Search Form
First, enter a politician or zip code
Now, choose a category

Public Statements

Hearing Of The Military Construction, Veterans Affairs And Related Agencies Subcommittee Of The House Appropriations Committee - The Department Of Air Force Budget

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


Hearing Of The Military Construction, Veterans Affairs And Related Agencies Subcommittee Of The House Appropriations Committee - The Department Of Air Force Budget

Chaired By: Rep. Chet Edwards

Witnesses: General Norton Schwartz, Chief Of Staff, U.S. Air Force; General Del Eulberg, Director Of Installations And Mission Support, U.S. Air Force

Copyright ©2009 by Federal News Service, Inc., Ste. 500, 1000 Vermont Ave, Washington, DC 20005 USA. Federal News Service is a private firm not affiliated with the federal government. No portion of this transcript may be copied, sold or retransmitted without the written authority of Federal News Service, Inc. Copyright is not claimed as to any part of the original work prepared by a United States government officer or employee as a part of that person's official duties. For information on subscribing to the FNS Internet Service at www.fednews.com, please email Carina Nyberg at cnyberg@fednews.com or call 1-202-216-2706.

REP. EDWARDS: I'd like to call the subcommittee to order. General Schwartz, General Eulberg, thank you both for being here. And, General Eulberg, I see in my notes that you are retiring this summer after 36 years?

GEN. EULBERG: Sir, 35 in uniform.

REP. EDWARDS: Thirty-five -- 35 years of military service, and I want to thank, on behalf of all of us in Congress, you and your family for your service to our country over those years. You made a real difference, and we salute you for that service.

GEN. EULBERG: Thank you.

REP. EDWARDS: And thank you for being here today.

GEN. EULBERG: Thank you, sir.

REP. EDWARDS: Let me -- I'd like to just make a few very brief opening comments, and then I'm going to turn to Zach Wamp, our ranking member, for any opening comments he'd care to make, and then we'll proceed with the testimony.

We're here today to receive testimony on the Air Force's fiscal year 2010 budget request for military construction, family housing and BRAC. Over one year ago, the prior chief of staff of the Air Force told this subcommittee that the Air Force had chosen to accept what it called, quote, "manageable risk" in facilities and infrastructure funding.

Although the active Air Force military construction request, at $1.145 billion represents an increase over both the FY09 request and the FY09 enacted level, it is still more than $200 million short of what last year's FYDP projected for 2010. It therefore would appear to me that the Air Force is still accepting some degree of risk in facilities to meet other priorities. Also, I'm concerned that the Guard and Reserve MILCOM budgets are not keeping pace with the possible needs out there.

The Air Force certainly has many challenges and budget issues to balance, so my goal today is to hope to better understand the Air Force views in relation to MILCON and family housing in the context of all the other pressing needs that you have.

Before I introduce our witnesses, I would like to turn to Mr. Wamp, our ranking member, for any comments.

REP. ZACH WAMP (R-TN): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let me thank you for your extraordinary leadership. I welcome the chief today, this morning, and certainly comment General Eulberg for his outstanding career.

I want to thank Mr. Crenshaw, in his absence, for subbing for me yesterday and for your understanding, Mr. Chairman. I happened to have my 24th wedding anniversary Monday night, and as many of those as I've missed over the last 15 years, I got one in.

REP. EDWARDS: Do not miss anymore of those --

REP. WAMP: No, it was --

REP. EDWARDS: -- for any committee hearing.

REP. WAMP: -- very worthwhile, and I'm grateful for that.

I just want to -- I don't want to repeat anything you just said. Looking at the reduced funding levels and the topic of our hearing today, I want to thank the Air Force for all that they do and continue to do for our national capability, and I want to especially thank you for allowing one of your finest, Major Juan Alvarez (sp), over my right shoulder, to actually help staff me this year.

He has served the Air Force and his country extremely well, and certainly gives me a full and new, even better appreciation of the United States Air Force and the quality of the men and women that serve our country through the United States Air Force.

So, thanks for your presence today. I look forward to a good hearing. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

REP. EDWARDS: Thank you, Mr. Wamp.

General Schwartz, since this is your first time before our subcommittee in your position, let me just read into the record a very brief introduction.

General Schwarz, the chief of staff of the Air Force, became chief of staff in August of 2008. He has served for 36 years. That's where I got the 36 years, General -- 36 years of service since graduating from the Air Force academy in 1973. And thank you, General Schwartz, for those years of service and leadership.

He previously has served as commander, U.S. Transportation Command, director of the Joint Staff, commander of the 11th Air Force, deputy commander in chief of Special Operations Command, commander of the 16th Special Operations wing, and he is a command pilot with more than 4,400 hours in C-130s, MH-53s and MH-60s -- a little bit different from the 1,100 hours I have in single-engine Cessna 210. General Schwartz also served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

I want to again welcome both of you to the committee. We will accept for the record your complete statements, but I'd like to recognize you now, General Schwartz, for any opening comments you care to make.

GENERAL NORTON A. SCHWARTZ: Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Congressman Wamp. Thank you very much for allowing me to appear before you today.

The Air Force is dedicated to its role as a trusted member of the armed forces. Our infrastructure and investment strategies supports our core functions and ensures that the investments reflect stewardship of the taxpayers' dollar and achieves strategic balance in our current fiscal circumstances in five priorities, the first of which is reinvigorating our nuclear enterprise.

The second is partnering with the Joint Coalition Team to win today's fight; third, to develop and care for our airmen, their families and, importantly, our wounded; fourth, to modernize our air and space inventories and training capabilities; and finally, to recapture acquisition excellence.

With this in mind, I'd like to update you on military construction, family housing, and BRAC as a part of our comprehensive strategy to support the national defense with global vigilance, reach and power.

As you indicated earlier, I'm accompanied by Del Eulberg, our civil engineer, and I'll have a few more comments, if I may, at the conclusion of my remarks on that as well, who will sort of round out the details of the strategy.

As we continue to focus today on today's fight and to modernize our air and space inventories for tomorrow's challenges, we recognize that we cannot lose focus on critical Air Force infrastructure programs. Air Force installations are key to delivering game-changing airspace and cyber capabilities to our combatant commanders.

And our FY10 investments directly contribute to maintaining the infrastructure necessary to accomplish these many missions.

At the same time, we are committed to quality of service for our people, and that is consistent with the contributions and sacrifices they make on behalf of our nation.

While the FY10 budget for MILCON, BRAC and family housing and facility maintenance requests is in the neighborhood of, as you indicated, a billion-five (dollars), or thereabouts, which is somewhat less than last year's projection, we intend to mitigate the difference in MILCON and facility maintenance by intensifying our efforts in restoration and modernization of existing -- (inaudible).

In managing our resources from an enterprise portfolio perspective, optimizing facility utilization, in addition to targeted demolition and aggressive energy saving initiatives, we will continue to privatize family housing and modernize dormitories as well to assure airman's quality of service.

Air Force MILCON family housing and BRAC initiatives will continue to directly support these overall priorities that I outline for you, sir, and we do appreciate and we thank you for your continuing support of our Air Force, and particularly our airmen and their families, who are devoted, I think, to defending the nation.

I do look forward to your questions. With your permission, sir, I'd like to make two comments.

REP. EDWARDS: Okay.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: One relates to an observation for your consideration, as I have traveled since moving into this position last August, that on two trips to the central command area of responsibility, on both occasions the limitation, the threshold of $750,000 for construction in the contingency areas is too low.

I would ask you to consider -- and Del can reinforce this -- that in the neighborhood of 2 (million dollars) to 3 million (dollars) is probably the right threshold for -- given the cost of construction, the availability of the materiel and so on. I'm not asking for broader application of that elevated threshold, but simply to the warfighting AOR.

The second point, sir, is, as you indicated, Del moves on here shortly. He has brought a fact-based, analytical approach to our civil engineering discipline, leadership to our engineers and explosive ordnance disposal personnel. His service has been truly notable. And Suzie and I honor your service as well. In fact, Del's wife is packing out today as he is here testifying before the committee. So another indication of how this is a team sport.

So, Mr. Chairman, again, thank you for your compliment, and I double your compliment to general Eulberg. Sir, thank you.

REP. EDWARDS: Well, thank you, General Schwartz, for your leadership and service, for your comments today, and for honoring General Eulberg.

General Eulberg, most of us in Congress realize that the day after we retire or announce our retirement, the question about us is who is going to replace us, and we're forgotten pretty quickly. You will have left a legacy in terms of housing, quality of life, as well as training facilities. It will be serving our servicemen and women for decades to come. So thank you to you and your family for the difference that you have made.

As we begin questioning, I might ask a question I like to routinely ask all of our service chiefs and civil engineers, and that is do you have a number in terms of how many Air Force personnel are living in housing, whether it's barracks or family homes, that are determined as inadequate using the Air Force's own standards, not how many plan to be brought up to adequate -- or the funding is in the pipeline and the process is ongoing, but as of tonight, how many Air Force families and single personnel would be going to bed in a home or a barracks that doesn't meet your standards?

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Sir, if I might address that question. As you are well aware, each time we testify before this committee there is great support for the quality of service of airmen and their family, both with the dormitory plan as well as the housing.

The Air Force has a dormitory master plan that we update every three to four years, as well as a Family Housing Master Plan that form the basis for assessments of existing homes as well as the investment needed to ensure that they're up to the standards that our airmen and their families deserve.

So, with that as a preamble, we have just updated our dorm master plan for 2008 and our family housing master plan, which allows us to answer that question specifically.

In the 2008 Family Housing Master Plan, we have 9,000 homes that are currently inadequate, of which --

REP. EDWARDS: That people are living in?

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Yes, sir.

REP. EDWARDS: Okay.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: And we have, as you well know, a plan that we have most of which, the majority of those homes have already been funded. In fact, they all have been funded either with the overseas investment that we're making in this fiscal year, as well as what we have funded with housing privatization.

We have a significant effort in the coming year with money that we already have to privatize roughly 16,000 homes, and with that we will have taken care of all inadequate family housing that are currently part of the Family Housing Master Plan.

REP. EDWARDS: Could I ask you about that point --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Of course, sir.

REP. EDWARDS: -- the barracks? An example yesterday, we had testimony that said, in regard to the -- or several days ago, testimony regarding the Army, and they said, well, you know, we're taking care of these needs with the funding we have.

But I'd visited Fort Hood recently and there was a village called Chathey (sp) Village. And under the public-private Family Housing Partnership Program, it wasn't scheduled -- those homes weren't scheduled for demolition until the year 2032.

So you could say we have a plan in place to take care of all the soldiers of Fort Hood to see they're living in adequate housing, but if you look at the details of it, that's not very comforting to somebody that hears Chathey (sp) Village won't be included until 2032, and those homes, in my opinion, probably should have been torn down already.

When you say they've been funded or plans to fund, do you mean that the dollars are in the pipeline to see that within, what, the next two to three years, or the next couple of years, or next year, that they would all be living in housing that meets Air Force standards?

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Yes, sir, great question. Let me just go back and correct my last statement. I had 9,000 right, but there's 9,000 scheduled for privatization and about 2,000 overseas. So the total is 11,000. I apologize.

REP. EDWARDS: No, that's okay.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: I had 9,000 in my head --

REP. EDWARDS: Right.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: -- for privatization.

But your question is a good one in terms of how long does it take once funding is in the pipeline?

What we've found is that it takes, on privatization, the developer typically is given seven years for a development plan to take place. What we've seen over the last decade is that the privatization developer accelerates construction and renovation, and our average is about four years. Right now our plan is that we will have all inadequates construction complete by 2015.

REP. EDWARDS: Twenty-fifteen.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Yes, sir.

REP. EDWARDS: Okay, is that for families and barracks?

GEN. SCHWARTZ: No, sir, just families.

REP. EDWARDS: Just families, okay. And then, since I interrupted you on the family housing issue in terms of barracks, what are the numbers?

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Yes, sir, we have -- well, let me just back up. The Dormitory Master Plan was just completed. We have 966 dormitories in the United States Air Force. Of those, 106 are categorized as tier-one dormitories. We do a tiering system.

Tier one is our worst-condition dormitories, which we would classify as inadequate -- 106.

Now, as I testified last year, and as you have been and the committee have been a great supporter in dormitories, in our 2004 dorm master plan, we were on a glide path to do away with all inadequates by this year, which we accomplished, based on that plan. So the commitment to our single airmen remains as strong as ever.

So what we did in the preceding years is expanded the criteria in our dorm master plan. We've added the permanent party officer living in unaccompanied housing, as well as contractors, because contractors, all you have to do is visit Thule, Greenland -- which is supported by contractors, who have been there, part of the mission for a very long time. And so we have to address those living conditions as well, especially in remote and isolated places like Thule, Greenland.

So, by adding those additional categories to our dorm master plan, we have 106 dormitories that are currently inadequate. Out of the 106 --

REP. EDWARDS: That's not 106 individual units; that's 106 --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Dormitories.

REP. EDWARDS: Dorms.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Yes, sir.

REP. EDWARDS: So that could be -- how many rooms would that actually be, approximately?

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Sir, it varies. We build them on different size -- usually it's a -- our standard is 96 rooms per dormitory. And sometimes they're larger. For example, as you know, our request includes pipeline dormitories as well as normal dormitories.

REP. EDWARDS: So you're using that number approximately, ballpark -- we don't need the exact number -- 10,000?

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

REP. EDWARDS: Personnel living in inadequate --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Yes, sir, that's a net, or ballpark figure. We will submit for the record the exact number, but that's roughly the figure.

REP. EDWARDS: Well, thanks to you the numbers are a lot less than they were several years ago, and we ought to salute the progress for that, but we want to keep track of those that are still living in -- if you're living in an inadequate dorm or house today, the fact that we've made progress doesn't mean much to you, other than maybe the guy down the street has a better home than you do. But, thank you.

You were going to say something else.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Yes, sir, if you don't mind. The Air Force has invested about $1.4 billion in dormitories in the last nine years. We have another 1.3 billion (dollars) programmed in the FYDP.

But it doesn't stop there, in military construction. We've also developed what we would call a bridging strategy, is where we've targeted restoration and modernization funding against those dormitories to ensure we don't take risk in that area.

As you saw in the preceding four years, we had some deterioration in the condition of facilities, so we want to make sure we stop that. So what has happened since the end of last year, the last fiscal year, the Air Force has invested $188 million in the last year alone in O&M dollars, maintenance and repair money. We've also set aside $100 million a year for the next two years in O&M restoration and modernization money, with a $50 million from then on out in the FYDP.

These will be targeted towards the tier-one dorms that I discussed earlier. So what we're doing is a balanced approach between O&M, maintenance and repair money, and MILCON money to make sure that we stay on top of this critical quality of service area.

REP. EDWARDS: Your strategy I guess could be explained in a few words, is that the good ones stay good.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Right. That's important, obviously.

REP. EDWARDS: My last question would be, what date -- you said 2015 is the scheduled date to have everybody in standard family housing, or better -- adequate housing. What would be the date for dorms at your present glide path?

REP. EDWARDS: Sir, we have the same goal. By 2015 we will have all inadequate dorms addressed, either through military construction or O&M funding, with one exception. Right now the funding that we have will address all of them except for Thule, and that is the unknown. Of the 106 inadequate dorms in our inventory today, 41 are at Thule.

And we've asked for some help from the Corps of Engineers to come up with a new design standard because our standard dorms for airmen, the quad concept, does not work at Thule, Greenland.

And so we've asked some help. That was built in 1951, as you may know, sir, and that's a unique environment. So we've asked for some support from the corps on coming up with a standard just for Thule.

So with that as a caveat --

REP. EDWARDS: Okay.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: -- and not knowing when we're going to be able to do that and how much the cost is, by 2015 we'll have --

REP. EDWARDS: Let's see if we can get Mr. Dicks up there in February to take a look at that.

REP. NORMAN DICKS (D-WA): I will be glad to. I've been there.

REP. EDWARDS: In Greenland, in February?

REP. DICKS: On my way to the North Pole.

(Laughter.)

REP. EDWARDS: Thanks. Thank you very much, General.

Mr. Wamp?

REP. WAMP: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

For the second straight year, chief, the request has been explained lower in somewhat the same verbiage. When you say, quote, "mitigate potential shortfalls in MILCON facilities maintenance funding by bolstering our restoration and modernization programs as much as possible," end quote, it almost sounds like one of our press releases when something back home doesn't go right, the way we explain it.

And I just wondered if this is a Pentagon, OMB -- I mean, what filter is this coming through? I know that's a tough question for you to ask.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: No, it's our approach, and this didn't have anybody else's English on it. You know, the budget -- our facility effort here is part of a larger tapestry of trying to deal with both people issues -- that's clearly the first priority -- modernization demands, and so on.

And so we think we have achieved a reasonable balance. And it's true; if we had more money we might well invest additional resources in infrastructure. But, as you're well aware, we have to make choices, and I think that the way we've postured infrastructure certainly is solid, relative to some of the other choices we've made, let's say on the modernization side.

So I think this is a responsible proposal for your consideration, sir.

REP. WAMP: Well, you give a good report on housing, and I applaud your leadership there, given the resources that you're working with. Let me ask you about reserve components particularly.

You've got 30,000 airmen total deployed as part of Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, but the Air National Guard provides almost half of the Air Force's tactical airlift support, combat communication functions, aeromedical evacuations and aerial refueling, and has total responsibility for the air defense of the United States.

The reserves, 33 flying, seven groups across 63 locations, 100 percent of the Air Force aerial spray and weather reconnaissance capabilities, 60 percent of aeromedical evac, 46 percent strategic airlift capability. According to the Commission on National Guard and Reserve, the shares of the total U.S. Air Force budget, though, for the Guard and Reserve is 6 percent and 3 percent.

So, based on your operationalized reserve components and their contributions to this persistent conflict, what guarantees are in place to ensure that both the Guard and reserve MILCON requirements are carved out and represent a fair and equitable share of the entire construction request?

GEN. SCHWARTZ: There are three approaches on this that I think are worthy of note. The first and most important is if there's new mission, if it's National Guard -- and, for example, there are several unmanned aerial system new mission requirements for which the National Guard in California and in Arizona, if I recall correctly, are getting MILCON. New mission gets MILCON regardless -- without consideration to component.

The second aspect of this has to do with the amount of plant. Now, when you're maintaining plant, you know, we have an approach to try to maintain investment as a percentage of the plant value. And we do, I think, a credible job in assuring that the National Guard, as well as the Air Force Reserve, obtain their fair share, if you will, of that plant value relative to what the active duty receives too.

The third part I think is that there re new efforts underway that really will make this problem less of an issue as we go forward. It's called Total Force Initiative. And, for example, where the active duty and the National Guard or the active duty reserves share the same facilities, whether it be security forces or whether it be flying operations, or what have you, that the days of independent facilities on the same installation are behind us.

And so where the components increasingly share facilities, they will have exactly the same, you know -- enjoy the same quality of service, as does their other component. Those are the three major pieces of our efforts, sir.

REP. WAMP: Chairman, I have other questions, but I'll wait for the next round. We've got three other members on the other end of the table.

REP. EDWARDS: Mr. Dicks?

REP. DICKS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And, General, good to see you again. I appreciated your coming by to have a conversation.

Let me ask one general question. Out in our state of Washington, McChord Air Force Base and Fort Lewis are going to be combined into a joint base. And I know the Air Force had some concerns about this. Secretary Anderson came in to see me several times.

Could you kind of give us a status on this, and how the Air Force feels about these joint bases and the concerns that were expressed where I think about would this adversely affect your ability to do your mission? And I'd just like to know kind of how you feel --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Yes, sir.

REP. DICKS: -- since you've taken over, about this issue.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Let me start big and get small --

REP. DICKS: Right.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: -- if I may, sir.

I favor joint basing. It never made sense to me on why we would have, at Fort Dix and McGuire or at McChord and Fort Lewis, or other -- Fort Bragg and Pope, essentially adjacent installations, why we would have two separate reference contracts, or two separate this or two separate that when there was the opportunity to have one contract that served the adjacent military installations, presumably at some savings --

REP. DICKS: Right.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: -- to the taxpayer. And there are many opportunities in this regard which I think are certainly a positive outcome from joint basing. Additionally, the reality is that each of the services is looking for ways to maximize their installation dollar, and partnering is a good strategy for achieving that outcome.

Now, the bottom line is that for the Air Force, for sure -- and this is probably what Secretary Anderson shared with you earlier -- is that our Air Force bases typically are the platforms from which we operate. You know, the Army, to a somewhat lesser extent, the Navy to a somewhat lesser extent.

So we worry about our airfields and the places from which we project the nation's power. And early on, before this thing matured, there were some issues with regard to how prominent would mission be on a joint base? Would it be accorded the same prominence that we felt was necessary?

I think we have -- the process has matured. We now have common output standards for -- that all the services must meet, regardless of who is in charge. And as you're aware, sir, there are six joint base initiatives, six of which the Air Force is in charge and six of which others have.

And in the case of Fort Lewis specifically, there was a recent meeting in April where the two teams have reached agreement. They will forward the memorandum of agreement which codifies this understanding between the two installations on who does what, who's in charge of what, who invests, who supports and so on will come to the building at the end of this month for final approval. And my sense is that we're on the right glide path.

I'll be candid: There was some anxiety that a three-star over a colonel in the chemistry was -- might be a problem. I think we have sort of settled that. You know, there's -- we have enough attention on it. The Army has made an extra effort to sort of ensure that the colonel commander at the 62nd Wing at McChord has full access over at Fort Lewis and can have his needs and the Air Force requirements presented and dealt with in a responsible way.

So long answer to a short question is my sense is we are on a good glide path there. And I favor the joint basing initiatives.

REP. DICKS: Good. Let me ask one quick question. Modular construction -- Army's using it; we're using it at Fort Lewis. It looks fantastic. Now, there's been some issue raised about how long it will last. What's your take on that, General?

GEN. EULBERG: Sir, as you well know, modular construction has improved drastically in the last 10 years. And so it just depends on a lot of factors on whether or not you use it. The Army's pushing it for a number of reasons.

REP. DICKS: They're doing it at Fort Lewis.

GEN. EULBERG: Yes, sir.

REP. DICKS: And they're probably going to do it at McChord, I would think.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: What kind of facilities?

GEN. EULBERG: So you're talking about the housing?

(Cross talk.)

REP. DICKS: It looks fantastic. I went in these units. General Soriano and the wives of the sergeants, they said it's the best housing they've ever had at -- over 25 or 30 years in the Army.

GEN. EULBERG: Sir, if you're specifically talking about the housing at McChord-Lewis, as you know, through your leadership, we now have a joint venture, if you will --

REP. DICKS: Right.

GEN. EULBERG: -- with the McChord part of Fort Lewis. The construction there -- they had some early on issues with modular construction at Fort Lewis. The developer has corrected those problems. We're getting a quality product and the Air Force is very happy with it.

REP. DICKS: So you think this will be okay for McChord, too?

GEN. EULBERG: Yes sir, we do.

REP. DICKS: Good.

GEN. EULBERG: As a matter of fact, we have 150 Army families living in Air Force houses now. And as you know we --

REP. DICKS: See, I wouldn't let them tear them down, General, just -- for -- you know, I just -- the numbers were too extreme. It was like 900 units. They were going to go to 250. And I said, no, wait, you have too many people who want this housing. And now the Army's in that housing. And we could -- some of them we had to take down.

GEN.EULBERG: Right.

REP. DICKS: But we worked it out.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.

REP. DICKS: It wasn't easy, by the way.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: And this -- no, sir I understand.

REP. DICKS: In fact, the Air Force was fighting the last battle.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Well, you know -- (laughter) -- as is often -- change is difficult. I mean, change is hard. And, you know, you've got to get the right people with the right mind-set and the right oversight.

REP. DICKS: I told the colonel out there, I said, have you ever been to Fort Lewis? Have you ever seen this housing? And he said no. And this is what he -- he told me later, he said, "I drove down there and I was prepared just to hate this housing, and it was terrific." (Laughs.) And he said --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Right.

REP. DICKS: You know, once in a while --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: One quick input sir, just quickly. Modular also has a potential place in administrative spaces. And again, it depends on how long you want the thing to last, what its purpose is and so on. So, again --

REP. DICKS: What about that on the life cycle? I mean, how long -- is there a difference between modular and other forms of construction in terms of how long they last?

GEN. EULBERG: Sir, as a general rule, modular has sustainment issues over the life cycle.

REP. : (Off mike.)

GEN. EULBERG: Yes, sir. And so there's --

REP. DICKS: But this new stuff? I mean, it looked pretty good to me.

GEN. EULBERG: Yes, sir. It is. And as I mentioned, a lot of the quality issues when you join certain parts of the building together is a critical aspect. And they've worked all those issues out. So I don't anticipate any long-term problems.

REP. DICKS: Good. Thank you.

REP. EDWARDS: How much cheaper is it to -- thank you, Mr. Davis. How much cheaper is it to build a modular home, the ones we're talking about, compared to the conventional construction?

GEN. EULBERG: Sir, it depends on location. However, as a general rule it is cheaper, anywhere from 8 to 10 percent cheaper.

REP. EDWARDS: Eight to 10 percent cheaper.

GEN. EULBERG: Yes, sir.

REP. EDWARDS: Okay. Thank you. Thank you --

REP. DICKS: It was cheaper, and in this case the people thought it was better than anything they'd ever had before.

REP. EDWARDS: Right. Right. That's good to hear.

REP. DICKS: (Off mike.)

REP. EDWARDS: Thank you, Mr. Davis.

Mr. Crenshaw?

REP. ANDER CRENSHAW (R-FL): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you all for being here today.

I just have a question about this joint cargo aircraft that originally was the Army and the Air Force together. And I guess that the 2010 budget kind of made some major changes, transferred, as I understand it, the -- kind of from the Army to you-all to kind of head it up and that they reduced the number of planes they were going to buy by half. I think we were going to buy 16 this year and now the request is for eight, and then, again, transferring the program to you-all. But they said that there was going to be an assessment done. And I wondered, what's your -- what's your take on -- what's the assessment going to do? Is it going to tell you how many you should buy or is that going to come in the QDR? But why all those changes and what -- you know what do you think is going to be the outcome?

GEN. SCHWARTZ: I think -- Congressman, thanks for the question. What's going to transpire is a couple of things. First of all, the Army and the Air Force have to get together on fundamentals, which is transferring program responsibility. That is not an instantaneous effort. That probably won't occur until -- finally until the fall of 2010. So the Army is going to continue in the lead on the procurement actions for this program and we'll be on their wing. And then later in 2010 there will be a transfer of responsibility.

The other aspect of this is how the Air Force will support the Army. In the end, that's what this is about. It's time-sensitive, mission-critical resupply of elements. And we typically as an Air Force have operated on the -- something called "general support." General support is a very efficient way to run a railroad, if you will. You look for full airplanes or the fullest possible airplanes. You run an airline in a way to be as effective and as efficient as you can. On the other hand, direct support is dedicated support to a particular maneuver unit, typically. And that maybe is not as efficient, but it satisfies the need of that maneuver commander.

We need to be flexible, as an Air Force, enough to do both. And my commitment to George Casey from the Army was that if this thing unfolds as it has, as the secretary decided, we will do the direct support mission in the fashion you need it done -- not the way we're comfortable doing it, necessarily, but the way you need it done. That's the second piece.

The third piece -- and I know there's a lot of angst about this. There are 18 locations that had some stake in the Joint Cargo Aircraft, 12 Army National Guard and 6 Air National Guard. And obviously, when we went from 78 aircraft to 38, there's some concern about what the footprint's going to be. And we don't know the answer to that yet. That is still under discussion, both between ourselves, the Army and the National Guard Bureau, General Craig McKinley. But I can tell you that the number 38 -- it's not less than that. There will be ample opportunity through the QDR and follow-on efforts here that we've got to do to decide what the right number is.

The secretary of Defense's view was that we could use existing C- 130s to do some of this work. He's probably right. And -- but -- and we need -- we need to confirm how much that is. I'm not sure it's just 38 JCAs. So there's still more effort to be --

REP. CRENSHAW: So there's still -- because I -- you know, again, we heard yesterday, I think -- as Mr. Hale, the new finance guy --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Right.

REP. CRENSHAW: He said -- I asked him kind of a similar question. He said, well, 99 percent of the work can be done by C- 130s. And I'm thinking --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: If that were the case, you know, the helicopters wouldn't be working as hard as they are and we wouldn't have quite as much contract lift as we've got.

REP. CRENSHAW: And that's the other thing. General Casey said when he was here -- I think they're spending $8 million a month --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Right.

REP. CRENSHAW: -- leasing this, kind of. And of course I think General Casey would say, look, I don't -- it's not my job to figure out; I just know what I need.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: That's right.

REP. CRENSHAW: And then somebody else decides whether to build them or lease them.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Right.

REP. CRENSHAW: But if we're spending that much money, then I think you're point is that we're probably going to need them. Because somebody went through that process and said, I think we -- this is a kind of --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: The number 38 basically came from replacing the existing C-23 Sherpas. So there's 42 Sherpas in the inventory. Thirty-eight was considered a fair sort of replacement.

Whether it's more than 38, though, I think is still to be --

REP. CRENSHAW: But is that -- do you know the -- I don't know what "assessment" means, we're going to "assess" it. Do you think they'll come up with this assessment before the QDR, to say, well --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: It'll certainly be a result that will affect the FY '11 budget process --

REP. CRENSHAW: I got you. I got you. Thank you very --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: -- without a doubt.

REP. CRENSHAW: Thank you very much.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Yes, sir.

REP. EDWARDS: Thank you, Mr. Crenshaw.

Mr. Bishop?

REP. SANFORD BISHOP (D-GA): Thank you very much. Welcome, generals.

I am particularly interested in Moody Air Force Base. As you know, we've had a number of difficulties down there with the construction of the privatized housing at Moody -- a real, real problem, especially for some of the subcontractors who didn't get paid. And, of course, the completion had -- has been delayed. But it's my understanding that it's back on track now and that some local contractors are being utilized to fulfill many of the work opportunities resulting from the contract.

Can you give us an update on the status, how the claims under the previous contract were resolved and now what the status is of the performance and the completion of the project? And tell us whether or not smaller and disadvantaged contractors are being utilized and overall in the Air Force what the level of utilization is of smaller and disadvantaged contractors.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Go ahead, Del, why don't you --

GEN. EULBERG: Sir, thank you for that question. And as you know, there is a long history with this project. And we have now awarded a new one; there was a -- or rather a sale of the project. It's called the "Falcon Group" and they took over the -- or the sale took place in November of last year. It's part of a four-base group. Moody is one of them. All the claims associated with all four bases that have been justified through the contracting process and legal process -- all claims have been paid. And the good news also is the contractors are making great progress at all four bases, both Hanscom, Little Rock and Moody and Patrick.

And specifically at Moody they're completing the site work on units that were stopped in progress by American Eagle. So those are under way.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Same is true at Little Rock.

GEN. EULBERG: Same thing at Little Rock, Hanscom and Patrick. So great progress and the contractors doing a -- doing a good job with all of that.

Sir, does that address your question?

REP. BISHOP: Yeah, the small and disadvantaged business utilization -- and I understand from the local folks that there are local contractors that are participating as subs.

GEN. EULBERG: Yes, sir, there are.

REP. BISHOP: But the utilization of small and disadvantaged businesses, I would be interested to hear what's happening at Moody and what's happening overall in the Air Force there?

GEN. EULBERG: Sir, we'll have to take that for the record.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: We'll get that back to you, the exact performance, both with respect to this particular project but more broadly.

REP. BISHOP: Thank you. Appreciate that.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

REP. EDWARDS: Thank you, Mr. Bishop.

Berry?

REP. MARION BERRY (D-AR): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

First of all, thank you all for your service. General Schwartz, I noticed you did two tours at Little Rock.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: I did.

REP. BERRY: It's good to hear that the --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: I married my wife -- my wife comes from Little Rock.

REP. BERRY: Is that right?

GEN. SCHWARTZ: That's right.

REP. BERRY: Well, I trust she turned out to be a good Arkansas girl.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: She is still a Razorback fan and, in fact, frustrated with Razorback football right now, if you want to know the truth.

REP. BERRY: (Laughs.) Yeah. Well, we all are.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Yeah.

REP. BERRY: It's not -- it's not for the -- (inaudible). (Laughter.) But we do appreciate your concern and commitment to the quality of life of our men and women in uniform, and we appreciate that very much. It's good to hear that we have pretty much -- (inaudible) -- with that American Eagle crowd, I believe it was.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Yes, sir.

REP. BERRY: But it's good to know that that's back on track and moving in a good direction. We appreciate what you do for Little Rock Air Force Base. And I know that the men and women that serve there appreciate it very much. And we thank you.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Thank you.

REP. EDWARDS: Thank you, Mr. Berry.

General Schwartz, in your written testimony, you talked about one of your highest priorities is to reinvigorate the Air Force nuclear enterprise. And you say a critical aspect of this effort includes the infrastructure and facilities providing the necessary life-cycle installation support to this vital mission. I think you go on to say you're conducting facility condition assessments of all nuclear- related facilities.

Could you -- obviously, this is a terribly important responsibility of the Air Force. We're all aware of some of the issues that cropped up over the past year or so. Where are you in that assessment and is any of that incorporated into your 2010 military construction budget or will additional facilities or improvements in facilities be pushed out to the 2011 or later budgets?

GEN. SCHWARTZ: I think the short answer on the mission facilities specifically -- launch facilities and so on -- that assessment is complete. We know the status of each of our missile launch facilities, the control facilities that are associated with it and so on and likewise at the (bomber ?) bases. And we're okay on those mission facilities. In other words, there's no major requirement other than maintenance and standard maintenance required for those at the moment.

There are a couple of areas that are not in the MILCON -- now, there's 45 million (dollars) in the '10 proposal -- recommendation to you for this particular mission area. About four items are included in that. And for example, at Minot, there's a training facility, MILCON, and also at Minot there's a munitions item involved. But there is also a substantial commitment in -- 73 million (dollars), if I recall correctly, that's related to and involves both people, renovation and security issues with -- related to the weapons storage area at Barksdale. We're reopening the weapons storage area at Barksdale. And that is not MILCON dollars. That'll be essentially O&M or 3010, the sort of special equipment dollars. But that's the angle that we're on.

We've assessed the mission facilities. We know what the status is. We have a plan for maintaining those facilities, and in the longer-term, perhaps, to replace them. It's not required right now. Right now the focus is on getting Barksdale reestablished with its weapons storage area, for example, and taking care of some of the needs at Minot. F.E. Warren and Malmstrom are okay for the moment, sir.

REP. EDWARDS: Okay. So there are no important, immediate needs out there.

I would ask, if those needs arise, given the preeminence of that responsibility --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Understood.

REP. EDWARDS: -- to be good stewards of our nuclear weapons -- if there are any needs that pop up after the 2010 budget has been put rest, please --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Understood.

REP. EDWARDS: -- please let us know, because we know that does happen. You have to start putting these requests together months, if not a year, a year and a half before. And things change. And particularly in that area, we don't want to cut any corners.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: And we won't.

REP. EDWARDS: You know?

GEN. SCHWARTZ: I understand.

REP. EDWARDS: There's military construction with -- I mean, let me ask this. We don't have times to get into all the details of storage of nuclear bombs. We're in an unclassified setting, so probably some things you can't say. But normally, would you have tactical weapons in the same storage area as nuclear weapons? Normally those would be --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Segregated.

REP. EDWARDS: -- would be segregated.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Absolutely. And --

REP. EDWARDS: So you have all the --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: And you have training devices also separated from the real ones --

REP. EDWARDS: Right.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: -- which was a problem we had in one of the episodes last year. So, you know, that was not so much a facility issue as it was a compliance issue --

REP. EDWARDS: Okay.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: -- to be -- (off mike).

REP. EDWARDS: So subject to any additional concerns that are raised by an ongoing review of facilities and operations, you have what you need in terms of facilities --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: We do. We --

REP. EDWARDS: -- to protect our nuclear stockpile.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Yes, sir. And in fact, in a broader sense, we made sure that a hundred percent of the requirements, whether it be for facilities or ops or whatever it was -- training, you name it -- a hundred percent funded.

REP. EDWARDS: Okay.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: So, I mean, we were not going to take any risks there for obvious reasons.

REP. EDWARDS: Thank you. I'll reserve my --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Yes, sir.

REP. EDWARDS: -- other questions for an additional round.

Mr. Wamp?

REP. WAMP: General Eulberg, while we have you, I want to hear from you about engineers. Obviously this budget -- and the chief's right having you here to present this budget -- it's principally an engineering budget. And I think you got like 60,000 people in the civil engineering component, and we've got like 3,000 civil engineers deployed, I think, in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I represent the Y-12 National Security Complex, speaking of the nuclear piece of the deterrent. But we've got a guy there named Kevin Smith who's done an extraordinary job of bringing young people into the military with a commitment that if you go and serve and get your training at the highest level, you got a job here when you come back. And we have this STEM initiative on science, math and engineering where we're just grossly deficient as a nation. And I would think the United States Air Force may be better than any other organization that's prepared to help us meet those needs through the training, the experience that you actually provide.

Give us the state of engineering right now as you go off into the sunset, I hope, to enjoy the rest of your service to others. But that's got to be a big thing especially in your heart given your background.

GEN. EULBERG: Sir, thank you very much for that question. We do have 60,000 personnel assigned in civil engineering. They're a part of an Air Force team and also part of a joint team. And as you mention, we do have 3,000 engineers deployed currently in the area of responsibility doing various missions, 43 percent of which are doing joint expeditionary tasking alongside their other service brethren. So it's truly a joint undertaking. There's been a number of initiatives on the joint side that -- with the other engineering services chiefs we've been able to make great headway in the last couple years.

But the Civil Engineering Corps, as you know, is about half civilians and -- as well as enlisted and officer corps and as well as our contracting partners. And we're able to do what we can -- is because it is a team of civilians, military, as well as contracting support.

So as we go forward, I will tell you I'm very, very proud of the Air Force engineering community and their contributions to the missions that our nation's asked us to perform. The dedication of the young men and women are just phenomenal. We have a number of wounded warriors coming back as well as those killed in action.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: In fact, I met one on Sunday evening. He came back -- who was in an explosive ordinance disposal -- young man who stepped on a land mine dealing with unexploded ordinance in Afghanistan, an engineer. And he's -- thankfully, his wife was with him. It was -- you know, it was good to get him back. But it is an example of what these kids are doing.

They are on almost a one-to-one dwell. In other words, for the period of time they're deployed, that's what they're home and they're back into it again. That's a high-stress career field. They're highly valued, particularly now as we build in Afghanistan. There's not enough concrete in that country to put the air down. And it's not just Air Force air. It's Army air. It's Marine Corps air. And so in particular, the engineers are -- again, with their brothers, the Seabees and the Army folks -- you know, they're doing horizontal construction and I think it's a tribute again, that, you know, the people like me tend to get the credit for what happens, you know, flying airplanes or whatever it is, and the truth of the matter is it's the -- you know, it's the folks that lay concrete that make it possible.

REP. WAMP: But General Eulberg, are more young airmen interested in the engineering side than in the past? Do we see a trend there?

GEN. EULBERG: Sir, we have been very fortunate in the Air Force, is that we have been able to meet all of our recruitment targets and accessions across all enlisted AFSCs as well as in the officer corps. And so we've been able to maintain that. And so I don't see any problem in that.

We went through a retention issue a couple of years ago where we had less than 50 percent of our captains staying in. It's improved since then. But I don't see any major problems now or in the future, sir.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Just one example, Congressman. The new chief master sergeant of the Air Force, Chief Roy, who will take over the responsibilities at the end of June, is a CE. Just a case in point. That's where he started.

REP. WAMP: General Schwartz, I have asked all of our services about this problem that I learned of from General Casey, and that is some of the kind of regulatory hurdles of benefits being provided to wounded warriors in our military from the private sector -- you probably heard about this -- but the Joint Ethics Regulation enables injured and ill-served members and their families and their members to receive unsolicited gifts from non-federal entities. Do you know of anything else that Congress can do to remove barriers to enable support for our wounded warriors from non-federal entities? And are you able to provide minimal logistical support -- transportation of donated items, warehousing -- or donated gifts -- to assist these entities when they provide resources to our wounded warriors?

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Sure. I -- Congressman, I think -- we -- there is a balance in this. There are some things we don't do. We don't solicit.

REP. WAMP: Yeah, you can't.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Can't do that. And likewise, we shouldn't -- we don't take cash donations. I mean, there's some things we won't do. But absent those sort of black-and-white distinctions, what we do now is simply run the proposal by our ethics people and unless there's some, you know, cause for concern, we're okay. We're good to go. So the way we practice this is the obvious things we -- you know, that are -- that are black and white, we won't do. And then we do engage our ethics counselors to make sure that it's okay.

Now, with respect to transportation, I do have some experience in this area. You know, we can't package things and so on. We can deliver stuff to the theater on -- and there's certain exceptions to that, for example -- (inaudible) -- movements. And we move some stuff to Afghanistan for Afghan refugees and we'll probably do the same thing for Pakistan here coming up.

But in terms of donations for things that go forward, we do provide minimal logistic support. And I think, you know, there's no lack of willingness to do so. Again, it's just trying to make sure that we don't -- we don't -- we're not -- we don't favor one category of donation or one agency more than another. I think that's the basic sensitivity.

REP. WAMP: Let me just say, as I close, to -- I'm in my final term -- eighth term here in the House and I have not done too much traveling. But I've done a significant amount, and I think it's important that members of Congress fight through the public disdain for that, because it's important that we have 535 ambassadors for our country around the world, instead of just the executive branch, making friends and building relationships and understanding needs. And so I've probably done a moderate amount of travel, but I just want to thank all the men and women of the United States Air Force for the way that they deal with members of Congress as we go and see the world. You know, we're criticized for it, but it's unfortunate that we are, because it's really, really important.

And the United States Air Force just does an extraordinary job taking us places that we need to be. And I've been in tough places like Islamabad and --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Right. Right.

REP. WAMP: -- it's sometimes not easy to get in and out. But I've never had a bad experience, and I've always been amazed. So I'm grateful.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Well, sir, it's our service. It's what we do.

I would mention, though, that I agree with you. And I travel some as well, because you do not -- someone once said that Washington is the only city in the country that's surrounded on all sides by reality. And so -- (laughter) -- the effort to get out of town and get ground truth is vital.

REP. WAMP: Right, it is.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: It's vital for me and it's, of course, vital for you.

REP. WAMP: Absolutely. Thank you, Chief.

REP. EDWARDS: Thank you, Mr. Wamp.

Mr. Berry -- and -- and let the record show that Mr. Berry in his previous comments said that in good years and bad years he is always with the Razorbacks, right?

MR. BERRY: That's right.

REP. EDWARDS: All right. Just want to be sure the transcript reflected the accurate statement the gentleman -- gentleman made.

MR. BERRY: Well, I'm taking chances.

REP. EDWARDS: (Inaudible.) General Schwartz, let me ask you about Lackland, where you do your training for your airmen. As I understand earlier this week, the Air Force announced that the preferred site for the 24th Air Force would be Lackland. Could you further explain where we are on that process and then add to that what point we would know whether there are any additional military construction needs tied into that decision?

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Sir, the -- the -- the key thing is that we announced last week that, as you indicated, that Lackland's the preferred alternative. In Colorado Springs, Peterson is -- is a viable alternative for environmental assessment purposes.

REP. EDWARDS: Right.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: That EA is underway and we should have that back in the June time frame, and as you're aware I know that there's a 30- day comment period which follows the finalization of the EA, and then at that point if -- if there's no major hiccups in the June time frame we'll -- we'll finalize the decision. The process we have in the Air Force -- and -- and, frankly, it's a maturing process -- what we do, we have a set of criteria that we -- that we use to sort of examine options for bedding down either a new mission or a relocated mission, and it -- it includes things like mission synergy -- that is, is -- is one place more conducive to performing the mission than another; is -- what are the facilities on a -- on an installation that could accommodate it at least cost; is there transportation access; is there human capital on the installation or in the adjacent community that would, again, support that particular mission.

Those are the kinds of considerations, and what we do is we -- we go to the Major Command that -- that is responsible for that activity, in this case the Air Force Space Command, and they -- they -- they got the criteria, they gave the secretary and myself a short list of -- of installations that they felt were in the ballpark with -- with those criteria, and there were six.

REP. EDWARDS: Uh-huh.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: And we went out and subsequently after the secretary bought into those six to do actual site survey to assess physically the capacity of the installation to absorb the mission and so on and so forth.

That comes back up through the MAJCOM as a recommendation. Then based on a criteria in a -- in a way to sort of objectively score the -- the assets and the liabilities of each of the installations, comes back up to the headquarters for an executive review and then ultimately the secretary and I get together to make a call on what we think is the best place. And -- and as you indicated, Lackland, San Antonio was identified as -- as the -- what we think is the best place for -- for this new mission, subject to environmental, you know, analysis and so on.

What I -- what I would also like to mention, though, and this -- this came out of the preceding announcement on Global Strike Command, that in an effort to be transparent and open one of the unintended consequences of that was we -- we began -- when we had this short list we've created an incentive unintentionally for communities to compete against each other --

REP. EDWARDS: Uh-huh.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: -- and that's not a good thing. And so what we're trying to do is to figure out a way to be open and transparent but -- but to manage expectations in a way that it doesn't force communities to mobilize, you know, and spend money and do lots of different things, you know, to try to persuade --

REP. EDWARDS: Right.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: -- us where to go. That -- that is -- that's not a good thing and so we're -- so what we're going to try to do is thread the needle on this -- be objective, be as transparent as we can, and also keep folks, you know, sort of breathing through their nose on -- on, you know, not being too aggressive in trying to market or -- or sell their communities, I mean, because -- because we -- what we -- what we want to avoid having a situation where, you know, people feel like they -- they desperately lost and so we -- we -- we want to manage this in a way that -- that minimizes that likelihood.

REP. EDWARDS: (Inaudible.)

GEN. SCHWARTZ: So it's objective, sir. It does -- the senior leadership does apply some judgment. We did that in the Global Strike case and it was -- the -- the 24th Air Force case was much more clear cut. The -- the scoring was not close --

REP. EDWARDS: Right.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: -- and -- and therefore, you know, we made that announcement and, again, we think that we'll have the -- the EA for Global Strike Command was complete on the 12th of May.

REP. EDWARDS: Uh-huh.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: We put that out for a 30-day comment period so mid-June we should have a final on Global Strike and I would say probably mid-- July, toward the end of July we'll have a final 124th.

REP. EDWARDS: Okay.

MR. : Mid-July.

REP. EDWARDS: Thank you. So you don't foresee then any MILCON --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: No. No.

REP. EDWARDS: -- request tied into that --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: If -- if there is anything --

REP. EDWARDS: -- needed for FY '10?

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Yes, sir. If there is anything that we didn't get in that initial site survey it'll be in '11.

REP. EDWARDS: Okay.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: But I -- you know, part of the decision process was minimizing, you know, MILCON requirements.

REP. EDWARDS: Okay. My final question deals with BRAC. I'm constantly learning new aspects of BRAC. Let me just hypothetically say you're at one installation and BRAC 2005 moves you to another installation. The BRAC process itself didn't necessarily require the Department of Defense, did it, to replace hangar for hangar, facility for facility? I mean, for example, you could -- I don't know, you could have X number of aircraft with hangars at your present site, some location in the world or in the country, say it's CONUS, and then you -- you're asked to move to another location.

Do the BRAC process by requirement have to replace that same number of hangars or could you end up being -- whether it's hangars or whether it's other facilities, even though we -- if we were fully funding BRAC you could still end up short facilities that you need. Is that my understanding?

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Well, I can only -- and Del probably can give you the expert advice on this but I -- you know, in my personal experience when -- when we were at Scott Air Force Base at Transportation Command and one of the BRAC moves was the Army component to Transportation Command -- it's called the Surface Deployment and Distribution Command -- relocated from three spots in -- in Virginia to Scott Air Force Base.

REP. EDWARDS: Right.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: That -- that was a fully-funded initiative but the definition of that initiative took some negotiation --

REP. EDWARDS: Right.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: -- and -- and I think that's where, you know, if -- if there is a sense of, you know, what -- what does it take to complete the bed down. You know, there are -- there are a lot -- there was some push and pull involved in that, and all I can tell you is that we ended up with an $84 million facility at Scott for -- for the new Army Command and some growth that we had within Transportation Command that was quite satisfactory.

REP. EDWARDS: Right.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: And Del, would you like to expand on that?

GEN. EULBERG: Yes, sir, if I might. Sir, relative to the BRAC process, as you know when we -- we work with the commission and develop the recommendations for BRAC it is done with a very small planning staff and they make assumptions to the best of their ability. But one of the fundamental assumptions is it's not a one-for-one, build here move there or move here and -- and replicate. It's based on capacity and so the services spend a lot of time analyzing and providing input to say what is the capacity of this particular base to accept a new mission.

So that analysis is quite rigorous. However, it does -- is based on assumptions, and as General Schwartz mentioned, whenever the final list is released we go out and actually then begin the detailed site surveys, and that's where you begin to actually leverage some great ideas. And I was personally involved with the TRANSCOM and the consolidation efforts there, and a lot of great ideas came forward as a result of that to make it even more effective.

REP. EDWARDS: Right.

GEN. EULBERG: And so bottom line is that's why we have -- and I appreciate the Congress' support on this -- BRAC is not line-item managed per se like the MILCON budget, and that gives the services some flexibility to leverage great ideas and to put the money where it's most needed. But as a general rule, the business plans as developed are fully funded and there's some give and take. But --

REP. EDWARDS: And then to be clear, the definition of fully funded mean -- might mean that you have some unfunded needs when you move to a new installation. For example, you know, you're -- you're doing maintenance on aircraft outside. That's not a good idea in most parts of the country of -- so that in effect BRAC -- we're trying to -- the point I'm trying to get to, we're trying to take lessons learned from BRAC so we can apply those to the future.

So one of -- am I correct in understanding that maybe one of the things Congress should do is look at the projected BRAC cost and maybe question whether -- are you -- are you really building all the hangars you need at the new place. You can call it fully funded but we -- that's semantics. It's not truly fully funded in the real world outside of Washington, D.C., if -- if you have needs -- basic needs -- hangar space, administrative space, other things --

GEN. EULBERG: Sir, you're -- fully funded relative to the business plans and the assumptions made at the time and fully funded --

REP. EDWARDS: Right.

GEN. EULBERG: -- and as you rightfully point out, one -- as I mentioned, there's some great ideas under -- General Schwartz, when he was TRANSCOM commander, came up with good ideas on how to consolidate a number of functions. Those were different assumptions than -- than just moving people.

So it required additional funds and so we -- we -- we did an internal process. But you highlight a great point -- is that if the process was a little more open because this is a multiyear effort, and as you move major units around --

REP. EDWARDS: Right.

GEN. EULBERG: -- you discover things that weren't part of the business plan up front, and I'll give you just a real simple example. You -- you move an Army unit to a -- to a base that -- that requires a -- a huge motor pool complex --

REP. EDWARDS: Right.

GEN. EULBERG: -- so your road structure, your gates --

REP. EDWARDS: Right.

GEN. EULBERG: -- have to be -- (inaudible) -- realigned.

REP. EDWARDS: Right.

GEN. EULBERG: Well, if you didn't catch that up front then you're going to have to give up mission facilities in order to provide the infrastructure.

REP. EDWARDS: Right.

GEN. EULBERG: So if there -- so if there was a way we could provide updates to Congress to allow that process to -- to be adjusted without opening the entire BRAC legislation it would be most helpful.

REP. EDWARDS: Thank you for that -- that insight. Thank you. Mr. Dicks?

REP. DICKS: Let me ask you -- one of the issues that I know have been very important to you, General, is improving the way the Air Force handles nuclear weapons. I don't know if you've talked about this or not -- yeah. But --

REP. EDWARDS: We talked some about it -- (inaudible) -- but proceed.

REP. DICKS: But I'd like to --

REP. EDWARDS: (Inaudible) -- we can go over this too much --

REP. DICKS: We -- we were very pleased McCord took an exam up there and did very well on this issue, and I know that this has to -- I mean, Mr. -- Secretary Gates has made this an ultimately high priority. So can you tell us a little bit about how you're approaching this and -- you and the secretary -- to -- to get this thing under control?

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Sir, there -- there are three major components to it, but again, to start at the strategic level. Over time, we lost focus on this mission and there are lots of reasons for it, I mean, some of which are understandable. We had two wars going on in the Central Command area of responsibility.

We had, within our Air Force being deployed, had greater acceptance and -- and a sense of value than -- than being deployed in place like the folks who do the missile work in Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota.

And frankly -- and this was department wide, the -- the whole notion of deterrence sort of had less traction than -- than it had had in the past, and for those reasons and a number of others we, frankly, got a little too casual. We -- we lost the -- the discipline and the focus needed to do this right. I mean, perfection is the standard and good intentions are not good enough in this mission area. You got to perform. So one of the things we did, Congressman Dicks, was to reemphasize the cultural piece of this -- compliance. You know, there's -- you don't want to stifle imagination or stifle innovation but there are some things in the Air Force where -- that you -- you do it the Air Force way, and that's certainly true in the nuclear realm.

So that was one part. The other part was establishing this command we spoke of earlier, the Global Strike Command. Global Strike Command will consolidate all the nuclear parts operational pieces of the Air Force into one organization, both the missile piece and the bomber piece. It'll have a single three-star commander who will be responsible and accountable for nuclear readiness.

REP. DICKS: So you're going to bring all the weapons there, all the missiles there? Not the missiles -- they're in the silos.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: Right. Right. And --

REP. DICKS: But the -- there's some --

GEN. SCHWARTZ: And the wings and -- and the -- the folks that do the nuclear operations both in the missile wings and the bomber wings will be subordinate to this Major Command. The second piece of this was recognizing that there was a sustainment part to this nuclear business as well as the ops. We had sustainment distributed in four commands in the Air Force. Bad idea.

So we consolidated that as well in a -- in an organization called the Nuclear Weapons Center at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, and the end result now is that you have one accountable party on -- on the ops side and one accountable party on the sustainment side and their -- their two belly buttons are very close together. They -- they are the folks that -- that will keep us pristine in -- in the nuclear --

REP. DICKS: There wasn't any issues really with the nuclear -- with the -- with the -- the missiles?

GEN. SCHWARTZ: No.

REP. DICKS: The silo-based missiles.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: No, sir. There -- there was not. This was -- this was a process, procedures, and -- and compliance issue with respect to -- one of the occasions, you'll recall, we moved weapons from Minot to Barksdale --

REP. DICKS: Right.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: -- North Dakota and lost track of them. Not a good thing. And then the -- the second incident had to do with what we call non -- it is -- I forget the exact name. In other words, these are nuclear-related materials but they're not nuclear themselves. Now, this was the thing about the fuses that went to Taiwan, you may recall.

REP. DICKS: Right.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: They weren't nuclear themselves but they -- they were related to a weapon and so, you know, they get the same attention except this time. Well, no more of that. And -- and in another example of what we've done, over time we allowed Defense Logistics Agency to take over some of the responsibility for logistics oversight of the -- that material. No more.

We're bringing it back into the Air Force at two dedicated facilities -- at Ogden, at Hill Air Force Base, and -- and at Tinker in Oklahoma City -- and we are managing all of that ourselves now, not -- not contracting out to anybody else. We're accountable -- we're going to do it. Those are the major features, sir, of how we're going about to rectify the problems and to -- and to sustain the culture that we need, you know -- (inaudible).

REP. DICKS: Did the Air Force do this by itself or did it have oversight from the DO -- from the Department of Defense?

GEN. SCHWARTZ: We -- these were largely internal initiatives which certainly were vetted all the way up to the secretary and bought in by -- by -- by the secretary of defense, and incidentally there were a couple of outside panels including the Schlesinger panel that -- that I'm sure you're aware of --

REP. DICKS: Right.

GEN. SCHWARTZ: -- that -- that vetted this as well and -- and indicated that -- that they thought this was a sound strategy.

REP. DICKS: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

REP. EDWARDS: Thank you, Mr. Dicks. Mr. Wamp, do you have any additional questions?

REP. WAMP: No further -- (inaudible).

REP. EDWARDS: I have no further questions. So General Schwartz, thank you again for being here today and your leadership. General Eulberg, we hope we got you out early enough to go back and help your wife pack up boxes. (Laughter.) I don't know what's worse -- packing boxes at home or testifying before Congress. But thanks for your 35 years of service and we wish you all the best. Godspeed in the years ahead. We will stand adjourned. Thank you.


Source:
Skip to top
Back to top