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tv   Admirals Testify on Naval Warship Accidents  CSPAN  September 8, 2017 12:49am-2:58am EDT

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kasich and colorado governor john hickenlooper will talk about the bipartisan proposal to make a change to the health care system. the center for american progress is cohosting the discussion live at 9:15 eastern. you can follow both events at and with the c-span radio app. senior navy officials testified cent collisions. the uss fitzgerald and uss john mccain. behind inas been addressing a list of readiness issues. the house of services subcommittee and held a committee on readiness.
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>> i call this joint hearing of the subcommittee of the house of armed services committee to order. we are here in honor of memory of the seven uss fitzgerald .enate -- sailors and the 10 uss john s mccain sailors.
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we are very grateful we have a mother here with us today. we send to you our give his sympathies and profound sorrow for your loss and appreciation for your son's service to our nation. i want to welcome our members to today's hearing. recognizeespecially that we have with us the committee chairman, donald mac thornberry. he has been the leader of our ongoing efforts to mitigate our military readiness challenges and i want to thank him for his leadership and for being here today to hear about the challenges in limited by the tragic collisions in the pacific. to send a warm welcome to congresswoman elizabeth este from connecticut and congressman rodney davis from illinois.
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that ananimous consent member not a member of the committee be a lot to participate in today's hearing after all subcommittee members and then full committee members have had an opportunity to ask questions. is there an objection? without objection, such members will be recognized the appropriate time for five minutes. as a begin today on the view readiness, underling problems the ships, ith have no doubt our navy remains the strongest in the world. but these tragic events reinforce our concern about the depth the readiness challenges the navy faces. i'm concerned about the shortfalls in the pore structure and whether the sustained operational tempo of a reduced to 77 ship navy may have contributed to these events. i also believe the first
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responsibly of the government is to provide for the national security for our citizens, to do for us will we can't do for ourselves. for ourespecially true sailors, soldiers, air force, and marines. therefore as members of this committee, to better understand the readiness commission and the underlying problems of the navy and to chart a course that best assistance the navy in correcting deficiencies and shortfalls. we now ask the senior leaders of the u.s. navy and government accountability office here with candid in your best judgment and advise us on the underlying problems associated with the uss fitzgerald and the uss john mccain and how to recover from these tragic events. this afternoon we are honored to moran,th us, admiral naval operations, rear admiral
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boxall, and mr. john pendleton, the structural issues on the u.s. account ability office. i would like to know turn to ranking member, congresswoman met them but i'll of long for any remarks we may have. thank you for agreeing to convene this timely hearing. particularly with regards to the seventh fleet operations in the indo asian pacific region. chairman whitman and i recently returned from japan, where we visited and met with vice admiral sawyer and saw the damage to the uss fitzgerald firsthand. thank you to our witnesses for joining us today. andand boxall, i appreciated our meeting and look forward to the discussion.
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critical to aiding our oversight mission on this committee. the recent mishaps of the uss fitzgerald and the uss john mccain resulted not only in significant damage to the ,essels, but also the tragic tragic loss of life of 17 american sailors. earlier in the year, we saw two additional mishaps, avoidable as i understand it, also involving surface ships assigned to the seventh fleet. while investigations into the specific mishaps are still ongoing and the navy is in the midst of conducting two separate copperheads of reviews of surface fleet operations, i am interested to learn of the initial findings and the foundational challenges that need to be addressed to reverse the concerning trend that we are seeing with the readiness of our forward deployed naval services. specifically, i'm interested to
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see what steps might be taken to ensure appropriate times are allocated for ship maintenance in the forward deployed naval forces model. and how the chain of command will be held accountable to ensure navy standards are being met. in addition to the training and the maintenance time, i will be interested to hear how the navy is investing in developing and utilizing next-generation training systems to maximize the efficiency and the effectiveness of this time. navycommittee and the military answer -- civilian todership of two our sailors take appropriate actions to ensure the concerning factors are properly addressed. points have been raised about how the deployed forces model in the pacific a lark as both stressed existing resources and highlighted gaps and efficiency
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in the manning of our vessels. the training of our sailors, and the maintenance of the fleet. understanding a balance needs to be struck and a review of auster in the region is underway. let me note that i believe maintaining a forward resins in the indo asia pacific is critical to our security in the region. powerr it be for projection, humanitarian assistance, bilateral and or otherral exercises, critical missions, the navy is able to rapidly react to contingencies only with forward deployed forces. however, these missions and our credibility are undermined if we are not able to effectively manage and operate the fleet. the navy's deployment of significant capabilities overseas did not occur overnight and the pacific did not become a heavy traffic theater overnight.
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--i'm concerned the threat the request for resources and strategic prioritization of where to spend these resources has not properly reflected the operations, the maintenance, and the training needs of the fleet. conclude byill stating that today's hearing and the navy's ongoing investigations and reviews should be viewed as just a starting point. i hope we will have a continuous dialogue doing this committee and the navy on the issues. the lessons learned and specific actions that need to be taken to ensure the readiness of the surface fleet. i want to thank you, the witnesses, and i look forward to the discussion and mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you, ranking member. out-earn to the member of virginia, rob wittman for any remarks he may have. i want to welcome admiral
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oxall and admiral b i want to thank you for attending our hearing. , want to thank chairman wilson to hold this joint subcommittee hearing today. nce we get to the bottom of this. who may arrive at conclusions that require joint efforts from both our subcommittees and look forward to working with the derailment from south carolina to resolve these potentially egregious underlying issues to our service navy forces. further, ioceed any also want to recognize our special guest in the audience today, miss rachel eccles. on boardost his life the uss mccain a few weeks ago. thank you for being here with us today and for the enormous sacrifice that you and your family have made for this country.
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we are here today to ensure -- [applause] yeah. [applause] we are here today to ensure that the navy and congress learns from these tragedies and makes the necessary changes. i what you to be assured that your son's life, given on behalf of this nation, was not given in vain. naval warfare is inherently dangerous. as we continue to review the collisions of the uss fitzgerald and uss john mccain, it is important to note that even in a benign government, we send our sailors into precarious and oftentimes, deadly situations. our nation asks much of our servicemembers and they never fail to deliver. i hope that today's hearing provides positive steps forward
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to ensure our sailors are provided the best training and the best ships to sustain their ,aily lives in a time of war prevail over our enemy. we can all agree our nation failed these 17 sailors and their families with these tragic collisions. last week, i let a bipartisan additional delegation to visit the seventh fleet commander, vice admiral sawyer, and the sailors ported in japan. i was encouraged at their zeal and tenacity of the fleet even in the face of these difficult events. nevertheless, i look forward to turning our attention to assess whether there are procedural issues that may have contributed to training readiness of our forces in the seventh fleet as reviews, two things are painfully obvious. the material condition and
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operational readiness of the ships are significantly degraded and not acceptable. of our largest service combatants, the majority of deployed ships are not properly ready to perform their primary warfare areas. the negative trend lines associated with operational readiness of our deployed ships are deeply troubling. these negative trading trends interbedded to the lack of seamanship evident on the was as and the uss fitzgerald. themselves,hips they suffered as navy hybridizes operational deployments over maintenance and modernization. this maintenance and trading model places sailors at risk and most likely contributed in part to the incidence we have witnessed with the seventh fleet. it is equally problematic that the navy intends to increase the number of four deployed ships over the next few years with no increase to the maintenance
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capacity in you could discuss -- in japan, thereby reducing the risk for our sailors. this decreasing reliance is a model that is not sustainable and needs to be significantly modified. we have also learned that many of our destroyers based out of japan are only to be deployed for no more than 7-10 years. however, we know the uss john mccain has been deployed to japan for over 20 years. further, the uss fitzgerald and -- curtis wilbur and uss have each been deployed for over 12 years. the navy cannot manage the requirements of a fleet of just 277 ships. have been outside the united states for too long and their material condition is in
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unacceptable state. i remain convinced that one of the large -- long-term fixes is to increase the structure and build the navy that our nation needs. a larger fleet would allow the navy to place last strain on hip, whichable s reduces the chance any sailor is placed in a hazardous environment. i support the need to adequately funded training and provide the fleet the time it needs to complete required maintenance and training. i think there are a number of each country factors that should be explored, including navy training models, impacts associated with the cap of ship parts, funding requirements for ship maintenance, incredibly high operational tempo endured the fleet specifically in the seventh fleet area of response ability, and also the operational failures that have occurred with the surface fleet. each area deserves additional
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assessment. riskavy model is rife with and this risk will increase in the future. the navy needs to offer an alternative model that meets them nations need for reduced risk to our sailors. i think chairman wilson to work with the subcommittee on this important issue and i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you chairman rob wittman. ,he settlement from connecticut congressman joe courtney, for his remarks. >> they can, mr. chairman and to the admirals for their testimony today and i would like to recognize miss e ccles for putting a human subject on the topic we are discussing today. thank you. the circumstances that bring us to today's hearing part table and tragic.
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as our lead witness pointed out , in the span of 65 days, 17 sailors were lost in ship collisions and accident on naval vessels. these were not limited occurrences but part of a disturbing trend of mishaps in the asia-pacific region that since january has involved uss antietam, uss lake champlain, uss fitzgerald, and the mccain. to put that in perspective, these heartbreaking casualties are more than servicemembers that we have lost in the afghanistan war zone in 2017. two of those sailors are from my state of connecticut. the compass minerals estes -- thomas and estes is here today. -- congressman estes is here today. their families in the entire
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state of connecticut are mourning the loss of these two patriots and are watching the response of the navy and congress to fix this trend. several reviews by the navy and secretary of the navy are underway to dig deep into this disturbing trend. efforts and ie speak for my colleagues that we expect the navy to be fully transparent with our panels as these efforts move forward and that we will convene again as many times as needed to provide support to fix this problem. one, sectionle eight, clause 13 of the constitution is clear. it is congress is duty to provide and maintain a navy, which certainly needs a navy will a clipped adequately manned. att doesn't seem to be clear this early stage that these incidents are a glaring manifestation of the increased demand being deployed on the navy vessels, particularly in the asia-pacific region. we ask these forward deployed
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do hard work.s to conducted for operation in the south china sea. the fitzgerald was a pivotal player in providing needed presence in response to kim jong-un's threats of missile test. these are not the kinds of ships and crews we can afford to lose to preventable mishaps. as my colleague, mr. whitman, pointed out, when obvious response is to grow our flight and shorten the backlog of repairing maintenance for the existing fleet to take the pressure off the fleet from heel to toe operations of our operations like japan and spain. these two committees have pushed more aggressively on a bipartisan basis to add funding to ship construction and readiness than any other entity in congress. accounts up the white house budget and pass for
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a bipartisan vote the biggest since 2008. we have work to do to complete the process and this hearing will increase the member's determination to get the best ink -- highest outcome possible. today is also about whether systems and policies need to be reliant to improve readiness. concerns about systems and policies are not new. , and as ourreported witness will discuss, a growing number of our deployed vessels are operating without certifications. this trend has worsened since the last report in 2015 and this needs to be corrected. in 2010, the navy conducted a review by vice admiral philip which outlined shortfalls about surface readiness that are strictly relevant today and looking at these incidents in the larger state of navy fleet readiness.
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one of his priority recommendations includes clarifying who in the chain of command specifically has the ultimate say in whether a ship is manned, trained, and equipped to the level needed to safely do their job before being sent out on deployment. to put it another way, the certification process, which covers key competencies need to be reviewed and approved by an accountable decision maker. this recommendation raised by vice admiral delisle has not been addressed since the report cannot. we expect a lot from the navy for good reason. our sailors are the best in the world and the sight of a navy vessel in a foreign port sends a powerful message of protection for a rules-based order in the maritime domain. those of sailors do what they need to do to keep the peace in the sea lanes of the world's oceans free and open and return our sailors and family should expect their leaders that send
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them to see have done all they can to provide the resources they need to conduct their work safely and return safely. i hope the hearing will focus on the steps the navy will take to fulfill that expectation and what it needs from us here in the >> and all of the marvelous technology, the magnificent hardware we put together on these ships, and the power of
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our weapons systems are meaningless without world trained, skilled, patriotic sailors who are well led. you have my promise that we will get to the bottom of these mishaps. we will leave no stone unturned. wheat will be accountable to you, to our sailors, and the american public. stands withr navy miss rachel echols and all of vy families with our hearts broken, but determined to investigate thoroughly all of the facts, to address contributing factors, and to learn so that we will become a better navy at the end of this. we have an absolute responsibility to keep sailors safe from harm in peacetime, even as they prepare for war.
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mr. chairman, although we are 20 feet apart, there is between what we need to do from here on out. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, very much. we turn to the government of accountability office for your opening comments. >> thank you. members, chairman, thank you very much for having me here today. unfortunately, grim circumstances bring us together. mr. chairman, i do not know what specifically caused the know the, but i do navy is caught between unrelenting operational demand and limited supply ships. the navy has been warning for some time that they have been keeping apace that -- keeping a
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pace that is unsustainable. our body of work is also spotlighting risk associated the way the navy is managing the risk. some of these risks present significant challenges in the ocks ofg bl o maintenance. in that report, we found that ships based in japan did not have dedicated training periods like u.s. ships. their aggressive deployment schedule gave the navy more presents, it is true, but it came at a cost, including detrimental effects on ship readiness. in fact, we were told the overseas base ships were so busy they had to train on the margin. it was explained toreadiness. me that they
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had to squeeze training in when they could. given the concerns we recommended to the navy, we carefully analyzed the risks that were mounting, especially given the plan to meet the demands. i think it is important to note the department of defense, on behalf of the navy, wrote the response to the report, and they concurred with our report and spots for the most part. i think their response is instructive. i will read a short passage. we understand the navy is associated with risks. the decision to accept these risks is ultimately based on the operational decision to provide increased presence to meet combatant requirements. i fear this was a bad gamble, in retrospect. in preparing for this hearing, we followed up on this work and found a few issues that
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concerned us. the navy told us they planned to implement a deployment schedule for dedicated training. as of this hearing, they have not done that. the idea has not yet been implemented. we learned wasg that training certifications -- this is the way the navy periodically determines their crews and precision to warfare areas were being allowed to expire. in 2015, looking at the cruisers all of theers, certification areas, about 37% of those were expired. by late june of this year, that number was up more than five fold. anning has been a persistent challenge for the navy. over 108 hoursng a week.
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the navy concluded that was unsustainable and could contribute to a poor safety culture. maintenance is taking longer and costing more due to the pace of operations. deployments have been delayed, though i was told before the hearing that we are keeping deployments shorter lately. beeneployments have extended, and the ships have more problems when you bring them in. the shipyards have problems keeping pace, for many reasons. at this point, the lost operational days because of the maintenance delays number in the thousands. having two destroyers out will not help the old readiness. i think the navy is treading water in terms of rebuilding. 11 practical recommendations were made to guide the navy and all services. concurrede navy have generally, but have partially implemented only one.
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several of the recommendations are focused on crafting a readinessive rebuilding plan that balances resources with demand, and is transparent about what it will cost and how long it will take. have also made recommendations specific to the navy that are directly relevant to today's conversations, particularly with analyzing the risk and reassessing the workload that sailors actually face, and using that to decide how many people to put on a crew. closing, we should acknowledge we did this work because this committee requested that we do so. thank you for your foresight, and we are honored to assist the community going forward -- assist the committee going forward. closing, we>> thank you. mr. pendleton, we appreciate the government accountability office for your independent professionalism. it is particularly important to me. i have a son serving in the u.s. navy, and your recommendations
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for the healtht and safety and protecting the american people. additionally, i particularly appreciate that a report was presented as a report to congressional addressees on june 14, which highlighted the issues daysadiness just four before the fitzgerald incident. your efforts and your organization's efforts could not be more timely, and they are greatly appreciated by all of us. today that yount had provided indicates that the expired training certification is provided by a training group of cruisers and destroyers has increased fivefold from 7% expired to 37% expired in june of this year.
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again, the month of the incident. esther pembleton, can you explain the sharp trend of the training certifications? what are the gao's observations, and what is happening with the forward deployed forces? informationd that in preparation for this hearing, so we have not been out to talk about them. we gathered that information when we did the work a couple years ago, and we asked for it to be updated then, and the navy provided it. sought looked at it, we -- again, if you imagine all 11 -- shipsed in japan based in japan, when you look at the ones that were expired, it had grown to 37% of all those little blocks. another thing that concerns us was there were areas that were higher than 37%, and one of those was seamanship.
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there were some other areas as well that were sharply lower than you would hope to see. >> again, i want to commend you. the analysis you did will be so helpful to us, and the actions needed to address the mission challenges. it is just again reassuring as a member of congress, but as a parent, thank you for what you are doing. i may, the report you held up is a compilation reports, and it is designed to identify what we believe are the major challenges facing the department of defense. what is significant is we led with readiness rebuilding. we think that is a priority area. >> you also provided extraordinary insight in regards to health care being provided to our health -- to our military personnel. i encourage members of both committees to get a copy.
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it is really very helpful. trend isobviously the so significant, and i appreciate your heartfelt statement earlier. can you help the subcommittees better understand the issues? i am trying to figure out how our most forward deployed ships are apparently not being held to the same standards as the rest of the fleet. who certifies the ships in japan? certification is done locally by the operational commanders in japan. it starts with the commanding officer of the ship that makes a request for waivers or to extend their certification. it goes to his direct in the chain of command, and that is worked out above his level with the one star, two star planner of the task force.
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could, when someone is expiring on certification, they are required to put a risk mitigation plan in place, and request the waiver. once the risk mitigation plan is approved in the chain of command, they are allowed to operate along those certifications. while the certifications are expired, there is a risk mitigation plan in place for each one of them. but to your point, and the point that the gao has thoughtfully put out here, the trend of the number we are asking for waivers is increasing at an alarming rate. one that gives us all pause for how hard we are driving the ews, and additional missions they are asked to perform are making it more difficult to get the ships and , which is the
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training group in japan, on the ship to do the certification at the right time before it expires. it is not an indication necessarily that they are not qualified to do those missions, nor those certifications. >> what is the role of the float training group? >> i will let my colleague address it. >> the float training group is sailors athe senior the senior enlisted level go out and are experts in each area that are specialties. those sailors that do that work for us generally need the time to go do that. these sailors will go out. there is a series for each one of those certifications. zero might be making sure the
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training is there, step one might be making sure the team can do the basic drill sets, to an assessment in phase four. if they do not meet all four of those phases, they do not get the certification. >> what would be their national skills in training? -- their professional skills in training? only after assigned demonstrated fleet performance. a quartermaster for navigation or an electrician for engineering. >> these are extraordinarily important people. are they fully staffed to perform their duties? >> the answer is they are not fully staffed. float training groups. the two together work together
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to help ships from both home ports meet the qualifications. we have put a lot of money in to buying the manpower and the people we need to get those. we have increased to 180. unfortunately, they are not manned to that level. they are missing about 30 to 40 boats on that team due to the fact it takes many years to generate me seven or a d8, that is an unlisted -- an e7 or an e8, that is an unlisted specialist. >> that have 22 areas of certification. if there is insufficient personnel with skills to determine the level of certification. in a perfect planning world, the answer is we would. if we had all the people we e we needed, we probably would.
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but they need to train in smaller periods. we need to send those valuators to different places. it is an inefficient model and further exacerbates the certification process. >> is it normal to have a single mission certification waived prior to deployment? >> we create this risk area mitigation plan, before a certification goes out of. he is so the -- before the certification goes out. piece of there is a equipment, sometimes it is an exercise that cannot get done, so those ramps need to be put in place for certification. they are put in place by the commander of the ship, and that is reviewed up the operational chain of command. >> is this the same standard used in norfolk?
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norfolk iserence in the ships coming from the east and west coast, they work together with an aircraft carrier, and the answer is no. they work a plan that gives a 36 month period to get those qualifications done, but it is a regimented piece. all the ships come out at the same time, they go into a training period for about six months, basic, intermediary, advanced, and they deployed, come back, and are prepared if needed, and they start the cycle again. that is the optimum placement plan. number of waivers being provided, when does it become dangerous for personnel to be serving on that particular ship? >> i think that is exactly one of the things we will look very closely at in the comprehensive review, because we have different models. japan are closer to the operational areas that we deploy ships to.
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the trade-off of where the operational risk is is something interestt commander's is today, and we are looking at a comprehensive review to make a change. >> who in the navy chain of command grants waivers? >> in a chain of command for a all area mitigation plan is those plans are approved by the surface force commander. they are the person at commander forces, and they reviewed those to ensure they do everything they can to make the ship meet what they can do, given the constraints of time or exercise or the equipment that is not available to help them achieve the certification. leadership aware of so many forward deployed ship beingfications he
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waived? >> him it is being looked at. i think this is an area we have to get to the bottom of. where is the right amount of risk, given our over focused on achieving the mission? >> thank you very much. we will refer to the ranking member, and of course, the american people are so appreciative of the very patriotic, dedicated citizens of that there -- michael american territory. >> thank you, mr. chairman. opportunityke this to thank the military for providing the great security that they did for guam during this exchange with north korea. thank you very much. it definitely is apparent that training and certification issues have in the building for years within the board -- the
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forward deployment fleet. i have this question for both admirals. i am concerned there is a critical deficiency in the feedback loop. are ship captains voicing their concerns regarding the readiness of their crews and the condition of their ships? that they are voicing those concerns, who is assuming that risk? and the you feel they have an adequate understanding of the and howey are assuming, that impacts the sailors that are forward deployed? >> it is a great question. thet of all, it is obligation of any commanding officer to voice concerns if they have them, with respect to the responsibility that they have, the obligation that they have to protect the safety and well-being of their crew. acos not unusual at all for to express their concerns --
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r a co to express their concerns. what i think is happening is we have allowed our standards of numbers of certifications to g --our standards to drop as certifications have grown. while not against the roles, they are below the standard we should accept. these are the kinds of things that the comprehensive review that admiral davidson will undertake to look at. where is the acceptable standards of the number of certifications, and how are those concerns by commanding officers being transmitted up the chain of command? and what are they doing in response? once the commanders' senior are ins the waiver, they
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a sense accepting that risk. they are allowing the ship to move with a greater number of waivers and a number of expired certifications. of our fleetility commanders and our commanders in the operational environment is twig up every day, assess the environment -- is to wake up every day, and assess the environment. i think we have a lot of learning to do on that front. >> thank you, admiral. what i would really like to know, are these captains or commanders ever coming to you with risks? or have they never said anything? that is what i would like to know. >> argues talking specifically fitzgerald and mccain? >> yes, or any ship for that matter. you never received any complaints? >> at our level, we would not necessarily receive from the
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commanding officer. there is a chain of command that runs to the surface force and then it would come to us if it was something where they needed additional resourcing they could not provide for themselves. >> i understand the protocol, but i wonder, are they doing it or are they avoiding some of these things? >> they are following the process. it requires the chain of command to get involved in the risk mitigation process, the steps to mitigate any certification that is about to expire. they are all taking on that risk with verying it specific steps that are outlined that they have to follow through on. >> do you have a list of some of these risks? >> i can give you an example of the type of mitigations that are in place. --i described, the chairman the steps may have four or five.
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they may need to go out for a seamanship they have achieved, and they get to the point where they meet something. moor to a buoy, for example. they do not certify and they say, the risk of that certification probably isn't an issue and will be addressed operationally by the commander. your question about when they will tell us, we train them to do that. ,e go through a lot of workups where we have to ensure that they will tell leadership when they don't feel they can meet the demand. that is what we train them to do. if they are going to do an operational mission, our sailors are conflicted because they want to do that mission. the question is, is do they feel
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it? do they want to do that mission? that is something the comprehensive review will get to. place thatsystems in accurately measured the risk and theently, operational fleet commander ensures that due diligence has been done for the level of risk at the level of operation they will be doing? >> thank you. if maintenance and training and all this is lacking, the commanders or the ofs these ships should be letting everyone know about it. is,other question i have growal moran, the need to the size of the fleet has been a point raised when we talk about navy readiness. however, their proposal to grow the 355 ships would take decades to be realized, which means we
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have to make do with the size of the fleet we have in the near term. with that in mind, what near midterm measures are being considered with respect to how we attain the ships we have today in order to rebuild and sustain readiness? how will the navy prioritize cases, turn in some down a missions so we do not put sailors at risk by running the fleet ragged without being properly maintained? >> that is a key question for admirable -- for admiral davidson's team, to assess how operational tempo in places like japan, bahrain where we --e deployed forces reduces reaches the point where we cannot do the maintenance and training and have an appropriate amount of time left to do the operations. forward deployed forces like in japan, the training is done
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while you are at sea operating on deployment, for the most part. that is not dedicated time, as the gao pointed out, like we have back here. that is an issue that both have raised. it is a serious point we have to study to make sure that when we , we have model sufficient time to do those things. ie size of the forces, testified last february and march, does matter. oleness of the force matters just as much, because you can have a large force that is not whole, and you will run into these problems. if maintenance takes longer, it disrupts the schedule. if the training is disrupted, you end up in these places you described, with expired certifications, and so on and so
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forth. you have to look at this model from the ground up, but we also recognize part of the reason why we have forces is because we have four times the presence with those forces than if we would if we had them all in conus. the fact that we have one equalr gives us a roughly to 16 carriers. that is a big difference, having four destroyers in spain a principal reason we wanted to put those forces forward, was to get more out of those ships and not have to rotate as many components to do those missions. all of those things culminate with this notion that we are not big enough to do everything we are being tasked to do, and our culture is, we are going to get
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it done, because that is what the navy is all about. sometimes, our culture works against us. i think we ask the sailors to do an awful lot, to your earlier point, and perhaps we have asked them to do too much, and that is what the comprehensive review will look at. >> i have one quick final question for any of you. would you say that sequestration might have had something to do with the lack of maintenance in the training and so forth? the funding not being there? >> i am on record that that is at the was the -- that that is absolutely the case. we are about to hit another continuing resolution. those budget uncertainties drive uncertainty into schedules, drive uncertainty into maintenance. our private yards, our public yards, this is an issue across the board. we coulduseful thing
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have out of congress right now in terms of addressing a lot of our readiness concerns is stability in the budget. >> thank you, and i am looking forward to the report. i had a nice conversation with rachel before the hearing today. she is one brave woman. thank you, rachel, for being here with us, and i yield back. >> we now proceed to chairman rob wittman. >> thank you for coming before us today. thanks for your service, and your candor and frankness. it is critical for us to get to the bottom of this. mr. pendleton, i want to get to you. in terms of the material and training readiness of our home ships quartered in japan, versus ships home ported in the united states, is there a readiness -- a form of readiness in which one group of ships are more ready than others? >> the information in the report
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we were not able to update shows trends -- the navy calls them equipment casualties, broken stuff -- had basically been upward for both u.s. based and overseas-based ships. casualtybased ships reports were -- again, that is equipment -- was more steeply upward. but we were not able to update that trend line since then, so i cannot answer since 2014, when our data ended. >> but the recent data, the lower state of readiness overseas? >> we saw a more steep increase in breakdowns are the overseas ships. >> admiral, do you agree? >> i do. -- i think this speaks to what you raised earlier, in -- if we are not
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rotating those ships back, the older they get, the more care they will need area that may be what we aren of looking at in the comprehensive review, are these extended periods having a detrimental effect on their material position -- condition. japanintenance force in have enough capacity to deal with the increased numbers we put in in the last three years? order toing up, in maintain overseas presence, will the navy increase or decrease el deployed forces japan and sewhere? a i think we have all taken path for the right reasons, to find out whether our plan is the right plan. we look forward to admiral davidson's report in 60 days, to let us know whether we need to make adjustments to that plan. >> was the plan prior to this to
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increase or decrease in the future? >> we just completed the third ship added to the force, and so i am not aware of additional ones this year or next year. >> strategically, we bring in lcs and rotate them to increase the presence, but that is with the existing strategic plan. we will look at that as part of this review. double edgedt is a sword. we know it is harder to maintain, but we need to ships to be there, given the number of ships we have. from a financial perspective, is it more cost-effective to homeport ships in the united states or to forward deployed those ships? >> hard question to answer. if you look at it on the margins, it is marginally more expensive to have them overseas. i would caution against the role
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of thumb, not to differ with the admiral, because i have heard about four times more presence, that is true from a structure standpoint. but that is mainly because of the way they are deployed. basedially, the u.s. mmodel -- model has been going out every seven months out of 36. there is a graph in the report to describe this. it is difficult to quantify the impact of that. >> thank you. admiral moran, do you agree if we had more ships in our fleet, we could spread the workflow -- workload more easily? we would not be pushed up against the demands and stresses are you have when ships deployed for more than the planned number of years, extended maintenance periods?
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let me put it into perspective. 1980's,go back to the when we had a navy of 600 chips, 100 shipswe have forward deployed. gimme your perspective about the size of the pulley in relation to where we are today -- give me your perspective about the size of the fleet. >> that math is pretty hard to argue with. had thishave discussion, we can argue over the factors. it is four times or three times, but the fact is that even with those ships, they are a lot closer to where we might have to fight my being there. put is a value you cannot any times on.
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to oursage that sends allies and partners in the region is vitally important. i think you made the point about if we are still operating 100 chips to play today at a force smaller40 plus percent than in the 1980's, it is going to be a bigger stressor. yes, i agree with you. >> mr. whitman, may i add? great point.akes a it is important to emphasize that the navy response to the demands. they are being asked by the commanders and the department of defense to fulfill those commands. it is important to make that distinction. >> let me ask this. in order to get ships ready to deploy, you spoke earlier about material do for readiness, and going to other ships to cannibalize parts to
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get ready. is cannibalization a systemic problem with surface ships, and is the root cause a sufficient reason to be cured -- to procure to keep up with routine maintenance or expected problems with wearing of parts and systems? the cannibalization of parts on ships is something we try to avoid. but there are a lot of reasons why we do it. sometimes it is the availability of the part. even when we have the money for the part, we have had a lot of money restored in the last years , but it takes time to buy that part. some of these are made by unique vendors, so there is pent up readiness out there. contracting time to do those things. we are seeing some
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cannibalization increases. we are also seeing an increase in the c2, c3. an attention getter. c3 means there's a reason we to immediately. material readiness is degrading and we need to bring it to the leaders' attention. in other places where we are having a difficult time getting repaired because of demand, the commanders are trying to boost the priority of their jobs to get them in, because it is the best way they know how. that is a signal back to us that lets us know, we need to get something right, because we want the reporting to be accurate, but we don't -- we challenge commanding officers to tell us when things are wrong. but if they are doing it because it is the only way they can get the response, that is another issue. this goes to the demand that we have in srf, the ship repairing
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facility, which is probably the more significant example. >> i yield back. >> thank you. we proceed to ranking member joe courtney. >> thank you. one thing that might be helpful for some of us, walk-through the investigation and reporting process is going 60look like over the next 90 to120 days -- 60 to 120 days. >> with any mishap, we stand up -- we send up an investigative team. with these two collisions, we put a dual purpose investigation together that includes the normal safety investigation. those are privileged investigations. we do not share that information publicly, so we can protect folks from being very open with
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us and giving us as much information as possible to determine the root cause. are stoodstigations up immediately by the convening authority. the convening authority for the fitzgerald was the commander of the seventh fleet. the commanding authority for the wasin was admirable -- admiral swift because of the other investigation going on, and because we relieved the seventh fleet commander in the interim. those investigative officers are both flag officers. they take a team to the site to where the collision occurred, or in this case, where both ships were brought back to a pier. and they go through every aspect of an investigation. there is a checklist of things you do. we added cyber to that checklist because of obvious concerns with the fact that everything we operate has a cyber component to
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it. networks, gear, radios, everything area we want to make sure we understand -- we want to eliminate that as a potential causal factor to a mishap. those investigations can take a week, 2, 3 weeks, and the report is passed on to the convening authority. the investigation is not complete at that point. the convening authority gets to endorse the report, ask additional questions, though review the following things. z.m not satisfied with x, y, and they have to go back and provide an addendum to the report. when the commander of the seventh fleet is done with his endorsement, it gets passed on. in the case of the fitzgerald, that is where the current report resides. he then has the responsibility to look at the report for
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findingsess, and any he is unsatisfied with and wants further investigation, he can direct that endorsement. ultimately, it comes to me, full of those investigations. a lot of people think that once the investigating officer has submitted a report, it is done and we should share that information. while i appreciate the opportunity to explain that the endorsement process is still part of the investigation, because we can ask for additional investigations. tactical, whaty happened to that ship? what caused that incident? the comprehensive review, that is to look at the man training and equipment across the force, with a specific focus on japan because of these mishaps that have occurred in the last year out there to look for things like career path management, are we doing the right training, is
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the model for how we deployed forces the right model? is the maintenance model the right model? secretary level, the is doing a strategic readiness review where he is going across the department at things that are policy related, resourcing related. do we need more guidance? it will be a nice complement to the comprehensive review, because it will look above where admirable -- where admiral davidson is looking. if it gives a tactical understanding of what occurred, why it occurred, and what we will do to fix those issues. does that help? >> yes, thank you. it is important for the family's to understand the steps, and i am sure the committees will be following it in terms of asking questions. in your written testimony, which
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i know you summarized, and we appreciate that, but you made a very powerful statement -- no matter how tough are operating environment or housetrained our budget, we cannot be colliding the other ships. this is not about resourcing, it is about safety and leadership. back to the process we are in right now, that is what the 60 day comprehensive report is aimed at, in terms of why is this a recurring event in this particular area of the world. is that right? >> yes, sir. but i would also complement gao, because they offer a nice blueprint for some of the things we need to look at in terms of trends. what are those macro trends, what do they imply - about force readiness across the fleet? we will get at some of those as well inside a conference of review.
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, dos -- a key part of it is we have the right training in place for our commanding officers? enough of whatg they should have to operate in waters that have been highly -- have become highly congested and contested in that region? it is a lot busier than it was eight years ago. that, the review training, the career path for our officers, our junior officers. we need to understand that we have the right manning models. it is called out in the report about how we established the work week and how we respond to manning profiles in those ships. >> it follows up with what gao was asking for. wondering,e i was what do you think in terms of this statement? it is about leadership at sea, but also a sure as well, in
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as well,also on shore in terms of how decisions are being made. going back to the report, which i assume the witnesses are familiar with, that was a key had,que that the admiral that the lines are blurred in terms of dealing with the issues we are talking about today. we are trying to figure out who decides, when you have the certification issues that mr. pendleton described, who calls timeout and says no? as persistent as the combatant commanders requests are, where does it reach the point where is just not that going to be deployed because it is not safe or ready? i assume that is also part of the comprehensive review. >> i believe the secretary will look at that and the strategic
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review as well, for organizational c2, command and control. who is responsible for readiness training equipment and operational demand in the pacific fleet, and how does that get balanced against a larger fleet that admiral davidson is managing? >> even today, i am a little confused about who is the decision maker. is it the operational commander, or the forces commander? thatnk admiral blau nailed pretty well in terms of being an issue that has got to be cleaned up. mr. pendleton, you described the trend of the increasing lack of certifications, which was a topline in terms of the number of ships out there. can you give us some more specific information regarding regarding the fitzgerald and the mccain?
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they did have missing certifications, as did most ships. i would like to talk about the key warfare missionaries, and give the admirals a chance to comment on the specific ships in the ongoing investigations. i mentioned earlier that eight of 11 seamenships were expired. there were others that had fairly significant expirations. seven of 11 ships for fire underwater 811 for support. were several months overdue. when we look at the basic certifications, the things you have to do to make -- keep track of maintenance, communication, those were better. they were not great. it seemed that
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seamanship stood out as a problem area. into the warfare mission areas, i presume those are more complicated certifications to obtain, honestly. i haven't been able to talk to them about it. those had higher percentage of ships that had expired certifications. >> thank you. again, i am sure the -- my question is going to be asked at some point in this process. >> yes. >> frankly, it's a question that needs to be fleshed out. >> yes, sir. >> thank you. yield back. >> thank you, ranking member courtney. truly an indication of how important this hearing is. our love and affection for the 17 sailors that we have lost and others who were injured. we'vebeen joined today and now turn to the full chairman of the armed services committee, mike thornberry. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you all for being here. i just want to say i really appreciate the work of gao as
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well as the work of these committee members and our staff on these issues. the leadership of the department in the last administrationdenied -- administration denied we had a readiness problem. they said we were justmaking it up. and i appreciate the persistence, members on both sides of the aisle, in getting the facts. certainly gao has helped with that. admiral moran, i very much appreciate you and admiral richardson's commitment to get to the bottom of this matter. i looked a little earlier at your testimony from earlier in the year, and you highlighted the stresses and strains on the force that, based on the operational tempo, et cetera. you also testified that you thought that the deployed fleet was in pretty good shape, the ships here in the united states were really suffering. based on what you know today, would you revise that assessment?
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>> mr. chairman, so i promised i would be frank and i will be. i personally made the assumption -- have made the assumption for many years that our forward deployed naval force in japan was the most efficient, most well trained force we had because they're operating all the time. i made the assumption. it was a wrong assumption in hindsight. so, obviously at this point i would tell you that what we have sent from conus to deploy, i would maintain my position in the hearing last february. clearly, because the models are different, and because the strain on the force in japan is so evident to us today, we're going to have to get after that question. i don't know precisely. and i -- you know,i am also very anxious to remind the committee
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that -- the committees, that we have to get to the root cause of both mishaps before we can make a determination. but the trends that the gao has pointed out, the trends that we are seeing inour reporting stats, are concerning. they do demonstrate a fraying of the readiness on the edges that we need to address. >> yeah. i would just comment. i don't think we can look at this too narrowly. this is looking at the surface fleet, but we know we cannibalize submarines, we have these problems in a variety of other -- other services have it too, by the way. which is a more widespread problem. we talk about the stresses and strains on the people. how come the navy has not asked for more people? increase instream? >> manpower, as you know. three years as a chief of naval personnel. i have dealt a lot with manpower issues.
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it requires you to project two years ahead to know if you're getting the right numbers. i don't want to bring this back to uncertainty in budgeting and resourcing, but it impacts our ability to assess the right number of people when we can't predict or project that we're going to be in two years. so it has an impact. we are always trying to catch up with manpower. i think that's part of what admiral boxall described. in the training group, we bought the billets. it takes time to fill them because it takes time to find the experienced folks to operate them and understand the challenges in building and attaining certifications. so manpower is a bit more challenging to get precise. and, as you know well, manpower also costs an extraordinary amount of money so we're always trying to dial it right.
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we are not getting it exactly right but we're doing the best we can with the inability to project precisely where we would like to be in two years. >> if you're going to be frank, you have to be frank with us and tell us where we complicate your lives. with crs and the budget control act. you did that earlier. and i appreciate it. don't hesitate to say where we're deficient. let me ask this. it goes right back to something mr. courtney was talking about. seems to me the hard issue is -- and you talked about it for a commander and a ship saying, ok, i've got these problems. i have to ask for a waiver. i have a risk mitigation plan. you and mr. courtney talked about it a little bigger. but what i -- what's going through my mind is when do you
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and admiral richardson basically say to the secretary of defense or the president, we cannot do what you expect us to do? and to us. >> you said earlier the culture works against us. it's true in every service. you salute and say, you give us a mission, we'll do it. i don't know. if you have any comments on this. what's going through my mind is, when does a service chief or vice chief say, we cannot do what you expect us to do with what you have given us? >> sir. there is one very good example of where we have done that in the past few years. you will recall where we got carrier presence in the gulf, for several months. we have done that twice. and that was a recognition that we were going to overstress the force and were not able -- we were concerned about sticking to our plan in optimized fleet response plan which was seven-month deployment. we wanted to get there and we wanted to maintain that.
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the world gets a vote. a lot of pressure came up. we argued why we thought we needed to stick to those deployments. the joint force accepted those gaps. it was painful. it was a difficult message to send to the region. it was necessary to be able to continue to try to reset the navy. >> we're going to stay after this. i yield back. >> thank you mr. thornberry. we proceed to congresswoman susan davis of california. >> thank you. i thank all the chairs up here today who have provided a lot of will good leadership of walking us through these issues. thank you to all of you for being here. rachel eckels. thank you for being here on behalf of 17 shattered navy families who are grieving today. we appreciate that. and helps us to think about your son as well.
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i know that we have been talking a lot about all the problems that have been encountered, how tragic they are. one of the things i wanted to ask quickly was really about the heroism that was demonstrated on the ships as well. and i know, in having read almost that minute by minute account of what happened on the fitzgerald that there were specifically two sailors who were mentioned repeatedly for their heroism. are they up for awards? have those been submitted for recognition? what are we doing to really acknowledge the heroism as well. >> i appreciate you asking that question. there is a difference between heroic and valorous. people are often confused by that. and you are not. i appreciate the fact that the question revolves around our sailors who operated that night,
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some who lost their lives, who gave their lives for others. it is --it is the command's responsibility to initiate the recommendation for awards, in any circumstance. so, as you might imagine, right now their focus might be elsewhere. we will get to those. and when they come forward, we'll do the appropriate recognition that comes from those recommendations. in addition to that, though, i think you also know that we posthumously advanced all 17 sailors to the next pay grade. in recognition of who they could have been. so, thank you for the question. >> sure. thank you. him andthank you. i wonder as well, we have been talking about whether or not the forward deployed model is sustainable. and the fact that it is used so much. i wonder, as your -- have looked at a whole host of different areas, if you are feeling comfortable yet kind of ordering
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those in terms of priority. is it the training for sure that has to be different? one of the things that i -- we recall reading with this is, i guess at one time it sounds like the initial training, sort of the foundational training, if you will, was much longer. and so that our sailors really, you know, were intimate in many ways with the apparatus, with everything that they are asked to do differently. and i -- maybe you can speak to that. people who know how to build computers obviously can respond to the needs of a computer a lot faster than those of us who just, you know, use it to get our job done. and so, is that true? is there a real difference inthe
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-- in the time that's spent helping to familiarize our sailors with the ship, with what they work with? and on the other hand, then, it's driving under -- under, you know, sub -- sub, you know, decent conditions that they also have to be aware of. >> yes, ma'am. >> where does that fit? >> as we look -- we are continually modifying our training methodologies, new technologies. i since you heard since the report we had taken a lot of our initial training away for our new commissioned officers. we used to have, up at service warfare officer school in newport a very long 16-week course. since that time we've restored 15 of the 16 weeks in
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either predivision officer training when they first graduate and another five, six-week period afterwards. we have restored a lot of that. we have got a lot of the same pqs -- personnel qualification standards that we require every person on every ship to go through. i believe we should be open to looking at all this as part of the comprehensive review. admiral davidson is a surface warfare officer himself. we have focused on handling. we want to handle them close to a pier, where we need to be. we put a lot of money and time into bridge resource management. the team piece. the combat and bridge team working together. going forward we'll look and say, do we need to do more of that type training, individual training. i don't know the right answer yet. i am open to the fact that we may have it wrong. >> all right. thank you, i believe my time is up. >> thank you. we now proceed to congressman
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duncan hunter of california. >> thank you to the chairman and ranking members for having the hearing. gentlemen, thank you for being here and your service. i'll get down to brass tacks quickly. you had seven bmd ships forward deployed. you lost two. what are you going to do in the meantime for the -- for those two? what's going to fill the gap while they are getting repaired? >> admiral swift has moved ship deployments and ships around within pacific fleet, which is our largest contingent of naval power. i can't talk about who and what and when, for obvious reasons. he has what he needs to replace the bmd capability that he thinks he needs to have at this crucial stage. >> we know you had seven. seven minus two equals five. are you planning on going back to seven?
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>> are we replacing the capability we need to do the operations we have been tasked to. the answer is yes. >> are you going back to seven ships. >> the seven ships will be -- yes, sir. we'll stay with seven ships. >> ok. you'll have seven ships there. >> seven ships, some are in maintenance and some are -- they're not always all at sea. so we're able to move some of those around to accommodate admiral swift's demand signal. >> you'll be replacing those two ships -- you'll be replacing the capability of those two ships. you'll have the same capability you had beforehand. >> yes. >> how long does that take, until that capability gap is filled? >> i don't have a specific date. i can get back to you on that. >> next, i have been seeing some articles that said that surface warfare officer training was canceled. i haven't gotten to the veracity
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of this. it used to be a six or seven-month slow school. there is not. now it's dvds and on-the-job training. is that correct or no? >> it is true at one point. back in 2003 we initiated what we call computer based training. that lasted about five years. six years. and then it was -- it was removed as a bad idea. for all the reasons, it still sounds like a bad idea. >> we have a virtual trainer in san diego for one of the lcs variants i went to four or five years ago. it's like basically being in a -- like an f-35 trainer but it's the ocean, and the whole bridge. is that what you call computer training? >> absolutely not. the computer-based training i am speaking of -- think powerpoints on the cd. that's what was given to them because we took away the school. we said go to the ships. do all your training there. as i mentioned to miss davis we've restored almost all of that timing. we do it in the fleet
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concentration centers instead of in newport right now at the division officer level and all other training is similar. you bring up a great point. our training for lcs that we do in san diego and mayport we'll be doing -- is the best there exists that i have seen in surface warfare. i believe we'll look forward to, as part of this review, looking at where we can better use -- and we already do use -- >> let me interject. there are two things. one is called the immersive virtual ship environment, right. that's the lcs trainer that we were -- where you're on the actual barrage. there is alive virtual constructive training which is like an xbox game. you can have the ship blow up in places and do things and see the outcomes and effect the outcomes with an xbox controller. my point is, after you say it's great, the navy has only fulfilled 40% of that contract. that's a semi parochial thing because it's in san diego. i would think you would
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have these virtual trainers for every bridge and deck because they're so inexpensive. so much easier to train the guys and have them fall in immediately as opposed to on the job training. >> we use it for advanced training when we integrate ships, submarines -- we don't want to know if it's live or not. for the specific technologies, we already have that in other areas, not just lcs. i do believe that we are getting some economy with it in that we are getting better quality fidelity training and are doing it at a better price. if you go back and look at the folks -- the same trainers that criticized computer based training, the same types of folks who are leading this other virtual training that we are doing, are like, this is the best of both worlds. very happy with that. >> i appreciate that. one last thing. i think we -- max said -- the chairman said he didn't want to
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get too narrow on this. i think there are a lot of things we're blaming from forward deployed model. fleet size, maintenance schedule. this wasn't a complex -- like a suppression of enemy air defense or something crazy. these are ships hitting other ships and running aground. it's easy to obfuscate and say there are all these other problems but not seeing the ship with your binoculars out the window. >> now to don norcross of new jersey. >> thank you, chairman. and very humbling day, when we go to review something like this. but, having been on a job three
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times in my lifetime when somebody was killed, it immediately took me back to the thoughts that people -- that i worked with, immediately reviewed what it is that they are doing and how can they prevent something from happening. so there was the first collision with the fishing trawler. then there was the fitzgerald when seven people were killed. and i would think that every commanding officer on every ship would immediately look to see how they are performing so it didn't happen to them. and then the mccain happened. so i ask you, what's preventing the next one from happening? what is being done different today that was being done different from before the mccain accident and before the fitzgerald? >> sir, it's a very appropriate
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question that, as you -- i think you are aware, we conducted an operational pause around the entire fleet. >> mm-hmm. >> sudden operational pause is not something we take lightly. this happens in every region on the globe where we've got ships operating. and those that tied up at the pier back home. it's an opportunity for commanding officers to do just what you said, to also review what they -- lessons learned from other similar mishaps so that we give them a chance to decide is our training where we need it to be, are our standards as high as they should be. what do we need to do as a team to operate better as a team. because driving ships around is incredibly team oriented. and that's one of the things we are looking closely at, at both of these investigations. >> the pause happened after the mccain, correct? >> yes, it did.
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>> why didn't that happen after the first collision? second collision. >> sir, it should have. >> as individual cos on the ships, wouldn't they go through a self-evaluation almost immediately to say, what am i doing and how do i prevent before somebody has to tell me that? >> absolutely. >> do you know if that happened on the mccain? >> i do not know exactly. we are waiting on the results of the operational pause. we asked every fleet commander to provide input back on what did they learn from that operational pause. talked about these things, who -- who actually took some action, what kind of additional training. the commander of surface warfare sent out additional types of training for every commanding officer to use in that, with their respective crews. but i do not have a list for you. i am not sure if admiral boxall does. >> no. >> we'll get you one when we have it. >> finally, what is happening today differently other than the operational pause?
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is there anything during the operation that you have sent out to all the commanders to say you need to do this immediately? >> yes, sir. so admiral swift has already initiated several steps, several actions. to include a zero based review of the material condition of every ship in fdnf to find out where they have issues both in the physical plant but also perhaps with training and certification. they're going to zero base certifications and make sure all of those get recertified across the force in fdnf and then expand it into the entire pac fleet. he is doing a zero-based review of the atg manning. float training group. that's the group that goes out to the ships as an independent team to look at whether that crew is operating to our standards. and so he is going to probably ask for more resources for all of those things. >> has any of this immediate review, in turn, caused any ship
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to be returned home? or to cease operating because they were in such violation? >> not to my knowledge. >> thank you. i yield back my time. >> thank you very much, congressman norcross. now to congresswoman vicky housler. >> i, like many others here, heard the news of the first accident, and i was just -- i couldn't believe it. how can this happen. then to have it happen a second time, it's both disheartening and disturbing at the same time. and i wanted to follow up with some of the things -- line of questioning of my colleague mr. norcross and ask, what are we doing now. one thing you said, we knew there was a pause. but did you say you haven't
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gotten the results of the pause yet, where we had the "uss fitzgerald" in june had the accident. you haven't received that yet? >> the operational pause, ma'am, was taken after the mccain, not after fitzgerald. >> ok. but you haven't received those results? >> no, ma'am. not all of them. >> i want to talk about the number of hours. mr. pendleton, you touched on that. how much are sailors expected to work right now? is over 100 hours out of line for that? how do you think the navy should address this? >> i will defer to the admirals to talk about how much they're working now. in 2014 a naval internal study indicated the average was working 108 hours a week. they had 60 off. that's about 15 and a half hours a day. the standard work week, which is founded on a 70-hour base work week and ultimately when they
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add other duties is 81, it's fairly grueling in and of itself. if the navy was to the standard it has, the sailor would have 81 hours off and roughly -- excuse me, 81 hours on and 87 off. just over 11 hours a day is what is sort of programmed in. >> admiral moran, is that something you all are striving to get to? those type of numbers? >> we are examining that. we have an organization in tennessee that is used to go look at all sea duty to determine what the right work week levels ought to be. we have done this for decades. we have been pretty consistent with it. but i think, based on the trend lines we are seeing in fdnf that we referred to earlier it's time to look at whether the maintenance backload the workload going on in japan today
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by sailors on the waterfront is reaching a point where that work week needs to be modified. >> what about -- when i first heard about this, i had the thought that maybe it was cyber. now, i have read some reports saying that perhaps that has been ruled out. but you did mention that you have been in this study and in the review they'll make sure it's eliminated. what can you tell us about that? how do you go about eliminating that somebody took over your systems? >> it's relatively new ground for us. this is the first time we have sent a team from our cyber command here in washington, commander of tenth fleet. sent a team over there to pull as much data from that ship as possible that records data, to see if there were any interruptions or disruptions that were abnormal. i would also offer to you that just about everythree-letter agency in washington, d.c., has
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looked to see if there were indications of an intent or a potential acknowledgement of a cyber attack. we have seen -- i have personally not seen any evidence of that. but we are not stopping there. the team is in place in singapore today. has been for several days. capturing all of the computer and network information to see if they can find any abnormalities or disruptions. >> i am glad to hear that. in some ways it would be easier if you could blame somebody else. rather than taking a hard look at maybe it's just that we need more training and it's our own policies and procedures that need to be addressed. the last thing is that, you know, i take very serious, as all the other fellow members, of appointing our young men and women to your service academies. the naval academy is exemplary. it's always a sobering and inspiring as well event when i have the parents and young men and women come who are going to have this opportunity. it's sobering to the fact that i look into the eyes of those parents and while they're very proud, many times i see a little
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bit of fear in the back too. what's going to happen to my son or daughter? this is a tough question, but admiral. on a scale of one to ten with ten being 100% confident that when we send this young man or woman out to sea that they'll have the resources they need to come home safe not from an enemy but from our own equipment and readiness. how confident are you that you would tell me so i can go home to my parents and look them in the eye and say, they're going to be ok? >> tough question to answer. how i will answer it is that i have incredible confidence in this team to learn from this and to get it right. i would share that with any person who has a son or daughter who is considering the naval academy or enlisted in the service. we are not perfect. but we need to strive to be that. and that's part of what this review is all about. to make sure we understand what went wrong and fix those things
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to the best of our ability, to regain the confidence of not only our parents and their families but our sailors as well. >> absolutely. they deserve that. we all stand ready to partner with you to do whatever we need to do to get this right so our sailors come home safe. thank you. >> thank you congress dmwoman. -- thank you, congresswoman. we proceed to congresswoman senabusa. >> thank you. admiral moran, one of the things that you said is troubling to me. as you know, the gao report in 2015 had a certification -- looked at about 22 areas. 11 were found to be, i guess, 22
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-- i guess, expired. and the onethat seems to be appropriate for what happened is the mobility seamen ship where eight certification out of 11 has expired for73%. -- has expired for 73%. what i'm curious about is we have to look at these two collisions and they are really with commercial vessels, large commercial vessels. the tanker for mccain and then of course the container ship for the fitzgerald. i'm curious as to whether part of the training that they receive, and you said it yourself in your testimony, it is very congested in these areas there were two years ago, just the amount of traffic. and we all know the asia pacific area has just grown and the amount of commercial traffic we're dealing with is different and it is sort of the tension between commercial plus military, and i'm pretty sure
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our ships don't go out and advertise that they're going out. so what is it that is done in terms of the training of our sailors as to how to prepare when they're -- you know, it's not whether you can aim the missile correctly or anything like that, this is different. this is just being like on the freeway. how are yougoing to manage that? -- you going to manage that? is that something that we have sort of overlooked? we're so busy training them on cyber security and radar and everything else that we miss the fundamental type of issues like how to navigate. >> we're asking the same question and i know the admiral is going to look very hard at the on this upcoming review. we have moved from a country road to 395 going south right
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now in places like the singapore straits and the red sea andother -- and other areas where we need to be as a navy. but it is -- i'd offer maybe the admiral could comment on that as well. >> absolutely. the regions has gotten much more difficult to navigate. there is no question. but to your point of we ought to be able to be there all the time. we have -- to your question on the certification specifically, there is two certifications that i think come most to mind when you look at our ability to safely navigate. one is mob-n, mobile navigation and the second is mobility seamanship. that looks at mostly deck evolutions, how do you tie up the ship? use boats and things like that. the navigation one is absolutely critical. most of those are done first when the ships come out.
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we have a concept now that focuses on those skill sets and he will let you know that the tier one are less expired than the tier two war fighting. we probably need to look more closely. there might be a tier zero, ones that never go out and these are the types of things that we need to look more closely. i have been in those waters, but i have done it off the singapore strait and i'm shocked at the difference between those two worlds. so we are preparing for alot of other missions, but if nothing else reminds us of our absolute imperative to get mariner's skills right, we are committed 100% to doing that and we will whatever it takes and admiral davidson will make that a part of his investigation. >> i guess i'm almost out of time, but how do you prepare for that? it's like learning how to drive, right? you have to be on the road and
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learning how to do that. there is no replacement forthat. -- replacement for that. so is there an idea how you are going to train your sailors to do that? >> absolutely. my teen driver next month will be able to drive anywhere in the state, not according to his dad. there is the same type of process. we have to give them the right tools and someone has to ensure that they meet a standard, not just that officer but the team to keep that team safe. it is not just that radar operator. it is not just the look-out or the person driving the ship. it is the team, the ability to keep situational awareness and keep that ship out of danger. we owe nothing else to those sailors. >> thank you. i yield back. >> and thank you, congresswoman. we now proceed to congressman bradley burn of alabama. >> i was listening to you, admiral, about the difficulties presented to you when we pass a continuum resolution.
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last july, july of this year, the house of representatives anappropriations bill. of representatives passed an appropriations bill. last year in the appropriations bill, we appropriated -- the navy asked an increase this year and we plussed it up another $500 million above your request. so the house of representatives appropriated the money for fiscal year '18 that you need for your readiness. the response we've gotten back today from the united states senate is a 90 day continuing resolution. let me read from your prepared testimony and ask you to respond to that in light of
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your statement. funding at prior year levels through a continuing resolution, not only disrupts the gains, it begins to reburst them. are you telling us that a continuing resolution actually reverses the gains you are attempting to make in readiness for the united states navy? >> what i mean by that, congressman, is that when we cannot put ships on contract and we are on a recovery path and we no longer can stay on that recovery path, we're reverting back to a different plan, a different ramp. >> but that's as a result of a continuing resolution as opposed to actually appropriating? >> yes, sir. that's correct. >> so explain in a little more detail exactly how does a continuing resolution disrupt that or reverse it? what is it in your process that causes that? >> well, if you can't put in avoil that you have told the yard they are going to get on contract because there is the
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limits of our continuing resolution rules do not allow us to put those new contracts in place until we have a budget, then that yard has got to do something with its workforce. and when we do get the money and go back to contract in the next quarter, it's going to be less effort and more expensive because they have had to make adjustments and had to work around. they maybe had to let people go and hire them back. >> so those are some of the impacts in disrupting the yards that are trying their hardest to help the navy get better in terms of eating away at that mountain of backlog maintenance that we all know is out there and they have done a terrific job over the last year. and thanks to congress's support in the raa in '17, wewere able to put $1.6 billion immediately on contract to bring avails back into '17, which we were planning
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now to have to defer into '18 only to have them deferred again. that's the disruption i was talking about. he's the guy that pays the money when you appropriate it, so it's important. >> we appreciate what you both do. let me go back to the administration's request for fiscal year '18. the administration asked a construction of nine new ships for fiscal year '18 and the house passed earlier this summer, authorized a construction in our appropriations bill followed this, the construction of 13 ships. so i think listening to your prior answers to mr. whitman's questions, i think you would agree with me it is better for us to be finding the money to buy those extra ships than to stick with what was the original request was. >> i would agree we need a larger navy, sir. >> yes. but to get there, we have to spend more money. >> yes, sir, because the trade-offs we're having to make i think are pretty apparent and most of those trade-offs include readiness and manpower.
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when you buy ships or prioritize ships, those are the trade-offs you have to make inside a limited control on your top line. >> there was a lot of talk about what is your responsibility on all this. congress bears a responsibility in all this. if these accidents tell us anything, it is that we can't wait to build up our fleet. we need to start now. and, so, i was proud to vote for that appropriations bill and our authorization bill earlier this year. i'm disappointed the senate has chosen to send this continuing resolution instead of make an appropriations bill, but i believe you can count on the members of this committee continuing to do everything we can to provide you with everything you need not only to defend america but to keep our sailors safe in doing so. thank you.
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i yield back. >> we now proceed to congressman anthony brown of maryland. >> i, too, believe that congress has a responsibility to fully resource our armed services. in fact, i'll go so far as to adopt and associate myself with the general's comments and i paraphrase that continuing resolutions and i'll add sequestration is comparable to legislative malpractice. i want to thank you for acknowledging and mr. courtney pointed out and i'm reading from your statement this is not about resourcing. it is about safety and leadership at sea. something is wrong. in a few months, two cruisers, two destroyers, 17 lives. i represent the fourth congressional district in maryland. three of those 17 young men were marylanders. one of whose mother was here today. something is definitely wrong.
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in my nine monthsas a member of my nine months as a member of the house of armed services committee, i think ihave lost count at the number of times that senior leaders from all services have come to this committee and said that we are ready to fight tonight. i don't think that these collisions are consistent with that claim. and regardless of the tempo or the resource constraints. whether you have a 250 or 300 ship fleet, whether the defense budget is $550 or $650 billion, we all have a responsibility.
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and yours is to manage those resources in a way where readiness is not exclusive or mutually exclusive with safety. i thank you for your leadership, and i understand and i acknowledge that you get that. so here is my question. and it's been touched on earlier. admiral moran, in your written testimony, you identified cyber security afloat and ashore as a significant readiness short fall that was helped by the fiscal year '17 additional appropriations. so that's good. you have identified it as a short fall. you came to congress and congress helped. can you elaborate on the progress that the navy has made to improve cyber security on our deployed naval forces and are the cruisers and destroyers and their control systems currently equipped to defeat cyber threats?
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>> congressman, i would appreciate an opportunity to come and bring that to you in a more classified setting. it deserves that kind of detail. otherwise, i'm just going to gloss over it here and it won't be satisfying. >> and i approach quite that and i would hope that we can do that because, look, i was on the uss nimitz four or five months ago. there is a lot of floating technology. there is a lot of networking, ship to ship, ship to air, ship to shore. it's not a floating city. it is a floating state. tremendous technological assets. and the first thing that came to my mind when i read about the first incident of two large vessels colliding with one other is how does that happen. and i think as my colleague from california said, you know, sure, we talked about certification and training and maintenance. we're talking about men and women on a bridge with equipment
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and technology on the open seas. how does that happen? i would like to have a better understanding of the cyber vulnerabilities, our defense, our security when it comes to our floating, you know, vessels, because i've got to believe, and i'm glad to hear that you're including that in the investigation, that your surface vessels, your aircraft are just as vulnerable to cyber attacks that are going to be disruptive in combat and noncombat operations. i welcome the opportunity to hear more. >> thank you very much. and we now proceed to the congresswoman from new york. >> i want to associate my -- thank you, mr. chairman. i want to associate my questions with a follow up to my colleague, mr.brown. i too think it is incredibly important that we receive a briefing in a classified setting regarding the cyber threats to our naval ships. but i want to ask you
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specifically. you mentioned that we are integrating cyber and network vulnerabilities as part of our on-going investigation. how is that happening specifically, even if it is to rule out cyber as a potential cause? >> specifically, admiral, our fleet cyber command, has a team that he's formed. they're a team of experts. very, very talented young men and women that will -- that are in place and will use their knowledge of how they would attack to determine whether we've been attacked, and they will know where to go look. this is the first time we have done this. and we're not stopping. this is to try to institutionalize doing cyber as part of any mishap, aviation, submarine, you name it. we need to go look at it as an order of business and not hand wave it to its cyber.
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>> i agree with that and that leads to its next question. you are institutionizing this process. is that service-wide? is that going to be a part of any future investigation? >> absolutely. >> can you describe other activities the navy is institutionalizing to up our game when it comes to protecting our platforms from cyber threats? >> can you repeat the question? >> what other activities is the navy institutionalizing, such as task force cyber awakening and cyber safe to increase our cyber security when it comes to protecting our tactical platforms? >> yes. great question. so those efforts weren't started and completed. we continue to work through several of the discoveries during tests for cyber atakening
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-- cyber awakening as an example. one of the journeys we're on right now that our cno john richardson has really brought forward is this notion of understanding all of the digital connections that are in -- that are resident within every testimony we have out there today and they're not connected as well and we are not able to operate them as effectively as we should. that's also driving -- when you dive into it that deeply, you also realize that there is a cyber component to trying to make the navy more digitized because it could become vulnerable more quickly unless you protect those digital databases and the ability to do analytics and those sorts of things. so again when we come over to brief you on the classified level, we will show you what we did with the money that congress gave us at the end of this year in fiscal year '17, where we applied it, to what defensive systems and protections that we
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needed to do and it in some cases is fundamentally basic things like shifting to the new windows across the board where we are getting commercial protection that comes with that product as opposed to living off of older windows versions. >> there is a sense of urgency to this. technology is changing. if an example is making sure that you have the updated version of windows, we need to do better in terms of addressing this. >> and the department of defense has mandated that across the services. all of us are responding to this. we have a deadline. it is coming up and i can only speak for the navy, but we are on track to meet that deadline on things as basic as what you just described. >> thank you very much, admiral and i yield back. >> thank you very much. we now proceed to the congressman from california.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. and i want to thank my colleagues for delving into this issue of cyber security. admiral, admirals, and we thank you for all of your service and for being on top of this. the loss of life is of great concern to all of us and our hearts go out to all the families. the question of cyber is much more than hacking. the single point of failure of most everything is gps. i assume you'll be looking at the downgrading of gps that can occur rather easily, particularly in those areas where there happen to be other folks around. so i'd like to have that as part of that review. also the electronic equipment, not specifically with regard to hacking or cyber, but rather its validation that it is actually working as it is supposed
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to, navigation equipment, all of the radar and so on. i assume that the review will be in that area as well as this cyber area. is that correct? >> yes, sir. that is correct. >> and i would suggest that and i would suggest that the -- and i would suggest that the companies that built that equipment not be the ones responsible for certifying it is actually working. might think about that. also the commanders, the commanding officers of the ship, how often are they moved from one ship to another. what is the length of time they any one anyone ship -- ship? >> as a commanding officer? >> yeah. the top three officers. >> the executive officer on the destroyers right now we're on
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a model that has the executive officer fleeting up to be the commanding officer. the intent was to build continuity to ensure there is a clean turnover so that's about a -- that tour is about 18 months. there is a short break in the middle to kind of get them a little bit of head clearing and they go back to the same -- >> on the same ship or to a new ship. >> on the same ship. >> and the commanding officer? >> the commanding officer after they leave will go ashore usually or to another at sea job and then up for a major command job on a cruiser, for example, or a big deck am fib or a major command level ship. >> i have a general concern about the way in which the military moves people from one job to another within very short periods of time. the concern is that it was the previous guy that's responsible and left the problem and it is not really solved. i have seen this in other areas. i'd like to have a fuller discussion about whether that cycle is too fast and nobody
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is around long enough. i'm pleased to hear that the executive officer stays with the ship or not. >> the executive officer usually stays with the same ship. sometimes there is an anomaly, but for the most part we are looking at the whole training model. also at the division officer level, we do rotate ships. there is advantages to doing it. there is also disadvantages in that you lose continuity on this ship. this is something we believe the admiral will address as he looks at the training paths of those that ultimately command those ships. command of those ships is critical and obviously they want to make sure they have the best qualifications they can have. >> when the final reports come back, i assume we will have another final hearing on the reports and that will be informative. my final question really goes to a piece of testimony earlier
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having to do with virtual training facilities. you specified the lcs has a successful virtual training program. i assume that's a bridge. that's virtual. could you go into that for the next minute and talk more about that and how that might be expanded if in fact it's as good as you say it was. >> again. we're looking at the feed back from people using it and from the fleet. so this is not all done virtually. we still do real live, just similar to how a pilot will get simulator time and what's different is that we can create a virtual environment. we don't have to have the level of feel and touch that an aviation helicopter or fixed wing aircraft will have to use. so this technology is out there. the sailors are comfortable with it. they understand it and perhaps we can use that to continue to improve these skills where we may not have the dedicated at seatime to do so while the force is working very hard to meet its commitments. >> those virtual experiences proven to be very successful in the airframe operations and further discussion on that would
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be useful and your report i suppose will deal with that as -- tom kane and vice chair, lee hamilton will be part of an event looking at counterterrorism strategies. coverage from the bipartisan policy center starting at 9:00 am eastern on c-span2. and john3, john kasich hickenlooper will talk about their bipartisan proposal to make changes to the health care system. the american enterprise institute and the center for american progress are hosting the discussion live at 9:15 eastern, you can follow both events at and with the c-span radio app. friday night and conversation with the veterans affairs secretary about the challenges facing the v.a.
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he reflects on his childhood. you can watch that at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. here is a preview. >> we saw you in eastern texas with the vice president and we are in the middle of hurricane season. what is the role of the v.a. has four missions. we have an educational mission of u.s.train 70% trained doctors in this country. we have a research mission where the largest organization during research come all dedicated to improving the lives of veterans our fourth mission is emergency preparedness. in the case of natural disasters like hurricane harvey or in the case of a military disaster, it really is the v.a. that is prepared to respond. we have the most doctors in the
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country, we have the most nurses , the most mental health professionals in the country. we have mobile units that can be deployed and be trained for this. in the case of hurricane, our first mission was to make sure that veterans health care and benefits continued. our medical center in houston state open. we have staff there from friday evening all the way through now making sure that our 400 inpatients were able to get the care they needed and our emergency rooms did open people also deployed mobile units throughout houston. i was out there with the vice president but i also returned two days later with the president and mrs. trump. having my personal commitment to be able to make sure the texas,s in the area in 530,000 of them, knew that we were there for them and we were going to be there no matter what the needs are were very important.
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>> goes back to your management style because you're only one person. how do you go back and get this done and ensure it is done properly? >> i do believe that people look at their leaders and make sure they are walking the talk. it was important for me to be there and that is why i went there twice to continue to make sure me and my team is visible there. it is one of the reasons i still practice medicine in the v.a. because there is no better way to connect to your staff and customer base that you serve than to let them know that you are committed to it and you understand the situation that they are going through. >> oregon senator came to the floor to talk of the ongoing wildfires in his state. his remarks were about 10 minutes. >> senator from orego


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