tv Marine Corps Commandant Navy Secretary Testify on Readiness CSPAN December 13, 2018 1:09am-3:05am EST
corps and admiral william, vice chief of naval operations and the director of defense capabilities management at the accountability office. let me begin by expressing condolences. this serves as a reminder of the constant dangers those in uniforms face on a daily basis. i think the chairman and ranking members for agree to hold this hearing they crossed the jurisdictions such such as equipment although there is plenty to discuss regarding the navy and marine corps readiness on the navy
surface ships. this february senator john mccain and i with the surface force rating is the enhancement act of 2018 sought to address the risk bond as the root causes of declining readiness outlined in the secretary of navy strategic readiness review and comprehensive review. in the aftermath of the uss fitzgerald with the john ss mccain collision 17 sailors lost their lives they called fo meaningful reform and the gao reviews cited overextended and undermanned ships overworked cruise a decline of naval mastery and confusing chains of commands as
contributing factors to the readiness problem so based on their own recommendation specifically designed to address these and other challengeser i have confidence in their leadership congress must continue to play an active role to ensure the long-term corrective actions are implemented. the john s mccain defense authorization act that put president trump signed into law in august includes 11 provisions from the original legislation these reforms require the navy to review chain of comman command, ensure the ships supported overseas rotate back home and keep formal watch among several other provisions we must learn our lessons from the past two years to get meaningful reforms and then
get the progress on implementing these reforms. for the surface ships. clearly there will be several other topics that will be highlighted and witnessesne prepared testimony in the interest of time i will conclude my opening remarks by agreement we will not recognize the senator for any opening remarks he may have. >> thank you to my colleaguesing who are here this is an important hearing i appreciate the opportunity to talk about it it is rare to have a hearing jointly but very appropriate i to talk about readiness of the marine corps and the navy i will also echo
what the senator said our prayers go out to the family members affected by the mid air collision one was from fredericksburg virginia thinking about him and his family i will keep my remarks brief as well first with readiness recovery i am encouraged by the expressed goal of 80 percent met is a lofty goal but that is what you need to do good work but i do have concerns that we come up and allocate those resources the gao found spent to support those submarines that were not able to be deployed so with that best use of the private shipyards with those taxpayer dollars and you are prepared to testify about that but that infrastructure
calendar that is an estimated cost of $21 million over the next 20 years which would be three times with the navy has historically spent on capital shipyard investment to get to there we need to make that investment but that would be challenging them interested to hear from the witnesses today how they plan to achieve this investment and the additionalal concern with climate change hurricane forested significant damage to carolina it could be significant the gao recently saw that the dod acknowledges the potential impact of
weather impacts was operationalse with a budgetary risk to see examples of that. notably to require dod to report on vulnerabilities from climate related events with the part of the country of the wildfires i would ask the navy and marine corps for their top ten today then to debate about climate change but then what we need to build into deal with those vulnerabilities. >> thank you senator mccain moving with those other, you
mentioned your constituents for out of five that have been declared dead of the crash of the two warplanes family members of the fallen marines in addition but the sergeant from the chill park arizona, corporal ross from tennessee corporal baker and illinois. they have been identified those that identify last week
so we mentioned all of those names are thoughts and prayers to our families and appreciation for their service and sacrifice to our country. >> thank you mister chairman all the members for being here for this important hearing that modern - - emphasizes modernization and readiness go hand in hand and senator in half ensures we continue down the path to readiness while we still prioritize modernization. thank you to the witnesses and spent six months as we f have received testimony from the marine corps. i will try to keep my opening
remarks short but i just want to highlight a couple areas that can be addressed first. the readiness issues with regard to the dvr the marine corps within the context of the new national defense strategy in the recent commission which was mandated by this committee and the congress that testified recently and did a very good job all of this within the context that are the highlights and emphasis of the national defensen strategy progress senator mccain - - as senator kane i mentioned the goal to be mission capable with regard to navy marine
corps aircraft those readiness issues with naval aviation has been a big challenge and also to get the assessment how you plan to get to the 80 percent capable mission while keeping training up which is a big problem in the readiness capabilities. on the topic of modernization i'm concerned about a significant burden of sustainment. vice admiral stated only 35 percent of thef ships in maintenance would move on time. this is an area where maintenance and sustainable of the flea is strategic comparative advantage of the united states navy relative to other with china and russia to
get a sense from our witnesses how we make progress on that. those numbers are concerning. also as we will be conducting a classified hearing later today withh regard with the force posture of the national defense strategy in the indo pacific that will be an important hearing in my state plays an important role to be among the most tedious leave located in the world with the utilization of that platform or to base opportunities that sit well with nds and finally we already touched on it the trend in the indo region in regard to accidents we have had.
in the navy and marine corps. i don't want to go down the list but we know what they are. uss mccain and collisions ships at sea resulting in the deaths of 17 sailors. marine corps and navy aviation crashes and training including the latest we just talked about s we send our heartfelt condolences of those marines who lost loved ones during the holiday season. we know you take these extremely seriously the man under your charge. we have to do better all of us. on our side to make sure you get the authorization and appropriation bills on time. cr the altavista have been forced to endure over a decade
don't help readiness and contribute to the problem so with that mister chairman i look forward to hearing from our witnesses. >> the ranking member. >> i will keep my remarks very short. but i do add my own condolences to the families and those marines lost off the coast of japan last week as well throughout the pacific. it is nice to see the four of you thank you for coming to see me these are the areas i would like to focus on one of the most important is that shipyard modernization because pearl harbor is very much part of the industrial base and how we get to that 80 percent what
i have been talking about is how we address the corrosion problem due to corrosion and then to prevent those coalitions. >> and secretary spencer. >> we are delighted to have you. i open it by saying thank you for keeping your thoughts and prayers and please keep your thoughts and prayers in mind for that navy marine corps team. chairman and ranking members
distinguished members who are all here today first off on behalf of the sailors, marines, civilians and the teammates around the world, thank you for your bipartisan effort to restore funding stability is critical doing its work all the weather veins are pointed in the right direction. without rate of improvement because we do have plans to address that that foundation for restoring readiness that we must build on this with intense urgency with a focus on people and while we have much to do and under the testimony to highlight to delineatere what being done.
and then to have it in complex security environment that we face to build a more lethal and ready for us to strengthen alliances and the way that we do business i will highlight a couple of the major muscle movements increasing lethality through targeted investments of weapon platforms and munitions while enhancing partnerships with the private sector as an example to glean commercial best practices to increase flow to turn those back to the fleet as quickly as possible the tv marine corps with us network of allies to attract new partners through joint exercises on the
way increasing opportunities for our personnel and the counterparts to study together and serve together to operate as a single unit teaching and learning seals a long-term bond that is part of the fight if called on those allies and friends are a force multiplier of vampire - - manpower and ideass and to make that a top priorityri at every level we must become to be a continual learning enterprise to identify best practices and a culture of problem-solving and efficiency at the speed of relevance. recent examples are the newly revised manual which places more focusra on training and changes of delivery strategy
to ensure ships can continually train during the optimized fleet replacement plan cycle that with the marine skills training center in san diego to develop those skills throughout their career. with that capability to show investing in our people and in return we must protect them with the risks associated from the ever-changing world just like every single dollar we invest has a return we must do this to fulfill our oath to them we have more examples while we are focused on the root cause issues you should be aware we are making systemic changes to take time to meaningful move the needle in order to affect our goal we
must have consistent funding to have dire effects on the progress we have made to date. and on behalf of the sailors we look forward to your questions spin i think you mister secretary you also have an opening statement? >> thank you for inviting me on the navy marine corps readiness issues. with the submarine readiness just over one year ago i had the grim duty to say navy training was not up to its own standards the requirements at that time labored at and alarming rate but the series of internal studies concluded
the lack of training had contributed to dead the collisions i decided to go to japan to see myself. but what i found was encouraging that navy had stepped up training to make sure cruise are deployed and committed to have that dedicated training time going forward things have improved markedly.ro this keeps the sailors very busy talking to ten groups of sailors and that they are still working very hard sometimes 100 hours a week this has the underlying problem facing the navy it simply is not yet putting enough sailors on the ships to cover the workload we reported last year and the navy is working to develop manning
requirements and we eagerly await the results of those studies and as i suspect the number of hard-working sailors do as well. completing maintenance on time is a wicked problem and since 2012 the navy has lost more than 27000 ship and submarine availability 2018 was challenging with the equivalent of 17 ships and subs not available because they were waiting to get into or out of maintenance looking forward i do see some cause for concern because the drydock's are at capacity to have the plan maintenance that is on the books that does not include the fleet on - - the fleet increase and in the
report earlier this year with the marine corps aircraft and those were less than 8 percent in two with those repairs due to their age many were more than 20 years old extending their service life to bridge the gap and also moving to that to see some challenges there as well. we found a report last year that say capabilities were already six years behind so as practical matter was six months or more to get back out to the fleet. i understand i know the navy and marine corps is working on
thisn but we feel additional attention has to be sustained as mentioned the secretary of defense to have 80 percent mission capability by next year. this will be difficult to achieve in my assessment but i offer some information as we move t forward the clear definitions will be critical there have been somee efforts to define that numerator and denominator as a step in the right direction second we need to understand people understand mission capable that doesn't mean aircraft can do all missions assigned but that means fully mission capablewe and to those high admissions looking at the f 35
with that significant so in closing we have 45 recommendations and i am happy to report there is progress being made and actionsio taken we have not close that many and i am encouraged but make no mistake it will take significant time to write to those fleets and it will require suspension and i am happy to take question questions. very plain and forthright testimony that we need.
secretary spencer, we are hearing a time of divided government with a republican senate and a democratically controlled house and to give you the resources. and with the statute and then to be allowed to take effect to put us back at sequestration with the unthinkable result the irresponsible act that this is
what we can avoid but it in a budget agreement with plans and sequestration because it was so irresponsible and unthinkable it could not happen and low and behold it happened and we received testimony from the full committee, some three years ago that the sequestration cuts resulted in five canceled ship deployments of $2 billion of deferred procurement that 30 percent cut of the maintenance backlogs those that unacceptable levels of
readiness they could have gone on and on. but unless we take bipartisan action to give our citizens the security they need it is there in the statute. secretary spencer please give us illustrations of what impacts that would result in. thatat sequestration with those current statutes you can go first. >> so in 17 and 18 in 19 with
those trailblazing efforts we are on that bicycle pedaling and it took us a while to get up at this would knock us down. flat down. that is a 26 billion-dollar cut to the department of navy and some of the 19 percent nonexempt or 14 percent it is devastating. i am more than happy to share with you later a graphic i put together and what this would mean? and not to be come unscathed.
>> put that in the record right now. >> without objection. >>. >> that's the bottom line now i turn it over. >>. >> we are making progress. certainly not as fast as you would like but we have a unique problem which is the inflection point when those are reviewed and looked at to democratize over 17 years and then to prepare as your adversary and those particular nations had no time to do anything. so if we were forced back to thehe sequestration level
other than people not doing their shows are going to conferences that would pause us to look at the structure to be a smaller force? with a very single acquisition program and to have those capabilities for whom we have to be to defend the nation. >> i would never underestimate the impact it is important for when this committee understands that they expect when they are recruited and sign up we don't do home games they are all away games they will have the best training
this nation can provide and those to be the most capable equipment it will t take longer and then that readiness of the force. >> that would be devastating. >> thinking about the budget control act with those continuing resolutions the past five years ago when the first family went through this it is taken and five years to get back on the bicycle to think about this in a component o of time to learn how to operate their gear and
think about time for families to be driven down to onee or two months instead of six as it should be but for those to recover to go back to those levels again. if you just use those last five years as an example. that is time you cannot get back to lose expertise said recover that for those that miss that opportunity that didn't have the resources. >>. >> i mentioned in my opening statement about the concern of the shipyards and i knowow the navy calls the shipyard
infrastructure optimization plan after years of neglect to assume there were military construction projects nothing like the comprehensive plan to move us to the point where we need to be. so the master plan in the fall of 2018 so secretary spencer where does the navy stand on implementing the master plan quick. >> senator, the key we are looking at right now it is basically three buckets a legacy systems and the modernization that our future investments like ai or
directed energy to step back and take a close look the fact of the matterse is with the shipyards for the underwater fleet the increased flow and efficiency we are hurting ourselves ive responsible with those assets of the combatant commanders it is a key focus we are those first projects to take that industrial flow but the fact is that that we have last touch the shipyards. >> i am glad to hear that i
would be very interested to know specifically what is happening at pearl harbor with the defense modernization but has the gao reviewed the shipyard modernization plans and have a drawing any conclusions quick. >> there is a review underway going we have work that indicates age and condition of the shipyard looking at that impact and we are still looking at that. >>. >> summer of next year quick. >> but that modernization and
that is what you will provide us quick. >> it would be good for me to get to that corrosion issue to have multiple deaths as a result the marine corps release their results of the security aircraft in 2017 to find it was killing all 16 people aboard so can you give us your views to pursue those mitigation programs to take care of those people under your control that there was an adequate training for maintenance people? tell us what you are doing to address the corrosion issues.
>> wine is how we do the maintenance and the fact corrosion was the actual fault of that accident. the real problem lies we were not doing the appropriate preventative maintenance in the right way as outlined in the procedure but that has been corrected on both fronts. now it comes to corrosion in general working in maritime environment highly corrosive we are actually enhancing our efforts because if you could see when we peel back the onionen on the maintenance issues corrosion is one of the biggest manpower of consumers with the chemistry out there today we have the ability to address this to stay ahead of it. >> i was very interested to make sure that when we purchase the ships and aircraft that corrosion is one of the factors we would
considertr and the contract to begin with all these people should be looking at ways to incorporate anti- corrosive products into the craft. >> most definitely. if you would see the efforts going on now with two of our partners in the problem they are not contractors relive that through them to say what can you bring to the table that is new since the last time we left the contract and what are the best practices among other areas and how can we improve the way we battle this i appreciate the witnesses joining this joint committee c today. it's been nearly three months since hurricane florence made landfall have you had the opportunity to assess the order of magnitude to camp
lejeune and those challenges quick. >> yes sir. >> it is not as dramatic when you look at it with your ownk eyes as the panhandle of florida the storm is very slow moving with wind and it sat and rained two or three days a lot of those buildings are very owed and suffered roof damage and exterior damage and then the water got inside so you of mold and other things. there was the effect on housing we are working with a private vendor to fix that and we are making progress but not as fast as we would like but they are making progress the facilities instructor if you would repair that to take the buildings we would consider not to be worth the cost of disrepair the total bill is at
three.$6 billion. >> you mentioned some of the bad consequences if we went back into sequestration and put forward a list that was pretty significant that i think should get everybody's attention in terms of consequences what you didn't mention is the increase probability that some of the really bad things we have seen could increase in terms of potential like death of training and activities of our military. is that another risk with sequestration quick. >> that is the ultimate risk. i love the blue angels. but my biggest concern that we
see more of these deaths and none of us should tolerate it. >> when you cannot train anyone that requires that many hours that makes you qualified then you ask that is a risk. >> that is important to know. >> mister pendleton you also mentioned i think we all recognize we have a readiness challenge and you just mentioned in your opening testimony taking significant time to rebuild rated loan - - readiness so what in your view put us in this whole in the first place? it isn'tss just readiness but it is killing the marines and sailors. what put us in the hole that 2010 through 2016 the dod
budget was slashed by a 25 percent? that is a fact. >> the budget didn't help that unpredictability certainly but also demand the army if you go back a few years they were able toy bring and to read train to the combat training centers. >> that put us in the readiness whole quick. >> what i'm getting to his demand did not slow down so they had to continue to find ways to meet demand with a shrinking fleet and with budgets like theyan were they affected sustainment accounts and that had a ripple we are trying to work offor now. >> mister secretary and one of the things i touched on briefly in my opening o statement there has been a lot of interest in this committee
not just me but it is broad-based with a number of provisions in the nda a including the demand from the department of defense for a new strategy as the russians are building their capability massively huge exercises new air fields and icebreakers and 13 nuclear power that are weapon iced secretary mattis and in a statement to this committee said we need to pay more attention we have the opportunity to visit potential areas and you recently said in the speech we need a strategic port in alaska. can you focus on some of those issues you see is a challenge from the national security perspective and how the arctic plays into that cracks and can
i get your commitment to work with this committee with a revised analysis quick. >> you do have my commitment senator. last october when i was newly minted the first trip outside the country that was my educational curve what was going on in the arctic at that point our russian friends were warming w up five airstrips for quote unquote search and rescue according to the ambassador that everybody is up there. everybody but us. well we are up there under the sea and in the air. i agree to an extent but i'm getting to my point we are looking at how we can be upw there. this is portfolio management
it would be terrific to ice the hardened ships but right now it is unaffordable at seasonal times to go up there we could we are looking at that right now the coast guard would have to have that if theree was ice we need to get up there i can commit to that fact we are trying to figure out how to service that. we did go look at the coast for a potential strategic port in concert with the navy to flesh out what could possibly be done when it comes to using alaska in the arctic area for training the commandant and i have talked about this looking at doing something this summer for training we have talked about possible depths there is
definite training uses and the ability to affect the national defense strategy with arctic activity.. >> thank you very much senator sullivan that requirement of the nda aid that is now live of the audited financial statement within the dod, we view that as a tool not just for congressional oversight or public oversight but as a tool for military leadership and create a culture of continuous improvement if we are reliable onon budgetary request going forward it helps us and we believe the community uses tools like this to promote improvements to let go of lesser performing priorities
are those that invest in other areas to deal or figure out new strategies onn maintenance so how are you using tools like those audited financialanal statementse to figure out how to squeeze more value of the dollars we give you a quick. >> this audit process from the day i arrived the conversation is it is not invasion for a painful financial exam better process to give you a tool to see how you are deploying resources and the effect of those resources. so we did change the conversation we had gone to a cycle and as we advertised a number one from a confirmation hearings to get a clean
opinion probably not another five or six years but that's not the issue it is the learning process along the way that is critical. for this cycle on, we have vignettes i can provide on the record i will quote a few we found out in the navy alone excess of 700 distribution points for parts amazon does this globally with 25 we certainly have something like that with the ability to turn around and find out where inventory is a fine example we were missinge some assets from a contractor in my heart of hearts i said we will probably find these it is a paper issue. it was working in the commercial sector i grew up sass 70 that you provide your services and goods to a client that exist amongst all contractors but it appears we forgot about that or we were
not aware of that so now we say when you hold assets for us we do them with the same generally accounting standards as sass 70 and we are now taking advantage of it. >> we want to see how those are being used. general miller i was struck by your cost at two.2? >> actually at the high end , we don't believe it is cost effective to repair the buildings that are 35 or 50 years old actually these are the priority is about three.six or three.$7 billion. >> that's also the case foolish to repair a building that is vulnerable to the same kind of damage. >> i agree.
you all for your service to our country. some of the numbers right now with regards to aircraft and their mission capable numbers are still pretty disturbing. i'm reading them and looking at comparisons between the different types of aircraft and branches of government and there is a difference between the requirements for each one of these aircraft in terms of the missions they are supposed to be capable of that i would like your thoughts on a couple of things. the newest in the capable rate of 4.9% according to the most recent steps that we've got compare that with the marine corps who have a mission capable on their older ones of 60% i would like your thoughts why the
marines have a higher capability than the depot and if you compare that with the air force they are 16 aircraft and have a 70% what is the difference in discrepancy and is it a matter that the intensity of the obligations is that much greater in area of best practices was in your opinion is causing the difference between the mission capable differences? >> i'm going to have to get back to you with a better answer but it has to do with the experience levels, the throughput and we just haven't done the comparison you're talking about so i don't feel comfortable opining about it but we visited all of those places in recent years and some folks might be able to talk about that but i don't feel comfortable making those comparisons. >> thank you for the question.
we've got to make sure we are comparing apples and apples. our current statistics are the mission capability rate that would have to do to the site is called to is that 60% and rising so the numbers i've got right now with regards to 49% they are much older numbers and that could be a 49% is much more reflective of the total active inventory to include airplanes that are in the depot today that are not being reported so there's a lot of math here i don't want to confuse it that we are on this goal with 80% and last year when i testified weaver in the mid-40s. >> i don't mean to cut you off. i think you've answered the first question but what about the f. 35's? right now the model that you are
not admitting at this point indicates according to the data that we've got a vote of 17% mission capable rates. is that accurate today? >> it is a very small number we only have one operational. we don't even have an operational yet. we have our training squadron and the small numbers mean a couple go down any given day depending on when you report could drive the percentages really low or really high so we need more run time whereas the air force and marine corps have had more time and a better indication of what you can expect. >> i want to move to the sub reeds for just a minute. we use this as an example of the reason we need to improve the capabilities of our dry docks it became an example it wasn't even
able for the period of up to three years and i presume that is now dry? >> i believe so. i better check if it still is. >> it is not there yet. >> so four years out of service for the summary. >> that is correct. >> do we have any others that are currently not able to diets that are awaiting the services? >> we have two more that are not certified. both of those go into february and i think the next one is may or june and this is all part of spreading this across the public and private sector.
it's the age-old problem of what we talked about the last two years and this hearing. it takes place because of the national priority on the strategic deterrence. the next are the carriers that we testify to the last couple of years have been high off tempo extended periods because of the discovery work and additional maintenance and then the last him standing in line to get into those in the public yards so we've begun to put them into
health get those that need to be brought back sooner. we talked about this last year the numbers are coming down significantly to the standing in line has come down significantly we still have a way to go we are not out of the woods yet but has the capacity opens up and we do a better job getting the carriers out on time we will be there. >> if i made just one thought please. a year ago did we have three that were waiting to get to drydock or did we have less than that? it's with regards to the fleet that we've got and my only point is if it is a matter of
resources. not having the resources necessary to keep these critical pieces in the defense of the country operational. if we are not going to be able to share with the american public how critical it is to maintain the defense posture in the way that we've currently got so what i would expect as a member of the committee is to at least be able to allow you the opportunity to share what happens if we ever do get back into the reduced defense budget or heaven forbid another sequestration and what the impact is to these young men and women that are expecting they are at least going to get the tools to do their job and then to find out we've got three attacks that means that haven't been able to get into drydock
seems they ought to understand how serious this problem really is. >> couldn't agree more but as a fine example so everyone does on understand the money that you gave us to optimize is a two year project at the beast to get that up and running to the new flow rate there was a study that was done at portsmouth and you will no maintenance is about punching and turning and fixing thing. they track one of the maintenance people he drove a golf cart around the area for 4 miles one day. we have to bring the parts down to the ship this is what i talked about the science of the industrial flow that needs to be put into these old shipyards. we are doing it, the money will get after that. it's two years to affect that. but to kill us now wit it now wt
of sequestration would be a crime. >> senator, if i could just go back to the earlier comment about what the element of time just to this problem we just got back to the public yards at a level we wanted after sequestration five years ago. this is a unique highly skilled workforce and if they don't feel like they are supported and if we are not giving them adequate resources to do their job and have the levels where they need to be, they walk, they can go other places because they are highly skilled and then it takes a long time to recover data so to go back to your point it's going to take three, four, five years to recover just the workforce and skills you need to do nuclear maintenance. >> i don't think we are going to go back to sequestration but we are going to have to take the votes.
i think the question is even with the adequate budgets that we provided and going forward if we are able to do the same thing as now it seems the administration is all in favor of the generous funding for the military even with that, i think the question is what else is necessary. i don't think you are being critical, i think we are asking the question of how we can improve the situation. if i came across as being critical i don't intend to be. we've got to be able to share with the american public that the increasing defense budget and to understand how far behind we were and what our adversaries
are doing and where we are falling behind and it isn't just a matter of readiness of the matter of modernization because it isn't something in the future. others are working on it now and when we starts talking about what's going on to control the information coming through in the hypersonic weapons that are there now and how far we will be if we don't maintain this puts our security at risk and we have a difficult time trying to get that information out because it is in a classified section so this opportunity for you to share how serious this is has got to be shared with the american public. that is where my frustration comes from. >> it appears we've taken all of your time and i just regret th that. why don't we go ahead and recognized senator.
>> secretary spencer, i think you've touched upon this, but it strikes me both in aircraft and ship maintenance we have a lot to learn from the private sector and i hope that is an active effort. i apologize i have another hearing southwest airlines and it seems to me obviously there are differences. it's not apples to apples but there's a lot to learn in terms of workflow systems, parts availability, and i hope that is a major part of your effort to upgrade because we can't afford to buy ships we are already using. ..
planes that we have are fully ready to be utilized. one of the concerns that i hav have, is personnel and workforce. doing great work and 30 percent of that is less than five years that is a change in recent years. i hope the navy is thinking about workforce development because that will not happen on its own. >> senator you and i have talked about this talking about collaboration and partnership with our commercial counterparts in the states to help whatever they can do with that educational assistance order early education. which are amazing careers a lot of people don't realize the contribution one makes to the product but also the compensation received. >> they let me use the virtual welding machine i could think
i was welding but i wasn't screwing up the ship whole - - hall. >> with the industrial brace so with those 5 yards competing to award the winner take all with that industrial base and getting the work done faster talk to me about splitting that award. >> to bring up that interesting concept there are two things going on that need to be weighed out. yes, we do have to be attentive to the industrial base and that balancing of the
flow of the new ships because what we want to avoid is a spike that will buy this again going to those regular maintenance cycles. it gets very crowded. it's not off the table we have not awarded anything yet but how best we can balance with resources and if we have the resources to bring expedition we will do that the navy and marine corps nobody expected that to be cleaned out the first time through. what have you learned from the audit and when can we expect a clean audit quick. >> the first question first. we are still learning. it was a tremendous cycle as i told the senator. we change the conversation
that this iteration of the audit is not the invasion for financial reasons it is the tool you will use as a manager to know how your organization is operating so you know what you are applying or what you are providing is giving a return that message was received if you look at our list of deficiencie deficiencies, there were many but we could get after those centers and real estate that was missing quote unquote. the building was there many of it was procedure but in the right book or business system cracks this is the learning we are doing to have tools to manage. >> is there a time that could be a clean audit quick. >> i would love to say in the
future. >> i say between five and six years to be very frank. >> what is your life expectancy? [laughter] >> that might be mine. >> i want to compliment you on your service. the secretary says but thank you just for the record the marine corps has been under audit for several years as a secretary says i take the brief myself the last three years. it has been enlightening. the audit is procedural. a lot of that is systems big issue is we have a lot of ammunition with the systems
and to talk to each other the audit gives a list of findings or conclusions then your job is to go back and pull them out. so i assure you the secretary of the navy or secretary of defense keeps score so then the audit for the next year has already started. >> so we will get there in our lifetime we are confident but there will be some things that have to take place that are systemically and with data but there is no shortage of effort or understanding of the appreciation to get there eventually. >>. >> regardless of who else walks into the room you will
be recognized after senator ernst. >> thank you mister chair mister secretary we will continue with your questioning so that was a great game on saturday. as the chairman of the subcommittee of emerging threats i especially enjoy a working with the special operations community and really want to make sure we have those capabilities on those no fail missions one i have learned about is the importance to assure there is necessary access to flow to head staging bases especially with renewed focus on power competition naval resources are extremely restrained while we build up the fleet the demands in the pacific in europe especially mean it will
be required to find the intuitive way for our soft wires how do you believe we can ensure that software fighters have adequate dedicated persistent support to fulfill their missions quick. >> senator, i use them as a poster child they have already had some innovative ways to find platforms to work on in the maritime basis. that being said you addressed a problem that is a graph we did not know we had and we are working on. we will come to you with some requests going forward that is the pre- position to put those ships you read the reports it is a simple case of portfolio management and resources available. if in a perfect world i had the ability to buy used ships on the market with very little constraint, we could close the
gap quite rapidly. >> we talked about policy limitations that are out there you just addressed one of those with the use of the vehicles what about between the counterterrorism and the potential state on state conflict my easiest answer is if i could get some more restraint lifted i could manage that risk. >> is that an area we can address click. >> i believe it is. >> are there platforms of the current industrial base you believe would be optimal for the soft mission quick. >> yes there are. >> can you discuss any of those in the open format
click. >> we have the ability right now within the navy to be applicable to missions but we do have an industrial base to produce specifically what might be needed for the mission set. >> a slightly different topic that is very important i had the honor to speak at the commissioning of the uss sioux city in annapolis i appreciated that and among many others i was impressed by the crew of the ship and the ability to explain to me the importance of the naval platform. as i was a commander of course of the iowa national guard it is the sailors and the people that make up the backbone of our services. they will be manning those
stations for life and death so in the very brief time like to adjust one - - address those challenges for the navy and the army corps how do we do better quick. >> first on the previous question there are a lot of things going on with the soft naval platforms throughout the world in fact we train it and do it as a matter of course it happens all the time is just not something you read or see in the newspapers. there are things we do to accommodate each other.
we made our numbers and our quality spread we invest a lot in our recruiters command screen for officers and recruiting stations if you are a marine major your reward as you have the command recruiting station if you are successful then then you would be acknowledged later on in the promotion process of the organization from your mos. it takes work we are creating seniors for next year over 50 percent of the recruits we wanted this year were already contracted the most difficult time is after the first of the year in january through may those seniors graduate last may and june and they ship in the summer so they are on the direct shipping market. we are confident we can make
it. it is getting harder wheeze to be making it earlier now it is the last day of the month it is really really hard work the committee and the nation should be aware that we are concerned of the fact of the propensity of men and women wanting to serve in the military and those that are qualified for us to even talk to them and that number is right around 30 percent we do have more people that want to be a marine officer than we have spots. >> just to build off of what the general just commented the navy is in a similar place it is in a much more demanding market and our goals typically it is 33000 we made our goal by may our recruiter is doing
a great job we are shifting the approach to go with the market which is more the social media than the more traditional advertising campaigns and they are doing a fabulous job. we are starting to see some stressors with the commandant just talked about when we are meeting the goals at the end of the month versus the second or third week so those stressors are clear. anytime you have the unemployment rate below four.1 percent historically trouble looms on the horizon for recruiting and retention it is three.8 percent right now so we are all expecting the market to get more difficult. that said we had the best retention we have in the last decade so there are good things going on it's hard to put her fingers on exactly
what curates those results in the economy that is challenging us to compete with those but hopefully we can continue to do this because our recruiting goal for next year is also high. >> if i can add something not a huge item but it is worth bringing up in excess of 1100 schools and school districts that deny access for uniformed members to recruit on their campuses the preponderance is the northeast and northwest but any help anyone could do to help us get the message would be greatly appreciated. >> you are certainly welcome in iowa. >> are talking about high schools quick. >> for recruiting. >> thank you for pointing that out. >> thank you senator ernst for that line of questioning and
also the general and the admiral for good answers and for a really good work product in challenging times. i am impressed and i think the country is impressed. senator shaheen. >> thank you all for being here. i believe secretary spencer may have misspoke when he said pearl harbor was the number one priority we understood it was portsmouth that was the number one priority quick. >> that was one of the first priorities. [laughter] i just wanted to make sure everybody was awake you talked about the delays of maintenance senator spencer you talked about the demand
that we all recognize the challenges getting the mccain back into operation i have heard we have lessons from what has happened aside from those challenges are there other lessons we have learned how to back the fleet out when there are damages if you think the portsmouth shipyard during world war ii producing 70 ships they watched launched for submarines there are other things that are going on other than just the facility that addresses how quickly we are responding to the challenge. can you talk about those lessons learned? >> around the damage we did not look at the mccain
maintenance. one of the things going forward is what is happening as they bring the ships and the subs in and they began to look at the tanks and other things, they find damage or corrosion or things that require additional work so to be caught up on the deferred maintenance is one of the keys to success going forward. >> one of the things you asked it is a far-reaching question that deserves a moment because one of the things we are trying to do. and i will back up to the f-1 f-18, we call that the naval sustainment system doesn't just apply to aviation but surface, underwater weapons platforms, maintenance is all about flow with parts and
people for procedures. one of the things we want to start doing we have the data to do predictive analytics. before ship even comes in we know if there is great probability to have the work orders ready. it will take some time to allow those teams that are working on the ships to think how can i do this better? how as a team can we make our movements shorter quicker more effective? it is a bunch of activities but a lot we are picking up from the commercial world but some are coming from the organic ideas within the organization. >> at the end of november we had a strategy commission a poor beef - - appear before the committee to identify six trends of national security
one of those was conflict in the gray zone one of the things the commission recommended was the analytic tools to measure readiness across the range of challenges from low intensity to major power rifles. it seems to me that we have been able to better measure some of the ways to address those high intensity fights how many ships we have. talk about the gray zone conflicts and the potential for that type of conflict, how do we measure how ready we are? we had a briefing yesterday that was classified but it
presented a problem but didn't talk about how we were addressing the problem so it seems to me that it's not clear to me how we are addressing the problem. >> the commandant has more granular information to frame the context of this from my point of view with the title x hat this is exactly one more portfolio we have to manage talking about is competing with china but we continually hear they are investing this amount of money with this amount of ships but we don't have they don't have the installed base that we have or the global security sets i will say this is where we struggle but where we performed to appreciation for one more of the portfolios. >> i will speak for the marine corps but i can say with confidence all services have developed capabilities to allow them to function within
this area whether electronic warfare or information operations or military information so organizationally we have changed a group which used to be headquarter support group into an information group we have grown hundreds and hundreds of people and now cyberis part of their component so that readiness is measured in preparation for this hearing i looked over some of those cyberprotection teams that do defense and those that do offense of things. obviously i will not talk about what that is because some work for other organizations but to your point it is clear recognition with all services with the joint world we are growing and continue to develop this capability and it will not get
smaller. we will use this because this is the fight that goes on every da day. this is the fight taking place as we sit here in this hearing in the fight that will be the precursor to a fight which potentially god for bid lead to us to another fight down the road. if you ask me my biggest readiness concern or biggest operational concern is the ability to have reliable command and control to move forces around the world and protect the network that allows us to do that. at the same time i want to take that away from whoever may be the adversary if they can protect there is a and keep it up or bring it back faster or the ability to do command and control or do analytics you have a decided advantage. >> i really appreciate that and it would be helpful to me to have a better understanding
of more about what is being done in that area. can i just ask one more question to follow up on the audit quick. >> there have been some reports about fraud within the department around the audit has there been any evidence of fraud that has occurred? as a result of the audit quick. >> as far as the department of navy goes i have not heard the word fraud used during the audit in that regard. >> good. thank you. >> senator blumenthal thank you mister chairman. commandant, this hearing marks the last official appearance
here and work by my military fellow who happens to be a marine corps officer and he has done extraordinary work over the last year. i was tempted to ask you that he continues in my office but that work has been such a hardship i am sure given his boss that he deserves relief from this duty but i just want to say on the record how grateful and pleased i have been with his performanc performance. he is the best of our military fellows except a few others have been marines i don't want to single him out but he is one of the best as he will certainly miss him and i am grateful personally for you
having your rain serve us in that capacity. i want ask you for a response to that. i do have a question about submarine maintenance and with the question on the maintenance issues and it's not the most glamorous topic that we discussed today but in my view it is one of the most essential because the submarine fleet warfare capability is one of the linchpins of national defense. part of building to ensure readiness is not just building more ships, that making the
ones that we have now properly to keep them at see the gao released a report last month to addressing costly maintenance on the submarine fleet the naval systems command agreed with the majority of the report's findings and is already taken some specific action two oh one - - address the gao findings electric bow and newport news and two and attract those in the spring of 2000 of 2019 and also working in the private shipyards to provide the longer-term plan for maintenance. with respect to the electric boat and has approximately
5 million hours of available hour to provide submarine maintenance from fy 19 through 2024. i wrote the navy a letter last week asking for a detailed submarine workload allocation plan if they are awarding submarine maintenance contracts based on maintenance requirements they should consider transferring more than the two additional tax that are simply going to make sure we have that workforce ahead of the columbia class production. so based on the gao report , how is the current submarine
maintenance affecting the backlog to the private yard and what is the timeline quick. >> we did a study and updated some of the numbers. those have been trending upward since we even finish the study last month. so we're hoping that's as bad as it's going to get that with a recommended for the navy to take a look if there were opportunities in the private yards and we will do that. . . . .
and so i wonder if you would respond as well. >> w >> we are exercising the public yard option. i've learned in my life managing expectations is the best way to go. i will be admitted by the shipyard builders that there isn't a 100% correlation between building skills and maintenance skills. they are further up the curb in starting with zero for sure but repair is a different exercise can build so we are on a learning curve and all we are hoping for now but hope is a
strategy but as partners working together we can get a price point that is agreeable. >> hope is not a strategy, you are absolutely right, and repair is not the same as building a new boat. but the skills are very transferable and comparable and i want to urge with all due respect you could respond to my letter. i look forward to hearing in more detail in person or by letter about what the plans are because i think it is important that we address these maintenance needs and it goes beyond the vote, it's the capability of the private guards to do this work to maintain the defense industrial base to give the workers continued challeng
challenges. >> when i talk about the learning curve, they have to balance that also when we talk about using those man-hours we will do whatever we can to get the value and efficiency. you will hear from us we have a five-year plan for submarines that have been finished i think we are going to sign it out to you on the 28th of december but your letter will be addressed and it's on my desk right now. loud and clear the hear you. we need to fix the maintenance load for the vessels. >> i think you are going to get a response to your letter. as a member of the team, please
do so. section 9/11 directs the secretary of the navy to conduct a comprehensive review of administrative chains of command and functions at the department of the navy. this is due to the month after next. will this deadline be met? are there any changes or insights you would like to share with the committee? section 915 expands the principal duties for research development and acquisition to include sustainment during maintenance to put a single
senate confirmed official in charge of sustainment including maintenance of weapon systems. this took effect in august. how is the change being implemented? >> it's going very well. it's something we should have done a while ago because we spend an inordinate amount of time focused on how we buy things and it didn't get the same amount of attention nowadays. >> we got advice from folks out there around the globe that know what they are doing so that's good to hear. 322 requires the bureau of inspections from 2020 to be conducted with minimal notice and results reported in the annual unclassified report. i assume the deadline will be met since it is a year away. >> section 323 limits the duration of the united states or
workweek for the manpower necessary to execute. in february will let the deadline be met and the others that can be shared today. >> the deadline will be met. i haven't read the final report so i would like to wait until it is fully vetted. >> the admiral may want to chime in here. section 527 requires the review of the adequacy of individual training for certain stations. this is due in february. february. while the deadline be met and are there early insights? >> we will share with you what we learned no insights right now. >> section 525 requires congressional notification if
the levels drop below certain percentages. they are being permitted pursuant to this section so is the navy comply and? >> the firs >> the first report is in staffing now. >> okay. and what is it going to show? give us a sneak preview. >> it is going to show we have a relatively small% of the ships that are outside of the maintenance and intermediate lsr p.. it's a small percentage pleased with the report.
to increase the civilian clarifications for the surface warfare personnel. in march while the deadline be met? and section 335 requires the review of the navy ship inspections and business necessary requirements. will that deadline be met? >> january of 19 committee initials are come late. you are respecting to questions in this regard. aargh you prepared to talk about section 514? it requires the accountability office. this is due in march. can you give observations or comments on the updates provided by the secretary as well as your
understanding of the implemented recommendations. >> i am not sure i quite understand what you're looking for. we haven't done a lot of work on the mandate yet. we are getting started and in the back of my prepared statement the past three years and the status of them we keep track of that very closely. the question came up earlier about the conflict and the domain readiness and i feel like i should remind everyone we are required in last year's readiness through a domain lens error, ground, sea, space and fiber. we've also done networks. we've had an assessment in the readiness across all of those domains as well.
if i need to follow up on any questions on the record. mr. secretary you have been impressively prepared to respo respond. could you provide to the committee a list of what specifically is being done for the public shipyards to implement the infrastructure for the optimization plan. i mentioned in my opening remarks that i was interested in preventing collisions at sea of the disasters that occurred they were ensuring that this ship
squadron commanders could highlight their concerns on the higher headquarters may try to deploy and my question to either you mr. secretary or admiral and yes they were not deployed. following up with a list of those examples they come both ways both from senior officers in the chain of command who observed the ship not being ready and you go to the exercise under way and they've come forward through the chain of command is saying they need additional time to train in the certified force. >> i think that is an important change, and i hope that mr. moran agrees with that, because we can't continue to have all of these for the readiness of the ships before
they deploy. >> i went off to japan as i mentioned in my opening statement and what we found is a much different looking certifications charge. that has been a significant change at least in japan. >> thank you very much. i commend you for doing those kind of changes. it's probably going to be unrealistic to think that the marines of the navy can know con their way out of this. one way or was interested is in the navy.
the mission has been to leverage third-party investments to improve installation readiness and my understanding is third parties make investments on the naval bases to either improve the resiliency of the energy infrastructure indications and these are common arrangements. why is that the case and do you commit to finding to make these investments that can save the navy money. the relationships in some way whether it be realistic development or whether it's the