tv Navy and Marine Corps Leaders Grilled on Force Posture at Budget Hearing CSPAN June 16, 2017 1:35am-3:59am EDT
billion for ship building. the acting navy secretary, the chief of naval operations, and the marine corpse com men dant testified at a armed services committee hearing. this is two hour 20 minutes. good morning. committee meets today to receive testimony on the plans and programs of the department of navy fiscal year 2018. i want to thank each of our witnesses for their distinguished service to the nation as well as the sailors, marines, and civilians they lead who are serving around the world today. in recent months our nation's senior civilian defense and military leaders have testified to this committee about the severe threats we face around the world. they've reported short falls in readiness that our military advantage over our potential adversaries is eroding and the
dire need for new modern capabilities. and yet as secretary mattis testified here on tuesday, the greatest immediate threat that our military faces is right here in washington, fiscal uncertainty, continuing resolutions to arbitrary and inadequate caps on defense spending, four more years of the budget control act, and the threat of sequestration. we desperately need a new approach, unfortunately the administration's fiscal year '18 budget request is insufficient to meet the challenges we face, rebuild the military, the readiness and capacity of our force, and regain our military technological advantage. it's no wonder, then, that the department of the navy submitted over $8 billion in unfunded priorities. our navy has been too small for more than a decade, despite a requirement for more than 300 ships since 2006, the fleet has
remained between 270 and 290 ships. these kmaft shortfalls have largely driven president readiness shal lenges. carrier strike group present gaps in key regions are annual occurrences, more than half of navy f-eighteens are not ready for combat, a backlog of more than $14 billion in a float and a shore readiness. a navy of 355 ships with the right mix of capabilities is an appropriate goal. but this budget request makes no progress toward it. however, steps can be taken this year to grow the fleet and this committee will consider all options. similarly, this budget request only supports a marine corpse of 185,000 marines and 30 one amphibious ships, despite a requirement for 194,000 marines
and 38 amphibious ships. meanwhile, marine corpse aviation is in crisis. fewer than half of f-18 marines are ready for combat. as a result, nondeployed aviation squad dronz are short on the number of aircraft needed to train or respond in a crisis. the budget request will help the navy and marine corpse to stop the bleeding but we can and must do better than that. we need to expand and modernize our forces because our adversaries are not standing still. the competitive advantage that the united states militarily has long enjoyed is eroding. in just a few years if we do not change trajectory we will lose our qualitative and quantitative advantage. our navy and marine corpse must be sufficiently sized and capable of projecting greater power over greater distances from the air, the sea, and beneath it. we need new concepts of
operations and new programs that enable them, and particularly the navy needs a carrier air wing with greater range and striking power, especially through unmanned platforms. and i continue to urge the department of the navy to examine how smaller aircraft carriers could improve current plans for super carriers and amphibious ships and provide a more capable, credible maritime force. at the same time as we advocate for increased defense spending, all of us must remain equally committed to exercising rigorous oversight of acquisition programs to ensure the best use of limited taxpayer dollars. i assure you this committee will. initial cost overruns more than doubled the cost of each latoral combat ship. development costs for the ship and their modules now exceed $6 billion and they keep rising.
meanwhile, war fighting capabilities of the lcs, including mine counter measures and antisubmarine warfare have fallen years, i repeat, years behind schedule and remain unproven. because of long-running costs, schedule and performance issues with this program, i support the department's proposal to pursue as quickly as possible full competition in selecting a new frig it with greater legion at and a survivability. the navy should secure the minute numb number of lcs necessary to compete for new frig its. secretary stackly has testified that would be one lcs in fiscal year 18, not more. >> i want to emphasize, secretary stackley testified that would be one lcs in fiscal year '18, not more. on the ford class aircraft carrier while it's encure ranged to see the ship finally delivered to the navy, the
request for the gerald r. ford exceeds the cost cap by $20 million. in addition, the navy wants to award the contract -- the construction contract for the third ship, the enterprise or cvn 80 in march, 2018, at a cost of $13 billion which is $1.6 billion more than the previous ship. this is unacceptable for a ship certified to be a repeat design that will deliver just three years later. secretary stackley and admiral richardson, i would like an explanation. similarly given the importance of replacing our aging magazine rine corpse amphibious vehicle and aircraft fleets, the marine corpse must learn the lesson of past favors. expedition nary fighting vehicle and drifr these needed capabilities on time, at cost and up to expectations. some of the greatest threats and challenges of the future will be
in the maritime domain. it's important for this committee 10 to sure that our navy and marine corpse are n, t budget request is a start but i'm afraid it's not enough. we should not ask our military to choose between readiness and modernization, between present needs and future needs. we owe our sailors and marines and all of our men and women in uniform, more than that. a lot more. they serve -- for them. senator reed. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman i want to join senator mccain in welcoming -- general of the company. testify on the plants and programs of the department of navy for fiscal year 2018. particularly for the men and women please express our consideration and thanks to them. especially want to thank
secretary stackley for his many years of serving the country both in the navy and on this committee. this may be your last appearance. so thank you very much for a job well done. >> i'm sure this is a sad moment for secretary stackley. >> he was a very upbeat when he was speaking before, so but thank you again, mr. secretary. witnesses face significant challenges. they strife to balance the need to support ongoing operations and sustain readiness with the need to modernize and keep the technical edge necessary for success. the problem that the navy face readiness problems caused by maintenance, reduce steaming and flying hose and cancelled training and deployments. the continued emphasis on readiness in this year's budget will address some of the navy's most serious redness problems and i'm interested in hearing the witness's views on this matter. must interested in understanding what the navy is going to accelerate overhaul of the uss
boise who is prevented from diving because her certifications have expired. the current plan would fail to get in boat recertified until sometime in 2019. you will areas of our naval forces maintaining extremely high operational tempo. this high operational tempo contributed in part to the conclusion how the current demands and it's assets and how it plans to manage future modernization demands.
particularly how it is used in the national investment in ground. -- developing amphibious contact vehicle and replace the assault vehicles as well as part of nerg with the army to develop the joint like tactical vehicle. i would welcome an update from our witness on the status of these problems and if they believe there will be significant delays in fielding due to delays in the acquisition program. the navy budget is it's usual number of significant programs such of which have issues with their execution.
last year -- the navy in default on the multiv 20 dwo tilt rotor aircraft contract, a problem that was solved four in the fy '17 d.o.d. appropriations act provided three additional aircraft. this year the navy is asking for approval of the seven-year contract, i would like to hear why we should depart from the five-year program -- and why we should count -- in january 2012
and we look forward to working closely with you on this budget request. as the nation's forward global force your navy and marine corps stand ready for crisis every hour every day around the world from the north atlantic to the med terrain yun from the straits of ma locka and the vast expanses of the pacific ocean and on the ground in 41 countries around the world, 110,000 sailors and marines and more than one-third of our fleet are deployed today conducting combat operations, international exercises, maintaining maritime security, providing strategic deterrence and responding to humanitarian crisis and disaster. the value of our presence and our ability to conduct prompt sea based operations is the surest deterrent to our national
interests. maintain the scale of operations relies upon occupy our ability to maintain a high state of readiness. and we've been challenged to do so by the growing imbalance of the size of the force, the operational demand placed on the force and the funding availability to operate in sustaining the force. years of combat and high tempo have increased our maintenance requirements, drawn down munitions and supply parts and impacted training. budget constraints, budget uncertainty and continuing resolutions have acc sasser balted these issues with the net impact of being a decline in the material condition of our ships and aircraft. accordingly, our priority in this budget requesting is based on funding maintenance, spares, training, munitions. it's critical that we make these adjustments. for maintaining our readiness will rely upon growing the force
to match the challenges that lie ahead. to building readiness is a priority in 2018 and bidding the size of the navy and marine corps and the cape ability that the nation needs will be the priority in the defense strategy review in our 2019 budget. with this budget the department requests your support to procure nine ships in '082018. the aircraft carrier enterprise were two submarines, articlely burke class zroig destroyers, two combat ships one of which is to follow an amend budget proposal, a fleet oiler and a towing salvage and rescue ship. the budget request also includes advanced procurement critical to the navy's top ship building priority a columbus class subra marine. with health costs essentially constant the past six years have made significant reductions on cbn 79 currently in kriks construction. we're committed to further
improvements upon theest matd costs on the enterprise cbn 80 submitted in this year's budget. we are seeking your support to continue been multi-year strategies that have yielded substantial savings and provide critical stability to highly successful virginia submarine and articlely burke destroyer programs and we're seeking your support as we transition from the combat ship to one that will provide multicapability for our small service combatant programs. the three combat ships appropriated in 2016 helped fill our gap with small service combatants and ensure a healthy industrial base for a down select in 2020. the budget cap continues the of a occasion ability. we have 91 manned and unmanned aircraft to mature production for most of our navy aviation
programs. of particular note, the budget request includes funding for 24 f-35 and 14 super hornet aircraft which will help to arrest the decline in our strike fighter inventory while keeping us on target for six squadron generation aircrafts on our carrier decks in a 2024 time frame. we're requesting approval for -- the 65 aircraft of the programs. this dubt budget's strength of whun 85 marines, the proper size for today's mission. marine corps invested in ground capabilities to distribute operations and address changes in the operational environment including procurement of the amphibious combat vehicle,' place 34e7b9 of the humvee fleet, and upgrades to the amphibious assault vehicles. no quantities of next generation ships or aircraft will bring victory without the skilled,
dedicated talented sailors, marines who built maintain and operate our navy and marine corps and provide our naval forces with an advantage. despite 16 years of combat operations, extended deployments, today's force is the most tool talented and high performing in history. in return it's our responsibility to provide the incentives to attract and the conditions to ensure all who are qualified to serve in the navy marine corps can could so while creating an environment that promotes dignity and respect for all. this remains a top priority for the department. our priority this in this year's bubt request is to lay the foundation for future growth in terms of number of ships and aircraft and advanced capabilities of the force. to support these object tifsz, we will need to make certain reforms to the way we do business to ensure that we are being the best stewards possible with the taxpayers funds. however, we'll need your support
in break the cycle of resolutions to the defense caps imposed by the budget control act. asking for decisive action by congress, our military's ability to provide for the nation's defense was declined by every dimension you choose to measure. i twoonlt thank this committee for your enduring support for your sailors marines and their families and i look forward to answering your questions. >> good morning chairman mccain, ranking member reed and other distinguished members of the subcommittee. >> i want to thank you for the privilege to be here today with my colleague general neller and secretary of the navy to represent our navy team. our sailors, civilians and their families. before i begin, i would like to take a moment to add my voice on behalf of the navy to the core voices who are hoping and praying for congressman scalise and others of yesterday's brutal
attack. where he all admire their strength and toughness and stend send our best wishes for a quick recovery. i want to take some time this morning to briefly outline where your navy stands today and where we need to go. i'm recently back from travels to singapore and guam, sailors are in harm's way around the world. they are talented, dedicated, and they're laser focused on their missions. this is despite the growing challenges of the security environment and the challenges that we have imposed by inconsistent, delayed, and inadequate funding. today i hope to convey a sense of urgency. our adversaries are improving more quickly than we are. i agree with the chairman that our advantage is eroding. we must increase our naval power today, pick up the pace and maintain our winning advantage. this effort starts by assuring that we have a firm foundation for solid growth, restoring wholeness or balance.
it began with the fiscal year if 17 budget which helped the readiness decline and i thank the committee for their support. but more needs to be done. challenges are sufficiently deep and it will take goj predictable and sufficient funding and some time to fully recover. as you pointed out, sir, we've got hundreds of aircraft grounded due to maintenance backlogs and spare shortages. our pilots don't fly enough, our maintainers are struggling to keep planes that are working up in the air. we haven't funded parts, spare parts at the required levels. maintaining our ships is also a struggle. submarines and war shims are tied up to the pier unable to submerge or get under way. i know many of you are focused on adding more ships to the fleet and i'm focused on that too. but if i can't repair a ship that's already been bought and paid forgo to sea, i forfeit the
good hard work of our predecessor and the net effect is the same as not buying a ship. it's one less ship today at sea and u.s. naval power suffers. we're making strides here, as i mentioned the 17 budget was a great help to restore a lot of readiness. the fiscal year '18 request will capitalize on that investment and restore balance and wholeness so we can grow moving forward. there's lots we need to go to shore up the force that we have. we need that firm foundation. as are tick cue lated in the white paper about the future navy i released we also need a larger and more capable fleet. even as we shore up wholeness, the budget request preserves the program growth for the navy. it invests in emerging technologies for the future, it provides a balanced approach that starts the acceleration of naval power from a firm foundation. as i talk to our sailors who are deployed forward protecting america from attack, promoting our interests around the world,
they are as focused as ever on the mission. i know that you share my immense pride in them, but there is also a growing sense in the deployed fleets that we back here in washington just don't get it. sometimes seems like we live in a parallel universe. and i urge that we bring these two realities together and close that gap quickly. as an example, there are reasonable doubt hearings that our f-18 budget may not get capped in time resulting in a tineth continuing resolution. it's getting harder to explain to our sailors and their families and to those who might want to join. but i'm very hopeful, i passed on that optimism to them, we're willing to team together do whatever it takes. working together with you, with your support to get them the resources and support that they need and that they deserve. again, i thank you for the privilege and opportunity to be
here today, i look forward to your questions. >> chairman mccain, ranking member reed, distinguished members of the committee, thank you all for the opportunity to appear today and answer your questions. i willfully endorse the comments of both secretary stackley and my ship matte admiral richardson in what they said about our current situation in the navy and marine corps. i'd also add the best wishes of owl marines and families to those that were injured yesterday wishing them a speedy recovery. i know this committee and the american people have high expectations for their marines as our nation's force and readiness. you expect your marines to move forward as part of that team, engage our add sayries and respond to crisis and when we fight you expect us to win you expect a lot of us and you should. this morning more than 36,000 marines are forward deployed and engaged doing what you would expect them to be doing.
the readiness informs how we train and equip our corps. unstable fiscal environments of the past have required us to prioritize the readiness of that forward deployed force over those at home stations. those marines forward are the ones that immediately respond to crisis. those marines are protecting our embassies around the world. those marines are currently conducting air and artillery strikes in iraq and syria. they are advising iraqi and afghan armies. they're deterring adversaries and helping our allies. they are well trained, well led and well equipped. however, after 15 years of war and budget instagt this has compound the cost. the 2016 appropriations sbil a good down payment to approve the readiness of this bench and move us forward to further recap tal
lice and modernize the force. that said the instability of the past eight years and the continued legislative reality of budget limitations disrupt our ability to program long-term activities and sustain these improvements to both our current and future readiness. to continue to meet operational commitments, maintain a ready force and at the same time modernize for the future your marine corps requires fiscal stability and adequate resources. while supporting requirements abroad we continue to innovate, leverage technology, invest in systems and redesign our force through cjag and marine corps 2025. our add sayries have continued to advance their capabilities and capacities. our ability to fight and win into the future depends on modernization. modernization is future readiness. so as we look forward to priorities for this year remain,
continued readiness recovery, implementation at the beginning of force of 2025 and the acceleration of the initiatives to build a more lethal marine corps. we don't want our marines crampton enter a fair fight. and though we remain a lethal and ready force, the margin between each one of us and potential adversaries has closed. and with your support in addressing the present and future challenges and the shortfalls we have, we will be better post tured to fight and win our nation's battles now and in the future. >> i look forward to your questions. >> well thank you very much admiral richardson and general neller, what are the implications of returning to a budget control act level of spending in fiscal year '18? >> sir, as we've talked about, we've been trying to restore readiness, restore wholeness and provide a firm foundation.
>> is 3% real growth do that for you? >> sir, we're ready to defend this budget, but it's clear that we need more and a budget control act a bca level of funding would reverse any kind of gains. >> what about a 3% real growth? >> sir, we look forward to -- we'll look forward to about a 5% growth, if that's what the projections are. >> when do you project your services will achieve full spectrum readiness under the present scenario? >> for the navy, that looks to be in the early 2020. >> general. >> it will be about that same time, chairman. full spectrum in a future fight, though, is go going to take more than that because the spectrum has expanded to cyber, space, information, long range precision munitions.
so the capabilities that we have today are adequate, but they're not going to be adequate for the future. >> both of you referred to the fact that according to various studies in particular one from rand, although that was one from several that showed that our potential adversaries are closing the potential gaps that exist between our capabilities and theirs, is that your view, admiral? >> yes, sir, it is. >> yes, it is, chairman. >> you know, one of the great disasters i've seen recently is the lcs, the minimum operational capabilities necessary to meet the war fighters need, it has been delayed by a cumulative 26 years and counting. today very dpoou few capabilities have reached ioc.
without the ability to find mines or any antisubmarine warfare capabilities. who's responsibility and who's been held accountable? again with you admiral richardson. >> sir, i'll be the accountable person for that and i'm committed to making sure that we take the lcs fleet. >> when you say held accountable, you've been reduced in rank? have you been -- in other words, you've been held responsible, what -- and i said not only who's responsible but who's been held accountable? any change in your lifestyle since we've had lts mission modules delayed by 26 years and counting? >> we have taken several measures to make the lcs fleet more capable. we're working to racial lies that program both from the way we organize and operate, the way we man, the way we train that
force and looking to increase the lethality as well. >> everybody agreed that we needed one, all the sudden now we need three. how did that happen? you can explain that to me? >> sir, we're committed to, as you said, moving towards a more capable and more lethal and survive able friget program. and the bridge between now and that program when we let that contract in 2020 will not only contribute to the service combatants but also. >> it just happened that you was told for most of the year about 364 days, that all we needed was one and all the sudden, bang, now we need three. how did that process transpire, you can tell me? >> sir, we continued to learn about the industrial base and we reacted as we get that information. >> i see. so for most of the year you were
given one set of information and then in the brief week to ten days you were given additional information that called for two additional lcs's, is that how the system works. >> sir, we get information, we learn in realtime and we provide you information as soon as we get it. >> well, i'd be interested in -- if you don't mind for the record, how that -- how we jump from one lcs to three just in literally a matter of days after months of being told that we would only need one. there's more there than meets the eye, admiral, i say with great respect. secretary stackley, the navy broached the cost cap for cvn 78, do you believe that it has? >> sir right now our estimate
for cvn 78 we're trying to hold it within the number that was established several years ago. we have included a $20 million request in this budget pending our determination regarding repairs that are required for the -- >> is that a breach of done occurred did i? >> not at this point in time. we're continuing to evaluate whether that additional funding will be required. we're doing everything we can to stay within the existing cap and we'll keep congress informed as we complete our post delivery assessment. >> problem is, we haven't been informed. so either bust the cap and reach done occurred did i, or dunn mcoccurred did i our notify us. you haven't done either one. >> we've been submitting monthly reports regarding the carrier. we've alerted the concern
regarding the repairs that are being required for the motor turbine generator set and we've acknowledged the risk associated with those repairs. however, what we are trying to do is not incur those costs, avo avoid costs by other means and as of right now we're not ready to trip that cost cap. >> well, it's either not allowable or it's allowable. if it's not allowable then you take a certain course of action. if it's allowable then you're required to notify congress. you have done neither. in our -- >> if we need to incur this cost, they will allowable costs. we're trying to avoid that at this stage and time, sir. >> i agree. but we were supposed to be notified. okay. i can tell you that you are either in violation of dunn mccurd did i or you're in violation of the requirement that you would be notified. you have done neither. there's two scenarios.
zblng sir, we have not broechtd the cost gap. if it becomes apparent we will go above the cost cap, we will notify congress within the terms that you all have established. >> okay. well, i'll get it to new writing, but you still haven't answered the question because when there's a $20 million cost overrun it's either allowable and then we have to be notified one way, if it's not allowable, dunn mccurddy is breached. president's budget request includes a down select for a new friget. what's changed from the previous friget acquisition strategy. >> i will tell thaut threat has changed. it's become more challenging. the way we operate has changed,
it's operating the fleet under new concepts we want that friget to be relevant in a distributed maritime operational concept and so the combination of those two with any changes in the fiscal vieshlt have cause today to readdress the requirements for the friget. >> does it frustrate you at all that the president's budget request includes a down select for a new friget in 2020? >> no, sir. we are. >> that's fine. >> we're hunkered down, we want to get to that transition as quickly as we can. >> it's going to take us 2.5 years to have a down select for a new friget, right? >> by the time that we define the requirements, which we're just about done with, work with industry to find what i will call the knees and curves and what's possibly technologically on a cost-end schedule, a risk that define abable, i think 202 possible. >> why is it there's one of
these every six months and it's a pretty complicated technology that we're talking about. somehow it doesn't take 2.5 years to include a down select. after the down select suppose we had a down select in 2020, then when would we see the first friget? >> yes, sir. our timeline right now described completing requirements, our next step is go out to industry to share those requirements with industry. they'll start their design efforts, we'll put in a request for proposals out in 2018 to get the proposals in 2019 with an award in 2020. we would expect industry to complete their detail design, it will take them a year, year and a half to complete their detail design while they order material, about a three-year build span. so we expect the friget be in
the water in the 2024 time frame. >> so we're talking about seven years? >> yes, sir. >> is that satisfactory to you? >> given that we're just now producing the requirements document, they said if we can accelerate that we will but what we don't want to do is incur additional risks. we don't want to take on the risk that they took on in the lcs program where they established unrealistic schedules and proceeded when design was not mature. >> sir, if i could add on to that, i think we're completely united with you to work with industry to accelerate this acquisition process as faft as we can. but -- as i know you know, moving into construction before you have a mature design is just a recipe for cost overruns and scheduled delays that we've lived with before. so we're work very closely with industry in very new ways to try to move this faster. >> well, i've well exceeded my
time, but the 84 aircraft was the -- the request was four weeks and the aircraft was starting production several weeks later. tell me what's changed, admiral. >> sir, the process has changed quite a bit since the a 4 aircraft but i think we can come through that. >> it's been seven years over a few weeks that this sophistication of the technology is such that it takes seven years to start developing an aircraft as opposed to four weeks or in the case of the sr-71 which in those days was not unsophisticated, a couple weeks. there's something wrong with the acquisition process and we've tried to put you in charge and engage, we've tried to get the process moved forward.
why should it take 2.5 years for a manufacturer to come up with a technology to build an aircraft? or a ship? well, it's a very vexing problem. >> thank you, very much, mr. chairman. secretary stackley, last year in the reauthorization act, including the ability to contract of continuous production the missile compartments of the columbia. you can estimate how much this has saved the taxpayer? >> sir, we're across the board in terms of the columbia program we're leveraging everything that you all provided in terms of national sea base deterrent fund with the specific regarding
production, we're looking at a run of productions. we have used numbers on the order of $1.2 billion. >> of savings? >> yes, sir. >> future savingsing. >> future savings. >> i'm sorry. >> do you need any additional authority from the national sea base fund to accelerate these future savings and to increase them? >> in the 2018 budget request, no. but we are continuing to explore opportunities. and, frankly, there will be significant opportunities because what we've got is a very unique ship construction program over a period of time and to the extent that the business case supports it, we're going to want to pull work to the left as best as possible to drive costs down and provide stability that we need for that program. they're going to be issues in the industrial base. today we spent a lot of our time with the ship builders, but the issues that we're going to be tackling next are going to be in
the industrial base that are layers below the ship builders where they don't have the stability and the large volume and they don't have the sthaernt we'll need to provide. they can drive costs out of the material that they'll be providing to the builders. >> so essentially you're talking about the savings in the supplier base, not the final construction base. >> yes, sir, half the cost comes through the supplier base and to the extent that we can reduce -- reduce their costs and we get -- we get compounded benefit. >> secretary stackley or general neller, this year you're asking for approval of of a seven-year multi-year contract into 2022 and the u.s. coded is five years. why do we need two additional years for this multi-year procurement contract? >> we're coming to the end of the production for the b-22 program and our procurement rates have been stretched over a
seven-year period. typically aviation programs will see a tail up at the end of the production. what we're trying to do is capture the end of production, avoid the tail up with economic order quantity material procurement inside of the multiyear we'd be able to take care of the vendor base early and overall drive the cost out of the program to the extent possible. so it's more about affordability than any other factor, and between our 65 care craft and potential fms, we're looking to provide as smuch stability as possible to zrief those costs down. >> one of the primary factors here is that the anticipated termination of procurement of the b-22 m is that correct? >> yes, sir. we reach our inventory objective at the end of the seven-year period. >> thank you. the lcs, the chairman has gone into great detail and it's thoughtful detail about this vessel and right now correct me if i'm wrong, it's not capable
of the mine sweeping mission, it's not capable of the antisubmarine mission. what missions is the ship capable of performing? >> it's currently for the antisurface warfare mission, sort of that module has been delivered and deployed. the asw antisubmarine warfare and mine counter mission module, that capability is on track to deliver in time for deployment in the early 2020s. prioritize the mine counter measure mission because, as you know, we're running out -- we're sunsetting the current capability there. but we're devoted to maintain a continuous capability for mcs. >> there has been some comments that the lcs is difficult to keep up with the speed or the carrier tests force that's moving as fast as you can to avoid detection or engagement. is there any validity to that? >> i'll tell you -- i would take
the question and say it's not really designed as a ship that would operate like that and moving across that, you know, distances with a carrier strike group. we could deploy that ship in a different way. >> but as i understand, and again i'm certainly not the expert on naval operations, but as we move towards the pacific and particularly as we counter rising adversaries, it's more likely that we'd be engaged in these types 67 blue water operations, is that fair? >> that is fair and that's why we have those plans to forward deploy those in singapore and in theettor theater so that they're there providing that presence. >> and secretary stackley, chairman talked in detail about the carrier proper gram and i just want to understand there is an issue with the cat put
system. it's ability to lunch aircraft, particularly aircraft that has all their fuel tanks in place. apparently it cannot launch if there's no fuel tanks or few fuel tanks. is your issue with the cat pult system different than the overcall capabilities and cost overruns of the carrier? >> i wouldn't describe it that way, sir. what we're going through right now is deputy e developing the bulletin for launch and recovery of the aircraft that will be operating off of the carrier. so we start at lake hearse the where we have the land-based system and they basically start slow and build up in terms of launching and recovering the aircraft. in that process, with f-eighteens with fuel tanks attached, the vibration was detect sod now what they're doing is going back through the software and adjusting the system to remove that vibration
and so today they're renewing that testing at lake hurst in advance of when we'll first do launch recovery operations on the ford later this summer. so this is -- i'm going to call it a systems tuning effort that's taking place right now. each aircraft is frankly going to be tuned by e-mail so the system -- the electromagnetic aircraft launching system so that it optimizes the launch and recover riff those aircraft for their configuration. >> and these problems will be -- you're anticipating with the new ships these problems will be solved? >> absolutely. >> thank you. >> and how much has been the cost of that experiment? >> i'd have to get you the specifics regarding. >> couple hundred million, right? >> the total system, yes, sir. >> in the committee we've heard repeatedly in the recent months from all the services of the
present global threat environment that we're in and our lack of readiness. in our hearing we had dan coats last month say the director he highlighted the threat from north korea, china, russia, iran, terror networks around the country and as bad as the global threat situation is, it doesn't seem likely to get better in the near future. now, the flaef plays a central role in the american response to all of these threats, and it seems like, maybe my observation is that we've heard less from the navy about the threats and our readiness situations as we had the other services. would you like to get on record now and say do you agree with the rest of services that that level of threat in the -- in the -- and the inadd kwassive our response, any comment? >> sir, i completely agree and i've been clear consistent and on the record about the fact
that our margin is erode, the threats are rising, and we need to move faster. >> and you too, general neller think we've been maybe not as animated, but pretty consistent in our comments on our concern about the closing gap between potential adversaries and ourselves and our need for modernization. >> closing the gap, that's a scary thing. that's a -- and i think when you say maybe more animated, maybe we need more animated because we -- and i've said this several times, we at this table up here don't have the credibility that you guys in the uniform have to let the american people know what the threat is. so i would encourage more. >> senator i hear you. if you read, i'll just state it, in your marine operational concept, we are not currently organized trained and equipped to face an adversary in 2025. that's where we need to go.
>> the f 35 squadron, declared its initial operating capability in 2015. earlier this year they relocated to japan becoming the first employed permanent f-35 squadron. the squadron participated in joint exercises with south korean partners earlier this year and we got lots of good reports. would you kind of elaborate on how well they did? >> sir, 121 did some operations on the korean peninsula. they just recently went to alaska and operated an air force joint combined operation up there, kind of a version of red flag up there. i haven't gotten a classified report but from every report i've received, their ability to operate, taking advantage of their fifth generation
capabilities, be tell thy, not be seen, taking advantage of that, ga that. i don't want to get into the specific oss of that. one thing the appropriations in '17 and '18, we've underfunded our parts and spares not just for the ground but for aviation. and we're working on that. the readiness is where we've expected. i met with the squadron ceo and there were some things that we didn't know about getting parts and spares in through a foreign country and some custom things. they had better readiness in alaska than we did because of their ability to get parts. they're doing better maintenance wise and operation. we're doing everything that we expected. >> maintenance is the other area
i wanted to get something on the record. we get the reports that 62%, 63% of the f18s are broken, not working properly. 47% of all of the naval aircraft is having problems. critical readiness, as chair of the readiness subcommittee as i have been for years, i understand the clear role that depo is playing. i've been encouraged by the air force depo operations at tinker, have seen first hand how they're extending the service life to planes that we never thought we would have to be doing at this age. and then keeping the airmen flying, all the while saving $2.4 billion. so we're doing a good job in the
depos. the gao report, i think it was in june, just a couple of weeks ago, release concluded, and quoting in this, the readiness recovery for the navy is premised on theed adherence. do you agree with that critic m criticism, secretary stackly? >> yes, i do, sir. that's been part of the challenges that we're dealing with. >> another challenge. >> in the particular case of aircraft, we're bringing aircraft that have been flying bo trying to extend their service life. and what that adds up to is a lot of unknowns when you bring them in depo that results in an
extended period of time to take care of the necessary repairs. we're trying to learn from that history and become more predict predictive. >> good clarification. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentleman, i'm sure all of you are acutely awaraware. i know the chairman made a reference to it in his opening statement, the readiness when it comes to the f-18 super hornets in the navy and marine corps. listed 62% of the f-18s and 74% of the marine f-18s as unfit to fly and grounded peppedi ipendi maintenance. this puts increased is strain on
the aircrafts. i was heartened when i learned that a plan was being discussed to order 24 more of these tried and true aircraft on existing production lines. i was equally disheartened when that number arrived at our office as the number of 14. i would like -- since this has been the number one fly in the unfunded priority list for the third year in a row, i need to understand how that 24 number got to 14 and what those ten fighter jets, what the money for those, what that was used to pay for. >> yes, ma'am. let me start with this and maybe the ceo would like to join. we don't look at just the f-18. we look at the total number of super hornets that we need to add to the inventory to address the challenges that we need to address when they're going
through the same extension program. and we need a solid 80, and that number may go up. we'll have to see our review during the process. we need a solid 80 that we've laid in over the five-year program. in the near year, 2018, when we look at industrial based considerations, we also factor in foreign military sales. so we're working hard on the foreign military sale side, which i think you're well familiar with, that would involve a significant quantity of aircraft, in addition to the 14 that we laid into the budget, gives us the instability. and then when you look in the follow years, the five-year defense plan, we get to 80. we believe we need a solid 80 as a threshold in terms of dealing with the risk associate in the future. the 14 and 18 reflects a balance between our budget constraints and bringing in foreign military
sales, aircraft to manage across the industrial base. that's the crux of it. and one minor correction. the readiness issues that you cited for our strike fighters, those are the legacy f-18s that are suffering those numbers. right now the super hornets are doing well. they have not entered that stage of their service life where we're seeing the challenges that we're seeing today on the legacy and we want to get out in front of that. >> i'll add on that. first, i agree with everything that the secretary said. and these aircraft will help maintain inventory as the super hornets enter that life cycle extension program. we're working closely with industry. we're learning the lessons of the legacy hornets so that that process goes much smoother but we're going to need 80 aircraft to maintain inventory while they go into their aircraft extension. >> so the number they arrived at
was for production as a posed to using ten of those jets to pay for some other system. >> first requirement was the total number of aircraft we need and then we had to best figure out how to buy that within our budget constraints. >> got it preside. back in 2016, in the hearing, both of you -- the staff has been briefed in january where the service representatives responsible for monitoring, providing briefings on the topics stated full gender integration appears to be moving forward, no measurable negative impact on readiness. with that brief in january, i would like to repeat the question i asked of you in 2016 when i asked if you supported the measure to require women to register for the selected service. at that point in time you indicated that you did, along with the general. i just wanted to make sure that
you still believe that it is an important step forward that we require all americans to register for select tiive servi not just one. >> it's my opinion, yes. >> thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you gentlemen for your testimony. every other member a of the committee has spoken about the budget and i will as well. i was reiterate that the budget control act must be repealed. 112th congress was not the constitutional convention. the budget control act is not the constitution. congress has made it clear that we cannot abide by those caps so why don't we appeal it and do our constitutional duty of appropriating money every single year, in particular since every single senator, some didn't even
vote. general nuller i had the opportunity to attend a funeral of one of your marines. he died in november, 1943. thank you for sending a representative there. he along with several others could not be identified for decades but ultimately thanks to the work of honor flights and the defense mia county agency, he was identified and laid to rest. an 18-year-old man who sacrificed his life 78 years ago. the children and wife were there to pay their respects. some people the people who most need to know about that funeral are your marines, your soldiers, servicemen and airmen. if they are missing in action or captured or killed, we will not rest and will bring them home and let me rest in honor, which
they deserve. you said in response to a question from that you were not equipped to face a pure adversa adversary. could you explain why more that is the case? >> congressman since 9/11 we've equipped training to conduct the stability ops. the training that i had as a junior officer and then later as a commander primarily combined arms fight against appear ground combat force was not required. and so we did what we needed to do to meet the current threat. and we recognized several years ago, many of my predecessors that we've begun to lose our capability to conduct arms in the more traditional sense. when you take this current environment and what we anticipate the operating environment when you add space, environment, the long range
weapons, active protection systems, unmanned aircraft, our adversaries have taken this time where we've been focused on the ct and insurgency to develop these capabilitiecapabilities. the edge is closed. so we need to look at our force and the capabilities that we have. so our intent is to, with the strength of 18 w5,000 that we've been given by the proper rati s appropriations, increase the number of marines that do cyber, information and defense, and those capabilities that we think are going to be important in that type of an apartmeenvironm. and if we are able to grow the force, we'll continue to add to that capability. and at the same time remodernize the legacy force and make it
more lethal. >> it sounds like you're stressing more the skill sets and training that your marines have rather than the absolute number of marines you need? >> you get in the question, senator, as you know of capacity and capability. so right now the focus is on the capability. and it's going to take a long time. i mean not with all due respect to my own tribe, the infantry tribe, i can make a competent infran trimarine in probably six months. the requirements are much more co complicated. but the marines and soldiers that we're going to need in the future to do these things are going to be expensive. you got to recruit them, find them, train them and then you've got to keep them. right now we're focused on capability over capacity but eventually we're going to have to get to the capacity question.
>> admiral, you face some of the challenges. you've introduced a number of talent management programs to recruit, train and maintain the best people. can you give us an update on that and discuss the next steps especially as it relates to pilots since we've seen the pressures that the air force faces with their pilots. >> yes, sir. i agree complete by in terms of what the stressors are and how to achieve that capability and capacity. you have the options that the navy and the marine corps team is responsible for delivering. in terms of talent management, we've got our sailor 2025 initiative which really is a bundle of about 40 different initiatives that get after that. with respect to a specific question on pilots, the most urgent thing we have to do is get their aircraft ready to fly. the pilots join the navy and the marine corps to fly aircraft.
that's why they came, why they want to stay and so that's our priority. >> thank you. >> on behalf of senator mccain, senator. >> thank you, senator reid. welcome gentlemen and thank you for your extraordinary service and candid forthcoming answers today. ad healer richaadmiral richards of my support of the warfare superiority and i was very gratified to see that the navy heeded my calls and others and added a second virginia class submarine in fiscal year '21 where there was previously just one because of the beginning of the class production. this signals that the navy is confident that the industrial base has that capability.
and i take it ready to meet the challenge. i see that the budget allows for an accelerated fleet plan for fy-21 but it dooeviates from th plan in fy-22 which has no additional money for submarines. can you explain that fact? >> so we're continuing to work very closely with the industrial base within the assistance guidance that we have to maximize and maintain our superiority. and so many times you know, sir, because you're so deeply involved, many parts of the industrial base have really been leaned out by this sort of minimum production rate that we've got, particularly the nuclear part of that industrial base where we are in many areas, a sole customer and there's only one provider. so i've got the team looking at what is the capacity provided stable and consistent funding
that sent that signal of competence from the government that they would invest in new production lines et cetera to increase the rates further still >> let me cut through what i think you're saying. you have doubts about the capability of the industrial base to produce that additional submarine in fy-22? >> no, sir, no doubts. i want to make sure that we're understanding the theoretical limits of that base to see how far we can go. >> well i want to make sure that we understand the practical limits and that we meet and exceed those limits because we need to produce the additional submarine in fy-22. would you agree? >> we'll take every submarine we can get right now. >> i don't know how to put it more bluntly but i hope that we can work together because i will do whatever is necessary to make sure that we have both the funding and the capability in terms of training and still
education and so forth in connecticut which is where we produce submarines to make sure that we meet that schedule because i consider it vital to our national security. >> yes, sir, i agree. >> sir, can i offer -- >> yes. i'm sorry, secretary. >> in the defense strategy review leading into the 2019 budget request, we're going to be taking a very hard look at this. our domination do main is clear today. we have to ensure that we do not lose that grip. and the c and o's future fleet plan highlights the need for additional attack submarines. that all said we're just today at the point where we're producing two virginia class submarines per year. we're going to add the ohio replacement, the columbia to that. to get us to three. going the next step to three virginias a year with the columbia class, that's an element of risk.
we're going to look out it hard, determine what needs to be done, we have not done that yet. we will do that with full collaboration with the congress because we all have to be in in together. as we go through the review, identify the risks and the steps that need to be taken, we'll work closely with you and the other interested members and committees to determine what's possible and how to get there. >> thank you. i look forward to working with you on that issue. general nuller in your testimony you note that that is quote the only heavy marrytime helicopter capability of war concepts. i take that statement and others in your testimony of a strong endorsement of this program. can you explain why you consider this aircraft so important and why the funding should be authorized for the additional helicopters in the ndaa, please?
>> senator, we immediate a maritime element. the ch 53 k is going to lift a third more than any other helicopter in the world, including the one we have now, which was fielded in 1981. so the capabilities of this airplane -- it's a completely new airplane, composite body, wider, incredibly more powerful and we belief ve it's going to more reliable to drive the cost down. we could put down back but we decided that was not cost effective. and we're resetting the echos now because their readiness was actually near that or maybe even more dramatically bad than the f-18. we need this airplane, we need more iron.
the aircraft is on schedule and we're watching the price very closely because there with some price concerns. but i think we're in a good place but we would ask that we get the support to continue to procure this airplane and i'll do my very best to monitor the p progress and make sure it's on time, on schedule and on cost. >> thank you. i conclude by saying i agree strongly that the ch 53 e as you say in your testimony should be replac replaced, not extended. i hope the committee will join in that view. thank you. >> on behalf of the chairman, senator rounds please. >> gentlemen, thank you for your service to our country. i would like to talk about readiness, specifically about spare parts and maintenance. and i would like general nuller, to senator enoff oes questi's q
were pushing hard to repair the equipment that you want. i want to give you an opportunity to share how serious the situation is now and the need to continue to improve the ability of parts for all aspects of the operations that you're responsible for, sir. >> well, thank you senator. as i've learned and as we've gone through the fy '17 and '18 budget, particularly the aviation but to some degree the ground equipment, we have not funded parts and spars at our reck sit level. you would think it was funded at 100%. but it was funded well below that. in some cases at 75%. if you fund them at 75, the best you can expect is 75% readiness. if you want 100% readiness, you've got to pay for the parts and shares and that costs money. right now of the f-18s that we require, we have 75 ready basic
arab craft but of those on the line, 47 are short parts. i get parts, i can fix those airplanes. they may be in a scheduled service. and i could say the same about ground equipment. so you know, we're making it and we're making the ready force deployed on the back of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines out there taking the parts off of one item to put it on another to get it ready to go. they've got to do the work twice. i don't want them to have to do that because it takes extra work and goes back to what the c and o said. we're the top dog in the lead and you're going to give me the parts to fix this stuff and my air crew want to fly and the maintainer shouldn't have to do the work twice. we would ask your support. i think the proposed budget for '18 and you'll see more in the supplemental, focused on continuing what we started now a beginning movement toward improved readiness. this is slight but consist ent
improvement. the number of ready basic aircraft that we have on the line is 90 pmore than what it ws a year ago. still not where it needs to be. but if we get continued support for parts and repairs, we'll continue to make progress. >> when it comes to spare parts, not just spare parts but also ammunitions, do you have what you need to do your job? >> with respect to aviation, it is one team with the marine corps. it's naval aviation that we talk about. those problems that he highlighted, that's a navy situation so we share that. i would say we also share the shortfall in the ammunitions. so the budget request before the congress now includes sort of almost record level funding for parts funded to the maximum
executable value there to restore those parts and also includes more funding for ammunitions. >> which munitions are you short today? >> these are precision munitions, the ones most used and will be most useful in a fight and then undersea weapons as well, torpedos. >> the senator also talked a little bit about depot. you do depots for ammunition. you've got a whole lot of q-18s that have to undergo a lot of work. work that has not been done in the past but needs to be done now because of their age. seems to me the air force would be challenged in the same way. they have aircraft they're putting hours on as well. is there a formal way for navy and marine to share information
concerning best practices? >> there is an avenue. i would have to check about the formality of that. we're collaborating and learning lessons back and forth in regard to aviation. >> is there a formaized process to look at best practices at a depot where one army or navy is working the best way to do it and sharing system analysis between the two? >> that's an opportunity where we can do better. it and an informal process. there's closed dialogue right now between the system commands, navy, marine corps, air force. but when we look at the practice across the depots, they're different. we're informally pulling out the best practices. it's an opportunity we've got to take advantage of and we're working on it. >> my time expired. >> thank you very much. on behalf of the chairman, senator donnelly please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for your service. i appreciate the commitment
you've made to improve the mental health and resiliency of our service members and their families. i brought this up earlier this week. congress passed the act requiring for every service provide a robust health assessment for every service member. it is the law. i've been told in the fact that the requirements would be fully implemented in the navy and marine corps by the date of october 2017. admiral can you confirm you're still on target? >> sir, we're still on target. >> general can you confirm you're still on target. >> yes, sir, to the best of my knowledge. >> thank you. general, i would also like to invite you, if you have the time, we have naval surface warfare center crane in indiana. they do a lot of work for the corps, a lot of terrific work
for the corps. and if you can figure out a way to get there, we would love to have you. >> i'll do that because the parents of this young man that lives in idaho, i need to see him any way. >> i'll go with you. one thing we've discussed with the conduction to the navy vision. can you tell us about your current plans with that and what we can do to support that vision? >> we would provide a complete level of connectivity between our navy and other joint sensors, including maybe private sensors, connect those into our payloads. the key to that will be making sure that we have the confidence in all of our systems down to the chip level that these things are free of tampering, that they're integral and can't be
hacked into them or don't have any software in them. this is the type of work that crane does for us, getting down to the microscopic level making sure we are getting what we pay for. >> general, what is your biggest concern right now as the commander of the corps, the biggest challenge that you face? >> i think the overall readiness of the force, and that's more than just, than just the material readiness. the airplanes, the helicopters, the tanks, the l.e.d.s, the weaponry. i believe that's fixable. my concern is the tempo that we're operating under. and we're going to get young men and women who want to join, and we're still recruiting. but for the first time i'm seeing that our career force, particularly our senior enlisted starting to show the effects of 15, 16 years of war.
and we need them to stay because they're the ones that keep this thing going and then they teach the young marines that come in what right looks like. i have some concerns about that. and part of that concern i think they have is they want to see that there's commitment from leadership and commitment from the nation to not just recognize what they've done the last 15 years but also to make sure they have the new equipment, new gear and capabilities they need to be successful in and when they have to go back and fight again. >> thank you. admiral, what is your biggest concern right now? >> very similar. current pace of operations and the relative pace of improvement and the gap between that challenge and sort of the stable level of support that they need. that's manifested itself in the major discussion that we've had today in terms of readiness.
it will continue in the future in terms of modernization. and that will come back and start to affect our most valuable asset which is our people. you have been focused like a laser on making sure that we bring in and take care of the people. once that happens in an all volunteer force, that is very difficult to recover. takes a long time to rebuild. that's a difficult thing. if they leave, that's hard to recover. >> last question i would like to ask, just like in the last few days, an iranian vessel flashed a laser on a marine helicopter. have you worked out a scenario to make sure that our men and women are protected, that we take appropriate steps and that we have this figured out in advance as to what we're going to do. >> yes, sir. all of those commanders have the equipment, the rules of
engagement and the authority that they need to make sure that they and their teams are protected. >> all right. thank you, mr. chairman. >> on behalf of general mccain, senator ernest. we've heard a number of points about acquisition and the pint that we need to do this in a more efficient matter. secretary stackley, i would like to start with you. i was pleased to hear that the navy increased their outreach to small businesses as a way to speed up the failures we've seen in the acquisition process. and our small businesses can provide the department with a lot of much needed products. as a matter of fact we have a very small company in iowa, small town iowa that provides a pump that's on every single navy ship. and what additional authorities
can we provide to the department in order to speed up the acquisition process and how do we, how do we increase the outreach that we have to those small businesses? >> yes, ma'am. let me first start with the authorities. i believe we have tremendous authority already. and what we've got to do is become better practitioners in terms of using those authorities. >> and how do we do that? >> i press on our acquisition team, it's like go use every authority that you've got. use the great weight of the government behind you to tackle some of these issues. do not let, frankly, the bureaucracy become the problem. i think we have authorities that we need and we're not hesitant to come to you all to -- frankly it's not more authority that we need, unlock some of the burdens that we've got to speed up. i know that with our acquisition team, we're trying to push the
boundaries. we want to be told to slow down and not the alternative. with regards to small business, this takes a lot of work and it's work that's well with it. i can tell you that yesterday i walked into the office of the acting assistant secretary of the navy, commander of naval see systems commands, we were sitting down to talk to one small business on one matter that this small business had getting through a certification with the naval sea systems command. we're not going to win fox hole by fox hole in the business arena. but i've got to train every acquisition manager professional that small business is your best friend. we have a small phrase that we use that small business is big business for the department of navy. they bring innovation, they bring speed, a friendly cost structure but they here not in-depth of dealing with the
government. we've got to engage with them, make them a part of the team and not have them intimidated or blocked from entry. i think we're well-equipped with authorities. we would not be hesitant to come request additional authorities or relaxation of some of the language that encumbers us. we look for every form, what i've got to get is every program manager, every professional to recognize it does not have to be a boeing or lockheed or general dynamics that you're dealing with. you got to deal with the small businesses. >> i appreciate that, secretary. the takeaway for the committee is that you have the authorities you need, you need perhaps less of the regulation and rules, less burdensome oversight. is that correct?? >> yes, ma'am. what's happened over the decades is language has been added provision by provision,
authorization act by authorization act telling us how to do our business. and what everybody is recognizing is that all of these interlocking requirements are in fact slowing us down. what we need is good order and discipline. but if we have too much prescriptive language telling us how to do our job, it will slow us down. we've got to work. we've got to taylor where we can with our authorities and work with you where we have what i call a dead language that require us to do things with no value and then costs us time and money. >> peeling back the regulations will be important. and just very briefly, general nuller, a question for you. why is the marine corps just like looking at the m 320 grenade launch for the infantry when the army has been using this for eight years. i might think that is a little
bit of a waste of money if the army has used that for a number of years. >> i saw that article today. that is if first time -- we talk about weapons. we talked about ammo, different types of weapons that we're looking at trying to create equality with the army. no one has come up to me and said the m 203 is not getting it done, we need a new grenade launcher. i'll have to get back with you on that. clearly if it's a better, more effective, more efficient way to deliver that particular munition, we're all over it. i'm way out of my lane on small was i will tell you we talked a lot about stability of the budget. and every one of those big contractors out there you talk about is really made up, i've learn, of a bunch of small business. the big guy can survive if there's inconsistency and the
funding. the small can't can't because they've got to buy product, put on workers. that's what kills us is because that's where our parts and spares come from in many cases, from these small businesses. that's why it's so important that we get pujt stability. i'll get back to you and i owe you an answer otha. >> thank you gentlemen. >> on the acquisition fees, we're talking with industry. and those industries that do business with the private sector and the government, it's all about achieving quality and predictability. they estimate that that overhead costs us 20%. and that 20% impedence is often just too high for small business to get over it. so i think that we help the navy, we help the government, we help the taxpayer and we help small business by cutting through that.
it's a significant amount. >> thank you very much. i appreciate it. >> on behalf of chairman mcchain, senator cain. >> thank you. i just have one question, a long term question that i would like you to address. admiral richardson if you would be first. we're grappling with the proposal to grow the navy ships to 3 85. i'm on the budget committee. if you're growing the navy to that level, there's other changes you're going to be contemplating as well. depending on the mixture of the ships, some of them have naval supports to them. what might that mean for naval and marine operation. what might that mean for the marines, in particular in strength numbers. and i know you're probably early into the thinking of this but let's look down the road a little bit if we get over some
of the concerns about sequester and we start to budget based on priorities instead of trimming our priorities to deal with budget uncertainty. as we grow to 355, what should we expect from you to us around additional changes like aviation, personnel et cetera. if you could each tackle that, that would be helpful. >> i'll be happy to start. you've hit the nail on the head. the concept is wholeness. as we grow the navy, we have to grow it in balance. so certainly there's a fundamental role for capacity, more ships. but as we do that, we're going to have to make sure that to the point that has been very clearly made today, we buy the infrastructure the support the ships, the power, everything that we'll need to adopt the
ships, the crews to, the parts to maintain them, if there's an aviation component to that that we need to buy the aircraft. it is maintaining that balance as we grow will be absolutely critical. otherwise we'll have a large and potentially hollow navy. we'll need to maintain the wholeness. >> yes, sir, i think he captured it well. i can describe that the c and o put out a report that described the cost for a 355-ship navy. they've captured some of the additional costs so we can go into this eyes wide open. in the near term building that navy, you described going to a 355 ship navy. we're not at the 308 ship yet. we don't get there until the 2022 time frame. we're building out the infrastructure, build up the manpower, the things that we need to support a 308 ship navy
today. we need to focus on the additional elements. the oohs no just the ships. it will be the aviation element, the marine corps element. what's the difference between 308 and 355? the biggest elements are the attack submarines, destroyers or a cruiser deployment. rather than talking about the number 355, start to look at those specific almosts, what do we need to grow that capability and what are we going to do in the interim. it's going to take a while to get there. >> especially not just the platforms but some of the personnel that might be involved in growing at that level. >> senator, as the secretary said, the majority of the growth -- we're doing things with marine forces on land that we would prefer to be doing from the sea. so i think at our structure now we could support the -- there
are some other things -- >> you might shift some land space. >> we would take people that are doing things now and take advantage of the ship. there are other things as the secretary of the c and o said. ship, i got to put marines on there, aviation on there and marine cargo on there. i've also got to have the service connecters. that's something that is in the supplemental. it's program, not a lot of money. but those connecters allow us to do the job and to go from over the horizon to put that force ashore, to exchange forces at the sea base so the connecters are something that probably would have to be grown. and certainly we would not get there if we don't fund the current program that we have. >> thank you, mr. chair. thank you for the witnesses. >> senator sullivan, please. >> thank you for your service
and testimony. last year around this time we had done essentially what the joint chiefs had requested of the congress. our appropriations committee moved a defense prappropriation bill out. i think one senator on to the senate floor that summer. we moved to vote on it and unfortunately it was filibustered. we went to the usual playbook of an cr omnibus at the pend. a lot of us want to get the budget out on the floor, voted on. would that be your preferred course for the men and women in the military that we do that? admiral? >> yes, sir, by far the preferred course to pass the budget using normal procedures. >> general? >> yes, sir.
>> mr. secretary? zwli would say . >> i would say it's the only acceptable course sir. >> we're going to try to do that. hopefully there won't be another filibuster or another continued resolution. that's what we should be doing but it's good to hear that that's what you want and the other courses of action are not helpful to our troops. isn't that correct? you're all nodding. >> yes, sir. >> yes, sir. >> i think it would restore confidence in the rank and file of all men and women in the armed forces that they understand that what's happening in this city, they get it, that we get it -- >> and they're watching, right? >> they're watching. >> the filibuster, people were like nobody saw that. the troops saw that. >> you would be amazed at how insightful and tuned in your sailors, marines and soldiers are. they're watching that closely.
t we get out around the world to talk to deployed servicemen. a junior will stand up and ask this question, the fact that we don't get it. i fully support that zbli wa. >> i want to mention, a number of us, the chairman and myself, have been working with the service chiefs and dod on the specfic laydown of our marines, the navy and air force. the chairman said we need to get it right, make it strategical, not tactical. if we don't get it right we're going to be paying for it for the next 50 years. i talked to secretary mattis about this and i want to mention that we look forward to working with you. i do believe it needs to be military, executive branch and this committee and the congress to make sure that we get that
right. i look forward to continuing to work with you, the other service chiefs and osd on this important initiative to get our specific laydown direct becaucorrect becf us don't think it's optimized right now. it's been stagnant for decades and we want to work with you on that. admiral richardson, i want to talk a little bit about the arctic. the department of defense in january of this year came out with a new arctic strategy. directed by this committee and congress. much better than the other one. it talks about opening sea lines and the lines of communication and commerce, transportation, protecting the sovereignty of the arctic, the resources, particularly as countries like russia and china continue to build up forces in the region. i read the article 2014 road map put out by the navy.
as we pursue a fleet of 355 ships, in this strategy it talked about the importance of looking at ice hardening some of these ships. what ships do you see we would need to look at ice hardening. and do you believe this strategy needs to be updated now that the secretary of defense has put out a much more robust strategy that was directed by this committee? >> sir i think the ants to all of your questions is precisely the effort we're taking the summer. >> are you going to update this strategy? >> we'll update the strategy, yes, sir. >> in erterms of ice hardening ships, we have a 355-ship fleet that we're looking at. what kind of ships do you believe that we would need to ice harden so that we can do
this. >> we don't have the capacity or the capability. i owe you those answers as an output of the strategic review. i don't want to give you a guess right now. it would be the ships with a decisive contact. >> you mentioned the importance of working with the coast guard to cut through the red tape, to work on upgrading and building out an icebreaker fleet. right now we have two icebreakers. one is broken. the russians have 40, they're building 13 more. they're control what general mattis called the strategic train of the arctic. have you made any progress with the coast guard on that? >> we're formalized our relationship. we've set up an office and are looking at the requirements of the icebreaker. we're bring in our shipbuilding expertise to make sure that we
support the coast guard in executing their mission. we've made good process this year. >> should an icebreaker cost a billion dollars? >> sir it shouldn't seem that way but we're working with the coast guard on that. >> and take ten years to make? >> goes back to the need to get faster in acquisition. >> senator gillibrand. >> thank you, mr. chairman. welcome all of you and thank you for your extraordinary service. general neller with you give us an update you've made with the marines united misconduct? >> since i last appeared in front of this committee we had a numb number of initiatives. we work with ncis. they've gone through literally thousands and thousands of pictures looking for individuals they can identify. we've had people come forward.
there were eventually 675 subje -- 65 subjects. many of them there were not sufficient avenue to forward them. to date there are still some under investigation, resulting in one administration, no two njps and there's one pending a court-marti court-martial. we've required every marine to sign so they know what their responsibilities are on social media. and the actions that would be discrediting to another marine or the institution make them subject to the uniform code of military justice. i know the congress worked and we're working with the congress on certain legislation about the use of someone else's picture on social media without their p permissi permission. i've gone, all all of the leaders have gone and spoken to
tens of nothousands of marines d made it known what their responsibilities are. the social media things that we've seen have been -- were just indicative of a problem within our culture that we did not properly support or value view the men and women in the corps. >> out of the 6 5 subjects none have been penalized? >> one is pending. >> what does that mean. >> they're in the process. >> were any of those siubjects commanders? >> not to my notice but i would have to take that for the record and get back with you. >> i'm concerned for those who were found to be held responsible that you chose mvp. why did that happen?
>> in going through this process it became apparent to me and the leadership that there was some perception that there was not certain actions that commanders could take. and you know that i cannot prescribe an action toob taken by a commander because that would be considered undue command influence. but we've made it clear and given the commanders a guide book. these are your options, these are the things you can do based on your investigation. the one thing you can't do is nothing. you have to investigate and come to some conclusion. this is not over. this is not going to end and we're not to a point -- and we have tried to set this up myself where this is going -- this process, the change in our culture, human talent management, things that we're doing for diversity in the force are going to go forward as we try to change the culture. but as far as specific actions
against specific people, i have to be careful in that ai low commanders to take their responsibilities as command and we follow through on these things and make sure that there is going to be some adjudicat n adjudication. i can tell you any allegation of sexual assault made in the marine corps, i can tell you how ever one of those allegations, whether sash yubstantiated or n how they ended up. >> our percentage of cases going to court-martial are going down, our percentages of going to jail are going down. i'm concerned that they're not taking these crimes seriously enough. i'm very troubled that they chose to do njp instead of taking these case to court-marti court-martial. it's not an example of having no evidence. there are evidentiary trails to be made. i wouldn't say it's likely that
these are cases where they couldn't prove their case. i think it sends the wrong message. if you're not taking these crimes sere you seriously, i fear it's not going to change behavior. >> i understand your concern. on the court-martial, the marine corps with regard to sexual assault has the highest number of cases taken to court-martial and conviction. on this particular social media, we're still in the process. it's not over. we'll see what happens. i understand your concern and i'll get back to you as we further progress in the process. >> if i could just add one comment. i've been separately reviewing these side by side with the c and 0 and one thing we came to agreement on is we need to strengthen our relations.
we have put out a change to naval recommendations that would give them greater authority to prosecute these cases going forward. and at the same time congress is looking at an act that would strengthen our case. and i would ask that our general counsel and jaq continue to work with members on the house and senate side to ensure that it has the teeth that we're looking for so we can prosecute these individua individuals. >> thaupg yonk you, mr. chairma to each of our witnesses today. thank you for your service and your testimony today. senior leaders have stated that the combat ship is one of the navy's most capable platforms. the lcs continues to meet operational demands is my understanding from both combat commanders and helps achieve the goal of a global presence to
ensure or peace and freedom of naf dpa navigation. continuation of the lcs program will also enhance the navy's war fighting pos ch fighting post ch fighti fighting posture. i was pleased to hear the administration has requested a second lcs in the '18 budget request. could you describe the navy's requirement for small surface combatants and whether the budget allows the navy to meet that requirement. >> we're committed to laking the lcs program as capability as possible. we're looking through the issues that you saw with the first two ships. we have a state requirement and
lcs contributed to that requirement. >> you testified about the importance of maintaining active shipyards, including the ability to avoid the sawtooth effect of hiring and firing at shipyards. the navy wants to ensure continued production of the lcs. could you please explain what that means and is one ship through a yard every other year enough? >> yes, sir. right now we're establishing a competition for 2020 and both of our lcs builders are strong competitors. so we want to ensure that they are healthy competitor and they maintain the viability in the interim. you described one ship every other year per ship builder. when we presented the budget, the budget on the hill reflects one ship in 2018, congress added one ship in 2017. so our strategy at the time was
that we would take the three ships in 2017, combine with one in '18 to ensure that each of the builders have a ship? '17 and '18 as we continue to watch what unfolds. that is being monitored. there's one per year and then what we refer to as optimum or which is three shifts every two years for builder. the desession was to add anot r another. >> thank you. as we look out in the next 10 years and how it will change dramatically. from the army capabilities, integration center squewe
discussed what the future battle field will look like and the pros and cons of autonomous vehicles, all of these new cutting edge technologies that will create opportunities and also some tremendous challenges for us. so my question is both admiral richardson and general neller, how do you envision a robotics and autonomous technology transforming soo and amphibious warfa warfare. we learned about a technology demonstration at camp pendleton including drones, unmanned underwater craft, unmanned boats that can swarm pretty interesting things that you're working with in the marine corps. if you can elaborate on that for me, please and admiral richardson. >> i think there's huge, huge opportunity here with robotics and artificial intelligence. i think there's some risk. i know right now that we could
probably have an autonomously driven vehicle but then if i have that vehicle in a convoy, who's going to operate weapons system on that? if that vehicle breaks down and has a flat tire, who's going to fix that flat tire because i have no driver. i can't autonomously fix a flat tire. you take advantage of technology and reduce the number of crew. okay, somebody's got to fight the fire on the ship, somebody's got to pull security, man the weap weapon's system while somebody sleeps. so i think that's what we're struggling with, the things he we saw in california. there were a number of vendors out there, a lot of small businesses, people with ideas that took certain things we think have promise. there are about four or five of them we're going to continue to work with and see if we can turn them into programs and not get caught up in the acquisition
matrix where it slows us down. so i think there's a lot of there there. whether it be unmanned aircraft. one of my highest priorities is to create a group four or five unmanned aircraft that can take off and land from a deck of a ship and to use that to replace attack helicopters. we don't want to be tied to a long runway. so all those things, pick an area, whether it's undersea, on the land, in the air, there's lot of opportunity there and we continue to work with both our marines and sailers and the industry to try to take advantage. >> i'll pile on and say not only unmanned but autonomous and we're pursuing with aggression, unmanned undersea, unmanned surface and unmanned aircraft. in addition to unmanned, related to ought onomy is this idea of warfare and whether it's cyber,
space, or whatever. that's going to be decisive difference and so we've stood up to digital warfare office to unite our efforts across the navy to give us a coherent approach to war fare as it pertains to the future of naval combat. >> thank you, mr. chairman and our witnesses for being here. i heard senator earlier mention the problem of sexual harassment online and problem with the loophole in the law. senator sullivan and i have an amendment to close that loophole and i want to say thank you very much for supporting that. i think we can make an important difference here. i want to quickly ask about the importance of our nonmilitary agencies and programs to the navy mission. would a significant reduction in funding to the state department and other nondefense security
agencies and programs make the navy's job easier or harder to do? >> if you -- harder to be blunt about it, ma'am. >> i'll take blunt. >> the lack of diplomacy, those sorts of other elements of national power, if those aren't there, it makes our mission harder. >> thank you very much. i appreciate that. i ask every combatter and commander the same question and got the same answer over and over and i think it's really important. we spent lot of time in this committee talking about how many ships you need. last year the navy conducted its own assessment and determined the number was 355. but as you recently reminded us in your paper, the future navy, not all ships are created equal and some have better technology, better integrated capabilities. even a 355 ship navy using
current technology is insufficient. can you say a word more about what that means and what kind of technology you think the fleet is lacking? >> right. if i could, it was not just our assessments, but a family of assessments out there that talk about size of the navy, the future of the navy and they all converge around mid300s, in terms of number of platforms. we're on pretty solid ground there. if we continue to build more of the navy we have today, that will be insufficient to be superior and meet our nation's needs in the future. so not only do we have to increase capacity but the ca capability of those platforms has to be increased. and that combined capability, the ability to combine and adapt has to be pursued. >> and that make as lot of sense to me that we need to be building towards an eye of the technologies of the future and what will give us a competitive advantage there.
you talk about a modular approach where the hole of the ship is built to last for decades. but the censors and systems on board can be swapped out aztecnology advances and it seems to me that makes a lot of sense because we keep what still works and upgrade the parts that don't. but that isn't how we're building ships today. given your prior acquisition experience, what changes do you think we would need to make to our acquisition system to achieve admiral richardson's vision? >> we are on that path. the fundamental first thing we've got to do is move across the board to what we refer to as open systems architecture so we're not tied to a design effectively owned by whoever the original manufacture was and then we're tied to that organization to upgrade our ships. in an open systems design to
tackle our capability needs and that same design will foster modernization approach that is timely and affordable. so step one is open systems architecture. step two is we the government have to have access to the intellectual property and we have to know what we're going to do with that so we can upgrade along the way. bought third critical part not so much about acquisition and more about the way we do business is a tighter link between our intel community and our technical communities. so we're looking far enough ahead to technically get there faster. we want to move at the speed of technology, not at the speed of administration. so the question we have to be continually asking ourselves is when will technology allow tuse get there and drive, drive, drive in that direction a let the process control our speed. and the last. it's in line with the
authorization act from 2017 is greater access to commercial. so you'll have given us the ability to use alternate approaches in acquisition. we can't carry the development bill on our backs. we have to look at where's commercial technology going and design our ships so we can leverage that development on a commercial side to help our war fighting problems. >> thank you. i'm going to try to stay close to my time limit and say i'm going to submit questions about the progress you're making towards that and the budget on research and i'll put those in the record. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. secretary stackly, senator reed asked you earlier bot the catapult issue and you mentioned that the navy is fixing the problem. can you confirm the carrier will be ready for operations in 2020
with a first deployment in 2022? >> yes, that's the schedule. pass with regards to the magnetic aircraft launching system. aircraft by aircraft is taking place as we move forward and the first launch and recovery of aircraft to test the ship board system is targeted for august and we'll march through each target series aircraft well in advance of the 2020 time frame. >> problems, yes, but it's not going to slow you down in terms of the deployment. now, admiral richardson, in january of this year i understand that for the first time since world war ii, there were no aircraft carriers deployed anywhere, none of ours. is that correct? >> there was a time earlier this
year when we had nobody -- it was a very short period of time. like a week or something. >> how many aircraft carriers do we have? >> 10 right now. >> and -- so what was the reason for that? obviously that's unusual. what happened there? >> a lot of it was a matter of schedule and we have a number of aircraft carriers in maintenance and so it's the ratio of the demands to the supply anded ahering to our off tempo requirements. >> so nothing to be concerned about? not noteworthy? >> this is the road to 355. that's the major concern that our navy is big enough and capable enough to meet all of those demands. >> so if i mention that on the floor later on today, that would be good point to make, is that right, sir? >> that we need a larger navy,
yes, sir. >> secretary stackly, let me ask you about 22 and the gdd destroyers and submarines and multiyear authority. i ask secretary mattis tuesday about these three multiyears and he told this committee there's no doubt they could save money and he committed to helping us in this regard, particularly with the office of cost assessment and program evaluation or c.a.p.e. what are your views on this? and can you help us in this regard? >> absolutely. that's our big push for why we want to get those across and with areregards to the c.a.p.e. asesment, i've seen the letters that are coming over to the hill today to meet your time lines.
>> so there will be letters coming over today for a preliminary assessment? >> yes, sir. >> that's excellent news. thank you very much. did not know that till now. that's a positive development. one more thing. secretary stackly, on page 11 of your testimony, you described two types of unmanned underwater vehicles a large and an extra large. will these large and extra large uev's count as the 355 ship goal? why or why not? is an intelligence assessment the limit and how far away are we from having these types of capabilities? >> let me first describe that we are not couplanning on counting these. they're not inside the assessment accomplished. they've also been clear that the
future fleet plan to decide how to leverage these capabilities because it will take us decades to get to 355 ships. they do a great job in terms of filling gaps that we have today with our smaller size navy and do missions we can't do with our submarines and surface ships. so no they do not add to the 355. as to the level of maturity, i was on the west coast looking at an example of an xxuev, extremely impressive capability, now we have to explore how we would implore such vehicle inside our concept of operations and what that means in terms of installing capabilities on board. right now without specific capabilities we have to decide what mission and installation of those. >> do you anticipate those beyond intelligence assessment? >> oh, yes.
i think we'rallredy working on concept of operations that go along that line. >> could respond briefly? >> sir, you can see them delivering pay loads to different areas, the access that an undersea vehicle gives is -- that combined with underwater -- you can conceive of a whole number of missions in terms of what those things can deliver well beyond intelligence. >> how soon? >> for? >> might we have that? >> i'm looking for something in the next few years. >> less than a decade? >> far less than a decade. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much. following up on the last point about the multiyear, i'm totally in favor of multiyear contracts. it saves the taxpayers money, stabilizes the base, a very sensible way to go but you testified a few minutes ago moving into construction before
you have a mature design is a recipe for disaster and that's been my judgment from all the meetings we've had. my only concern on the flight three destroyers is whether we have a mature design. they say a stable design is generally demonstrated by building at least one ship to that design and concluding that design doesn't require any substantial change during the contract. so that's what worries me about the multiyear on the new flight three destroyer and you -- admiral richardson, if you have any thoughts on that, i want to be careful. it's not a question of doing it, it's a question of when we do it in terms of the maturity of the design. >> yes, sir. i'll start and finish. that is a very mature design.
it's not a clean sheet design. we're at a mature point. >> we measure a various metrics and things and the first thing you look for is you create a critical design review before you go into the contracting phase and that was completed last november. the next thing is -- today it's complete and everything is on track for it to be 100% complete prior to start of construction. and then the other element -- >> 100% prior to start of construction or bid sng. >> prior to start of construction. >> it's hard to bid on something that isn't fully designed. >> sir, i would tell you we've never been in a position where we bid on a new ship program of any kind where it's totally complete design. so the phase of design that's necessary for the ship builders
to complete their bid would be done. the next phases they'll press into is the details associated with taking this design to the design products that the mechanic on the factory floor needs. >> you say the letters are coming over today. when would you asume that bids would be submitted? >> for am multiyear? i would expect probably within six months. >> by the end of this year? >> yes, sir. >> and by that time you're presuming we would be beyond even the 86%? >> yes, sir. i would dezieb -- i would use other ship building programs as examples. the columbia program that we're totally focussed on, worked on this design for 10 years prior to contract award. her target is 83% complete design at start of construction because she's a new ship design.
so that's at start of construction. we're looking at 100% start of construction and greater than 83% when they submit the bids and the most recent new ship program that was competed with was the off shore patrol craft and the point in time when industry wanted to submit their competitive bids, they were maybe 50% complete. >> we don't -- and i would say we don't know the outcome of that yet. that ship hasn't been built. so we don't know where that's going. first, i want to compliment you on the testimony you gave about small businesses. we had some appalling testimony here two or three months ago from representatives of technology industry who said that the smaller sillicon valley companies won't even bid. they don't want to get involved with the pentagon because it's too complicated and burdensome, so anything you can do to clear the way for many of these small
innovative companies in terms of regulation, times, form, paperwork is to be commended. >> i would add two two things he one, we've assigned every deputy programs manager as the small business advocate for all the program responsibilities. and one example. i got an email from small business the other day who described how he can save $40 million on our carrier programs and the pra ublms he was having with the large government. so i've taken his notion and put him side by side working with the carrier program to break that log jam free. it does require that level of effort, but the savings, the opportunities are huge. >> i really appreciate it. can i ask one follow up question? a lot of the testimony today is rightfully focussed on not only the 355 ship navy, but also the deployable, if you will, of the
navy we have. and i would appreciate it for the record and this may exist in various documendocuments. what is the percentage of readiness of all the equipment? there are 47 out of 70 that are lacking parts. yard like the know what that figure is for destroyers, amfibs, submarines. in other words, it doesn't matter what the nominal navy is. the real question is what ships do we have that are ready to fight? and i would like to see an analysis, god forbid there was a two front attack or the major problems that we're anticipating or preparing for if it occurred tomorrow, how much of the fleet and the personnel are trained and equipped, all of those things so we can compare, as i say, the nominal navy with the
ready to fight navy? >> we tracked that and i'll get on your calendar. >> i think that's important and then i think we need to fully understand that and i commend you for focusing in this budget on these issues of getting the higher level of maintenance and repair. admiral neller, one final question. you have 85,000 this year in strength but that's at a one to two dwell to deployment. that seems to be high stress level on your people. talk to me about the deployment dwell ratio. >> senator, at 185,000 in thing a ruget, it's about one to two. there are some communities that there below that, harder than that. some that are better. when i came in the marine corps
in the '80s, we were one to three forest. a force. that's the long-term sustainable and not just for the maintenance of our gear and the training of our force but also for our families. so we've been at one to two. we can continue to sustain it, but i think now we're seeing both the effects on retention of senior career marines and on the wear and tear on the gear. because if you're turning stuff 1/3 faster, you're putting more miles and hours on it. if you can't retain your experience middle management and you got to do more maintenance on gear that is already older, you start to get in a spiral and now we find ourselves where we are. but it's going to take time and resources and stability and a budget. >> thank you. thank you very much.
>> senator perdue, please. >> first, i want to apologize, i've only been here two years. but i want to aapologize to you. congress has defrauded the american people and in my opinion, the men and women in uniform for the last 43 years. our budget process has only funded federal government four times. 178 cr's have been used in those 43 years. and the last time we funded the federal government fully was before 1980. we have 25 work days in the united states senate between now and the end of this fiscal year. there is no chance we're going to fund this federal government the way this budget law prescribes that would allow us to debate and fully fund our military. this has got to stop. and i want to move to my question. just know there are people working to try to change that. i would tell you i got your back
but i don't know that yet because this is such an institutional dysfunction and it puts the future of this country at risk because it endangers it. we talked nothing but dollars and sense. we have the innovation, the technology, the capitol. we can defend our country. we're not giving you the money you need. in the world, admiral, there are about 400 submarines totally in the world. is that directionally correct? >> that sounds about right, yes, sir. >> and in the asia pacific, about 230 in the asia pacific. how many submarines allocated to the pacific? attack submarines. >> on the neighborhood of 30. >> in our plan over the next -- in the 2020, next 15 years, we have new attack submarines. our plan in the navy is taking
that down to 42. so we have 30 attack submarines trying to keep up with over 300 submarines and 160 of those are china, russia and north korea. sir, how are we going to mitigate that and give us confidence those 30 boats are going to be able to protect us in the pacific. >> sir, we're going to mitigate that in any way we can. that will be a combination of the undersea unmanned vehicles. we're looking to increase production of submarines. we're looking to see what the industrial base can bear with respect to taking that even higher. we're looking at life extengszs of the current submarines. the new requirement is 66 submarines and we need to start -- >> that's part of the 355 --
plan. that's $800 billion almost. >> yes, sir. >> and we don't have a capitol budget in the federal government. we do this on cash flow year to year to year. that's the biggest problem i found in the business world. you're finding billion dollar platforms. one is $10 billion a copy. isn't that right, admiral? >> we're looking at something that costs half that. >> that's good news. but we're trying to replace 14 ohio class with 12 columbia class. what period of time is that projected over and is that still in your current thinking, the current plan? >> yes, and there's good engineering logic behind that, by virtue of putting a life into the ship core, we eliminate the need for a long midlife refuelling over haul. and so we get more operational
ability of the submarine and allows us to cut down in the same mission -- >> by the time we get to commissioning those 12 columbia claz, how far past the useful life will the ohio class submu -- >> there's zero margin in that plan. we have stretched the ohio class out to longer than any other class of submarine we've ever built. there's no more margin for that transition. in fact we go down to 10 for a while in that transition period, banking on reliability of the submarines to get us through that. >> thank you guys for your service. thank you. >> and on behalf of chairman mccain, thank you for your testimony and service. i will announce that the committee is adjourned.
book, fdr and the post office. >> i found four letters in the archives not type written that actually credited stamp collecting with saving his life after he became ill and ended up being confined to a wheelchair. >> on american history tv, we toured the first presidential library in the national archive system. >> it was established by president franklin roosevelt. he was looking for a way to preserve the papers of his administration and his personal papers and so he created a library on the grounds of his estate in hide park. what he decided to do was raise private money to build the library and then he gave it to the government to be operated by the national archives. >> watch c-span's