Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 30, 2015 5:00am-7:01am EDT

5:00 am
optimize response effectiveness. we continually look for opportunities to improve our defenses. we understand that no matter how good we are the adversary remains committed and we can always be better. to this end, we are dedicated to continual improvement over our policies procedures, and operational capabilities. working with our federal partners we test plan, exercise to improve our effectiveness. this is what the nation expects. we are committed to meeting this expectation, and this is our obligation. thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. we appreciate your leadership. and your supported of the men and women of the department of defense. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. >> thank you chairman chafe ets, ranking member cummings members of the committee for the opportunity to appear before you today. i would like to address your questions about the recent
5:01 am
incident by splay sinning the fa's role in security and how we coordinate with other agencies. first and foremost the mission is aircraft and air space safety. we operate the nation's air traffic control system in order to separate aircraft. our primary focus is on getting aircraft safely to their destinations and managing the flow of thousands of aircraft and their passengers around the country every day. in addition to the f.a.a.'s safety mission we also work very closely with the depts of defense and homeland security on a daily basis to support their aviation security missions particularly here in the capitol region. as part of that support, we provide them a raw air traffic radar feed so they have situational awareness of what is happening in our national air space system. to enable our controllers to safely control air traffic, the first thing we have to do is distinguish the aircraft that are communicating with controllers from all other objects in the air that are not aircraft. these other objects that the
5:02 am
radar detects could be things like vehicles on nearby roadways flocks of birds, whether events or occasional kites and balloons. aircraft controllers could not do their job if they had to work with an unfiltered radar feed. we require aircraft that fly in the air space around washington, d.c. and other large cities across the country to use transponders that broadcast basic information such as the type of aircraft, its speed, direction, and altitude. when radar detects those aircraft it picks up the information and displays it on a radar screen. controllers can see all the flights in a specific area along with the identifying information from each aircraft. anything that doesn't have a transponder show up as an image representing a simple small dot on the radar screen and there are typically many of them across the controller's radar screen. to assist controllers in
5:03 am
focusing on safely managing air traffic we apply filters to the controllers' radar to eliminate the vast majority of those small dots. safely managing air traffic is a controller's mission and they must be able to do that without distraction. now, to support national and homeland security the f.a.a. shares a realtime unfiltered radar feed with our partners at the department of defense and several other agencies. we do that so they have the same information that we have. and so they can apply the appropriate filters for their own mission to protect the air space. we also embed technical air traffic staff at a number of north american air space defend command facilities around the country to provide additional operating expertise and support. on april 15, mr. hughes gyro copter appeared on our raid or as a small unidentified element indistinguishable from all other nonaircraft radar tracks. the national capital region coordination center called the f.a.a. at 1:24 p.m. that
5:04 am
afternoon to alert us to the flight based on information they received from the u.s. capital police. after the incident we conduct add forensic radar analysis and looked for an image that might match mr. hughes gyro copter. we understood he had taken off and we had ab president obama time so we loo -- an approximate time. a analyst identified a small move slow moving aircraft. we now believe that unidentified radar element was mr. hugh's jire op copter but the dot appeared only intermittently throughout that flight. when we got the call we immediately notified our interagency partners on the domestic events network, a 24 hour, seven days a week communication line we operate to support a shared situational awareness. we initiated the den more than
5:05 am
a decade ago to share information with multiple agencies. it now includes more than 130 federal and local agencies as well as major f.a.a. air traffic facilities around the country. it has played a critical role in disseminating important information to other agencies as quickly as possible. each agency has a responsibility to announce an incident as soon as they know about it. we are committed to our safety mission at the f.a.a. and we're dedicated to working closely with all of our air space security partners to support protection of our air space. we are assisting the department of homeland security in its job going interagency review and this is in addition to our own internal review to ensure that employees followed all the proper procedures and protocols. if we need to make changes as a result of these events we will and i will keep the committee informed. i will be happy to take your questions. >> thank you. >> good morning, chame ranking
5:06 am
member, and distinguished members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to be here to discuss the secret service's role within the broader effort to secure the air space of the national capital region. the longstanding relationships between interagency partners many of which are represented here today are critical to ensuringing the security of people in places given protection by the secret service and others. the secret service must be prepared to confront and defeat evolving threats including those from manned and unmanned aircraft systems. as these become more advanced and widely available the secret service will continue to work aggressively with our partners to address existing threats and anticipate those to come. existing f.a.a. flight restrictions were enhanced following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. the f.a.a. implemented the special flight rules area which includes within its boundries the flight restricteded zone and prohibited area of p 56 or
5:07 am
area 56. the white house, the vice president's residents, and the u.s. capitol are located within the p 56. the secret service's role and the administration's is limited to issuing waivers to access in consultation with the capital police and park police. coordination center. the center was created after the september 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to provide realtime information sharing and tactical coordination to address potential airborne threats in and around the washington, d.c. area. it is staffed at all times with specially trained personnel assigned to the secret service air space security branch in addition to representatives from the military, f.a.a., and selected federal civilian law enforcement agencies. the mission of the air space security branch is to give early notification to the protective details and uniformed division.
5:08 am
and provide realtime information to allow appropriate time to make informed decisions about actions to take to ensure the security of our protectees and protected sites. given the pace at which events can unfold in an air incursion maximizing the time to react is critical. presently the air space security branch combines radar feeds from a number of sources to create an image of the air space. this is monitored by the detection system specialists who have military or civilian radar backgrounds. with respect to the history between secret service and hughes, the pilot from the april 15 incident, hughes first came to the attention of the secret ser vision on october 4. they received information that he intended to fly to the capitol or white house with no specific timeframe provided. that same day the secret is he viss relayed that information.
5:09 am
the following day special agents frot the secret service interviewed hughes who denied owning an aircraft or having plans to fly one to washington, d.c. however, subsequent interviews revealed differently. further the investigation revealed no evidence of persons or places protecting by the secret service. and information regarding hughes was made known to other agencies in the region. i want to be clear, at no time did the secret service receive actionable advanced notice or information that this event was taking place. while the secret service received telephone calls on the date of the incident at no time was information provided in the calls that would have alerted personnel to the fact that hughes was piloting his aircraft to the capitol. as it flew to the capitol it was observed in the area of white house complex.
5:10 am
these individuals subsequently relayed that information. while in the process of making appropriate notifications the aircraft landed and the incident was acknowledged on the network effectively notifying all relevant parties. that day and the days to follow the secret service field office gathered information regarding hughes and his activities leading up to that event. while the capital police are the lead agency the secret service stands ready to contribute any resources necessary and to work collectively with our partners. protection of the president, family, and the white house is paramount. the partnerships are critical to the success of our mission as relates to effectively addressing airborne threats. continued interagency coordnace is vitele to ensuring safety and security. chairman ranking member, and members of the committee this concludes my testimony. i welcome any questions you may have. >> i thank the director. chief, you are now recognized.
5:11 am
>> mr. chairman, ranking member cummings, and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss the united states park police involvement in the april 15, 2015 gyro copter incident in washington, d.c. my name is robert mcclain. i am the chief of the united states park police. established in 1791 is the oldest uniformed federal law enforcement agency in the united states. the park police which is primarily responsible for safety and crime prevention in parklands administered by the national park service has enjoyed a long history of partnership and coordination with the numerous public safety protection ayation and defense ange agencies within the national capital region. in the district of columbia the park police has primary jurisdiction over federal park lappeds which comprises prarbgly 22% of the district of columbia including the national mall, east and west potomac
5:12 am
marks, rock creek park, anacostia park, mcpherson square and many of the parks in the district. the park police officers proudly and diligently patrol parkland every day are trained to identify, report, and investigate violations of law and suspicious or unusual activity. although the park police has an aviation unit that flies law enforcement, med vak and rescue missions the park police does not have primary responsibility over the federal parklands. as such the park police does not have radar detection capability to monitor that air space nor does it have the appropriate tools to engage or defend against an aircraft in the air space above these parks. those primary responsibilities and capabilities rest with other federal agencies. on wednesday, april 15 2015, at approximately 1:20 p.m. a park police officer observed and reported an aircraft later identified as a gyro copter
5:13 am
operated by plfment doug hughes. it was estimated to be approximately 100 feet off the ground and traveling eeved. the officer made a request to contact the united states capitol police. a patrol supervisor confirmed the observation and requested the park police dispatch center notify the park police aviation unit which contacted the coordination center to ront an aircraft in restricted air space. another park police officer observed and followed the aircraft eastbound until it landed on the west grounds of the capitol. the police officer arrived and observed the police arresting mr. hughes. at that time the park police became an assist ping agency to the park police on the scene and at their command post. this concludes my statement. i will be pleased to respond to
5:14 am
any questions you and any other members may now have. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman, ranking member cummings, members of the committee, good morning. and thank you for the opportunity to discuss the event that occurred on wednesday, april 15 and the action taken by the united states capitol police. i will begin by providing the time line and will gladly answer any questions. it is important to note that this is an ongoing criminal investigation. on wednesday, an individual from the tampa bay times sent an email tolt u.s. capitol police public information officer stating that a local man was planning on flying a gyro copter as part of a protest and was attempting to land on the lawn. no time or date information was provided regarding this flight. at 1:00 bm the same individual called the command center and stated to an officer that he had information about a man who
5:15 am
was planning to fly a drone on to the mall. he stated that he had called the secret service and was advised to call the police. he identified this man said that he had received permission and he was calling to confirm the permission was granted. no time or date or actional information was provided regarding the flight during this telephone call either. the officer advised this individual that she was not awire of any permission. then transferred to a sergeant. and this man repeated except now he referred to the aircraft as a gyro copter. no approval existed. the caller advised the sergeant that could be seen on the website which he provided. at this point the conversation concluded and during the conversation no mention was made that the labbeding was imminent. at 1:07 p.m. the police officer
5:16 am
responded by immediately forwarding it to investigations division. concurrently the personnel went into the provided website but did not find a live feed noted by the individual. the command center notified the public information officer. as the command center was attempting to eval date any air fliket information with the staff that the national capital region coordination center the gyro copter landed. at 1:21 p.m. just prior to the landing an officer posted on the west front was approached by a reporter who asked if he had seen a helicopter yet. the officer stated he had not and consulted with another officer. during this discussion the officers observed the inbound gyro copter. the officers immediately
5:17 am
notified the communications center and reported the landing. this information was immediately broadcast over the road for situational awareness and response. the officers immediately assessed the threat as they quickly facilitated the movement of the public away from the gyro copter. once the rotor stopped they approached the individual and took him into custody. he was compliant with police direction. the k-9 unit showed interest in the area of the engine and fuel compartment which was expected. the west front was closed and vehicular traffic restricted on first street between constitution and independence avenues as well as maryland and pennsylvania avenues. the division provided the command with information about the internet video publicizing
5:18 am
his intention to deliver a box of letters to congress in reference to campaign finance reform and his investigative history. the command center notified the ncrcc of this situation. while a k-9 sweep was occurring a commander directed a brief lockdown. when the lockdown was announced the uniformed services bureau commander which sulted with the incident commander. the commander then decided to lift the lockdown of the capitol based on the following facts. the k-9 had not alerded to the body of the gyro copter but only in the area of the engine and fuel compartment. the suspect was in custody. the size of the compartment was limited to two back pack boxeses. the intent of the pilot was clearly expressed in his video and the police had established a strong perimeter.
5:19 am
the perimeter stayed in effect between the extremely short time period. no messages were sent to the congressional community advising of the lockdown. the uscp responded and utilized a robot. since could not access the two boxes at 2:21 p.m. personnel doned protective gear and took pictures of the boxes. declared to be clear of any hazards. traffic cops were subsequently released and the west front remained closed. it is important to note that while they do not control prohibited air space, we do monitor this air space and we are directly linked to other federal agencies. on april 15, this did not register on radar as a threat and therefore was not raised as a concern. we take the monitoring of
5:20 am
prohibited air space very seriously which is why we have a designated air space coordinator and have assigned liaisons to provide immediate linkage regarding threats. information about air space threats allow us to make informed decisions. thank you again for this opportunity to discuss the event that is occurred. i am very proud of the professional and immediate actions in addressing this incident. i will be happy to answer any questions you may have at this time. >> thank you. as priestly announced the committee is going to recess so that we can -- members will be allowed to hear the prime minister of japan as he addresses a joint session of congress. we will reconvene approximately 30 minutes after the conclukes. we appreciate your patience. the committee is in recess.
5:21 am
>> the committee will come to on the other hand. thank you for your patience. i know you are all very busy. the chair would like to notify members remind members that no sque will start until the full committee is finished. so we do have -- two sques that plan to meet at 2:00 we also have votes in about 45 minutes. we'll try to do this as swiftly as possible but ifted to note
5:22 am
that for members and those who might be showing up for the 2uck hearing that is going to occur. but let's address why we're here today. the gyro copter incident that happened two weeks ago. the 9/11 commission after that terrible horrific terrorist attack wrote "the most important failure was one of imagination. we do not believe leaders understood the gravity of the threat. ." we are here today because we need to understand who saw what and when, who communicated what, did it work did we learn those lessons of tragedy past. on april 15, the man in the gyro copter was able to fly through the restricted air space and land on the west lawn of the capitol. he started off in the north, came went over the lincoln memorial right past into the air space surrounding the white
5:23 am
house, right past the washington memorial and landed on the lawn of the capitol. unpleeble. he first told federal authorities about this came on the radar two years ago. the region is unique in the department of deens trancetation and homeland security along with capital police, national park police and congressional sergeant at arms all have roles to play in protecting the air space. as best i can tell there are roughly 32 law enforcement agencies that have some form of jurisdiction in the safety and security of the washington, d.c. area. but it is still unclear who on this panel was ultimately responsible for the first identifying this object entering restricted air space and then for responding to it. at this point ignorance is no longer an excuse when it comes to drones and small aircraft. in january a drone crash landed on the white house lawn.
5:24 am
the last incident a drone with radioactive material landed on the japanese prime minister's residence. dozens have flown over the streets of paris and a drone crashed in front of german chancellor merkel in 2013. there have been several instances involving the white house including helicopters and small aircraft and this is a pervasive threat. it's been there for a long time. it isn't going anywhere. when we show this type of vulnerability, i worry that the shine that it will inevitably taken down and taken down hard has gone away. someone should have identified that this type of threat. we aren't prepared to meet or that our enemies would exploit. our technology must be able to prevent to respond to unconventional and emerging threats. we need to have that creativity
5:25 am
to understand that the would-be terrorists and those people who want to see harm to the united states of america will likely be creative. but in this gyro copter incident, he was loud and clear what he was going to do. in fact, he was live streaming it. and yet nobody seemed to pick that up. news outlets did. they sent staff and reporters down to watch it. the united states military has researched drones since world war one. for the last 13 years used them to fight gents terrorists. yet the technology currently used by the f.a.a. nor add, secret service and capital police is roughly 70 years old. this antiquated technology can't tell the difference between a bird drone gyro copter. even a balloon sets things off. i understand we will hear today about the pentagon's effort to
5:26 am
identify and intercept small aerial threat, the same technology the border patrol has used on the border for years. they have been dealing with this type of jeero copters and hang demriders and all types of small aircrafts on the borders for decades. they have been dealing with this for a long time. did we learn any of those lessons? do we need to bring them in here to help protect the capital region? they seemed to figure it out. the stakes are higher. and our energy sharing and coordination can never fail us. we must make sure all agencies with a role effectively communicate with each other. so hopefully we will here how the agencies represented here have effectively demune kated. i didn't learn much in your opening statement. that was as bland as we could possibly have beep. we are here to address a serious topic. we are not just going to stand
5:27 am
here and say it's classified, we can't talk about it. i like other members of congress and congressional staff and visitors to the capital also have concerns about the communications breakdown in alerting the capital community about this incident. the first capitalwide alert came at 5:03 p.m., several hours after the incident was over. so i look forward to hearing about how the sergeant at arms and police have updated their policies to prevent this happening again. it shouldn't have happened in the first place. it was very disappointing that three of the agencies here, the f.a.a. the department of defense nor add and the park police chose not to brief members of congress last week. now, i do appreciate capital police the sergeant of arms and the secret service for making themselves available.
5:28 am
we had four committees, chair mep, ranking members, ask for your presence to have a behind the scenes closed door briefing on this topic and for whatever reason the f.a.a., department of defense, and park police refused to brief members of congress. that doesn't give us a whole lot of confidence folks. and we will yank you hup here time and time again. we are different than the rest of the world. we are self-critical. don't take it so personally. understand this is how we make america the greatest country on the face of the planet. we do this in open and transparent way. but when you won't even talk to members in a closed door meeting that is not acsettable. it is a waist of our time and the other people's time. we need a result because we had some yahoo in a gyro copter land right over there and it didn't work. and i have these opening statements from you that shed
5:29 am
no light other than a timeline and how big a space the park police protects. it didn't work. we need dandor. -- candor. i want to again thank director clancey the chief and mr. irving. we have had a lot of interactions with the secret service which haven't been the most pleasant but i thank them for being so accessible. mr. chancey has made himself available on the mobile phone, calling us and making sure he is available for that. so i publicly thank him for that. we understand the mission is difficult to fulfill but you are here today because you have been entrusted to accomplish it. we want to help that. we can't have ever have this mission fail. so we look forward to hearing more about that. i now recognize mr. cummings for five minutes. >> thank you so much mr. chairman. unlike previous hearings, our
5:30 am
committee has involves the d.e.a. today's hearing presents a different question. how should our nation deal with the relatively new and evolving threat of unmanned or small manned aerial vehicles entering the air space over our nation's capitol? this is a question of technology and policy both of which are rapidly evolving. in this case, i do not personally believe the answer is to condemn the capitol police for not shooting the down the gyro copter. i also do not believe we should rush to criticize federal agencies charged with responding to this threat. instead i believe the best course of action is to work collaboratively with both the capital police and these federal agencies to understand
5:31 am
the threat and to strongly support their ongoing efforts to enhance current technologies, many of which are classified. so i thank the chairman for calling today's hearing on this very critical issue. i completely understand the frustration expressed by the chairman and others about this incident. and let me be clear. i share the frustration. i said in a meeting the other day, so often what happens is that we have a tendency to tell each other that everything will be fine when the rubber meets the road. and then when it comes time for the rubber to meet the road we discover there is no road. the air spation around our nation's capitol is supposed to be the most restricted in the world. yet a postal worker -- hello -- a postal worker from florida was able to fly his gyro copter
5:32 am
through 30 miles of restricted air space before finally landing on capitol lawn. in this case the individual was only trying to make a peaceful demonstration. but we might not be so fortunate in the future. it takes almost no effort to imagine what could have been. what if he had weapons? what if he were carrying a bomb? on the flip side it is also my understanding that based in part of classified briefings we received that this individual is incredibly lucky to be alive today. the next person who tries something this stupid -- and it was stupid -- may not be so lucky. i would like to thank all the witness force testifying obsuch
5:33 am
short notice. i also want to thaumpling for providing briefings last week both classified and unclassified. your missions are extremely difficult and the lives of people throughout the district depend on your success. i look forward to hearing from each of you in an effort to address this very pressing situation. we all agree that our paramount interest in the continued security of the air space over the capitol and addressing any possible breaches as effectively and efficiently as possible. that's what we are aiming at. this is a critical moment, gentlemen, a very critical moment. by the way, it's wakeup call time. we live in a dangerous world with complex constantly evolving threats. so it's imperative that we are prepared to counter them. in addressing these questions today, however, the last thing we want to do is give a roadmap
5:34 am
to those who want to harm us. i hope that you all agree on that. i don't want to do anything that counters what you do every day. and that is trying to protect us. so obviously we need to treat this information responsibly and we do not want to highlight security vulnerabilities to would-be attackers. because you can guarantee your bottom dollar they're watching. out of an abundance of caution, i want to make a 100% sure that all of our witnesses understand that we do not -- we do not -- want you to discuss any sensitive information in this public forum. i think all of you know what i mean by sensitive. and if you don't know, raise your hand now and let me know and we will try to make sure you're clear what we're talking
5:35 am
about. and i'm not trying to be smart, peatsdzer. many of you have raised concerns about holding a public hearing on this topic. and i understand your concerns. the chairman understands your concerns. our committee understands. after discussions -- and i thank the chairman and his staff -- we have agreed to set up a separate cleared room to address any sensitive issues that may arise. the bottom line is that you are the experts. and we will defer to you on what can be discussed in this public setting. if our questions call for sentencetive information, please let us know and we can reconvene in the closed setting to address those issues. our sole purpose today is to help you counter the threats we face, not to expose our nation's capital to greater danger by exposing operational details of security vulnerabilities.
5:36 am
now, let me go back to something that the chairman said. and i whole heartedly agree with him on this. gentlemen, time is of the essence. time is of the essence. and i have not come here to ask you. i have come here to beg you. to do whatever you have to do to get the technology if we don't have it, to speed up the technology if it is in the process, to more effectively and efficiently allow you to do the job that you are sworn to do. and i want to take this moment again to thank all the people who work with you. they are people who come out there every day trying to make sure that we are safe. and i want to publicly thank them on behalf of all of us for what they do every day. and i want them to understand -- and i know the chairman agrees with me on this.
5:37 am
although there may be criticism, it's about the better -- moving to a more effective and efficient system of protection for amount of us. so one of the best ways to do that of course is to make sure we have effective oversight. again, i thank you the chairman for calling the hearing. i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. i will now recognize myself for five minutes. it starts with a simple question of who is in charge? you've got a dude in a gyro copter a hundred feet in the air crossing 30 plus miles of restricted air space. whose job is it to detect him and whose job is it to take him down? >> commander at nor add it's my responsibility. >> why didn't it happen? >> because we're working against physics. our system is designed to detect track, identify.
5:38 am
we have a decision making process to decide what to do and then we engage. that is net t sensors, radars cameras and other capabilities that are out there and we employ that system to the best of our ability mitigate the risk to the best of our ability. but it's only capable down to a set of characteristics that the platform that we want to track and defend against is emitting based on speed and size. i can go into further details in the classified section. >> your spokesperson for michael cutch arkic in an article dated april 16 in the baltimore sun. you had launched some balloons at the aberdeen proving ground called the netted sensor system. was designed to help officials "spot low-flying slow-moving
5:39 am
targets. was it working? was it operational? >> it's not operational sir. we put it up to test it. it's in testing today. and in the investigation we are going to find out while in its test mode was it able to detect that particular traffic. it wasn't operational on that day. >> you weren't testing it at that time? >> it's in a test process right now. it is not integrateded into our system. should it prove to be effective our choice is to put it into our system and make it operational. but it's not operational today. >> u.s. customs and border patrol uses the tethered radar system. why aren't you using that? that's why we think it has more promise and the reason we think it has more promise than that is -- i will have to defer it to the next session sir. >> once you detect something whotion job and role is and
5:40 am
responsibility is it to take it down? >> secretary of defense, deputy secretary of defense. and if they're not there it's my decision or to my deputies. >> whose decision is it if they see something visually? >> mr. chairman, as officers do every day, if they see something that is a threat to them or anyone else. >> when do they see it? >> they saw it seconds before it landed as it was boof the statue at grant circle. >> did they -- what was the decision making tree at that point? >> they go through their training in terms of our threat and use of force training. i believe in this instance they made the appropriate decision based on the man anywhere which it landed, if compliance, and the building. >> so they had guns trained obit. they decided not to fire. >> they made an instant decision to do what they did and quickly arrest and
5:41 am
apprehend him. >> as opposed to shooting it out. >> yes, sir. >> you're saying in your written statement that the caller from the tampa bay times presumably here advised the sergeant that hugh's live feed could be seen on his website which he provided. you later said but it did not find the leave feed noted by the individuals from the tampa bay times. why weren't you able to see it when so many others were? we have news organizations who were sending reporters down there. >> clearly the media knew about this ahead of time. when we got that call and that one email we immediately began to investigate and minutes later he landed. >> you told me last week personally that you would provide to me that email. will you provide this committee that email? >> absolutely. yes, sir. >> we have also asked to meet with the individuals who i would like this committee certainly myself the ranking member the house administration
5:42 am
candice miller and her ranking member to meet with the people who have their guns up ready to fire. will you make those people available to us? >> absolutely. we can work through the united states attorney's office. obviously as you know this case is under prosecution. >> when will we get that email that the chairman just asked you about? when will we get that? i thought we would have that by now. >> i can provide it to you immediately. >> right after this hearing? >> yes, sir. >> thank you. >> last question before i turned it over to the ranking member. you say in your written statement that due to the extremely short time frame between the lockdown order and the direction to lift the lockdown no megses were sent to the community advising the lockdown. the copter landed at 1:23 p.m. you say later the gyro copter was determined to be clear of any hazards at 2:57 p.m. and yet it was 5:03 p.m. before any
5:43 am
notice went out. why did it take so long? >> you're absolutely correct. we immediately fixed that. the next day i gave a directive for our people to put out that affect the community. what no one got was a lockdown message. we did send some messages out to the senate community based on their direction. but that matter has been fixed. we had an overly complex notification system and we have immediately fixed that and that will not happen again. >> to the sergeant of arms mr. irving, welcome back. i know you've had duties with the prime minister. but why didn't we get notification that there was a potential threat? >> there was a mixup in the command center, lack of communication between my staff and the command -- capital police command staff. that will not happen again, as the chief said. we have fixed that. so we -- >> they're the same people. they're in the same room.
5:44 am
correct? >> it is correct. they are all in the same room. and the notification should have gone out. it was an error. in most cases notifications do go out. we had an incident the prior weekend. they were flawless. in this case they were not and we assure you that it will not happen again. >> thank you. i now recognize the ranking member the gentleman from maryland mr. cummings for five minutes. >> thank you. i want to ask about the capitol police and your current policies on when the use lethal force. the chairman and others have suggested that you should have shot down the gyro copter but others disagree and you seem to disagree. this incident was not the first time the capitol police have had to make a life or death judgment call in a manner of seconds. in 1998 a deranged individual burst through the doors and shot and killed two police
5:45 am
officers. that was a tragic event and i'm certain that it is on the minds of every single capitol police officer who stands guard outside these doors. chief, do you believe that the shooting in 1998 influenced how the capitol police handle threats of this nature today and when this incident happened? >> yes, sir. in fact, every threat that this agency and other agencies face ends up influencing the history and policies that they put in place. >> can you plees tell us what in comb pact if any have on the policies used by the capitol police today? >> we changed our security posture. of course, i would be glad to discuss that more in closed session. but we drastically change our security posture throughout the capitol in terms of methods and staffing. in this instance, we're talking
5:46 am
about today obviously as in any instance where an officer has to make a police-second decision to use force or not to save their lives or other lives that's what officers are up every day. given this particular instance given all of the ramifications i think they made the appropriate decision. but that's that challenge officers see every single day. during a traffic stop, when they're stopping people around the campus, et cetera. >> without going into any classified information tell me this. did this incident that we're talking about today has that caused you all to change anything about your policies? with regard to shootdowns, use of legal force? >> we have not changed anything but it has caused us to reexamine how we do business. >> about two years ago in 2013 there was another incident, a woman drove on to the capitol
5:47 am
grounds fleeing law enforcement and the capital police shot and killed her. we learned later that the woman was mentally ill and that she was not armed and that she had a one-year-old baby in the back seeth of a car. is that right? yes, sir. >> now while some praise the response others criticize. i want g pact if this incident that i just talked about have on your policies for using lethal force. >> ranking member, as you know that matter is under litigation. but i can tell you every time we face one of these instances it causings us to examine and reexamine how we do business. the fact of the matter is during every one of these instances is that police officer on the street that has literally seconds to make a designificant whether whether their life is in danger or someone else's is in danger.
5:48 am
they do their best. >> now it seems clear that both cases the officer had to respond almost instantly as you said, life or death decisions. with respect to the gyro copter incident earlier this month some have suggested that the police made a mistake by not shooting him out of the air. keeping in mind that this is a public session can you tell us generally what steps the capitol police took with respect to using lethal force against a gyro copter pilot? >> yes, sir. based on the circumstances of that day that literally seconds having seen it, having observed it land, the manner in which it landed the geography from the united states capitol, the compliance of the pilot and all of those kinds of things as well as we discussed in close
5:49 am
session it is ramification which is the officers have to take in conversation as well when they're considering using lethal force and the ramifications of that fort and the impact it may have on others -- all of those decisions are prossed literally in a matter of seconds. that's what happened in this case. i believe their actions were heroic. they quickly arrested the individual. they screened the area as well with k-9's. to make sure everybody was safe. >> is there simulation for these type of incidents in train sng >> frankly, that is something that we're all examining because when airborne vehicles reach the point where they become a law enforcement issue versus a d.o.d. issue, that's a phenomenon that we're all examining. >> so you're saying -- you didn't answer my question.
5:50 am
it's not a parted of simulation right now? >> we have the capability to do what we need to do and take any vehicle down. i don't know historicically police agencies have practiced shooting at aircrafts but that's something that we -- was clearly under. but i want to make it clear we have the capabilities to do what we need to do. i do want to make that clear to the committee. >> two more questions. there seems to be a suggestion that the capitol police should have just shot him down. without disclosing any sensitive information can you tell us whether the capitol police had an opportunity to take down the gyro copter and if so why they didn't? >> i would say in this incidents the answer is no based on the manner in which it landed. >> no, what? >> they did not have the ability to do it based on height and its proximity to other people, and all of the ramifications and how quickly
5:51 am
it landed. and then based on the whole decision making matrix that i mentioned. but there's often a split second or so where an officer has to make that decision. >> and why do you say that the capitol police officers made the right decision? you've reiterate that had over and over again. why do you feel so sure about that? >> because in this instance -- in this instance is unique when a police officer faces those kinds of challenges. each and every one is totally unique with a unique set of circumstances. but in this one, giving the timing, the lack of information about any credible threat, given all of the ramification that is may have taken place, had shots been fired i believe the -- they acted quickly bravely, and heroically. >> before the gentleman yields back, i've asked you directly in closed doors and in here whether or not you had somebody with a gun trained on these
5:52 am
people and could take them out of the air. yet when mr. cummings asked that question in another way you said no. yet you told me yes. what is it? >> we clearly have officers out there with weaponry. >> in there ins dent? and it may have been brief. i understand you didn't get as much advanced warning. but did you or did you not have guns trained on this gyro copter to take him out of the air if you continued to fly on? >> they train -- >> no. did they have guns on him in this ins didn't? >> as he landed. i would say as he landed. >> which is why we have got to talk to t people -- >> reclaim mig time very quickly. how far was he from the ground picking up on where the
5:53 am
chairman left off. how far was he from the ground, if you know, when you had an opportunity when the capitol police had an opportunity to shoot him down? >> i believe the officer first saw him when he was right above grant's statute which is really right atop grabt's statue which is seconds from when he landed. >> i yield back. >> we need further clarification of that. we will now recognize the gentleman from florida for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman and ranking member for holding this meeting. what we've experienced just with this ins dent -- again, another horrible communications failure of the system. and this isn't new. the ranking member just cited back in october of 2013 we had the deranged individual a woman, who actually backed into someone at the white house, came across the entire distance
5:54 am
of downtown metropolitan d.c., went through the barriers and the communications failed. chief, i wrote you on october 8, right after that, and said we all appreciate and commend your actions. i am contacting you to request your response about concerns high lighted in this tragic act. number one it's my understanding the secret service capitol police park service and district of columbia police and other agencies have interoperable communications. you know when i raise this there are other things here we spend a quarter of a billion when we did the capitol visitor's center. and redoing all of the things after 9/11. and that failed. those communication systems failed. now, they failed again. i am stunned.
5:55 am
i still, this is how we get a warning. ok? this device still has not gone off to this instance. my office is right down the hall here. i overlook -- my desk faces out so i could look at the capitol lawn. i'm sitting there watching what's coming down. i look and there's a police vehicle not on the road but coming up the grass. there's another officer with his -- i mean, a pretty powerful weapon. i've got pictures. we snapped some of the pictures of it. i said to the staff i don't know what's going on but something is coming down. well, we never heard a thing. this is the first communication that i got. let me get if exact communication. i think it was -- actually it wasn't until 5:02.
5:56 am
there was no notification. this is a message from the sergeant at arms. the capitol have cleared the police activity. we never knew what was coming down. granted, a week before on saturday, we had incredible notice. it was saturday. were you here? no. was anyone here? no one was here. it was a serious situation. someone ended up we found out committed suicide. they worked very well. this thing went crazy, my enunciator went crazy. i got lots of notice. but it's working some of the time not all the time. is that right? >> it now will work all the time. your point is well taken. >> again, i don't think i got a response from you. i asked my staff where is the letter to dine from the last incident? a lot of people wanted to sweep this under the table. but it can't happen again.
5:57 am
a gyro copter can lift how many pounds? >> a small -- >> 254 pounds. right? >> its weight is -- >> but it can lift i think that much. that falls into a category. so you could have a 200 pound individual flying it? >> yes. >> so what capacity does that leave? 50 pounds. mr. clancey no one knew what was on that helicopter. you didn't know. did you? did anyone know what was on the helicopter. we were told some time ago but nobody connects the dots. but we didn't know whether it was letters to the congressman or in fact 50 pounds of explosive. what would that do to the capitol building? >> it would be devastating. >> so nobody knew. wait a second, too.
5:58 am
i just heard today you said the f.a.a. domestic network was notified. what time? who knows when that is? >> about 1:34 in the afternoon. >> thereafter afterwards. >> after it landed. >> so there's something wrong there on the domestic f.a.a. notice. there's something wrong with the notice with the capitol police. 123, you had the guy under arrest. we never knew. i mean i'm not afraid. i've been here through 9/11. if they want to take me out, take me out. give our staff a chance, give us notice. make this thing work. again, i don't think it's too much to ask that we get this thing right. and there's a lot at stake not just saving members of congress. we have new threats and i brought up the drone before the drone landed on the white house. the white house. they still don't have -- we had
5:59 am
another jumper didn't we? just recently? >> yes, sir. >> how long before we get the fence increased? i told you i've got the name of a great we woulder. i'll get him up here. i've got the name of adt. we can get them in here to put up systems. but we still don't have the fence secure there. do we? it's not heightened. you can still jump over the fence. >> that's corrected. >> how long? >> this summer the attachment will be attached this summer. >> ok. yield back the balance of my time. >> now recognize the gentleman from massachusetts mr. lynch. >> before you do that, this letter has to be in the record at this point. this is my letter to the chief from some time ago. scuke. the only email i got at 5:00 after it was all over. one more thing. would you yield a second for the benefit of members? i sent you back -- and i was
6:00 am
told afterwards that you didn't get it. i searched my messages to see if an alernt was sent out? was one sent? the staff told me we can't respond to you. that you only send these alertsi sent this out the same day the day after the incident finding out if anything had been sent. i missed it. there's no way for us to contact you. we need a way to contact you. thank you. chairman chaffetz: i think the german. we -- the gentleman. ms. norton: i certainly appreciate the work they do. i think essentially the problem you are facing his getting ahead
6:01 am
of risks and threats that may be unbelievable. but that is what the congress and for that matter the public expects you to do. we are fortunate that that gyro copter didn't have a chemical or explosive in it. we know, this is why i have a question first, i believe we know that it was not possible for existing technology that keeps the violation of an airspace that we can go, we can catch a helicopter, we can catch a small plane, but technically do we have the technology to capture wigamadoo's that fly
6:02 am
below that airspace is more typical. mr. huerta: radar is filtered so that air traffic controllers can separate traffic in the airspace. this very small aircraft flying through is not something that a controller would ordinarily pick up. in the course of carrying out their aircraft separation activities. ms. norton: i'm not going to ask law enforcement on the ground to do the impossible. what i am going to ask law enforcement on the ground to tell us ahead of time what the a possible is. we are asking you to do "star wars," type thinking about who
6:03 am
can fly like you fly a kite. and if we don't think about it we know who will be thinking about it. i am interested in separating out what is technically possible , and what is technically not possible. i want to know mr. huerta, why congress hasn't been asked for the capability to fly below the usual airspace where -- by the way, if anyone gets into that airspace, we spend -- we send national guard planes into the air instantly. if we don't have the ability to do something tantamount to that, the only people who really know it and can get ahead of the game for us are those of you who were on the ground who don't have that capability. and would therefore have to think about risks that only law enforcement frankly has the capability to envision.
6:04 am
i want to know why the congress hasn't been asked for that, for the means to provide that capability. mr. huerta: i was referring to the faa's capability provided to the whole government effort. it's not the entire government surveillance network. i would defer to my colleagues from dod. >> i would be prepared to answer that but we would have to do that in a closed session. ms. norton: you see in a few seconds, take it down, that's not what happened. if i try to fight -- flight helicopter into the airspace. i want to give you the same capability, the same time that those who have had to try to peers are of found they just can't do it.
6:05 am
-- pierce our airspace found they just can't do it. we need to know that now. the first thing i find that officials do when they don't have the capability is a keep the public out. they say we know how to make sure nobody gets hurt and nobody gets in. i'm not accusing you of doing that, but i have to tell you it has been often the first reflex. we seem to work on a case-by-case basis. now we know, probably, that our police officers -- he said they saw it only a few seconds, and then they had to get themselves together. the case-by-case way assures us that there will be a terrible thing to happen, then we will take care of it. so what i'm trying to find out is if we can get the
6:06 am
capabilities before you have the obligation even to do something about it. because it hasn't occurred yet. i would be interested in that the closed session. i am interested in closing down the capital. when anthrax occurred, i had to go on the house floor. and literally embarrass the police to get the capital open. it was closed for months because the capital police couldn't think of a way to keep it open. it was terrible to have the capital itself closed. i have seen no evidence that the capital is being closed, those grounds are being closed. i want assurance that that is not taking place. chairman chaffetz: i think they gentleman. -- i think the gentleman. -- thanks the gentleman.
6:07 am
chairman chaffetz: recognize the gentleman from michigan. >> we appreciate the fact will you deal with. i have relative few questions that could be asked without going into some closed session. first of all, to director clancy i'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that secret service had recognition of this gentleman and his intentions to fly here and to land on the capital. sometime before, in 2014, the
6:08 am
secret service interviewed mr. hughes, based upon some information he was putting out. back in august, september, october of 2013. with that in mind, with that lead up to it, plus the day of the flight, there was also phone calls made from a tampa newspaper to secret service. my question is, did the secret service share all the information that it should have with other relevant law enforcement agencies with responsibility for the d.c. airspace? mr. clancy: our office to get a call in october 2013 of a newspaper. we relieve the newspaper to our partners at capitol police. that day the following day, we
6:09 am
went interview that individual. two more details. as we got more details, we realized the subject here lived in tampa bay to interview him. he denied any interest. and any interest in the white house. and any interest -- no indication he was going to be flying over the washington dc area. we did do additional interviews with additional associates who corroborated the first call that we received, that he had aspirations to do this. there was no indication of any of our facilities -- that he had the intent to do this. we did share the information. rep. walberg: chief dine,
6:10 am
you have the information that there was an individual who had the idea to fly and bring letters to congress to an unusual way. chief dine: the secret service share that information with us. rep. walberg: what did capitol police know about mr. hughes and his intention prior to him landing on the capitol grounds? what else came through the should of highlighted some thing happening? chief dine: subsequent to us having the case closed nothing up until minutes before they landed. as i mentioned earlier, we had a fairly cryptic e-mail and phone call that was not date or time specific whether or not we were aware of this and whether he had
6:11 am
a permit. that was minutes before he landed. rep. walberg: an individual made a call to the tampa secret service office to warn of hughes' plan. with that information shared with you -- was that information shared with you? chief dine: we received a call from an individual -- april 15 yes there. an individual had called the tampa bay office and asked specifically for an agent who said the agent is no longer assigned to the office. this individual said let him know i called. mr. huerta: mr. clancy: -- there was no specifics for this flight. rep. walberg: the reporter call secret service on april 15 at 1:00. he waited at 1:23.
6:12 am
we have 23 minutes still. was there any notification, let me ask chief mcclean to join in here. was there any notification of all of the entities that someone indeed is starting this flight on his way? he is live streaming it. he may be coming over your territory. is there any action that can be taken, even with the park service in stopping someone flying low? chief maclean: we did not have any actionable information. no information regarding mr. hughes coming to this area prior to our officer patrolling in witnessing the aircraft. rep. walberg: mr. chairman, that leaves me with a great concern that when information is given crackpot or otherwise, then the day of the event takes place, we
6:13 am
have information that is given and still this person was able to make it all those miles and more importantly, across the restricted airspace coming across our monument area, leading up to our capital itself, and then land and nothing happens until this person is on the ground. the yield back. chairman chaffetz: i recognize mr. lynch. mr. lynch: this is not good. this is on top of a lot of other incidents we have been talking about at the white house as well. i get the feeling that justice before 9/11, if you visited an airport men's united states, we had very little security going on. if you visited leonardo da vinci airport or heathrow, those
6:14 am
countries had dealt with terrorism before us. they were all tooled up, they were ready. they had heavy weapons, they had metal detectors, and yet we were low old into a farce -- lulled into a false sense of security. we are behind the curve again. the facility is involved overseas. you going into any major capital in europe or the middle east and africa, they are taking precautions that we are not. i know there is a balance between public access and security, but we have gotten to the point where i am worried about the president. i'm worried about his family. i'm worried about the security on the ground at the capital. i am worried about the supreme court across the street. i have to say that we had advance notice, albeit you had
6:15 am
to connect the dots and talk to each other. this was not good. that a fellow is able to fly in here in land a gyrocopter on the lawn. it's not good. i know we got a bunch of reasons why it happened. it seems like we've got some excuses. but that's just not good enough. i have a lot of respect for the panel, individually. i don't know if it's a lack of communication between departments but we have to do better. is there anything that we have done since this guy landed the gyrocopter on the lawn -- is there anything we have done that we would do differently if that were to happen today, and someone with nefarious intent, terrorist, were to do the same dam thing -- the same damn thing?
6:16 am
anybody? we are doing the same thing we were doing when this guy did his thing. we need change. mr. clancy, i have enormous respect for you and the job that you do. i really do. but can you tell me what you need to make the white house safe, the capital safe, the supreme court safe, with respect to the airspace that you were charged to guard? mr. huerta: --mr. clancy: in this particular incident, we believe this is a team effort, certainly among members of the panel, and among the american people. the department of homeland security has his initiative where if you see something, say something. we feel very strongly --mr. lynch: people said something.
6:17 am
a few people said something. we also something. and some of your colleagues saw things. their employees saw things. and this still went forward. right to the door of the capital. that's what gets me. there's a lot of the public that were exposed to potential danger. people bring their families here. it's not just self-preservation here among members of congress. we are worried about the general public as well. mr. clancy: you are exactly right. if the tampa bay times that informed us prior to departure of this aircraft, we could have had a response team at gettysburg where law enforcement could have. or if we were notified a day in advance, days in advance we could've had law enforcement down in florida. i think it's part of that team effort. but in terms of the second question, i'm sorry.
6:18 am
mr. lynch: if your offices, your agents are on the ground, what are the orders? on a very basic level, one of the orders for a capitol police officer or secret service agent if there's something flying towards the capital? stand and watch, passive? or on the under orders to do something? mr. clancy: first communication that we take a defensive posture. we rely on the radar we see in the communication to take a defensive posture if we need to move any of our project is, or any of the guests into protective facilities. mr. lynch: that doesn't work for will the suicide bomber. you shelter in place to the degree you can. but i don't know.
6:19 am
i just think maybe we need to talk about this more in a classified briefing. but this cannot stand. i yield back. chairman chaffetz: the gentleman yields. i've got to ask you this. it's going to be very painful. mr. clancy, you said it is a team effort. --rep. cummings: i got to ask you this. it's going to be very painful. as her clancy, you said this is a team effort. i'm talking to all of you. he asked a question, and no one answered. if it's classified information tell us. but i do need to know yes or no. have we done things now that put us in a better position than where we were on the day of this
6:20 am
offense? i don't want silence, it's not good enough. >> the answer is yes, and i would be happy to discuss that in closed session. rep. cummings: is that good. >> prior to this incident, how many times of all of you meant as an agency and discussed new technology that may be a threat to the capital or the white house or two other assets? how many times of you met prior to this to discuss that? >> individually, i can't say that we've all met frequently or at all. there is a lot of work being done. mr. meadows: how often? where all of you have gotten
6:21 am
together. to talk about the team the. we know a lot about the team it. bad news bears were a team, and they didn't do very well. >> congress, our staffs work together. mr. meadows: have your staff all been in a room to discuss this, and if so, how many times? mr. salesses: there twice a month meetings. what has been going on congressman, is there is a national effort. the national security staff has been leading an effort over the last year to look at uavs in particular. we refer to as nontraditional aircraft, whether they are gyrocopter's, uavs -- mr. meadows: you haven't come up with an answer. we can put a man on the moon and fly rover to mars, can we figure
6:22 am
out how to stop the polls worker with a gyrocopter coming into the grounds? mr. salesses: the work that's being done between these organizations fasttrack looking at technologies that can help. mr. meadows: when will we have a plan? you said you're the guy in charge, when will we have a plan to make sure this doesn't happen in case there is 50 pounds of plastic explosive? adn. gortney: i need to do that in a closed session. mr. meadows: the silence is deafening. if you get together twice a month, your staff, how many times have most of you were all of you gotten together to discuss your responses to this hearing? did you meet as a group to
6:23 am
discuss your responses to this hearing? >> yes we did. mr. meadows: so you got together to discuss your response to this hearing, but you don't get together to discuss the protection of assets? yes or no. mr. meadows: -- adn. gortney: mr. salesses: yes. mr. meadows: if you are wanting to be transparent, why would you try and coordinate your answer to this hearing? are you more afraid of government oversight than you are of protecting the people? >> knows her. mr. meadows: -- no, sir. to talk about some of the lessons we learned. mr. meadows: you were preparing your testimony? mr. clancy, is that your sworn
6:24 am
testimony that you didn't talk about how you would testify? mr. clancy: we did talk about what we could talk about in an open hearing as opposed to a closed hearing. mr. meadows: was there any discussion about what you would say or what you wouldn't say as opposed to how you would look before this hearing? mr. clancy: the discussion was what could be talked about an open hearing of what could not be talked about in open hearings. mr. meadows: my understanding was it was more strategic than that. am i wrong mr. barton -- mr. wherehuerta? mr. huerta: no, it was not. i think as you heard from these gentlemen, it was simply a discussion of what could be said in open. mr. meadows: what i find very
6:25 am
concerning, mr. chairman, is all of you are willing to get together to discuss your testimony before coming here to be honest, and yet the american people expect just honesty, and what we have is a coordinated effort to be a stone wall. that is concerning. i yield back. chairman chaffetz: i think the gentleman. i need to add, when we asked you to come privately brief four committees of congress, more than half of you said no. i don't understand that. i really don't. you can sit here and public testimony and say we are doing every thing we can -- this is the way the system works. it is inexcusable to me that you would refuse to come to congress a week after the attack and give us a brief. three of you did, for if he didn't. -- four of you didn't.
6:26 am
it sounds like you coordinated on how to message this. you spent more time doing that than you did briefing congress and being candid with us. i recognize mr. cartwright for five minutes. mr. cartwright: thank you, mr. chairman. i think my colleague from massachusetts. he talked about this is not a question of self-preservation forever's of congress. -- four members of congress. we think about the young people it help enable us to do the work that we do. we are about thousands and thousands of young people -- interns and fellows and employees on capitol hill. we feel responsible to them and their families and their parents. to keep them safe. all of these people are within the special flight rules area.
6:27 am
they are all within the national capital region flight area. more than that, the visitors to come and visit our national memorials, the world war ii memorial. the jefferson memorial. we just had the national cherry blossom festival couple of weeks ago. there had to be well over 100,000 americans visiting. all of those areas are within the special flight rules area. are they not? that is correct. an area that was traversed by this knucklehead with a gyrocopter. that could easily been a terrorist. so we take it seriously, hearing like this isn't about ourselves, it's about all of the huge number of americans who are in the special flight rules area and the national capital region. it's not just about gyrocopter's either. it's about drones as well. refer to live in the past months
6:28 am
about drones and the threat they could cause to our national security. admiral courtney, your testimony was -- admiral courtney, you said it was detected by integrated sensors is approached and transited through the sfr a, but the flight parameters fell below the threshold necessary to differentiate aircraft from weather terrain birds, and other slow flying objects, so as to ensure that the systems and those operating them focus on that which poses the greatest threat. you said we are in the early stages of conducting a thorough reconstruction and analysis of all aspect of this incident. including timelines, communication, and sensor data. you said identifying low altitude and slow speed aerial vehicles from other objects is a technical and operational challenge.
6:29 am
have i read that correctly admiral? adn. gortney: that is correct. i can go into further details in closed session. mr. cartwright: here's my problem. like my colleagues appear and the public. i find the lack of planning on how to respond to gyrocopter's and drones surprising and disappointing. these things are hardly new. the british army flew a drone as early as 1917. and here we are nearly 100 years later and we are just started to tackle the problem. i want to invite mr. huerta. when did the faa first start to think that drones may be a security concern? mr. huerta: the faa has authorization to include drones.
6:30 am
since then, we have published a roadmap for their integration and we embarked upon a stage integration process to find ways to integrate these into the national airspace system. but we do cooperate with interagency partners on the larger question of what they may pose as a security threat. our mandate and directions is to find a way to integrate them so they don't pose a safety of flight issue. mr. cartwright: thank you admiral. -- back to you, admiral. you said identifying these vehicles is a technical and operational challenge. it's a nice word for problem something we are really having a hard time with. how long have you known this was a challenge, admiral? adn. gortney: we have been working against a low radar cross-section target for over 25 years. i've been in the aviation business for over 38. we understand the problem of the technical challenges.
6:31 am
if we go to closed session, we can show you the solutions that we have in place, and we are currently testing. but i can't do it in open session. mr. cartwright: on a scale of one to 10, how urgent is this? in the protection of the united states -- adn. gortney: on a scale of one to 10, it's about a 50. mr. cartwright: i yield back. chairman chaffetz: i recognize mr. mulvaney. mr. mullaney: i'm going to move about this difficult -- i'm going to go about this differently. at any time did we have the ability to interdict into this guy down? admiral? adn. gortney: no sir, we did
6:32 am
not. we did not have the ability to positively identify it to cue the sensors. if we had -- i can't go any farther. mr. mulvaney: i'm just curious. we hear we have the ability, but chose not to. you tell me that is not accurate. adn. gortney: i need to go to close session. mr. mulvaney: if the gentleman had wanted to, he could've crashed this into the capital building? adn. gortney: yes or. mr. mulvaney: in the same is true for the white house? adn. gortney: yes, sir. mr. mulvaney: would it have been different if it were a small single theme airplane? adn. gortney: we track them and we have two incidents a month where we actually launch a
6:33 am
helicopter on the sorts of things. mr. mulvaney: similar result of vitamin smaller. who saw it first? >> that officer with united states police park service. mr. mulvaney: you were the only one of the table to did know about this guy in advance. >> we did not. mr. mulvaney: the secret service knew. who else knew in advance? capitol police, park police? we need to figure out why he left from gettysburg. any thoughts? why would you drive from florida to pennsylvania to do this? does that make sense to anybody? there a lot of private airports small airports between florida and gettysburg. >> with an ongoing
6:34 am
investigation, it's difficult for us to answer. mr. cartwright: --mr. mulvaney: here's my last question. admiral, were you advised not to come here today? adn. gortney: no, sir. mr. mulvaney: did anyone suggest you not go to the briefing? adn. gortney: we did not receive permission. mr. mulvaney: from whom? adn. gortney: the department of defense. mr. mulvaney: same question. mr. salesses: i don't have a good answer, i'm apologize for not showing. that sensibly the department normally does. mr. mulvaney: did you see permission? mr. salesses: i was not aware. mr. huerta: i understood it to be a scheduling issue. we were offered an alternative time and did not hear back.
6:35 am
mr. mulvaney: you were one that did agree to come. i yield my time to the chairman. chairman chaffetz: -- >> they were planning to schedule a proper witness to, attend, i did attend the following day. chief dine: i was here last week. mr. mulvaney: i yield the balance of my time to the chairman. chairman chaffetz: i recognize mr. walker for five minutes. mr. walker: i want to look at the timeline. let me back up for a second. how many different agencies or departments were contacted by the tampa bay times reporter? who did he reach out to?
6:36 am
secret service? chief dine, when did you get contact? chief dine: a few minutes before he landed. 12:59. mr. walker: he lands? walk me through with what you did in those 22, 23 minutes. just for my own education. chief dine: 12:59 was the e-mail, sent to the investigative division to try and pull up information and one minute later he called the command center, they talk to him a little bit. and that information was provided to investigators as well. mr. walker: when you have someone that approaching the capital in this unidentified flying object, for lack of a better expression, what do you
6:37 am
do? that there is something that there is something to be encroaching into airspace? what is your next step? chief dine: there was no information that it was imminent. there was no time or date provided. they did some research into the individual himself, and also checked to see -- one of the question was was there something provided. mr. walker: are there any agencies you contact is there any communications between the different departments that this is a concern? chief dine: we contact the ncr cc once again to fruition. mr. walker: mr. clancy, even information as well? mr. clancy: they called her office on april 13, but was no
6:38 am
specification regarding mr. hughes, gyrocopter's. the question was simply would we be involved in civil does obedience displays by individuals. we said we would be, if it involves our protecting or one of our protected facilities. mr. walker: one of the opening remarks, and trying to remember who talked about this, talked about on the radar distinguishable versus on distinction will. can someone speak to that? >> and unfiltered radar feed picks up everything. it is cluttered with traffic on the streets, birds, anything that is moving around. for our purposes at the faa, we filter it for what our primary function is, which is to safely separate aircraft. that means we filter out small things you might be a distraction to a controller.
6:39 am
what our forensic analysis showed was that the radar did indicate something after the fact that we were able to piece together is most likely the flights of the gyrocopter. mr. walker: would you agree that after the fact may not be a good scenario? mr. huerta: i agree. but the air traffic controller can do his job with a cluttered screen. and so what we are very focused on is how can we ensure the controllers able to safely separate air traffic in our case. mr. walker: can you answer your own question? how can that be more safety conscious as far as being able to get through the clutter on his own screen? mr. clancy: -- mr. huerta: the things we're filtering out are things like weather systems and birds, small things that do not pose a threat to aviation safety. we do provide the unfiltered radar to our partners across the
6:40 am
government. each of the individual participants filters it for their own purposes. mr. walker: i don't want to talk for the admiral, but help me understand. you would know this, being the expert. if someone is flying a gyrocopter, isn't it a different pattern than what birds are other things might be flying around on a radar? mr. huerta: it appeared and disappeared. it had much more in common with the weather system. mr. walker: admiral. adn. gortney: the characteristics on a radar at an aircraft of the side flying at speed and altitude has the same characteristics of birds, flocks of birds. it can appear the same way. we adjust, we take the feeds from the faa as well as our own sensors, and then we adjust those filters based on the environmental's that will give us the highest probability to pick up the smallest possible target. mr. walker: i yield back.
6:41 am
chairman chaffetz: recognize mr. carter for five minutes. mr. carter: we appreciate the work you do. i have three very quick questions for you. already comments. mr. clancy, thank you for being here. i believe you were here earlier and i close them a comment saying i hope it didn't seem anytime soon. i want to ask you, we had an incident last week, where there was a specific powder that was found. i know that my staff had four e-mails sent to them during that time. get in the situation with the gyrocopter we only had one e-mail sent to us very and that was after the fact. why the difference there? what different scenario led us to that situation?
6:42 am
chief dine: the systems failed, and we will be fixing that. we appreciate the fact that we sent them in other instances. mr. carter: we didn't with the gyrocopter. chief dine: we sent some out, but clearly was not comprehensive. you are correct. mr. carter: it appears to me that we are not keeping up with the times. i hear you say, this needs to be discussed in confidential hearings. i get that. but i'm still not confident. i think the people want to be confident that we are keeping up with the times. drones aren't anything new. they have been around. and yet all of a sudden we are having all of these incidents. we read about the incident in japan with the prime minister and the radioactive material that was sent there. that is scary. it's scary for me. it's scary for everyone.
6:43 am
are you comfortable and confident, and i want you to assure the american people you are, that we have this under control? chief dine: we are doing our best to protect against these threats. mr. carter: does that mean it's not going to happen again? chief dine: -- adn. gortney: i can't say that. mr. carter: i'm a freshman rep but i have been in business for many months. i know communication is key, you have to make sure everyone is talking to each other. i'm just not getting that warm and fuzzy feeling here today after listening to all this. that's happening with you. i just want you to assure me
6:44 am
that if that has not been the case up to this point, that it will be the case in the future. >> on the morning of 9/11, a network, telephone line went into effect. adn. gortney: it includes over 200 mission partners that protect the american people for this particular threat. for the year threat. and it is exercised and it operates every single day. twice a day, just for the national capital region. everyone of those 200 mission partners are dealing with special flight -- the sfr. twice a date occurs. we launch the coast guard helicopters in order to do it. it is operating, exercise, and utilized original day.
6:45 am
>> there is an effort to bring all the federal department's together to look at these issues, with technology is currently available, looking at possible procedural changes as we encounter these kinds of situations. mr. carter: i want to thank you for the work you do and encourage you to please, this is extremely important. thank you for being on top of your game. i yield back. rep. cummings: i have three issues i want to raise. mr. carter mentioned one of them. as i said, i cannot help but be concerned about the communication situation here. when you said that you didn't even know that the ranking and chairman member offour
6:46 am
committees -- there's something wrong with that. there's something wrong with that picture. let me tell you what i tell my staff. when something goes wrong and i find out about it, i wonder what i don't know about. you recall the beginning, people talk about when the rubber meets the road and we discover there is no road. communication is basic stuff. this is readily connected, one of the things we have noticed in a lot of committees is that folks want to operate in silos. you're doing something over here, i'm doing something over here. i got my turf, you have your turf.
6:47 am
it works against effectiveness and efficiency. i want to make sure you assure us that you truly are working together. i just think this is of such urgency. my final points -- i think you said your staffs get together, top-level staff. you wanted to get together. -- you all need to get together, and it should not just need to get your notes together for hearing. you are there. you are paid to do a certain job. and this is out of all -- this is with all the respect that i have for you. it's tremendous respect. but it's not about your deputy or whatever. it's you all.
6:48 am
we look to you all. you are the experts, the ones who give your blood, sweat, and tears. you are the brilliant minds that we rely on every day to keep us safe. i think you will need to be meeting. somebody said the white house was trying to put some thing together where folks get together. that should come from you. particularly after we have an incident like the one that happened here. i'm looking forward, and anxious a looking forward, mr. chairman, to the closed session. i know you're in a minute. so we can get some answers. if there are things you could not answer, i hope you'll took notes about the things you said we have to discuss in closed session. and we will do that. i want to thank you for being here today. we are going to press forward mr. chairman, thank you. chairman chaffetz: thank you. it's been a good, productive hearing. we will go to a close hearing at
6:49 am
another day. we have other subcommittee hearings, we got backed up with the prime minister. we appreciate your patience. you all important jobs to do as well. we will together at another time. i have a few more questions. the tampa bay times published stories prior to this incident. the guy in the gyrocopter was live feeding us dream of. i heard a story from a major network where they were watching it in new york, called down to the capital and had staff reporters and producers go down on the grass to watch it happen. do you all not monitor social media? is twitter a new thing for you? this stuff is out there. try google alerts. it's there. if it's not on the radar, it was showing up on the media's radar. i don't understand why you weren't able to pick up that sort of signal, because of you
6:50 am
say there is never any exposure in advance, we have to become more technically savvy. if you can truly have somebody read a story online, get into the appropriate person in new york, send a producer, she walks down on the grass and watches this land, and you all have billions of dollars billions and you don't see a dude in a gyrocopter flying, we deal with this on the border every single day. if i get customs and border patrol appear, they would tell you about how they are detecting these. they will tell you how incursions are working. they have special things i can't talk about right here. i've been in them, i've seen in the. they are very candid and open. and they are in the same department. that's why we have homeland security after 9/11. we formed homeland security to communicate, to coordinate. and the only time all seven of you can get together is when you are called to the oversight and government reform committee.
6:51 am
it is inexcusable. if the major networks can watch it live on television, i expect you to watch it online television and do something about it. i still have huge questions about what you would actually do. i want the men and women who are out there on the front lines that have their hands on those triggers to know we got there back. we don't know if the person has mental capacities. i'm going to assume they do. but you cannot come into the capital region. you're not going to go on the lincoln memorial. you're not coming to the white house. you're not coming into the united states capitol unimpeded. we're going to take you down. that's the prevailing attitude. we get these sob stories about how nice we want to be. but until we project force, until we let people know that if you come here, you are going to go down, then we figure out your disposition, we are sending all the wrong signals. we are sending all the wrong signals. every time we have an incursion and they are not taking down fast and hard, some other nut
6:52 am
job will get an idea and terrorists will get more ideas. figure it out. we pay you a lot of money. billions of dollars. and it's been a long time since 9/11. figure it out. to the men and women who are doing this, god bless you. i cannot thank them enough, they dude amazing things. two more questions and i'm done. i would like, after this hearing, to get your comments or your reaction, if you are allowed, of the charges that were brought against this. one of the things i hope i can work with the ranking member and others on, this gentleman was charged with a misdemeanor. a misdemeanor offense. the more stringent offense was his flying of a gyrocopter. but an incursion into the airspace, we have to look at that as a congress. finally, i have to ask you, mr. clancy. is a c smith still is secret service payroll? mr. clancy: yes sir, he is a
6:53 am
detail he to another home a department. chairman chaffetz: what is this title? mr. clancy: i'm not aware of his title. chairman chaffetz: is your chief of staff? does he work in the secret service building? mr. clancy: no sir. chairman chaffetz: does he have a secret service vehicle? mr. clancy: not that i'm aware of, no sir. chairman chaffetz: you will confirm? mr. clancy: yes, sir. chairman chaffetz: whose decision was it to detail smith rather than transfer him out of the agency? chairman chaffetz: you said he is accepted a position within the department of homeland security effective tuesday february 10, 2015. but he still works for the secret service. mr. clancy: he is detailed, he
6:54 am
is on our payroll. chairman chaffetz: why? you told the ranking member, you told the world, he said at a saying he was being transferred. but he still works for the secret service, doesn't he? mr. clancy: he gets a secret service paycheck. chairman chaffetz: how long as he detailed for? mr. clancy: it has not been defined. chairman chaffetz: it's been since february. mr. clancy: yes or. -- yes, sir. rep. cummings: is he actually working for the secret service in this detail type of position? mr. clancy: no sir, i have had no contact with mr. smith. rep. cummings: we have details appear -- up here too. they have limited time there
6:55 am
with us. can you tell is with the limitations are with wherever he is? mr. clancy: i will have to get back to you. chairman chaffetz: you have done a very good job, mr. clancy, of building trust and confidence. it is flushed down the toilet when i hear these things. you said to me personally multiple times, white house did, homeland security did, that you were implement and fundamental changes. mr. clancy: yes, sir. chairman chaffetz: and this guy is still on the payroll. you send out a press release saying he was going to another department and agency, and yet he is on your payroll. don't ever come back here to congress and tell me that you have a financial problem when you have smith on your payroll and you say you don't have enough money. you shouldn't have to pay for that out of your budget. he is a very, very senior
6:56 am
person. you personally promised he was being moved and transferred out of the department. and he hasn't. i'm not buying this unlimited detail thing. this is just classic homeland security shuffling around and everyone of your employees knows it. how do you think i know it? your employees know it, and you lose their trust and confidence that you are actually implementing the changes they say they're going to. there was no consequence all these things we talked about. if he can keep his job, have a great title, get the same paycheck, get a detail the, when waters calm down, we sort things out. with that, this committee stands adjourned. rep. cummings: i just want to ask one more question. the things you just that concern me. i want mr. clancy to have an opportunity to respond that if you want to. those are some strong accusations.
6:57 am
i'm just wondering do you have a response? mr. clancy: all i can say is i was looking for a fresh perspective in our leadership team. we thought this was one opportunity to do that. i'm very pleased with the team we have in place today. we have not come back to those individuals who have taken these detail he positions. i don't have any other comments. rep. cummings: is it unusual for the secret service to detail people? mr. clancy: no, sir. we are the beneficiary of detail ease. chairman chaffetz: i have to tell you, you try to tell the men and women of the secret service, you try to tell congress, you try to tell the world you are making changes. and everybody can look this up, it's public knowledge. there's a hundred and $83,000
6:58 am
that comes out of your budget that could have gone to somebody else, hiring new, fresh person promote somebody within the agency. do whatever. you are going to come crawling back to congress thing i need more money. -- saying i need more money. the four assistant directors that you transferred away, are they still on the payroll? mr. clancy: when is a detailing on the payroll. -- a detailee on the payroll. he is a nice. -- at ice. i believe he is a training position. chairman chaffetz: will you provide the disposition for each of the people -- you were making changes, telling the committee that. tell us exactly with each and every one of them, where they are, how long the detail is, how much they make, all the relative details that our staff asked for.
6:59 am
can you do that by the end of the week? mr. clancy: yes, sir. chairman chaffetz: thank you. we stand adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> today on c-span, "washington journal,"'s live next with your phone calls. live coverage of the u.s. house. in 45 minutes, commerce and ron kind on free trade agreements. commerce and john mica discusses the rules governing washington, d.c.'s restricted airspace. and the harvard institute of politics on a new polling that shows young americans preferred the democratic party, and what it means for the 2016 presidential race.
7:00 am
♪ host: good morning, everyone can on this thursday, april 30 2015. house and senate republicans have reached a deal on the budget proposal, leaving a vote -- a way for the vote on the house floor. meanwhile, a second night of curfew, but protests have spread across the country and the discussion continues about racial and economic tension and what to do about these issues. what is your take on this? the numbers are on the

39 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on