentioned earlier about the soldiers we're sending to fight today and your priority for readiness. which you have said repeatedly during your tenure as the chief. so america's moms and dads whose soldiers are serving in your army at 25 as an e-5 or first lieutenant can be assured you'll never send one of the sons or daughters into combat unready to fight?
>> that's correct. >> that has a cost in modernization, so the moms and dads around america whose 15-year-old son and daughter aspire to be in the army one day have to be more concerned about the qualitative overmatch and capabilities of a future army, is that correct? >> i think that's also correct, senator. >> there's a -- some discussion within the congress about mandating a certain end strength of the army at a higher level than 450,000. i think that would be a good idea. i would like to see it much higher than. could you talk about the consequences though if this congress does in fact mandate a certain end strength without increasing your budget numbers? >> i think if we were mandated to go to the higher size, more soldiers, more bigger end strength, we didn't have the dollars i'd personally think that would be disastrous for both the nation and the army in that we would have to at the end of the day mortgage more
modernization of the future, we'd have to take down installations, quality of life programs. all kinds of things that would have to happen and at the end of the day i think we'd -- we do the day, i think we'd risk having a hollow army. but many on this committee remember the days we did. units weren't filled up at appropriate levels, there were no spare parts. all of those things would start happening if we increased the size of the force without the money to increase its readiness. >> because a mandatory end strength kind of budget to match would mean that they don't have the money to train, to be equipped, to go to ctcs -- >> that's correct. >> you mentioned the greater risk of modernization. i assume that's because if the army mandated a certain end strength because of your bedrock commitment to send our sons and daughters overseas fully equipped, fully trained, fully manned, you would take even more money out of modernization?
>> that's right. readiness and modernization. if the end strength is up, the first one out the door is modernization. i do not recommend that. if there were a mandated increase in the size of the army, for whatever reason, then i would strongly urge that that happened with the money appropriate for the paying compensation, for the readiness, et cetera. absent that i think it would be a big mistake. >> thank you. while i certainly support a much higher end strength than we're on the path to have, i ulsang it would be daily postally inadvisable not to match that with a concomitant budget increase. because of the risk that we're facing there. you were speaking with the senator fisher about some of the commercial technology that we have seen. could you talk a little bit about your new acquisition authorities and your desire to use more commercial off the shelf technology? you famously said in the army's
handgun program if you had -- i think it was $34 million you could go to cabela's you could buy 17,000 handguns for the army, or something like that? you see it across other domains as well. request -- with the global response for desire for mobility or commercial technology. >> i think the proposals that are out there now in the acquisition reform are absolutely moving in the right direction. i welcome that, i embrace it. i do not claim that i know everything there is to know about acquisition by a long shot. but i think empowering the chiefs to really take greater responsibility and with that of course comes accountability, and i welcome that as well. we should get into it. roll our sleeves up, get after it. and get the right equipment to the war fighters in a faster amount of time. at a reasonable cost to the taxpayer. the pistol is one example but i'm bumping into the things all over the place. in a wide variety of programs.
so there's been an awful lot of sessions in the army over the last six or eight weeks now. i'm probably not on a lot of people's christmas card list but that's okay. our desire is to make sure our soldiers are taken care of. >> maybe they want to bring you home for thanksgiving. >> that's must be it. >> i imagine we'll continue to bump up against that, unlike your counterparts who can't go to cablea's and buy the next generation of bomber fighter or ballistic missile submarine. i know your commitment. thank you, my time's expired. >> thank you, senator. >> fortunately, members of this committee are without controversy. senator shaheen? >> thank you, and thank you both for being here this morning and for your service and i want to begin by adding my support to those on the committee who believe that we need to deal with sequestration and that it poses an imminent threat to our national security and to a lot of other things with respect to our future.
but i want to follow up on the conversation you were having with senator fisher, general milley, talking about the important of innovation -- technological innovation, to our future. and when we were having hearings on the future of our military, one of the things we heard, as you pointed out, there's been a dramatic decrease in support for r & d. on the part of the department of defense and that the one program that has consistently provided the kind of innovation that dod needs is the small research -- small business innovation research program. can you speak to the importance of that for providing the new technologies that the army is looking for? >> i think it's a great program and i fully support it. i think, you know, small business -- not in all cases, but oftentimes small entrepreneurs are the most innovative, partly because it's
vital techniques in business. but they tend to be adaptive, agile and innovative. so supporting those initiatives in order to take advantage and leverage emerging technologies is something i fully support. >> great. hopefully we can get this reauthorized for next year without the kind of challenges we had the last time we tried to get it reauthorized. i had the opportunity recently to meet in brussels with officials from europe and from particularly eastern europe, the baltics. and they were very pleased to see our proposal to increase the european reassurance initiative four fold. you both mentioned in your testimony the threat from russia. one concern that they asked me about that i couldn't answer was why the decision seems to have been made to preposition the
equipment, to do the rotational more in western europe than in eastern europe on the front lines. so how do we explain the decision to do that? >> first of all, i'd defer to an authoritative, definitive answer to general breedlove because he's the one that determines where that equipment goes and so on and so forth. but there's a couple of issues here. not the least of which are political and negotiations with foreign governments as to where it goes, where you base it and building the infrastructure to support it and so on and so forth. what we'll do is the initial trounce, the unit will bring the equipment. so the rotational units will bring their equipment rather than have it prepositioned initially. and then you'll see in '17 and '18, we'll have a prepositioned set in europe. there's advantages and disadvantages to prepositions, and/or bringing it with you.
both are value. the advantage of deploying with your equipment is to exercise the strategy deployment systems, the army and the navy and the air force in order tlong haul the equipment. the pre-positioned equipment, the big advantage is the speed. so a combination of both actually is what would be required in time of crisis, but the positioning of that equipment physically inside europe, i'd like to defer that logic and rationale to general breedlove if that's okay. >> it is and i've had the opportunity to ask him about it, but it sounded to me like you're saying that the locations are based not just on their military effectiveness, but politics have also been part of those decisions. >> european -- sure. >> no, i'm not suggesting -- >> political negotiations, diplomatic negotiations between countries that have to occur before we get that locked in. >> okay. one of the things that obviously
our continued readiness depends on is the effectiveness of our guard and reserve. i was pleased to see that this budget included two military construction projects in new hampshire that are very important. right now we rank 51st out of 54 in terms of the condition of our facilities and armories and so can you -- i don't know, maybe this is appropriate for you, secretary murphy, to talk about how we ensure that the national guard has the resources that it needs to be ready whenever we expect them to deploy. >> yes, senator. the national guard, we're total force. we're not three different forces. we are one army, one team. specifically -- >> sorry to interrupt, but sometimes the resources don't always seem like we're a total force and one team. >> ma'am, i -- all i can tell you when you look at the $1
billion budget, 10% went to -- and again the millcon, it's been the lowest it's been at 24 years but when you dive down in the numbers, hook set, $11 million, rochester, $8.9 million, so 10% -- because we are one team. there is a different leadership that would make sure of that because we were asking a whole heck of a lot in the last 15 years and the next ten years. so, you know, there's not two different teams. we are one team. so we're getting after it and we're giving them the resources they need to make sure they don't have a fair fight and they have the resources in millcon, for example. we have mortgaged modernization and i know time has run out, but i can expand on it later if you'd like me to. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general milley, earlier this week lieutenant general mcmaster testified before the
air land subcommittee. our chairman has alluded to this in the opening statement, but the quote is as follows. we are out-ranged and out-gunned by many potential adversaries. he also said our army in the future risks being too small to secure the nation. now, do you agree with this statement in whole or in part? >> in part. i think nhr is one -- i love them like a brother. to say many is an overstatement. >> okay. >> but to say we're -- the gap is closing. the capability gap is closing between major great adversaries, absolutely true. i think that was the intent of what he's trying to say. >> okay. >> in terms of the size of the force, i agree with his comment on the size of the force. out-ranged, out-gunned on the ground, i think it's a mixed bag. >> okay, are we out-ranged by any potential adversary at this point? >> yes.
>> which ones would that be? >> the ones in europe, russia. on the ground. >> would you tell the committee what it means to be out-ranged by russia? >> well, with either direct or indirect fire systems, you know, the ground based systems, tanks, artillery, those type of things. i mean it's a close -- i'd have to get you the actual range of all these weapons. so its's not overly dramatic, but it's the combination of systems. we don't like it. we don't want it. but, yes, technically out-ranged, out-gunned, on the ground, i think that's factually correct. >> so out-ranged and out-gunned would have the same definition, as far as you're concerned? and we are out-ranged and out-gunned by russia to some extent? >> that's correct. >> what does that mean for the nation's security? >> again, it depends on what we want to do relative to in europe
for example. so the fundamental task there is to deter, maintain the alliance, assure our allies and deter further russian aggression. if we got in a conflict with russia, then i think that it would place u.s. soldiers' lives at significant risk. >> and what specifically should we do? what steps should this committee and this congress take to reverse these trends and maintain the army's supremacy over our adversaries? >> i think that's a couple of things. one, i think in terms of the capability of the force, a subset and the most important one is what's emphasized in this budget is readiness. that has to be sustained. so what is readiness? it's manning, making sure that we get enough people to man the organizations at appropriate levels of strength.
equipment -- >> we're okay there. >> it depends on the unit. we have a lot of non-availables in the force, for example, right now, it depends on the given unit. right now, ideally you'd want a unit to be well above 90% before you sent them off to combat. that is not necessarily the truth. then when you get the availability of the force, you start peeling this back unit by unit. you'll find that the foxhole strength, the number of troops in a given brigade is not necessarily what you might have expected just from the paper numbers. so manning is an important piece. that's the end strength. the equipping piece is critical. spare parts, first of all, do they have the right and modern equipment and secondly does the equipment work? and that's a work in progress. more or less manning and equipping is not too bad. training is the long pole in the tent. then there's more to it. it's leadership, cohesion, good
order and discipline and trust of the force. all of those in combination equal readiness. i would say the number one thing at least near term would be readiness. in addition to that, because we have to look past lunch time here, that the -- in addition to readiness, we have got to reinvest in our modernization and r&d over time. that's what hr was getting at. if we condition to atrit that, as we have over the last eight to ten years or so, if we continue to atrit that, that will result in a bad outcome five or ten years from now. five or ten years from now. those are the two things i would offer to yo senator. >> thank you very much. i need to ask you about the light utility helicopter. you recently published an unfunded requirement for 17 lakotas. in fiscal year 2017. of course i was relieved to hear that. but can you elaborate on how
these 17 lakotas in your -- would be utilized and what risk we would incur if you did not receive the 17 lakotas? >> those 17 are specifically tied to the national commission's recommendation, so which we owe you a response to their recommendations. they have got 63 recommendations. a lot have to do with aviation. so the 17 lakotas are specifically tied to their recommendications and they would be used at ft. rucker to free up apaches to go to the guard. they would be specifically utilized to train new helicopter pilots. as you know the lack oata is not a combat aircraft. we have divested and stopped procuring it. it has great utility for training areas, and using it as a medevac helicopter, use it to train pilots. but it's not a combat aircraft so we have chosen to divest ourselves of it. but the 17 are in there specifically to use as training aircraft as ft. rucker and it's linked directly to the national
commission's recommendations. >> they'll free up combat? >> they'll free up combat aircraft to execute the other parts of the commission's recommendations. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you. >> general, would you add retention to that list? >> yes. retention, recruiting talent. and i -- you know, i mentioned the modernization piece, but this also -- the readiness piece is the most important piece. but, absolutely, to the list. >> senator king? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to associate myself with your comments in the opening statement, and perhaps a bit of context. we had a meeting yesterday talking about overall budget. the issues. i think what a lot of people don't realize is that the expenditures for the defense and nondefense discretionary as a percentage of gdp have fallen dramatically in the last 50 years and in the last 25 years
to the point where defense as a percentage of gdp is now the lowest it's been in 70 years, 3.3%. in 1965 it was about 9%. it's fallen almost by two-thirds. so this -- we always focus on the numbers which are very big, but as a percentage of our economy we are as i say at one of the lowest levels since world war ii. secondly, the budget numbers that we're now working with were established in 2011. before syria, isis, ukraine, russia's militarization of the arctic, china's race to military modernization. north korea's nuclear capacity, cyber encryption and on domestic side, something like what we've seen in the last few years on the heroin epidemic. in other words, we've locked ourselves into a straitjacket of
financing that does not allow us to deal with current realities. it is absolutely beyond comprehension we should do this particularly given the sacred responsibility to provide for the common defense. that's the most fundamental responsibility of any government to keep its people safe. and we are knowingly just blindly going through this process of trying to continually meet these new challenges that were established since the numbers were set up as the limits. and fit the response of this country into a continually shrinking package. it's irresponsible and we have to start talking about the larger -- the larger picture. okay. to move beyond budgets, during the break i spent some time in poland and ukraine. they're talking about a new kind of war. i want to ask you, general
milley, about a new strategy and a new doctrine. they're talking about hybrid war. what happened in the ukraine. not a frontal attack. not sending in the russian armies, not sending tanks across the border. but using some indigenous russian language speakers. some troops but not in uniform necessarily. a new kind of incursion which clearly is a possibility in the baltics which are your nato allies. general milley, what is your thinking? we need to have a new strategy to deal with this. this is probably what the next conflict might look like. >> well, it's clear that in the russian case they're using a new doctrine that was developed in 2005, 6, 7, 8 time frame by the generals and others, and they
have various names for it. hybrid war, indirect war, et cetera. what they're trying do is advance their interests at levels below direct armed conflict with the united states. >> how do we respond? >> so i think one thing is the indigenous peoples of that region, the front line states if you will, the baltics as an example, they want to be able to defend themselves and we should take actions and authorities and appropriate resources and help them defend themselves because they're nato article 5 members. so that's, i think, fundamental. secondly, i think a lot of training exercises and i think what's embedded in the eri relative to the army pieces is very, very important. but we need to send a very strong message to the russians. i think we're doing that. by prepositioning equipment, rotating heavy forces in this case an armored brigade and conducting well over 40 exercises in europe to let our allies know we're there and to let our enemies know we're
there. >> i was surprised to learn over there, one of the ways we're really getting hammered is by a very effective propaganda and disinformation campaign on behalf of the russians. >> correct. >> and it drives me crazy that the country that invented hollywood and facebook is losing the information war. we have got to do that better. they're laying the groundwork for this hybrid war by disinformation and propaganda campaign that is creating the rich soil in which a hybrid war can take place. >> they're using all means of national power. they're using information, they're using the cyber domain. using space capabilities as well as ground. special operations, naval, et cetera. so they're acting very aggressively, relative to the neighbors and they're using all of those techniques. many of which are not necessarily new. there's new systems to deliver
those techniques. >> but we put the usia out of business in 1997. >> that's right. >> we have to get back into the business of communications its seems to me. >> that's correct. >> i'm out of time, but i want to commend you for the comment you made about procurement. we have to talk about 80% solutions, not perfect weapons and commercial off the shelf. the old saying is the best is the enemy of the good. we need more timely and more affordable development of systems that use commercial already available, already developed, already r&d'd equipment to the maximum extent feasible. we can't keep going for the very perfect weapons systems that everybody has a piece of and i think your role as a commander -- i mean as a chief in this process is very important. thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i want to thank both of you
gentlemen for a couple of things as the chairman mentioned, general milley, your forthright testimony it is very much appreciated on these what are clearly difficult issues and secretary murphy and general milley, you know the commitments you had made earlier about coming up, taking a look at some of the issues in alaska and kept your word on that, made an independent judgment after very thorough review, i appreciate that as well. and i also want to let you know that i think it's safe to say on this committee we're working not that you're not doing a great job there, secretary murphy, but we're also recognizing the importance and quality of mr. fanning in terms of what he represents for the army. i think a number of us are committed to working on that issue. general milley, i want to go back to your statement and your testimony which i think is a
really big deal. it's kind of a warning bell, but when, you know, the service chief of the most important ground force for the most important military in the world talks about high military risk, that is pretty remarkable statement. and i certainly hope that members of congress will recognize what a remarkable statement it is. at what point does that become unacceptable risk? there was a subcommittee hearing recently with a number of the senior members of the military and whose call is that? is that our call as oversight and policymakers? is that your call? is that secretary carter's call, the chairman, the president's? but, you know, we use high risk, but at what point is that unacceptable for where we are? are we looking at another task force smith situation that i know the army and many other historians look at with a lot of trepidation?
>> thanks, senator. my job is to provide my best military estimate of what the risk is. it's our civilian leadership to determine whether that risk is acceptable to the nation or not. >> just for the record i believe when you are saying high military risk, which not many service chiefs in my -- you know, in my recollection make that statement. it's a pretty important and significant statement. i certainly believe it's unacceptable risk for the country and as you mentioned for our troops. >> again, it's up to the -- this body here, the united states congress, it's up to the president. it's up to my civilian leadership to determine if it's acceptable to the nation. i think it's high military risk. >> thank you, again, for your forthright testimony on that. i know that's not an easy statement to make. i want to go back to senator
manchion's questions. he asked you at what level of forces would we need to actually bring that risk down to something that's medium or low risk. he talked in terms of the overall number. i want to actually ask the question more specifically with regard to the active force. so the high risk -- just so i'm clear. the high risk assessment is 450,000 active duty soldiers is that correct? >> high risk assessment is based on the total army, not just the active. so i base it off the 980 because -- and again, it's based on the contingencies of the higher end threats. the national guard and the united states army reserve will play a fundamental role if in fact one of those contingencies
were to happen. >> have you looked at the 450 number and what we need to get to the number on the active force that would bring down that risk? i think again a number of us on this committee, bipartisan, believe the 450 number is too small. >> well, i did. we have a variety of studies that we did to determine the size of the force, relative to the national military strategy and the defense planning guidance. so that answers the question of, you know, for what, what do you need the army for? well, you need it to do these tasks. so we did that, we did the mission analysis, the associated force structure requirements. it's my estimate about a 1.2 million man total army would be required. again, the money is not there, so -- >> do you have that broken down? >> we do. we have it broke down with act -- active guard and reserve. the active piece is more than 500k. but it's not just numbers of course. i know you know this, but it's not just numbers. it's the readiness of that force, it's the technological capability of that force, how it
plays into the joint force. how we fight. it's the doctrine. it's the sum total of all of those things. we tend to laser focus on size. i think that is critical. capacity, size. i think that's fundamental to the whole piece. but there are other factors to calculate beyond just the numbers of troops and i think it's important to consider that. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> secretary murphy and general milley, i think from the hearing today it's clear that we all agree you're rightly prioritizing the readiness of our men and women in uniform. but it's also very clear that because of the budget box that we have put the army in we are not modernizing at a level necessary to stay ahead of our adversaries the way that we have in the past. i am a big believer in directed
-- protect -- protect -- brekative energy. it's where i started my career. i have seen not only what is possible, but what is capable today and i believe it should be a fundamental piece of the department's third offset strategy. if we're trying to truly develop a future weapons system that changes the nature of warfare as we have in the past, just like secretary, you talked about with the advantages of night vision goggles, gps, we have to invest in the technologies that will give us a qualitative technological advantage to ensure that we have an unfair fight with the enemy. unfortunately, this committee was informed that none of the funding provided last year by congress for the tech offset initiative is going towards directed energy. despite a clear direction from congress to do so. i'll give one example. the army's high energy laser mobile demonstrator has proven capable of destroying 90 incoming mortar rounds and uavs with the ten kilowatt laser and there's a lot more to come. so i want to ask you why there isn't more emphasis on directed
energy and what is the army's plan to deliver an operational directed energy system in an environment where i think it's always too easy to invest in more r & d and the next big fancy thing that's perfect, like senator king mentioned, when we could be developing and fielding programs today. >> senator, part of the acquisition and if i could just make one mention about white sands real quick, if that's okay. >> absolutely. that was kind of the next question. >> okay. so it's not direct energy, but i want to make sure it's at the top of my head. >> absolutely. >> you have the largest oil field in america in the army. and that gives us the savings of $2 million, but when you talk about modernization, you talk about directed energy, et cetera, and modernization programs, when we talk about science technology,
modernization, i mean, you have to follow the money. i mean, when i left congress six years ago the budget of the army was $243 billion. we have had a 39% cut. so we're asking including ocal, then and now, we're asking 125 base and 148 including oco. but when you talk about modernization. we're asking for $25 billion in this budget. it was $46 billion six years ago. in fiscal year '11. >> i think we recognize the stresses you're under. i think more specifically what i'm saying is given the money that was directed by this committee last year to look at third offset and to utilize those specific funds to look at the future of war fighting and how we maintain that qualitative
edge, why not more emphasis on directed energy within that specifically? >> i'll defer -- >> let me pile on here. again, hard choices. so chosen to take the r&d type monies and put them into some other areas. we are putting money into directed energy, by the way, but i think what you're talking about in terms of scale and proportion, it's less than some other areas. o one of the reasons is because some of our sister services and we operate as a joint force, are doing a lot of work. i don't want to duplicate or we don't want to duplicate their work. we'll let them pump their money into it. and then we'll modify that research for application to ground warfare. we can leverage the work of some of our other services, senator. >> i want to thank both of you for your leadership in strengthening the army's integrated air missile defense.
and certainly in announcing an air defense attachment at white sands. we are all very excited about that. the increasing proliferation of missile systems by our adversaries means that we have to enhance our training and our expertise to better protect men and women deployed around the world as well as our homeland. can you just talk about the sophisticated missile threats that are emerging, what the army is facing today and what steps are being taken to counter that threat. >> the countries i mentioned in the opening statement, specifically russia, north korea. china and iran. all have increasingly -- very sophisticated now and increasingly more sophisticated tiered integrated air defense systems, that are very complex, very lethal, and very robust. to the point where u.s. fixed wing air from the u.s. air force or navy assets, or rotary wing
air from army marine helicopters are at risk. and these are terrestrial-based integrated air defense systems, in combination with the adversary's fixed wing air defense systems. so it is a growing -- increasingly growing capability. you've heard about it i believe from the air force and navy many times. but the air of denial threats, those are real and they're in place today. and they're growing in capability. >> thank you, chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thanks to both of you for being here. thanks for your sacrifice and commitment on behalf of our nation's security. the national commission on the future of the army recommended in its report earlier this year that the army maintain four battalions of age 64 apache helicopters. in the army national guard under the aviation restructuring initiative. i'd just like to know from
either/or both of you what has been the army's assessment of this recommendation and how does the army plan to react to it, respond to it? >> thanks, senator. under the direction of the acting secretary of the army, what we've done is a very rigorous study of the 63 recommendations. right now, more or less, about 50 or so, we think are achievable. at relatively little or no cost, or we've already started doing them. there's one we disagree with. we recommend no. then about nine, i think it is nine others, ten others. that do incur some significant costs in terms of dollars and we're analyzing that. the one you mentioned is one of those. so we're analyzing that. what we promised the secretary of defense is, we'd give him a
written report on our recommendations, on which ones we think are good to do. of those, how would we pay for them. how would we execute, implement, those recommendations. and that report will come to you after we submit it to the secretary of defense. so we expect to do that, to the secretary of defense on the 15th of april, so whatever that is, next week. it'll be a written report. it will be signed by the heads of our national guard and reserve. so a lot of meetings. all the stakeholders involved so we can come to what we think is our consolidated position. thanks for that question it it's a real important priority. working through that commission. >> thank you. i look forward to reviewing that when we get it. hopefully sometime next week. now, can you tell me, if the army does decide to maintain apache capability within the national guard, can you tell me
how the army will determine where these units would be assigned and what metrics might be used to review the current apache battalions within the national guard? it would be tim cata i have and frank grass would analyze the needs of the guard units. and where they stack in the deck of readiness, responsiveness, the speed at which that unit has to respond. and them what active unit they might integrate into once mobilized. all of those factors would be at play, lieutenant general catavy, head of the guard bureau, he would make that recommendation to the secretary and i, and frank grass, and then we would approve or disapprove or modify
that recommendation. >> thank you. following the chattanooga attacks last year, my office received a lot of calls, e-mails, letters and communications of every sort from constituents having connections to all the branches of the military. these constituents were expressing concerns about force protection at domestic bases and at international bases. especially for their families at soft targets outside the bases. tell me, what has the army done to improve force protection of the united states and at bases in europe and the middle east where they're, you know, sort of targets for attacks, and what other options are being considered, including the possibility of allowing soldiers to carry personal firearms on the base in order to protect themselves? >> i'll defer to the secretary
on the policy pieces of that. but i've been involved in that issue for quite some time. with respect to post camps and stations that are small, isolated, they're outside, inside communities such as recruiting station, such as chattanooga. the assessments are done by local commander. the secretary authorized commanders to go ahead and conduct their assessment and make determination, whether it was appropriate or not appropriate, to arm them. he delegated the authority in the assessment to the commanders, which is appropriate. commanders should make those decisions, because one size won't fit all. it will depend on locality, risk, and so on. some of the constraints on it. it can't be privately owned weapons, et cetera. so that's out there. secondly is on the larger camps and installations, ft. hood, ft.
bragg, ft. lewis, for example, in terms of carrying privately owned weapons on military bases, concealed, privately owned weapons, that is not authorized. that is a dod policy. i do not recommend it be changed. we have adequate law enforcement on those bases to response. those police responded within eight minutes and that guy was dead. so that's pretty quick. a lot of people died in the process of that. but that was a very fast evolving event. i am not convinced from what i know that carrying privately organizations would have stopped that individual. arming our people on our military bases and allowing them to carry concealed privately owned weapons, i do not recommend that as a course of action. >> thank you, general. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary murphy, general milley, thank you for your service. and for your leadership. i was in iraq last week.
to meet with general mcfarland. to visit anbar province where we're training iraqi security forces. i met with a number of our soldiers deployed in the fight. as you well know, they're a tremendous credit to our country and to the army. i also understand the army is the first service to meet the annual health assessment requirement across every component and we thank you for leading the way in this effort. recently, there's a report issued by indiana university. researchers at iu have been able to use certain blood bio markers in combination with apt-based questionnaires to predict suicidal ideeation with 82% accuracy. if you would, i'd like you to, mr. secretary, take a look at this report and let me know how we can be applying research like this to better identify soldiers who might be at risk. can you take the time to do that, sir?
>> yes, you have my commitment. >> thank you very much. in testimony today, you stated that the army only had about 1,800 of the 2,100 behavioral health providers necessary for adequate care. two things. i think one is better education incentives can enable us to find more care providers. it will help boost recruitment and retention. the other is utilizing nonphysician provider types. nurse practitioners. fission -- physician assistants, nurse practitioners, to help fill in the gaps. do you support these tools? and do you have any other plans to address that gap that you had between 1,800 and 2,100? >> i do, senator. we appreciate your leadership. there's no doubt we have to get after it. i would say -- the embedded behavioral health teams. they have been a great success. it's members of their own team in a brigade area where they're out there. there's 60 teams right now. but that race has been a game changer.
when you talk about getting rid of the sigma of mental health. because it's a readiness issue. when you look at other things. when i was at ft. hood, they couldn't hire certain folks because they didn't have the certain licensing. so we're looking at that. and there's potential if they have their masters degree but not a license, maybe they can be supplemented to break that. because if they don't have a license, what i found, that they can -- those same people go to tricare and tricare can hire those people. but we can't hire those people. so, again, those things, you know, when i travel -- i ask those tough questions to make sure we could get these numbers up. because as you know last year there was 301 suicides. i write condolence notes every week to fallen soldiers including the ones who are committed into their families and their children. my first week in this job three months ago, we had lost ten folks in my first week. so it's something that weighs on all of us as leaders. but i think the army's really leading the way and getting after it but there's much more we can do.
i look forward to look at that indiana university report and looking at some of the criteria and certifications. >> this is to both of you, whoever wants to answer. in my home state of indiana, crane army ammo. this is in regards to demil technology. they partnered with researchers at purdue to try to improve the technology that's used for demil. as they've done this kind of thing, i'm interested to know if you have ideas and how we can increase efficiency. for example, transporting munitions from storage to demil locations. we can look at maximizing proximity of demil locations? to demill asset storage locations. i know that's a little bit technical but are those the kinds things we can be doing to help look at saving money as we move forward? >> right now, senator, we mostly store, as you know, which comes in at -- i forget what the exact numbers are but i think it's something like 2 million versus
20 million to demil. from a technical standpoint, i'll have to get back with the team and get some detail and get back to you and i'll provide that to the secretary so he can get back to you. >> thank you. i am running out of time. general, i just wanted to ask you, while i was in iraq, it seems we're moving isis out of town after town at the present time. things are moving in the right direction. the big action that's going to be taking place as we look ahead is mosul. i was wondering, you know, in your conversations with general mcfarland with other people in the theater there how you think that is shaping up as we look forward? >> i went over -- i took this job in august. i've served multiple tours over there. went over in september, did an assessment. in september, i thought we were losing. i was convinced of it and the
enemy had strategic momentum. september of last year. went back in december. in between, have read the reports and have been in frequent contact and meetings and so on and so forth with the commanders. things are moving in the right direction. there's progress. progress is not yet winning. there's a lot of work to be done. it's true the iraqis have taken ramadi and they're currently engaged in the battle of heat. and conditions are set for the assault on mosul. there's also significant efforts being done up in the northern area, and the lines of communication have been cut between mosul and raqqah and our basic strategy shifted in october and we're seeing the results of that today with significant losses in enemy personnel, key leaders, increased pressure on their finances and loss of territory, and they are under a lot of pressure. we're doing that intentionally. multiple dilemmas. multiple problems. all simultaneous. we're hitting them in a lot of ways. all that's to the good. that's not exactly winning yet. the caliphate has to be destroyed.
isis has to be destroyed. they've also chosen to displace some of their forces from libya to elsewhere. they've counterattacked into europe. it's a tough fight. it's by no means over yet. no one should be dancing in the end zone yet. there's a long way to go here. >> i met with a number of the sunni tribal leaders. one of the things they said was if i saw you to thank you for the cooperation and assistance of the u.s. army, so thank you. >> thank you, mr. senator. >> thank you, mr. chair. general milley, my colleague here, senator sullivan and i were talking about how much we appreciate your candor and giving us the information we need to be instructed in the job that we have to do. i want to go back to acquisition reform. for you, mr. secretary, or general milley, we made several recommendations. in the fy '16 that was focused on improving costs, schedule, execution, and performance.
one question i would have is did you agree with or do you think that some of the things have actually been helpful or if some have and some haven't, and then give me some specific examples of how it's changing your execution. general milley, we'll start with you. >> thus far, senator, i think it has been helpful. number one, it changed the tone. that's important. it changes people's views and attitudes. i think that's not unimportant. to clearly and unambiguously insert and pin the rose on someone's chest, that being the chief of the respective service. that also alerts a lot of people as to some new rules in town sort of thing. for the army, we've instituted a new process. a really revitalized process of the army requirements oversight council. it's unambiguous within the army itself. that the vice chief of staff of the army or myself will be
personally approving and are approving the requirements for every single program the united states army puts money against. in addition to that, we've made that a commander centric program. because the united states military operates off commanders. commanders will be held accountable. commanders that are going to generate requirements and commanders that will approve requirements. one key thing in the legislation that is important is the role of the chief of staff. and milestone e authorities. i think that was really good and we appreciate that. we've made some other recommendations in writing and i'd ask you to take those into consideration for enactment. thank you. >> senator, i would say there's no doubt we're going to. it's critically important. decreasing the amount of time it takes to put these weapons or these systems back. i think that's been the frequency from when you start one milestone to the next and the next has improved about 33% but it needs to improve much more than that.
>> and general milley, some of the key acquisition programs. the joint like tactical vehicle, the striker leithality upgrades and the common ground system, do you consider them to be some of the key programs that we have to focus on for modernization and can you explain why. >> the mobility piece is very important because once light forces are on the ground and they've been moved strategically by air or sea for example, what we want to make sure is they have increased mobility to move around the technical -- tactical battlefield. as you know, the humvee fleet has been around for a while. our ground mobility is going to be split about 50/50. 50,000 humvees. about 50,000 dwmpt gltvs over time. so that's an important system. the striker. when he talks about being
out-gunned and outranged, in direct fire weapons, for example, the striker just can't match a tank. no matter which way you cut it. it's a good vehicle. it's a great vehicle. but it's not going to go toe-to-toe with any tank. so that's what general breedlove has. a striker regiment over there. and a para troop regimen. he's got light infantry, foot infantry and strikers and very little else over there. that's why we're rotating in armored brigade. so striker fatality is going to up-gun that particular weapons system. it's critical and it's important to deterrence. i've taken a hard look at d-sigs. i'm keenly aware of all the various controversies. my rough assessment is that d-sigs is performing reasonably well, the increment is going to be online in a couple of years. performing reasonably well at kind of etch lons above big grade. we have to move it around and jump it from place to place. ease of use for young soldiers. there's a very high density training requirement, et cetera. so there may be some other
options out there, i'm not sure. taking a hard look at that whole piece on the d-sigs. i've got personal experience with it. very, very good system at the strategic level, operational level. your ability to pull down national intel assets, et cetera. when it gets down to the tactical level, more difficult to work with. not quite as fast. difficult to jump from location to location in the mobile battlefield. so we're taking a look at that, those are important systems, yes. >> thank you. in a final comment, i share senator sullivan's concerns about -- first we appreciate your being clear on what the risk is, and what we need to be mindful of. what i think we also need to do. when i was on my way back, we met with a group of marines who said, almost in a matter of fact way, that this capability we have to cover threats in the region may be cut in half next year because of other competing priorities. in a matter of fact way, like, they had to do it, because of the pressures they're having on budget and limited resources. i think we need to understand
this particular case. i'm going to follow up in a private setting. but we need to do a better job. i told them. of give us that ghost of christmas future. give us a real meaningful idea of what your risk is going to look like if we're not successful and i know the chairman hopes to be successful with ending sequestration but we have to recognize it's a high threat we may have to deal with. if we do, what does that look like? if we're already concerned with where we are, where do we go from here? with the chair's indulgence. >> i would say we know what the number's going to be. if sequestration, which is grave, we already are testifying today it's minimally adequate right now. but if you would go back to sequestration, if the congress does this, we're down on the active duty side at 420. that is not acceptable.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. general milley, as the rebalance to the asia pacific takes shape, while we do not stop training for the types of environments that we face in iraq and afghanistan, we also look to enhance our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who perform in the asia pacific. one of these environments we have to be able to handle is the jungle environment. while our last official schools to perform jungle training were closed decades ago, there is an opportunity for our troops and our allies to learn how to perform in this environment. this would be at the jungle operations training course at schofield barracks in hawaii. can you talk about the importance of this kind of training for our soldiers readiness as well as the ability to train members of other branches of our armed services as well as those of our allies? >> thank you, senator. environmental training is very important. as i mentioned in my opening statement, the united states army has to be prepared to deploy anywhere on earth.
there are many, many places that have jungles or heavily forested areas. we did close our jungle school years ago. general flin and general fuller set up the jungle school out in hawaii. it's a good school. it's a great school, it's mostly locally used right now, but i think we can expand the usage of that to other forces so they can get environmental training. we do winter warfare training in alaska. urbanized training at the training centers. and urban training at most installations. and jungle training in hawaii. it's a critical thing. environmental training is important to keep soldiers up to speed so we can operate in any particular environment. >> so is there any effort or any move to expand or strengthen the jungle training schools facilities? >> he's operating the jungle school right now out of his own budget. i've taken a look at it. it's funny you asked. because i did ask him, i said,
sent me the full poi. i want to see the program of instruction. i want to see the program of construction you're using out there because i'm considering anointing it is an official army school as opposed to local 25th division school. that would also -- there's some things that come with that for soldiers. you award a little center, so on, so forth. the baseline premise of what you're saying is absolutely accurate. it's environmental training to be able to operate any part of the world. we support that. i am looking actually at expanding that. >> thank you, also, general, turning to the utilization of our national guard, they are an important aspect of our total force. i am pleased to see your confidence in their abilities and support for the associated unit's pilot program, happening this summer, of which the third and second brigades of the 25th infantry division at schofield barracks in hawaii will be a part. this pilot program will match
one reserve unit with an active duty counterpart unit which can lead to more formal training coordination, improve readiness guidance and closer coordination. can you comment on this pilot program and discuss the attributes of this kind of coordination and work with the national guard? >> thanks, senator. the purpose is to increase readiness. and increase the cohesion and the bonding of the total army. just saying total army, just saying we're all one team, et cetera, is only so many words unless we, you know, walk the walk. we used to have a roundout program years ago. it's sort of a revised version of that. the benefits of it are the guard is exposed to the regular army. the regular army equally important. the regular army is exposed to the guard. and we break down whatever barriers there may be. cultural, internal, army barriers. and then secondly, is that each leverages the other's skills to
improve the readiness of the force. those are the fundamental big benefits of doing this. but important from a national strategic standpoint, if that regular army goes, and if we succeed in the pilot program and we get it all wired here in the next couple of years, if there is a contingency, then those guard units, it would be my intent anyway, that those guard units would be alerted and mobilize with those active units. >> i commend you for those efforts, because we can talk about one army and all that, but you actually have to provide those opportunities for them to interact and work together in the cohesive way that you're talking about. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chair. secretary murphy and general milley. i want to thank you for being a very active and cohesive team. you're really making strides.
i will follow up with what the senator har ohno said. i appreciate your efforts with the national guard of course. i think we have a great relationship there. one team, one fight. so thank you very much for that. i'm going to follow up on some concerns that senator tillis gave about the vehicle program for our infantry fighters. and the rotation that you mentioned for the bcts through -- the armored bcts through europe. i'm concerned about rotating those units through europe and instead of permanently standing one up in that region, i'm just not certain that that will show the commitment that we need to have for our allies in that region as well as projecting that strength to russia as well. so just very concerned about that. and as you know, the national commission on the future of the army included forward stationing
and armored bct in europe. that was one of the recommendations. i agreed with that recommendation. general milley, do you agree that rotating an armored brigade in europe is the optimum course of action to reassure our allies and defeat russian aggression, rather than having one permanently positioned? >> there's advantages and disadvantages to both, senator. i actually favor -- personally actually favor rotation and here's why. when we permanently station -- first of all, the infrastructure's been torn down over the years. it would be costly to rebuild some of that stuff for families and pxs and commissaries and schools, to forward station a permanent force. also important is when a unit rotations, they have a sole focus which is to train and be prepared to destroy the enemy.
there are no families there. your families are not with you. you're focused. you're mission focused. i think in terms of readiness and your ability to deter, usher and defeat, think rotation is a better way of doing it. in terms of the strategic effect to deter, the idea of permanent presence, it would be permanent. if we go -- the plan is to go heel to toe. so the effect of permanency is being achieved. without the cost of permanencey. we're going to deploy an armored brigade for nine months. right on their heel comes the next armored brigade. there's never a gap between the armored brigade and this rotation cycle that we have set up. the effect of a permanent armored brigade for general breedlove will be achieved. the disadvantages of forward stationing cost, et cetera, are not going to be incurred. and the advantages of rotation, battle focus, mission focus, that does get achieved. i personally think the advantage of rotation outweigh the
disadvantages. >> that's a great explanation and i appreciate that feedback. i'm going back to something we've discussed many times over and that's the modular handgun program. i'd love to have you visit a little bit more about this. it really has turned into a boondoggle. just to work on this issue has turned into something more than it really should be. i do appreciate your high level of motivation and attention to the issue. and we just want to make sure we're getting the program right and we're streamlining this so we can get a better pistol in the hands of our soldiers. if that's what's needed, that's what we need to do. can you give me an update on your efforts and where we stand in this process right now? >> i think you got a little bit of an update or some members of the committee got an update the other day from the generals who described the various levels of
pain the folks have been going through. it's all good. we're going to deliver. we're going to make it right for the soldiers and the taxpayer and make sure we get a new handgun. the 9 millimeter barreta has run its course, and it's more expensive to repair it than to buy new ones. the paperwork has been frustrating. lots of bureaucracy. ridiculous amounts of time, two years of testing, $17 million to do a test, so on and so forth. we're ripping all that apart. we've hit the -- you know, we're just ripping that all apart. and we're going to make it better. so in short order here, i think pretty soon measured in weeks, not years, we'll have some decisions. we'll be moving forward. we'll be able to provide the joint force, you know, all the services lead for the handgun. we'll be able to provide the joint force with an acceptable quality handgun that will work and it will do what we need it to do in combat. >> thank you.
thank you, both, very much for your service and attention. i appreciate your candor, general milley. thank you. thank you, mr. chair. >> thanks, mr. chairman. i want to thank senator mccain for yielding. just a couple questions pursuing the line of inquiry that senator donnelly began on mental health. the 1,700 of 2,000 roughly that are needed in terms of psychiatric personnel. is there a plan to fill those positions and what is being done to do so? >> senator, we're getting after it on this issue, and we need to as an army, because it's all
about our people, and our soldiers. when i give you the number, there's 301 suicides, that's the total force. that's our whole family. so when you look at those numbers, levels of certifications, do you really need a masters degree, can you have different things -- because we have to fill the ranks. we were not just competing out there in the market within the army. it's other source of governments, private industry. that are making these investments as well and trying to get these recruiters. so we're trying to help make this push, that we need these young americans to go out there, get their degrees, get their certifications, get this profession, so we can use them and bring them within our ranks. but as i said earlier, there's no doubt that a game changer for the army has been our embedded behavioral health teams. breaking down the stigma these professional mental health providers are in the brigade areas. >> i understand that and i commend you on it. as you know, the va has a active recruitment effort using
scholarship assistance and loan repayment incentives and i wonder whether the army is doing the same. >> we are looking at everything, senator, and we will continue to work with you and your office to do just that. >> i think what's necessary is a plan with specifics. i understand that great progress has been made. i think you would agree that more has to be done. so i would welcome you working with us. thank you very much. general, have you received complaints about the eo tech site? it was a subject of recent report in "the washington post." i'm wondering whether any of the men or women under your command have raised questions or concerns about it. >> senator, obviously, there was something out there or you wouldn't be asking.
no, personally, i have not. that's not ringing a bell. but i'll dig into that. >> i would appreciate you doing that. and getting back to us. >> and you call that complaints at the equal opportunity -- >> no, it's a site used on rifles. >> oh, rifle sights. okay. >> made by a company named eo tech. >> no, i'm not aware of that. i thought you were talking about something else. yeah. i'm not aware of that. >> sorry to confuse you. >> yeah, weapons sites. now you're talking guns so i'm good. no, i haven't but i'll look into it and get back to you. i'll find out about the eo tech site. got it. >> i would appreciate it. you can look for reference to the "washington post" of i believe this week. there was a story on the front page.
about the discrepancies and issues that have arisen with respect to -- >> i'll do that. >> thank you. primarily the army and marine corps. >> yes, sir, got it, will do that. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> i take it, secretary murphy, that you are taking great effort to implement the clay hunt suicide prevention act? >> no, doubt, yes, senator. >> and i hope that that's an outline for -- i mean, i hope that members of this committee are aware that we passed unanimously the suicide prevention act, which calls for most of the things that we are concerned about. it's not perfect, but i'm sure that many of those provisions were agreed to unanimously are being implemented. >> that's correct, chairman. we've made great strides, in personnel, and over-doubling
these teams. >> you know, maybe you could tell some of the members of the committee that have questioned it when you get a chance to talk about, get them a report on the progress that's been made. maybe you could just send a letter to all of us and -- so we can know what measures are being taken. thank you. >> that would be very helpful, thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you to witnesses. i want to also associate myself with the comments of the chair with respect to the effects of sequestration and the need to find a better solution. a compliment and a question. so the compliment. earlier this week, the army made a decision, there had been an earlier temporary decision, but earlier this week, i actually think it might have been thursday or friday, last week, the decision to allow an army captain who is a sikh to wear both the beard and the turban
that is a foundational part of his religion as he served. he's a combat veteran with an afghanistan tour. this is something senator gillibrand and i have been writing letters to dod about for a couple of years, and i wanted to just commend you on that. i'm very passionate about this issue. maybe just being virginia biased. the statute of religious freedom that thomas jefferson authored that became the basis for the first amendment that basically says in our country you can worship or not and you won't be preferred or punished for how you worship and you can freely exercise your faith. was one of only two ideas that was unique to the american constitution. the rest of it was a great borrowing job. but free religious exercise and interestingly enough, that war should be started by congress, not the president, were the only two things that were unique to our constitution. so it's very foundational. i know there are issues of how you balance, you know, people's religious practices with, you know, how you can wear a helmet
or a gas mask and you want people to be who they are without proselytizing. those are all challenging questions. but particularly in the world that we're living today, and sadly in the future, this is becoming more and more important. all over the world we see violence and even war that is driven by sectarian tensions. whether it's hindus and muslims in myanmar. whether it's isil's atrocities against yazidis or christians or other groups they don't agree with. whether it's -- i said buddhists and muslims in myanmar. hindus and muslims in areas of india and elsewhere. you also see even when there's not war, rifts within armed services. one of the reasons the iraq military many cited as having been very ineffective against the initial waves of attacks by isil is because of deep tensions between sunnis and shias, within
the iraqi military that renders it less effective. and one of the virtues that the united states plays generally and in our military is demonstrating that people can live and work and go to school together with different religious faiths and we can make it work. i was on a kodel that senator gillibrand led. in early january in israel and turkey. in both nations, leaders said to us, wow, what's with the anti-muslim rhetoric we're seeing in your political space? as we dug into it a little bit, what they disclosed is, hey, we live in a world that has a lot of sectarian tensions, and we don't always want it to be that way. for us to get better, we have to have an example. the u.s. has been our example. so the decision to allow one sikh for the first time in history of the army of the army to wear a turban and beard might seem like a small thing but it's actually about a deeply critical