tv Marine Corps Commandant Navy Secretary Testify on Readiness CSPAN December 17, 2018 5:56pm-7:52pm EST
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>> next, we'll hear from the commandment of the marine corps navy.e secretary of the they testified at a senate hearing last week on readiness of their respective services. >> disjoint meeting on sea power and readiness and management support can leave this morning to examine the readiness. we welcome the distinguished witnesses the secretary of the >> we welcome the secretary of robert b.neller. iral william, e chief of naval operations and the director of defense capabilities management at the accountability office. let me begin by expressing condolences.
this serves as a reminder of the constant dangers those in uniforms face on a daily basis. i think the chairman and ranking members for agree to hold this hearing they crossed the jurisdictions such as equipment modernization on the navy surface ships. this february senator john mccain and i introduced legislation to help the navy restore its surface force readiness. the warfare enhancement act of 2018 sought to address some of the root causes in the climate
and readiness that were outlined in the secretary of the navy's strategic readiness review and comprehensive review in which they lost their lives. the commanders and sailor the ss call for meaningful reform. the review cited the ships overworked crews and a decline in an evil mastering and confusing chains of command to. they were specifically designed to address these and other challenges. i have confidence in the leadership i believe congress must continue to play an active role in ensuring the right long-term actions as implement
implemented. the defense authorization act for 2019 which president trump signed into law in august includes 11 provisions derived from the original legislation they keep the watch standing records among several other provisions. the reforms for the surface ships. there will be several other topics that will be highlighted in the witnesses prepared testimony, but in the interest of time i will conclude my opening remarks and i think by
agreement, we are now to recognize senator cain for whatever opening remarks he might have. >> thank you mr. chair and to the witnesses for being here today and to my colleague. i appreciate the opportunity to meet in the office to talk a little bit about it. it is very appropriate to talk in this joint hearing of the readiness of both the marine corps and the navy. i will also echo what the senator said are our prayers go out to the family members affected in the marine family by the midair collision. one of those killed a is a marie from fredericksburg virginia. thinking about kevin and his family. i'm going to keep my remarks brief as well. on the readiness recovery, i'm encouraged by the secretaries expressed goal of an 80% figure
that is a stretch goal but the kind of goal you need to do good work and while i support it i do have concerns about how we come up with and allocate the resources that we need to meet it. they found the navy spent about 1.5 billion to support submarines that were not able to be deployed. i'm very interested to hear from the witnesses how the navy can best use private and public to make sure the goals are met and taxpayer dollars are used wisely and i know you are prepared to testify about that. there's a cost of $21 billion which would be nearly three times what the navy has historically spent on capital shipyard investments.
i know how they achieved this amount of investment and congress has a huge role so you will be giving us a challenge as well as you describe it and an additional concern about the infrastructure especially following what we have been through his climate change. hurricane florence t did significant damage to north carolina and the cost inflation to the marine corps could be significant. the gao recently found they acknowledge the potential claimants change pose operational budgetary risks to the military installations that are seeing examples of that and they are in the installations from climate related events it could be hurricane, flooding, drought, part of the wildfires.
the report is due this month and i will ask the navy and korean court for their top ten today for their verbal testimony or testimony for the record. i'm not expecting each of you to pound on the table about debating about the causes of it but we need to know coming up what we need to deal with those older abilities. thanks for calling the hearing and i appreciate the opportunity to dialogue with our witnesses today. you mentioned your constituent. let me just say that we now have four to five marine who's been declared dead after the crash of the warplanes.
family members identified their loved ones to the stars and stripes. in addition to the major of fredericksburg virginia whom senator mccain has already mentioned, the staff sergeant of lynch field park arizona, corporal carter ross from hendersonville tennessee come and corporal daniel baker of illinois have been identified. and that's flight was identified from myanmar florida. we mentioned all of those names with our thoughts and prayers to the families and appreciation for their service and sacrifice to the country. i want to thank all of the members for being here with us
important hearing that emphasizes the modernization and readiness go hand in hand, and i know that our full committee chair is committed to ensure we continue down the path to readiness. it's been six months since we have received testimony from the navy and marine corps from the budget much has happened since then. i'm going to keep my opening remarks short. first, the readiness issues with regards to the navy ordered the marine corps importantly in the context of the new national defense strategy.
they testified recently and i thought they did a very good job. it is in the emphasis of the national defense strategy. as the senator mentioned i want to get a sense from the witnesses from the laudable stretch goal with regards to 80% mission capable. these issues in terms of the naval aviation has been a big challenge and continues to be. i'm also curious to get an assessment from the mr. secretary u. and admiral moran how you plan to get to the mission while keeping the training of which has been a big problem and not degrading the
readiness capabilities. on the topic of modernization i am concerned about a significant burden that we are seeing on sustainment. last month the vice admiral stated that only 35% of the ships he had in the maintenance availabilities would move on time. this again is an area where maintenance is sustained and the fleet has been a strategic imperative advantage of the united states navy relative to other countries particularly china, russia and i want to get a sense from our witnesses on how we make progress on that. senator and i are going to be conducting a classified hearing later today with regards to the specific laydown of the force posture in light of the national
defense strategy in asia pacific and indo pacific that's going to be an important hearing. my stage plays an important role so i would like to get an up date on the utilization. finally and more importantly we've already touched on it, the trend in the region with regards to accidents that we've had in the navy and the marine corps i don't want to go down the whole list, but those resulting in the 17 sailors, several berean core crashes and training including
the latest that we just talked about we of course send our heartfelt condolences to the families of those that have lost loved ones during this holiday season. i know all of you gentlemen take these issues extremely seriously. these are the men under your charge, but we have to do better. we must do better all of us including the congress. what we need to do is make sure you get the authorization and appropriation bills on time. you can endure over a decade and they do not help readiness and contribute to the problem problo with that i look forward to hearing from our witnesses. witnesses. >> the ranking member of the committee. >> i will keep my remarks very short and i do have my own condolences.
thank you very much for coming to see us. these are the areas i would like to focus on as some of them have already been mentioned. one of the most important areas of concern for me is the shipyard modernization because it is very much a part of our industrial base in hawaii and a major part of the national security. i would like to know how we are going to get to 80% availability for aviation. as the propeller falls off the tutu corrosion and maintenance and then of course as mentioned
by senator sullivan preventing have to see so thank you very much. >> i believe secretary spencer is first in line to make opening remarks. >> we are delighted to have you. >> i would open up by saying thank you for keeping your thoughts and prayers in mind for those affected and i would go one step further and say please keep your thoughts and prayers in mind for all of our navy marine corps team that are out of harms way. ranking member, i beg your pardon, distinguished members who are all here today. for the effort to restore funding stability to the department of the navy.
it is critical and it is doing its work. i will tell you the weathervanes are all pointed in the right direction. urgency is the message that we have now. you are seeing improvement and you'll see it today but the rate must increase and we believe we have plans to address that. the foundation for restoring readiness and increasing without he has been sent but we must build on this with a focus on people, capabilities and process and why we are well underway during this testimony we will highlight and answer questions that are to delineate what's being done. to counter the environment that we presently face. i'm going to highlight a couple
of the movements that we are making. we are increasing without he and readiness for the targeted its length and width in platforms. while enhancing our partnerships in the private sector as an example of one side or private sector partners we are cleaning commercial best practices to increase efficiency and flow in the maintenance facilities to a term for the conference back to the fleet as quickly as possible. the team is strengthening the network of allies and attracting new partners through the joint exercises such as linpack, try and juncture, malabar and gold alligator. increasing opportunities for our personnel and their allied counterparts to study together, serve together and operate as a single unit.
any ideas and capital assets we have made the business process reform a top priority and at every level we must become and we are moving there to become a continual learning enterprise identifying best practices from outside the building, promoting a culture of problem solving and achieving efficiencies and the speed of relevance. recent examples of this include the newly revised surface force training readiness manual which places more focus on training and changes the delivery strategy of the basic phase training to ensure ships were able to continuously train during the optimized fleet replacement plan cycle. this coupled with the establishment of the training centers in both more focus and san diego enabled the surface warfare officers to develop the skills throughout their career. they are increasing the capability of the united states
navy, and this shows what we are investing in our people. the taxpayers provide us with the treasury did return, we must protect them from the risks associated with an ever-changing world. we owed to them to ensure every dollar that we invest as they return on mortality. we must do this to fulfill to them. we have more examples of efforts to to increase readiness. while we have been focused on addressing the root cause issues that we face, you should be aware we are making systemic changes that will take time to banning fully moved the wheel in order to affect the goal we must have consistent funding. any breaking i and that consistency will have dire effects on the process that we have made to date. we appreciate the support and the committee and on behalf of the finest marines, sailors we look forward to your questions.
>> thank you mr. secretary. i understand that you also have an opening statement. you are recognized. >> ranking member, thank you for inviting me to discuss the body of work. i will break my statement into two parts and first describ desd the ship and submarine readiness and then move to aviation. just over a year ago i had a duty to report to you that navy training wasn't up to its own standards. training requirements were being wavered at an alarming rate. the navy and a series of the sef internal studies concluded that the lack of training have contributed to the deadly solutions when i read i would be testifying at the hearing i decided to go to japan to see for myself how things were going. what i found was encouraging. the navy had stepped up training to make sure that the ship crews are deployed before the train and they've committed to provide
dedicated training time going forward. things had improved markedly. however this is keeping them very busy. we talked to ten groups out in japan and they told us since the morale is high they told us they are still working very hard sometimes when hundred hours a week or more. this is a problem still facing the navy that it is not putting enough sailors on the ships to cover the workload. we reported on this last year and the navy is working to develop the manning requirements boat at sea and import. we eagerly await the results of the studies, and i suspect a number of hard-working sailors do as well. completing maintenance on time has proven to be a wicked problem. since 2012 the navy lost more than 27,000 of the ship and
submarine availability due to getting in and out of maintenance. 2018 was particularly challenging with the equivalent of 17 ships that were not available because they were waiting to get into or out of maintenance periods to conduct a planned maintenance the navy already has on the books. sustaining and incorporating new aircraft in the fleet in the report earlier this yea year we looked us uthatreport earlier te had seven different navy and marine corps aircraft and none were meeting availability goals and those were within 80%. many had delays due to the personnel shortages.
to bridge the gap and also moving to ps 35 early indications are that there is seeing some challenges there as well. we found a report last year that the capabilities were already six years behind an and what tht meant as a practical matter is they took money us, sometimes six or more to get the repair to back out to fleet. i understand the rust belt and i know the navy and marine corps is working on this but we feel additional attention has to be paid to sustaining. with several including ps 35 by next year. this will be difficult to achieve in my assessment and i offer a couple of cautions as we
move forward on this. consistent missions will be critical. there've been efforts to define what we mean in the enumerator and the denominator and i think it is a step in the right direction. this is basically the 80% of what question. second, we need to be short everyone understands what the mission capability as it doesn't been aircraft can do all the missions it might be assigned to a. it means that his typical index lower because they need to be able to perform all of the missions including the high emissions when we look at the 35 last year it had 15% mission capable rate. this is a significant implications for the five because those difficult missions are those that are often hard to find time to train for. in closing, mr. chairman come as my statement indicates we have 45 recommendations to the navy and the marine corps at the dod and i'm happy to report that
there's progress being made on the recommendations. we see actions being taken and we haven't closed that many of them that we are working closely monitoring progress and i'm encouraged by what i see but make no mistake it will take significant time to rebuild the readiness, submarine and aviation fleets and it will require sustained attention we stand ready in the oversight and i'm happy to take any questions. >> thank you. very plain and forthright testimony. secretary spencer, we are entering a time of divided government in this congress. we will soon have a republican senate and democratically controlled house and we are going to have to join hands and
give you the resources, gav, gil four of you gentlemen and the people that you represent the resources that you need. let me just remind the folks listening there is a provision in the statute that hasn't yet been repealed. it would put us back up sequestration and an unthinkable result, and utterly irresponsible act that i feel sure this republican senate and this upcoming democratic house will avoid. i remember a previous secretary of the navy telling me in a budget hearing that they had no contingency plans for sequestration.
there is increased maintenance backlogs in approximately one half of the marine corps home station units at unacceptable levels of readiness and bessie and no could have gone on and on. i don't think it is going to happen but it's in the statute and unless we take action give our citizens the security they need, it is there in the statute
and we must be mindful of that. please give us the list rations of what impacts that would result in it for sequestration kicks back in the hands is currently slated under the current statute. secretary spencer, i will let you go first. >> the money that you gave us and 17, 18 and 19 you will hear what is being done. we are on the bicycle pedaling and it took a while to get up.
this would just knock us down. if you look with the sequestered as it is 26 billion-dollar cut it apart and of the navy and if the president has no accent or 14% it is devastating. i am more than happy to share with you all later a graphic i put together here going around the country for everyone's district and what does that mean if sequestration hit and no area is unscathed by this. general miller? >> as the secretary said, we are making progress. maybe not as fast as we would
like but i can show you quantifiably how the readiness is improving. and we have a unique problem we are at an inflection point for the nation goes are being reviewed and looked up and we have to modernize and prepare for something we haven't had to prepare for since the cold war and those particular have had to dnothing but recapitalize their force. if we were forced back to a sequestration level it would be more than just blue angels not giving their airshows and people not going to conferences and the units ready to deploy it would give a look at the structure and make a smaller force.
you get to create capabilities for the force that we need to defend interest in the nation. it would impact the force itself. it's important i know the committee understands and the american people i hope understand this isn't just an all volunteer force were recruited force and they expect when they are recruited and signed up and we send them we do not do home game. they will have the best year and a training that we can provide and we would be challenged to do that. obviously those that are deployed are going to get the best that we've got and the most ready capable equipment but the time to get ready would take longer and if they were unexpected the readiness of the force would go down. it would be devastating.
>> when i think about budget control act sequestration and even multiple continuing resolutions as opposed to a stable predictable budget, i go back five years ago or so when the first time we went through this occurred and it's taken five years to get back on our bicycle as the secretary referred to, so we think about this as a component of time. time for our sailors to learn how to operate the time to fly airplanes into become proficient but experts and masters what thebut theycame into the navy t. it gets driven down to one or two months as it should be and i also think of time as the ability to recover if we were to go back to those levels again.
we lose proficiency and expertise and have to cover that by skipping generations of people who missed the opportunity during the time when we didn't have the resources available. >> in my statement about the concern that i have about the public shipyards i know the navy has a new plan for modernizing the infrastructure optimization plan because that is to be a major improvement after years of neglect for this important infrastructure and certainly there have been construction projects in various upgrades over the years that there's nothing like a comprehensive plan that can be implemented to move us to the point where we need to be. so the navy told us earlier that
it is an after plan for modernizing the shipyards in the fall of 2018 and it's intended over the next 20 years. where does the navy stand on implementing the master plan? >> the key that we are looking at right now when we are looking up to build it up is basically three buckets and that is the legacy systems and the base modernization. we have stepped back and take in a close look because the fact of the matter is until we get the shipyards specifically for the underwater fleece the public shipyards to merrily increased flow and increase efficiencies for the throughput we are hurting ourselves. with our past to man, equip,
train and delivered the assets neededeliver the assetsneeded bt commanders this is a key focus we are allocating dollars. hawaii is one of the first projects we are looking at right now. we are sitting there taking an industrial flow overview of how we are going to rebuild peace. the fact of the matter is the science of industrial flow has progressed tremendously since we had last touched these shipyards. we are going to modernize them. >> i'm glad to hear that as one of the first shipyard focuses. i would be very interested to know what specifically is happening with pearl harbor that would lead to its modernization. mr. pendleton, the gao, hence the gao reviewed the navy shipyard modernization plans, and if so, have you drawn any conclusions from that review?
>> we have a review underway looking at how that is going. we have word that indicates the age and condition of the shipyards and looked at the impact on the maintenance delays in optimization and so forth we are still looking at that. >> when you say looking at it, when can we expect a report? >> the modernization of the plans are being implemented for the secretary. thank you very much. it would be pretty challenging to get to 80% aircraft availability are we being realistic in this if i could
bring you out to one of the depots to show you what we are doing is a program for the super hornets, we've hired a fellow that ran the south west airlines maintenance and in a matter of days we i can turn it over to the vice chair because he sits on the steering committee for this program in eight weeks we have increased throughput by 40%. >> there's a concern about something called innovative accounting techniques to indicate the goals are being m met. i do want to get to the corrosion issue because we had a multiple deaths just this week the court had results of the investigation to the crash
runs. this is something we are enhancing because if you can see when we start peeling back the yen on the maintenance issues with the chemistry that's out there today we have the ability to address this along with the process to stay ahead of it. of those we would consider putting up a contract to begin with. if you were to see the efforts that are going on now.
they are not simply contractors are living through them saying what can you bring to the table that's new since the last time and with the best practices we are seeing out there among other areas and what can we do to improve the way we battled this. >> i appreciate the witnesses joining the joint committee today. general, i wangeneral, i want tf then nearly three months since hurricane florence made landfall. have you had the opportunity to assess the order of magnitude to the impact of camp lejeune and the challenges we see and what are the numbers? stanek it isn' isn't as dramatin you look at it with your own eyes is what you did it happen up a pan handles. it was very slow moving but it sat on top so a lot of the
buildings are very old and they suffered roof damage, exterior damage and when that happened it got inside. there was an effect on housing we are working with a private event your to fix that and we are making some progress as fast as they would like but we are making progress. it comes to about $3.6 billion.
one thing you didn't mention that it's an issue that we've raised here is to be blunt, the increased probability that some of the really bad things that we've seen good increase in terms of the potential, and i'm talking about death and traini training. my biggest concern is that we see more of these deaths and the american people none of us should tolerate it when you are not able to travel as long to maintain a level that makes you qualified based on current standards yes, senator that is a
risk. >> that is important for. >> you also mentioned, i think we recognize we have a readiness problem and readiness challenge. you mentioned in your testimony it's going to take time to rebuild readiness. let me ask the basic question what in your view, you kind of have the outside independent view what put us in this in the first place and remember it's not just readiness, this is a readiness problem that's killing our marines and sailors. from 2010 to 2016, the dod budget was slashed by 25% a lot of people don't know that. that's a fact. >> i don't think they helped but it was a demand and inspire problem. go back a few years and they were able to bring more folks home and retrain and get
repetition for the combat training centers. >> what they put us in a readiness hold? >> it didn't slow down until they have to continue to find ways to meet demand with a shrieking fleet. and with budgets like they were, they had sustainment accounts that they were trying to work off of now. >> mr. secretary, one of the things i've touched on briefly in my opening statement there is been a lot of interest from this committee what is happening in the arctic and it's not just me. it's actually broad-based we've had a number of professions including a demand from the department of defense for the new arctic strategies you know the russians are building up their capability maps and huge exercises, new ports and
building 13 more, some are nuclear powered and many others are weaponize. in the statement to this committee they said we need to pay more attention to you. you and i had the opportunity to visit potential areas and you said in a speech we need a strategic port in alaska. can you focus on some of the issues that you see as challenges from the national security perspective defense strategy and how the arctic plays into that and can i get your commitment as required in the statute on the revised analysis of the strategic importance? >> you do have my commitment, senator. last october when i was newly minted one of my first trips out of the country was to the arctic and franco vick that was my curve for what was going on in
the arctic. at that point our russian friends were warming up five airstrips 10,000 troops up there for the quote on quote search rescue according to the ambassador from russia. the chinese are up there. everybody's up there. everybody but us. we are up there in the sea and in the air. i agree to an extent tha but i'm getting to my point which is we are looking at how we can get back there. if i had a blank check for everything it would be terrific but with the demand we have right now, it is unaffordable. do we have an avenue that could possibly work to go out there, i believe we do. we are working at that right now. they woulthey would have to havf in fact there was nice.
i can commit to the fact we will try to figure out how to service that. you and i did look at the coast for a potential strategic port. i think the coast guard in concert with the navy we should definitely flush out what could possibly be done when it comes to the arctic area for training, the commandant and i have talked about this plans to look at something this summer. we've talked about definite training uses and ability to affect the strategy with arctic activity. >> thank you very much senator sullivan. >> i've chatted with you about
this requirement from 2015 that is no2015 butis now live about d financial statements for all. we view that as a tool not just for congressional oversight but wcongressional oversight butwe r military leadership to manage and create a culture of continuous improvement if we are going to be reliable on the budgetary requests and certainty going forward it helps us if we believe we are promoting improvements lettin letting go e lesser performing priorities or programs that invest in other areas as you describe to help you figure out their new strategies on maintenance. how are you using tools like the audited financial statements and others to try to figure out how to squeeze more value out of the dollars we give you?
>> the audit process from the day that i arrived the conversation was this is not an invasion into door area for a painful financial exam. this is a process that will give you a tool to see how you are deploying resources and the effects of the resources. we did change the conversation and we've gone to the first cycle as vinod and i think as we advertised when i was up here for my confirmation hearings i don't think we will get a clean opinion for another five to six years but that isn't the issue it is the learning process along the way that's critical this cycle alone we have been yet but i can provide for you on the record later and i will just quote a few weeks found out we n excess of 700 distribution
points for parts. amazon does this with 25 centers do we have something to learn where we certainly do, the ability to find out where inventory is. a fine example we were missing some assets that were held by a contractor in my heart of hearts i said we would probably find a paper issue it was that when you look at the commercial sector, there was a thing i grew up with which was the standards he would provide fewer services and goods to a client. that exists among all of our contractors when it appears we forgot to ask for that or we were not aware of that. we are going to turn around and say when you hold assets for us when you do them at the same accounting standards it's fair we are taking advantage of it. >> we really want to see how those are being used from all of you. i was struck by your cost on the
repair a think you put it around 2.2. at the high end we don't believe it is cost-effective to repair the buildings that are 35 to 50-years-old so if you replace these buildings there' there is actually more but these are the ones we've had around 3.6, 3.7. it would also be the case that it would be foolish to repair a building that would be vulnerable to the same damage. we really ought to be looking at the higher cost it is about 5 billion as i understand it the purpose of this hearing that talked about this top ten list in the navy marine side there's a report due this month about the top ten installations that you feel have vulnerabilities.
when are we likely to see that report? >> that should be forthcoming soon i will get back to you on the exact date i don't know where the process is in finalizing it but not surprisingly it's not what you might expect it's going to be oceanfront areas, water rising issues and areas exposed to what we have seen as the storms that come every two or three or four years we will have to start addressing this and so we do this correctly. >> we have a hearing nearly two years ago very bipartisan congressional delegation talking about the effect on your folks and other bases. we started thinking about if there is a future background or any kind of base rationalization that's got to be a vulnerability that people would be concerned about, but one of the witnesses said you should worry about the
rise but try running the base in an area there is a persistent drought. it's not just a sea level rise, there's all kinds of weather emergencies and challenges the services are dealing with on the climate site and we look forward to the report because it will help us do our job better in the appropriation. >> thank you senator cain and we certainly ought to be able to deal with issues like that apart from any background we might have. senator. >> thank you mr. chairman thank you all for your service to our country. some of the numbers right now with regards to aircraft and their mission capable numbers are still pretty disturbing. i'm reading them and looking at comparisons between the different types of aircraft and
branches of government and there is a difference between the requirements for each one of these aircraft in terms of the missions they are supposed to be capable of that i would like your thoughts on a couple of things. the newest in the capable rate of 4.9% according to the most recent steps that we've got compare that with the marine corps who have a mission capable on their older ones of 60% i would like your thoughts why the marines have a higher capability than the depot and if you compare that with the air force they are 16 aircraft and have a 70% what is the difference in discrepancy and is it a matter that the intensity of the
obligations is that much greater in area of best practices was in your opinion is causing the difference between the mission capable differences? >> i'm going to have to get back to you with a better answer but it has to do with the experience levels, the throughput and we just haven't done the comparison you're talking about so i don't feel comfortable opining about it but we visited all of those places in recent years and some folks might be able to talk about that but i don't feel comfortable making those comparisons. >> thank you for the question. we've got to make sure we are comparing apples and apples. our current statistics are the mission capability rate that would have to do to the site is called to is that 60% and rising so the numbers i've got right
now with regards to 49% they are much older numbers and that could be a 49% is much more reflective of the total active inventory to include airplanes that are in the depot today that are not being reported so there's a lot of math here i don't want to confuse it that we are on this goal with 80% and last year when i testified weaver in the mid-40s. >> i don't mean to cut you off. i think you've answered the first question but what about the f. 35's? right now the model that you are not admitting at this point indicates according to the data that we've got a vote of 17% mission capable rates. is that accurate today? >> it is a very small number we only have one operational. we don't even have an operational yet.
we have our training squadron and the small numbers mean a couple go down any given day depending on when you report could drive the percentages really low or really high so we need more run time whereas the air force and marine corps have had more time and a better indication of what you can expect. >> i want to move to the sub reeds for just a minute. we use this as an example of the reason we need to improve the capabilities of our dry docks it became an example it wasn't even able for the period of up to three years and i presume that is now dry? >> i believe so. i better check if it still is. >> it is not there yet.
>> so four years out of service for the summary. >> that is correct. >> do we have any others that are currently not able to diets that are awaiting the services? >> we have two more that are not certified. both of those go into february and i think the next one is may or june and this is all part of spreading this across the public and private sector. it's the age-old problem of what
we talked about the last two years and this hearing. it takes place because of the national priority on the strategic deterrence. the next are the carriers that we testify to the last couple of years have been high off tempo extended periods because of the discovery work and additional maintenance and then the last him standing in line to get into those in the public yards so we've begun to put them into health get those that need to be brought back sooner. we talked about this last year the numbers are coming down significantly to the standing in line has come down significantly we still have a way to go we are
not out of the woods yet but has the capacity opens up and we do a better job getting the carriers out on time we will be there. >> if i made just one thought please. a year ago did we have three that were waiting to get to drydock or did we have less than that? it's with regards to the fleet that we've got and my only point is if it is a matter of resources. not having the resources necessary to keep these critical pieces in the defense of the country operational.
if we are not going to be able to share with the american public how critical it is to maintain the defense posture in the way that we've currently got so what i would expect as a member of the committee is to at least be able to allow you the opportunity to share what happens if we ever do get back into the reduced defense budget or heaven forbid another sequestration and what the impact is to these young men and women that are expecting they are at least going to get the tools to do their job and then to find out we've got three attacks that means that haven't been able to get into drydock seems they ought to understand how serious this problem really is. >> couldn't agree more but as a fine example so everyone does on understand the money that you gave us to optimize is a two year project at the beast to get
that up and running to the new flow rate there was a study that was done at portsmouth and you will no maintenance is about punching and turning and fixing thing. they track one of the maintenance people he drove a golf cart around the area for 4 miles one day. we have to bring the parts down to the ship this is what i talked about the science of the industrial flow that needs to be put into these old shipyards. we are doing it, the money will get after that. it's two years to affect that. but to kill us now wit it now wt of sequestration would be a crime. >> senator, if i could just go back to the earlier comment about what the element of time just to this problem we just got back to the public yards at a level we wanted after sequestration five years ago.
this is a unique highly skilled workforce and if they don't feel like they are supported and if we are not giving them adequate resources to do their job and have the levels where they need to be, they walk, they can go other places because they are highly skilled and then it takes a long time to recover data so to go back to your point it's going to take three, four, five years to recover just the workforce and skills you need to do nuclear maintenance. >> i don't think we are going to go back to sequestration but we are going to have to take the votes. i think the question is even with the adequate budgets that we provided and going forward if we are able to do the same thing as now it seems the
administration is all in favor of the generous funding for the military even with that, i think the question is what else is necessary. i don't think you are being critical, i think we are asking the question of how we can improve the situation. if i came across as being critical i don't intend to be. we've got to be able to share with the american public that the increasing defense budget and to understand how far behind we were and what our adversaries are doing and where we are falling behind and it isn't just a matter of readiness of the matter of modernization because it isn't something in the future. others are working on it now and when we starts talking about what's going on to control the information coming through in the hypersonic weapons that are
there now and how far we will be if we don't maintain this puts our security at risk and we have a difficult time trying to get that information out because it is in a classified section so this opportunity for you to share how serious this is has got to be shared with the american public. that is where my frustration comes from. >> it appears we've taken all of your time and i just regret th that. why don't we go ahead and recognized senator. >> secretary spencer, i think you've touched upon this, but it strikes me both in aircraft and ship maintenance we have a lot to learn from the private sector and i hope that is an active effort. i apologize i have another hearing southwest airlines and
. >> it makes it so much more efficient if the ships in the planes that we have are fully ready to be utilized. one of the concerns that i hav have, is personnel and workforce. doing great work and 30 percent of that is less than five years that is a change in recent years. i hope the navy is thinking about workforce development because that will not happen on its own.
>> senator you and i have talked about this talking about collaboration and partnership with our commercial counterparts in the states to help whatever they can do with that educational assistance order early education. which are amazing careers a lot of people don't realize the contribution one makes to the product but also the compensation received. >> they let me use the virtual welding machine i could think i was welding but i wasn't screwing up the ship whole - - hall. >> with the industrial brace so with those 5 yards competing to award the winner
take all with that industrial base and getting the work done faster talk to me about splitting that award. >> to bring up that interesting concept there are two things going on that need to be weighed out. yes, we do have to be attentive to the industrial base and that balancing of the flow of the new ships because what we want to avoid is a spike that will buy this again going to those regular maintenance cycles. it gets very crowded. it's not off the table we have not awarded anything yet but
how best we can balance with resources and if we have the resources to bring expedition we will do that the navy and marine corps nobody expected that to be cleaned out the first time through. what have you learned from the audit and when can we expect a clean audit quick. >> the first question first. we are still learning. it was a tremendous cycle as i told the senator. we change the conversation that this iteration of the audit is not the invasion for financial reasons it is the tool you will use as a manager to know how your organization is operating so you know what you are applying or what you are providing is giving a
return that message was received if you look at our list of deficiencie deficiencies, there were many but we could get after those centers and real estate that was missing quote unquote. the building was there many of it was procedure but in the right book or business system cracks this is the learning we are doing to have tools to manage. >> is there a time that could be a clean audit quick. >> i would love to say in the future. >> i say between five and six years to be very frank. >> what is your life expectancy? [laughter] >> that might be mine. >> i want to compliment you on your service. the secretary says but thank
you just for the record the marine corps has been under audit for several years as a secretary says i take the brief myself the last three years. it has been enlightening. the audit is procedural. a lot of that is systems big issue is we have a lot of ammunition with the systems and to talk to each other the audit gives a list of findings or conclusions then your job is to go back and pull them out. so i assure you the secretary of the navy or secretary of defense keeps score so then
the audit for the next year has already started. >> so we will get there in our lifetime we are confident but there will be some things that have to take place that are systemically and with data but there is no shortage of effort or understanding of the appreciation to get there eventually. >>. >> regardless of who else walks into the room you will be recognized after senator ernst. >> thank you mister chair mister secretary we will continue with your questioning so that was a great game on saturday.
as the chairman of the subcommittee of emerging threats i especially enjoy a working with the special operations community and really want to make sure we have those capabilities on those no fail missions one i have learned about is the importance to assure there is necessary access to flow to head staging bases especially with renewed focus on power competition naval resources are extremely restrained while we build up the fleet the demands in the pacific in europe especially mean it will be required to find the intuitive way for our soft wires how do you believe we can ensure that software fighters have adequate dedicated persistent support to fulfill their missions
quick. >> senator, i use them as a poster child they have already had some innovative ways to find platforms to work on in the maritime basis. that being said you addressed a problem that is a graph we did not know we had and we are working on. we will come to you with some requests going forward that is the pre- position to put those ships you read the reports it is a simple case of portfolio management and resources available. if in a perfect world i had the ability to buy used ships on the market with very little constraint, we could close the gap quite rapidly. >> we talked about policy limitations that are out there you just addressed one of those with the use of the vehicles what about between the counterterrorism and the
potential state on state conflict my easiest answer is if i could get some more restraint lifted i could manage that risk. >> is that an area we can address click. >> i believe it is. >> are there platforms of the current industrial base you believe would be optimal for the soft mission quick. >> yes there are. >> can you discuss any of those in the open format click. >> we have the ability right now within the navy to be applicable to missions but we do have an industrial base to produce specifically what might be needed for the mission set.
>> a slightly different topic that is very important i had the honor to speak at the commissioning of the uss sioux city in annapolis i appreciated that and among many others i was impressed by the crew of the ship and the ability to explain to me the importance of the naval platform. as i was a commander of course of the iowa national guard it is the sailors and the people that make up the backbone of our services. they will be manning those stations for life and death so in the very brief time like to adjust one - - address those challenges for the navy and
the army corps how do we do better quick. >> first on the previous question there are a lot of things going on with the soft naval platforms throughout the world in fact we train it and do it as a matter of course it happens all the time is just not something you read or see in the newspapers. there are things we do to accommodate each other. we made our numbers and our quality spread we invest a lot in our recruiters command screen for officers and recruiting stations if you are a marine major your reward as you have the command recruiting station if you are successful then then you would
be acknowledged later on in the promotion process of the organization from your mos. it takes work we are creating seniors for next year over 50 percent of the recruits we wanted this year were already contracted the most difficult time is after the first of the year in january through may those seniors graduate last may and june and they ship in the summer so they are on the direct shipping market. we are confident we can make it. it is getting harder wheeze to be making it earlier now it is the last day of the month it is really really hard work the committee and the nation
should be aware that we are concerned of the fact of the propensity of men and women wanting to serve in the military and those that are qualified for us to even talk to them and that number is right around 30 percent we do have more people that want to be a marine officer than we have spots. >> just to build off of what the general just commented the navy is in a similar place it is in a much more demanding market and our goals typically it is 33000 we made our goal by may our recruiter is doing a great job we are shifting the approach to go with the market which is more the social media than the more traditional advertising campaigns and they are doing a fabulous job.
we are starting to see some stressors with the commandant just talked about when we are meeting the goals at the end of the month versus the second or third week so those stressors are clear. anytime you have the unemployment rate below four.1 percent historically trouble looms on the horizon for recruiting and retention it is three.8 percent right now so we are all expecting the market to get more difficult. that said we had the best retention we have in the last decade so there are good things going on it's hard to put her fingers on exactly what curates those results in the economy that is challenging us to compete with those but hopefully we can continue to do this because our recruiting goal for next year is also high. >> if i can add something not
a huge item but it is worth bringing up in excess of 1100 schools and school districts that deny access for uniformed members to recruit on their campuses the preponderance is the northeast and northwest but any help anyone could do to help us get the message would be greatly appreciated. >> you are certainly welcome in iowa. >> are talking about high schools quick. >> for recruiting. >> thank you for pointing that out. >> thank you senator ernst for that line of questioning and also the general and the admiral for good answers and for a really good work product in challenging times. i am impressed and i think the country is impressed.
senator shaheen. >> thank you all for being here. i believe secretary spencer may have misspoke when he said pearl harbor was the number one priority we understood it was portsmouth that was the number one priority quick. >> that was one of the first priorities. [laughter] i just wanted to make sure everybody was awake you talked about the delays of maintenance senator spencer you talked about the demand that we all recognize the challenges getting the mccain back into operation i have heard we have lessons from what has happened aside from those challenges are there
other lessons we have learned how to back the fleet out when there are damages if you think the portsmouth shipyard during world war ii producing 70 ships they watched launched for submarines there are other things that are going on other than just the facility that addresses how quickly we are responding to the challenge. can you talk about those lessons learned? >> around the damage we did not look at the mccain maintenance. one of the things going forward is what is happening as they bring the ships and the subs in and they began to look at the tanks and other things, they find damage or corrosion or things that require additional work so to
be caught up on the deferred maintenance is one of the keys to success going forward. >> one of the things you asked it is a far-reaching question that deserves a moment because one of the things we are trying to do. and i will back up to the f-1 f-18, we call that the naval sustainment system doesn't just apply to aviation but surface, underwater weapons platforms, maintenance is all about flow with parts and people for procedures. one of the things we want to start doing we have the data to do predictive analytics. before ship even comes in we know if there is great probability to have the work orders ready. it will take some time to
allow those teams that are working on the ships to think how can i do this better? how as a team can we make our movements shorter quicker more effective? it is a bunch of activities but a lot we are picking up from the commercial world but some are coming from the organic ideas within the organization. >> at the end of november we had a strategy commission a poor beef - - appear before the committee to identify six trends of national security one of those was conflict in the gray zone one of the things the commission recommended was the analytic tools to measure readiness across the range of challenges from low intensity to major
power rifles. it seems to me that we have been able to better measure some of the ways to address those high intensity fights how many ships we have. talk about the gray zone conflicts and the potential for that type of conflict, how do we measure how ready we are? we had a briefing yesterday that was classified but it presented a problem but didn't talk about how we were addressing the problem so it seems to me that it's not clear to me how we are addressing the problem. >> the commandant has more granular information to frame the context of this from my
point of view with the title x hat this is exactly one more portfolio we have to manage talking about is competing with china but we continually hear they are investing this amount of money with this amount of ships but we don't have they don't have the installed base that we have or the global security sets i will say this is where we struggle but where we performed to appreciation for one more of the portfolios. >> i will speak for the marine corps but i can say with confidence all services have developed capabilities to allow them to function within this area whether electronic warfare or information operations or military information so organizationally we have changed a group which used to be headquarter support group into an information group we have grown hundreds and hundreds of people and now
cyberis part of their component so that readiness is measured in preparation for this hearing i looked over some of those cyberprotection teams that do defense and those that do offense of things. obviously i will not talk about what that is because some work for other organizations but to your point it is clear recognition with all services with the joint world we are growing and continue to develop this capability and it will not get smaller. we will use this because this is the fight that goes on every da day. this is the fight taking place as we sit here in this hearing in the fight that will be the precursor to a fight which potentially god for bid lead to us to another fight down the road. if you ask me my biggest readiness concern or biggest
operational concern is the ability to have reliable command and control to move forces around the world and protect the network that allows us to do that. at the same time i want to take that away from whoever may be the adversary if they can protect there is a and keep it up or bring it back faster or the ability to do command and control or do analytics you have a decided advantage. >> i really appreciate that and it would be helpful to me to have a better understanding of more about what is being done in that area. can i just ask one more question to follow up on the audit quick. >> there have been some reports about fraud within the department around the audit has there been any evidence of fraud that has occurred?
as a result of the audit quick. >> as far as the department of navy goes i have not heard the word fraud used during the audit in that regard. >> good. thank you. >> senator blumenthal thank you mister chairman. commandant, this hearing marks the last official appearance here and work by my military fellow who happens to be a marine corps officer and he has done extraordinary work over the last year. i was tempted to ask you that
he continues in my office but that work has been such a hardship i am sure given his boss that he deserves relief from this duty but i just want to say on the record how grateful and pleased i have been with his performanc performance. he is the best of our military fellows except a few others have been marines i don't want to single him out but he is one of the best as he will certainly miss him and i am grateful personally for you having your rain serve us in that capacity. i want ask you for a response to that. i do have a question about submarine maintenance and with
the question on the maintenance issues and it's not the most glamorous topic that we discussed today but in my view it is one of the most essential because the submarine fleet warfare capability is one of the linchpins of national defense. part of building to ensure readiness is not just building more ships, that making the ones that we have now properly to keep them at see the gao released a report last month to addressing costly maintenance on the submarine fleet the naval systems command agreed with the
majority of the report's findings and is already taken some specific action two oh one - - address the gao findings electric bow and newport news and two and attract those in the spring of 2000 of 2019 and also working in the private shipyards to provide the longer-term plan for maintenance. with respect to the electric boat and has approximately 5 million hours of available hour to provide submarine maintenance from fy 19 through 2024. i wrote the navy a letter last week asking for a detailed submarine workload allocation plan if they are awarding
submarine maintenance contracts based on maintenance requirements they should consider transferring more than the two additional tax that are simply going to make sure we have that workforce ahead of the columbia class production. so based on the gao report , how is the current submarine maintenance affecting the backlog to the private yard and what is the timeline quick. >> we did a study and updated some of the numbers. those have been trending upward since we even finish
and so i wonder if you would respond as well. >> w >> we are exercising the public yard option. i've learned in my life managing expectations is the best way to go. i will be admitted by the shipyard builders that there isn't a 100% correlation between building skills and maintenance skills. they are further up the curb in starting with zero for sure but repair is a different exercise can build so we are on a learning curve and all we are hoping for now but hope is a strategy but as partners working together we can get a price point that is agreeable. >> hope is not a strategy, you are absolutely right, and repair is not the same as building a new boat. but the skills are very
transferable and comparable and i want to urge with all due respect you could respond to my letter. i look forward to hearing in more detail in person or by letter about what the plans are because i think it is important that we address these maintenance needs and it goes beyond the vote, it's the capability of the private guards to do this work to maintain the defense industrial base to give the workers continued challeng challenges. >> when i talk about the learning curve, they have to balance that also when we talk about using those man-hours we will do whatever we can to get
the value and efficiency. you will hear from us we have a five-year plan for submarines that have been finished i think we are going to sign it out to you on the 28th of december but your letter will be addressed and it's on my desk right now. loud and clear the hear you. we need to fix the maintenance load for the vessels. >> i think you are going to get a response to your letter. as a member of the team, please do so. section 9/11 directs the secretary of the navy to conduct
a comprehensive review of administrative chains of command and functions at the department of the navy. this is due to the month after next. will this deadline be met? are there any changes or insights you would like to share with the committee? section 915 expands the principal duties for research development and acquisition to include sustainment during maintenance to put a single senate confirmed official in charge of sustainment including maintenance of weapon systems. this took effect in august. how is the change being implemented? >> it's going very well. it's something we should have done a while ago because we spend an inordinate amount of time focused on how we buy
things and it didn't get the same amount of attention nowadays. >> we got advice from folks out there around the globe that know what they are doing so that's good to hear. 322 requires the bureau of inspections from 2020 to be conducted with minimal notice and results reported in the annual unclassified report. i assume the deadline will be met since it is a year away. >> section 323 limits the duration of the united states or guam. what actions are being taken to comply?
the standards. it's in the operational evolutions for the key station that takes effect in february. while the deadline be met? >> january 19. >> it's hard to keep up with you guys. 524 requires a comprehensive assessment of the navy standard workweek for the manpower necessary to execute. in february will let the deadline be met and the others that can be shared today.
>> the deadline will be met. i haven't read the final report so i would like to wait until it is fully vetted. >> the admiral may want to chime in here. section 527 requires the review of the adequacy of individual training for certain stations. this is due in february. february. while the deadline be met and are there early insights? >> we will share with you what we learned no insights right now. >> section 525 requires congressional notification if the levels drop below certain percentages. they are being permitted pursuant to this section so is the navy comply and? >> the firs >> the first report is in
staffing now. >> okay. and what is it going to show? give us a sneak preview. >> it is going to show we have a relatively small% of the ships that are outside of the maintenance and intermediate lsr p.. it's a small percentage pleased with the report. to increase the civilian clarifications for the surface warfare personnel. in march while the deadline be met? and section 335 requires the review of the navy ship inspections and business necessary requirements.
will that deadline be met? >> january of 19 committee initials are come late. you are respecting to questions in this regard. aargh you prepared to talk about section 514? it requires the accountability office. this is due in march. can you give observations or comments on the updates provided by the secretary as well as your understanding of the implemented recommendations. >> i am not sure i quite understand what you're looking for. we haven't done a lot of work on the mandate yet. we are getting started and in the back of my prepared
statement the past three years and the status of them we keep track of that very closely. the question came up earlier about the conflict and the domain readiness and i feel like i should remind everyone we are required in last year's readiness through a domain lens error, ground, sea, space and fiber. we've also done networks. we've had an assessment in the readiness across all of those domains as well. if i need to follow up on any questions on the record.
mr. secretary you have been impressively prepared to respo respond. could you provide to the committee a list of what specifically is being done for the public shipyards to implement the infrastructure for the optimization plan. i mentioned in my opening remarks that i was interested in preventing collisions at sea of the disasters that occurred they were ensuring that this ship squadron commanders could highlight their concerns on the higher headquarters may try to deploy and my question to either you mr. secretary or admiral and yes they were not deployed.
following up with a list of those examples they come both ways both from senior officers in the chain of command who observed the ship not being ready and you go to the exercise under way and they've come forward through the chain of command is saying they need additional time to train in the certified force. >> i think that is an important change, and i hope that mr. moran agrees with that, because we can't continue to have all of these for the readiness of the ships before they deploy. >> i went off to japan as i mentioned in my opening statement and what we found is a much different looking certifications charge.
that has been a significant change at least in japan. >> thank you very much. i commend you for doing those kind of changes. it's probably going to be unrealistic to think that the marines of the navy can know con their way out of this. one way or was interested is in the navy. the mission has been to leverage third-party investments to improve installation readiness and my understanding is third parties make investments on the naval bases to either improve the resiliency of the energy infrastructure indications and
these are common arrangements. why is that the case and do you commit to finding to make these investments that can save the navy money. the relationships in some way whether it be realistic development or whether it's the energy resiliency we are to explore them. i want to thank you for your testimony today.
the record will remain open for one of the other questions they have and i think this hearing is adjourned. caller [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
>> this very government under which we live was created in the spirit of mutual compromise. >> congress envisioned -- >> let's follow the constitution. tothe senate was established protect people from their rulers and as a check on the house. >> the fate of this country and maybe even the world lies in the hands of congress and united states senate. -- conflict and
compromise -- a c-span original production, exploring the history, traditions, and roles of the uniquely american institutions earlier in -- institutions. 2, on c-span.uary >> james comey back on capitol hill today for a second day of testimony before the house judiciary and oversight and government reform committee's, their year-long investigation into the 2016 presidential election. this was his second visit to capitol hill, 10 days after his first, and he spoke to reporters after the closed-door session wrapped up. >> we have a couple of questions, director comey. mr. comey: