tv Military Officials Testify on U.S. Armed Services Readiness CSPAN February 13, 2017 8:32am-10:11am EST
executive nominations to consider this week. today members return to debate the nomination of steven mnuchin to be treasury secretary. a final vote on the nomination is scheduled for seven p.m. eastern, and show after that senators will hold a a confirmation vote on veterans affairs secretary nominee. then tomorrow we expect senators to vote on the nomination of linda mcmahon to head the small business administration. all nominees would require a simple majority to be confirmed. as always you can watch the senate live here on c-span2. >> next, a look at the state of military readiness with representatives from the army, navy, air force and marine corps. they spoke to lawmakers about modernization efforts, recruitment, and the impact of budget cuts. this is just over an hour and a half.
[inaudible conversations] >> okay, folks. we are going to call the meeting to order. let me share a couple of thoughts with you. 22 years ago i became the chairman of this committee. i haven't since that time. because under the rules of the republican side, if you chair, ranking member as ethically you capture a subcommittee. this is really the committee where really everything is happening. the problems we're facing today are the ones that we deal with, so tim and i are going to do a good job of that. joni and the rest of the committee. the committee meets for the first time, the new session of congress, to receive testimony from you guys. you are used to this after
yesterday, and i think, i don't think there's a member of this committee who hasn't read of what happened yesterday. i know i have. we are joined by the same group. we have all the vice is here, general allyn, gemma moran, jenna walters and jenna wilson. i appreciate your sticking to this one more time here. last week general mattis used the guidance on the administration's plan to rebuild and strengthen our armed forces. i looked at some th of the thins that were said yesterday, some of the quotes and it would appreciate the fact that you folks came out and said things that were not easy to say. we had general allyn talked about the army. only three of 58th brigade combat teams are ready to fight. we had general wilson talked about how many of the problems the hollow force, actually used
the term hollow force and that's what we are forced with right now. a lot of the characteristics that we who are old enough to remember it remember from the carter administration, yeah, the carter administration, know what we had to do the next, the following years. so that's very similar to what you are going to have to do now. we have general walters, you talked about the operational tempo is as size it was during the peak of the iraq and afghanistan war. we know the problems that are out there. when i tell people, and whil why didn't always get along perfectly with hagel when he was in the senate, and i was one of the strongest supporters when he came into the secretary defense, when i read the statement that he has made from that position, it's a wake-up call to the american people who otherwise i don't know. they are not exposed to this. that's what he said quote
america dominates on the seas, in disguise and in space can no longer be taken for granted. so this is something we want to address. we want to accept as a reality. and so we are going to have to improve our readiness, achieve a balance and address these four statement-- shortfalls and buile lethal joint fourth pick those of statements that were made the three priorities that were given to this committee, major committee just a week or so ago. so we have a lot of these problems that we're going to be dealing with during secretary madison nomination hearing he stated we are going to have to increase operation and maintenance funding. while adapting to strengthening our military. the situation dictates. this means additional resources are needed. what i'd like from witnesses today is an outline of how you plan to restore the readiness to our armed forces and how we regrow our force, how do we maintain the equipment that is
been through two decades of war and how do we train that forced to make the next -- national security requirements. this isn't the committee were most actions going to be and we have a lot of work to do. tim and i finally talked about this. we're going to see to it that we start getting a bigger attendance year and i would start addressing these problems that we should be addressing before they hit the major committee. senator kaine. >> thanthank you, mr. chair. you have done a better job arm twisting on your side than i have. i up my game. i'll come to the witnesses. this is an interesting hearing. did you know this, our four witnesses have a combined 142 years of combined military experience. and so that means i know we are only going the most astute wisdom today. there is a limit to what we can discuss in open session so i would just day that fix at the start all colleagues are encouraged to read the classified readiness reporting
that is available to members of this subcommittee. i am pleased to be the ranking. i've worked very, very well with the chairman with a good relationship and a no this subcommittee will continue the bipartisan tradition that is its norm. the military does suffer from an unacceptable level of readiness. i said to the chair as we walked in, some of what we will hear today we heard last year and week or two years ago. somebody said maybe if we listen to become history wouldn't have to repeat itself. the first step we ought to take is to provide more predictable and stable funding for men and women in uniform. the new administration has made some comments about spending that i agree with. the desire to boost military spending and repealed sequestration for the dod. we haven't heard the same commitment with respect to repealing sequestration for the whole government. the chairman of this committee put out a report suggesting that should be done. even if your focus is specifically national security,
it's still very important that sequestration of wood look at it not just on dod accounts but all of government. whether we're talking about homeland security, state, dea, the nuclear reactor portion of what the department of energy does, they're so methinks in the nondefense discretionary side that are integral to our security challenges. we have the responsibility to help dod restore readiness. we will be getting good information that we can use as information to persuade our colleagues of this. i am concerned about one recent development, the hiring freeze that was issued on january 23 for federal civilian employees. it was not a permanent hiring freeze. it was a temporary hiring freeze to analyze what should be done and i hope it is, in fact, temporary, because this has a radius impact on shipyards, depots, and logistic centers but also on other federal agencies because the federal agency is an employer of choice for veterans. when you do a hiring freeze at
the federal level it falls on the veterans that are hiring so cynically in the federal government. at a time when we're losing shipyard depot workers and others to retirement and sequestration related attrition, i'm afraid a phrase like this if he continues could really hurt us both on the redness side and the unfair to our veterans. i am pleased in hearing from our witnesses today about plans to rebuild readiness and what exactly does a fully funded ready force look like? the service branch has its own measures of readiness and some of most interesting discussions we've had in the past is exactly what is a readiness measure mean. as governor a use is that i could measure everything but the one thing that scared me was measures of emergency readiness. i could measure an unemployment rate, a graduation rate, but what was the measure of what we would do if there was a hurricane tomorrow? those measures are tough and the need for the committee to understand exactly how we measure the readiness in the different branches is very important. i understand the hearing today
from the air force, they would like to increase the number fighter squadrons from 55 to 60. what other requirements and those were on budget and appropriations to get to that, and what's the appropriate timeframe that we should be looking at to make that advancement? this committee deals with the silliesfacilities sustainment ae important matters to readiness. when we talk about increasing military spending, i do think there is this. we can do better and that's increasing the oem funding for facilities sustainment restoration and modernization. we will be getting into some testimony that am interested in on the shipbuilding side, but as a general matter if we are resource prep and we have sort of fuel facilities, then it becomes more important if we are fewer of those that whave maintained to a higher level. it's not necessarily what we are doing now in the milcon area or in purchasing platforms. our installations have for long time had to defer necessary
maintenance. it just leads to hire long-term costs and risks decreased quality of life for our troops. i hope we can look at the ss rm accounts can increase as much as possible in the fy 18. i hope we can increase construction costs the components. if we can increase those two accounts in particular, we not only improve the readiness and installations in every state, it would also bolster the resiliency facilities and we need to work together to make this happen. one area that's important to me and another more to the chairman, with some slight differences but this is the area of energy. dod as the largest user of energy in the federal government and its up or the militaries effort to invest in technologies and alternative sources that only improve redness but increase combat capabilities by extending range, interns, energy resilience for our installations and especially in some ways forward operating bases. whether dod is confronting cyber threats or vulnerabilities in
its energy supply protecting against severe weather events from redness perspective we've got to make sure we make investments in energy resiliency. resiliency. we did those in section 20, and hope we will continue to get. thanks again for today's hearing. to start this discussion, that will roll up into the ndaa, work will do as a full committee i'm excited to work with you as the ranking on this committee and very gratified we have the witnesses are today. >> thank you. thank you, senator kaine. it will be easy for you guys because you use the same opening statement you use yesterday if you want to. but we want to be. we want to get on record. some of the things, very bold statements that were made, it's worth repeating because this is for our record over here. we are going to be very aggressive in trying to make the changes necessary. to bring our defenses up. so feel free to do. we will start with you, general
allyn. try to keep it down somewhere around five minutes. >> thank you, chairman and off, ranking member kaine, distinguished members of the subcommittee. thank you for the opportunity to testify on the readiness of your united states army. i appreciate your support intimacy elicit commitment to our soldiers, civilians, families and our veterans. i look for to discussing the strength of our army with you today. this is a challenging time for our nation and certainly for our army thought unipolar moment is over and replacing it is a multipolar world characterized by competition and uncertainty. today the army is globally engaged in more than 182000 soldiers supporting combatant commanders and over 140 worldwide locations. my recent travel i visited soldiers in 15 countries since veterans day, reinforces that the army is not about programs.
it is about people, our people executing security missions all around the globe. the strength of the all-volunteer force actually remains our soldiers. these young men and women are trained, ready and inspired. and we must be similarly inspired to provide for them commensurate with their extraordinary service and sacrifice. to meet the demands of today's unstable global environment and maintain the trust placed in us by the american people, our army requires sustained, long-term, and predictable funding. absent additional legislation, the caps set by the budget control act of 2011 will return in fy 18. that would be october of this year. forcing the army to once again draw down in strength, reduce funding for readiness, and increase the risk sending
undertrained and poorly equipped soldiers into harm's way, a preventable risk our nation can and must present. we thank all of you for recognizing the plans to reduce the army to 980,000 soldiers would threaten our national security. and we appreciate all your work to stem the drawdown. nevertheless, the most important actions you can take, steps that will have both positive and lasting impact, will be to immediately repeal the 2011 budget control act, and ensure sufficient funding to train, man and equip the fy '17 ndaa authorized force. unless this is done, additional top line and oco funding go nice in the short term will prove unsustainable, rendering all your hard work for not.
in this uncertain environment readiness remains our number one priority. sufficient and consistent funding is essential to build and sustain current readiness, progress towards a more modern capable force size to reduce risk for contingencies and to recruit and retain the best talent within our ranks. readiness remains paramount because the army doesn't have the luxury of taking a day off. we must stand ready at a moments notice to defend the united states and its interests. with your assistance in the army will continue to resource the best trained, best equipped and best lead fighting force in the world. we thank you for your pet steadfast support of her outstanding men and women. please accept my written testimony for the record and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you to all sabres will be made a part of the record. admiral moran. >> good afternoon to you and members of the subcommittee.
it's a real privilege to be you with my fellow price of cheese to talk about the readiness of our military. the crux of my testimony is that your navy is less ready because she is simply too small. it's a simple matter of supply can't meet demands. the smallest nay we've had in 99 years can only answer 40% of combatant commander requirements today. on 9/11 we 9/11 we had 316 chips and over 400,000 sailors. today we have a 275 ships, and nearly 90,000 fewer sailors. and and yet the world has become a lot busier place today. a smaller fleet operating at the same pace as wearing out faster, work has increased, and we're asking awful lot of our sailors and navy civilians. that said, we are where we are. which makes it urgent to pass an amended budget and remove sequestration so that we can adequately fund, fix and
maintain the fleet that we do have. it seems that every year the center again we would come before you talk about making tough choices. more often than not we rightly choose to support those forward at the expense of those at home. this year is more of the same. our long-term readiness continues its insidious decline. so while we're still able to put our first team on the field, our bench is largely depleted. with your help we have the opportunity to change all this. it starts by strengthening the foundation of the navy by ensuring the ships, aircraft and submarines that we do have are maintained and modernize so they provide the full measure of their combat power. then let slip the holes and fill the holes by eliminating the inventory shortfalls of ships come some recent aircraft in the fleet. together by taking these two steps we can achieve the ultimate goal of sizing the navy to meet the strategic demands of
this dynamic and changing world. mr. chairman, thank you very much. i look forward to your questions. >> excellent statement. general walters. >> good afternoon, sir. chairman inhofe, ranking memberr kaine, distinguished member of the armed services subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear today and report on the range of your marine corps. marine corps remains dedicated to our central role as our nation's naval expeditionary force and readiness. during 15 years of conflict we focused investment on ensuring our marines were prepared for the fight, and they were. today their operational tempo remains as eyes it was during the peak of operations in iraq and in afghanistan. our continued focus on deployed unit rate is combined with fiscal uncertainty and funding reductions legal marine corps facing substantial readiness challenges. your marine corps is insufficiently manned, trained and equipped across the depth of the force force to operate in an
evolving operational environment. due to use a fiscal constraint that marine corps is fundamentally optimized for the past and has sacrificed modernization and infrastructure to sustain our current readiness. in addition to the increase resources for operations and maintenance needed to improve current readiness across the entirety of your marine corps we require your support in three key areas to regain the readiness levels are nation requires of us. over the past 18 months we have identified various in strengths and associate capabilities and modernization required to operate in this threat environment characterized by complex terrain, information warfare, electromagnetic signatures and a contested maritime environment. we need to increase our active component into strength there were competent fashion a call for an increase of 3000 marines per year maintained a rate of growth consistent with effective recruiting and essential maintain our high standard. our bases stations and
installations of the platform where we train and generate our readiness. the continued underfunding of a silly sustainment restoration, modernization and military construction continues to cause progressive degradation of our infrastructure and creates increased long-term costs. we have a backlog of $9 billion of deferred infrastructure sustainment requirements. we require up-to-date training systems, ranges and facilities to support our new equipment and simulation systems that facilitate improved training standards and readiness. supporting the joint force requirements over the past 15 years consumed much of the life of our legacy systems while fiscal uncertainty and reduced defense spending force significant delays on our modernization efforts. there was significant costs associated with maintaining and sustain any legacy system,, without a proportional capability increase associated
with that investment. as we continue to spend limited fiscal resources to sustain legacy systems, developed for threads 20 years ago, we risk steadily losing our competitive advantage against potential adversaries. we need to modernize our ground tactical vehicle and aircraft fleet soon as pic assembly investments of amphibious ships is necessary to reach our wartime requirement. if forced to continue to pursue the path of investing legacy systems in lieu of modernizing our force, we will find a marine corps optimized for the past and increasingly at risk to deter and defeat our potential adversaries. on behalf of all of our marines, sailors and their families and the civilians who support their service, we thank the congress and this subcommittee for the opportunity to discuss our key challenges the marine corps faces. i thank you for your support as articulated in the recent 2017 national defense authorization act. while much work needs to be done, the authorization is
within coupled with sufficient funding and the repeal of the budget control act will begin to put us on a path to rebuild and sustain a marine corps for the 21st century. i look look forward to your questions. >> general spirit thank you, chairman inhofe, ranking member kaine, distinguished names of the subcommittee on behalf of the second of the air force and chief of staff, it's a pleasure to be here with you with my fellow ice sheets. request written record be submitted in the record. american airmen are professional, innovative, dedicated and, frankly, the envy of the world. they are proud to be part of the most powerful joint war fighting team and our history. we provide our leaders with a broad range of protecting the country and its interest both home and abroad. for the past 70 years responsive flexible and agile american air power has been our nation's first and often most sustainable solution in conflict and in crisis. underwriting every other instrument of power.
we provide the nation with unrelenting global vigilance,, global reach and power. in short your air force is always in demand and always there. look no further than two weeks ago when your air force execute a precision strike in libya telling over 100 wild extremists. this was a textbook ranking member kaine to multi-domain and multifunction mission. the air force space, cyber and isr warriors provided precision navigation timing by monitoring any communication and movement. simultaneously, the b-2 bombers took off from missouri, a 34 hour nonstop mission, refueled with 18 tankers amuse and european nl is basis, and teamed with two and .18 precision munitions meeting their time on target within 10 seconds. meanwhile, everyday your american airmen operate 60 remotely-piloted aircraft
patrols 24/7/365. as the unblinking eye for combatant commanders. they remotely fly these nations from the continental united states. the team with no 20,004 deployed airmen to support the missions like the recent raqqa and mosul offenses where our fighter bomber and airmen also conduct 92% of u.s. strikes against isis. we do all of this building are critical missions at home. reach her two-thirds of nuclear triad and 75% of nuclear command-and-control communications remain to ensure robust reliable flexible and survival options for the nation. while our fighters and tigers remain on alert as the that fore past 15 plus years, ready to defend the homeland. the capabilities are airmen provide to our nation and our allies have never been more vital and our global demand from american air power will only grow in the future. however, this steadfast watch comes at a price. the demand for our mission and our people exceeds the supply.
we are out of balance. 26 years of intense combat has limited our ability to prepare for future advanced threats scenario. scenarios with the lowest margin of error and the highest risk to national security. nonstop combat with budget instability of the complaint top lines have made the air force one of the smallest oldest equipped and least ready in our history. we've attempted to balance the risk across troops to maintain register to post the between readiness, force structure and modernization. today's global challenge of course air force not only ready to defeat today's violent extremism but prepared to modernize for any threat to the nation may face. mr. chairman, i will close by quoting douglas macarthur. he sent a cable as he escaped the philippines and a 42. he said the history of failure or can be summed up in two words, too late. too late to copy and the deadly
purpose of the potential enemy. too late in realizing the danger. danger. too late in preparedness. preparedness or readiness cannot be overlooked. your air force needs congressional support for fy 17 to pass appropriations. and support for a budget and then that accelerates readiness recovery. in fy 80 we must repeal the budget control act and provide predictable fun for the future because are critical to rebuilding full spectrum military readiness which is a number one priority of secretary of defense. we need to act now before it's too late. i'm half of the center of the chief of staff 660,000 airmen come active guard reserve and civilians who serve our nation, thank you for your tireless support. i look forward to your question. >> thank all of you for your opening statements. i see this as i did 22 years ao
on this committee, to not just to get our state of readiness which should be, but also to tell the truth about how unready we are. i think you did a good job of that, general wilson. and admiral moran. the thing that would probably came out, that shocked most people from yesterday was your statement about more than half the f-18s are not ready. people need to do that and they needed from you guys who ar wert the top and/or any position to become more critical in ensuring that i could say. anyway we know where we are right now. we know problems we have think the only area that senator mccain and are very much in agreement, in fact we have a mutual friend to put us together some years ago and we have a friendship. although bit of difference in how we see what has happened during the last administration. the idea of finding ourselves where we have to do something
about sequestration. we have to do something about the deterioration and the funding and abilities, capabilities of our military. but as we do that we don't want to be in a position for every dollar we do that we have to do it for the nondefense. that philosophy tells me that the priority is not what i interpret the constitution, and i told you all this when you're in my office. i think it's important we recognize that we have to do a lot of rebuilding year and we have to tell the truth. talk about we pretty good forward but we've got a nearly empty bench behind us. that's a serious thing. you've heard a lot of the talks recently. you've heard, that figures as some of you have referred you,, the army going to 540,000, ships at 355, marines 36 battalions, and 1200 fighter aircraft therefore the general wilson. these are figures that's going
to be hard to come out for exact figures but we talked to general mattis about the same figures and the recognize, you know, they do represent, i want to start by asking each one of you how realistic you think these figures are, just not as if they're going to be exact but are they in a ballpark, but that that is facing us now? start with you, general spec thank you, chairman inhofe, and i'll start by -- >> if there is no objection really use seven minute rounds because we're going to have to do this in one round. go ahead. >> i'll ignore this four-minute ticker -- >> just ignore that. >> yes, chairman inhofe. the secretary of defense hasn't directed a strategic review that we expect to result in a, adjusted for sizing construct.
but as chief of staff of the army has highlighted in prior testimony, the estimate that 540,000 in the active force reflex is a subset of what would it take to get the military risk level to respond to the contingencies that we face in the operational plans of our combatant commands down to a moderate level? >> talk about moderate risk? >> a moderate risk level. that would require a one point 2 million total force. now, if we get adjusted guidance, obviously we will do our internal due diligence to determine exactly what the right number is, but you asked is it in the ballpark. it's in a ballpark speak i appreciate that. you talk about risk, i would hope you would always make sure people understand, the risk, readiness, talks about lie lifeu were talking about lives. that's a series that is.
admiral moran? >> yes, sir, chairman. the number you quoted was based on a force structure success of this which was in over the past year that i suspect that i tell you that that's a good target to suspect ramping towards, but as you know in shipbuilding it takes years just to get to one ship. we are going to have many years to assess where new technology takes us, new war fighting constructs. but as i sit in my opening, we know we are too small for well-being as to do today so we have to get on a ramp to not only arrest the decline which i think we're on for pb 17, and sequestered, and with an appropriations bill here so it's a target that is worth shooting for at least in the beginning ramp for the next fou four to fe years. >> that's understandable. would you repeat your characterization of our capability of our f-18s? >> yes, sir.
the facts are that for our entire hornet fleet, that's the hornet, super hornet fleet, we have 62% on a given day. yesterday with 62%. i doubt it's changed much since she has it but we are at about 62% that are not liable. >> more than half. >> more than half. a typical day it's about 30% picked up everything is going well, about 30% that is either in depot on the flight landed that is not liable. we are double where we should be in non-flyable aircraft. >> thank you. general walters. >> yes, sir. used the figure 36 battalions for us. that's a reasonable target to shoot at if it's a total force number, but more importantly i think is if we grow in strength, i mentioned that we than 18 months worth of analysis of what capability we need and they are everywhere from isr, i/o, counter ues which is nascent but required and i think what we need right now.
long range fires. before we build another capacity we need to fix the holes that are in our current organizations. that's a smaller number, 194,000 is about that. before you start buying any additional capable of that's a strategic choice and needs to be made at a strategic review will look at that. but i think the 36 battalions comes from a two thing strategy, doing two things simultaneously. i can take today we cannot do two things simultaneously, and one of the stretching one's first is korea. we couldn't do that at all if we still had elsewhere in the world, africa, or the middle east speak they don't use it anymore like they used to. >> and i think our enemy recognizes that.
>> i think they do, too. general wilson. >> chairman, as a told you yesterday were about 50% readiness today. across the air force. we are the smallest air force we ever in 2016 we bottomed out at 310,000. this last we finish the year at 317,000. we want to grow our force to 321 next you but we think the target we are shooting for the target we are shooting for his 350,000 airmen in united states air force. that number feels 100% of our current manning documents. so that's a current mission, that's no new mission. as mentioned by john allen, strategic defense review looks at what we need to be, that number can be adjusted even up. when we think 350,000 is the number for our airmen. we think we need 60 fighter squadrons in addition to modernizing our nuclear force and our space forces spirit i want to get to one other area before we go a round. and that is when you're going
through a starvation. , you have two problems. one is the expense of modernization and maintenance. first of all the agree with that? what i'd like to have is just for each one of you, the area of modernization that needs to be enhanced now because you've had to let that go. starting with you, general all allyn. >> as we testified last year, chairman inhofe, we've had most of our modernization programs on life support for the last several years we are currently, our modernization program is 50% of what it was in 2009. in 2009 it was 48. 48.5 billion. 24.8 billion this year. it's inadequate to modernize for the near term, let alone the long range future force that we know we are going to require on a multi-domain battlefield.
we would prioritize against our near peer competitors to ensure our current platforms, are the best that we can possibly field and then begin to work on the new equipment that we would need. the good news about modernizing current equipment is its shovel ready today. if the resources are provided. >> admiral? >> senator, as you know, modernization us also comes in the form of maintenance. we modernize our ships while they are in maintenance. just upgrading radars, weapon systems, those sorts. but in terms of platform modernization, our top priority is columbia class to replace the ohio class submarines. at the end of service life in ohio if we don't start this year. so we appreciate the anomaly in the current cr environment for columbia. second would be a close call between building to the 12th
nuclear aircraft carrier forward class. to get us to a total of 12. and then ddts and ss ends probably ss ends over ddg stupid to prioritize and so because we're already very low on her numbers are going lower over time. that's a key capability for us. >> general wilson, general walter, you enter for the record, since are out of time here. but keep one thing in mind, and that is we are looking at the future you don't know really what you would have i was remember last year i was on house armed services committee we had a witness, this was 1994, they said in 10 more years will no longer need ground troops. so you don't know. you're predicting in the future. it's very difficult to do. so if you want to meet the expectations of the american people you have to be superior in all areas, which were not. senator kaine.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. thanks to the witness. first a general question for all four of you based on your verbal testimony. would you agree that a comprehensive national security strategy would require a repeal of sequestration not only for defense but also for the nondefense accounts that directly bear upon national security? >> senator kaine, absolutely. we require a new national security strategy to guide both military capability that is required and the other elements of national power that would be integrated to whatever solution we would need to deliver around the world. >> i would agree with general allyn spirit i agree, sir. the entire nations power needs to be brought to bear. >> i agree. >> general allyn come in your verbal testimony and talking about readiness you talked about the links between redness and our ability to recruit and retain, recruit and retain our best talent and i would like you
to elaborate on that a little bit. what's the connection between these redness, these discussions were having the ability to recruit and retain? >> thank you, senator kaine. as i talked in the intro of the conversation, the army is people. at its core our primary weapon system as our soldier. so unless we can continue to assess the great champions i can to join unite army everyday and retain the best, we cannot sustain the tempo that we are executing each and every day around the globe. we have really endured the last several years of the drawdown on the backs of our soldiers who have been willing to extend the time deployed can reduce the time at home and terry that load. we cannot continue to bear the burden into the future without severe readiness impacts. if we don't have soldiers
manning our forces and carrying our weapons, we don't have anything. and so that is job one for us. now, the good news is we are successful in recruiting the force that we need, and we are seeing very positive signs in retention. in response to the ndaa 17 authorization, our first was to try to retain more of the current force. and within the first 30 days of this effort, 2500 have said i want to extend on this great team. so we are encouraged by that but we know that this is a long-term effort and we have to stay after it. >> admiral moran, you and i talked in my office about the maintenance of ships and as you point out maintenance is a modernization for a lot of what to do. if we are down from the 300 down to 275, doesn't that make the maintenance of the remaining 275 even more important?
>> yes, sir, it actually does. >> talk to me about the shipyards, and i will stay with admiral moran, because there was an implementation guideline on the civilian workforce hiring freeze that was last week issued by the deputy secretary of defense, secretary work, any authorized certain exemptions for positions and shipyards and depots that perform direct management of inventory and direct maintenance of equipment but nevertheless, that hiring freeze still is affecting your shipyard and depot workers, and many of them are nearing retirement. if this hiring freeze were to continue without adjustment, talk a little bit about the effect that would have on shipyards in particular. >> i'm mindful of the fact with several members here that have shipyards, very concerned. we have some pretty good assurances that he hiring freeze that has been put, the temporary hiring phrase that is been put in place, we will be able to get exemptions are depots and our yards.
we are still working through the mechanics of that though. the second of the navy has been delegated the authority to allow for these exemptions has to assign each persons extension or can we do these in groups based on the lower echelon input. we are working to those details but i think you'll be pleased to know we are going to get through this in a very near-term, but to your point, if the war to endure we are back to sequestration and for low levels of 13, what was devastating to our force. so we don't want to go there. >> could have the other members of the panel talk about what he hiring freeze would mean, if the continued? >> i'll just give a short example. we are a lot of planning to increase readiness, grow the force into these things. i'm short contracting officers, 50%. if i i can't hire contracting officers and put plaintiff place, we can't execute, et cetera to come to fruition so that's one of our challenges. >> devils are the same way. we need to babel, today, 96% 6%
of our sibling workforce works outside of d.c. if we can't hire as a direct impact readiness. we are confident that we can get the procedures in place but we can't have a slowdown in the hiring. >> and for the army we've begun to triage our death those based on those temporary terms that were about to expire. where just about through march and we find the waiver is meeting the need with our commanders and we have a direct link our commanders and the second to chew that bureaucracy does not get in the way of taking care of our people. >> uncle and use the the remainder to allow general walter and general wilson to ask the question and off as because i was interested in the prioritization, if there were restoration of funds from what are some of the highest priority items you're not nearly do that you want to do?
i think this is important to get on the record today. >> yes, sir. we are like all the other services that they can risk him about 50% of what we even five years ago. it causes us to make decisions. our ground combat vehicle program, our 40-year-old amphibious vehicles, our humvees need to be replaced. we have programs for that but they are very, very minimal amounts, minimum sustained rate and it causes us to do things like and obsolescence program and a light armored vehicles instead of buying a new one. i don't like the term band-aid, but we putting the program on a light armored vehicle and we really should be buying new ir iron. >> just like admiral moran talked about, our first priority would be nuclear modernization and we delayed investment in that for far too long. today we have 75 less f-35 than we planned on in 2012. so the f-35 program is a significant modernization
program going forward. mr. casey 4 kc-46 and the betwea significant programs going forward. and today's modernization is tomorrow's readiness. right now our average fleet is over 2 27 years old. we've got 21 of 39 fleet of aircraft that exceed 27 your average so building this new capability will help the modernization going forward. >> if i could add come if you don't mind, general wilson reminded me that for navy, i was focused on the shipbuilding part. aviation is clearly a priority. either in the near-term buy super hornets to replace the hornets late, the legacy portably but also we're in the same position, we are well behind what we want to be when it comes to the f-35. those are two very important modernizations. >> along with the pilot problem which i hope some members will get into. thank you, senator kaine. lieutenant colonel ernst. >> thank you, sir.
appreciate that. gentlemen, thank you very much for being here today, and i told a friend earlier today that i think what i'm going to hear from you gentlemen today is very similar to what we heard from last year. and that's extremely disappointing i think for all of us. so thank you for working under such tight constraints. general wilson, i'll start with you. the iowa army ammunition plant produces components for some of america's most advanced ammunition. since 1941 it's played a role in ensuring america's forces are ready, and noted in your written statement that you say we must have sufficient munitions to counter threats. so you are stating in your opinion that your munitions supply is low, is that correct? >> yes, senator. today we're expending about, well, isis fight, spending 43,000 munitions thousand munitions beware spinning about 1500 a month.
so replenishing that stock we think w would take about $1 billion a year over a significant period of time. just to replace those stocks. but our preferred munitions to meet other combatant commanders needs, we have a deficit across all of them. we need to dig our way out of. >> so as far as congress is concerned, simply by providing the dollars necessary you would be able to secure those ammunitions? >> well, yes, ma'am but we put investments that only into the munitions but into them you describe infrastructure that makes those munitions. all the plants that produce the fuel for the munitions are part of the investment going forward. with a significant investment we believe of about $1 billion a year for about a decade just on munitions spirit very good. i appreciate that. general allyn, thank you. i appreciate your leading the way and everything that you do and your travel around the globe to visit our soldiers.
that has been very important and it has been devoted in many conversations that i've had. so thank you so much. you state that our greatest asset is our soldiers, and i firmly believe that. i believe that we have some of the finest young men and women out there. and as you know i've been a longtime proponent of upgrading small arms capabilities within the army. and i know, i know that readiness begins with the individual soldier. so if they are not ready, none of our higher echelon can be ready. and i do commend the army recent act of upgrading its hand and i did receive a call from the chief, glad to hear about that. the fact remains it took far too long for that to happen, but we are on our way. russia continues to upgrade its rifles and this really needs to be a priority as well for the army. and so again, besides more money, what can we do to upgrade other small arms and how can we do it faster?
>> i know that you are aware we have a soldier enhancement program that is part of our program executive officer soldier, and with our focused on a number of initiatives to ensure that our soldiers are the best possible equipment as they go into combat in the future, as we've been able to do in the past. we have many of those programs, just like every other modernization program that we have, or instance are multi-year programs for our aviation fleet are all on the floor. there absolutely at a minimum level to keep those contracts alive. we cannot operate that way. the unit cost for every aircraft is increased each time we do that and yet year over year we are put into this dilemma. it are soldier portfolio, i can provide for the record specifics, but having reviewed that in detail and visited the
soldier at the fort, we have a number, better human dynamic, and next-generation capability that we need to get to the force. but we've got to have money to enable that to happen. so i appreciate your continued support as we move forward. >> outstanding. thank you, general. admiral moran, thank you. i enjoyed our conversation the other day. we agreed that readiness is really a mutual obligation. something that we have to commit to in august. you committed to continue to look for ways to make major acquisitions like the fold clas carrier and the f-35 more efficient. that's imperative, and to recognize congress is a responsibility to provide better budget planning and execution. can you commit to me here again that you could hold programs like the fold class carrier
accountable? >> yes, ma'am, absolutely. >> you painted a very grim picture of our navies current state of register i think ensuring we are being fiscally conservative with major programs like that is key to establishing that readiness. and t the question for you and something that we just really touched on, if our navy had answer to two or more of the so-called four plus one threats today, could we do that? >> i hate to use the lawyer answer here and say it depends, because it does a bit on which to the four we're talking about. and to add to it more specific than that, i think we probably need to go into a closed hearing to really fully flesh that out for you. but we are at a point right now, as i said in my opening and in my written statement, that our ability to serve the art our current four steps forward is
very limited, which should give a pretty good indication that would be challenging to meet the current guidance to defeat and deny into conflicts spent absolutely. thank you very much admiral. just very briefly, general walters, you've listed the growing concern for the end strength as one of your top priority, and right now looks like you're going to have to pull in 3000 marines a year to meet those recruiting goals, is that accurate? >> to be quite accurate, senator, we think we should not grow any faster to ensure our standards are met. >> very good. and given -- >> we will buy -- >> the legal answer. given that women make up about 50% of our population, actually a little more, that's a good good place to start. do you have a plan for utilizing women and what role will they play as you try to increase your readiness and reach your desired
end strength? >> as you well know the policy now, all are open to women in the marine corps. we had a battalion that's starting to integrate women right now. i can't report to you on any results of that. we have three female infantry down there, and three on the staff. that was out of 380 overtrained and three volunteered. we have turned the recruiters to start recording for that and we have 13 and a pipeline right now. so it's going to be a lot of small numbers for a while now ii believe spirit i appreciate it very much. ps, the marines need more and fibs. so thank you. thank you very much. >> senator shaheen. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you all for being here today and for your service to the country. i didn' did want to pick up on r ernst comments about handguns for the army and point out that
i was very pleased to see that get done and very proud to report that those handguns are going to be made in new hampshire. so you would get the best. as we discussed were met, one of the things that i found very concerning was when the first many of the navy caucus met last fall, that admiral richardson said to us that the navy no longer plans in the spin in the first quarter of the new fiscal year because of the ongoing continuous resolutions that you all have had to deal with, and the uncertainty that that means. so i think we're probably looking at another cr for the remainder of this year, and i wonder if each of you could identify what you think will be the most challenging impact of that cr as you look at what you are facing in this current budget situation. >> thank you, senator shaheen. i'll start and i know they will be read to pile on here, but our
fy '17 ndaa authorized an increase in our operations maintenance account of over $4 billion. none of that will be executable under a continuing resolution. that will have severe implications not only planned operations here in the homeland, but oco missions as well, contingency operations overseas. and so that will be a significant problem. we also have 50 new starts are a part of our president's budget for 17. none of those will get started here and to the point that senator ernst made about ammunition. we also have a severe backlog in our war reserves, which we were trying get after by increasing production at our plants and facilitating those plants. none of that will be possible under a year-long continuing resolution.
that's just the top couple for the united states army. >> syndicate, thanks for the question. the top for us would be referral up 14 ships including one submarine that would add to the current backlog that we have which is rather enormous. we would probably, we will begin to shut down to air wings completely. that means no flying for two air wings and we would go to what we refer to as tactical hardback for two additional air wings, which is 1 11 hours a month per pilot, just to keep it safe. then we would, well, it would definitely impact the other account our flights which do pilot production to where we train pilots to become pilots. i'm about to go over to the naval academy tonight to welcome the newest select these for naval aviation to i would hate to tell them that they're not come to be able to train come to be pilots for a while. but that's what we are being
faced with if we go to a year-long cr. without trading accounts around for something else has to give. >> general walters. >> i'm with the navy on this one. the definition of a cr, spinning at 16 levels, are flying our accounts are nowhere near, i think a test majestic if we don't get a supplemental we will probably have a stop line in july. it could be more. we could burn through our 16 16 levels because we have more aircraft in 17 though had in in 16 and that's how it works. that will have an effect on us. >> thank you. >> we would have a $1.5 billion math billion dollars math problem to make up. it would impact 60 new start. to meet that math probably have to directly, though the place we can go from and is or readiness accounts. so would be flying hours, or facilities, fs are in accounts. much like the rest of the service we would stop flight in the summer, backlog the devils,
lack of readiness to be able to train or is there something else going on? >> senator, a lot of factors at play here but let me try to give you a snapshot of couple of them. it is lack of flying. pilots join the air force to fly. different categories, today's fighter pilots are flying 7580 sort at this as year and flying 150 hours a year total. that is significantly down before. they come in the air force to fly. we have lots of efforts to improve the culture of the squadron, to see what a 21st century squadron looks like. how do we remove the impediments that keep pilots doing what they want to do. whether reducing additional duties, auxiliary training improving their quality of life, we're working on that part of it. another part is ops tempo that goes on. another fighter-squadron. when they're in the buckket to deploy that year they average
260 days a year gone from their families. on the year that they're back home, not deployed, they're averaging 110 days tty, doing other things, red flags, they are gone a lot. the family make as decision do i continue doing this and airlines are hiring, paying a lot of money. is this better stability for us? we're trying to get after this problem. i can talk more on the pilot shortage, because i don't think it's a air force problem or navy problem, marine problem, it is a national problem we'll have to get our arms around to get after. >> thank you. one of the, one of the issues that we've been following very closely in new hampshire is what's happening with the kc-4new arrow fueling tankers and i, first delivery of aircraft slid by six months.
will that have impact on our readiness? how will that affect what is happening? >> senator, we don't think it will impact readiness per se because we keep the number of kc-135s and kc-10s, an as we bring on the cc-46, we will replace one-on-one replacing kc-tens out of the fleet. we wanted to be on time. we slid in a little bit. we'll go after the initial batch of three per month. then we'll go 1 1/2, 1.25, but that slide adjustment made about a six-month delay. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> chairman mccain. >> i thank the witnesses and i only wish all members of congress could hear the testimony today as we again fight the battle of sequestration. i only have one question, and i don't want to take the time of
my colleagues but in late 1970s some of you may recall or know that the chief of staff of the united states army came before congress and said that we had a hollow army, and that caused significant repercussions throughout the congress and the nation. i will begin with you, general island, do we face prospect of a hollow army? >> thank you, chairman, mccain. if we continue with continuing resolution, if we do not eliminate sequestration, this year, then we will be faced with the likelihood of beginning that dive toward a hollow force. >> senator, i believe that the sign of a hollow force is when no one wants to stay in the force. and i think the longer we go to general allyn's point with
reduced funding and inability to allow our young men and women do what they joined to serve their country, they'll walk, and that will lead to a hollow force. we're under threat here next few years if we don't get our fiscal house in order. >> chairman, same for us. if we don't give them new equipment, they won't stay around, and that by definition, at least in my mind is a hollow force. >> chairman, in a word i agree with everything that has been said. as we look at time period you talked about, the late '70s at the depth of hollow force we are flying less hours and less sorties then. we saw how we got there and get out of that. we know what required to do that. we know it takes manpower. we get manpower with, the right training. with the right training, weapons systems support. we get the flying hours we need, we fix the infrastructure and we
candying out of this and. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you for holding this hearing. >> thank you. senator moran. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, thank you for your service to our country. sometimes we don't say that enough. we appreciate what you do. i want to go through some anecdotes we learned about, and i want your thoughts on them and brings focus to day-to-day operations and some of the challenges you and your team has. if you don't feel comfortable discussing this category, let me know. general moran, can you talk about the summary you've got right now, their capabilities right now, whether or not specific with the uss boise an challenges are current position. >> senator, thanks for the question. first of all our submarine force is the finest in the world, unquestioned.
but we are being laking capacity in the long haul. so if we don't turn around our procurement of virginia class submarines, we're going to be down in the low 40s by middle of next decade. that is the lowest point i can recall. and we ask an awful lot of that force. give you an indication where we are with this smaller navy, running harder than it has in a very long time, we are out at our public yards, the priorities to fix ships in the public yards, are our nukes, starting with our boomers because of the national strategic deterrents, followed by aircraft carriers. then we get down to the ssn world. because of the capacity limitations and workforce limitations that we've had and our inability to get some of our submarines, some of our work assigned to the private yards, we've had to delay submarines like boise for extended period of time.
so boise is on, was scheduled for a 24-month availability. they are now on month 47. in that time the co has -- >> make the point. what you're telling me with a nuclear submarine, because it doesn't meet readiness standards you can't take it out and utilize it. >> even while waiting for maintenance it is not certified to dive because of lent of time it has been parked, yes, sir, that's true. the last piece of that that's important that much like albany, other ssn, which also was extended for 48 months, that co started the avail, finished avail, having never left the yards to operate the submarine. the xo and chief engineer, i believe, neither one of them promoted. the entire crew never deployed. and we're on path to do that
boise if we don't get her going. so we're looking hard at private yards to fix that problem. we have four additional, upwards of five additional submarines this year who will have to go for an extension to their dive certification. they are in similar situation. we think we get most of those extensions by nr, if we don't we have similar problem with some of them as we have with boise today. >> one thing to build and buy new, one thing take care of stuff you bought. we're talking about buying new, we're not giving resources to take care of equipment we got today necessary for your operations. >> we often trade readiness dollars, homing dollars to make current operations and make sure kids overseas on deployment have what they need. >> not just the ships themselves, not just the boats themselves, when you talk about manning them and equiping them, is it true right now there are cases which you had carriers
moving back out of the area of forward operations into the back areas and trading them off and stop midway trading munitions from one ship to another because you don't have enough to maintain two. >> all the services are struggling with munitions stocks. we're no different. when carriers swap places one going on and one boeing off deployment, they have to often off load munitions to fill stocks of one going on deployment. that is true. >> that is not best way to run an operation. >> now if you turn the carrier back around something happened in the world like happened last five years, yes, sir, that's true. >> thank you. let me ask with regards to the tankers right now that we've got. i don't think we can go any place in the world right now without having any one of our aircraft having availability of a tanker. what is your current status on tankers and what are the capabilities today can, what would you expect them to be in order to meet the ongoing needs of the air force?
>> senator, certainly we're flying kc-135s today. we're bringing on the kc-46. it will start delivery this year. flying kc-tens to keep 479 booms in the air. you're absolutely correct, we've become a global air force because of tanker force that moves are us around the world. as i highlighted in opening testimony, that strike wouldn't have happened without 18 tankers taking off from the u.s., europe to make that mission happen. the tankers are getting old. that is why the kc-46 is so important. why it prime minister office everything. mc rates, more to fly, aircraft availability. it improves capacity so, kc-46 modernization program is first step to modernize a tanker force largely built in the '50s. modernized along the way. we're flying tankers, kc-numbers
tail numbers 5, 6, older than i am. i'm an old guy. we talk about maintainers maintain those through herculean efforts to make those ready. >> let me ask you about the pilots. how long does it take you to train a pilot. how long under optimum conditions should it take you based on availability of aircraft that are airworthy today? >> senator, today, to produce a basic pilot takes a little over a year. from that time, they will go on to the training school. depending on what they're doing, takes anywhere four to eight months to a year, what we call mission ready. then after that, then they will go off to their units. our training plan is pretty much at capacity. we're producing 1200 pilots a year. we think we can grow that to about 1400. then we'll marks out current to produce pilots. our problem isn't getting pilots on the front end. basically retaining on the back end and middle of that, being
able absorb them to get them all the flight time and training they need. hours of sorties have been coming down across the force in the last decade. >> i got a chance to go to the f-35 base, the training base in south carolina yesterday. i noted that you have up-to-date models that are flying right now. they have good operational capabilities, admiral, and that basically that v model right now is operational and ready to go. the one thing that i discovered on it was, you guys could use more of those in expedited manner to make up the difference. that care craft where for a while there were program problems, right now you're using some updated software in it, they're flying and they have got a good operational capability. the aircraft in its current condition, we can use those in combat today, can't we? >> yes, sir, we can. software upgrades. the software upgrades need to continue to give us full capability t needs to deliver on
time. >> i was very impress what you're doing down there. appreciate it. >> thanks for visiting marines down there, sir. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator hirono. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you all for your service and leadership. admiral moran, thank you very much for the commitment to make sure we move ahead with the waiver of the hiring freeze at our shipyards. pearl harbor navy shipyard is important to the national security. general wilson, in your prepared testimony you sit that today's air force is at risk of becoming a second best hand with readiness hovering near 50%. can you explain to the american public what it means, in terms of what the air force can and can't accomplish in terms of its mission, and in your opinion, how much additional budget, relative recent budget with the air force need and how much time would it take to get readiness
levels to much more acceptable levels? >> let me start with, i used an example, senator, how long does it take to grow a tech sergeant. it takes eight years. that is the type of experience we need i think it will take to get to the readiness levels that we need. it is not going to happen in one years or two years. we're looking six to eight years to bring the readiness level back up to 80%. when i talk about the united states air force being 50% ready. there are pockets of the air force significantly below that. let me give you a snapshot, go back to desert storm time frame in 1991 ouair force stood 500,000 active airmen. 134 fighter squardrons. today we have 55 fighter squardrons. that is active guard and reserve. of that, 71% are deployed today or in, doing assigned missions homeland defense of the nation or doing theater support in europe and pacific.
said another way, there is 29% left in the united states not fully engaged today. in those different units, in a case against the violent extremists i've got very ready crews. they're going so win in the middle east but against a high-end adversary, they're not training the way they should. not doing all the muscle movement, all skills they need to practice on routine basis to be ready against any adversary anywhere. >> when you talk about high-end adversary -- >> russia or china, for example. >> okay. general wilson, the air force cos has stated that 50,000 airmen have left the air force while missions have grown, so there is a math problem and that the air force is too big for the resources available but far too small for what the nation demands of it. can you explain the implications
of reduced readiness and the impacts on morale and retention. one of you said getting them in the front end is okay, but keeping them a major problem. can you talk about the air force's plan to increase readiness in future years and also what steps are being taken by the air force to meet requirements for more technically-capable recruits for areas like space, cyber, isr, and nuclear. >> senator, those are all fantastic questions. maybe start with the last one. we're in competition, we want the best talent america has to offer. the good news is we're getting great talent. it's going to continue to be a challenge as we go forward, grow our force because we have to be able to attack, attract america's best and brightest. they have got to see what we do is different, and think we can connect with the american public about the value of our mission. when they see what we're doing, they want to serve and join our team. to be part of that world class
team, we need to give right education, training and equipment. make sure they're both personally, professionally fulfilled. that keeps them in the service. across those areas we have lots of work to do to make sure they're not coming into the air force and working with old, outdated equipment. that they're working on state of the art equipment. that the training and education they get is world class. that they remain committed, passionate and proud about serving our nation and personally and professionally fulfilled. >> so for our other services are you basically having retention problems also? and what are you doing to make sure that the troops stay in? >> retention should never be taken for granted, senator. something to look at every day. when it comes to pilots, i think probably the air force is the bellwether for that. we're watching very closely what they're doing. we're looking for the partnerships that try to keep
more pilots in place. the biggest thing we can do to retain servicemen and women is to give them the equipment they need and training they need and the quality of service. the quality of life will come but, give them the things they need to do the job they came in for. if they sign up, let's get them the stuff they need. >> senator, i agree with everything that's been said. i would just add retention problems are always looking into the rear view mirror. very difficult to project when it is going to come without some of the canaries in the coal mine. on the pilot side we certainly look to the air force to be the leading indicate to about that, so we're concerned, deeply concerned they're having issues. when it comes to recruiting i often look to the army, they recruit more young men and women in the army than any of us do.
if they're having troubles we should look next. those are the bellwethers and canaries in the coal mine for us. we're currently doing fine when it comes to recruiting. a lot of young men and women want to join service for their country. it is keeping them for the long haul, especially those we invested a lot of money in for technical training that we really have to pay attention to. >> senator, can i pool on just for a second give you another example. >> each of you lose, fighter pilots, when i lost 10 fighter pilots, what i should, should be saying that is $100 million capital investment. they're about $10 million each to train and it takes 11 years. when they get out at 11-year point that is a loss. i have to make up that capital investment and plus time and that experience. we're focused hard how to retain quality pilots in the air force, what they all said, let them do their job with the right equipment. >> did you want to add something, general? >> thank you, senator irrohn
know. i would echo the comments that have been made. we're assessing the finest talent we've seen in our history so we're getting high-quality soldiers that are joining. we're watching very carefully mid-grade, non-commissioned officers and mid-grade captains and majors who have been on relentless tempo. the reason why the end strength increase is so important that a smaller force can not continue to carry the same load without a retention impact. so we need to grow the force. we need to sustain the quality that we have, and we will not have a retention problem as we move forward if we do that. >> it is pretty hard to enable our people to do the jobs that they signed up for if we continue to rely on short-term crs and we do not get rid of sequester. those all impact readiness and modernization, all of those
connected areas. so is thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> thank you senator hirono. senator perdue. >> mr. chairman, thank you for having this hearing and i want to just say for the record i'm shocked. when i read the testimony, i want to thank you guys and your teams for everything you're doing but i want to comment on where we are. this is shocking to me that the federal government has only a few things that it is supposed to do. one of six reasons 13 colonies got together to start with to defend and provide for the national defense. no leader would ever let that responsibility dwindle to this sort of capability. it is not the fault of these guys. god bless them. i think they're getting as much out of what we've given them last 25 years than anybody in the world. here is where we are. this is not the first time we've been there. general wilson, you mentioned the late '70s. in the '70s, post vietnam we defunded in the military. we recapped in the '80s and
defunded in '90s. sort of recapped in the 2000, behind 15 years of war we burned it up. it went to operations not equipment. when we look across services we have 20 years of catch-up, i don't know how we do that when general mattis said two weeks ago, secretary, said the greatest threat to national security is our own federal debt. here's why. we can't fund what these guys need and what we need for them to have. there is a moment in history here today i want to say it i heard both sides say today we have something in agreement. i want to document that today in the united states senate. we both know that sequestration, crs, and bc caps, are just devastating what we're trying to do here, but it is much bigger than, mr. chairman, and leaders, i very much appreciate your brave face today but i'm very concerned that in the last eight years and in the next 10 years based on baseline budget today, the federal government is
borrowing 35% of what it spends as federal government. that means we're borrowing the other 35%, 35%. the problem with that is our discretionary spending is about 30% of our total spend. all the tax money we get in pays for mandatory. that means every dollar we spend on your services defense of the country, every dollar we spend on our veterans and va, every dollar we spend on domestic programs which have been holding our military spending hostage is borrowed. we have to go to china to help fund what you're talking about doing today. mr. chairman, i don't know how to say this any clearer, we are in the throes of i think the worst military crisis we've had in our history, short only to the 1800s when we had to fund our first five frigates we didn't have any income. i don't know how we do this but we've got to get serious as congress and administration to figure out how to do this. i have a couple questions. i read your testimony. it speaks for itself.
general allyn, i would like you to emphasize on the record, had questions about hollow force. i want to quantify that a little bit. you mentioned your forces you have 31 bcts, is that right. >> 58 in the total force. >> of that 58, of the 31 you have three could go to war tonight, fight tonight, is that what you said? >> that's correct. fully-manned, fully trained to immediate deployment. >> the three from the 58. >> happen to be from the active force however you do the math not good enough. >> how severe this really is relative to putting it in perspective. i just, it's amazing to me how congress and past administrations have allowed this to happen but, talk about consuming readiness. as we sort of build that back, there is a danger, and i heard it before, i seen it in business, you can consume you're
adding back, by the time you get to the adding back you really haven't added much. i know you each have that. could you explain that to it for us. >> i thank my distinguished colleague from the navy, he used the term supply and demand. it is very simple math problem. if your commitments remain steady or increase as the united states army has during this drawdown, and your force is smaller you're doing as much or more with less, and as a result something gives and for us we would never send soldier or a force to do a mission that wasn't trained and ready and fully equipped with the best that we can provide. what that means is, the force that is back here, is less ready than it needs to be, less well-equipped, for the united states army we had to implement manning restrictions so that the forces going forward are fully-manned. >> we see that i've been on foreign relations efforts just
two years. traveling around meeting with your troops around the world. by the best of america, the very best is in uniform. it makes me proud to be sitting here. we want to fight to help do what you're trying do. they're getting what they need at the tip of the spear. it is everything, mojo back here that is what you're say something our problem. but general walters, to be specific about one example general allyn is talking about, in spain, you have a great contingent of marines there. their mission to protect front line embassies in africa is primary mission. >> yes, sir. >> we brought half of our b-22 squadron back. could you explain why you brought it back? >> because we couldn't sustain it, sir. we had to reduce the commitment to marrone. >> what does that do to your capability? >> puts them riskier position -- you had 12 over there. if you send four, to south sudan
, no fail mission, four had to take off, doing that with six aircraft, getting four out of six on 24/7 basis a little bit more risky. now if we had the squadron, if we had the airplanes and readiness we would keep 12 over there. it is the same, not only reduced that one. our centcom commitment in al jeb bar went from 12 to six aircraft. we cut those commitment, the commitment, the requirement was still there. we just, we couldn't sustain it. so we had to reduce the commitment to a sustainable level. that happened to be six. >> general wilson, you mentioned your average pilot today, active duty, averages 150 hours a year, is that correct? >> yes, senator. across the fighter fleet. >> yes, sir. it would shock you i know but it certainly shocks me to realize,
mr. chairman, i'm flying four times, sitting united states senator i put four times the number of airplane hours as our average air force pilot. that is shocking to me. it is not your fault. i recognize how severe that puts us. if we're looking at your priorities, no way that we can fund all this in the very short term. can you prioritize between list of b-21, kc-46, f-35s, talk about that in terms of, nuclear capability. nuclear was priority one, right? >> we have to modernize our nuclear force. when you look at the nuclear force today, our minute mutt man iiis built in the 60s. minuteman i in '70s. we have components on minuteman 3s on minuteman 1s. we have to modernize those. cruise missiles, designed in the
'70s used in the '80s. we're on their fifth extension. we have to be modernized. we have to have missile to get to the target and do what is planned. we have a missile, lrso. b 21 bombers, newest bombers, 25 years old, the b-2. that is the newest bombers. b-21 will be huge improvement to the combat capability. nuclear first. kc-46 to follow. f-35, kc-46, then the b 21. those are programs going forward. modernization programs. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator perdue. also we need to recognize, this surprises a lot of people, i i want to get these and distribute them out. this shows what happened to our military in terms of priorities. in 1964, 52% of all revenues
came into the united states went into defending america. that figure is now 15%, with much higher, more volatile world out there. and sew that, the only place to come up with the resources to reprioritize for military readiness. i was a little bit critical of the, of president obama's position, that he didn't want to do anything with the military unless you do equal amount -- that is not what the constitution tells us we're supposed to be doing. and i have three things to put in, without objection, into the record. senator kaine? >> if i could make a response doing it equally for defense and non-defense. i think, just to explain how we look at it from our side of the aisle. >> sure. >> maybe this helps us figure a way forward. there was no nestlingage between spending on defense and
non-defense prior to the sequestration of the budget caps. you would make your argument for non-defense, you would make your argument for defense, hopefully convince your colleagues. when the caps were voted in place, the sequester in august of 2011, it was let's try to find a good budget deal but if we don't we will impose budget caps equally on defense and non-defense. so the equality was as a result of the budget caps going into place as the sequester. so we've always insisted on our side of the aisle as long as the caps are in place there should be equal relief. if sequester was repealed like that, we would be back in the previous state where there wouldn't be a 50/50 argument. each side would make its case on priorities it wanted and may or may not succeed but we insist on the 50/50. the president did as well because we are in a bca cap environment. as long as the sequester is the law and we're not repealing the whole thing we insist on 50/50.
now that the gop controls both houses it would seem like a good time to go ahead and get rid of caps we'll go back to making our case about the priorities but living under the caps under this scenario, i think we all agree doesn't make any sense. and there's no 50/50 argument once the sequester goes away. >> thank you, senator kaine. yes, senator shaheen. >> i just, i know that we have time deadline but i thought it would be remiss of us to close the hearing without asking our panel to testify on the comments yesterday before the house panel on the brac process and whether they support that. because there was testimony yesterday that some of you would like to see another round of base closings.
i wanted to see if we could -- >> let's do this. would afford the same opportunity for other senators here. quite frankly, i didn't bring that up, and i didn't bring it up because i disagree with these guys. here's the problem. tell me if you disagree with this. i've been through every brac round, five of them. without exception every brac round for the first three years costs money. if there is ever a time in the history of our military which can't afford to dilute those dollars we need to resolve the problems that have been talked about today, it is now. the second reason is this. we've allowed the, in this starvation period, our function to go down. i have always been hesitant and i felt same way back in the '90s, when we, said the cold war is over. we no longer need this, and we lived through that. but the problem with that is, if you allow the mission, the
infrastructure to go down, the resources to go down to match what's already artificially low, then once you have rebuilt, you don't know for sure what you're going to need. now you didn't ask me. you asked them. so if you would like to make any comments about your position on a very significant issue, it would be brac. >> i will step into the breach first, chairman, recognizing that i'm going to say something you disagree with, but i respect your opinion. i also recognize that i've been up here now for the third year, pleading for additional funding, pleading for the elimination of sequestration, and pleading for the stoppage of continuing resolutions. given that those have not gone away, we are forced to look internally on where else can we save, and a brac is an area we know we can save. and yes, we do have to put money up front but right now we are
saving one billion per year from the 2005 brac and two billion per year from all the braces in prior years. that is real money we don't need if we don't get rid of sequestration and don't get rid of continuing resolutions. that is the environment we're operating in. to us a billion dollars would make a huge difference. it costs us $30 million to run an installation whether there is a soldier on it or not. so this is real money when you have 154 installations to run around the world. >> i would say, if we can afford to reach that point where that yield is i achieved and realized i would awith you. any other comments? >> mr. chairman, i learned a long time ago, waterfront property is something you never give away. >> army doesn't have very much of that. >> that is why i respectfully disagree with you. we feel we're pretty good shape
in the navy. 6% overhead we're carrying is internal to the bases. if we do a micro brac inside of our own bases, demolish buildings we like to demolish and not have to go through the bureaucracy of that, that would be far more helpful than going through another round of brac in the navy. >> appreciate it. any other comments. >> we're small on either coast. we're fine where we are. >> you're still using retreads too. >> infrastructure. >> i apologize, i can not resist this moment. i came into the senate as debt hawk and defense hawk. we lost luxury of losing sides on this we have to be both. i'm very concerned, last 42 years since the '74 budget act we talk about crs and talk about sequestration all of this, but we've used 17 5c rs since 1974. that is not folk to stop. the budget process is broken. it is not a partisan comment. one of the few things senator kaine we agreed this is
something we could get to politically neutral platform, you could eliminate crs, eliminate budget, debt ceiling conversations. this is something we can do. we have to use the military as the platform the reason why this is absolutely necessary we do it right now. so i would implore this subcommittee to it start looking at that as a way to put pressure back on the people who do have the opportunity to change that process. 175 continuing resolutions under all kinds of precedents last 42 years. has nothing to do with partisan politics. this is something we have got to fix. we will never solve this problem until we solve that problem. >> start by passing appropriation bills. >> mr. chairman? >> yes. >> i want to be clear for the record that i agree with your position, not with general allyn, as i understand night thank you. >> i wasn't coming after portsmouth naval shipyard, ma'am. my stepfather worked there 30 years. i got to go to school.
>> 42 years, averaged 2 1/2 appropriation billses each year. >> last shot. >> senator, i think we carry about 25% extra capacity in our bases. i think there is opportunity to do some smart investment going forward. how we do that, but right now we're carrying a backlog of stuff that we have to pay for in this budget environment. i think we need to look for opportunities to save. >> appreciate it very much, theexcellent testimony and attendance. thank you so much for being here. we're adjourned. >> thanks. >> you bet. you bet. >> i'll get those in the record. [inaudible conversations].