tv Defense Department Confirmations CSPAN November 2, 2017 6:06pm-8:01pm EDT
he was playing and mcconaughey can and the charisma of ... s. grant was that he had no charisma. he was not dramatic in different situations. he is no less fascinating but kind of a much more deep than hamilton but it in that respect he reminded me much more of george washington and george washington had a similar reserve and it tadic quality to grant. the senate armed services committee held a confirmation hearing for several defense department nominees. among them was mark espers to be
the next army secretary. other nominees included the defense undersecretary for intelligence and for personnel and readiness and the assistant defense secretary who advises on weapons of mass destruction to the committee is chaired by her son senator john mccain. this is just under two hours. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] the senate armed services committee meets today to consider the nominations of mark espers to be secretary of the army or robert l. wilkie to be undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness joseph d kernan to be undersecretary of defense for intelligence and roberts were nuclear chemical
and biological defense weapons. i would like to say that i've been pleased with the reaction of the secretary of defense and the administration being cooperative and responding to our questions and to our ability to carry out our responsibilities on the defense authorization bill. i think most members were happy with their briefing that we received concerning reactions on the uss mccain and others so we are glad to begin this hearing. we thank all of you for joining us this morning. we welcome your family and friends here with us today. as is our tradition at the beginning of your testimony we invite you to introduce those who are joining you. stand for this committee to ask certain questions in order to exercise legislative and oversight responsibilities. it's important that this
committee and other appropriate committees of congress be able to receive testimony briefings and other communications. i would ask that you each provide responses to the following questions. for the years i've been a member of this committee and has not been an important issue. it is now an important issue because we are not receiving the information and communication that is the constitutional responsibility of this committee. so, i urge you to consider your answers very carefully when i asked these questions. have you at here to applicable laws and regulations governing conflicts of interest? >> yes. >> will you ensure that your staff complies with deadlines established for requested communications including questions for the record?
>> yes. will you cooperate in providing witnesses and briefers in response to congressional requests? >> yes, sir. >> will those witnesses be protected from reprisals for their testimony or briefings? do you agree if confirmed to testify upon request before this committee? do you agree to provide documents including copies of electronic forms of communication in a timely manner when requested by a duly constituted committee or to consult with the committee regarding as the basis for any good-faith delay or denial in providing such documents? have you assumed any duties or undertaken any actions which would appear to presume the outcome of a confirmation process? thank you. mr. wilkie over half of the annual defense budget is spent on personnel costs. include training health care compensation.
our force is facing a readiness crisis. our personnel are experiencing the strain of 16 years of continuous conflict. i wish you could have heard our navy testimony yesterday concerning the action that has taken place and we all know the us congress bears significant responsibility for the lack of funding and a lack of readiness, the lack of capability of our military which then makes for a 100 hour work week which leads to accidents. i'm sure you are aware of them. testimony of the chief of naval operations. our force is facing a readiness crisis. personnel are experiencing the strain of 16 years of continuous conflict.
the next undersecretary of defense for personnel and greatest with the senior official responsible for issues that have been a priority for this committee in the last three years. the sweeping personnel reforms congress has passed in recent defense authorization bills that reflect the importance we place on these issues. if confirmed we expect that you will work to faithfully implement these reforms and be a forward-thinking partner to this committee as we look to ensure can serve -- serving in the defense of our nation remains the compelling calling for our best and brightest americans. admiral kernan if confirmed as the undersecretary of defense for intelligence he will serve as the principle intelligence adviser for the secretary of defense and will be dual-hattedness the director of defense intelligence of the office of the director of national intelligence. it's been nearly 15 years since this position was created and
the security environment has changed dramatically during that time. the scope and complexity of global tragedies unlike anything the nation has faced during the last seven decades. that's why it's more important than ever that this committee and the department make certain that the defense intelligence enterprise is appropriately structured to immigrate and prioritize challenges resources and capabilities throughout the department. i look to our nominee to explain how he intends to reassess the structure and ensure that the military has timely and accurate intelligence to defend the nation against a rapidly evolving series of security challenges. mr. roberts if confirmed he will be the principle adviser to the secretary of defense on nuclear weapons and chemical and biological defense as well as the executive director of the nuclear weapons counsel.
as such you will have a key role in shepherding modernization programs of the nuclear triad including the bomber submarine icbm long-range standoff weapons and nuclear command and control. if confirmed we will expect you to abdicate in a timely and responsible execution of these programs which remain a cornerstone of our nation's national defense especially in the current strategic environment. we also expect he will work with their national nuclear security administration and the department of energy to support the recapitalization of the critical infrastructure. many of these facilities are in a disgraceful state of disrepair and strong leadership from both the dod will be required to keep all of these programs on time and that costs.
doctors esper there's no clear clear -- then our navy -- army remains at war. after 16 years of war the army perhaps more than any other service has been tested. repeatedly our soldiers have met the test improve the commitment courage skill and determination. today however our army is facing a crisis. the burden imposed on our soldiers only grows as threats to our nation increase and sequestration remains the law of the land. given current operational demands restoring readiness must be the army's first priority. we have made progress this year towards improving the number of ready brigades are to available for deployment but too many of our soldiers remain in brigades that are currently known the playable. the rp still does not plan to return the full spectrum
readiness until 2021 at the earliest. meanwhile the arm or leg -- the army is woefully behind on modernization and our soldiers are increasingly unprepared to confront the harsh realities of 21st century warfare. the glaring capability gaps and mobility in legality and survivability these problems would only get worse as our ever series continue to modernize their forces. put simply our army lacks both the adequate capacity and the key capabilities to win decisively. if confirmed we will expect you to implement the sixth key priorities for post-modernization like the army announced last month. we must work to turn these goals into real weapon and equipment and put them in the hands of soldiers as soon as possible. our soldiers can't afford the false choice between readiness and modernization.
building a ready modern army will require visionary leadership and a clear strategy. if confirmed we will expect you to lead the army to those ends. you will have to learn the lessons of the past, make tough decisions, take and manage real risk and hold yourself and those working for you accountable for results. when you do so you always have an ally in this committee. finally got or esper i would be remiss if i did not reiterate my concerns about the number nominees from the defense industry filling out the leadership ranks of the department of defense. i want to be clear that my reservations in the early consultations ahead with the administration about potential nominees including yours and a handful of others that have yet to be nominated. it was then i decided i can't support for the nominees without
background beyond those we have are discussed. i've share your commitment not only to retreat -- recuse yourself from matters really into the to the raytheon company bever than not to seeker except laborers to your recusal obligation. i would like to submit your commitment into the record without objection. again let me thank our witnesses for their willingness to serve our nation at this challenging time. the length of my opening statement was good -- directly related to the importance of the task that you have asked to undertake. >> thank you very much mr. chairman let me join you in welcoming our nominees and to thank them and their families for their willingness to serve in the positions with great responsibility. i would also like as you introduce your families you will at knowledge the critical role
they play in supporting your efforts and the men and women in uniform. doctors esper you've been on a two-week one of our greatest institutions the united states army. if confirmed he will serve the organization that is facing many challenges including full spectrum readiness while the continued to deploy soldiers around the world. the army continues to grapple with modernization to include how best to make target investment programs canceling those efforts that are underperforming or prohibited. doctors esper have a wealth of experience as well as lyrics sensitive experience in the public and private sector. if trends burned your unique perspective will allow you to tackle these challenges head-on and i look forward to hearing your views on these issues. mr. wilkie if confirmed he will face many challenges including first and foremost that our military has adequate numbers of ready and trained servicemembers and sufficiently high character and talent and national defense
objected to this overarching -- requires organizational challenges. military personnel cost of continued to rise exceeding the increase to the overall defense budget even as the overall number of active-duty soldiers has dropped from over 2 million in 1998 to 1.3 million today. despite an increased defense budget over that timeframe mr. wilkie your vast experience with congress should serve you well and in the fewer confirmed i look forward to working with you and tackling difficult issues and i know you will do that well. intelligence and operations are more integrated than ever before but at the same time the demand for act and timely intelligence continues to outstrip supply. this challenge is exacerbated inefficient allocation russ is of surveillance and recognizance
capabilities among geographic combatant commands. it is capabilities continue to advance at an exceptional pace we are experiencing a short wall and personnel and analytical tools necessary to make effective the overwhelming amount that is being generated. given your more than three decades of service in the navy bring important experiences to the position of the usdi which you should serve with great distinction as you have in the past. mr. roberts since its creation this office has assumed other missions including -- however the core mission has not changed which is to serve as the interface between the department of defense and stop of the requirement to support its deterrence mission and over the nuclear security agency to
expect you as your predecessors have done to hold the nn as they accountable in meeting the stockpile made in a particular restoring your ability produce plutonium pits as we have we recapitalize over the next 20 years. since 2011 boeing the rabbit -- ratification of the new start treating we expect a continued continue. and thank you for your willingness to serve the nation. >> thank you. i know the presence of our respected friends senator tillis who would like to believe introduced one of the witnesses. >> thank you mr. chairman ranking member and distinguished colleagues. i had the privilege of making a few comments about robert wilkie or colonel robert wilkie paez nixon to resume and i'm sure to the record for the years repeating some of the more important things that i believe
makes him uniquely qualified for this role. many view probably met robert when he was working for the nomination of secretary mattis. he has got several years of private sector experience including projects to reform and were organized the united kingdom ministry of defense supply chain and logistics system. he also served in the bush administration for rumsfeld as assistant secretary of defense and before that he served under condoleezza rice. i could go through the but i won't. i have to tell you being a junior senator coming in and having someone of roberts cal -- caliber willing to serve with me was a real honor. started under deputy helms and has worked on capitol hill for many times. he has the grasp of history that is unparalleled. we play a game in my office
called stomp stump or robert and we haven't figured out how to do it yet i guess so has broad-based educational experience that follows in the line of the service that mr. chair and your comment about taking up readiness seriously there's probably not a day that goes by that we are not talking about that and it's one of the reasons when they were looking at the subcommittee that i may serve on that he was the one to say it would be great to get the personnel subcommittee because that's an area where we can do a lot of work and we focused on it and we have made progress. i'm pretty sure most of the senate armed services staff have a high opinion of roberts i will tell you we also called -- because there's not a single story we cannot put in context with the experience he had during his working career dating back to roman times. he is going to be a great addition to the department defense and i'm personally, it's bittersweet to lose him as a capacity of personnel sub many of senate armed services. i get it opportunity to contain
to work with him so i wholeheartedly support his nomination and appreciate the opportunity to introduce him. santa thank you for your very good words and your opinion is shared on this dais as well. thank you very much. maybe we will just begin with you mr. wilkie if you would like to prepay. so i think mr. chairman senator reed and distinguished members of the committee armed services. this is the second time i've appeared in this chair. >> i hope it's better than the last time. >> in 2006 i was blessed to have my wife julie with me. we grew up together outside of fort bragg and she is the foundation of our family in both of our civilian and military lives. unlike 2006 my daughter meghan is now old enough to sit here.
she is escaping from her junior high school classes at washington and is also representing her brother adam who was a first semester mechanical engineering student at clemson university. i'm also proud to help my sister-in-law carla counsel here. we to went to high school in fayetteville. mr. chairman. >> we welcome them to the committee. >> i was honored to be introduced by a former member of this committee and a truly great senate leader trent lott. i'm equally humbled today not only by the confidence placed in me by the president and secretary mattis puts to be introduced by senator tillis. senator helms said for any senator to truly represent north carolina that senator must understand north carolina highway 24. that is the road that connects 45% of the entire united states marine corps in the eastern part of our state and a place senator reed calls the dash fort bragg.
it exemplifies what all of us who've been part of military life straight to be and that is to serve. mr. chairman if confirmed i will be charged with making life easier for the men and women and families military and civilian who carry our future on their shoulders when i improve isha see this military life from many angles as dependents, the son of a gravely wounded combat soldier as an officer with a family in the military health care system in the senior leader of the white house and the pentagon. my earliest memories of the mass jumps of the second airborne division on the normandy and sicily drop sons and fort bragg and artillery rolling across the old quadrangle at fort sill. i witnessed first-hand the all volunteer total force guard
active and reserve. mr. chairman since desert storm readiness has met the ability to mobilize fight and win two wars. without prejudging secretary mattis strategic review that notion of readiness is a good place for pnr to start assessing the quality of the total force. in my opinion as the chairman mentioned the department is too often been caught up in chasing shiny objects. there have been few champions for riddance to work with this committee. simply put we need to get people back on the range in the voter pools and prepare for the full spectrum of conflict, a spectrum that now includes cyber and space. the threshold question is whether its decision made by the department enhances america's ability to deter and defeat any enemy while keeping our soldiers sailors airmen and marines alive
and getting them back home quickly. when they return we owe them and their families the same level of care and attention. this is not the military that senator mccain or my father joined the don of the kennedy administration yet we are hamstrung by policies and procedures in place then to run that force of multiple millions each year by thousands of draft these nrotc graduates. today our military is vastly different comprised entirely of high-quality volunteers. 17% of the forces female many of whom are serving on the front lines in numbers and missions unimaginable in the days of the wax butter headquarters are -- we rely on the upper model for servicemen and women who are forced to leave the military. success in the information age
with the increasingly rely on the technical ability of our troops and their assignment system values depth of experience. recruiting may not reach a wide audience on line. servicemembers cannot move freely among components to meet changing circumstances in their lives. in my father's day few soldiers have families and today over 60% do. for families the center of their lives would be the military health care system. that system is slow to keep up with modern medical advances for conditions like autism and other behavioral disorders as senators gillibrand and -- it may clear. constant rotation again based on 19th century army model presents thousands from putting down roots regarding meaningful employment pre-childcare is
indeed the bottom line is the chairman said his remarks to secretary mattis is that it the families are not happy the soldier walks. the all-volunteer force has performed miracles with 12 times for front-line marine and army units down to 1-1.19 years and on any given day 15 given day 50% armies medically unable to deploy. mr. chairman we must address those hard facts or the forceful break. this committee has kept pace and faith with the finest military in the world and the solutions for many of the issues i mentioned have already begun to take place. if confirmed by pledge to build on your work and also work with the great patriots as part of their family the patriots to man the ospf help you keep that faith. mr. chairman i think you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you for an excellent
statement. doctors esper. senator mcgee making member reed members of the armed services committee it's it is an honor and a privilege to appear before you this morning is the presence nominated for secretary of the army. i want to thank you for this opportunity they like to begin by recognizing my wife lea and their children luke john and kate. like many military families make make sacrifices in support of my service. >> you are welcome here. that's less than a year to remit my wife experience anxious days and nights during my seven month deployment with the hundred and first airborne division of the gulf war that she gave her a tour of for sun in a foreign country while i was commanding a rifle company as part of a rapid reaction force. we moved four times in five years but she always made a home for growing family where of the army sent us. after i transitioned from active
duty on the army staff's as virginia guard she shouldered additional parenting duties during the long weekend's annual training and everything in between. this will continue for several years doing various jobs in the senate, the house as the deputy assistant secretary defense until my retirement from the army reserve in 2007. i tell this because of a big thanks i owe to my wife and the support she gave me in a terrific job she did raising our children when its contractors or something i will lean on if i become the next secretary army. also give you an expense of my spirit -- experience in the army. i warn army uniform for over 25 years but that i was privileged to serve in some the army's best active infantry units defend the top training leadership schools and serve on three separate continents in defense of our country. to stand well the challenges and military experiences they readiness a rigorous of
deployment. am i clear was fortunate to serve with america's best soldiers ncos officers and civilian employees of the united states army whose selflessness and vigilance keep our great nation safer safe. i've learned a good deal from all of those who would not be here today. their welfare and brightness will be my top party. today's army is the greatest ground combat force in history. despite this fact the service faces many challenges. this committee knows him well be the armies of critical point pivoting to adjust the rise of aggressive adversaries while soldiers fight terrorist groups abroad and global demand for ready forces increases from fiscal pressures at home. the next secretary must lead the world's premier success in these difficult times and prepare for future fights as well. my vow if confirmed is to learn from my values experiences and to address these issues. if confirmed my first priority
will be readiness. with the army engaged over 140 countries around the world to include combat operations in afghanistan and iraq training locations to europe can deter russia and units in the pacific depending against north korea. readiness must be our top priority. this means recruiting and retaining the best our nation has to offer ensuring young men and women are well-trained and well led and equipping them with the best weapons and technology developer at every unit must be prepared to deploy and accomplish its mission through these are the fundamental duties of the secretary of army and if confirmed i intend to do them well. a second party will be modernization. this means growing the forceful maintaining quality reshaping it to be more robust and successful and modernizing it with the best weapons available to guarantee clear over match in future
conflicts. for modernization to be successful as a country must articulate their vision championed by this committee. this includes changing requirements for success in ensuring accountability prototyping and demonstrating systems early and involving the private sector much more. sherena's provider soldiers with the tools they need to fight with when they need them. i know the armed services committees are working hard to change that in the meantime the army must exercise better stewardship of its resources so third party is efficiency. to achieve this i intend to play a very active role in the army's top acquisition programs reducing bureaucracy wringing inefficiencies -- inefficiencies and promoted autocratic culture that will facilitate much of this. we must free up time money and manpower to utilize other top priorities. lastly if confirmed i will push
my duties with the guys in the restroom to maximize the effectiveness of any team. collaborate broadly treat people with respect to encourage innovation thinking and straight talk empower people and hold leaders accountable. these principles must be lived promoted and upheld day in and day out by leaders. chairman mccain ranking member reed the members of this committee thank you for your time and consideration today. having served on capitol hill i know will critical article i responsibilities and what comes to our nation's security what's you expect so i look forward to working continuous if the committee to make sure the united states army is deployed for any battlefield on any day and any condition and the total army family or soldier civilians and their loved ones at home are well cared war. i'm grateful where for your consideration of my nomination and i look or to your questions. >> thank you.
mr. kernan picture mccain making a breed buried establishment of the committee thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today and for your consideration of my nomination to be the undersecretary of defense for intelligence. i i'm appreciative of the trust and confidence president trump's secretary mattis have placed in me and if confirmed i look forward to assuming the responsibilities of the usdi a world that i view as extremely important to our nation's security. like to recognize my family who are not here in person but in spirit and fully supportive of this commitment should i be confirmed and avoid simplistic really. my father who left columbia medical school in 1939 to serve in world war ii my father-in-law navy -- my brother bob agree navy pilot and two sisters martha and mary who with their families or active humanitarians on many fronts. most improving my wife jan. always patriotic always
supportive and always caring for she was alone for much of my military career raising our two children sean and shannon and too often was called upon to supporting console the families of casualties from my command. leslie the preeminent reason for me and my willingness to serve as for the men and women who stand in defense of our country. they deserve the best we can provide them and should i be confirmed they will have my unwavering commitment to that task. intelligence combined with the skill of those men and women along with decision-making is christian tradition security. during content zappers as i place a high value on in telogen support because that intelligence allowed us to plan effectively mitigate risks and exploit intelligence on those target sites. in my experience my countries and allies intelligence longer than enterprises were routinely vital contributors to our military operations through my commitment to the value of leveraging collective and collaborative intelligence
capabilities partnering and collaborating remains firm and if confirmed that will continue. if confirmed my initial priorities would include providing intelligence support to warfighters and national security decision-makers proactively collaborating across the department of defense the intelligence enterprise and with our allies and emerging or in partners and finally leveraging commercial technologies and innovations were they can support mission success and address other internal and external security threats and challenges. in the complex security environment we must collect process and life information from all domains. our intelligence enterprise was the trained and equipped to do so as well. if confirmed i will run a sake assume the resource of technology and solutions at meet our military and nation's intelligence needs than closing i'm committed to working with very closely with this committee
and other committees of jurisdiction to provide the information needed to carry out oversight responsibilities. thank you for your consideration to my nomination i look toward to your questions. tonight thank you. mr. roberts. >> thank you mr. chairman ranking member reed the members of the committee for your consideration of my nomination to the assistant secretary of defense for the chemical and biological defense programs. then honor and a privilege to be considered for this important position but i wish to thank the president secretary mattis for the confidence to me in their support or my nomination and of course i owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to my family my wife lynn and my two sons matthew and alexander who regrettably could not he here today. their support and sacrifice about uplifting and without them i certainly wouldn't be here today. i also like to express my deep appreciation to them and women who have served and contained to
serve our nation in uniform today through their sacrifices and those of their families are enormous and as i can attest first-hand we cannot thank them enough. i feel a stronger sense of purpose and inspiration and if confirmed to dedicate myself to ensure ensure that they as well as all americans are fully protected from the threat of weapons of mass destruction proliferation and use. likewise if confirmed i look forward to working with the rest of the department of defense team to support secretary mattis and implementing the president's plan to rebuild our military and to ensure the safety and security of the american people particularly regarding modernizing our anti- anti-proliferation initiatives and programs. i believe in my 35 years of experience participating in multilateral and bilateral agreements on arms control and oversee our data on nuclear posture make mean uniquely qualified for this position to this includes serving as a military of us are representing the department of defense in
various conventional and strategic arms control negotiations working in the private sector as subject matter expert on nonproliferation training programs and as an academic teaching classes on mom proliferation strategy into senior official of a omb policy where work on issues including russia and north korea on nuclear deterrence and missile defense policy and a range of arms control and counter proliferation initiatives traditionally been made of deputies and secretary-general for w. empty policy and the director for nuclear policy at work closely with our allies to help shape our policies towards russia develop and implement native conference of policy for dm -- wmd. while there i developed a keen appreciation for the importance of greater consultation and working closely with our allies and partners as well as other
international actors in the industry. if confirmed i anticipate continued to work closely with our allies and partners as well as our counterparts to synchronize their efforts regarding u.s. born counter proliferation policy objectives. most improving this president has prioritized -- if confirmed i will work to ensure we have a robust nuclear enterprise with a full set of flexible credible ready and survivable nuclear capabilities. second work to develop a nuclear posture that is responsive to today's challenges and third institute declaratory policy that in any adversary credibly convey the message that aggression of any kind is not a rational option. i believe we must maintain the second to none robust deterrence posture to complement efforts to stop the threat of weapons of mass destruction persistence and
use use. officially confirmed i will work with dod components as well as our interagency partners and allies to ensure that state and nonstate actors never have the opportunity to acquire and use these weapons of mass destruction and disruption against our forces or allies in their homeland. finally if confirmed i looked over to working with this committee to support developing and modernizing capabilities to deter adversaries reassure allies against the spread of and respond to the threat of wmd proliferation news. thank you again and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you very much mr. roberts. i would just like to make a comment here and that is the reason why these nominations have not been acted on as rapidly as possible is because of failures of communication between this committee and the pentagon which is a shame since
i have known them for many many years. we expect from you as in the opening questions that i asked not only communication book operation and that is something that is our constitutional responsibility and i hope that you appreciate it. doctors esper from -- dr. esper from time to time there is frustration on this committee because of failures of major weapons systems. for example over the last 10 years or so we have wasted about $40 billion on programs like the future combat system command she attack helicopter the crusader howitzer joint tactical radio
system and the distributed common ground system army. most recently the committee has learned of the failure of the warfighter information network tactical known as wind teeth. this program has cost the taxpayer over $6 billion and has yet to meet the requirements of our warfighters. the me just tell you now that is not acceptable. it's not acceptable for the taxpayers of america and is not acceptable to the members of this committee. we made several changes over the last couple of years in the defense authorization bill but we do not want any more of these failures. you lose credibility with the american people when they program has to be canceled and it cost the taxpayers over $6 billion. please keep that in mind and we
will be exercising careful scrutiny. we just can't keep wasting billions of dollars like this. we just can't so i hope that is the message that you get from every member of the committee on both sides. could i ask doctors esper you have an end strength of over 1 million soldiers, okay? the army remains one service in the rate of demand by the combatant commanders. all the while it works to feel readiness. as the current budget adequate to support operations maintain readiness and modernize the army for 21st century warfare? >> mr. chairman i do not think the current budget is adequate to prepare for future readiness.
>> mr. wilkie. >> now sir, it's not. >> and mr. kernan. >> no chairman i do not believe that sufficient. >> mad just say again dr. esper for over two years army leaders have asserted readiness as priority number one. do you believe that the army is at a level of readiness to conduct combined arms nuclear warfare against the pier competitor? >> mr. chairman i think the army faces many challenges right now not the least of which most importantly is to engage in peer-to-peer haiyan fight. i think with only one third of the brigade combat teams and 25% of the combat readiness engaging in such a conflict would the conducted at significant risk. >> thank you. mr. kernan almost every day we hear of another issue concerning
cyber. revelations of old attacks, an increase in knowledge that we have concerning what the russians did to try to affect the outcome of our elections and as far as we can tell for the last eight years there has not been a strategy in cyber which then would be translated to policy which would then be translated into action. we have got provisions in the defense authorization bill and we have a cyber subcommittee. how serious do you think this issue is? >> i think the cyber threat is probably one of the most concerning threats that face our
nation today certainly in terms of what it could do to malicious activity inside of her infrastructure for a nation but that is well cyberactivities occurring inside the department of defense. we have to commit ourselves to protecting our networks to mitigating the impacts of malicious activity. again i think it's a very serious threat that we have to take seriously. it is a warfare domain in my mind. waterless warfare domain in their actors taking advantage of that domain that is difficult to be tracked, to undermine our democracy. again whether it he stealing our tech elegy or whether it be trying to influence our elections. >> i thank you and we look forward to working with you because still to this day we do not see a discernible strategy on confronting an issue that
could have under certain circumstances undermine democracy and our fundamental selecting our leaders. could i just finally add we intend to move your nominations through as quickly as possible to get to work. senator reed. >> thank you very much and gentlemen thank you for your testimony and your service. or esper that may concern myself with the original marks about the unfortunate and that's a mild term failures on programs going all the way back the fighting systems of the army. can you give us a sense of how you're going to approach this issue and how you are going to take it on?
>> first of all i share your in the chairman's concerns at on the modernization record. it's certainly fraught with a number of mistakes in the past that not only cost the taxpayers billions of dollars but maybe more importantly it left the soldiers without the tools and equipment and weapons they need to be successful on the battlefield. my view is the era is over. we need to take the acquisition process beginning with the top piece of it all the way through to the testing part and to do that means you need to take a holistic approach which looks at processing these programs programs policies and fundamentally a new system that in the end changes culture as well. a number of reports in the past give us a nice roadmap on how to do that. there was a very good report by the government affairs committee which i think chairman mccain
was part of in 2014 which outlines that. begins with requirements getting all the right players at the table at the right time putting a war fighter in charge of that and make sure it's stable. and doing things such as lining up the assignments of program managers so there's clear accountability across-the-board and i think what the army announced recently a think the steps are all in the right direction with regard to any to do but the key is getting rid of your credit it's fostering engagement with the industry of private and commercial sector or off the shelf where things could be promoted using other transactional authority to provide legislation and fundamentally overhauling --. >> mr. wilk again thank you for your service both here and other
places. one of the issues this committee has struggled with and the department of defense has struggled with and in fact is a societal issue is sexual harassment. the department has not yet promulgated content of policy with that regard. can you give us a commitment that you will work on that and get a policy out? >> yes sir. there are several items in that vein. the report and the policy that you referred to was set in place and a requirement for second place. i think given the current climate is now more than ever -- but i will give you my commitment. >> thank you very much. c do you view this as a serious issue mr. wilkie? very serious.
>> one of the issues i eluded to in one of the issues we have seen every day is the lack of isr. that was one of the factors in the niger situation. in fact general wall peiser has indicated he only has 20% of what he needs. how do we ask that because other demands on the korean prints a will put more pressure on isr. c isr in general there is a demand for them honestly for the right reasons because isr provides you a higher opportunity for mission success and markedly protects your force. those assets are absolute critical. the adjudication process that we go through and begin my top priority is providing support so those assets are the right
charge. they will be in support of the warfighter and that's not to say there are opportunities where we can support other organizations but primarily i haven't seen an investigation had niger but isr could have benefited that certainly could benefit us and southcom. >> finally mr. roberts thank you for your service and what you propose to do and let a stress again concerned about the ability for the nsa principally to support dod through the production process. we are looking at a recapitalization of bardack lear enterprise which is roughly 1.5 to $1.9 trillion over the next decade and part of that necessarily is getting plutonium plutonium. can you give us a sense of back? >> when i first started this
process i was surprised to find out that we don't have the capability for the production right now and this committee has looked at and raise this issue. certainly if confirmed one of the highest priorities i will have is to find out what the delay has been. frankly i find it very perplexing because nuclear weapons counsel earlier in 2014 had indicated there was a solution and subsequently there was a series of looking at other alternatives by the nsa and i've seen the letter at this committee sent raising those concerns and i believe those concerns are legitimately being worked on. >> thank you. c i have to say in the 30 years
that i have been on the house or senate arms services committee have never seen a group of nominees more qualified than you for. i think we will turn this corner now having the right people at the helm. i want to ask one question the same question of all four of you you. one of our problems when i was trying to explain to people over the past eight years what is happening to our military the threat that we are facing and different than any kind of threat we have ever faced before. i didn't have the credibility but when the uniform start talking about it that makes it different. i am very proud to tell the unvarnished truth about the poems we have paid when general allen testified before this committee only a third of our brigade combat teams were working and ready one for thicker air brigades and half of
our divisions were ready and general dunford said and to this committee, it's pretty shocking. he said if we don't address this dynamic and change predictable funding over the course of several years we will lose our qualitative and quantitative competitive advantage. that's a pretty shocking statement. .. >> the uniforms are importantbue important. so i have very much a concern about the general -- general
millie wrote talking about the goal of the sustained readiness, he said that the goal of this army sustained readiness model is to have 66%, and this is not maintained because were not there now, to achieve 56% of the force in a combat ready status at any moment by the year 2023. now, would you sanded this model do you think we are on track to reach that goal? >> my understanding is the army is on track to reach that goal. my personal goal is that it's not fast enough. if confirmed, i like to look for ways to accelerate that,
particularly even the challenges we face in the international scene. >> let me also complement you. the answer you gave to senator reid's questions talking about what our acquisition problems are in a definitive answer on how to address a, that was very good answer. mr. wilkie, remember so well the guy who is always been a real hero to me was jesse helms. i remember going to his funeral. we talked about that. and i would say to my friend, senator tell us that it's one of the main things i like a when i look at you in your extensive service you have had in the past. i'm grateful to know you understand a readiness challenge. i chair the readiness committee and i'm concerned about where we are today in terms of top priority going forward, how has
our budget cuts in the bca affected our military readiness capacity and capability. it's important to answer the question now because of what were in the midst of. >> if we start from the premise that we have never faced the breath of the strategic challenges we have now, that leads me to only one answer, must the department of defense has a steady and understandable stream of finances to plan for years ahead, as any other business would have, it will not be capable of playing in a field where we continue to have an unfair advantage over adversary. >> that's a good answer, but unfortunate. i'm concerned about a statement that's made her fact that only
about a quarter of today 17 - 24 -year-olds are eligible for service and even a smaller number are interested in listening. i was a product of the draft. i like to see what are the innovative opportunities we have to expand that pool. >> as he say, it's a societywide problem. what i don't believe the department has to as we have moved into the 21st century is adopt the modes of information collection that america's young people have had. we have not mastered something that i consider to be fundamental and that's online recruiting across the country.
it also had situations in the last 15 or 20 years with the first experience that are youth at one time had with military if they are not from a community type, it was junior rotc. were losing those units across the country. in a time of budget crunching that's probably low on the list, but if you looking at long-term trying to change the perception of young americans, those interactions and the ability of the government through the government to adopt the way young people think is one that will never get caught up. >> i appreciate that answer. >> thank you mr. chairman. congratulations to all of you thank you for being willing to consider taking on these positions.
doctor esper, in your testimony said your first priority will be readiness and ensuring the total army is prepared to fight. can you elaborate on how you would improve readiness and modernize the national guard? >> as noted, i had the privilege of serving on active duty and in the reserve. i know all three components well. the last 16 years of fighting we learned the guard and reserve are not just a strategic reserve but a critical operational component. it's critical as we try to go on a better footing, we look at key areas of improving our stockpiles, our equipment better maintained and ready to go. training for the high-end and units are fully manned. that applies to all three components as well when it comes
to pushing units, we need to make sure that teams are there are working closely with the acted. what most people don't appreciate is the majority of the army is in the guard reserve. so it's critical we train is a total army across the spectrum of conflict. >> thank you. i appreciate that. i look forward for you coming up to new hampshire to see the challenges we face. mr. wilkie, thank you for your work for senator tell us on the special immigrant visa programs. that was helpful. and it's important as we support our men and women on the battlefield. on task about the healthcare system in the military.
kid backs is a universal vaccine program that purchases vaccines at a discounted rate at the cdc to make sure they go to children regardless of the family's income. the only health insurance plan that does not pay that back for vaccines is tricare. we commit to this committee that you will focus on this issue and help get the matter resolved? >> yes, the kids back program impacts ten states, new hampshire having the largest complaint against the system, and i pledge i will look at that as well as a number of things with tricare and getting children vaccinated is a top priority for any undersecretary. >> thank you. senator mccain talked about the importance of cyber and you agreed with that in response.
can you tell me who is in charge of a cyber strategy for the united states, not just within the department of defense but throughout the federal government? >> unfamiliar with the department of defense cyber strategy and were fundamentally committed to the. >> and who's in charge at the department of defense and doing that? >> it's a collective responsibility. i believe i have a responsibility for developing a strategy that sharon mccain discussed. the issue is it's such a prolific and important issue to be addressed that involves everybody in the country not just civilian or military. our infrastructure networks need to be addressed. it will be a whole of government approach we have to work together to leverage technology to address the problem. >> somebody has to be in charge.
thank you. right now we don't have someone who can be held accountable and who everyone knows is the person in charge of something goes wrong. mr. roberts, in your testimony you talk about working in nuclear posture that is instituting policies that credibly convey aggression of any kind is not a rational option, what he mean by that? mckenna policies do we need to have in place? >> the cancer there's that only having the capabilities to
indicate were adversaries that aggression is not a rational option but also political will to make it clear that indeed if you attack us you'll pay a terrible price for having that posture which right now i feel is difficult to convey because we have for so long undercapitalized or nuclear deterrent and were approaching a time when we have to replace those at a high cost. >> i suggesting that we should be prepared to engage in nuclear war against our enemies? >> i believe we should be prepared to engage so we never have to engage. i've often said that we use nuclear weapons every single day. it's a political tool more than a military one. >> i think that deterrent made sense against the soviets and was effective. i'm not sure it makes much sense
against north korea. thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman. let me have my surprise to senator shea he and sherman mccain with regard to the concern expressed in your response or perhaps a nonresponse with regard to who would be responsible for the cyber challenges nation faces. i think it points out and i would not suggest you are wrong in your response, we requested members of the white house to participate in one of our hearings here and they decline to attend. that type of an attitude is the wrong attitude in regard to finding the appropriate way to respond to attacks in the defense of our country.
so, i want to ask a commitment with regard to your responsibility to participate and be able to respond when we ask you to come back in terms of identifying a person responsible for cyber defenses within the government within the government system, would you commit to that? >> i am committed to the and i would second that there needs to be someone from the military to make it work. i'm committed to helping the whole of government effort. >> and once again, which you agree or concur that right now it's difficult to determine who's responsible for that area
responsibility today? >> i would concur it's difficult to address who that is. there's activities going on but it's not focused under one person that i'm aware. >> thank you. north korea nuclear weapon has gotten a lot of attention lately. we should also be mindful of the chemical weapons stockpile. open source documents estimate that north korea has 5000 tons of chemical weapons and is likely to use them of conflict blake breaks out.
in 2009 we stated the army lack the full range of capabilities required to support the joint force commander of the chemical weapons of mass destruction in the future. 2015 iran reported again between the magnitude of the weapons of mass distraction and dod's resource priorities. can either of you speak to the army or dod's readiness to mitigate the impact of potential north korean use of chemical weapons? >> that is an area of concern to the army. much like the rest of the army the forces are not fully prepared, quarter ready to go or deemed ready. much like the army's preparing to engage, this is a threat that you face. something i experienced in the gulf war in 1990 was the clear
threat of weapons used in the army needs to get back to a similar posture as we look back at adversaries in asia and europe. >> it's an area of concerned i'm concerned about. we looked at the threaten clearly the north koreans have a large chemical capability and i'm worried about the large biological capability they have as well. we know they have a program and frankly this is an area where were not well prepared to deal with. if confirmed, i plan on addressing that very strongly. >> the both of you commit that time is of the essence?
>> yes, sir. >> thank you. want to join the previous comments of my colleagues, most particularly the chairman calling attention to the importance of personnel for the extraordinary equipment and advanced technology that we bring to bear the battlefield. at the end of the day it's people who are the greatest resource. i would second remarks made about the excellent qualification of these nominees. before i ask questions i want to raise for consideration news about the ruling of a case pending in guantánamo, in fact,
cam justice as it is incorrectly called, a ruling by -- is presiding over a case, holding in contempt of court brigadier general john baker, 28 your green core veteran. second highest green core lawyer, sentencing him to 21 days of confinement in a 1000-dollar fine simply for raising the issue about a potential conflict of interest were ethical problem with the three lawyers who were assigned to that death penalty case at guantánamo. i'm troubled by this decision, i
find it questionable and contrary to our justice system. i hope our committee will bring oversight to this matter in this case into the conduct of military justice according to demo, the chairman led this committee and requiring the last administration a plan to end the use of the facility the last administration failed to follow through, this job now blocks to the present administration i miss committee -- obviously were not asking the witnesses to respond, but the department of
defense will turn its detention and give us a briefing on what is happening. i also recognize the possibilities for intervention may be limited. my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of the recent terrorist attack in new york city. i'm troubled by the president eliminating funding in new york city whose sole purpose is to train them soldiers, the status and also has worked for over 65 years to keep our communities safe from nuclear, biological and radioactive attacks. if enacted, these cats in my view are careless and
contradictory would weaken our defenses against terrorist attacks. i sent a letter to the appropriations committee urging $3.4 million in fiscal year 18. i'd like to know whether you will support the funding for this laboratory which is essential to our national defense? >> senator, i'm not play with elaborate issue but i will look into. i'm more than willing to work with you on this issue. i believe we need to continue to make investments and that's critical to the army's readiness. on this issue i would like to follow up with you. >> i appreciate that we mr. roberts, i think you have jurisdiction over this issue.
>> senator, i believe the lab is under the department of homeland security. of course, dealing with the potentially tactile or homeland, the department of defense work closely with the department of homeland security and identify gaps that frankly if this closure would result in the gap we would need to address. >> i appreciate you saying you look into it. after you look into it i would like you to respond in writing and tell me what your position will be. >> if i'm confirmed. >> senator ernst. >> gentlemen thank you for your
willingness to continue your service to our great united states. before i began i'd like task simple yes or no questions, number one, do you commit to cutting wasteful spending and making it a priority? >> yes. >> to commit to work with me to prevent sexual assault in the army. >> yes. >> will you provide advance notice. >> yes. >> to commit to upholding a nonbiased and transparent approach throughout the acquisition process. >> yes. >> i appreciate those answers. now onto a more open discussion, in your advance policies you state that small arms modernization is an area suitable to the average of commercial sector for an easy able adapted solution to a new weapon. i do agree with that wholeheartedly. however, i feel full and open competition is paramount to
making sure our soldiers get the best weapons into their hands. you speak to fall and open competitions? can i get your commitment to make this a priority. >> let me give you the commitment that if confirmed my aim would be to pursue full and open competition on everything we can. my experience i witnessed firsthand the competition does two things, address quality and lower price. the more we can open up temperature to include wider participants whether commercial or off-the-shelf, we should pursue. the key things is getting the soldiers the equipment and tools
they need at the fastest best price. >> i appreciate that when our competitors are pacing us in small arms, we have to figure out the best way to get those weapons into our soldiers hands. >> the military has made progress in reducing the number of sexual assaults from 26000 to slightly less than 15000. bookkeeping edge adjudication of cases within the chain of command. yet, we need improvement. do you think reduction in sexual assault like we have seen
possible without the ability to hold military commanders accountable. can you outline how this has placed them in a position to be held accountable? >> there's no room for sexual harassment, assault or retaliation against anybody in that regard. it cannot be tolerated. there must be zero-tolerance for sexual harassment i understand the duty is to maintain order and discipline. having that toolkit of authorities available is critical to maintaining good order discipline. also critical that it is his or her responsibilities to maintain
the culture on the unit and to make sure that sexual harassment of any type of not be tolerated. if we consider pulling some of those tools out the commander will be less able to deal with them i feel like it's less of the responsibility. i think the army has put some programs in place and leadership is working this issue hard. in some cases their moving in the right direction, something will take seriously confirmed admirers to drive that number down. >> while we have seen a decrease in those numbers, they're not yet good enough. have you be willing to continue working on the issue with me. we do need our commanders to set that leveling culture of dignity and respect in our army unit.
thank you for your commitment. >> i like to think the senator for her hard work on this issue. >> welcome gentlemen. i will start with you mr. roberts. as you know may have the only facility in the country capable of meeting the pentagon's reductions cost. i have a letter from the nuclear weapons council in response to the india they tell congress the national nuclear security administration will begin the process of designing a building modular buildings at los alamos because it meets those
requirements. i understand senator reid may have raised this earlier, do you support the continuation of the plutonium pit mission at los alamos for which you will be the executive director? >> thank you. indeed, did and thank you for the letter. it is clear that the nuclear weapons council had decided. frankly, once i looked into it sent a letter this committee sent a response in september i was surprised nothing had happened and in fact i agree with your statement that the analysis of alternatives is a rehashing of the decisions already been made. if confirmed, it is a high priority issue to look at, it
has a major impact on our ability to produce tiny armpits and i think were falling behind been able to do that, produce up to 80 by 2027. >> that is my concern. i would ask that if there is deviation or delay from what the council endorsed in july 2014 but i have your commitment to instruct the cape office to look at the independent analysis to make sure the assumptions and conclusions actually stuck up. . . no
thanks for your work on this also want to take a moment to think the army broadly for its assistance on legislation we have then working on the last several years regarding boundary adjustments between the white sands missile range and a national monument to support those missions of both of those units with the army staff that the pentagon and white sands has been very helpful. so i want to shift gears in my last second with one area of technology we have seen a lot of the increase in activity in this commercial space activity, i just want to ask you how should the department and intelligence community broadly leveraged commercial space as part of the overall portfolio addressing space issues?. >> but is important we
leveraged commercial activity to include space and a cyber. we should treat space just as the same as land and sea we need to operate in space to have incredibly important support to military operations. so what requirements we try to fill we should pursue those and i will certainly do that if confirmed. >> dr. we appreciate you being here and your willingness to serve but in the past and in the future i wish you well but i have to ask of two items involving my home state of mississippi where we manufacture helicopters in uniforms and
i mention this because it involves the industrial base but also items that troops need the first is the lakota treating helicopter that airbus makes in columbus mississippi. in 2015 there were the award of a contract of those helicopters and a dispute ensued and they are held up pending the court case. in 2017 the appropriations committee appropriated 28 lakota as a separate matter entirely with clear directive language. so why bring this up in a previous hearing with acting
secretary of the army has to why this clear language by the appropriations committee had not been followed and he said something to the effect to be involved in the court case but that is not true. there are 16 involved in the court case and subsequent to that this congress ordered the army to purchase 28 more in that is not held up in the court case that sounds like an excuse to me. i wanted to be aware of the detrimental impact this situation has gone the industrial base for also army pilot trading. deeply the secretary of the army should follow clear language expressed in legislation?. >> yes i do. >> are you familiar?.
>> a little familiar. >> so if you do it in your power to expedite with those actions required to issue a production contract as outlined and signed into law. >> i will certainly work -- looking to this issue, . >> we really do need to. but the other thing that involves uniforms to free those with insecticides. we have been doing this in mississippi for years to manufacture the uniform then they put on the insecticide. now someone in their wisdom
decided we should treat the fabric first then so the into the uniform but i continue the people don't like that because obviously chemically treated piece of fabric they are cutting it and it is getting into the air that they breed. and it becomes a problem i cannot fathom why the army would want to change an efficient and proven process that leaves no waste to make uniform been treated. -- then treated if confirmed will you look into this issue to make some sense out of that. >> yes sir. >> i will yield back the remaining time.
>> for your nominees to serve i would like to talk about with that platform. [inaudible conversations] leave modernization is one of the most that we currently share as a subcommittee hearing that modernization the attorney general testified that is only to the top of its class and not to overmatch. it is concerning to you as well. and to always have the of vantage with never a fair fight and this information is of great concern. and but that fighting
vehicle in that libby fancily remaining in the inventory let our allies and competitors are investing significant resources into rapid modernization estimating 20 years to upgrade the fleet unless we fast-track bad vehicle modernization strategy and then a much faster pace in with that multi-year procurement so dr. espers i do believe the army should increase the structure to upgrade the fleet to address the no vulnerability is?. >>. >> touche share of the
combat vehicles and as i have been going back to the early '80s. but they keep them as effective on the battlefield. but i am deeply concerned that what point we are no longer able to upgrade them so looking at those twin lanes to excel a rate that to fill a new combat ground vehicle and this committee has important language into this matter budget that calls for a prototype being and demonstrations but looking at what those are developing if we could adopt those but in the meantime is
critical with abrams is the of grades for gold in those are critical to insure the overmatched but we cannot wait another 15 years to design and other vehicles. >> with your mnuchin of prototyping we can use that to accelerate the process?. >>. >> we could prototype in either in the training scenarios so that is the way we need to continue to go. >> we had a detailed weld discussion about autonomy and robotics and those of a
incivilities the late -- advanced capabilities but i spoke to you about the working in michigan with the research and development arm in michigan engaged in pretty cutting edge technology and how we need to capitalize on innovation in the private sector so working closely with general motors is say wonderful prototype in the hydrogen fuel cell technology but there are other areas we need to explore as well. hardy believe the army can best capitalize working with the private sector and how do you do that if confirmed?. >> day army needs to engage the research facilities that's looked at autonomy which the vision for me is
looking at the kahn for its you can envision the future with scores of trucks with the iraq war in baghdad with all the supplies you could not do that autonomously no longer putting a risk the soldiers to do such tasks to do that much more he officially. the freeze up manpower proposal that is one example the has greater effectiveness and efficiency so robotics to help the soldier and drones are critical and all of these are critical but is that the military can do on its own. with a greater partnership
and with andover. >> serving as raking number on the subcommittee with senator mccain and senator read the off modernization is the number-one priority and in fact, it may be your legacy. we have had a series of failures it just cannot continue. modernization is the future of readiness and if we don't have that we will not get there. i just want your commitment to this significant challenge.
>> modernization is critical i am convinced we cannot modernize the force of as we completely overhaul the current acquisition system. >> you anticipated my next question. >> i will work with the senior leadership to do that i have gotten off to a good start with the idea is discussed put into place that will help us get that current system into a position to do a much better job with the equipment systems and weapons they need when they need that. >> had probably have been to over 2000 hearings that touched on procurement one way or another and i keep hearing certain themes one is getting a design before you build and the second is don't do r&d in the middle of building. quite often that is an issue
trying to do r&d in the middle of constructing aircraft carriers. third use off-the-shelf technology is often as possible and senator mccain has made a very strong pay statement fifth fund a 200 pages specs of bayview a handgun. that should be the first rather than the last and number four design platforms of the open architecture. with a large platform like the new table or land combat vehicle the danger is the technology would be an obsolete by the time is bills which should be designed to pull out those parts and replace them and finally what i have heard repeatedly it doesn't matter which is in charge to
provide continuity if you can keep people with that program so it does not stop and start so do you concur? that is based on what i have been hearing. >> absolutely those are the key airlines last is the most important with accountability make sure you know, who's in charge which is changing the personal system from the top down there is clear alignment and responsibility of handoff from milestone to milestone. >> can to make that procurement process tightly so they don't wait for retirement age while waiting. >> the challenges of the up past it exceeded in terms of our requirements so pursuing 80% solution now and building that to upgrade
cater is critical but the success was protecting them in terms of funding so without that there is a classic story of the apache they would not have been filled in time so those are the things that have been outlined there has been more than enough steady it is time to go to work to get the system right. >> when my people talk about how long it will take i remind them that he's in power -- eisenhower took europe in 11 months and that is a good time frame. so you take on a very important position my main concern is redundancy and
overlap with military intelligence we're talking $70 billion per year between the two functions so i just hope that can be a focus where there is the overlap or redundancy we can work to reduce the debt. >> if confirmed we're in a resource constrained environment we cannot afford to do that we should leverage those capabilities we should not have duplicity >> we will continue to keep in touch with you on that subject. >> dr. espers i appreciate the chance we had to meet in my office i am concerned about the number coming from the big five defense contractors and as you know
avoiding conflicts of interest is very important to me so first i want to clear something up to lou the dod general council ethics office he will not participate in particular matters involving your former employer for a period of one year. but it also states you will comply with the white house ethics pledge which requires you to read food -- recused yourself over two years can you confirm you will be recused two years for all particular matters involving race yarn?. >> yes. that is outlined in the agreement. >> also about the specifics of your job when you served as vice president of government relations over the last several and years which particular army programs did you lobby during her time there?. >> the highly engaged in a
hill on a few issues but ashes spending so. >> that they to know what he lobbied on behalf. >> there were three programs that were of such important i personally engaged the hill and over the past two years the patriot radar systems in support of the budget request is also pushing e r v to accelerate the next generation radar they thought we could have a better timeline. so with this surveillance and fire control radar that program has ended in the third program distributed common ground system congress was pushing for lit
legislation and raytheon as we open that up for a traditional defense industry as a way to drive competition. >> those were the three years said personally that you lobbied on debut over see other areas?. >> those that report to be a over sought other activities across all services. >> basically everything through raytheon?. >> yes. >> the ethics letter allows you to seek the exemption for matters involving the former employer per you have had some conversations with this and to pledge not to seek a waiver and i appreciate that but i hope you made girl further would
be willing to commit to recuse yourself from particular matters to you identified for the duration of your time in office?. >> that isn't a problem right now. >> is that yes? limited is not but if confirmed alibi to come back in a couple years to see if there is an issue and clear it at that time. >> dr. espers it is important to take these ethics obligations seriously to have officials at the pentagon at the top is working without that starts completely stepping back from decisions that have a impact on the former employers saw like to ask one other question quickly i received several complaints from the national guard the massachusetts about the delays of federal recognition of their
promotions. according to a letter received a current processing time is between six and eight months it is a route issue for the massachusetts guard i imagine it is a problem and other units as well. if confirmed we commit to working full negative lucky kid to this issue due partly to brief me and my staff leidy's delays are occurring ?. >> if confirmed i will. >> we have to speed this up the phone about route problem spreads. >>. >> i would like to say to my friend from massachusetts we will slip into that but it seems, i am not that familiar with it but it seems is not directly connected to the guard
promotion but other aspects. is that your understanding?. >> fair enough i have heard about this specifically from the guard but it reflects a larger problem we need to deal with that. >> i would be eager to engage with you on this issue. we cannot have these types of delays to keep people serving. this is the first have heard of that i roper, that with you. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> to the nominees things were appearing we will convene an until tomorrow if we have all the paperwork to reports out of nominations to the full senate then it is a matter of scheduling