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tv   Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James Remarks  CSPAN  December 5, 2015 12:45pm-1:45pm EST

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you are talking about the dreamers, the black lives matter is movement, i don't know more. you have a racial justice third wing of the party with no voice. >> then, coming up sunday evening, the republican jewish coalition presidential form featuring presidential candidates sharing their thoughts on terrorism, israel, and national security. for the full lineup, go to our website, c-span.org. next, a look at the air force with air force secretary, debbie lee james. she recently spoke at the national press club. it is one hour.
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is debra our speaker lee james. she will talk about ongoing efforts in the middle east, as she recently returned from a trip. she will talk about drones, though she may not use that word when she refers to these vehicles. i want to first introduced the distinguished head table. it includes members and guests of our speaker. tony, defense reporter for bloomberg news. carl, senior military assistant to the secretary. patrick, correspondent for defense daily. eric, special assistant to the secretary. chief, pastu president for the national press club, and chairman for the
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speakers committee. jean, the speaker committee member who organized today's luncheon. of anselmo, editor in chief aviation magazine. john hurley, past commander and an air force veteran. [applause] i also want to thank our c-span audiences and the audiences listening on public radio. you can also follow the action on twitter. e the #npclive. debra lee james was sworn in as secretary of the air force nearly two years ago, and the newsworthy two years it has
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been. has made her mark as a no-nonsense washington insider who has presided over an unprecedented downsizing of air force personnel. meanwhile, she has pushed hard to get her message out on her three top priorities. these are stopping further personnel cuts, streamlining the air force acquisition system, and making taxpayer dollars ofnt in an air force budget billion. under her watch, the air force has allowed more women to serve in combat roles. in addition, james has pushed hard for full reporting of sexual assaults, focusing on cy, up and down the command.
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she began her tenure investigating a widespread missile test cheating scandal. this led to the removal of air forcenior ranking leaders. there has also been progress in improving the culture in which officers perform national security duties. and, as if she did not have enough work already, the deputy secretary of defense recently made james the principle space advisor, with expanded responsibilities of all pentagon space activities. we are grateful that secretary james made time in her busy schedule to tell us about the state of affairs at the air force. ladies and gentlemen, please give a welcome to secretary of the air force, the honorable debra lee james. [applause]
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secretary james: thank all of you for the invitation to come here today. thank you for the introduction. my own mother could not have given me a better buildup. i hope i live up to expectations. congratulations on being elected the 108 president. i know this club will continue to flourish under your leadership. i want to begin by telling you it is an absolute honor to be here today. second actually my presentation before the national press club. if any of you were here about 20 years ago -- were any of you hear? come on, some of you were. he has changed a lot. i look exactly the same. i had the opportunity to come when i was in the mid-1990's. thanks for having me back. pleasure toolute presenc
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stand here and talk to you about my favorite subject of all which is our united states air force. there is no question that our air force is engaged globally. when i say globally, i'm talking tokyo toma to greenland. i specifically want to tell you some stories that are unfolding in the skies above iraq and syria, throughout the horn of europeannd across borders. precisely two weeks ago, i returned from a world wind trip to the middle east, africa, and europe. during the trip, i met with senior leaders, and had the opportunity to dialogue with quite a few of our partner nations, and most importantly, i visited with the and men.
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let me tell you, the airmen are doing a fantastic job each and every day, helping to keep us safe. i'm proud to call myself an airmen along their side. [applause] just a few moments, i want to tell you a little bit about where i have been and what i learned from my trip, give you a couple of the key takeaways that i shared, and also give you an overall update from my perspective on the conduct of the air campaign. then, i want to finish up with that is wanted more of by the united states. i'm talking about reconnaissance, and specifically, the remotely piloted aircraft. drones, we call them
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do not. pilotedthem remotely aircraft. the first stop on my trip was the dubai air show which is considered the fastest growing and show in the world. there were about 61 countries represented their, showcasing capabilities in both defense and the civilian sector. i have very valuable bilateral discussions with our allies there, both in government, from around the world, and industry. we discussed the importance of interoperability, the importance of joint training, in order to operate in a coalition environment, because everything we do nowadays is in a coalition environment. fourscussed the need munitions. you see, some of our allies are running low, as we collectively
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prosecute the campaign against daesh and extremism. i then travel to qatar and visited what we called the c.ao i was really, really impressed with the capability of the coalition, and are ongoing effort to prevent civilian casualties. enormous care is taken to prevent casualties. i was also struck by the complexity of the coalition. let me repeat. there are more than 60 countries involved in this effort. many of these countries have competing interests and different priorities. believe me, this trip home the old saying of where you stand depends on where you sit. i then traveled and met with the
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men and women joining as part of the combined task force in the horn of africa. i was able to see our remotely piloted aircrafts, newly tanksed with external air that gives them extended range and coverage, allowing the commanders to have greater reach , as they require. by the way, it is all about location, location. if the vision on the horn of africa allows for surveillance flights above the african continent, in places like libya and somalia, and allows us to work more closely with coalition forces and interagency organizations to achieve the best unified effort possible. . then stopped in kuwait
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then, it was on to iraq. in iraq, i saw the combined joint operations center in baghdad, and met with general general ofwho is the the task force. i got to observe the airmen include a live strike on daesh. i also had the opportunity to meet with the iraqi chief of defense and the chief of the air force who also spoke of their commitment to this ongoing fight . from there it was on to egypt where he met with the minister of defense. as you can imagine, top of mind for egyptian officials was terrorism in the sinai, and the terrible downing of the russian airliner, which had recently taken place. anden visited romania
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met with a senior military officials, who were deeply concerned, not so much about daesh and the air war, but rather about recent russian activity in the crimea and black sea. you remember what i said? where you stand depends on where you sit. i met withcco -- military leaders and heard about contribution to the fight. finally, it was on to student stugart. throughout the whole trip, have the opportunity to see men of all ranks doing everything from advising, gathering, organizing intelligence, coordinating the movement of supplies and equipment, and also flying in combat. my first take away from this trip, and the first point that i , all of that everyone
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these partner nations, with whom i met, they want more engagement with the united states. there are processes, and we have to look at ways to speed it up. throughout the trip, i had 15 different bilateral meetings, and heard request for more trainings, exercises. many expressed interest in upgrading of equipment. might message -- my message back to them was always about the total package approach. it is not just the equipment alone. oneining equipment is part of the package. equally important is part two. part two has to do with training which involves tactics, trainings, procedures. then, there is part three. if you have one piece or two pieces, but not all three pieces, you will not have a sustained program over time.
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bottom line, i believe the united states is the partner of choice for all of them. i also heard repeatedly about the challenges they feel they face in working with us to get that total package. for instance, the process is lengthy and dissuade some countries from purchasing our equipment. of course, we have strict technology transfer rules. the process is complex and involves not only air force, but parts of dod, state, congress, and industry. i came back recognizing that i do not have power to fix or speeded up in all of these different arenas. i was going to try to do my best. to that end, i have directed my staff to examine how the air force can speed up our part of the process and work with other stakeholders to make sure that efforts are responsive to evolving needs, such as the demand for munitions that i just
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told you about, based on partner engagements. for example, my deputy is nowcretary grant working on producing a strategy that will identify capabilities that we would like to see our partners acquire that would allow us to better forecast and prepare for future activities. this would give us a point of discussion to be able to discuss this in the future. likewise, we are working to speed up the process by setting transfer baselines for major systems. if we get this right in the for a, instead of waiting partner to request a particular capability, and then they enter into what can be a very lengthy process to determine whether or not we can actually transfer it, this preapproved baseline should cut the process down by weeks, if not months, at least for
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certain technologies. this is just the beginning of our efforts, the initial ideas. we will look at other ways to speed up, at least the air force part of this process. partner capacity is really, really important, especially in light of our ongoing effort against filing extremist -- violent extremists. we need to keep up the fight, and up the pressure against daesh and other violent extremist organizations. theave seen them and barbarity across the middle east, africa, and europe. but i was traveling, daesh unleashed double suicide bombings in beirut, and it was within 48 hours of that that we saw the terrific attacks in paris unfold.
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by the way, daesh is not the only threat we have faced. my travels covered much of the territory that served as training ground for other groups as well like al qaeda and the peninsula. boko haram, and others, these are all violent organizations. we have to keep up the fight and pressure against all of these organizations. let me cut to the chase and get to the part that i know many americans are wondering about. that is just how are we doing in this fight against daesh. i want to direct my comments towards the air campaign because that was my focus. bottom line, up front on this, every single senior commander with which i spoke said that our strategy of degrading and ultimately destroying daesh is
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proceeding at pace. everybody indicated that airpower is getting its job done. in the very next sentence, everybody indicated that antigen is forces now need to get their part of the job done, and we also have to keep the pressure on the political and diplomatic channels because in order to get a lasting solution we ultimately .eed that diplomacy to pay off let go over a few of the results of airpower to date. for one thing, daesh no longer has the ability to operate territory it held one year ago, in iraq and syria. we have pushed them back. we have had their command center, supply lines, disrupted their tactics and procedures, not to mention, and you have been reading and writing about this, we have been attacking
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their sources of revenue. in order to enabling local fight, local airstrikes have taken out thousands, including key leaders. antever, we have upped the in what we call deliberate targeting. means wee targeting detect, identify, and develop a target to schedule an action against them in the daily air tasking order. that is, by the way, the document that contains all the innned missions and forces any given day. specifically, we're getting higher quality intelligence, working more closely with some of the indigenous ground forces, and learning more and more about daesh, how they operate.
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all of this has contributed to so-called more elaborate targets. here is how it works. first, we study and collect data. we evaluate existing intelligence. the pre-existing intelligence allows us to form an assessment about and activity. the second thing we do is watch, weight, and watch more. platforms,th video and look for the presence of enemy activity over time, and hopefully the absence of civilian activity. third, we leverage our targeting strategy, and decide which weapon is best suited for the target. we achieve the right effect on the target, will always minimizing, to the best of our ability, the affects that might impact surrounding civilian facilities. the recent strikes against the
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nearly 400 take her trucks -- ta nker trucks is a great example of the targeting. we will follow the money. these are the same types of strikes that have allowed our coalition to shut down oil facilities, such as the one in syria, which i am told accounted for at least two thirds of their oil revenue. those particular strikes were executed by f-15, f-16s, and a 10 aircraft. all of these examples persuade me that the air campaign is proceeding at pace, we are intensifying, as much as possible, particularly as the ground forces improve, and as we get these deliberate targets. keep in mind, this fight will not be over tomorrow. there will continue to be complications that will present
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as challenges along the way. one clear complication of recent time is the russian involvement in syria. what is action going on here, in gap.inion, is a say-do on the one hand, they say they ,ntered syria to attack daesh but what they are actually doing is focusing most of their strikes not against daesh, but on other forces on the ground. what they are really trying to do is prop of the regime of assad. the russians also say they are using precision bombing to avoid civilian casualties, but what they are actually doing, for the most part, is dropping dumb bombs, which does create significant civilian casualties because they are not as accurate. they are contributing to what is terribleready an
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refugee crisis even worse. the good news is we do now have a memorandum of understanding to ensure safety of flight between our coalition and russia. way, withll, by the the russian military twice a day, and have established a common frequency to the conflict deconflict efforts. do not, and underscore, do not share military operations. as for the tragic shootdown of the russian aircraft, i want to join with others and make clear -- turkey, like all countries, has the right to self-defense, and russia did enter their airspace. claims to the contrary are simply not true. it is also not true that russia informed the u.s. of their actions that day.
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russia did not. the turkish jet that tragically shot down the russian aircraft was executing a national defense mission, and was not part of our daily ato. they were not, at that point, acting as part of the coalition. with all that said, it was a very, very tragic situation. we certainly hope, and have been urging, going forward, that both parties will de-escalate the situation and find a diplomatic path forward to resolve the issue. daesh is the common enemy. we have to stay focused. in the case of russia, they have to get focused on that threat and the challenge ahead. the other publication, i will come back, and say it again, helping indigenous ground forces effectively execute their mission. there has been some progress
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here as well. we need to increase the momentum on this as much as possible. place while iok was traveling. to the west of syria is the aqqa.lled capital of r .o the east, is mosul in the middle is sinjar, connected by highway 47. the thought of the coalition was this. if we could create space for indigenous forces to attack daesh in sinjar, we may be able to retake a key logistical location. that is exactly what happened. backs, backed by us, took the town of sinjar.
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we have seen other smaller forces unified. we had to smaller groups. the syrian arabs and kurds came together to support what we are calling the syrian democratic forces, some are calling the syrian-era coalition. they have recaptured some key terrain, most recently pushing sh out of 900 robert's surrounding territory. there is some progress. doubt solid,ou no just yesterday, secretary carter announced that we would be accelerating a number of our efforts. he talked about the special operations to include sending what was called some targeting aesh, and counterd help enable these local ground forces to become more effective. over time, these forces will be
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conducting raids, hopefully freeing hostages, and gathering that all precious intelligence, which, in turn, will lead to better deliberative targeting. all of this is still being worked out, and the details are not final. i can tell you that such a team would certainly have air force members front and center, and air force capabilities front and center. such teams would have battle airmen. there would be mobility forces. there would be support from combat search and rescue and isr capabilities. there are many, many components to an air campaign, but they're probably none more important than the value of isr.
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as i mentioned earlier, that happens to be the number one thing that the combatant commanders want more of from our air force. let me wrap up by concluding with a few comments about that capability. airmen who perform this mission are doing a phenomenal job. over the course of my two years and briefings i have received, they have certainly convinced me , and not just me, but others in the top leadership as well that this is a fourth under significant stress. our operators are flying 900-1100 flights per year. compare that to the demand aircraft which averaged 200-300 hours per year. they work 13-14 hour days and
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week.ery much six days a we have piled additional requirements on this already strained community. we even had to take some one off steps such as removing instructors from the training pipeline to accomplish operational missions. of course, you know what happens when you take trainers out of the schoolhouse. you cannot train the number of people you need. it becomes a vicious cycle. we have artie taken some -- already taken some steps to alleviate these strains. morell use contractors for surveillance missions. we will be using more of our guard and reserve. we have boosted incentive pay.
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we are leveraging platforms in new ways. we have received a temporary reduction in the number of air patrols that the air force must perform. it used to be 65. we will go down to 60 for some time. these are some of the actions we and already taken announced. we are not stopping here because there is more work to be done. i will tell you, stay tuned. soare within one week or of finalizing and announcing a series of new edition to two of -- new additions to up the ante. there are relatively few duty locations for the fourth to rce toly -- fo actually serve. we are looking to expand. we are also looking at approaches to assess this
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grueling schedule that are airmen are maintaining. that could allow for more time off and professional development opportunities over time. you are also aware that we have been actively reviewing the role of our officers and enlisted personnel in the world of the rpa. we will have some announcements in that regard as well. ultimately, our goal is to direct some positive change from the top down. that is important, but insufficient. we also want to do a good job of listening from the bottom up, and taking suggestions directly from our airmen. if you recall, the matter that referenced earlier, we did a very similar approach to years ago, using the forest improvement program.
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it basically allowed our nuclear airmen to have direct access and discussions with senior commanders and offer this additions about what needed to -- there suggestions about what needed to change. we are basically taking that same approach to the rpa force. we are doing the culture and process improvement program -- the cpip. we do acronyms very well. keep your eyes and ears open for some announcements in this world and the next couple of weeks. i hope you can see, we have a lot going on in the united states air force, and the military at large. many hotspots, many challenges to confront. the reason why the air force is called on by so many in times of need is because we are the greatest air force on the planet . remaining the best will be a tough, tough challenge.
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at this point, while we are the greatest, we are the smallest that we have ever been, in terms of numbers. we are the busiest we have ever airmen arere operating what is an aging force equipment.ment -- going forward, that is why i will remain focused on the top three priorities. taking care of people, balancing readiness and modernization so we get the right mix for today as well as the right mix of investment for tomorrow, and in light of these tough budget times, we have to make every dollar count, be efficient. these are the three priorities. of what weinning all do is be amazing airmen. that is why i will put taking care of people as my number one, always, and of story. on behalf of those more than
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, i,000 active duty reserves want to thank you very much. thank you for turning out today, giving me some of your valuable time. i really do appreciate it. i certainly look forward to your questions. [applause] >> thank you, madam secretary. for those of you watching on television, we had a lighting accident. if we look.gov. , that is why. we also wanted to mellow the mood a bit for q&a. [laughter] you talked about deliberate targeting. i think it has been reported that the terrorist known as jihadi john was killed in an airstrike from what i would call a drone. i'm wondering if intelligence
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capabilities to you talked about -- the tracking, the observing that led up to the strike -- if that happened through the same equipment that you are talking about with deliberate targeting? james: my understanding is that it was the result of deliberate targeting. it was an area that we watched. we made sure that the weapon we selected was the best weapon for the job at hand, and took ray care to avoid the loss of and casualties to infrastructures that were not those infrastructures that we intended to hit. yes, it was an example of deliberate targeting. >> you said battlefield airmen would be part of the strategy against isil. ?an you be specific also, are you considering expanding the existing rpa units
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in the guard and reserve? we certainlyes: are looking to do more in the guard and reserve, and expanding both our unit structure and manning structure there. what was the other part of the question? >> the types of people on the battlefield that you will be expanding. what types of positions of air people? i was givinges: you my best speculation of what these teams illustratively might look like. obviously, they need to get from point a to point b. that is the job of the mobility forces. the battlefield airmen could well be part of it. the details precisely are not yet worked out. my example was more illustrative to indicate that air force is
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always front and center as part of the team. give us a sense of the type of aircraft that you are deploying on this effort against isil? what proportion would be, what i call, drones, versus conventional aircrafts? acretary james: we use variety of aircraft. in addition to the unmanned aircraft, we have used, and will f-16s,e to use f-15s, various bomber aircrafts. it is really a variety of platforms, and a variety of units. it gets to a deployment schedule so we hopefully are not using the exact same people over and over again. it gets to the point of the air force, due to the smallness of the size. but not have the numbers,
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can tell you they have all been excellent contributors to the effort. is currently over there. that is another platform in active use. >> you talk about the effort to minimize collateral damage or civilian deaths. how satisfied are you that you have been able to minimize civilian deaths in this campaign? as you step up this effort now, will the risk of more civilian deaths rise? i am satisfied: that are combined effort and the way we are approaching this campaign is unprecedented in the history of warfare, in terms of the care that we take to do everything possible to try to avoid civilian casualties. is it 100%? no. there are some from time to time terrible tragedies. with the thousands that have
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been flown, the fact that there have only been a handful of this incident, i think, is almost a miracle. i am convinced we are doing a good job. i saw some of it in action myself. a norm of care is taken -- enormous care is taken. strangeas this relationship with russia, or the relationship with russia, but you talked about, how does that rd 180?he future of the does the air force plan to phase it out, or continue to use it, as some members of congress have called for? secretary james: by way of background, the rd 180 is an engine used to power what has been, over time, our rocket
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approached to get our satellite into space. rd 180 is a fairly inexpensive, engine.icient it happens to be manufactured in russia. over time, i will remind everybody, if we go back 15 years ago, we were trying to with russia.ause it was different times. over time, we became very reliant on this engine. i will bring pete what the technical people tell me, it is a fairly inefficient and very fairly inexpensive and very efficient engine. all that said, we want to get off the reliance of this rd 180 engine. we want to have, and must have by law and policy, to domestic to space.t us but this will involve is a new engine manufactured here in the united states.
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we are working to get that done as quickly as possible. the controversy is how quickly can we get it done. it turns out this really is bucket science. [laughter] over history, it has taken 10 years from start to finish when a new engine has been done in the past. we do not think it will take 10 years from today, we think we history, but we are sure we can get it done by the deadline which has been given to us by congress. my top job as secretary of the air force, as well as principal defense space advisor is that i must make sure we can get to space because space is critically important to us. we are trying to work this through with congress to essentially give us a little us toeeway, either allow use a few more engines for a few more years before we can get this developmental program
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completed. gethe information that you on russian planes -- do you, in turn, share that with coalition partners in syria? shared, ijames: it is will say, appropriately. it is not operational details. i would call it almost administrative in nature. out the line to make sure it is running, things of that nature. yes, it is shared appropriately with the coalition. budget crunch,e bomber --ting with the new what can you tell us about the budget plan? i know you are actively looking at the budgets for the coming year. what can you tell us about this? secretary james: those are our
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three top programs. we are committed to all three of them. we have to figure out a way to fit them all in the budget. we are all facing a a budget crunch moving forward. we are the smallest air force, and also the oldest, in terms of the age of our equipment. you cannot keep flying these aircrafts forever and ever. there are aircraft that are not as old as i am -- that is 29, for those of you wondering -- but they are aging quickly. we have to modernize. it is a tough budget problem. we are very grateful in dod that we appear to have a bipartisan budget agreement to take us 2017.h both fy 2016 and having stability and knowing what we are planning towards will be waived, way better than what we have had in the recent
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past. that is the good news. the thing that worries us is fy 2017 is a less than what we said we needed. over the next month or two, we need to, as a team, figure out how we will live with $17 2017.n less in fy of course, whatever we propose in fy 2017 needs to follow through appropriately for the rest of the five-year plan. it is difficult, tough, there is no free lunch. >> the air force has said it wants to buy between 100 and 80 bombers. can you tell us whether the service has settled on a number? will of the 100 or a little less? secretary james: i believe the number is 100. >> how would you characterize the efforts of the supply chain in responding to the efforts to
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squeeze out costs? is the supply chain responding adequately? i will speakes: about the approach we have been taking. obviously, in the air force, we are part of the buying power initiative, so . in addition to those approaches, we have also come up with a series of initiatives that we call bending the cost curve. this is
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or that we already know. we have this additional approach, i would say overall there was coming well. they certainly have responded well to bending the cost curve. people been flitting about me several years down the i to see whether or not these initiatives really grew -- produce results. >> what about resistance to retirement of the a-10 that >> certainlygress? has been resistance. that's a correct statement. this is part of the -- one of the key budget decisions that we will be making next month or two. i would say everything is on the table. you can argue these things any which way area let me go back to basic.
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we propose that the a-10 be retired of the course of five years, not because the don't like the attendant rather because we have to choose to retire something. we have to stick. given the age of the aircraft and the single-purpose nature is seen to be the best approach. on the other hand we are using it in the middle eastern theater. it's doing a good job for us. that's perhaps a reason to keep it you can argue this one where the other but i do want to come back comments a minimum ago there is no free lunch. so it's not that then what do we reduce? that securely with $17 billion lab not going to be able to do it all. the city and game final decisions that will have the made in the month or two.
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>> of what point does the mood to control costs arm readiness? are getting anywhere close to yes we are.>> i think it already has happened is a area readiness for us factor of two key things. number one is selling investor money area and think we've done a pretty good job of investing or money area this is due with enough money against lying hours and training horses? door pilots another crew members practice? terms of our investments were investing in right leases. the other part is you have to so they your people of can go engage in this training and they have to do it on a regular basis because these skills asterisk. where we bring people up? there been the.
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they're busy doing some of these missions i just. of the key parts of readiness. i'm optimistic that we are investing correctly but i don't perceive necessarily next year our we will be able to read teams up to them through enough of this training to get our readiness level jobs. >> have any new rules of engagement than promulgated? >> i'm aware of anything new. what am aware of is that reserve the right like all sovereign freedom ofexercise navigation and that goes for on the sea and in the air. that of course is a long-standing proposition there's nothing new about that. knowledge of the south china sea western. how severe is the cyber
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security threat to the air force and what is the air force doing about it? >> i think cyber security is a major consideration for all of us these days. it's certainly huge consideration for military and for those in the industry i have to believe it is for you as well. what we're doing about it is we are trying to systematically go through and identify any weaknesses that we might lines both in our i.t. systems that there may also have to systematically go through and nuclear weapons stinson's if there are vulnerabilities in this area as well. in them and we find them we hop on it and is please we can address it. we need to fix it in some way area and is a major concern. we talk about all the time. again i think we can probably do a bit more going over in the area of investment. i also did we need to double down on our effort to look at
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using increasingly's cyber in ways which would be a substitute for kinetic operation. >> one month ago the u.n. there's about four disarmament in space. against was 122 or or the u.s. was one of the oregon, why is the u.s. against disarmament in space us to mark >> i'm not familiar with that vote but when i will tell you about space in the proposition one weis this number don't have weapons in space in the nine of said number two we are very focused on not creating debris in space. the backup for just a minute if you go back 20 or 30 years there were relatively few countries a few companies for that matter
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the flash forward to the present day and there are many more countries and many more there's space junk. what has been very worrisome in some others is countries around the world are investing in testing in different types of capabilities which could do things to our capabilities. what we have said is we need to focus more attention on ace. we need to invest more in space
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the resiliency of space. getwe need to at all times this point across particularly with some of these other countries the debris is bad hurt all of. how these programs going are you happy with the result? >> i think we're making progress on sexual assault and seven and we're headed in the right direction but i'm not that aside that the work is done. focus andkeep of the keep up the pressure to make sure that we are taking of the victims that are.
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make sure that there is follow-up is appropriate. senate believe we're making progress on or think that their two key points on give you. number one a look at the overall statistics that we have on the number of words of sexual assault, the anonymous reporting that we have in terms of incidents is actually solve your year and a you answer up and incidents are down. both of which are not good enough that they are in the right direction. you want people to become triple orting but the only the number of actual cases goes down. those two were good statistics. the other thing i do is everywhere i go to try to dump privately impersonally with the saarc on the base.
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i meet privately with the frontline defenders on the war on sexual all. they report to me overwhelmingly that they think we're making oneress on all fronts but in here comes the hardest of all i think we are deftly not satisfied and that is the issue of retaliation. be if you report sexual assaults your boss take some action against you which is her feels like retaliation. the other form is when your peers in the unit kind of find out what happened or what allegedly happened and they take. maybe they treat you differently or people who were your friends now shenyang. our biggest problem is on the unofficial art. it's with the peers in the unit of people who rush to judgment and takes by.
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i'm not satisfied with crack that not yet. that will be a major focus of our training. dr.ho is going to replace lance's acquisitions are? >> richland party is now in the acting capacity. beyond that we will have to worker with ruin seat will be permanent. >> ultimately all of these positions are presidential appointment. >> for half the last question i have housekeeping. the national press club is the world leading organization for journalists and we fight every last worldwide. learn more about the club go to our web site and donate to our nonprofit journalism.
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i would like to remind you about some upcoming events. so i been unjustly detained in an iranian is an. on tuesday, december 8, the new secretary of the smithsonian situation will address the press club luncheon. i now present our guests with the most valuable and sought-after national is club mod.
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very close to air force colors. we'll call it air force blue. my question. spotted thatntly it air force navy football game. wearing an air force jersey with the number 20 rihanna. you are the 23rd secretary. we would like your assessment right from the top of the air >> myfootball team top-level assessment is we're going all the way. don't believe any statistics in any talk to the contrary. i'm the 23rd secretary of their.
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>> up around the laws should mark [applause] i would also like to thank the national press club staff. if you would like a copy of today's program or to learn more about the national press club, visit our website press.org. thank you, we are turned.

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