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tv   Admirals Testify on Naval Warship Accidents  CSPAN  September 11, 2017 3:10am-5:15am EDT

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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 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 sorr for your loss and appreciation for your son's service to our nation. i want welcome our members to today's hearing. i want tespecially recognize that we have with us the committee chairman, donald mac thornberry. he has been the leader of our ongoing effortto mitigate our military readiness challenges and i want to thank him for his leadership and for being here today to heaabout the challenges in limited by the tragic collisions in the pacific. i also want to send a warm welcome to congresswoman elizabeth este from connecticut
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and congressman rodney davis from illinois. i ask unanimous consent th a 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 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 associated with the ships, i have no doubt our navy remains the strongest in the world. but these tragic events reinforce our concern out the depth the readiness challenges the na faces. i'concerned about the shortfalls in e pore structure and whether the sustaid operional tempo of reduced to 77 ship navy mahave
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contributed to these events. i also believe the first responsibly of the government is to provide for the national security for ouritizens, to do for us will we can'door ourselves. that is especially true for our sailors, soldiers, air force, and marines. therefore as members of this mmittee, to better understand the readiness commission and the underlying problems of the navy and to chart a course that best assistance the navy in rrting deficiencies and shortfalls. we now ask theenior leaders of the u.s. navy and government accountability office here with us today to be candid in your best judgment and advise us on the underlng problems associatedith the uss fitzgerald and the ussohn mccain and how to recover from the tragic events. this afternoon we are honored to have with us, admiral moran, naval operations, rear admiral
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boxall, and mr. john pendleton, the director of the structural ises on the u.s. account ability office. i would like to know turn to ranking member, congresswoman met them but i'll of lo for any remarks we may have. >> thank you for agring to convene this timely hearing. particularly with regards to the seventh fleet operations ithe indo asian pacific region. chairman whitman and i recently returned from japan, where we visited and met wi vice admiral sawyer and saw the damage to the uss fitzgerald firsthand. thank you to our witnesses for joining us today. admiral moran and boxall, i appreciated our meeting and look forward to the discussion.
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your work is critical to aiding our oversight mission on this committee. the rent mishaps of the uss fitzgerald and the uss john mccain resultenot on in significant damage to the vesss, but also the tragic, tragic loss of life of 17 american sailo. earlier in the year, we saw two additional mishaps, avoidable as i understand it, also involvg surface ships assigned to th 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 tlearn 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
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forward deployed naval services. specifically, i'm interested to see what steps might be taken to ensure appropriate times are allocated for ship maintenance in the forward deployed naval forces model. and how e 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 intested 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. this committee and the navy military answer -- civilian leadership of two our sailors to take appropriate actions to ensure the conceing factors are properly addressed. poin have been raised out how the deployed forces model in the pacific a lark as both
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stressed existing resources and highlited gaps and efficiency 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 undery. let me note that i believe maintaing a forwd resins in the in asia pacific is critical to our security in the region. whether it be for powe projection, humanitarian assistance, bilateral and multilateral exercis, or other critical missions, t 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.
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the navy's deployment of significant capabilities ovseas did not occur overnight and the pacific did not become a heavy traffic thear overnight. so 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. finally, i will nclude by 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 he a continuous alogue doing this committee and the navy on the issues. the lessons leard 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 the discussion and mr. chairman, i yield back. >> thank you, ranking member. the member of virginia, rob
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wittman for any remarkhe may have. >> i want to welcome admiral moran and admiral boxall and i want to thank you for attending our hearing. i want to thank chairman wilson, to hold this joint subcommittee hearing today. it is of essence we get to the bottom of this. o may arrive at conclusions that require jnt efforts from bo 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. before i proce any further, i also want to rognize our special guest the audiee today, miss rachel eccle her son lost his life onoard the uss mccain a few weeks ago. thank you for being here with us
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today and for the enormo sacrifice that you and your family have made for this couny. we are here today to ensure -- [applause] yeah. [applause] we are here today to ensure that the navy and congress learns from these tragedies andakes the necessary changes. 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 coinue to review the collisions of the uss fitzgerald and uss john mccain, it is important note that even in a benign government, we send our
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sailors into precarious and oftentimes, deadly sittions. our nation asks much of our servicememrs and they never fail to deliver. i hope that today's hearing provides positive steps forward to ensure our sailorare provided the best training and the best ships to sustain their daily lives in a time of war prevail over our enemy. we can allgree our nation failed these 17 sailors and their families with thestragic collisions. last wee i let a barsan additional delegation to visit the seventh eet 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 ocedural issues that may have contributed to training readiness of our forces in e seveh fleet as e committee reviews, two things are painfully obvious.
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the material condition and operational readiness of the ships are significantly degraded d not acceptable. of our largest service combatants, thmajority of deployed ships are not properly ready to perform their primary warfare areas. the negative trend lines asciated 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 figerald. as for the ships themselves, they suffered as ny hybrizes operational deoyments over maintenance and modernization. this maintenance and trading model places sailors at risk and most likely contributed in part to the incidence we ve witnessed with the seventh fleet. it is equally problematic th the navy intends to increase the number of four deployed ships over the nexfew 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 liance is a model that is not sustainable and needs to be significantly modified. we have also learned that many of our destroys based out of japan are only to be deployed for no me than 7-10 years. however, we ow the uss john mccain has been deployed to japan for over 20 years. further, the uss fitzgerald and uss curtis wilbur and uss -- have each been deployed for over years. the navy cannot manage the requements of a flt of just 277 ships. e ships have been outside the united states for too long and
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their material condition is in unacceptable state. i remain convinced that one of the large -- long-term fixes is to incree the structure and build the navy that r nation needs. a larger fleet would allow the navy to place last strain on each available ship, which reduces the chance any sailor is placed in a hazardous environment. i support the need to equate funded training and providthe fleet the time it eds to complete required maintenance and training. i think there are a number of each country factors tt should be explored, including navy trning models, impacts associated with the caof ship parts, funding requirements for ship maintenance, incredibly high operational tempo endur the fleet specifically in the seventh fleet areaf response ability, and also the operatnal failures that ve occurred with the surface fleet.
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each area deserv additional assessme. the navy model is rife wh risk and this risk will increase in the future. the navy needs to offer an alternative model that meets them nations need for redud risk to our saors. i think aian wilson to work with the subcommittee on thi important issue and i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you chairman rob wittman. the settlement from conneccut, congressman joe courtney, r his remarks. >> they can, mr. chairman and thank you to the admirals for their testimony today and i would like to recognize miss eccles for putting a human subject on the topic we are discussingoday. 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 his order, in the spaof 65 days, 17 sailors were lost in ship collisions and accidentn naval vessels. these were not limited occurrens but part of a disturbing trend of mishaps in the asia-pacic region at since january has involved uss anetam, uss lake champlain, uss fitzgerald, and the mcin. to put that in perspective, these heartbreaking casualties are more than rvicemembers that we have lost in the afghanisn 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 famili in the entire state of connecticut are
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mourning the loss of these two patriots and are watching the response of the navy and congress to x this trend. several reviews by the navy and secretary of the navy are underway to dig deep into this disturbing trend. i appld those efforts and i speak for my colleues that we pect the navy to be fully transparent with our panels as these efforts move forward and at we will convene again as many times as needed to provide support to fix this problem. indeed, article one, section eight, clause 13f the constitutions ear. it is congress is duty to ovide and intain a navy, which certainly needs a navy will a clipped adequately manned. what doesn't seem to clear at this early stage that these incidents are a glaring manifestation of t increased demand being deployed on t navy vessels, particularly in the ia-pacific region.
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we ask these forward deployed shifts -- ships to do hard work. the uss mccain conducted f operation in the southhina sea. the fitzgerald was a pivotal pler in providing needed presence in response to kim jong-un's threatofissile 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 opetions of o operations like japan and spain. these two committees he pushed more aggressively on a birtisanasis to add funding to ship construction and readiness than a oer entity in congress.
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they hold these accounts up the white house budget and pass for a bipartisan vote the biggest since 2008. we have work to do to complete the process and this hearing will increase e member's determination to get the best ink -- highest outcome possible. today is also about whether systemand polici need to be reliant to improve readiness. concerns about systems and policies are not new. the gao has reported, and as our wiess will discuss, a growing number of our deployed vessels are operating without certifications. this trend h worsened since the last report in 2015 and this needs to be corrected. similarly in 2010, the navy conducted a review by vice admiral philip which outlined shortfalls about surface readiness that are strictly
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relevant today and looking at these indents in the larger state of navy fleet readiness. one of his priority recommendations includes clarifying who in e chain of command specifically has the ultimate s in whethea ship is manned, trained, d 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. thistunately, recommendation raised by the vice admiral has not been addressed since the report cannot. we expect a lot from the navy and for good reason. our sailors are the best in the world and the sight of a navy vessel in a foreign rt sends a powerful message of protection for a rules-based order in the maritime domain. those sailordo what they need
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to do to keep the peace in the sea lanes of the world's oceans free and open. in return our sailors and family should expect their leaders that send them to sea 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 congress to get it done. i yield back my time. -- thank you, ranking member. thank you, mr. chaman. i will be shor i want to be very clear that no the circumstances or housetrained our force might be, we should not and cannot have collisions at sea. fundamenta professional seamship is the foundation for say operations. and all of the marvelous technology, the magnificent
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hardware that we put together on these ships, and the power of our weapons systems are meaningless without worl trained, skilled, patriotic and experienced 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. will be accountable to you, to our sailors, and the american public. like you, our navy stands with miss rachel echols and all of our navy families with our hear bken, but determined to investigate thoroughly a of the facts, to address contributing factors, and to learn so tt we will become a better navy at the end of this. we have an absolute
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responsibility to keep sailors safe from harm in peacetime, even as they prepare for war. . chairman, although we are 20 feet apa, there is for what we need to do from here on out. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, very mh. now turn to the gentleman from the government of accountability office for your opening comments. >> thank you. thank you very much for having meere today to summarize. unrtunately, grim circumstances bring us together. mrchairman, i do not know what specifically caused the accidents, but i do know the navy is caughtetween unrelenting operational demand and limited supply ships. the navy has been warning for
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some time that they have been keeping a pace that is unsustainable. our workas confirmed the difficulties. however, our body of work has also spotlighting risk sociated the way the navy is managing the risk. so of these risks present significant challenges in the building blocks of readiness. trainingnd manning and maintenae. just over two years ago, we published a report about the danger of overseas ships. in that report, we found that ships based in japan d not have dedicated training periods like u.s. based ships. their agessive deployment schedule ge the navy more presence, it is true, but it came at a cost, including detrimental effects on ship readiness. in fact, we were tolthe overseas base ships were so busy
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that they had to train on the margin. a term i had not heard before. it was explained to me that they had to squeeze training in when they could. given the concerns we recommended to the ny, carefully analyzed the risks that were mounting, pecially given the plan to meet the demand i think it is important to note the department of defense, on behalf of the navy, wrote the response to our report, and they concurred with our report and response for the most part. i think theiresponse is instructive. i will read a short passage. we understand the navy is sociated with risks. the cision to accept these risks is ultimately based on the operationadecision to provid increased presence to meet combatant commander requirements. mr. chairman, i fear isas a bad gamble, in retrospect. in pparing for this hearing,
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we followed up on this work and learned a couple of things that concerned us. first, the navy told us they planned to implement a deployment schedule for the overseas ships thawould allow dedicated traing. as of thiseang, they have not yet done that. they have an idea, but it has not yet been implemented area -- been implemented. the second thing we leard was thatrainincertifications -- this is the way the vy periodically determines their crews and precision to wfare areas were being allowed to expire at an alarming rate. in 2015, looking at the cruisers and destroyers, all of the ceification areas, about 7% of those were expired. by late june of this year, that number was up to 37% expired, a more than five increase. fold irease.
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manning has been a persistent chlenge for the navy. theyere working over 108 hours a week. the navy concluded that was sustainable and could ntribute to a poor safety culture. maintenance is also taking longer and costing more due to the pace of operations. ship deployments have often bee delayed, though i s told before the hearing that we are keeping deployments shorter lately. but deployments have bee extended, and the ships have more problems when you bring them in. and the shipyards have trouble 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 rebuild readiness. i think thnavy is treading ter in terms of rebuilding. 11 chairman, gao's made practical recommendations to
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ide the navy and all servis. bod and the navy have concurred with ourecommendations generally, but have partially implemented only one. several of the recommendations are focused on crafting a comprehensive readiness rebuilding plan that balances resources withemand, and is transparent about what it will cost and how long will take we have also made recommendations specific to the navy that ardirectly relevant to today's conversations, particularly in the areas of analyzing the risk and reassessing the workload that sailors acally face, and using that tdecide how many people to put on a crew. inlosing, i should acknowledge we did this work because this committee requted that we do so. thk you for your foresight, and we are honored to assist the committee going forward. thank you very much. happy to take any question >> thank y. mr. pendleton, we appreciate the government accountability office foyour independent professionalism.
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it is particularly important to me personally. i have a son serving in the u.s. navy, and ur recommendations are so important for the health and safetynd protection of the american people. addionally, i particularly appreciate that a report was presented as a report to congressional addressees on june 14, ich highlighted the issues of readiness just fourays before the fitzgerd incident. and so, your efrts and your organization's effortcould not be more timely, and they are greatly appreciated by all of us. the gao statement today that you have provided indicates th the expired training certification is provided by a training oup of cruisers and destroyers has home ported inapan has increasefivefold from 7%
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expired to 37% expired ijune of this year. again, the month of the incident. mr. pendleton, can you explain the shartrd of the training certifications? what are the gao's observations, and what is happening with the foardeployed forces? >> we updated that information in preparation for this hearing, so we have not been out to talk to the fleet about them. we gathered that information when we did the work a couple years ago, and we asd for it to be updated then, and the navy provided it. when we looked at it, saw that -- again, if you imagine all 11 ships based in japan -- when you look at the ones that were expired, it had grown to 37% of all those little blocks. another thing at concerns us
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wathere were areas that were even hher than 37%, and one of those waseamanip. eight of the 11 ships had expired certificationsor seamanship's as of there were june. some other areas as well that were sharply lower than you would hope to see. >> again, i want to commend you. the anysis you did will so helpful to us, and the actions needed to address e mission challenges. they are real worl it is just again reassing as a member of congress, but as a parent, thank you for what you are doing. >> if i may, the report you held is a compilation reports, and -- repor and it is designed to identify what we believe are the major challenges facing the department of defense. i think what is significant is we led with readiness rebuilding. that really, we thin is a priority area. >> y also provided traordinary insight in regards health care being provided to
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our military personnel. i encourage memberofoth subcommittees and the full committee to get a copy. it is really very helpful. admiral moran, obously the trend is so significant, and appreciate your heartfelt statement earlier. can you he 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 jan? >> mr. chairman, the certification is done locally by the operational commders in japan. it starts with the commanding ficer of the sp that makes a request for waivers or to extend their certification. goes to his direct in the chain of command, and that is worked out above his level with the one star, two star planner
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-- commander of t task force in japan, as well as the fleet commander. if i could, when seone is expiring on certification, they are requir to put a risk migaonlan in place, and request the waiver. once the risk mitigation plan is approved in the chain of command, then they are allowed to operate along those certifications. while the certications are expired, there is a risk mitigation plan for each one of th. but to your point, and the point that the gao has thoughtfully put out here, the trend of the nuer that we are asking for waivers is increasing at a alarming rate. one in which ought to give us all pause for how hard we are driving e crews, and changing schedules and delayed intenance and additional
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missions they are asked to perfm are making it more difficult to get the ships and the command, wch is the training group in japan, on the ship to do the certification at the righti before it expires. it is not an indication necessarily that they are not qualified to do those missions, or those certifications. >>hat is the role of the float training group? with certifications? llwill let admiral boxe respond to that. >> the float training group is how we -- e senior sailors at the senior enlisted level go out and are experts in each area of specialties. the 22 areas that the gao mentioned. those sailors that do that work for us generally need the time to go do that. these sailors will go out.
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they will observe operations. there is a series for each one of those certifications. zero might be making sure the training is there, step one might be making sure the team knows how to do the basic drill sets, ton assessment in phase four. they do not meet all four of those phases, they do not get the certification. what would be -- >> what would be their professional skills in training? assigned tousually atg only after demonstrated fleet performance. one may be a quartermaster for navigation or an electrician for engineering. those types of sailo. >> these are extraordinarily important people. are they fully staffed to perform their duties? >> the answer is they are not fully staffed.
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there are two float training group areas. thtwo tother work gether to help ships from both home ports meet their qualifications. we havput a lot of money in to buying the manpower and th people we need to get those. we have increased from 120 to 180. unfortunately, they are not mann to that level. they are missing about 30 to 40 boats onhat team d to the fact it takes many years to generaten e7 or an e8, that is -- that senior unlisted specialist. thpriority goes to putting those specialists on ship that -- on shs anthen to the atg's. >> that have 22 eaof certification. is there sufficient personnel with skills to determine the level of certification?
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>> ia perfect anning world, the answer is we would. if we had all the people we expected and h the time to do it, we probably would. but the reality is because of these compressed timelines, ey need to train in smaller periods. we need to send those valuators to different places to catch up withhe ship. it is an inefficient modelnd further exacerbates the certification process. >> in li with that, is it normal to have a single mission certification waived prior to deploynt? the chef we use the term -- we create this risk area mitigation plan, before aertificati , before of periodicity the rtification goes out. sometimes the is a piece of equipment, sometimes it is an exercise that cannot get done, so those ramps need to be put in ace for certification. they are put in place by the commanding offic of the ship, and that is reviewed up the
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operational chain of command. >> is this the same standard that is used in norfolk? >> the differencinorfolks that the ships coming from the theland united states, from east and west coasts, they work togeer witan aircraft carrier, andhe answer is no. they work a planhat gives a 36 month period to get those qualifications don but it is a very regimented piece. all the ships come out at the same time, they go into a aining period for about six nths, basic, intermediary, advanced, and th deployed, come back, and a prepared if needed, and they start the cycle agai that is the optimum placemen plan. >> with the number of waivers being provided, when does it become dangerous for personnel to be serving on that particular ship? >> i think that is exactly o of the things we will look very closely at in the comprehensive review, because we have different models.
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the ships forward in your diuss -- i japan are closer to t operational areas that we deploy ships to. the trade-off of where the operational risk is too grt is something that fleet commander's interest is today, and we are looking at a comprehensive reviewo make a change. >> who in the vy chain of command grants waivers? >> in a chain command for a risk area mitigation plan is all those plans are approved by the surface foe commander. they are the person at command naval service forces, and they review those to ensure they do everything they can to make the ship meet what it can do, given the constraints of time or exercise or the equipment that is not available to help them achieve the certification.
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>> finally, was the navy leadership aware of so many forward deployed ship certifications being waived? >> i think that is something the comprehensive review will look -- will look at. i think clearly this is an area we have to get to the bottom of. where is the right amount of ri, given our over focused on achieving the mission? >> thank you very ch. i will now refer to the ranking member, and of course, the american people are so appreciative of the very patriotic, dedicated citizens of that vital american territory. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to take this opportunity to thank the military for providing the great security that they did for guam during this exchange with north korea. so, thank you very much. it definitely is apparent that
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training and certification issues have been building for years within the forward deployment fleet. i have this question for both admiral moran and boxell. i am concerned there is a critical deficiency in the feedback loop. are ship captains voicg their concerns regarding the readiness of their crews and the condition of their ships? if they are voicing those concerns, who is assuming that risk? and do you feel they have an adequate understanding of the risks they are assuming, and how that impacts the sailors that are forward deployed? let's start with you. >> yesma'am. it is a great question. first of all, it ithe 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
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well-being of their crew. it is not unusual at all for aco -- for ao to express their issues, with manning training issues, resource issues. those conversations happen all the time. what i think is happening is we standards ofour the nuers of certifications to drop as the number of certification waivers have grown. the rules,gainst they are below the standard we should accept. these are the kinds of things that the comprehensive riew that admiral davidson will undertake to look at. where is the acceptable standard for the number of certifications, and how are those concernsy commanding officers being transmitted up the chain of command? and what are they doing in reonse?
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once the commanders' senio approves the waiver, they are in a sense accepting that risk. they are allowing the ship to move with a greater number of waivers and a number of expired rtifications. the responsibili of our fleet commanders and our commanders in the operational environment is to wake up every day, and assess the environment. and assess the risk they are taking from un to unit. i think we have a lot of ni to do on that front. >>ha you, admiral. i thin what i would really like to know, have these captains or commanders ever toou w ris? e therlis sewreor vehener idnyin th iwh iou le kn. uetainspifal figeldccn? y, sp r attt. aoulel,e ulv
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arfothprocess. it requires the chain of comnd get involved in the risk mitigation process, e steps to mitigate any certification that is about to expire. they are all takg on that sk by mitating it with very specific steps that are outlined that they have to follow tough on. >> admiral boxell, do you have a list of some of these sks? >> i c ge you an example of the type of mitigations that are in pla.
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for example, as i describ, the individual steps it -- you may have four or five steps. they mayeed to go out for a seamansh they have achieved, the bac, the second part, and they get to the point where they meet something. they didn't have the opptunity to moor to a buoy, for example. they do not certify and they say, the risk ofhat ship going and doing moor to bu isn'anssue and will be addressed operationally by the commander. to your question about when they will tell uswe train them to do that. we go through a lot of workups, when our cmand qualifications almost exclusively put co's in a bad position where we have to sure that they will tell leadership when they don't feel theyan meet the demand. thats what we train them to do. the question, if they are going
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to do an orational mission, our sailors are conflicted because they want to do at mission. and so, the question is, is d they feel it? do they want to do that mission? that isomething e comprehensive review will get to. do we have systems iplace that accurately measure the rk independently, and the operional fleet commander ensures that due diligence has been done for the vel of risk at the level of operation they will be doing? and at is at i think we are tting too. -- what we are getting to. >> thank you. i feel that if maintence and training and allhiis lacking, the comnders or the captai of these ships should be letting everyone know about it. certainly maybe we would not be in this fix. the other question i have is, admiral moran, the neeto grow the size of the flt has been a point raised when we talk about the na readiness.
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however, theavy's proposal to growo 355 ships would take decades to be realized, which means we have to make do with thsize of thfleet we have in the near term. with that in mind, what near and midtermeasures are being considered with respect to how we crew,rain, and maiain the ships we have today in order to rebuild and sustain readiness? howill the navy ioritize missions, or in some cases, turn down missions so we do not put sailors at risk by running the fleet ragged without being properly maintained? >> that is a key question for admiraley question for davidson's team is to assess how much operational tem in places like japan, bahrain where we have forward deployed fces reaches the point where we cannot do the maintenance and the training and have an appropriate amount of time left
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to do the operations forward deployed forces like in japan, the training is done while you are at sea operating on deployment, for the most part. there is not dedicated time, as the gao pointed out, like we have back here. at is an issue that both chairmen have raised. it is a serious point we have to study toaksure that when we build the model for h we maintain and orate ships in the forward deployed naval forces, we have sufficient time to do those things. the size of the force, as i testified last february and march, does matter. but wholeness of the force matters just as much, because you can have a large forcehat is not whole, and you will run into these problems. if maintenance takes longer, it disrupts t schedule. if the schedule is dispted, it disrupts the ability to train.
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if the training is disrupted, you end up in these places you described, with expired certificions, and so on and so forth. so, we do have to look at this model from the ground up, but we also recognize part of the reason why we have forces is because weave four tes the presence with those forces than we would if we would if we had them all in conus. the fact that we have one japan gives us a roughly equal to 16 carriers. that is a big difference, having four destroyers in spain operating off bmd stations was a principale rson we wanted to put those forcesorward, was to get more out of those ships and t have to rotate as many components to do those missions. all of those things culminate th this notion that we are not
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g enough tdo everything we are being tasked to do, and our culture iswe are going to get it done, because that is what the navys all about. sometime o culture works against us. i think we a the sailors to do an awf 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. >> thank you. i have one quick, final question for any one of you who want to answer, would you say sequtration might ha had something to do with the lack of maintenance and the training and so forth? funding not being there? >> i am on record, ma'am, that that is absolute the case. th along with nine consecutive, continuing resolutions, and we e about to hit another one. those budget uncertainties drive uncertainty into schedules, drive unceainty into maintenance. our private yards, our publ yards. this is an issue across t board. so the
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most useful thing we could have out ofongress right now in terms of addressing a lot of our readiness concerns is abily in the budget. >> thank you. and i am looking forward tohe report, and i do want to sai had a nice conversation with rachel before the hearing today. she is one brave woman. thank you, rachel, for being here with us. i yield back. >> thank you, ranking member bordello. we proceed t chairman richardson. >> thank y for coming before us today, thank you for your rvice, candor and frankness. it's ctical for us to get to the bottom of this. in terms of the material and training readiness hadof ouships home ported in japan versus the bordello. we proceed to ships home ported in the united states is there a difference in
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levels of readiness in terms of which group of ships a me ready than another? >> the information we have in the 2015 report th we were not able to update shows trends -- the navy callthem equipmencasuales. it's roken stuff. had basicall been upward for both u.s. base and overseas based ships. the overseas based ships' casualty reports were- again, that's equipment -- was more steey upward. we weren't able to update that trend line since then. so i can't answesince 2014 when our data ended. the recent data, low state of readiness for forward deployed versus those in the united states? >> we saw a more steep increase in breakdowns for the overseas based ships. >> admiral man do you ree with the aessment? >> i do. mr. chairman, theres -- i think this speaks to what
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you -- what you raised earlier in ter of the -- if we're not roting those ships back, the older they get, the more care they're going to need. and that might be an indication, as part ofhat we're looking at in the comprehensive review is the extended perio having a detrimental effectn their material condition the longer they go. is the sp's force, maintenance force in japan, have enough capacity tdeal with the increased numbers we have put in fdnf japan the last three years. >> up on that. in order to matain overseas presence, will the navy increase or decrease forward deployed forces pan and elsewhere? >> i think we have allaken a pause here, for all the right reasons, to figure out wheer our currenplan is the right plan. d we're looking forward
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to admiral davidson's report in 60 days to let us know wth we need toake adjustments to that plan. >> was the plan prior to this to increase or decrease that in e future? >> the current plan -- we just completed the third ddg ship in japathat was added to that force. i am not are of additional ones. >> as we bring in lcs in stion and rotate them forward will increase the presence. that's with the existing strategic ladown plan. we'll look at that as part of the review w we do that is -- a double-eed srd. it's harder and more expensive to intain but we need ships forward to be there especially given the number of ships we have. >> mr. pendleton, from a financial perspeive is it more cost effective to home po ships to the united states or to forward deployhe ships? >> it's a hard question to answer. if you look it on the margin, it's marginay a little more expensive to have ships overseas. we did analysis
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to show that. i uld caution against the rule of thumb not to differ with admiral moran because i have heard it ny times that you get four times more presence. that's true from a four ship structure. but that's mainly because of the way they are deployed. essentially, the -- the u.s. based -- ofrp model. optimized fleet response plan model has them going o seven months out of every 36. fdnf ships are scheduled 16 months off ut every 24. there is a graph in the report that scribes this. that's difficult to quantify the impact of that, sir. >> very od. thank you, mr. pendleton. admiral moran, do you agree that, if we had more ships in our navy fleet, we could spread the workload more evenly, we wouldn't be pushed up against the demands and stresses that happen when you have ships forward deployed for mo than the planned mber of
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ears, extended maintenance riods, truncated training periods? give me your perspective about w the number of ships we have today -- let me put it in perspective. if you go back to the 1980s whene had a navy of 600 ships. we had 100 ships foard deployed. today we have 7 ships and we have 100 ships forward deployed. give me your perspecte about thsize of the fleet in relation to where we are today wh forward deployed naval worses. >> you just ga the answer for me, chairman. i mean, that math is pretty hard to arguwith. d while mr. pendleton and i ave had this discussion, you an argue over the factors, you know, it's four times orhree times, but the ft is, even with that, those ships are a lot clos to where we might have to fight by being there. that's a value you can't put a
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times anything on. it's clearly -- and the message that sends to our allies and partne i the region is vitally important. that said, i thk you made the point about, if we are still operating 100 ships deployed today at a force that's 40-plus percent smaller than it was in the 1980s, it's actually -- '80s and '90s. it is going to be a bger stressor on that force. >> the admiral makes a great point. it's important to emphasize that t navy doesn't create the demands. the navy responds to the demands. theyre being aed by the point. it's important to combatant commanders and department of defense to fulfill the demands. it'smportant to make that distinction. >> very good. >> admiral ball. in order to get shs ady today to deploy, you spoke earlier about what they do for marial readinessnd what we
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see is them to going to other ships, can ballizing parts to get things to maintain the readiness. is that a systemic problem and is theoot cause sufficient money to procure new parts or ocks oparts to make sure yohave them on hand to keep up with routine maintenance or expected problems with wearing of parts and wearing of systems? >> sir, the can banibalization of parts off ships is something we try to avoid but there e many reasons to do itsometimes it's the availability of the part. metimes it's the -- even when we have the money to buy the parts, we have had a lot of money rtored in the last year, especially the 17 raa,ut it takes time to go
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buy the part. some of these e made by very unique vendors, so therare pent up spare parts radneschallenges out there. we are seeing some cannibalization increas. we're seeing an incrse in c-2, c-3. c-2 is where it buy the part. some of these ar made by very unique vendors, so there are pent up spare parts becomes an operational attention getter and c-3 means there is a maintenance issue we need to get to quickly. e reon forhat is the actual material readiness idegrading and we need to bring it to the leader's attention. the other reason is, in places where we are having a difficult time getting work done to repair them, the commanders are trying to boosthe priority of the jobs to get them in because it's the best way they know now. that's a signal to us saying we have to get it report. we don't want commanding officers -- we challenge em with telling us when things e wrong. when
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they do, they send the flare and we expect them to do it. if they're dog it because that's the only way they caget the respse that's a different issues. >> i yield back. >> thank you, chairman wittman. we proceed tranking mem joe courtney. >> thank you, mr. chairman. one thing that might be helpful is walk tough the investigative and reporting process, what it will look like over the xt ou know, 60 to 90 to 120 days. >> yes, sir. in terms of the various effos that are under way. >> so immeately after both collisions, any mishap, we stand an instigative team. in the case of these two coisions in japan we put a dual ppose investigation together that includes the normal safety investigation and the jag man vestigation. those are privileged
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investigations. we do not share hat information publicly so we can protect folks from being very open with us and giving us as much informatn as possible toetermine the root cause. so those investigations are stood up immialy upon -- by the convening authority. the convening authority for fitzgerald was the comnd of the seventh fleet. the coening authority for mccain was admiral swift because of the other investigation going on and because we reeved the seventfleet commander in the interim. so those investigative officers are usually, in this case, are both flag officers. they take a team to the site, to where the collision occurre or where the in this case both ips were bught bk to appe. and they go through every aspect of an investigation. it's a chklist of things you do. we added yber to that checklist because of obvious concerns with the
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act that everything we operate has a cyr component tot. networks, gear, radios, erything. and so we want to make sure we understand that that is not -- we want to eliminate that as a potential causal factor to a mishap. those investigations can take a week, two, three weeks, and a report is then passed tohe convening authority. the investigation is not complete at that point. that convening authority then gets to endorse the report, ask additional questions, go review the following things. i am not satiied with x, y or z. the investigating ofcer has too back, look at those things and provide an addendum to the report. and then when commander of seventh fleet is complete
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with his endorsement it gets passed to pac fleet. in the case of fitzgerald, that's where the current report and investigation reside, with with his endorsement it gets admiraswift. he then has responsibility to look at the report for completeness, and any findings of fact that he is unsatisfied with and wants further investigation, he can direct it in that endorsement. ultimately it comes to me. both -- both of those investigations. so a lot of pele think that once the instigating officer has submitted a report, the investigation is done, we should share that information. but i appreciate the opportunity to explain that the endorsement process is still part of the investigation because weould ask for additional investigations. so that's on the investigation side. that's the very tactical level. what happened to that ship. what caused that particular incidt. the comprehensive review that we rected, admiral davidson's standup, 60 days to look at all the manned, traid and equipment. with specific focus on japan because of the four mishaps that have occurred in the last year out there. t lookor things like career
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path management. aree doing the right traini. is the model for how we employ forces in fdnf the right model. is the maintenance model the right mol. all the things we've rey talked about in this hearing. above that level, the secretary is doing a strategic readiness review where he'll look across the department at things that are policy related, resourcing reled. are we making the right choices, do we need more guidance. it will be nice complement to the comprehensive review because it will look above where adral davidson is looking. we will get a strategic operational and tactical undetanding of what has occurred, why it occurred, and then whaare the things we'll do to fix ose issues. does that help? >> it is. thank you. i tnk it's important just for e public and obviously the families to understand, agai the different steps and i am sureyou know, the committees
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will be folling it in terms of asking questions. in your written testimony, wch i know you summarized, and we appreciate that, you did make, i thought, a very powerful statement, which is as follows. o matr how tough our operating environment or h strained our budget we shouldn't and cannot be lliding with other shi and running aground. this is not about resourcing. it's about safety and it's about leadership at sea. again, just to go back to the process we're in right now. that's reallwith the 60-day comprehensive report is aimed at in terms of just, you know, why is this a recurring event in this rticular area of the world. is that right? >> yes, sir. i would also compliment gao in this regard. i think they offer a pretty nice blue print for some of the thingse need to look at in terms of trends. what are the macro trends, what do they
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imply about the force readiness in fdnf japan and across the fleet. we'll get at some of those well inside the comprehensive review. it is -- a key part of it is do we have the rate traininin place for our commanding officers? are they getting enough of what they should have to operate in waters that have become highly congested and contested inhat region. and it's a lot busier than it was just eight years ago. so we need to review that, and we need to review the traing and the career paths for our ofcers, junior officers and make sure that we understand that we have the right manni models in place, a gao calls this out in their report about how we establish the work week and how do we respond to the nning profiles for those ships. >> thank you. again, i think to sort of foow up on what gao was asng for over the last couple of years as well. one
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sort of footnote. i was wondering what you would think about this in terms of that statement which is that it is about leadership at sea but it's also about leadership think ashore as well in terms of just the way, you know, decisions are being made. and i have to say, going back to the blough report which i assume most of e witnesses are familiar with. that was a key critique that admiral blough had. that the lineare blurred in termsf some of the issu we're talking about today. ultimaly we're trying to figure out who decides. when you have the certification issueshat mr. pendleton described, you know, who -- who calls, you know, time-out and just says, you know, no, that -- as persistent as the impantcombatant commander's requests are, where does it reach the point when someone says, that's just not gog to be depyebeuse it's not safe and it's not ready? so i am assuming that that's
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also part of the comprehensive review. >> i believe the secretary will look at that in the stratec review as well. for organizational c-2 ommand and contro who is responsible precisely for readiness and man, train and equip d operational demand in the pacific fleet. and howoes that get balanced against the largerleet that admiral avidson is managing out of fleet forces. >> even today i have been a little confused about who is the -- the decision-maker. is it the operational commander, is it the forces demander. i think, again. admiral blough really, i thin nailed that pretty well in terms of just not being an issue that's got to be cleaned up. mr. pendleton, you described the trend of the increasing ck of certificatns which was kind of a top line in terms of the number of ships that are out there. can you give us me specific infortion regarding the fitzgerald and main, to
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hat extent did they lack certifications? >> i would rathedefer specific questions about the fitzgerald and mccain. they did haveissing certifications, as did most ships. i woullike to talk about the key warfa mission eas and give the add millers a chance to comment on the ongoing investations i a unsy about. certication of 8 of the 11 the ships in japan were expiredothers had fairly significant expirations, seven of 11 ships for fire support, service warfare undersea warfare, 8 of 11 ships had expired certifications. some were several months overdue. when we looked at the -- some of the basic certifications, things you have to do to -- keep track of maintenance. communication, those kinds of things. those things weren't great but they were better.eamanship stood out as a problemrea. into the
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warfare mission areas, i presume ose are more olicated certifications to bta, honestly. i haven't een able to talk to them about it. those had higher percentage ships that had exped certifications. >> tnk you. again, i asure it. the -- my question is going to besked at some point in this process. >> yes. >> frankly, it's a question ateeds to be fleshed out. >> yes, sir. >> thank you. yield back. >> thank you, ranking member courtney. truly an indation of how imptant this hearing is. our love and affection for the 17 sailors that we have lost and others who were injured. we've been join today and now turn to the full chairmanf the armed servic mmitte mike thornberry.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. hank you all for being ere. i just want to say i really preciate the work of gao as well as the work of these committee members and our staff on these issues. the leadership of the department in the last administration denied we h a readiness problem. they said we were just making it up. and i appreciate t psistence, members both sides of the aisle, in getting the facts. certainly gao has helped with that. admiral moran, i vy much appreciate you and admiral richardson's commitment to get to the bottom ofhis matter. i looked a little earlier at your testimony from earlier in the year, and you highlighted the stresses and strains on e force that, based on t operational tempo, et cetera. you also tesfied that you thought that the deployefleet was in pretty good shape, the hips here in the united stas
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were really suffering. based onhat you know today, would you revise that assessment? >> mr. chairn, 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 nal force in japan was the most efficient, most well trained force we had because they're operating all the timei made the assumption. it was a wrong assumptionn ndsight. so, obviously at this point i would tell y tt what we have sent from conus to deploy, i would maintain my sition 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 gog to have to get after that question. i don't ow
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precisely. and i -- you know, i am also very anxious to remind the committee th the ommitte, that we have to get the root cause of both mishaps before we can make a termination. but the trends that the gao has pnted out, the trends that we are seeing inur repting statsare concerning. they do demonstrate a fraying f 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 athe surface fleet, but we know we
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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 re people? crease instream? >> manower, as you know. the years as a chief of naval rsonnel. i have dealt a lo with m power issues. it requires you to projt two years ahead to know if you're get to go 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 thawe're gointo be in two years. sot has an impact. we are always tryi to catch up with manper. 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 tak time to find the experienced folks to operate them and understand the challenges in building and attaining certifications. so
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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 gh e a 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 ctrol act. you did that earlier. and i apprecte t. don't hesitate to say where we're deficient. l me ask this. it goes right back to something mr. courtney was we're deficient. let me ask talking about. sms to me the hard issue is -- and you talked about it for a commaer and a ship saying, okay, i've got these problems. i have to ask r a waiver. i have a risk mitigation plan. you and mr. courtn talked about it a little bigge but what i -- what's going through my mind is when do you and admiral richardson basally say to the
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secrety of defense othe president, we cannot do what you expect us to do? and to us. >> you sd earlier the culture workagainst us. it's true every service.ou salute and say, youive us a msion, we'll do it. don't kno if you have any comments on this. what's going through my mind is, when does a service chief r vice chief say, wcannot do hat you expt us tdo with what you have given us? sir. there is one very good emple of where we have done that in the past few yearsyou will ecall where we got carrier resen in thgu, for several months. we have done that twice. and that was a
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recognition that we were going to overstress the force and were not able -- we were concerned about sticking to our plan in optimized flt esponse plan which was seven-month deployment. we wanted to get there and we want to maintain that. the world gets a vote. a lot of pressureame up. we argued why wehought we needed to stick to those deploents. 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 t navy. >> we're going to stay aft this. i i yield back. >> thank you mr. thornberr we proceed to congresswoman susan davis of california. >> thank you. i thanall the airs uhere today who have provid aot of good leadership of walking us through these issues. thank you to allf you for being here. rachel eckels. thank you for being here on behalf of 17 shattered navy families who e rieving today.
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we appreciate that. nd helps us to think about your son as well. i know that we have been talking a lot about all the problems that have been encountered, how tragic th are. one of the things i wanted to ask quickly waseally about the heroism that was demonstrated on the shs as well. and i know, in having read almost that minute by minute account what happenedn the fitzgerald that there were specifically two sailors who were mentioned repeatedly for their heroism. arthey up for awards? have those been submitted for recognion? what are we doing to really acknowledge the heroism as well. >> i appreciate you asking that question. they're -- there is a ifference between heroic and
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valorous. people are often confused by that. and you ar ot. i appreate the fact that the qution rolves around our ilors who operated that night, some who lost their lives,ho gave their lives for others. it is -- it is the command's responsibility to initiate the recommendatiofor awards, in any circumstance. so, as you might imagine, right now their focus might be elsewhere. we will get to hose. and when they come forward, we'll do the appropriate recognition that comes from those recommendations. in addition to at, though, i think you also know that we posthumously advanced all 17 sailors to the next pay grade.
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in recogtion of who they could have been. so, thank u for the question. >> sure. thank you. i wonder as well, we have been talking about whether or not the forward deployed model is sustainable. andhe fact that it iused so much. i wonder, as your -- have looked at whole host of different areas, if you are feeling comfortable yet kind of ordering those in terms of priority. is it the rainingor sure that has to be dferent? one of the things that i -- we recall reading with this is, i guess at one time it snds like the initial training, sort of the foundational training, if you will, was muclonger. and so that our sailors really, you know, were intimate inany ways wh the apparatus, with everything that they are asked to do differently. and i -- maybe you caspeak to that. people who know how to build computers obviously can respond to the needs of a couter a lot faster than those of us who just, u know, use it to get our job done. and so, is that true? is there a real difference in
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he time that's spent helping to familiarize our sailors wh the ship, with what they wor with? and on the other hand, then, it's driving under -- under, you know, sub -- sub, you know, decent conditions that they you know, sub -- sub, you kn, lso have to be aware of. >> yes, ma'am. >> where does that fit? >> as we look -- we are continually modifyg r training methodologies, new technologies. i since you heard since the report we had taken a lot of our initial training away for our newommissioned officers. we used to have, up at serce warfare officer school in newport a very long 16-week course. since that time we've restored 15 of the 16
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weeks in eher predivion officer training when they first graduate and anoth five, six-week perio afterwds. we have restored a lot of that. we have got a lot of the same pqs personnel qualificatiostandards that we require everperson on every sh 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 cused on handling. we want to handle them close to a pier, where we nd to be. we put a lot of money and time to ridge resource management. the am piece. the combat and bridge team working together. going rward 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 open to
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the fact that we may have it wrong. >> all right. thank you, i believe my time up. >> thank you. we now proceed t congressn duncan hunter of california. >> thank you to the chairman and ranking members for having the hearing. gentlemen, thank ou fobeing here and you service. i'll get down to brass tacks quickly. you had seven bmd ships forwd 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 ey are getting epaired? >> admiral swift has moved ship deployments and ships around within pacific fleet, which is
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our largescontingentf naval por. i can't talk about who and what and when, for obvious reass. he has what he needs to replace the bmdapability 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? >> a we replacing the capability we need to do the operations we ha bn tasked to. the answer is yes. >> are you going back to seven shs. >> the seven ships will be -- yes, sir. 'll stay with seven ships. >> okay. you'll haveeven ships there. >> seven ships, so are in maintenance and some are -- they're not always all at sea. so we're able to move some of the around to accommodate admiral swift's dend signal. >> you'lbe replacing those two ships -- you'll replacing the capability of those two ships. you'll have the same capability you had forehand. >> yes. >> how long does that take, until that capability gap is filled? >> i don't have a specific
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date. i can get back to you on that. >>ext, i have been seeing some articles that said that surface warfare officer training was canceled. i haven't gotten to the veracity 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 coect or no? >> it isrue atneoint. back in 2003 winitiated at we call mputer based training. at lasted aboufive years. six years. and then it w -- it was roved as a bad idea. for all the reasons, it still sounds like a bad idea >> we have a viral trainer in san diego for one of the lcs variants i nt to fo or five years ago. it's like basically being in a -- like an f-35 trainer but it's the ocean, andhe whole brge. is that what you call computer tining? >> absolutely not. the computer-based traini am speaking of are -- think powerpoints on the cd. that's whatas given to th because we took away the school. we said go tohe shi. do all yourraining there. as i mentioned to miss davis we've
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restored almost all of that timing. we do it in the fleet concentration centers instead of in newport right w at the division oicer 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 bring up a great point. our exists that i haveeein surface warfare. i believe we'll look forward to, as part of this review, lookinat where we can better use -- and we already do use -- >> let me interject. there are two things. one is called e immersive virtual ship environment, right. that's the s trainer at we were -- vironment, right. that's the where you're on the actual barrage. there is a live virtual constructive training which is like an xbox game. you can have the ship blow up in ples and do things and see the outcomes and effect the outcomes with an xbox controller. my point is, after
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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 have these virtual trainers for every bridge and deck becse they're so inexpensiv so much easier to train thguys and have them fall in immediately as opposed to on the deck ting. >>e 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 heareas, notust lcs. i do believe that we are getting some economy with it in that we are getting better quality fility training and are doing it at a better price. if you go back and look at the folks -- the se trainers that criticed comter based trning, the same typ of
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folks who are leadinthis other virtual traininghat 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 get too narrow on this. thing. i think we -- max said -- the cirman said he didn't i ink there e lot of thin we're blaming from forward deployedodel. fleet size, maintence 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 seei the ship with your byinoculars out the indow. now to don norcross of new jersey. >> thank you, chairman. and very humbling day, when we go to review something like this. ut, having been on a jothree
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times in my litime when somebody was killed, it immediately took me back to the thoughts that people -- that i worked with, immediately times in my lifetime whe reviewed whait is that they are doing and how can they prevensomething from happening. so there was the first collision with the fishing trawler. then there was he fitzgerald when seven people were killed. and i would think that every commanding officer on every ship wod immediately ok to see how they are performing so i didn't happen to them. and then the mccain happened.o ask you, what's preventing the next one from happening? what is being done difrent today that was being de differt fromefe the mccain accident and before the itzgerald? >> sir, it's a very appropriate question that, as you -- i think you are aware, we condted an operationalause
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around the entire eet. >> mm-hmm. >> suddeoperational pause not something we te lightly. this happens in every region on the globe where we'vgot 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 reew what they -- lessons learned from other similar mishaps sohaweive them a chance to decide isur training where we need it to be, are our standards as high as they should be. whado we need to do as a team to operate better as a team. becaus driving ships arou is ncrediblyeam oriented. d that's one of the things we are lookg osely , at both ofhe investigations. >> the pause happened afr the mccain, correct? > yes, it did.
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>> why didn't th happeafter the first collision? second collision. >> sir, it should have. > why didn't that happen after >> as indivial cos on e ships, wouldn't they gthugh 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 kn if th happened on the mccain? >> i do not know exactly. we are iting the results of the operatnal pause. we asked evy fleet commander to provide inpuback on what did theyearn from at operationapause. talked about these things, who -- who actually took some action, what kind oadditional training. the mmder of surface warfare sent out additional types ofraining for every commanding officer to use in that, th their respectiv crews. but i do not have a list for you. im not suref admiral bolloes. >> no. we'll get you onehen we have it.
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>> finally, what is happening today differently other than thoperational pause? is there anything during the operation that you have nt t to all the cmanders to say you need to do this immediately? >> yes, sir. so admil 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 ises both in the physical plant but also perhaps with training and certification. ty' going to zero base certications and make se all of tse get recertified across the force in fdnf and then expand it into the entire pac fleet. hes doing a zero based review of the atg manning. float training group.
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that's the group that goes out tohe shi as an independent am to look at whether that crew is erating to our standards. and so he is going to probably ask for moreesources for all of those thing to the ships as an independent >> has any of this immediate review, in turn, caused any ship to be returned home? to cease operating because they were in such violation? >> not to my knowledge. >> thank you. i yield backy time. >> thank you very much, congssman norcross. now toongresswoman vicky housler. >> i, like many others here, heard e 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 follow up with some of the things -- line of questioning of my colleague mr. norcross and ask, what are we doing now. one ing you said. we knew there was a pause.ut did you say you haven't gotten the results of the pause yet, where
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we had the "uss fitzgerald" in june had the accident. you haven't received that yet? >> the operational pause, ma'a was taken after the mccain, not ter fitzgerald. >> okay. 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 wo right now? is over 100 hos out of line for that? w do you think the navy should address this? >> i will defer to the admirals to talk about how mu they're working now. in 2014 a naval internal study kaekt indicated the average was working 108 hours a week. they had 60 off. that's about 15 and a half hours a y. the standard work week, which is founded on a 70-hour base work week and
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ultimately when they add other duties is 81, it'sairly grueling in and of itself. if e vy was to the standard it has, the sailor would have1 hours off and ughly -- excuse me, 81 hours on and 87 o. just over 11 hours a day is what is sort of programmed in. >> admiral moran, is that something you all are striving toet to? those type of numbers? >> we are examining that. we haven organization in tennessee that is used to go look at all sea duty to determinwhat the right work week levels ought to be. we ave done this for decades. we have been pretty consistent with it. but i think, based on the trend
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ines we are seeing in fdnf that wreferred to earlier it's time to look at whether the maintenance backload the workload goi on in japan oday by slors on the waterfront ireaching a point where that work week nds to be modified. >> what abt -- when i fit 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 eliminad. whatan you telus about that? how do you go about eliminating that somebody took over your
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systems? >> it's relatively new ground for us. this is the first time we have sent a team from o cyber command heren washington, commander of tenth fleet. sent a team over there to pull as much data from that ship as ssible that records data, to see if there were any interruptions or disruptions that were abnormal. i would also offer to you that just about every three-lter agency in washington, d.c., has looked to see if there were indications of an intent or a tential acknowledgement of a cyber attack. we have seen -- i have personay not seen any evidence of that. but we are nottopping there. the ams in pce in singapore today. has been for several days. apturing all of the computer and network information to see if they can find any bnormalities or disruptions. > i am glad to hear that. in
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some ways it would be easier if you could blame somebody else. rather than taking a hard look at maybe it's just that need more training anit's our own polici a 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 n 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 men come who are going to have this oppounity. it's sobering to the fact that i look into the eyes othose parents and while they're very proud, many times tle biof feain the ba too. what's going to happen to my son or daughter. this is a tough question, but admiral. on a scale of one to tewith 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 thatou would tell me so i can home to my parents andtle look them in the eye and say, they're going to be ok? >> tough question to answer. how i will answer its that i have increble confidence in this team to learn from this and to get it right. i would share that with any person who has a son daughter who is coidering thnaval ademy
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or enlisted in the service. we are not perfect. but we need to strive to be that. and that's part of at this review is all about. to make sure we understand what went wrong and fix those things to the best of our ability, to regain the coidence of not only our parents and their families but our sailors as well. >> absolutely. they deserve that. we all stand ready to partnewith you to do whatever we need to do to get this right so our sailors come home safe. thank you. thank you congress dmwoman. we proceed congresswoman senasa. >> thank you. admiral moran, one of the things that you said is troubli to me. asou know, the gao report in 2015 had a ceification -- looked at abo 22 areas. 11 were ound to be, i guess, 22 areas.
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1 were found to be, i guess, expired. and the one that seems to be appropriate for what appened is the mobility seamen ip where eight certification t of 11 haexpired for 73%. what i'm curious about is we ave to look at these two collisions and they are really with commercial ssels, lar 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 sai it yourself in your testimony, it is very consted ithese areas there we two years ago, just themount of traffic. and we all know the asia pacific area has just grown and the amount ocommercial traffic
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we're dealing th is different nd it is sort of the tensn between commercial ps military, and i'm pretty sure our ships don't two out and advertise that they're going out. so what is it that is done n terms of the training of our sailors as to how to prepare when they're -- you know, tt not whether you can aim the missile correctly or anying like that, ts is diffent. this is just being like on the freeway. how are you going to manageha is that something that we have sort of overlooked? we're so busy training tm on cyber security and rad and everything else that we miss the fundamental type of issues like h to navigate. >> we're asking the same question and i kw the admil is gng to look very hard at that on this come esennive reew. we have moved from a
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country road to 395 going sout right now in placelike the singapore straits and the red sea and other areas where we need to be as a navybut it is -- i'd offer maybe the admiral could comment on tt as well. >> absolutely. he regions has gotten much more difficult to navigate. there is no question. t 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 hen you look at our ability to saly navigate. one is mob-n, mobile navigation anthsecond is mobility seamansh. that loo at mostly deck evolutions, how do you t up the ship, use boats and things like that. e navigation one is absolutely critical.
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we have concepnow that focuses on tse skill sets and he will t you know that the tier one are less expired an the tier two war fighting. we probably need to look more closy. there mit be a tier zero, ones that never go out and hese are the types of things that we need to look more closely. i ha been in those waters, but i have done it off the singorstraitnd i'm shocked at the difference between those two worlds. o we are preparing for a lot of other missions, but if nothing else reminds us of our absolute imperative to get mariner's skills right, were commted 100% to doing that and we will whatever it takes and admiral davidson will make that aart of his investigation. i guess i'm almost out of time,
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but how do you prepare for that? 's like learning how to drive, right? you have to be on the road and learning how tdo is no placement for that. so is there an idea how you are going to train your sails to doha >> absolutely. my teen driver next month will be able to drive anywheren the state, not according to his dad. there is the same type of proces process. we have tgive them e right tools and someone has to ensure that they meet a standardnot just that officer but the team to keep that te safe. it is not just that rar operator. it is not just t look-out or the person driving the ship. it is the team, the ability to dmun kate that data, to keep situational aweness and keep that ship out of dangerwe owe nothing else to those sailors. thank you. i yield back. >> and thank you, congresswoman. we now proceed to congressmanradley burn of alabama.
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>> i w listening to you, admiral, about the dficulties presented to you wn we pass a coinuum resolution. last july, july of this year, the hoe of representatives passed an appropriatis bill. last year in the appropriations bill, we appropriated -- the vy asked an increase this year and we plussed it up another $500 million above your request. so the house of hoe of representatives passed an appropriations bill. last year in the appropriations representatives appropriated e money for fiscal year '18 that you need for your readiness. the response we'v gotten back today from the united states senate is a 90 day continui resolution. let me read from your prepar testony and ask you to respond to that in light of your stament. nding at prior year lels through a
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continuing resolution, noonly disrupts the gains, it gins 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 vy? >> what i mean by that, congressman, is that when we cannot put ships on coract and we are on a recovery path and we no longer can stayn that recovery path, wre reverting back to a different plan, a diert ramp. >> b that's as a result of a continuing resolution actually appropriating? >> yes, sir. thas correct. >> so explain in a little more detail exactly how does a continng resolution disrupt that or reverse it? what is it in your process that causes a problem with.
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>> well, if you can't put in avoil that you have told the yard they are going to getn contract because there is the limits of our continuing sotion rules do not allow us to put the new contracts in place until we have a budget, then that yard has got to do something with its workforce. and whewe do get the money and go bacto contract in the next quarter, it's going to be less effo and more expensive because they have h to make adjustments and had to work around. th maybe had to let people go and to do something th its workforce. and when we do get the moy and go back to hire them back >>o those are some of the impacts in disrupting the rds that are trying their hardest to help the navy get better in terms of eating away at that untain of backlog mainnance that we all know is out there and they have done a terrific job over the last year. and hanks to congress's support in the raa in '17, we were able to put $1.6 billion immediately on contract to bring avails back into ', which weere
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anning nowo haveo defer into '18 only to have them deferred again. that's the druption 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 o. t me go back to the ministration's request for scal year '18. the administration asked a construction of nine newhips fofiscal year '18 and the house passed earlier this summer, authorized a construcon in our appropriatio bill followed this, the construction of 13 ships. so i think listening to your prior answers to m whitman's questions, i think you would ree with mit is better for
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us to be finding the moneyo buy those extra ships than to stick with what was the orinal request was. i would agree we ed a construction of nine new ships >> yes. but to get there, we larger navy, sir. veo spend more money. >> yes, sir, because the trade-offs we're having to make i think are pret apparent d most of those trade-offs include readiness and manpower. when you buy ships or prioritize shi, those are the trade-offs you have to make insi a limitedontrol on your top line. >> there was a lot of talk about what is your responsibility on all this. congress bears a responsibilit in all this. if these accidents te us anything, it is that we can't wait to build up our fleet. we need to start now. and, so, i waproud to vote for that appropriations bill and our authorization bill earlier this year. i'm disappointedhe senate has chosen to send this continuing resolution instead of make an appropriations bill, but i believe you can count on the members of thicommittee 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. i yield back. >> we now proceed to congressman anthony brown of
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maryland. i, too, believe that congress has a responsibility tfully resource our armed services. in fact, i'll go so far as to adopt and associate myself with the general's comments and i paphrase that continuing resolutions and i'll a sequestration is comeparable to legislative malpractice. i want to thank you forcknowledging and mr. urtney pointed out nd i'm reading from your tatement this is not about resourcing. it is about safety and leadership at sea. 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.
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one of whose mother was here today. something is definitely wrong. iny nine months as a member of the house of armed services committee, i think i have lost count at the number ofimes that senior leaders fromll services have come to this committee and said that we are services have come to this ready to fight tonight. i don't think that these collisions are consistent with that claim. and regardless of the tempo or the resource come strants. whether you have a 250 or 300 ship fleet, wheer the defense budget is $550 or $650 billion, we all have a responsibility. and yours is to manage those resources in a way where readiness is not exclusiver mutually exclusive with safety.
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i thk you for your leadership, and i understa and i acknowledge that you get that. so here is my question. and it's been toucheon earlier. admiral moran, in your written testimony, you identified cyber security afloat and ashore as a significant readinesshort fa that was lped by the fiscal yr '17 additional appropriations. so that's good. you have identified it as a short fall. you came to congress andongress helped. can you elaborate on the progress that the navy h made>>t
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and i would hope that wean do that because, look, i was on the uss nimitz four or five months ago. there is a lot of flting thnology. there is a lot of networking, ship to ship, ship to air, ship to shore. it's not a floating city. its a floating state. tremendous technological ssets. and the first thing hat came to me mind when i read about the first incident of two large vessels colliding with one other is how do that appen. and i think as my olleague from california said,
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ou know, sure, we talked about certification and training and maintenance. we're talking bout men and won on a bridge ith equipment and technology on the open seas. how does that happen? i would like to have a better understanding of the cer vulnerabilits,ur defense, our security when it comes to our floating, you know, vessels. because i've got to believe, and i'mlad to hear that you're cluding 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
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noproceed to the congsswoman from new york. >> i want to associate my -- thank you, mr. chairman. i want to associate my questions wi 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 o naval ships. but i want to ask you specically. you mentioned that we are integrating cyber and netwk vulnerabilities as part of our ongoing investation. how is that happening specifically, even if it is to rule out cyber as a potential cause? >> specifically, admiral, our leet cyber command, has a team hat hs formed. they're a team of experts. very, very taleed young m and women that will -- that are in place and will use their knowledge of how they would attack to teamf experts.ery, very talentedou men and women determine whether we've been attacked, and they will know where to go look. thiss the first me we have done this. and we're not stopping. this is to try to institutionalize doing cyber as part of any mishap,
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aviation, submarine, you name it. we need to go look ait as order of business and not nd wave ito its cyber. >> i agree with that and that leads to itsext question. you are institutionizing ts process. is that service-wide? is that going to ba part of any future investigation? absolutely. >> can you describe other activities the navy is institutionalizing to up our game when it comes to protting our platforms from cyr threats? >> c 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 nd coleted. we contue to
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work through several of the discoveries during tests for cyber atening as an exampl one of the journeys we're on righnow that our cno john richardson has really brought rward is this notion of understanding all of the digital coections that are in -- that are reside within every stimony we have out there today and theye t coected as well and we are not able to erate them as effectively as we should. that's also drivin-- when you dive into it that deeply, you also realize that there is a cyber component to trying to make the navy more digitized becausit could become vulnerable more quickly less you protect those digital atabases and the ability to do
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analics anthose sorts of thin. 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 gaves at the end of this year in scal year '17, where we applieit, to at defensive systems and proteconthat we needed to do and it in some cases is fundamentally basic ings like shifting to the new windows across the board where we are getting commercial protection that comes with that product as opsed to living off of old erwiner windowversio. >> the 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 theepartment of defense has mandated that across the services. all of us are responding to this. we have deadne. it is coming up and
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can only speak for the nav but we are on track to meet that deadline on things as basic as what you just described. thank youery much, admiral and i yield back. >> thank you vy much. we now procd to the congressman from calirnia. >> thankou, mr. chairman. d i want to hank my colleagues for delving into ts sue of cyber security. admiral, admirals, and we thank you for all of your svice 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 mh more than hacking. the single point of failure of most everythings . i assumyou'll be looking at the downgrading of gps that can occur raer easily, particularly in those areas where there happen to be other folks around. so i'd like to
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have that as part of that view. also the electronic equipment, not specifically with regard to hacking or cyber, but rather s validation that it is acally workg as it is supposed to, navition equipment, all of the radar and so on. i assume that the review will be in that area as ll as this cyber area. is that correct? >> yes, sir. that icorrect. and i would suggest that the companies that built that equipment not be the ones esponsiblfor certifng it is actually working. might think about that. also the commanders, the commanding is actually working. might officers of the ship, how often are they moved from one ship to another. what is the length of time they spend on any one ship. >> as a commanding officer? >> yeah. the top three officers. >> the executive officer on the
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stroye right now we're on 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 abo 18 months. here is a shortakth ip hsa sp ta w ncoanngffer >> the commanding officer after they leave will ashe usually oro 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. ab iave a general concern orpes im t con isithe evusuyt's spsie d ftheroemndt is norely sold. i he en
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th in hears.'dike toava ll discuio about whether that cyc is to fast and nobody is around long enghi'm pleased to hear that the execivofficer 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 rotatehips. there is advantages to doing it. ere 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 hose ships. command of those ships is critical and obviously they want to me 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 having to do with virtual training facilities. you specified the lcs has a successful virtual training program. i
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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 silator time and what's different is that we can create a virtual enronmen we don't have to ha the level of feel and toh that an aviation helicopter or fixed wing aircraft will have to use. so this technology is out there. the sailors are mfortable with it. they undersnd it and perhaps we can use that to
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ontinue timove these skills where we y not have the dedicated at sea time 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 oraons and further discussion on that would be useful in your report suppose will deal with that as a potential training ast. with that, i yie back. thank you, m chairman. >> thank you, congressman. we now proceed to the conessman f wisconsin. > thank you, mr. chaian. gentlemen thank you for joining us today. i want to revisit two lining of uestions hopefully wiout being repetitive. i think one


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