United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Arme.

Condition of the Armed Forces and future trends : hearing before the Committee on Armed Services, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, January 19, 1995 online

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S. HRG. 104-297



Y4.AR 5/3: S. HRG. 104-297

Condition of the ftrned Forces >»« F...





JANUARY 19, 1995

Printed for the use of the Committee on Armed Services

92-230 CC WASHINGTON : 1996

l C\\ S. HKG. 104-297


Y 4.AR 5/3: S.HRG. 104-297

Condition of the ftrned Forces and F...






JANUARY 19, 1995

Printed for the use of the Committee on Armed Services




STROM THURMOND, South Carolina, Chairman
JOHN W. WARNER, Virginia SAM NUNN, Georgia



TRENT LOTT, Mississippi EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Massachusetts


BOB SMITH, New Hampshire JOHN GLENN, Ohio





Richard L. Reynard, Staff Director
ARNOLD L. PUNARO, Staff Director for the Minority



January 19, 1995


Buchholz, Maj. Gen. Douglas D., USA, Commanding General, U.S. Army

Signal Center and Fort Gordon 13

Stavridis, Comdr. James G., USN, Commanding Officer, U.S.S. John Barry

(DDG52) 16

Beavers, Col. Jennings B., II, USMC, Commanding Officer, 8th Marine Infan-
try Regiment, 2nd Marine Division 18

Beesley, Lt. Col. Mark G., USAF, Commanding Officer, 494th Fighter Squad-
ron, U.S. Air Force Europe 19

Dorn, Hon. Edwin, Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) 42

Owens, Adm. William A., Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff 47

Hamre, Dr. John, Comptroller, Department of Defense 51




U.S. Senate,
Committee on Armed Services,

Washington, DC.

The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:35 a.m., in room SR-
222, Russell Senate Office Building, Senator Strom Thurmond
(chairman) presiding.

Committee members present: Senators Thurmond, Warner,
Cohen, McCain, Coats, Smith, Santorum, Nunn, Exon, Bingaman,
Robb, Lieberman, and Bryan.

Committee staff members present: Richard L. Reynard, staff di-
rector; George W. Lauffer, deputy staff director; Donald A. Deline,
general counsel; and Christine K. Cimko, press secretary.

Professional staff members present: Charles S. Abell, Romie L.
Brownlee, Jonathan L. Etherton, Stephen L. Madey, Jr., Joseph G.
Pallone, Steven C. Saulnier, and Eric H. Thoemmes.

Minority staff members present: Arnold L. Punaro, minority staff
director; Andrew S. Effron, minority counsel; Richard D. DeBobes,
counsel; Christine E. Cowart, special assistant; Richard D. Finn,
Jr., Patrick T. Henry, T. Kirk McConnell, Michael J. McCord, and
Julie K. Rief, professional staff members.

Staff assistants present: Pamela L. Farrell, Shelley G. Lauffer,
and Kathleen M. Paralusz,

Committee members' assistants present: Robert J. "Duke" Short,
assistant to Senator Thurmond; Grayson F. Winterling and Judith
A. Ansley, assistants to Senator Warner; Dale F. Gerry, assistant
to Senator Cohen; Anthony H. Cordesman, Ann E. Sauer, and
Christopher J. Paul, assistants to Senator McCain; Samuel D.
Adcock, assistant to Senator Lott; Richard F. Schwab and David J.
Gribbin, assistants to Senator Coats; Thomas L. Lankford, assist-
ant to Senator Smith; Glen E. Tait, assistant to Senator
Kempthorne; Matthew Hay, assistant to Senator Inhofe; Patty
Stolnacker, assistant to Senator Santorum; Andrew W. Johnson,
assistant to Senator Exon; Richard W. Fieldhouse and David A.
Lewis, assistants to Senator Levin; Steven A. Wolfe, assistant to
Senator Kennedy; Suzanne M. McKenna and John P. Stevens, as-
sistant to Senator Glenn; Lisa W. Tuite, assistant to Senator Byrd;
Suzanne Dabkowski, assistant to Senator Robb; John F. Lilley, as-
sistant to Senator Lieberman; and Randall A. Schieber, assistant
to Senator Bryan.




Chairman THURMOND. The committee will come to order. I do not
usually have a long opening statement, but this morning's will be
a little longer than usual because of the nature, and I think it is

The Committee on Armed Services meets today to receive testi-
mony on the Condition of the Armed Forces and Future Trends. It
is unusual for the full committee to conduct such a hearing, par-
ticularly as its first hearing of the year. Normally, the committee
waits until the President's budget is sent to Congress, and then it
invites the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff to present an overview of the budget. Subsequent
hearings, both at the full and subcommittee levels, are then con-
vened to examine the budget and its various details.

However, numerous indications have surfaced recently which
suggest the armed services have been dangerously overextended
and underfunded. I believe the situation has now reached the point
where Congress should step in and fulfill its constitutional obliga-
tion to ensure the forces are supported and maintained.

Before I proceed to a discussion of these indications, I must pref-
ace my remarks by stating unequivocally that the U.S. Army,
Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force are the best in the world. There
is no doubt that they can provide the means today for America to
prevail in any armed conflict. Some may not understand why we
should be concerned about the condition of the forces, if this is the
case. I would explain it by saying that my concern for the present
is not that the Armed Forces will fail, but that they will pay too
high a price in terms of lives and injuries to succeed. It is an indis-
putable fact that the best way to minimize accidents, injuries, and
casualties is to maintain a high level of training and readiness.

At this very moment, American military people are operating
around the world. Six thousand soldiers are in Haiti, where one
soldier was killed last week. Next month, four ships carrying 2,600
marines, plus escort vessels, will go to Somalia. Twenty-five thou-
sand may be committed to Bosnia. An officer recently lost his life
in Korea, when his helicopter was shot down. We continue to send
our military to perform so-called "peace" operations — I repeat,
peace operations — where they must wear helmets and body armor
and carry loaded weapons. Our military witnesses today can speak
first-hand about the dangers they faced in the Persian Gulf war,
Somalia, Haiti, Cuba, Bosnia, and Northern Iraq.

Others may not understand why it is essential for the condition
of military units to remain sound. I make no apology for my strong
concern tnat young men and women in uniform are perhaps being
exposed to unnecessary risk. This risk is the cumulative result of
high demands which have been placed upon our military with a
low level of resources. This high level of risk is the result of a lack
of depth which has built up over the past 2 years in areas such as
training, maintenance of equipment, modernization, and logistical
support. The pace at which all the services are now operating ex-
ceeds the pace of operations at the height of the Cold War, yet they
are being funded at lower levels. The services are not receiving the
funds they need to perform their missions, maintain appropriate

quality of life for their people, and they cannot fund modernization
which is critical to future success. Most estimates of this
underfunding range between $50 billion and $150 billion over 5

Much attention has recently been focused on the decline in cur-
rent readiness, and for good reason. The Department of Defense re-
cently admitted that three Army divisions dropped to readiness
level C-3 in September due to a lack of training. That is the next
to lowest readiness rating, and the Army has not had three divi-
sions at this level for training at the same time since the hollow
force years. Some of us on this committee and others in the Con-
gress have warned for the past 2 years that such a decline was cer-
tain to occur. Four months have elapsed. Those divisions are still

It is relatively easy to conclude there is a serious readiness prob-
lem which stems from insufficient funds. In point of fact, there is
a serious readiness problem, and it does stem in part from insuffi-
cient funds. However, more careful analysis shows that inadequate
budgets are only part of the problem. The root causes are complex
and far-reaching. The decline in current readiness is the cumu-
lative result of numerous budgeting, funding, and policy decisions,
virtually all of which are attributed to the civilian leadership, not
the services.

Although current readiness must be fixed, it is only one dimen-
sion of the problem. There is a larger problem with the trends
which shape future readiness, and it, too, must be corrected. If we
do not correct this problem now, we will pay a very high price later
in terms of lives, dollars, and the loss of national prestige. My con-
cern for the future is that the Armed Forces will not have the mod-
ern equipment and depth of expertise to prevail in future actions
and to deter potential aggressors. We should remember that our
military had available an array of capable, sophisticated systems
when the crisis began in the Persian Gulf, not because it had been
preparing for years to fight a war there in 1990, but because it had
built a modern, ready force. We do not know what challenges will
present themselves in the future; however, we can be sure they will

The purpose of this hearing is to hear from some of the people
who operate the forces, the people who actually do the work and
accomplish real missions, in order to understand better the condi-
tion of the Armed Forces. The committee has heard often from sen-
ior officials of the Department of Defense, but I believe a different
perspective has value at this point in time. The committee has
called as witnesses four officers, one from each service, whose re-
sponsibilities and duties are broadly dissimilar. We have also called
the senior civilian official of the Department of Defense, whose po-
sition and title should qualify him to testify most knowledgeably on
this subject.

I want it noted for the record that the committee could have
called individuals from each of the services whose units are now ex-
periencing much more severe readiness problems than the wit-
nesses' organizations. I decided not to do that, for three reasons.

First, there is abundant evidence already that the services are
experiencing serious current readiness problems, and I do not see

the need to add to that body of information. I stated my conclusions
about current readiness in a letter I wrote to the Secretary of De-
fense last September 30. I will say more about that letter in the
second panel.

Second, it seems to me that it is important to gauge the depth
and breadth of the current readiness situation. That is why the
hearing is on the condition of the Armed Forces, and not, per se,
a readiness hearing.

Third, I believe it is important to gain some insight into where
this is all headed, so I would ask our witnesses to make some per-
sonal judgments about the trends which may be developing in the
areas of readiness, capability, and risk.

I will now ask Senator Nunn for any comments he would choose
to make.

I do not believe the Senator is here. I understand he will not be
able to make it. Is there someone on their side who would like to
make some comments?

Senator Lieberman. Mr. Chairman, I thank you. I cannot speak
for Senator Nunn, although I have had conversations with him on
this general subject and I appreciate very much your opportunity
to say a few words. We join in these inquiries into the state of
readiness of our armed services in a spirit of nonpartisanship. This
is a matter that should be of concern to all of us. And I would
stress what the Chairman said at the outset and I paraphrase
what you said, Mr. Chairman, we have the strongest, best military
in the world, and we are capable of meeting and beating any chal-
lenge or any opponent in the world. And that is the core. That is
the bottom line.

But we are concerned, in a time of changing security challenges
and increasingly limited resources, about the state of readiness. So
I would say that we do not want to overreact to these indications,
but we do not want to ignore them either. We want to pursue di-
rectly and raise questions about readiness. What I am saying is
that accepting the Chairman's position that we have the strongest,
best military in the world and that we can meet and beat any foe
in the world, we have to be able to put these questions of readiness
in context, which is that they are more at the margins than at the
center of our security structure, but important nonetheless to ask.

And second, I would say, and I believe I again pick up on some-
thing the Chairman has just said, that we have to continually ask
ourselves, "Readiness for what?" In other words, what are the
threats that we are facing around the world, and how, as the
Chairman has suggested, do we balance, in a time of limited re-
sources, our investments in current readiness and force structure,
with, or against in some cases, our investments in modernization?

We want to be ready to face the challenges that we meet in the
near term, but part of our success in the Gulf war clearly was that
10 or 15 years before that war people in the Pentagon, on both the
civilian and military side, saw ahead and invested in research and
development and in technology that led to the production of the
weapons that our fine military personnel used to win the Gulf war
so overwhelmingly.

So this is a constant balance we have to work out as we pursue
these questions. Readiness is critical, but clearly we also have to

look beyond today and be concerned about the threats that may lie
ahead in which the modernization of our equipment is so critically
important. So it is in that spirit that I thank the Chairman for giv-
ing me, in the absence of more senior members on this side, the
opportunity to say a few words, and I look forward to working with
him and everyone on this committee as these deliberations go for-

Chairman Thurmond. I believe Senator Cohen wanted to make
some remarks.

Senator Cohen. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will be as brief as

Eossible. I would like to associate myself with the remarks made
y the Chairman of the committee pertaining to the importance of
the readiness issue. For the past several weeks, I think all of us
have been mesmerized by the CNN coverage and other coverage of
what is taking place in Chechnya, and the young Russian soldiers
who are being cut down by what would seem to be a band of ill-
prepared opposition. And we are watching mothers seeing their
sons returned to Moscow in pine boxes and weeping over them say-
ing, "You should not have sent my son into battle. He was not pre-
pared. He was not ready. He was not fully trained."

And the sight of those young Russians being cut down by what
would seem to be an inadequately prepared force should con-
centrate all of our minds fairly seriously.

As the Chairman has indicated, we had a report back last Sep-
tember that three divisions were reported at C-3 level for training
deficiencies, training inadequacies. That, to my knowledge, is the
first time in recent history that we have ever had that situation.
There seemed to be an attempt made to revise, or at least recall,
some historical precedent by saying it is no worse than what hap-
pened during the Reagan year buildup, by implication suggesting
some political motivation on the part of those who are raising the
readiness issue that we are seeking to criticize the President or his
administration and to undermine him politically. That has never
been the concern reflected by the membership of this committee.

To my knowledge, whether Republican or Democrat, we have not
tried to seek to exploit an administration for political purposes
when it comes to dealing with the readiness issue and our military
preparedness. And I must say that I have found little evidence to
correspond to the current situation or that report in September,
which the Chairman has indicated has not yet been improved, with
that that took place during the Reagan years. At that time we had
18 divisions, and the three divisions that were cited were not cited
for simultaneously being unready for lack of training. That did not,
in fact, occur.

We are now down to, as I understand it, 12 divisions. So right
now we have a fourth of our current 12 divisions currently not in
a state of full readiness, but down to a C-3 level. That has not hap-
pened before, to my knowledge. So I think this bears some exam-
ination and explanation, and I really regret that there has been
any attempt to suggest that the questions being raised by members
of Armed Services Committee, be it here or in the House, has some
political motivation.

I do not seek to undermine President Clinton or the administra-
tion. That is not my motivation. I doubt very much if anyone on

the Republican or Democratic side would seek to do that. What we
are concerned about is what is taking place, what needs to be done,
and how we maintain that high level of readiness so that in the
event we are sent off or send our sons and daughters off to fight
in an emergency situation, even so-called peacekeeping situations —
which, as the Chairman has pointed out, requires personnel to be
heavily armed — and to detect whether they are fully trained. And
if they are not fully trained, then we may very well face the same
situation of young soldiers, men and women, coming home in boxes
and coffins with mothers and fathers weeping over them saying
why were they sent into battle when they were not prepared.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman Thurmond. I believe Senator McCain wanted to make
some remarks.

Senator McCain. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As the incoming
Chairman of the Readiness Subcommittee, I would like to thank
you for holding this hearing today. I think the significance of the
importance of this issue — and I appreciate very much your leader-
ship and attention to it — is a compelling problem in the military

Mr. Chairman, on October 13, 1994, Deputy Secretary of Defense
John Deutch said, "I think that the record shows that the readiness
of the force is as high as they have ever been, higher in my judg-
ment, than they were in 1991", bringing in the politicization that
Senator Cohen just mentioned since clearly it was a Republican ad-
ministration in 1991. On December 8, 1994, Secretary Perry said
1st Division, 4th Infantry, and 2nd Armor have slipped, to C-3. The
1st Armored Division and the 3rd Armored Division both have
slipped from C-l to C-3. On December 8, 1994, that was General
Maddox, head of the Army European Command.

Our ability to maintain readiness is on the margin. That is from
General Mundy, Commandant of the Marine Corps, on February
24, 1994. Airlift in this country is broken right now. I am not sure
it is workable for even one major regional contingency. That is from
General Hoar of the U.S. Central Command on March 3, 1994. The
recent downturn in readiness mark the first time in 12 years that
training cutbacks accounted for so many divisions being rated as
unable to fulfill all their wartime missions. That is from Major
General Putnam on January 13, 1995. Crews in Spangdahlem are
still capable, but the trend is going in the wrong direction.

The Navy Reserve canceled training drills for the remainder of
fiscal year 1994 because they ran out of money. The F-103 locked
its doors in August, along with other Eisenhower-based airplanes,
in response to shortages in O&M resulting from funding for mul-
tiple international hot-spots. In combat readiness, the U.S. Army
in Europe has substantially eroded in the past 2 years because
$300 million was diverted from training funds to pay quality of life
expenses. That is from General Maddox, the Army European Com-

Specific problems, Mr. Chairman: Pilots are overworked and
undertrained, spousal and alcohol abuse are increasing. That is
from General Gallagher, the fighter wing commander in
Spangdahlem, Germany. Seven of 11 battalions at Camp Lejeune,
North Carolina, report personnel-related readiness problems. The

2nd Marine Air Wing has reduced flying hours to save money, leav-
ing 11 of 30 squadrons at low readiness rates. It will be mid-1995
before the squadrons return.

The list goes on and on, Mr. Chairman, and I do not think that
it is inappropriate, as we talk about all of the funding, as the ad-
ministration's witnesses will tell us, that we also have to pay atten-
tion to modernization. The problem here, Mr. Chairman, is that we
simply do not have enough funding to maintain both readiness and
modernization of the force, so we have this tug of war of which
there is really no winner.

I would remind my friends about my comment on Secretary
Deutch's assessment that people are more important than systems.
I said, "He should talk to the Marine aviators who flew Brewster
buffalos against Japanese zeros at the battle of Midway. The Ma-
rines were annihilated without splashing a single enemy fighter."

So the problem is that we do not have sufficient funding to main-
tain the force structure and the readiness as envisioned by the Bot-
tom-Up Review. As my friend from Connecticut said, perhaps we
ought to review whether the Bottom-Up Review is applicable in
light of events that have taken place in the last year to 2 years.
But the fact is, right now there is no way we can maintain that
force as envisioned by that very important study conducted by two
people that all of us respect enormously, former Secretary Aspin
and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Powell.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, could I say that the Congress is not with-
out blame here. We have done incredibly bad things. We have di-
verted, for example, $500 million last year out of trie Defense De-
partment account into military construction account, in the same
year when we are going to have the largest base closing in the his-
tory of this country. There will be bases upon which military con-
struction projects are going on while the base is being closed, after
the base closing commission comes out. What we should have done
was place a moratorium on military construction until we found
out what the base closing commission's determinations were.

We have turned defense conversion into a new exercise in pork
barrel. We are calling defense industrial base everything from com-
bat boots to MREs to bombers. Whatever it is, we are protecting
some industry or company or corporation in our State or district
under the guise of maintaining the defense industrial base. I really
do not think that we need a defense industrial base for combat
boots, unless, of course, it is at L.L. Bean, and then I am sure we
will get an excellent deal. [Laughter.]

Senator Cohen. You will get an excellent product for a very low
price. [Laughter.]

Senator Coats. Can they do ships through the mail?

Senator Cohen. And you can return them whenever they wear
out. [Laughter.]

Senator McCain. I did not mean to start a commercial.

Senator Cohen. Well, you did. [Laughter.]

Senator McCain. But, Mr. Chairman, finally, we need to under-
stand that we need to modernize, we need to maintain readiness,
and the Congress has to play a role, as well. The American people
do not want anymore pork barrel, especially out of the defense
budget, and they want us to maintain a ready force and they want


us to be able to meet the threats. Right now, in my view — and we
will have extensive hearings in the readiness subcommittee — that
is not the case.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I appreciate the indulgence of
my colleagues.

Chairman Thurmond. Senator Warner wanted to make some re-

Senator Warner. Very briefly, Mr. Chairman, I associate myself
with the remarks of the Chairman and my two colleagues. We

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Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. Senate. Committee on ArmeCondition of the Armed Forces and future trends : hearing before the Committee on Armed Services, United States Senate, One Hundred Fourth Congress, first session, January 19, 1995 → online text (page 1 of 11)