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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 28, 2014 2:00am-4:01am EDT

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implementation of its to realign the george washington bridge -- bridge. we further found based on our investigation, that david is the person who originated the idea and orchestrated it. he went to bridget for approval of the governor's office and they had an ulterior motive to implement that decision to in some way to target the mayor. . .y of the air force
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and the global strike commander brief reporters about the investigation for 45 minutes. >> good afternoon. thank you for being here. character wherefores. we're going to provide you an update on for some four to five force improvement programs. we will discuss some of the findings from that investigation as well as on the enhancements that will take place. we will begin the statements. following those remarks we will take your questions. if we have time will take additional questions. also, when you're identified please stay in name and affiliation. if we don't have time to answer all your questions please get in touch.
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without any further ado harmelin traduced the hon. deliberately james and commander of the air force. >> thank you for joining us today. i promise you periodic updates about our very important nuclear mission. the incident at the air force base in their efforts to address these matters. and we're grateful you came and spent time with us. if you think back and recall during our last briefing in january we told you that there were 92 bloom -- crewmembers who were under investigation attest compromise of the air force base. this is they have participated or knew something about it without reporting it. also recall back in january the
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general wilson wants to commander directed the investigation and force improvement program to get to the bottom of the situation and to recommend needed improvements for the secretary of defense ordered the we provide in a plan within 60 days containing a way forward. finally recalled by will be provided on last update i offered you all seven when i called my observations from my recent visit. so what i'd like to do now is run through these briefly and then we've been some of the top-level actions and up to its real and then i will yield to general wilson who will provide you with more detail. first of all, as i said back in january and indeed as we have confirmed through the subsequent investigations we do have some systemic issues in armas of community. indeed there are cultural issues i certainly picked up on the
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spot in morale and micromanagement issues. and so those who participated in our follow-on review. this is what led me back then to call for a holistic plan going forward to address this community in some of these issues, not simply a plan to address the cheating alone. indeed the commander directed investigation and forest improvement program does have a number of recommendations to address the overall climate within the community just in recognition of how important in a clear mission is to earn national security. second i've certainly felt that the testing and training environment was unhealthy. a drive to always score 100 percent on exams when 90 percent was standard in the use of these cores in some cases as the sole differentiator on who got promoted to seemed inappropriate to me. and as you will hear in a few
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moments we will be changing rather dramatically how we conduct testing and training while at all times keeping the standard and evaluation criteria appropriately high for those who are involved with nuclear matters. third, i told you that there will be accountability goes for the best lawyers involved as well as leaders. first on leaders, nine officers and positions at no strong were recommended for removal. one officers of but it is recognized to resignation and will retire. this is a total of ten and all. none of these were directly involved in a test compromise. indicated that they failed to provide adequate oversight of their crew fours. the investigation grew 100 officers that were implicated
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and being investigated as part of a compromise. of the 109 actually were not substantiated and will be returned to duty as soon as practicable. again general wilson will give you more detail on all of the shortly. given that this was a major failure in integrity the fourth thing that i talked about back in january was talked out we needed to reinvigorate our core values across the force the reason the secretary-general also called upon each of us in services to double down in this effort. as you know, a just appointed a new official, have no peg to coordinate with all of us. our air force core values which are integrity first among service before self and excellence in all that we do, these have to guide us and everything that we do. on and off duty, at home in the office and on the battlefield.
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integrity means living a life of personal integrity, but it also means taking action when he sees something in your environment does not ride. if it's in your unit, among your peers, your subordinates in your superiors a like your duty is to act. with all this as a backdrop general welch, cheap cuddy in my launched an air force or an initiative about two weeks ago to reinvigorate our core values across the force. the key components of this will include such things as a stand down they'd to focus every herrmann on the importance of our core values, evaluating the current curriculum and our formal education and training venues to ensure that our airmen receive core values dropped a career and also launching a core values resource center to provide commanders and senior in ceos the tools that they need to reinforce values with our asman at the unit level.
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finally, i had a fifth, sixth, and seventh observation back in january which had to do with incentives to bunt to really do not need incentives, professional development and when i called other investments. basically my thinking on this was that we say that this was an important mission and yet to be in fact put enough of our money where our mouth is. to them missileers have career paths and add equipment to worship and training which are commensurate with the importance of this mission. these are all the questions on my mind. the bottom line here is we will need more time to fully fleshed out these areas pick. i can report see in fiscal year 2014 we of $19 million fund it for some other areas within the force improvement program including launch control center refurbishment and infrastructure repairs. furthermore the 20th air force has identified an additional
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3 million for quality of life requirements. and in our fiscal 2015 budget we have requested $455 million to sustain our minuteman squadron, icbm helicopter report and soaker communications. finally we have identified a hundred $54 million other requirements associated with their force and permit program including readiness, training command improvements to launch control facilities to just nephew of the areas. what i can tell you is that as we execute our founding in 2014 or going to seek to rearrange as much as possible to find these important programs. in other words were not going to wait. moreover general wilson has and to promise that was several quick look action teams that will be developing specific recommendations on these other areas like incentives and accolades and these quick action
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teams and he will report back to the chief with their recommendations by the end of triple. he is confident the war on the right track to improve support to our nuclear forces and ensure the trust and confidence in this vital mission. before turning over the general was not want to of reinforced with you and our air force nuclear deterrence mission is critical to national security and it's very strong. the reviews that we just conducted confirm this. overall continued have great confidence in this mission as does the secretary of defense and away this mission is being performed. i also have great confidence. for over 50 years our nuclear professionals of fatefully stood watch over america. as in the past today's nuclear herman continued that legacy, taking great pride in their work and performing superbly under difficult conditions.
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the issues that we have before us today are tough and it did not come overnight. they have been years in the making. that's not going to get solved every night. we have made progress in certain areas in recent years. there's more work to be done. i'm sure that we will get there because we're going to provide the persistent focus and the persistent that this deserves to be getting this right for people as far as i'm concerned is the number one goal and it is critical for our efforts going forward. we are committed to getting it right. so with that i will turn it over to general wilson. >> thank you, madam secretary. of what took a few moments to up to you. the actions we're taking to old people accountable and more importantly how global strike command is used in a suburb gently to moving forward. discovered this compromise of
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proficiency testing while investigating several options for a lesser activity. investigation happen to include three missileers. while investigating most personal some funds as part of the drug investigation agents found test material. this sparked a new investigation that implicated officers for sending, receiving cover requesting more of a knowledge of compromise to as material. four officers were at the center of the ring, to this material. when we briefed this in january the test compromise to place during august and september september 2013. as the investigation continued forensic analysis of the crew members of funds some potential cheating going as far back as november of 2011 and as recently
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as november of 2013. furthermore analysis included a photograph of a classified test answer. i can't give you additional information for security reasons but i can assure you that at no time did this compromise the test material about the safety security of the nuclear deterrent force of risk. the 27 to january i signed to conduct a commander investigation. this is of three as well as the air force base. the testing, training, and evaluation. additionally asked general also look at the environment and the oversight of the crew force. as commander provided for of reaching recommendations of the following areas.
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in powering group commanders, improving the quality and purpose of training and lastly reforming testing and evaluation based on the sea and you can say that across 20 there force focus on perfection led commanders to micromanage people. they sought to ensure that the zero defects and it was not about personal and monitoring and directing daily operations, imposing an unrelenting testing inspections with the goal of the eliminating all human error. this approach as unrealistic given the icbm mission is built around redundancy the weapon system design standardized procedures and jean marc. we also know the a place to much emphasis on what the test scores although the required testing score is 90 percent crewmembers felt pressured to score 100 percent on each and every test. readers lost sight of the fact of execution in the field is more important what happens in
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the tests -- classroom. as you said before, none of these needed implementation to pass the test. compelled to cheat to get a perfect score. global strike command strives for a culture of excellence and compliance. over in the icbm requirement there's been an help the overemphasis on perfection in a march fear of failure which kept enemies from the from identifying weaknesses and working to correct. any error that receives high-level attention and to potentially in a career. the constant oversight, inspection and testing regimen alienating subordinates. a lack of mid-level officers contributed to a gap between squadron leader's and missile crews. development of experienced midlevel leaders is critical to ensuring accountability, closing communication gaps as striking a better balance.
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so development must be present in all squadron's all levels. it is important of providing opportunities in making them responsible for developing skills and knowledge. our review of the train, testing, and evaluation procedures identified the separation between training and evaluation that facilitates a healthy and productive training environment was lost. as a result we will place greater emphasis on how we train and feel the valuations that better assess crew performance in the operational environment. this allows the deemphasized the significance of scoring 100 percent while insuring our crew force remains ready to perform a mission. let me briefly discuss accountability. secretary and i have said from the beginning and end and all levels will be held accountable for their actions or inactions than allow this to happen. we briefed you in january and 92 men were involved in this.
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that number has changed as have the details of who was involved and at what level. lama walked through the evolution of those numbers and where they stand. the general and his team reviewed 88 of 98 cases that were transferred. evidence substantiated cheating in 79 of those cases. it showed various levels of involvement from officers to send, receive it, solicited test material or this is simply had knowledge but failed to report. allegations against non officers were found to be unsubstantiated you will find these numbers that just mentioned in the cbi report that you will have access to today. even after they concluded the report investigative work continued. cases continue to transition. based on who was involved and want double the number of individuals involved stands at 100 with 91 falling and a command authority.
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lsi still maintain jurisdiction over nine cases. eight of the nine of for mishandling of classified information and three our investigation for illegal drug activity. at the conclusion of the spring we will provide you a test compromise overview chart which will reflect the current numbers in the categories of all involved. as commanders we take responsibility for the air man and are charged. we're responsible for ensuring your trained, ready, and able to do the mission. we take care of the peoples of the they can accomplish the mission. commanders are responsible when our people fall short. colonel robert stanley commander of the 341st mizzling has taken responsibility for this bill your. this morning major-general jack weinstein accepted colonel stanley said resignation. he served the nation and the air force with great honor and distinction for the past 25 years. he relinquished command this morning and will retire in the coming weeks.
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he also relieved nine leaders from the group and squadron level. he removed colonel marc schiller of the 341st operations group commander for loss of confidence in his ability. he also removed a group deputy commander from a position. general 110 removed force squadron commanders, the tenth, 12th, and for 90 of missile squadron and the commander of the 341st operational support squandered. he also remove the director of operations from the 341st operational support squadron and the tenth missile squadron. finally the group's standardization and evaluation officer was removed. none of these people were directly involved in test compromise, however they all failed adequate supervision and oversight. colonel tom wilcoxson stick and commander of the 341st missile wing as of this morning. a career security force leader reid joined the 341st from our global strike command staff or a
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previously letter security force division. he previously served as the interim security force group commander from august to september or august to november this year and is absolutely the right leader to move the team for. disappointing action is being taken against the officers who have substantiated cheating from the investigation. details of those actions were released after all the members of been served and there being served today. ..
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after the navy program to address a wide range of issues. the team included a diverse 69 person working group of airmen from operations maintenance security force missions aborted helicopter career fields. also included members from outside the icbm community people like navy submarine is in b-2 and b-52 crewmembers. the purpose of that force improvement program was to create an aggressive action oriented field influence program with the goal of making substantial and lasting changes to the icbm mission. this program about airmen working at the grassroots level
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to identify the challenges and enable them to them make actions actions -- propose those actions directed to me. the team interviewed 835 people on how we could make rings better. we combined these inputs with the results of commander directed investigation to develop a list of nearly 400 action items that we can act on it and as i said before i'm ready to implement as many of those items that i can and those that i can't ayman bringing forward to the headquarters in the air force to be able to fix. there's over 25,000 people in air force global strike command you want to focus on the 99.5% of our airmen who do this important mission with excellence every single day and they deter our adversaries. they not only abide by it but they deliver core values. we believe the changes we are going to institute will ensure that all of our people live up to our high standards.
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let me close by saying the execution of the icbm mission has gone largely unchanged since the first missile airstrike in 1959. wanat is putting a fresh coat of paint on this. we are taking bold action. through -- or weeks and should changes the way rebuild teach trane develop and lead our crew force. the changes we are making will be a turning point for the icbm community that will improve both the mission as well as our airmen and fostered core values prayer nation demands higher standards of accountability from the force entrusted with the most powerful weapons on the planet and we are committed to living up to those standards. thank you very much. >> manning secretary of burns with ap. you both mention attorney general holden having reviewed the training and testing at the icbm bases and vandenberg. did he specifically ask individuals whether they had cheated on any of the testing in the past and if he didn't how
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can you be sure it didn't happen elsewhere? >> let me take that. the general went out to each of the bases and talk to the leadership at every base soap from the wing commander squadron commander the chiefs, the supervisors as well as specific focus groups. i also gave out information to list positively potentially disqualifying information to every crewmember. he went where the investigation took them so when he looked at the evidence he pulled on that string and it didn't lead outside of the air force base. [inaudible] see how can you be sure that didn't happen? >> he asked specific questions to focus groups. i asked every crewmember that they had disqualifying information and we went where
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the information went and we found no evidence that it existed. >> under potentially disqualifying information what do you mean? >> their responsibility under prp and we asked him specifically are they aware of any tests compromiser material that it and pass that it and pass it would be potentially disqualifying information and we asked each crew member in the icbm community. and ott. >> we found none of that. >> david martin was cbs. he said you are confident in the ability of the malmstrom wing to carry out its mission. you just fired nine of the leaders. how can you be confident when you have leadership in which you obviously didn't have confidence
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in because you fire them? >> of course i didn't fire them. they were removed by 20th air force but i have confidence as general wilson said the vast majority people are doing a good job in performing superbly across the missile community. there are new leaders now that are in place at malmstrom and the leadership the global strike selected this team and i have confidence in them. >> the nine officers what portion of the officers and leadership positions announced did that represent? >> they were removed and i can't give you a specific number but i will tell you the group as well as each of the four squadrons and the three tactical squadrons that group was removed as well as many out rations officers two or three in the tactical squadron as well as the operational support squadron. across the wing there are 200
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missile leaders so we have removed nine of them. it's a significant portion of leadership. to be short. i will also tell you the folks that we have gone out across the air force the people we have put in place bring with them great skill set. training in one of the areas as well as core knowledge of them mission and we looked outside for example one of the groups came in from the defense agency said he's an expert on the mission as well as evaluations. we brought another expert in training as well as having it deep icbm backgrounds every one of the leaders put in place were hand-picked to teach -- take team mouse from forward. >> just a point of clarification. these 10 officers are they all colonels? >> colonels and lieutenant colonels but one of which was a major.
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>> and 79 officers implicated someone. what will the punishment for them be? is in a reprimand? >> we have the full range of management everything from counseling admonishment reprimand to a call nonjudicial punishment or article xv action up to and including court-martial. >> the question is you talked about the perfection of the test and you don't have to get 100 anymore. you focus on training and field exercises but they still won't be taking those tests. you just say to them don't worry you don't have to get 100 anymore? >> currently 90% is a passing grade so its pass or fail on the test and we are not keeping the score other than pass or fail. >> the team tests like the navy? >> that is one of the e ars s we are looking at. >> you will focus more on that than you have in the past? >> right. >> michael hoffman with six years ago there were similar
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announcements with firings and wholesale changes being promised within the nuclear community. six years now another major problem has come up. my question is why does it take major problems to come up with in the nuclear world for these changes? why has the air force fail to be proactive in identifying these problems before these problems? >> this enterprise is something that all of us take seriously every day and we are looking to make sure we are the best we can be. we have had systemic problems on this perfection of standard culture. what we are trying to get through is that we have flawless execution of the field of timor at this perfection is a standard that many people micromanage folks and that's part of the culture we are going after right now to fix. our force improvement program is
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part of what you just described is how do i change the culture and how do i change it for the better? we have commanders in the field that recognize that they are empowered to be able to fix fixt and move forward. >> it sounds almost like an excuse. you are providing them an excuse. cheating is one of the highest problems within the honor code and obviously you don't feel that way because you are pushing for those core values. i mean it seems for you to stop confidence even though significant chunk are cheating seems to be major problem. >> 20,0005000 global strike units every day do their job of excellence with confidence with pride in what they do. it's a very small percentage of folks who did not live up to our core values. >> the leadership of the air
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force though. >> it's a significant portion and certainly at mel stremm air force base. again what i think you'll find at the root of this that there were a few handful of people that were at the crux of this problem and disbelief that i'm going to help somebody when in fact they breached their integrity and that is the thing the secretary and i have talked about. we will hold people accountable at all levels so from the youngest chairman to the people in charge to make sure the climate exists do we allow our people to do the job they're supposed to do. >> i could have the there are those who apparently actively cheated and another another group the new something about it that said nothing. if one person, if one person had spoken up this could have been very different so that is why we are really focusing on what integrity means. it means the individual acting with integrity that it means seeing something in your
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environment that is not right. your job is to beat -- speak up and we are making of good point about that. >> appointive clarification. you said i believe this one on for a. period of two years so it's always been multiple test. is that fair? >> that's correct. >> is about the test that the missile leaders were given each month? >> what we found was a range. of those 729 a few of them one time. a few of them did it many times so we will give you the reits -- results of the cdi to look through. we can tie together the web of who what where when why and how they did this and there were some who only knew about it but didn't say anything. >> turning quickly to bob's question. it does strain credulity to say at this assist systemic rovlin something similar wasn't going on at the other wings.
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beyond asking missile leaders where they they had, or my sing information did you do in a forensic analysis to test whether that might be the case? >> what i would say is everybody went where the evidence took us. we found that the crux there were four individuals. three other individuals were drug activit--drug activit this incident probably never would have happened so if those individuals would have been of some other face we might be talking about this at another base that but the individuals at the crux of it, three were involved in illegal drug abuse. >> my question wasn't any further investigation beyond the questioning of the missile leaders. >> everybody has rights so to be able to do that if they would have found information with a link to another base we would
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have followed that lead but it did not link there. >> elaine with "the new york times." i think what we are all having trouble following is that it feels like there was a level of provac mouse trumpet there was not at the other bases and i think that is what we are all circling around particularly given so many people have talked about this culture of cheating that has been in place for years. that is the case but yet you say if you had moved those poor people from all strum out of the equation we wouldn't be having this conversation to begin with. those are two halves that are hard to put together and understand. i'm still having trouble figuring out what is the deal with mel stremm? see what i would say is these four people who i would also say enabled by today's cell phone technology. i can take a cell phone and text answers and send it out to a group of people which is in
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essence what happened. >> have they been dismissed? >> those four people three of them are under osi investigation and one of them is not only are taking taking command on that individual. we are taking disciplinary action on that person. >> the question is for you madam secretary. what are you going to do over the next three to five years to ensure people doing this mission know that you are really committed to this mission and that it matters because that seems to be from what we hear when we chat with people a major problem at these bases and it's not thrilling. it's important that it's not thrilling and there's a sense by a lot of people i think that
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given how long it has taken to do repairs and that sort of thing that there is not a lot of interest. >> colin i would say from my perspective for the period of time that i have this being part of the air force intend to bring to it persistent focus, persistent leadership periodic visits, meeting with commanders and asking how things are done, going to meet with members of the crew missile crews in the members of the team so that is what i intend to do and ended dish and you heard we are redirecting resources quickly. we are going to take a little bit more time and look at some other issues like national development which i think is terribly important that people see a path to rise to the rank so it will be in fact in perception viewed as a good job. thesaringshat i intend to bring with the help of general wilson and his willful strike team. >> can you give us a couple of examples of how you are going tt
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phrase you guys used the changing the evaluation process? will you use simulators more? >> let me give you an example. today a crewmember takes street test a month and there will be 30 questions on the test and they take what they call an mpt mission procedural training. these are involved in evaluations. an air crewmember takes a monthly test in his test is something that they have to be able to no matter how stressful the situation in the middle of the night in a bad situation they have to remember this. missile crewmembers on have that so we are going to develop what we called missile -- and in every flying weapons system we will issue a master questioned file which is a series of questions on important angst to operate that missile system.
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what are the notes and cautions i should should be from iowa to be able to do at? crewmembers are tested quarterly on those though that is a model we also we can use. a flying crewmembers evaluated on the 17 month cycle. as part of that if i was and there's typically an open book and close but test and tipping the emergency procedure simulator and then they go to the mission. we will do that same model where we give crewmembers a 17 month time period for an open book includes book test. we will observe them as they do their combat mission in the field and see how they do and from that we will give them an evaluation. we think that's a much more helpful way of doing it. we have been doing it in the aviation business for many years and we will morph the icbm community into that model. >> you can actually launch a missile so how can you do in the field? >> there are lots of things that happen in the field. you can't do the emergency
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procedures part in the simulator and that is part of what we do. speaking on a quick look action teams you talk -- can you talk about what incentives you look at? when you go and talk to these airmen what do airmen what did they won't? >> let me give a couple of examples. some of it is as simple as they want to be recognized that wearing a badge that says i may missile maintenance master technician all the way up to some type of pay so we look at a variety of nuclear ops servicemen and things like that. i have a big list of incentives they talk about in the field and a team looking specifically at that. we will bring the recommendations back back to the chief and secretary in a few weeks and say here are the parts that are by the most bang for the buck. >> what precisely are these officers, the senior officers being disciplined for, for not
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having caught those cheating under their command are fostering a climate that i would assume is probably in thing going on for a long time that they probably inherited from their predecessors? >> more specifically from loss of confidence to leadership really to provide the supervisory role that they should don sowa feinman operations commander i have to know what my crews are doing. i know enough detail of what they are doing every single day. they weren't aware that this was going on in any way shape or form. >> so you are saying they are being disciplined precisely for -- caught cheating? >> we are going to hold them accountable for the people that work for them and specifically they fail to provide the leadership oversight of a supervisory role for the members of their squadron which a large majority -- and let me give you a break down
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by squadron rank and position involved in this. >> what you seem to be saying is that systemic in the forest. are you also critical of them for that? >> there's a difference between micromanagement and knowing what's going on in your squadron. i need to know what's going on. i don't need to be directing individual actions of everybody every day. >> micromanaging is what led to the creation of this cultural need to be perfect so therefore aren't you saying that the micromanagement of the force is what they are being disciplined on? >> let me give an example. today it is certain that normally a lieutenant or captain should be able to make isn't being done until he calls up announces squadron commander of or his crew commander for permission to do something. we have people that won't make a
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decision until they get approval from higher headquarters. we think that whole paradigm needs to be change and we are pushing the level of responsibility and accountability down to the crew commander in the field. however a squadron commander who has been in charge of many people needs to be able to know what's going on squadron and provide the environment that fosters a healthy relationship and in this case we don't think it was. >> would you say their there are careers are over? >> all mine are being re-signed and coming to my staff or are headquarters staff for different staff positions. they have been removed from command. they can continue to serve. >> we will just go to the back please. >> can you give me a sense of the range of disciplinary action for those that were implicated either passively or actively? >> up from a letter of
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counseling to two letters of admonishment to letters of reprimand to in article xv up to and including court-martials. >> was colonel stanley asked to resign or with that he offered his resignation on his own? >> colonel stanley offered his resignation. >> you said the resignation was accepted today but did he offer today for when this was first found out? >> both. >> so might say by allowing colonel stanley to resign you are sending a mixed messages out and are neutral on whether he is responsible or not. major general kerry who was removed last year but he was not charged during a large period of this time. considering further action against him and will he be allowed to retire as a two-star general?
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>> i will talk about major general kerry and if you do the other one general wilson. remember bobby was moved from command. he was reassigned and has been on staff with space commander general shelton. my understanding is he has asked to retire and there will be an officer grade determination made on him and there is a system of course. eventually that will come to me for a judgment. i have not seen the paperwork yet and when i get it i will act upon it and deal with it. >> in reference to colonel stanley. everybody knows colonel stanley served with great honor and distinction. command directed investigation singled out the operations commander in the squadron commanders in failing to provide proper leadership oversight and supervision. colonel stanley accepted responsibility for the actions because all those people worked for him so he said it's my job and my duty to uphold this and i
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did not live up to that so he elected to resign. >> the security forces airmen to take over the three -- force was that decided specifically? >> i think anyone who knows the colonel will tell you he is the ringleader. he spent four months at an mouse from early this year after the inspection to bring the sector sector -- security force group up to the right level. he is the right leader at the right time. he is known throughout mall strum and be loved and liked. >> general use of these nine officers will continue to serve and you also said some may face court-martial. >> for the 79 officers involved in the cheating the lieutenants and that captains they will have the range of dishman everything
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from -- none of the nine leaders that were removed a few of them are getting letters of admonishment a few of them are getting letters of reprimand that they will continue to serve if they elect to. >> okay. >> thank y
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>> at the senate environment and public works hearing committee chairman barbara boxer said she hopes to complete work on any transportation bill by the end of april. the committee heard from state and local officials on the issu the panel includes transportation officials from rhode island and vermont as well as mayors of indianapolis and oklahoma city.
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[inaudible conversations] >> good morning. we will come to order in today's hearing will provide the committee the opportunity to hear from state and local officials as transportation stakeholders about the importance of federal transportation funding and their priorities are the reauthorization of map-21. today's panel truly represents a great cross-section of the country. as transportation leaders at the state and local level they know what is at stake. without sustainable funding and a sound highway trust fund. i'm a former county supervisor in another lifetime and i know
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how tough that job is and how important maintaining safe and efficient transportation systems are to local communities. when something goes wrong people show up at your door and i know that from personal experience. according to the u.s. department of transportation's recently released 2013 conditions and performance report about 49% of highway miles traveled are on roads that are less than good condition and 18% are on roads in less than acceptable condition. in addition over 21% of the nations bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. of these, over 70,000 bridges are structurally deficient. these stats show that there is a lot of work to be done to maintain our global competitiveness and we must continue to invest in our transportation for structure and not just for now but for future generations. however in order to make needed investments in our
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infrastructure congress must ensure the long-term solvency of the highway trust fund. make no mistake, think we all know we are running out of time. last month his committee held a hearing on the devastating impacts of letting the trust fund runs out of funding. are the sobering facts. cbo and u.s. d.o.t. estimate the highway trust fund could run out of funds as early as september 2014 which would create cash flow problems for states during the critical summer season. already states are cutting back on construction projects they plan to go forward within this string -- spring and this trend will continue to get worse. map-21 was a bipartisan bill that included transformational reforms to improve flexibility reduce costs and require accountability for surface transportation programs. these reforms many of which are still in the rulemaking process winans federal transportation programs and help to build public trust in seeing how her
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tax dollars are spent. we will continue to track the implementation of these reforms is the d.o.t. makes them and we welcome the opportunity to hear from state's counties perishes in city somehow these reforms are working and what tweaks should be considered for next bill. michael and i know senators vitter shares this goal is to move smoothly to pass a reauthorization bill in the epw committee that provides we hope vi years of hunting certainty. i have begun discussions with chairman wyden and ranking member hatch on funding this bill and addressing the sharp fall in the highway trust fund. this committee has a responsibility to reauthorize map-21. the finance committee has the responsibility to fund it but we are not going to let them just hang out there by themselves. we are going to work closely with them an


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