Serving Citizen Warriors Through Advocacy and Education Since 1922
Mister Chairman and distinguished members of the Committee, the Associations for America’s Defense (A4AD) are very grateful for the invitation to testify before you about our views and suggestions concerning current and future issues facing the defense appropriations.
The Association for America’s Defense is an adhoc group of eleven military and veteran associations that have concerns about national security issues that are not normally addressed by either The Military Coalition, or the National Military and Veterans Alliance. Among the issues that are addressed are equipment, end strength, force structure, and defense policy. Collectively, we represent about members, who are serving our nation, or who have done so in the past.
A4AD, also, cooperatively works with other associations, who provide input while not including their association name to the membership roster.
CURRENT VERSUS FUTURE; ISSUES FACING DEFENSE
The Associations for America’s Defense would like to thank this subcommittee for the on-going stewardship that it has demonstrated on issues of Defense. At a time of war, its pro-defense and non-partisan leadership continues to set the example.
Lessons learned from the war have only fueled the debate on what is needed for National Defense. Your committee faces numerous issues and decisions. You are challenged at weighing people against technology, and where to invest dollars. Multi-generations of weapons are being touted, forcing a competition for limited budgetary resources.
Members of A4AD group are concerned that hasty recommendations about U.S. Defense policy could place national security at risk. Careful study is needed to make the right choice. A4AD is pleased that Congress and this subcommittee continue oversight in these decisions.
Pentagon criticism is that our Armed Forces are archaic; structured for a Cold War. Yet it has been those legacy systems that have brought success in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Are Business Practices Practical?
The 2005 QDR emphasizes the needs of the area Combat Commanders, and seeks a “demand driven” approach to “reduce unnecessary program redundancy, improve joint interoperability and streamline acquisition and budgeting processes.” In industry “demand driven” flow is called Just-in-Time (JIT) management.
JIT attacks waste in the manufacturing process, working to identify and reduce or eliminate excess set-up and lead times, inventory, and scrap by exposing problems and bottlenecks and streamlining production.
DoD’s JIT concept is to reduce the amount and length in the logistics tail. The idea is to minimize investment, and get the bullet and spare parts to the troops on the line as they need them. The Pentagon wants to eliminate a “steel mountain” of supplies.
Industry has been trying to perfect JIT for 30 years. A few industries have been able to use it, in others it causes hiccups. The risk is a shut down in production, and the more complex the system, the higher the risk. In many cases, the inventorying costs are shifted from producer to supplier to stock parts at a different site, which increases the costs of spare parts. Shipping expenses go up, as shortages tend to be “overnighted” when the scheduling goes haywire. In most cases, the bottom line is a more expensive product, which for the Pentagon would mean a higher DoD expense.
The Pentagon has suggested the reduction of redundancy by consolidation and the elimination of military positions which would be replaced by contractors. The question that arises is 'What are the elements that ensure successful implementation outcomes between the Government purchasing offices and various commercial contractors?” If outcomes become less predictable the risk is not to contractors but to Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airman and the war effort.
Dependence On Foreign Partnership
The QDR highlights DoD’s move “from a large institutional force to a future force … that is tailored for expeditionary operations.” The QDR also states that “the future force must be more tailored, more accessible to the joint commander, and better configured to operate with other agencies and international partners in complex operations.” and that “Combatant Commanders will expand the concept of contracting volunteers…”
Echoing the QDR, Gordon England, the deputy defense secretary stated in March at the Defense Security Cooperation Agency Worldwide Conference that in order “to meet the diverse security challenges of the future, DoD must strengthen and adapt long-term alliances, as well as form relationships with new international partners, enabling them to enhance their capabilities.”
"Effective multinational efforts are essential to solve the problems we face together," England added.
The Navy seeks a “1000-ship Navy.” The Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Mike Mullen, called for “a fleet-in-being… comprised of all freedom-loving nations, standing watch over the seas, standing watch over each other.” Mullen’s concept is to build on existing international security agreements to extend the global reach of sea power. “We need to be a team player, a leader, for that 1,000-ship navy and a citizen in good standing for the city at sea,” he said.
The risk of basing a national security policy on foreign interests and good world citizenship is increasing uncertainty because the United States does not necessarily control our foreign partners, countries whose objectives may differ with from own. This is more an exercise of consensus building rather than security integration. Alliances should be viewed as a tool and a force multiplier, but not the foundation of National Security.
While an idea or a vision can be a catalyst to enthusiasm, this should not lead directly to change. Ideas should be tested and be judged not by a logic structure but by an outcome. The United States will always need a minimum force structure that permits us to defend ourselves.
IS THERE A PLACE FOR LEGACY WEAPONS?
A4AD suggests that existing legacy weapons be shifted from the Active Component to the Reserve. The last war’s legacy may be the next war’s necessity. Before 9/11 the Navy wanted to eliminate its USNR CB battalions as being a Cold War legacy. In Operation Iraqi Freedom, not only is the integrated Active and Reserve CB force national rebuilding, but is also involved in explosive disposal. In both the Army and the Marine Corps, artillery units are being retrained in civil affairs, but if military conflict breaks out in Korea, the units will be needed with their artillery.
Both the Pentagon and the Task Force on a Unified Security Budget for the United States have suggested cutting $62 billion from what has been labeled as Cold War weapons programs. While the Pentagon emphasizes the need to seek new technologies, the Task Force wants to use this “dividend” for homeland security, halt the spread of nuclear weapons.
The F-22 fighter, Joint Strike Fighter, the Virginia-class submarine, the DD(X) destroyer, the V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft and the C-130J cargo plane are just examples of new technology that has been labeled as legacy weapons. The key is that these weapons are needed to replace earlier aging weapons systems.
Crash Highlights An Aging Fleet: A giant C-5A Air Force cargo plane that crashed and broke apart while making an emergency landing at Dover Air Force Base was part of an aging fleet whose future is being debated. The 21-year-old aircraft that crashed was one that's been modernized.
The U.S. Military has a number of aging air frames, besides the C-5A, the Air Force has the F-15 fighter. The Navy and the Marines are flying C-9 transports and H-46 helicopters. GAO Report 01-163 reported that tactical Aircraft modernization plans would not reduce the average age of these aircraft. Nearly five years of war have just added to the wear and fatigue.
The rapidly aging F-15 Eagle first flew in the 1970s. In mock combat against MiG, Sukhoi and Mirage fighters, foreign air forces have scored unexpected successes against the Eagles. Modern, Russian-designed “double-digit” surface-to-air missile systems (SAMs) now available on the export market have also caught up to the F-15 in capability. New air dominance platforms are urgently needed. The F/A-22 Raptor and the Joint Strike F-35 fighters represent vital and complementary capabilities must be fully funded.
The recent Quadrennial Defense Review has cut the Air Force’s planned F-22 buy in half—from 381 to 183 fighters. To compensate, the Air Force will be forced to extend the service lives of other fighters and depend more on advanced unmanned systems. Congress should reinstate full procurement of 381 fighters for a minimum deployment of one squadron for each of the service’s ten Air Expeditionary Forces.
Air National Guard needs E-8C, A-10, F-16 block 42 re-engining.
A4AD supports modernization of critical USMC aviation capabilities available through MV-22, JSF-STOVL, and HLR programs. The JSF development and support of constructive cost-control practices should be fully funded for both the Navy and Marine Corps.
The Navy and Marine Corps are also approaching aging aircraft in a different fashion. They are transferring tactical F-18 aircraft from the Reserve to the Active Component. This will leave Reserve Component units without hardware this will either reduce readiness of Reserve operational units, or cause units to be disbanded.
Air Mobility Command assets fly 36,478 hours per month and participate in major operations including earthquake and hurricane relief, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Noble Eagle, and SOUTHCOM. Their contributions in moving cargo and passengers are absolutely indispensable to American warfighters in the Global War on Terrorism. Both Air Force and Naval airframes and air crew are being stressed by these lift missions.
As the US military continues to become more expeditionary, it will require more airlift. DOD should complete the planned buy of 180 C-17s, and add an additional 60 aircraft at a rate of 15 aircraft per year to account to ensure an adequate airlift force for the future and allow for attrition —C-17s are being worn out at a higher rate than anticipated in the Global War on Terrorism.
DOD should also continue with a joint multi-year procurement of C-130Js and press ahead with a C-5 Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program test to see where airlift funds may be best allocated.
The Navy and Marine Corps need C-40-A replacements for the C-9B aircraft. The Navy requires Navy Unique Fleet Essential Airlift. The maximum range for the C-40A is approximately 1,500 miles more than the C-9 with a greater airlift capacity. The C-40A, a derivative of the 737-700C is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified, while the aging C–9 fleet is not compliant with either future global navigation requirements or noise abatement standards that restrict flights into European airfields. Twenty-two aircraft remain to be replaced.
In need for air refueling is reconfirmed on a daily basis in worldwide DOD operations. A significant number of tankers are old and plagued with structural problems. The Air Force would like to retire as many as 131 of the Eisenhower-era KC-135E tankers by the end of the decade.
The controversy that surrounded the KC-767 tanker-lease proposal has delayed acquisition of a new tanker. DOD and Congress must work together to replacement of these aircraft. A replacement could come in the form of a hybrid tanker/airlifter aircraft, which when produced could “swing” from one mission to the other as required. Congress should also look at re-engining a portion of the KC-135 fleet as a short-term fix until newer platforms come online.
Procurement F-22, F-35, MV-22A, C40-A and a replacement for the KC-135 needs to be accelerated and modernized, and mobility requirements need to be reported upon.
Navy Fleet Size:
The number of ships in the fleet is dropping to 281 ships. The Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Mike Mullen, has set the target for the new fleet at 313 ships.
The Administration procurement rate has been too low.
A4AD favors a fleet no smaller than 313 ships because of an added flexibility to respond to emerging threats. Congress should explore options to current methods of ship design, configuration, and shipbuilding that have created billion dollar destroyers.
Increasing End Strength.
Op tempo and deployment rotation will begin to wear. The official position of rotation of 1 year deployed for three years duty for active duty and 1 year in six for the Guard and Reserve are targets, but not yet reality. Increases are needed in the Active component to reduce the building stress, and to reduce the need for Guard and Reserve call-up. Any unfunded end-strength increases would put readiness at risk.
The A4AD supports funding increases in support of the end strength boosts of the Active Duty Component of the Army and Marine Corps that have been recommended by Defense Authorizers.
A4AD also hopes that this subcommittee would include language reminding the Department of Defense that once appropriated that each service should proactively recruit to try to attain these numbers.
Now is not the time to be cutting the Guard and Reserve. Incentives should be utilized to attract prior service members into a growing reserve. Additionally, a moratorium on changes to End Strength of the Guard and Reserve should be put into place until Commission on the Guard and Reserve can report back to Congress with recommendations.
The A4AD would like to also put a freeze on reductions to the Guard and Reserve manning level, holding to the FY-2006 levels.
Regeneration/Resetting of Equipment.
A4AD would like to thank this committee for the regeneration money that was included in the Supplemental.
Aging equipment, high usage rates, austere conditions in Iraq, and combat losses are affecting future readiness. Equipment is being used at 5 to 10 times the programmed rate.
Additionally, to provide the best protection possible for Soldiers and Marines in the combat theater, many units have left their equipment behind for follow-on units, and are returning with no equipment. Without equipment on which to train after de-mobilization, readiness will become an issue.
The Army, Army Reserve, Army National Guard, Marines and Marine Forces Reserve need continued funding by Congress for equipment replacement.
Counter-measures to Improvised Explosive Devices.
A4AD would like to commend the committee for supporting enhanced countermeasures for air and ground troops now deployed. For ground troops, the biggest threat to safety continues to be the improvised explosive device or IED.
Cost effective solutions that can provide an enhanced degree of safety do exist, however, in the form of electronic countermeasures. These devices work in one of two ways: either by pre-detonating an IED or by preventing the detonation through jamming of the signal. Officers returning from the field indicate the better choice is pre-detonation. Insurgents seem to be able to adapt to jamming technologies.
Also, insurgents can overcome armored protection by increasing the explosive payload. With the right technology, it could be possible to detonate these weapons in the workshops.
We encourage the Committee to look at specifying additional funds for the purpose of researching, purchasing and deploying more electronic countermeasures for ground troops. In this way we can provide a greater degree of safety to all of the troops facing the IED threat, no matter what type of vehicle they may be operating.
Continued emphasis is needed for the procurement of sufficient quantities of electronic countermeasures to protect personnel deployed in the battle space.
Aircraft Survivability Equipment.
Air crews face non-traditional threats used by non-conventional forces and deserve the best available warning and countermeasure equipment available to provide the greatest degree of safety possible. The majority of funds have been expended on fixed aircraft protection; approximately 75 percent of U.S. air losses have been rotary wing.
A4AD hopes that the Committee will continue to support the purchase and deployment of warning and countermeasures systems with an emphasis on rotary wing aircraft across all of the services and insure that the latest and most advanced versions of these protections are made available to all units now deployed or slated for deployment in the future – be they active duty, Guard or Reserve.
Maintaining the National Guard and Reserve Equipment List.
A single equipment appropriation for each service would not guarantee that the National Guard and Reserve Components would get any new equipment. The National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account (NGREA) is vital to ensuring that the Guard and Reserve has some funding to procure essential equipment that has not been funded by the services. Without Congressional oversight, dollars intended for Guard and Reserve Equipment might be redirected to Active Duty non-funded requirements. This will lead to decreased readiness.
This move is reminiscent of the attempt by DoD to consolidate all pay and O&M accounts into one appropriation per service. Any action by the Pentagon to circumvent Congressional oversight should be resisted.
A4AD asks this committee to continue to provide appropriations against unfunded National Guard and Reserve Equipment Requirements. To appropriate funds to Guard and Reserve equipment would help emphasize that the Active Duty is exploring dead-ends by suggesting the transfer of Reserve equipment away from the Reservists.
Unfunded Equipment Requirements. (The services are not listed in priority order.)
1. F/A-22 and F/35 Joint Strike Fighter
2. Accelerate C-17 and C-130J procurement
3. Update Tanker Fleet
4. E-10 multi-sensor Command and Control Aircraft
5. Space Radar & Transformational Satellite (TSAT) system
Air Force Reserve:
1. C-5A ADS $11.8M
2. LAIRCM (Large Aircraft I/R Counter Measures) $228.5M
3. F-16 ALR-69A $18.8M
4. C-130 APN-241 Radar $21.0M
5. MC-130E CARA/ETCAS $14.6M
1. Helmet Mounted Cueing System (HMCS) $ 270.8 M
2. A-10 SATCOM Radio $ 6.3 M
3. KC-135 Night Vision Compatibility Lighting $ 47.5 M
4. C-130,C-5, C-17 LAIRCM/C-5 ADS $ 656 M
5. F-16, A-10, C-130, C-5 Simulators
1. M88 Improved Recovery Vehicles $331.9 M
2. C-47 Chinook Helicopters $331.5 M
3. UH-60 Blackhawk replacement Helicopters $ 71 M
1. Light Medium Tactical Vehicles [LMTV] $ 306 M
2. Medium Tractors $ 304 M
3. Night Vision systems
4. Chemical/Bio/Radiological detection/alarm systems $ .8 M
5. Medical Equipment $ 3 M
1. High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMHWV)$3,285 M
2. Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles $4,582 M
3. Single Channel Ground Air Radio Sys (SINCGARS replaces VRC-12) $ 222 M
4. Small Arms $ 96 M
5. Night Vision (AN/PVS-14/PAS-13) $1,439 M
1. V-22 Osprey Aircraft in FY-2007 (2) $ 154 M
2. (APN) KC-130J Aircraft Procurement (8) $678.7 M.
3. (PMC) High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) $170.7 M
4. (PMC) M777A1 Lightweight 155MM Howitzer (LW 155) Program $ 12.4 M
Reserve Marine Corps:
1. Field Medical Equipment (FFME) $ 3.5 M
2. Shelter and Tents (Command Post Large Tactical Shelter) $ 2.2 M
3. Shelters and Tents (Ultra Lightweight Camouflage Net System $ 5.3 M
4. Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) $ 3.5 M
5. Infantry Combat Equipment (ICE) $ 11.7 M
6. Portable Tent Lighting $ 3.5 M
1. Improvised Explosives Device Countermeasure $ 16.8 M
2. MH-60S/MH-60R procurement $140 M
3. Lease (3) commercial Scan Eagle (SHUAV) Systems $ 39.7 M
4. Expeditionary Riverine Funding $ 20. M
5. Accelerate (2) LCS $520 M
1. Naval Coastal Warfare Table of Allowance Equipment $24.3 M.
2. Explosive Ordnance Disposal Table of Allowance Equipment $2.4 M .
3. NCF Tactical Vehicles and Support Equipment $30.1 M.
4. C-40 A Combo cargo/passenger Airlift $76 M
A4AD is a working group of military and veteran associations looking beyond personnel issues to the broader issues of National Defense.
Cuts in manpower and force structure, simultaneously in the Active and Reserve Component are concerns in that it can have a detrimental effect on surge and operational capability.
This testimony is an overview, and expanded data on information within this document can be provided upon request.
Thank you for your ongoing support of the Nation, the Armed Services, and the fine young men and women who defend our country. Please contact us with any questions.
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