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tv   Navy and Marine Corps Leaders Grilled on Force Posture at Budget Hearing  CSPAN  June 16, 2017 11:17am-1:02pm EDT

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author of "$5 and a pork chop sandwich." the awor of "they can't kill us all." and the author of "are we better off." winning pulitzer prize author david mckohl luff talks about his award winning collection of speeches. >> i began thinking a about the great presidents down the years who have been avid readers of history, many of them wrote history, including john kennedy. and even those who didn't have the benefit of a college education, like harry truman, read history all their lives. and realized that it's essential to the role of a leader whether it's the presidency or leadership of any kind.
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about cause and effect. history matters. >> go to for the complete weekend schedule. >> up next the acting navy secretary sean stackley testified on president trump's 2018 navy budget request. he's joined by the chief of naval operations john richardson and marine corps commandant. this is just over two hours. senator mccain: good morning. i want to thank each of our witnesses for they distinguished service to the nation as well as the say alreadies -- say alreadies, marines and civilians
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they lead who are serving around the world today. in recent months, our nation's senior defense and military leaders testified to this committee about the severe threats we face around the world. they've reported shortfalls in readiness that our military advantage over our potential adversaries is eroding and the dire need for new, modern capabilities. yet as secretary mattis testified here on tuesday, the greatest immediate threat that our military faces is right here in washington. fiscal uncertainty, continuing resolutions, arbitrary caps on defense spend, four more years they have budget control act and the threat of sequestration. we desperately need a new approach. unfortunately the administration's fiscal year 2018 budget request is insufficient to meet the challenges we face, rebuild the military, the readiness and
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capacity of our force, and regain our military technological advantage. it's no wonder then that the department of the navy submitted over $ billion in unfunded priorities. our navy has been too small for more than a decade. despite a requirement for more than 300 ships since 2006, the 270 has remained between and 290 ships. these capacity shortfalls have largely driven president -- driven present readiness challenges. 10-month deployments are becoming the norm when it used to be six. carrier strike and gaps in key regions are annual occurrences. more than half of navy f-18's are not ready for combat. there's backlog of more than $14 million in readiness. a navy of 355 ships with the right mix of capabilities an appropriate goal but this budget
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request makes no progress toward it. however, steps can be taken this year to grow the fleet and this committee will consider all options. similarly, this budget request only supports a marine corps of 185,000 marines and 31 amphibious ship, despite a requirement for 194,000 marines and 38 amphibious ships. meanwhile, marine corps aviation is in crisis. fewer than half of marine f-18's are ready for combat. s a result, nondeemployed -- nondeployed are trained to respond in a crisis. the budget request will help the navy and marine corps to staunch the bleed bug we can and must do better than that we need to modernize our forces because our adversaries are not standing still. as chairman dunford testified on tuesday, the competitive advantage that the united states
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militarily has long enjoyed is eroding. in just a few year, if we do not change trajectory, we'll lose our qualitative and quantitative advantage. our navy and ha -- and marine core must be sufficiently sized and capable of projecting greater power over greater distances from the air, sea and beneath it. we need new concepts of operations and new programs that enable, in particular, the navy needs a carrier air wing with greater range and striking power, especially through unmanned platforms. i continue to urge the department of the navy to examine how smaller aircraft carriers could improve current plans for super carriers and amphibious ships and provide a more capable, credible maritime force. at the same time as we advocate for increased defense spending all of us must remain equally committed to exercising rigorous oversight of acquisition programs to ensure the best use
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of limited taxpayer dollars. i assure you this committee will. initial cost overruns more than doubled the cost of the -- of each littoral combat ship. development cost of the ships an their modules now exceed $6 billion and they keep rising. meanwhile, key war fighting cainabilities of the l.c.s., including mine counter measures and anti-submarine warfare, have fallen year, i repeat years, behind schedule and remain unproven. because of long-running cost, schedule and performance issues i support the department's proposal to pursue as quickly as possible full competition in selecting a new frigate with greater lethality and survivability. the navy should procure the minimum number of l.c.s. necessary to keep the work force viable to compete for new frigates. secretary stackley has testified that would be one l.c.s. in
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fiscal year 2018, not more. i want to emphasize, secretary stackley testified that would be one l.c.s. in fiscal year 2018. not more. on the ford class aircraft carrier, while it's encourage to see the ship finally delivered to the navy, the request for the gerald r. ford exceeds the cost cap by $20 million. in addition, the navy wants to award the contract, the construction contract for the third ship, the enterprise, in march, 2018, at a cost of $13 billion which is $1.6 billion more than the previous ship. this is unacceptable for a ship certified to be a repeat design that will deliver just three years later. secretary stackley and admiral richardson, i would like an explanation.
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generally, given the importance of replacing our age mag rein corps fleets, the marine corps must learn the lesson of past failures such as the expeditionary fighting vehicle and deliver these needed capabilities on time at cost and up to expectations. some of the greatest threats and challenges of the future will be in the maritime domain so it's important to ensure that our navy and marine corps are not only ready for today's fight but also developing capabilities for tomorrow's fights. this budget request is a start, i am afraid it is not enough. we should not ask our military to choose between readiness and modernization, between present needs and future needs. we owe our sailors and marines and all our men and women in uniform more than that, a lot more. they serve and fight and sacrifice for us every single day. let us do no less for them. senator reid.
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senator reid: thank you, senator mccain. i want to welcome our witnesses to testify on the programs for the department of the navy for fiscal year 2018. we are grateful to all of you for your service, particularly grateful to the men and women you lead and express our consideration and thanks to them. senator reed: i want to thank senator stackley for his service, this may be your last appearance as secretary, thank you very much far job well done. senator mccain: i'm sure this is a sad moment for secretary stackley. senator reed: he was very upbeat before. thank you again, mr. stackley. witnesses face challenges, they eed to balance maintaining readiness. the department of the navy faces serious readiness problems caused by deferred maintenance,
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canceled training and deployments. the continued emphasis on readiness in this year's budget will address some of the navy's most serious readiness problems and i'm interested in hearing the witnesses' views on this matter. i'm most interested in hearing what the navy is doing for the overhaul of the u.s.s. boise which is prevented from operating because the diving certifications have expire. the current plan would fail to get the boat recertified until 2018. all are maintaining extremely high operational tempo. high level operations tempo contributed in part to the conclusion in the chief of naval operations new assessment, from 30for the increase ships to 355. demand is overall whelming for attack submarines, the stroyers and strike fighter inslener tos.
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the navy is now in its fifth year of operating with fewer than 11 aircraft carriers. uring the next decade, the focus will be on buying a new class of submarines to replace the ohio class submarines. i'm interested to hear how they plan to manage future modernization demands as we begin procurement funding of the highway replacement, the now columbia class ram as we begin that this year. commandant of the marine corps re-authorization s essential to our modernization. the navy continues to make modernization of ground vehicles to replace the aging inventory of amphibious assault vehicles as well as partners with the army to develop a joint light tactical vehicle.
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i would welcome an update on the status of these programs and if they believe there will be sig can delays in fielding due to the delays in the acquisition program. the dotcht the navy budget its usual number of significant programs, some of which have issues with execution. the chairman pointed out and detailed many of those. last year i raised the question of the navy submitting a budget that would leave the navy in program. a this year they're asking for a seven-year approval for the same b-22 program. i would like to hear why we should depart from the normal five-year regimen as established in title 10 in the united states count on hy we should the navy of pay manager attention to live up to the terms of a multiyear program
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than last year. the guidance issued announced a renewed strategy for orientation on the asia pacific. consistent with that, they have been working to realign u.s. forces in south korea and okinawa and plans to position forces in australia, singapore and elsewhere. i'm interested in hearing how the navy is implemented these strategic decisions. the administration is asking for an increase of roughly $54 billion for fiscal year 2018 prescribed in the budget control act. othat total would constitute abincrease of roughly $12 billion. however i must point out that unless congress can achieve a wrod and bipartisan agreement, any approval of the $12 billion increase for the department of the navy will create a sequestration of a similar amount they feel president's budget addresses the issue by making cuts of roughly $54 billion nondefense discretionary
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as a way to balance the increase, which is an untenable position and won't accomplish unless the b.c.a. is modified because you'll forfeit what you're given in a confusing and disorienting way. i thank the witnesses and look forward to their testimony. senator mccain: thank you, welcome to the witnesses. secretary stackley, we'll start with you. secretary stackley: thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today with the c.o.o. and the commandant to talk about the navy's 2018 budget request. we're grateful for your committee's strong support of the navy and we look forward to working with you on this budget request. as the nation's forward global force your navy and marine corps stand ready to respond to crises every hour, every day around the world from the north atlantic to the straits of malacca and the vast expanses of the pacific ocean and on the ground in 41
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countries around the world, 140,000 sailors and marines are deployed today. maintaining maritime security, responding to humanitarian crisis and disaster. the value of our forward presence and our ability to conduct prompt sea-based operations is the surest the ternt to conflict and guarantor of our national interests. maintaining the scale of these operations relies upon our ability to maintain a high state of operational readiness. we have been increasingly challenged to do so by the growing imbalance between the size of the force, the operational demand placed on the force and the funding available to operate and sustain the force. years of combat and high operational tempo have stert accelerated the aging of our ships and aircraft, increased our maintenance requirement, drawn down munitions and supply parts and impacted training. budget constraints, budget uncertainty, continuing resolutions have exacerbated these issues with a net impact
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of being a decline in the material condition of our ships and aircraft. acourtingly, our priority in this budget request has been on funding maintenance, spares, training and munitions and to increase flying hours. it's critical to make course corrections cut turning to our modernization and procurement accounts as bill payers. more feign -- for maintaining our readiness, we'll rely on growing the force to match the challenges ahead. building readiness is ea the priority in 2018 and building the navy and marine corps and the capability that the nation needs will be the priority in the defense strategy review in our 2019 budget. with this budget the expect requests support to procure nine ships in 2018. the aircraft airier enterprise two destroyers, two lit tore rarl -- lit -- lit torl combat ship, a fleet oiler and a towing, salvage and rescue ship.
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the budget request also include advance procurement related to the top shipbuilding priority, missile ia class submarine. we've held costs constant the past six year have made significant reductions on cbn 79 currently on construction and we are committed to further improvements upon the estimated costs of the enterprise cbn 80 submitted in this year's budget. we are seeking your support to continue with multiyear procurement strategies that have yielded substantial savings and provided critical stability to highly successful virginia submarine and burke destroyer programs. we are seening your support as we transition from the littora combat ship to a frigate design to increase survivability for our small surface combatant program. the three littoral combat ships in 2013 with the additional
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ships this year help fill our gap of small service combatants and help ensure a healthy industrial base in 2020. the budget request continues the steady recapitalization of navy and marine corps, we plan to me cure 91 manned and unmanned aircraft to mature production for most of our major aviation -- our major navy programs. it includes funding for 24 f-35 and 24 super mor ho fer the -- hornet aircraft while keeping us n target for squadron in the 2024 time frame. we are requesting congressional approval nor this achird procurement in 018 which will provide the most affordable method to pr cure the final 65 aircraft of the program. this budget supports an end strength of 185,000 marines the proper size for today's mission.
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the marine corps invested in selected ground capabilities to conduct sustained operations and address changes in the operational environment including for the amphibious combat vehicle, the replacement of about a third of the legacy humvee fleet and upgrades to the amphibious assault vehicle. no quantity of next generation hip or aircraft will bring men and ithout our women. today's force is the most talented and high performing in history. in turn it's our responsibility to provide the incentives to attract all who are qualified to serve in the navy and marine corps can do so while creating an environment that promotes dignity and respect for all.
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this remains a top priority for the department. our priority is to rebuild the readiness and lay the foundation for future growth in terms of numbers of ships and air crafflet and advanced capability of the force. to support those objectives we will need to make certain reforms to the way we do business to ensure that we are being the best stewards possible with the taxpayers' funds. however, we also need your support in breaking the cycle of continuing resolutions and providing the increase outline and detailed by the president's budget request to the caps roposed. tasked by congress to cut the gordian knot known as the b.c.a., we will decline by every item you choose to measure. i look forward to answering your questions. >> chairman mccain, rankling member reid and other -- ranking member reed and other
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distinguished member os they have subcommittee. i want to thank you for the privilege of being here today with my colleague, yen miller and the secretary of the navy to represent our navy team, our sailors, civilians and their families. before i begin i would like to take a moment to add my voice on behalf of the navy to the chorus of voices who are hoping and praying for congressman scalise and the other victims of yesterday's brutal attackful we admire their strength and toughness and send our best wishes for a quick recovery. i'm recently back from travel it is singapore and guam. ourcy saylors face rising threat. they are talented, dedicated and laser focus obbedthashe mission. this is despite the increased challenges of the security environment and the challenges we have imposed by inconsistent, delayed an inadequate funding.
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today i hope to convey a sense of urgency, our adversaries are improving more quickly than we are. i agree with the chairman that our advantage is eroding, we must increase our naval power today, pick up the pace and aintain our winning advantage. this effort starts by ensuring we have a basis for growth, restoring wholeness and balance this began with the fiscal year 2017 budget which helped readiness declines. i thank the committee for the support. more needs to be done. challenges are sufficiently deep that it will take both predictable and sufficient funding and some time to fully recover. as you pointed out, we've got hundreds of aircraft grounded due to maintenance backlog and spare shortage. our pilots don't fly enough, our maintainers are struggling to keep planes that are working up in the air. we haven't funded part, spare parts at the required levels.
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maintaining our ships is also a struggle. submarines and warships are tied up to the pier, unable to submerge or get under way. i know that many of you are focused on add manager ships to the fleet and i am focused on that too. but if i can't repair a ship that's already been bought and paid for to go to see, i forfeit the good, hard work of our pretsessors and the net effect is the same as not buying a ship. it's one less ship today at sea and u.s. naval putter suffers. we're making -- naval power suffers. the 2017 budget was a great help to restore a lot of readiness. the fiscal year 2018 request will capitalize on that and restore balance and wholeness so we can grow moving forward. there's lots we need to do to shore up the force that we have. we need that firm foundation. as articulated in a white paper about the future navy i released we also need a larger and more
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capable fleet. even as we shore up wholeness, the budget request preserves the program growth for the navy. it invests in emerging technologies for the future, it provides a balanced aploach -- approach that starts the slerlings of naval power from a firm foundation. as i talk to our sailors who are deployed forward, protecting america from attack, promoting our interests around the world, they are as focused as ever on the mission. i know that you share my immense pride in them. but there is also a growing sense in the deployed fleet that we back here in washington just don't get it. sometimes teems -- seems like we live in a parallel universe. i urbling we bring these two realities together and close that gap quickly. as an example, there are -- we are already hearing our f.y. 2018 budget may not get passed in time resulting in a ninth con
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sec ty continuing resolution. it's getting harder to explain to sailors and their families and to those who might want to join. i'm very hepful. i pass on that optimism to them. we are willing to team together to do whatever it takes, working together with you, with your support, to get them the resources and support they need and that they deserve. again, i thank you for the privilege and opportunity to be here today and i look forward to your questions. >> chairman mccain, ranking member reed, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear today and answer questions. i fully enforce the comments of both secretary stackley and my ship mate, admiral richardson and what they've said about our current situation in the navy and marine corps. i also add the best wish os all marines and our families to those who were injured yesterday. wish them a speedy recovery.
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i know we have expectations for marines. you expect your marines to operate forward as part of the team engaged with our partners, and respond to crisis. when we fight you expect us to win. you expect a lot of us and you should. this morning as we hold this hearing more than 36,000 marines are forward deployed, engaged doing what you expect them to be doing. it inform house we man, train, nd equip our core. we have had to prioritize the readiness of forward force other those at home. those marines forward are the ones that immediately respond to congress. . -- to crisis. they are responding -- protecting embass sis, and training and jade vising iraqi
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armies. 24,000 are west of the international date line. i assure you those forward deployed marines are well train, well led and well equipped. however after 15 years of war and budget instability this is a compounded cost to our nondeployed marines back home. the fiscal year 017 appropriations intill a good down payment to improve the readiness of this bench and move us forward to recapitalize and modern size e-- modernize the force. the instability of the past eight years and continued reality disrupt our ability to program long-term activities and potentially sustain these improvements to both our current and future readiness. to continue to meet operational commitments, maintain a ready force and at the same time modernize for the future, your marine corps requires fiscal stability. and adequate resources. while supporting requirements abroad we continue to innovate, leverage technology invest in new systems and redesign our force through two new
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initiatives called cja fwmbings 2024 and marine force 2025. we must -- our -- we must advance. our ability to fight and win into the future depends upon modernization. modernization is future readiness. so as we look forward, priorities for this year remain, continued readiness recovery, implementation of the beginning of force 2025, and the acceleration of our modernization initiatives to build a more lethal marine corps. we don't want our marines to enter a fair fight and though we remain a lethal and ready force the margin between us and potential adversaries has closed. with your support in addressing the present and future challenges and the shortfalls we have we will be better postured to fight and win our nation's battles now and in the future. i look forward to your
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questions. senator mccain: thank you, admiral richardson and general neller. what are the implications of returning to a budget control act level of spending in fiscal year 2018? >> we have been trying to increase readiness. senator mccain: does 3% growth do that for you? dmiral richardson: it would -- senator mccain: what about % growth. admiral richardson: we look forward to about 5% growth. that's what the projections are. senator mccain: when you project your forces to achieve full spectrum readiness under the
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present snaree. admiral richardson: for the navy that looks to be in the early 020's. general neller: it will be about that same time. the spectrum is ex-panned to cyber, to space, the information long range precision munitions, electronic warfare. the capabilities that we have today are adequate but they're not going to be ad"for the future. senator mccain: you referred to the fact that according to various studies, in particular one from rand, although that was one from several that showed our potential adversaries are closing the potential gaps that exist between our capabilities and theirs, is that your view, admiral? admiral richardson: yes, sir, it is. general neller: yes, it is,
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chairman. senator mccain: one of the great disasters i have seen recently is the l.c.s. the minimum operational capabilities necessary to meet the war fighters needs for the l.c.s. have been delayed by a cumulative 26 years and counting. to date, very few capabilities have reached i.o.c. withoutes, helicopters, the ability to find mines or any submarine warfare capability who is responsible and who has been held accountable? i'll begin with you admiral richardson. admiral richardson: i'm the accountable person for that. i'm committed to making sure we take -- senator mccabe: when you -- senator mccain: when you say held accountable, have you been reduced in rank, you say you've been held responsible, i said
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not only who is responsible but who has been held accountable. any change in your lifestyle wince we had three l.c.s. modules redi-- delayed by 26 years and counting. admiral richardson: we have taken steps to make that more capable, we are working to change that program the way we organize and operate, the way we man, looking to increase the lethality and survivability of the l.c.s. fleet. i'll be accountable for that. senator mccain: everyone agreed with eneeded one, now we need three. how did that happen? can you explain that to me? admiral richardson: we are committed to moving forward a more capable and more lethal frigate program. the bridge to between now and that program when we let that contract in 020 is -- will not only contribute to the small
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service -- senator mccain: how did it happen that we were told for most of the year, about 364 days, all we needed was one. all of a sudden bang, now we need three. how did that process sprans pyre -- transpyre? admiral richardson: we continue to learn about the industrial base and react as we get that information. senator mccain: so for most of the year you were given one set of information, then a week to 10 days 100% given information that called for two additional l.c.s.'s. is that how the system works? admiral: we get information, we learn in realtime, we provide -- provide you information as soon as we get it. senator mccain: i'd be interested in, if you don't mind for the record, how that -- how we jumped from one l.c.s. to three just literally a matter of days after months of being told
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that we would only need one. there's more there than meets the eye, admiral, i say with great respect. ecretary stackley, the nea brought the -- the navy brought the cost cap for c.b.n. 78. secretary stackley: we are trying to hold that to the number established several years ago. we have included a $20 million request in this budget pending our determination regarding repairs required. senator mccain: is that a breech? secretary stackley: we are doing everything we can to stay within the existing cap. we'll keep congress informed as we complete our post-delivery assessment.
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senator mccain: the problem is, we haven't been informed. reachher bust the cap and that or -- and reach mccar dior you notify us. you haven't done either one. secretary stackley: we have been submitting monthly reports regarding the carrier. we are submitting about the repairs required for the motor turbine generator and acknowledged the risk associated with the repairs. what we are trying to do is not incur those costs, avoid costs by other means and as of right now we're not ready to trip that cost cap. senator mccain: it's either not allowable or it's allowable. if it's not allowable, you take a certain course of action. if it's allowable, you are required to notify kuok. you have done neither.
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secretary stackley: if we need to incur those costs we will -- they will be allowable. we are trying to avoid that senator mccain: but we were supposed to be note fid. u are either in violation of nonmccurdy or of of the requirement we be notified. you have done neither. there's two scenarios. secretary stackley: we have not burst the cost gap. if it becomes apparent we need to, we will notify congress within the terms you established. senator mccain: i get it to you in writing but you still haven't answered the question because when there's a $20 million cost overrun it's either allowable and then we have to be notified one way. if it's not allowable, nonmcdaughter diis breached. but anyway, maybe you can give
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us a more satisfactory explanation in writing, mr. secretary. president trump's budget request includes down select for a new frigate. what's changed from the previous rigate acquisition strategy? admiral richardson: i'll speak to that. the threat has changed, it's become more challenging. the way we operate has changed. it's -- operating the fleet under new concepts. we want the frigate to be relevant in a distributed maritime operational concept. the combination of those two with any changes in the fiscal -- physical environment caused us to reassess the frigate. senator mccain: does it frustrate you at all that it includes a down select for a new frigate in 2020. admiral richardson: it's fine. senator mccain: it's going to
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take us two and a half years to have a down select for a new frigate. admiral richardson: by the time we define requirements, and work with industry to find the needs an curves on what's technologically on a cost and schedule and risk, i think 2020 is an afwressive target. if we can go faster, we will. senator mccain: why is it that there's one of these every six months? it's a pretty complicated technology that we're talking about? omehow it doesn't take 2 1/2 years to include a down select after the down select, suppose we had a down select in 2020, then when would we first see the first frigate? >> our timeline right now describes completing
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requirements. the next step is to go to industry and share those requirements with industry. they'll start their design effort, we'll put in a request for proposals out in 2018 to get the proposals in 2019 with an award in 2020. we would expect industry to complete their detailed design, it'll take them a year, year and a half to complete their detailed design while they order material, about a three-year build stan. -- span. we expect the frigate to be in the water in the 2024 time frame. enator mccain: so seven years. secretary stackley: yes, sir. senator mccain: is that satisfactory to you? secretary stackley: given that we're just developing the document well, don't want to take the risk that they took on in the l.c.s. program where they established nonrealist schedules hen design was not mature.
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admiral richardson: i think we're committed to accelerate this process as fast as we can. as i know you know, moving into construction before you have a mature design is just a recipe for cost overruns and schedule delays that we've lived with before. so we're working very closely with industry in very new ways to try to move this faster. senator mccain: i've well exceeded my time. the a-4 aircraft was the request was in four weeks and the aircraft was starting production several weeks later. tell me what's changed, admiral. admiral richardson: sir, the process has changed quite a bit ince the a-4 aircraft. senator mccain: seven years
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versus a few weeks. the sophistication is such it takes seven years to start developing a an aircraft as opposed to four weeks or in the case of the s.r. 71 which in those days was not unsophisticated a couple of weeks. there's something wrong with the acquisition program process and we've tried to put you in charge and engage, we've tried to get the process moved forward. why should it take 2 1/2 years for a manufacturer to come up with a technology to build an aircraft? or a ship? it's a very -- these are very vexing problems. senator reed. senator reed: thank you, mr. chairman. secretary stackley, last year in the defense authorization act we expanded some of the authorities in the national sea based deterrence fund including the ability to contract and continue
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production of the common missile at the columbia. have you -- can you estimate how much this has saved the tax pay her secretary stackley: sir, across the board in terms of colombia -- columbia program, we are leveraging everything you provided with the specific regarding the continuous production and we don't target just the columbia but what we are looking at is the run of production. we use numbers on the order of $1.2 billion. senator reed: of savings, future savings? secretary stackley: yes, sir. senator reed: do you need more funds to accelerate future savings and increase them? secretary stackley: in the 2018 budget request no but we are continuing to explore opportunities and frankly there will be significant opportunities because what we've got is a very unique ship
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construction program over a period of time and to the extent that the business case supports it, we're going to want to be able to pull work to the left as best as possible to drive cost down and provide the stability that we need for that program. to be shipoing builders. but the issues are going to be industrial base that are layers below the ship builders and donth have the stablet or large volume or the certainty to drive costs out of the material we will be providing to the builders. senator reed: you are talking about the savings in the supplier base not the final construction? secretary stackley: half the costs comes through the supplier base and trying to reduce their costs, we get the compounded benefit. senator reed: this year, you are asking for approval of a
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seven-year multi contract and the u.s. code is five years. that's the law. why do we need two additional years for this procurement contract? >> we are coming to the end of production in the seven year period for the b-22 program and our procurement rates have been stretched over a seven-year period. aviation programs will see a tail up at the end of production. we are trying to capture the end of production, avoid the tail up with economic procurement independence of the multi year and take care of the vendor base early and drive the cost out of the program to the extent possible. more about affordability than any other factor and between our 65 aircraft and potential f.m.s., we are looking to provide money to the industrial
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base to drive costs down. senator reed: the anticipated termination of procurement of the b-22, is that correct? secretary stackley: we reach our inventory objective at the end of the seven year period. senator reed: the l.c.s. has gone into detail about this vessel and my understanding and correct me if i'm wrong, it's not capable of a mine sweeping mission and not capable of the anti-submarine mission. what mission is the ship capable of performing? >> anti-surface warfare mission. that has been delivered and deployed by the anti-submarine warfare and countermission. the capability is on track to deliver in the early 20 20's. the anti-mine countermission, we are running out or sun accept
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setting the current capability but devoted to maintaining a continuous capability. senator reed: there has been some comment that the l.c.s. is difficult to keep up with a carrier task force to avoid detection or engagement. is there any validity to that? admiral richardson: it's not really designed as a ship that would operate like that and moving across fast -- vast differences with a carrier strike group. we would deploy that ship in a different way. senator reed: as i understand and i'm not the expert on naval operations, but as we move towards the pacific and particularly as we counter rising adversaries, it's more likely we would be engaged in these type of blue water
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operations, is that fair? admiral richardson: that is why we have those plans to deploy in singapore and in theater so they are contributing to that distributed fleet level of that maritime operation. senator reed: secretary, talk about the carrier program and i just want to understand, there is an issue with the cata pault system, the abuilt to launch aircraft that has all their fuel tanks in place and can launch if there are few fuel tanks. is this issue of the system different than the issues you addressed in terms of the overall capability and cost overruns? >> i wouldn't describe it that way. what we are going through right now is developing the bulletin .or launch and recovery
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secretary stackley: and so, we start at lake hurst where we have the land-based system and start slow and buildup in terms of launching and recovering the aircraft with f-18's and fuel tanks attached, a vibration was detected. they are going back through the software and adjusting the system to remove that vibration. so today, they are renewing that testing in advance of when we are to launch recovery operations later this summer. i'm going to call it systems tuning effort that is taking place right now. each aircraft is frankly going to be tuned by emails so the launching system so it optimizes the launch and recovery of those aircraft for that configuration. senator reed: and these problems will be your own anticipating
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with the new ships, these problems will be solved? secretary stackley: absolutely, yes, sir. senator mccain: how much has the cost been of that experiment? secretary stackley: i have to get you the specifics -- senator mccain: couple hundred million, right? ecretary stackley: yes, sir. senator inhofe: we heard about the environment we are in and lack of adequate readiness. month and coates last highlighted the threat terror networks across the globe. it doesn't seem likely to get better in the near future. the navy plays a central role in response to all of these threats and seems like, my observation is that we've heard less from
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the navy about the threats in our readiness situation as we have the other services. would you like to get on record now and do you agree with the rest of the services that level ?f threat >> i agree and i have been clear and the threats are rising and . need to move faster >> our comments and concerns about the closing glap between potential adversaries and ourselves and modernization. senator inhofe: that's a scary thing. and i think when you say maybe more and mated, maybe we need to be more -- we at this table don't have the credibility that
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you guys in uniform have to let the american people know what this threat is. so i would encourage more -- >> senator, i hear you. if you read and i'll state it in our concept, we are not currently organized and equipped o face an adversary in 2025. senator inhofe: first operational declared its . pability in 2015 earlier this year they relocated to japan and became the first f-35 squad ron and participated in joint exercises with south korea partners earlier this year and we got lots of good reports. would you elaborate on how well they did.
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>> 121 did some operations on the korean peninsula and recently went to alaska and operated in an air force joint combined operation up there. kind of a version of red flag up there. i haven't gotten the classified report. their ability to operate, taking advantage of the fifth generation capabilities, take advantage of that and maintain a high ratio of kills to losses over the adversary has been consistent. i don't want to get into the specifics of that. and the readiness, which is something with the new airplane, one thing that the appropriations in what 17 and 18 does, we have underfunded our parts and spares, not just for ground equipment but afe equipment. aviation i have met with the squad ron
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c.o. and getting parts and spares from a foreign country and we are working through that. they had better readiness in alaska because of their ability to get access to parts. they are doing better maintenance-wise and doing everything that we expected. senator inhofe: maintenance is a couple of things on record. 62% of f-18'sorts are broken or not working properly. 47% of all of the naval aircraft is is having problems. i'm chair of ch in ubcommittee, they play sustaining your aging force. and we have an aging force.
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i have been encouraged by the operations and seen how they are extending the service life to planes that we never thought we would have to be doing at this age. so we are doing a good job in the depos. the g.a.o. report i think it was released, concluded, readiness recovery from the navy is premised on the adherence to deployment and maintenance schedules and they are critical that the navy has had difficulty completing maintenance on time. do you agree with that criticism? secretary stackley: yes, i do, sir. and we have been pulling every lever to improve upon that, but
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that's been part of the challenges we have been dealing with. and in particular case of aircraft, aircraft that have been flying above their historic rates to extend the flying hours and what that all that adds up is a lot of unknowns that result in extended period of time to take care of the extending the service life. are taking to be far more predicttive so the superhornts enter that stage, we are able to o that work. >> i'm sure you are aware and the chairman made passing reference to it about the atrocious level of readiness
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when it comes to f-18 superhornets in the navy and marine corps. recent numbers listed up to 62% of the f-18's and 74% of the march even's f-18's are grounded to fly. this puts increased strain on those aircraft that are still air worthy as they pick up the slack which exascerbates the problem. i was hartened that there was an order to order 24 more on existing prucks lines. i was dishartened when that number arrived in our office as number 14. i would like -- since this has been the number one one fly in the unfunded priority list for the third year in a row, i need to understand how that 24 number got to 14 and what those 10
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fighter jets, the money for those, what that was used to pay for. that f-18 look at but the total number of superhornets to address the challenge we are going to be facing when they go through the life extension program. and we need a solid 80 and that number will -- may go up. we'll have to see our review. to me, the solid 80 that we laid into the five-year program, the near year 2018 when we look at industrial base considerations, we also factor in foreign military sales. we are working hard on the foreign military sales side that involves a significant quantity of aircraft which in addition to
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the 14 we laid into the budget gives us the front end stability and look in the following five years, we get to our ultimate 80. we need a solid 80 as a threshold in terms of dealing with the risk associated with attack air in the future. the 14 in in f.y. 2018 is a balance between our budget constraints and bringing in foreign military sales, aircraft, to manage across the industrial base. that's the crux of it. one minor correction, the revenue issues that you cited for our strike fighters, those are legacy f-18. the surpe hornets are doing well and not entered that stage of their service life where we are seeing the challenge that we are seeing on the leg as and we want to get out in front of that. >> i agree with everything the secretary said and these
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aircraft will help maintain inventory as the superhornets enter into that life extension program. we are learning the lessons of the legacy hornets so so that process goes much smoother but we need 80 aircraft to have. senator mccaskill: that's as opposed to use that to pay for another system? >> the tote tall number of what we need. senator mccaskill: got it. neller and6, general at that hearing, i believe another general was here with you, both of you -- we have been briefed in january where the service representatives response i will for monitoring and providing briefings on the topic
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stated full gender integration appears to be moving forward and stated no measurable negative impact on readiness. with that briefing in january, i would like to repeat the question i asked of you in 2016 when i asked if you supported the measure to require women to register for the sclecttive service and you indicated you did and i wanted to double-check that you still believe that it is an important step forward that we require all americans to egister for selective service. general neller: that's my opinion, yes. >> every other member of this committee has spoken about the budget and i will as well. nd
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senator cotton: every single member on this didn't vote on the budget control act. general neller, i had the opportunity to attend a funeral of one of your marines at arlington national cemetery, private first class roberts. he along with several others could not be identified for decades but ultimately thanks to the work of honor flights and the defense p.o.w./m.i.a. identifying agency. he was an 18-year-old man who died 74 years ago and the children of his parents'
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siblings with there. the people who most need to know about that funeral are our service members that if they go missing or captured or killed that our country will spare no expense. we will not rest or bear any burden to find them and bring them home and let them rest. you said earlier, mr. neller, in response to a question from mr. inhofe, that you are not organized to face a peer adverse sear in 2025, could you explain more about why that's the case. general neller: since 9/11, we have organized training and equipped the force to conduct counterinsurgency. the training i that h had to fight primarily armed fight against a peer round combat
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force was not required. and so we did what we needed to do to meet the current threat and we recognized several years ago that we had started to lose our capability to conduct and combine arms in the more traditional sense. you take the current operating environment and anticipate the future operating environment, long range procedure of weapons and active protection systems, unmanned aircraft, our adversaries where we have been focused to develop these capabilities and although we still retain one on one against them, i think an edge, the edge is closed. so we need to look at our force and the capabilities we have. our intent is to with the end strength of 185,000 we were given by the appropriations to start that process to increase the number of marines that do
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electronic warfare and those who do command and control, who do cyber, do information, air defense. and those capabilities that we think are going to be important in that type of an environment. if we are able to grow the force, we'll add to that capability and at the same time, remodernize the legacy force and make it more survivable. senator cotton: to achieve victory over your you are stressing the skill set rather than the absolute number of marines you need? >> you get in the question of capacity and capability. so right now, the focus is on the capability sets and going to take a long time. with all due respect to my tribe, i can make a competent capable infantry marine in six
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to nine months. the requirements are much more complicated. the marines, sailors, airmen to do these other things are going to be expensive and take time to grow and build. we have to recruit them and train them and keep them. right now we are focused on capability over capacity but we will have to get to the capacity. senator cotton: you have introduced a number of talent programs to recruit, train and retain the best people. could you give us an update especially as it relates to pilots and seen the pressure the air force faces. admiral richardson: i agree with the commandant and how to achieve that between capability and capacity. you have to be there with credible options to provide decision makers that the navy
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d marine corps team is for delivering. we have our sailor 22025 initiative which is a bundle of 40 initiatives that get after that. with respect to our specific question on pilots, the most urgent thing we have to do is get ready to fly. they fly high-performance aircraft and that's why they came and want to stay and that's ur first priority. senator: thank you, senator reed. welcome and thank you for your extraordinary service and candid nd forth coming answers today. admiral richardson, you know of my long standing support for undersea warfare superiority. and i was very, very gratified to see that the navy has heeded
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my calls and others and added a second virginia class submarine in fiscal year 2021, where there was previously just one because of the beginning of the columbia class production. this signals that the navy is confident that the industrial base has that capability and i take it ready to meet the challenge. i see that the budget allows for accelerated fleet plan for f.y. 2021, but deficientiates from hasplan in f.y. 2022, which no additional money for attack submarines. can you explain that? >> we are working closely with the industrial base within the fiscal guidance we have to maximize and maintain our
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underseas' superiority. as you know, because you are so deeply involved, many parts of that industrial base have been leaned out by the sort of minimum production rate that we've got particularly the nuclear part of that industrial base where we are in many areas the sole customer and only one provider. so i've got the team looking at what is the capacity provided, stable and consistent funding that signal of confidence from the the government that would have a new production line to increase the rates further still. senator: let me cut through what i think you are saying, you have doubts about the capability of the industrial base to produce that additional submarine in f.y. 2022? admiral richardson: no doubts. making sure we are understanding the theoretical limits of that base. senator: i want to make sure we understand the practical limits
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and that we meet and exceed those limits because we need to produce that additional submarine in f.y. 2022, would you agree? admiral richardson: we'll take every submarine that we can get. senator: i hope we can work together because i will do whatever is necessary to make sure we have both the funding and the capability in terms of training, skill and education, in connecticut, which is where we produce submarines, to make sure we meet that schedule, because i consider it vital to our national security. admiral richardson: i agree. > could i offer -- secretary stackley: in the defense strategy review leading into the 2019 budget request, we are going to be taking a hard look at this. our domination of undersea domain is clear today and we have to make sure we do not lose that grip and future fleet plan
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highlights the need for additional attack submarines. with that said, we are producing two virginia class submarines per year. and add the columbia two that will get us up to three and three virginias per year commensurate with the columbia class, that is another element of risk. while we are going to look at it hard and what determines needs to be done, we will have done that with full collaboration with the congress. as we go through the review and identify the risks, we'll work closely with you and the other interested members to determine what's possible and how to get there. senator: i look forward to working with you. general neller you note that the only one is the
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capable of future warfighting concepts. i take that the statement a strong endorsement of this program. can you please explain to the ommittee why you consider this aircraft so important and why the funding should be authorized for the additional helicopters in the ndaa, please. general neller: senator, we need a maritime modernized aircraft to stay aboard ship and we have to be able to lift all grounds. it is going to lift a third more than any other helicopter in the world than what we have now which was fielded in 1981. the capabilities of this airplane, a completely new airplane, composite body, incredibly more powerful and
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will be more reliable which will drive the costs down. we could put money back but we decided that that just was not cost effective and we are resetting those airplanes, the echos, now, because the readiness was near that or more dramatically bad than the f-18's. we need this airplane and need new iron. the aircraft is on schedule and watching the price very closely because there are some price concerns that i think we are in a good place but we would ask to get the support to procure this airplane and i'll do my best to monitor the progress to make sure it's on time, on schedule and on cost. senator: i agree strongly that e ch-53-e should be replaced and not extended and i hope the committee will join in that view. senator reed: on behalf of the
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chairman, senator. senator: thank you for your service to our country. i would like to talk about readiness and spare parts and aintenance and general neller, to senator inhofe's questions, you were pushing pretty hard to talk about the need for spare parts and the need to be able to repair the equipment that you've got, i would like you to talk about how serious the situation is and the need to continue to improve the availability of parts for all aspects of the operations that you are responsible for, sir. general neller: thank you, smor. as i have learned and gone budget, he 17 and 18 the ground equipment, we have not funded parts and spares at our requisite level. you would think it was funded at
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100% but funded well below that, some cases at 75%. if you fund parts and spares at 75%, the best you can expect is 75%. if you want 100%, you have to pay for the parts and spares and that costs money. f-18's, of the f-18's we require, we have 75 aircraft, 47 are short of parts. i can get parts, i can fix those airplanes. and i would like to say the same about ground equipment. we are making it and we are making the ready force as forward deployed that are out there taking parts off of one in item. so i have to do all the work twice. i don't want them to do that because it takes extra work and goes back to what the c.n.o. said, we are the top dog in this
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league and you are going to give me the parts to fix this stuff and my air crew want to fly. so we would ask your support. i think the proposed budget for 18 and you will see similar of that in the supplemental is focused on continuing that what we have started now is the beginning movement now toward improved readiness and there is slight and consistent improvement. and the aircraft we have on the line is 90 more than a year ago. no one is declaring victory, but if we get continued support for high level parts and spares, we will continue to make progress. senator: admiral richardson, when it comes to spare parts, but not just spare parts but munitions. do you have the munitions and he spare parts to do your job?
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admiral richardson: naval aviation that we talk about so the problems that the commandant highlighted we share that. and we share the shortfall in munitions. so the budget request before the congress now includes sort of almost record-level funding for parts funded to the maximum executeable value there to restore those parts and also includes funding for more munitions. senator: which munitions are you short? admiral richardson: preferred munitions, the ones most used and most useful in the fight and undersea weapons, torpedos. nator: senator inhofe talked about depot activity. you do depots particularly for
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aviation and you are having challenges because you have a lot of f-18's that have to undergo a lot of work and has to be done now because of their age. seems to me the air force would be challenged in the same way and they have aircraft they are putting some hours as well. is there a formal avenue for air force and navy to share information concerning best practices? >> there is an avenue and i have to check on the formality of that but we are learning lessons back and forth and everything in regard to aviation. senator: can you look at best practices at a depot where the navy or air force is working the best ways to do it and share systems analysis between the two? secretary stackley: that is an opportunity where we can do better. informal process and close dialogue between the systems commands, navy, marine corps,
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air force. when we look at the practices across the depots, they are very different. it is an opportunity that we have to take advantage of and working on it. senator: my time has expired. donnelly. d: senator senator donnelly: i appreciate the commitment. i brought this up to every service and secretary mattis earlier this week. ngress passed the sexton act requiring every service provide a robust mental health assessment for every service member. it is the law. i have been told in the past that the requirements would be fully implemented in the navy and marine corps by the date of october, 2017.
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admiral, can you confirm you are still on target? admiral richardson: we are still on target. general neller: yes, sir, to the best of my knowledge. mr. donnelly: i would like to invite you if you have the time, we have naval warfare service center in indiana, and they do terrific work for the corps and figure out a way to get there, we would love to have you. >> the parents of this young man lives in your state. senator donnelly: one of the many areas of crane's work is the netted navy vision. tell us about your current plans and what we can do to support that vision? >> we would provide a complete level of connectivity between
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our navy and other joint service nsors and private sector sensors. key to that will be making sure that we have the confidence in all of our systems down to the chip level that these things are free of tampering, that they are integral and can't be hacked into or don't have any kind of software in them. this is the type of work crane does for us to get what we paid for. senator donnelly: general, what is your biggest concern right now as commander of the corps, the biggest challenge that you face? general neller: i think the overall readiness of the force and that's more than just the material readiness, the airplanes, the helicopters, the
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tanks, the weaponry. i believe that that's fixable. my concern is the tempo we are operating under and we are going to get young men and woman who want to join and still recruiting. for the first time, i'm seeing our career air force and senior enlisted starting to show effects of 15, 16 years of war and we need them to stay because they keep this thing going and teach the young marines what right looks like. i have some concerns about that and part of that concern they want to see that there is commitment from leadership and commitment from the nation to not just recognize what they have done the last 15 years and make sure they have the new equipment and gear and capabilities they need to be successful if and when they have to go back and fight again. senator donnelly: admiral what
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is your concern? admiral richardson: the current pace of operations and relative and the gap vement between that challenges and the they level of support need and that has manifested in terms of readiness. and will continue to manifest itself in the future in terms of modernization and that will come back and start to affect our most valuable asset which is our people. you have been focused like a laser to make sure we take care of the people. once that happens in an all volunteer force, that is difficult to recover and takes a long time to build a sergeant or chief petty officer, and that's a difficult thing. if they leave, that's hard to recover. senator donnelly: last question i would like to ask just last in flashed ays, a marine
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laser on a helicopter. can you make sure our men and women are protected and we take appropriate steps and that we have this figured out in advance as to what we are going to do. >> all of those commanders in theater have the equipment, the rules of engagement and the authority they need to make sure they and their teams are protected. earns the.d: senator senator ernst: we appreciate your dedication and service. we heard a number of points about acquisition and the fact we need to do this in a much more efficient manner. i would like to start with you, iowa pleased to hear the navy increased their outreach to
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small businesses as a way to speed up the failures we have seen in the acquisition process and our small businesses can provide the department with a lot of much needed products. as a matter of fact, we have a very small company in iowa and small town of iowa that provides a pump that's on every single navy ship. and what additional authorities can we provide to the department in order to speed up the acquisition process and how do we increase the outreach that we have to those small businesses? secretary stackley: let me start with the authorities. i believe we have tremendous authority already in what we've t to do is become better practitioners. senator ernst: how do we do that? secretary stackley: go use every authority that you've got. use the great weight of the
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government behind you to tackle some of these issues. do not let the bureaucracy become the problem. so i think we have authorities that we need and we're not hesitant to come to you all to frankly not -- it's not more authority we need, unlock some of the burdens we've got so we can speed up. our acquisition team, we are trying to push the boundary. we want to be told to slow down and not the alternative. with regards to small business, this takes a lot of work and work well worth it. yesterday, i walked into the office of the acting assistant secretary of the navy and we were sitting down to talk to one small business on one matter that this small business had getting through a certification. driving to do this because they aren't going to win foxhole by
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foxhole, but i have to train every professional that small business is your best friend. small business is big business for the department of navy. they bring innovation and speed and fairly cost structure but not well adept with dealing with the large government. taylor e got to do is our processes and make them a part of the team and not have them intimidated. first in terms of authorities, we are well equipped with authorities and will not behest tant to come and request authorities or relaxation of some of the existing language that encouple beers us and with regards to small business, we look for every opportunity and what i have to get is every program manager to recognize whether it does not have to be a boeing or lockheed or north .hrop grumman
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senator ernst: the takeaway for the committee is that you have the authorities you need and you need perhaps less of the regulation and rules, less burdensome oversight, is that correct? secretary stackley: yes, ma'am. what's happened over the decades, language has been added provision by provision telling us how to do our business. what everybody is recognizing all of these interlocking requirements are in fact slowing us down. we need good order and discipline, but if we have too much present sipttive language telling us how to do our job, it will slow us down. or and to work and tail have dead language that requires us to do things that add no value.
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senator ernst: peeling back some of those regulations will be important. and just very briefly, general, a question to you. why is the marine corps just beginning to look at the m-23 grenade launcher for the infantry when the army has been using this for the past eight years? i might think that's a little bit of waste of money if the army has successfully used this for a number of years. general neller: i saw that article today and first time personally. we talk about weapons and general was in my office and talked about different types of weapons that we are looking at and trying to create commonality because they can buy an economy of scale. no one has said the damn 203 isn't getting it done and we need a new grenade launcher. i need to get back to you. if it is better, more effective
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and efficient way to deliver that particular munenigs, then we are all over it. i'm way out of my lane on small business, but when we talked about stability of the budget and every one of those big contractors is made up of a bunch of small businesses. and if they don't -- the big guy can survive if there is inconsistency in the small business. they have to buy product and put on workers. if there is a c.r., you can't go, that's what kills us because that's where our parts and spares come from from these small businesses. it's so important to get budget stability. i owe you an answer on that. secretary stackley: if i could pile on the acquisition piece, we are talking with industry and those who do in the private sector and the government, it's
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pronl two worlds in achieving quality and present difficult built. and that overhead costs us 20% is often for small business to get over. we help the navy and we help the government and taxpayer and small business by cutting through that. senator ernst: thank you. senator reed: on behalf. senator. senator: i have a long-term question i would like you to address we are grappling with the proposal to grow the navy from 308 ships to 355. and i'm on the budget committee. if you are growing the navy to that level, there are other
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changes you will be contemplating because of the mixture, some have support elements. what might that mean for naval and marine aviation. many of them have expeditionary units connected to them and particularly end strength numbers. and you are probably early into the thinking, but let's look down the road, if we get some of the roads about sequester and start to budget based on priorities instead of budget, instead of trimming our priorities to deal with budget uncertainty, as we grow to 355, what should we expect from you to us around additional changes like aviation, personnel, et cetera and if you could each tackle that, that would be helpful. >> you have hit the nail right on the head and the idea of the concept is wholeness. i would advocate -- as we grow
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the navy, we have to grow it in balance. secretary stackley: certainly there is a fundamental role for capacity, more ships. but as we do that, we have to make sure that to the point it has been clearly made today, we buy the infrastructure to support those ships, the power, everything that we'll need to dock those ships, the crews to man them. the maintenance programs. if there is an aviation come pont to that then we need to buy the aircraft. it is maintaining that balance. it will be absolutely critical otherwise we will have a large and potentially hollow navy and need to maintain that. secretary stackley: i can describe that the c. bmpt o. has put out a report describing the cost for a 355-ship navy and
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captured the costs to go into this with eyes wide open. in the near term, building that navy.o a 355-ship we don't get to 308-ship navy until the 2022 time frame. we are building up the infrastructure and manpower to support a 308-ship navy and build on the elements as we continue to grow the size of the force and that's not just the size of the ships, the navy and marine corps element and take that 355 and say what's the difference? the biggest elements are attack submarines, destroyers or a cruiser replacement, one carrier and getting up to the full complement. you start to look at those specific elements, what do we need to grow that capability and what are we going to do in the interim.
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senator: how about some of the personnel that might be involved in growing at that level? general neller: the majority of the growth, if we get to 38 ships, we are doing things with marine forces on land that we would prefer to be doing from the sea. i think at our structure now, we could support the manning -- there are some other things. senator: you might ship some land base -- general neller: take people from what they are doing now and take advantage of the ships. there are other things like the secretary c.n.o. said, i have to put marines on there and aviation and marine combat cargo personnel and i have to have the surface connectors and look in the budget, that's something that is in the supplemental that that is a program with not a lot of money but the connectors allows us to do the job and go
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from over the horizon and put that force ashore to exchange forces at the sea base. so the connectors are something that would have to be grown and certainly we would not get there if we don't fund the current rogram that we have. senator: thank you for your service and testimony. last year around this time, we had done essentially with the joint chiefs had requested of the congress our appropriations committee moved the defense appropriations bill out of committee and it was very bipartisan. only one dissenting senator on the senate floor. last summer we moved to vote on it and it was filibustered. so we went through the usual playbook of a c.r., omnibus at the end. a number of us want to try to do
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that again, not filibuster but get a no kidding budget, get it on the floor and vote on it, is that your preferred course for the men and women in the military that we do that? admiral richardson: yes, sir, by far the preferred course to pass the budget using normal procedures. general neller: yes, sir. secretary stackley: i would say it's the only acceptable course, sir. senator: we are going to try and do that and hopefully there won't be another filibuster or continuing resolution. that's what we should be doing but it's good to hear that you want and the other courses of action aren't helpful to our troops. you are all nodding? >> to go back to reinforce what the c.n.o. said, it would restore confidence of all the rank and file of the men and
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women in the armed forces that they understand that we get it. senator: and they are watching. that filibuster said, nobody saw that. the troops saw that. > you would be amazed how in citeful are tuned in. the come dant and i get out around the world to talk about forward deployed forces and had an all hands call. a junior sailor will stand up and ask these questions. that's the sense that we don't get. fully support it. senator: a number have been working with the service chiefs and d.o.d. on the important tans of the marines, navy, the air force. as the chairman said we need to
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get this right and make this strategic and not tactical and if we don't get it right we will be paying for it the next 50 years. i talked to secretary mattis about this. we look forward to working with you because it needs to be military, executive branch and this committee and the congress to make sure we get that right. i want to mention, i look forward continuing to working with you and the other service chiefs on this important initiative to get in our specific forces correct because a lot of us don't think it has been optimized and some think it was static for decades and we want to work with you on that. admiral richardson, i want to talk about the arctic. the department of defense in january this year came out with a new arctic strategy and directed by this committee and the congress. much better than the old one and
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talks about opening sea lanes and lines of communication and commerce, transportation, protecting the sovereignty of the arctic, resources as particularly russia and china continue to buildup forces and capabilities in the region. i read the arctic's 2014 rod map put out by the navy. 355 ships, 300 to in this strategy, talk about the ice hardening. what ships would we need to ice harden and do you believe this arctic strategy needs to be updated now that the secretary of defense has put out a much morrow bus strategy that was directed by this committee? >> precisely the effort we are undertaking this summer as we
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refresh our strategy in light of the national defense strategy review we are doing. we will update. senator: in terms of ice hardening ships. we have 355-ship fleet that we are looking at. what kind of ships would you believe we would need to ice harden and we don't have the capability to do it. admiral richardson: i owe you of e answers as an output the strategic review but it would be the types of ships that would have decisive impact. senator: during your confirmation hearing you mentioned the importance of working with the coast guard to pgrade and building out an ice breaker fleet. we have two, one is broken. the russians have 40 and they are building 14 more.
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they are controlling what general a mattis called strategic train of the arctic. admiral richardson: we have formalized our arrangements in terms of acquiring ice breakers and started an office and looking at the requirements of that ice breaker and bringing our expertise to patriotic sure we support the coast guard in executing their mission and we have made some good progress this year. senator mccain: should an ice breaker cost a billion dollars? admiral richardson: shouldn't. senator mccain: and 10 years to make? admiral richardson: goes back to aster acquisition. bill gill -- senator gillibrand: can you give
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us an update of the progress you have made? >> we have a number of issues and formed a task force of marines to give us more insight -- work with ncis and having have gone through thousands and thousands of pictures. there are 65 subjects that 59 were sent to command for disposition. nd many of them there wasn't sufficient evidence. 33 dispositions and the rest are still under investigation regarding what five n.j.p.'s and there is also two other n.j.p.'s and one pending a court martial. we have not stopped and required every marine to sign an administrative acknowledgement that they understand what their responsibilities are on social media and that actions that
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would degrade, defame or discrediting to another marine or to the institution makes them subject to the military code of justice. . i've gone personally, as all of my leaders have gone, and spoken to literally tens of thousands marines and made them understand what their responsibilities are. and i think, more importantly, and i've said this publicly, i'll say it here in front of this committee, the social media things that we've seen have been -- were just indicative of a problem within our culture that we did not properly respect or value the contributions of women in our corps. and that's the problem we have to fix. >> so out of the 65 subjects, none have been court marshalled? mr. neller: one is pending. >> what does that mean? mr. neller: they're in the process of getting article 32, whether they'll end up going to a court marshall. mrs. gillibrand: were any of the
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65 subjects commanders? [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] >> we leave this now but you can find it online, we'll take you thrive miami where trump will be announcing changes to u.s. policy toward cuba and what's been three years of detente with the island country under his predecessor. hearing first from congressman mario diaz-balart about a lart. mr. diaz-balart: let me tell you, this is a special day. to be with the distinguished members of the president's abinet, including our very own secretary acosta. [applause] my colleagues, some of my colleagues that are here, and of course starting with senator rubio. [applause] congressman curbelo. i know i'm going miss some. i'm going to miss some. but i know that someone that's very special to me, congressman lincoln


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