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tv   Senate Hearing on Navy Marine Corps Readiness  CSPAN  December 7, 2020 11:59pm-2:03am EST

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hard for free-trade comic traditional conservatives to wrap their head around. but we have to learn a few of these lessons if we are going to be a politically viable party and if the conservative movement is going to be a winning movement in the future and that is the conversation i want them to focus on in the next couple of years with trump t out of the white house what can we learn from him and what are the lessons we've learned from the trump era that can help sharpen ourselves and grow our movement moving forward. there's no better place to have that conversation than the republican committee. >> this has been a great conversation with two distinguished members of the house of representatives. honored to have you with us this morning and i appreciate your service to the country. thankk you for listening. and we will see you next time.
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>> testimony from the navy and marine corps leaders on the readiness levels of their military branches. we heard about current military operations, u.s. presence in the arctic region and the coronavirus response efforts. held by the senate armed services subcommittee, this runs for two hours. ..
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>> the commandant of the marine corps board the first design and planning guidance the recent publication of recent military exercises that
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are massive in the arctic and related to that rule and then to have an important role protecting our strategic interest in the arctic. and the av navy and marine corps readiness. frequent and productive briefings on the covid-19 and on the impact of military readiness. then to postpone those federal exercises and to change the way in which we treat our sailors and marines with these critical issues as it relates to the readiness of the marine corps and navy team. the second released in 2018
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the national defense strategy i believe it is a still very much a bipartisan to return of great power competition particularly with russia and china as the pacing threat. and this committee advocating for building a 355 a ship navy and rightfully focused these investments and the key area of american strategic advantage. so is part of the name the team'sr response the marine corps and the new planning guidance is keenly focused on
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how to face china and on with a slightly leaner but more agilen force with the change the marine corps and i commend him for his term on his efforts and to implement the nds. but it is not without its critics and without the secretary in general to have the opportunity to respond to those in this hearing. to address the recent incident was at the secretary in alaska where we saw the. exercise a great competition large exercises that took place inside the us exclusive
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economicom zone off the coast of the great state of alaska. some of you may already know in late august of the russians had a major wargame near alaska. nearly 50 russian warships, for the russian aircraft to partner in the multiplea to involve missile launches and submarines in "the new york times" reported last month in the article like to submit for the record the headline and byline are we getting invited? russia has accelerated implicated and provocative encounters in the north n pacific and you as spotters and farmers toward alaska's shores. only to enter this into the record without objection and i
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would like mr. secretary and admiral an update on that particular record nation that we need to improve between the coast guard and the navy and the alaskan fishing fleets how much of a broader discussion today as it did become the great power competition in the articlet homeland of the world and to some positive views to encourage all the services to produce arctic strategies to also have a discussion those six polar i.c.e. cap takers but also the president started
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with the senior national defense officials where and how we should be facing an american is arctic and we had a lot of discussion on that. >> and most importantly in this committee of like a prediction of the world been the army-navy football game that takes place in a couple weeks. very important gentleman. thank you very much now looking to my friend and colleague. >> thank you chairman sullivan we find ourselves in challenging times and is good the committee's work has continued and will. welcome to the distinguisheded we are looking for your testimony and testimony to exchange questions also thank you for the work at the
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gao. one another set of think use this is the last opportunity we will meet as a subcommittee or full committee prior to some changes we are losing senator make sally and senator jones they were great public servants before and while they were here from sure ahead of them. and i want to acknowledge each of them. and those will theto dod play and vaccine distribution and return the navy family and how they will be deployed shipyard modernization plan and the but from the effect of climate
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change. and to address we need to do to operate and then with a full range of those responsibility and mission and look forward to your a testimony. >> you to have five minutes to give oral testimony your longer statements will be submitted for the record if you choose. ng mr. secretary we will begin with you. >> thank you mr. chairman it before i begin i would like to offer the department of navy condolences to you on the loss of your father gregory veteran of the united states navy in our thoughts and prayers are with you, sir.
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>> thank you. >> may 1943 american troops aircraft and ships were sent to the pollution islands to dislodge the imperial japanese troops occupying our american soil. the americans were dedicated and brave and underequipped the percent of the operation from ending integral catastrophe was the fact that landing was unopposed. in short we, the united states military gotas lucky. but that should never be accepted as good enough for our fleet, our for sore for our nation. we need to make sure they are never sent in to the right equipment and right leadership distinguish members of the committee we appreciate your efforts to ensure funding stability over the last several years m this has enabled
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arenas across posts services for the navy investment to shipyards on - - the marine corps modernization initiative within the commandant force design 2030. even within the covid-19 and global challenges. they and their families always been the greatest resource. thankfully i found across the department many under way to address these concerns and the consistent engagement was sailors and marines around the globe so i discovered our morale is better but it can get better as we direct the resources to make it better.
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and continually adjust through to the. operating on the premise in the post- 9/11 state the russian fleet is tied to the year and terrorism is the biggest problem. that is not the world of today. we must be bold and to change with it. instead of perpetrating a structure designed to support yesterday's joint forces commandd to meet the unique maritime challenges of the atlantic theater we will be named the command as he was atlantic city and refocus our naval forces in this important region on the original mission to control the maritime approaches to the united states and to those of our allies. and then to get closer to the
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east coast with the maritime presence capability. and to improve our posture in the pacific we will reconstitute the first fleet the signing of primary responsibility of the southeastern region back to the capability and the predictability is reassure our allies and partners of the commitment to this region while ensuring any potential adversary knows we are committed to globalur presence and freedom of the seas. and to make those bold changes required to ensure they are to dominate any potential battles based now a strong navy is not
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a publication for war but the surest answer of peace. we look to you from our congress for strong oversight ever since congress authorized the construction of the first six ships the frigates of 1794. i would like to take this moment to announce the next constellation class frigate will be named one of the original six, name selected by the first president, george washington. the ship will be uss congress to honor and recognize the work that you and your staff to every day to support our sailors and marines and the people of the united states of america. on behalf of the department of the navy our marines and sailors in civilian workforce come in the families that serve at their side, thank you for what you do to enhance our readiness i look forward your questions. >>oean.
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>> thank you very much mr. secretary admiral do you care to make an opening statement? >> yes sir. chairman sullivan again my condolences on your family's loss your dad was not only a sailor but a great friend of the navy. >> thank you spent thank you for the opportunity to appear before you this morning my wife behind me joins me this morning. to be effective the united stateses navy has to be able to carry out to critical functions. the first is to have control and the second is power projection and in both of those missions they are timeless the navy does not need to reinvent itself the rich we carry out those functions and the equipment we use to do it do change over time. but in front of a joint
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session of congress in 1945 that the dawn of the nuclear age he called thoseon missions timeless. and with the season the oceans as my primary focus. with respect to readiness, that covers two areas, readiness today which i believe is the focus today the hearing in the focus of tomorrow and the decision the navy presents to the secretary of defense really balance across three big areas that are aimed at those two functions. that is readiness, readiness today and of the future and the legal capabilities that is
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capacity and the size of the united states navy. and the rest of a global pandemic 100 ships are deployed and 40000 sailors at into the arabian sea and the atlantic in the indoo pacific. the cyberwarriors are standing watch right now. and joined under the seed to continue the constant control. would be remiss if i don't talk about those sailors who support us every single day so we can control the seas thea shipyard workers those at work in production lines with the naval war college and academy
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in the camp whichdu is operating in that said the machine going every single day are balanced against investments of the future with a hypersonic and laser energy that you shot down with laser energy is the last month. we shot down the icbm from the destroyer with the standard missile two weeks ago. we are focused on the future and what we need to do to get there. we are grateful for t the support for the united states navy and sailors and families. thank you for this opportunity this morning and i look forward to your questions. >>.
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>> justo that we're all thinking about you and your family.. this is a good opportunity and timely for us to talk about readiness. and for the service secretary but it is a balance as he highlighted in what we have to provide combatant commanders the first service chief to every dollar that you spend on a legacy piece of equipment or trying to prepare something for this afternoon we have to consider for thecy future and this is what they have been challenged with. we should be very confident
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that those are deployed and ready for any crisis. and then we will make sure we stay and find to know adversary will overtake m us. i did not view readiness has availability only. an aircraft or piece of equipment available. you expect us to be ready if you are me and or trained or equipped were ready for the threat? if we think of readiness we think in terms of ready for what? ready when? are muffled grateful for thef support because five or six years ago we were in a tough spot readiness wise and we
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needed the resources to build and we are back where we need to be thanks to the support of the members of the subcommittee and congress at large. very grateful for that. the admiral does mention readiness and cyberreadiness. because those threats clearly are not going down but you would be very proud of the cybermission forces that with those challenges you want to tackle and on the defensive sid side, i think we have all the means and resources in terms of training and equipment to prepare all networks for the challenges another adversary will pose. we are very focused and that will be the enduring test for all of us.
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i yield the rest of my time to the topics you want to focus on. >> thank you general. i appreciate the comments about my dad. my dad accomplished a lot in his life the part is no doubt was his service in the u.s. navy his cousin was a naval aviator academy grad who won the distinguished flying cross during the cuban missile crisis. later killed in a training accident and finally my dads uncle tom sullivan and lieutenant some of the most dangerous service in the u.s. navy and i mentioned the 70th anniversary of the reservoir battle.
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a lot of americans don't know about that battle but i mention that because those are important cold-weather operations in navy and marine corps did quite well in a critical moment in history mr. secretary can you begin by talking about the navy's upcoming strategies if the operations were chosen operations that we have a navy and marine corps that can operate to protect the strategic interest in the coolest places in the world the places where the great power competition will take place in the future. >> mr. chairman i would be happy to as you know i'm a student of the arctic and an advocate for the arctic. from your great state as a u.s.c, navy pilot and to fly
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these missions throughout the arctic circle i was us ambassador and i spent most of my time above the arctic circle and i have seen with my own eyes how the arctic has changed in those 35 years. today it is navigable 365 and there are other nations in the world that have recognized the importance to us. that should be an alarm to all american as well as the arctic nation we should have a formidable presence to ensure rule of law and freedom of the sea in that part of the world. most recently the uss john mccain was doing just that with the navigation exercisece during the pay of peter the great and was engaged by a more assertive russian navy. the united states navy and united states marine corps had a recommitment to the arctic
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and we operate much more than we have historically although as you know the navy has operated consistently in the arctic since the inception of our submarine force today we need that physical presence and peace of operation talked about a few months ago and the ability to ensure through partners and allies into her own people that way and united states navy have that first and foremost in our mind to release and arctic strategy with the recent trip to alaska and the importance of how the blueprint will recommit ourselves in a much more visible way to activities in the arctic but we must recognize if we don't step forward quickly those who challenged us those were there and we have seen it to we
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build the arctic into be committed itself to build icebreakers and to move its homeland to western markets and half of the amount of time that historically has. the united states navy and united states marine corps is committed to be present in the arctic and more of that way. >> to question follow-ups. the russian exercise did catch the fishing fleet by surprise another has been an interaction but it was d ordered out where they finish by russians they were harassed. what are we doing to make sure that doesn't happen again? and the superpower seafood
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over 60 suit under 60 percent of all seafood harvested comes from alaska's borders. what we doing to make sure that doesn't happen again? do you have any follow up on the presidents memory under one - - memorandums on the arctic. >> uss john mccain was just recently in thed h arctic with the chief of naval operations going intoai detail will be happy to talk with you anytime. >> you may know that i recently went to finland to see the icebreaker in question the president has directed us to purchase. we are looking within the department of navy how we can facilitate that commissioning the ships mean they are us naval vessels and there are
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requirementsts how to have us nl personnel in command of those vessels so i've asked to look into by which we could facilitate that. we agree we need to build icebreakers. today the coast guard maintains to icebreakers and that is all we have. >> one is broken. >> yes sir. one is broken. we do need icebreakers and the navy recognizes it is central to the united states navy and then to rely on the coast guard for the executive order. >> so the navy's presence and marine corps we have done some 20 exercises that ranges from unilateral joint exercises to
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those bilateral exercises with the closest allies and partners in the multilateral exercises so they are not extraordinary but the beginning has become part of the day to day business tied to the national defense strategy as the global integrator like china and russia to include the arcti arctic. >> i share your concern senator north tom is looking at potentially what happened with communication breakdown. with the fishermen or the miscommunication with the us government the us fishermen should not feel threatened by another nation and that continued presence up there the perhaps more needs to be
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doneco to have a lot of discussions about it. >> secretary want to talk to about the announcement of the first flee in the atlantic fleet one minute on the first fleet so with your announcement it will take the sizablee real estate out of japan and divide that into the two fleets because of increased activity with the pacific and the indian ocean if i understand that correctly. >>. >> and that would be an expeditionary fleet with the land-based hq. >> correct. >> that is to emphasize the growing importance of this region and those that the united states has with india
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and others in that part of the world. >> exactly. >> you travel in the region. for the seventh fleet it is also see based and has formidable challenges all with the western pacific down the indian ocean to the northern arabian. . . . . will as i undeo
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recognize the reality of this increased russian presence competition is now sort of the dominant concern of the national defense strategy; is that correct? >> that is correct. my folks in hampton roads will wonderat whether reconstituting the atlantic fleet wil fleet wie them to lose jobs or personnel or investment levels in that region should they be worried about that? >> there's no loss of jobs or revenue. >> and i understand you will be going to have discussions with folks>> in the area about this proposal that you have announced
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today. >> that is correct, senator. >> that is very helpful. >> if i understand now the structure you are putting on the table, specifically it would have the first, third and seventh fleet reporting through thit. you were contemplating that the fifth fleet would still report through centcom. the atlanta fleet would have the second and fourth is that correct? and the sixth would be reporting for the u.s. forces europe because it does so much in tandem with other nato allies. let me ask now i will move to another topic and save the others forh a second round, vaccine deployment. dso, we are grappling with a lot of issues nationally but also it's very critical the vaccine thank goodness is being
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developed rapidly in a way that will keep our military forces active and healthy. talk a little bit about the dod discussions about the vaccine kployment issues and how you are approaching it and did you learn things with respect to how you did testing through the dod family that have given lessons about how to do vaccine deployment with the aftermat the lessons from teddy roosevelt the rollout strategy of course some of the discussions are still going on as we determine how
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quickly we will get those vaccines and how quickly we will roll those out i know that they are in discussions with the surgeon general on how we will do that for the navy as well as theio commandant for the marine corps. i would invite this you know if he had any thoughts on this specifically. >> thank you mr. secretary. there are two related but separate plans closely with the cdc and the first deals with a distribution of vaccines. there are two, one is moderna and the other is pfizer. once it is thought out it is good for about five days. so, the pfizer medicine will be distributed here with ten
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different locations and every medical treatment facility in the military will receive that vaccine. andif then also overseas locatis so the second piece of this is the vaccination plan itself and it is kind of tied to the lessons learned from testing. we actually develop a prioritization for testing. we were building the airplane as we were flying it and testing capability. this time we have a better sense of what the prioritization structure not to look like and at the top, the health care workerhealthcareworkers and thed safety personnel. for the cruise on the strategic missile submarines and then the
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forces that will deploy within the next three months. so we have ai good count of what those numbers are and if there's anything we are good at, it is immunization in the u.s. military so we feel pretty confident that once we get the vaccine distributed, the vaccination piece now that we have a, prioritization well thought out pretty quickly. >> senator shaheen. >> thank you mr. chair man and each of you for being here this morning and for your service. sec., secretary, i want to follp on the conversation being able to operate in the arctic going forward because inco new hampshe we have the u.s. army cold region research engineering lab and they do amazing research and
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i wonder to what extent you share that research across the branches. do you get information from the army that research is being done that would be helpful to the navy? >> we do under a new joint approach. the service secretaries and i talk. they have an exchange in interplay as well. >> i appreciate your comments on the importance of the civilian workers especially in the shipyards. we've had the opportunity and everyone appreciated that. interested in shoring the shipyard optimization plan goes forward as envisioned. are you comfortable that the resources are going to be there to keep that plan on time and
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what has been the impact if any on covid-19? >> with respect to the planets been a priority of the department and the secretary since he has been in the seat. i will tell you in terms of putting our money where our mouth is right now across the four public yards, we have nine projects that are underway. four of those are up at portsmouth and there's a couple in the sound and a couple more in hawaii. but those are progressing on track and funded. across the fifth, we've outplayed $3.5 billion which is not a trivial amount given the fact the budget year is about a billions off 3.5 and that is progressing pretty well. it's a big project in hawaii so
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i am confident that we are heading in the right direction that is to the right degree of prioritization and resources against the plan. with respect to the workforce itself, the workforce as you know is an older workforce and so we were very conservative particularly in the spring and we wanted to make sure safety was our number one priority. and so, we did see probably with respect to production we saw a dip in the production capabilities atpr the public yas with respect to the work that was being done. down to the 70s with 70% of the workforce on the job every day that is now back at 90%. when we look at the law's mandate with respect to that time period, it is about 2% of the mandate across the 4 yards that we would expect. so we have mitigation efforts of the include overtime and buys us back two or 3%.
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so, going to the local contractors outside of those public yards that can do some of that work and also we mobilized about 1300 reserves that have unique skill sets we can bring into the yard. so the mitigation plan safety firstis and right now we are watching a very closely. but i think that we are stable right now and i would describe our repair efforts in the public yards as stable. very countable with where we are. is it where you would hope to be with the optimization plan? >> i haven'tho seen any delays s a result. i'm sure that there have been some slight delays but not off the red flag to raise significant concerns this is also both for you and the
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secretary. one of the challenges we have is the shrinking industrial base as we look at the need going oorward and i assume it's going to have an impact on that. i know we have small businesses in new hampshire that are part of our defense industrial base in the state facing challenges as the result of this pandemic. are you concerned about the impact of the pandemic on more of the businesses that we are going to rely on for the industrial base and do you have any thoughts about how we canneo more to ensure we have the support that we need through the industrial base? >> as i mentioned to you, i am a product of philadelphia and the shipyard closure and what the negative impact it has had not just on the greater philadelphia region but the industrial base. we need to protect every
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shipyard we have. the chinese have 25 shipyards to our one and i'mpr a student of history when yout go back and se the element that kept the united states capable during world war ii was the industrial might and the ability to build back the ships that we were losing. we need to maintain the secret industrial base that we have today. w i would give kudos to our secretary h defense was done an incredible job of crafting a plan to look to the second and third tier suppliers servers consistency in getting the product into the art. our shipyard workers both in the public yards and private yards have done an amazing job at continuing too be there engaged through the fact that they are dealing with antiquated systems and require more work and especially in the midst of a global pandemic they've done a
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phenomenal job. overall i believe the department has a record doing the work to ensure we have consistency. >> just a couple of comments to amplify some things the secretary said. i think the apprenticeship programs that are associated with each of the shipyards and local community colleges whether it's hawaii or washington or new hampshire or virginia have been phenomenal, so those programs that produced some of the best and brightest that hopefully we ran keep around for 30 years because it is a family business in many cases they are people from all walks of life and some of them are middle-aged and decided they want to give more back to the country but that
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program collectively produces about a thousand workers a year and over the past three years we have increased the number from about 33 to 36 or 37,000 and we are changing that demographic as you know we missed a generation so we are trying to rebuild. i'm very optimistic about where we are headed in the workforce and when you look at those shipyards it is an uplifting experience and they love what they are doing. with respect to the supply chain it remains a concern so i would say the senator mentioned this during his opening remarks with respect to opportunity that we have seen, the relationship that we have has been something i haven't seen in my career we
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have our eye on more than a quarter of a million parts we have our eye on those vendors that are struggling and other vendors that are coming that have stepped up to fill the gaps in places so we have seen a bit of both. some failures and also some great innovations. >> certainly ensuring that they getn paid as expeditiously as possible is important right now and i know that that has been a focus so thank you mr. chairman. >> i'm going to have to step out for a brief minute. the senator will be taking over but i'm sure we will have a number of additional questions and a number of senators so i will call next on senator
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hirono. i would like to extend my condolences to you for the loss of your dad. mr. secretary, youu were talking -- i think we need to do more work to make sure that it's the right time, to be honest with you. >> i would say it is the right time especially not being a part of the class as the arctic is seeing a lot more activity, shall we say. and i think one of the reasons they have become that navigable is because of global warming. for the general, i would like to
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offer my condolences to the armarines and sailor who tragically perished in an accident at the end of july. i realize that it is occurring. can you tell me when it will be completed? >> the initial investigation is done and i think within 30 days it will be complete. >> since the initial has been done, can you tell us what has been done briefly? >> i cannot becauseis i have not seen the investigation as long as it remains in the endorsement in respect to the due process we needed to take as you are aware we took initial measures in the first 30 days. but as far as the final
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recommendations how the final opinions andsu recommendations,i have not seen them yet. >> they were to be replaced by the atv so we probably would need to get some kind of an update. mr. secretary, i don't want to get into a long discussion with you but i thought i heard you say that you are taking some ships from the seventh fleet based in japan. is that what you said or is it already being implemented? >> we are going to re- commission the first fleet which would operate in a greater specific region under the
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command control of the united states pacific fleet headquartered in hawaii. it wouldn't necessarily take ships from the southern or third fleet but it would be sharing. that's howow the number operate, predicated on the demand and threat that emanates and that is part of the ocean that goes respectively to operate. the first would be expeditionary. we are still determining where that fleet would operate from. but the major focus would be on the western pacific and eastern indian ocean. >> is this a proposal or has the decision already been made? >> the decision has been made, >> did i hear you say that this was in consultation? >> it is in consultation. there is a chair man's office.
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>> thank you. you were asked questions about the importance with the importance of the plans even though i know because of the manpower issues related to covid. let mela turn to you once again. you wereit the first deputy secretary to visit in october and emphasized the importance of the military presence in the indo pacific and china continues to keep destabilizing activities in the area so the recent activation is also an
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important part in this region and i wanted to ask can you provide some insight into how the u.s. can build on that partnership. >> senator, thank you for the question. i've never been there before. i was a navy pilot and i flew extensively but never flew to the beautiful islands and what a beautiful country it is. the thing that struck me, i went in the wake of the secretary and he and i discussed the opportunity to not only reassure those that are partners and allies on the cutting edge of
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this chinese aggression in that part of the world but i personally meant with members of my team to look at the infrastructure and how we could support on the u.s. naval vessels operating periodically. during my trip i also visited the same reasons to see how it enhanced our presence. that process is ongoing. it continues as you said to be receptive to receiving more u.s. naval vessels. while i wasou there we had some operating in the region. i was able to interact with them and the support that they was again indicative of the specific island nations. also, as i think through the
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uniqueness, they are covid free and one of the things we are dealing with now is our sailors and marines have been deployed on ships without any port visits and it was kind of one of those additional bonuses of my trip. but we have the forces operating at sea that are covid free and it would be almost a bubble to bubble to be able to see the ships go into palau so all those things indicate that it's a nation that we need to continue to support and recognize they are partnerships and friendships with us and how we can enhance that. >> i hope we can do more with all of our nations. i need to move to the senator. >> thank you, so much.
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>> i want to open by acknowledging the leadership moving the confederate flag from the navy and marine corps installations to you specifically lead the wa led thr other military services and a move that spoke great concern to themle and the great moral courage. the expectation that they have assisted in eroding out symbols that cause the division in the ranks sets a standard of leadership and this is a readiness issue and you've made that clear. your recognition that the battle flag can cost pain and rejection states the truth other senior leaders for so long. it was carried by those that took up arms against the states to keep black americans in chains. it's in. if all of the service members
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feel welcomed and valued. it shows respect for black servicemembers who already face barriers in the military and inclusion in the ranks. commandant, your actions represent one of the many important steps that the armed servicesth can take improved inclusion of all service members as well as disciplined unit cohesion. i applaud your leadership and i also applaud you, admiral, for your subsequent call above the board navy installations. now i want to focus on the region that's personally important to me, southeast asia in particular. the national defense strategy focuses attention on countering the rise of china in a row and a readiness for this geographically diverse distributed maritime region is absolutely the key to execute the visions laid out.
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the ability laid out in the mbs and the functionus of the war fighting receives far less attention that fires the maneuver. your admission has work to do when it comes to logistics and gives great confidence there's a large geopolitically complex region perhaps with limited columns it'son clear that they would have to rethink the way they sustain the war fighters in the gutter to meet the needs of
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the distributed. they projected a backslide in terms ofes the logistics for 70 years. we haven't been challenged. we arede now. there are two or 31st thoughts. first we ought to be able to distribute laterally at the tactical operational level sustainment supply equipment in a way we have not been challenged to do in the past.
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andi of the adversary can see us and interdict you so we have to have everything from the surface craft the aircraft and probably in the future i would suspect a fairto portion of that unmanned. we need better distribution mechanisms than we have right now. from the operational to the strategic,c, we have enjoyed a secure line all the way back as you've pointed out for years it hasn't been challenged. we've got to push the supplies forward in an operational way we've got to have different means for the supplies and equipment laterally from within the second or first chain or withinin europe or centcom.
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are there policies or programs that my colleagues and i should be considering at our level to address these challenges for the war fighting that is very different from what we have seen n afghanistan and iraq so what can we do at our level note in the senate that will help you basically bring your readiness level when you talk about doing it horizontally in this environment what can we do to support you and are there particular programs that you would e emphasize? ..
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>> and her we spoke to we have the legislative proposal with the nda consideration that allows the navy to buy vessels instead of investing in new vessels to increase the number that we can buy and as you knownv the growing capability force and as you highlighted
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and we need to close it quickly. we can do so at a tenth of the cost already doing the market analysis and knowing the ships we go after so for $30 million but the other thing that i word mention is the future naval force studies and one of the things i think are the logistics that have increased significantlys, and it's noteworthy and something that we need to put a higher priority on with respect to those terms thank you. > thank you mr. chairman.
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>> first i want to echo senator duckworth comment of the confederate battle flag ms symbols. symbols matter and they could have done the consequences so patient your efforts of the act ofse congress security from our own installations in the united states and one year ago thisns coming sunday with the station in pensacola and the a few months ago to talk about theon terrorist attack and send
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caleb watson the officer on deck that morning and one of the first people the shooter encountered and he was a captain of the rifle team at the naval academy he did not have a weapon that day. he and two other young men to others died that day. ben and his wife wanted to be here today but were unable because of covid restrictions but they are watchingded they believe things could have been different that day in december 2019 and should have been different. what the law enforcement officer who drove caleb to the hospital with his injuries , got lost on the base. that should happen. our office has been asking the navy about the book you got
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that last week a redacted version of one of the things that was clear even before the report came out that this happened with the military those that lost their lives to shooters on military bases on ustr soil someone in the senate like senator mccain and other sending those to the academy and someone who encourages young men and women to join the armed forces that is disturbing we put them in harm's way in a place where they should be more secure. investigation reports of the shootings and what we see from the pensacola rapport is that with the training and assessment for the situations just like this and i believe that is inexcusable. those that are watching today from alabama they made it
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their mission to do they make can from losing our sons and daughters. i tried to help on my time on the armed services committee i asked for them to include the senate version of the nda a languagemirs all
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applicable security recommendations and regulations have or will be implemented and followed and if that isn't a priority, would you commit to making one, secretary braithwaite. >> senator, first and foremost, caleb was a hero. i was in pensacola two weeks ago with the leadership there and i was in the very place where caleb was shot. and i can't imagine the anguish that his family, being a father myself, must feel. in 31 years in uniform of our country as a naval officer every time i went aboard a base i always felt safer because i presented my id card and although there is no easy answer to this we are committed to ensuring that we get although there is no easy answer to this we are committed to ensure we get to the root problem and others
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because people don't have weapons on installations we are working diligently to figure out the right approach so a hero likepo kayla watson never loses his life. >> so is there a uniform policy with regard to weapons? is that something you intend to tryd to develop? >> we are one department of the navy and should bee? uniform but that in pearl harbor was the individual that was on duty has a weapon so again there is no easy answer to say one of the other we are committed to say those that are armed are appropriately both on base and off base so what happened was just
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like any other base that so we are committed to do. and then we would like to follow those recommendations. >> first of all senator i completely agree with you the incident was inexcusable second besides with the training we are doing that all of the installations now we agree when we should have been doing is underwayw, regardless of what comes out and the third thing is this is a priority for the navy. >> it is a priority right now and it will remain arger priori.
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>> let me say first of all it's an honor serving this committee last few years and here for the committee but we are in good hands and specifically let me also offer my condolences and he was also the navy guy so i feel the pain and i can never be replaced. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you for your time and a great service on thela. committee the witnesses know there are certain senators to dig into these issues andne care of civilian oversight and you has been one of those and we appreciate your service and no youy have a lot of what you've
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given to your country and your state. thank you for your service to this country. i would like to continue with the second round of questioning and general are they to dive in more with to the first design 2030 plans you have put forward that i highlighted in my opening remarks. to be respectful and to give you an opportunity, and this happens in a time someone tries to break glass with a broad-based strategy and those challenges that are new and significant and to agree wholeheartedly with the national defense strategy of this administration one of the unwritten stories in the media is how bipartisan the support is for that strategy.
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and that is always a difficult challenge. think the marine corps under your leadership has taken that to heart and i have to appreciate it but is not without its critics reading just the couple of lines from the detailed piece in the national interest from jim webb who has a lot of respect from the marine corps for as a combat veteran in vietnam. but he says a couple of things in his piece those attitudes to establish the marine corps is a fully separate service, this new strategy could reduce the present role by making a subordinate for the funding and operational requirements of the u.s. is one criticism and another he talks about the plans to dramatically alter the
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structure of the court to focus on china and ignore the unpredictability of war and with that military strategy to shape the nation structure to respond to one specific set of contingencies giving the adversary the ability to adjust and adapt before hand. do you want to comment's? i know there are former commandants who also has been critical i want to offer this as an opportunity for what you are trying to do withh the 2030 design. >> the secretary of the nav navy, really all three of you former secretary web obviously incorporates the navy inse general so that's a good
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point. three of you to respond. >> first and foremost incredibleeb is and in no doubt to hold that extremely high regard. >> yes sir and accomplish marine graduate from the naval academy's those that i consider a friend and that i've had discussions with. but i would say general burger is a visionary. because i was told to throttle back a littley. bit but eileen in pretty heavy when i know in my heart and my head something is right so that the department of the navy needs today and it is his vision and his leadership with all of the challenges he is now encountered to see something come to fruition that is long overdue.
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what has changed the last 20 or 40 or 60 years or what has been proven is the concept of the combined navy marine corps team the marine corps and the navy issues are one people paired together. his vision gives a combatant command or another tool in the toolbox to fight the fight it takes the marine corps from being land centric to be the amphibious force again. on vision is predicateds commandant russell and fuller who through the fleet marine corps concept created the amphibious marinenda oriented combat capabilities coupled with the united states navy to take the fight to the japanese and when world war ii. i wanted to be on record the secretary of the navy with the
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commandant. what we need for a challenge. >> and senator mccain if you are okay with that we will go along for general burger to respond for the secretary said and you know the criticisms general if you can address where former secretary web and others have been saying how you the admiral view this new force designed for the marine corps. >>. >> the feedback from secretary web and others is helpful. is a leading the discussion the ongoing debate to continue for yearsle. is not hurtful. i met with the secretary web as i have with the others to
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went and we probably talked for two hours. i didn't know him that well but it was a great discussion. i didn't know him that well before but in three broad areas first of all does the marine corps need to change? if it does does it need to change now? and third the changes that we think we are considering right now, the direction we're headed others the way changes? so and basic order we broke it down into three categories. i don't think there is any daylight on do we need to change to the point we made earlier we have to change. and then to make that clear it is much of a judgment call is anything but my judgment call as we cannot wait if we wait a
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year or two for a clear 90 percent picture we will not catch up. but what emphasize where we are right now is on the front and not the backend. we have a lot of experimentation and a lot of learning to do. we cannot wait to move out. we had a great healthy discussion so in my professional opinion we have to change, we have to move out now and preserve enough to learn in the future to make sure we get it right. >> thank you general admiral do you care to comment? >> i go back to my opening statement so with the power of rejection so when president
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kennedy said it is timeless look at the mission today they require those functions from the navy and marine corps team. with the general is doing ishom as the secretary said the tool in the toolkit. so it's not only what we fight with but how we will fight and from every domain the marine corps brings that capability to a function that we still value. if the nation believes united states navy and marine corps forward the matson investment you want to double down on because with the general is bringing is the asymmetric advantage to a particular function that the enemy will be difficult to find door pin down your take on. it gives us many more options
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that the secretary said to the combatant commander with multiple sectors and tools in the toolkit. it goes without saying, senator are a huge supporter going in the right direction not to say within the department of the navy where we put our next all with respect to the capability and then you're asking the same with respect is worth it if you get more flexibility or maneuverability you are better effects through another investment. so you have to be open-minded about that and look at the end of the day the capability gap you have to close. >> and your point general that former secretary web were senator webb former commandant it does elevate the discussion
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and also needs to be here which why i have highlightedes it in terms of the armed services committee responsibilities. and i think it willl continue. this is the beginning of an important discussion of the highest levels of our government. it is the highest undertaking the marine corps and the dv are advancing right now is by the national defense strategy and i commend all of you for the seriousness with which you have undertaken at this moment. >>. >> this is a very important question. and those senators duckworth and jones for the stand she took last spring with the confederate battle flag.
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and because you have such family ties to virginia it wasn't taken by theause outsider or someone who doesn't understand the dimensions of this issue and frankly are ties to virginia and then the accessibility within the ranks i want to echo those comments. and then that bears upon this last question as well change is needed or can we wait the answer to those first few questions i thank you have answer them? correctly. that is a profitable area for a lot of discussion. but your willingness to take big steps forward is one of the reasons you're in the position you are in.
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the navy has developed a shipyard optimization plan to deal with the lack of capacity in the shipyard. estimated 21 billion-dollar investment over 20 years the gao suggest that is an underestimate and that not included in the original. and then still on track with time and funding and if so , why are we not seeing in a budgetary request tof congress? >> as we talked about the investments underway right now three and a halfin billion and those that were invested then typically we spend 1 billion per year. and to make that higher
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priority and the drydock sold over 100 years old and we neglected them for too long and this is a strategic decision commend the secretary to helpre our bases prepare whether sealevel rise with those wildfire conditions in the wake of destruction the last couple of years and then to have any military installation resilience plans and when can we expect to see them? >> senator thank yout for that question and then meeting
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between now and then. and the naval air station we have all can we build those structures and a lot of those are very antiquated. there were codes in place with that severity and the earthquake and in that process to develop had have any specific thoughts on this with the commandant but ithe is that we can be a ready force and operating from bases that are resilient and the homes on those bases and with the
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impact on the readiness to have that ability to sustain damage as well. >> you know when any of these plans are likely to be done so we can review them on theny committee? t >>. >> and those discrete projects and with the rising water table and the drydock says an example. so we are reactive and not proactive. so we are reactive and not proactive.
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we prioritize the ones we had to do first which was north carolina where we had to rebuildat every contract in the last 18 months you have resourced is to the new regulations for resiliency. we will provide you the breakdown. >> it is a serious matter for the committee because those plans will enable us if you try to be resilient but try to help us prioritize to rebuild something some way that is substandard that is likely to be there in ten or 20 years andnd rebuilding it with those dangers or emergencies and they are competitively sought so i would like follow up on that from thedo navy and with that indulgence and with those
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lessons learned during covid during the pandemic has been horrible the deathri toll. even in horrible times you learned lessons. americans are doing much more telehealth than they were before that has some significant benefits for people who might have a hard time accessing healthcare institutions because they live so far away. we can do committee work virtually so we don't just want tohe snap back when the public health emergency is over. i would love you to talk about lessons learned since the beginning of march dealing with covid that you think code
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the need to continuous improvement or changes you had to make you don't want to undo when we were over the public health emergenc emergency. >> i will answer the question first because i would say we believe the department of navy and united states navy has done an incredible job the scott the department off guard as well as the entire world. the scott the department off guard as well as the entireas world. struggled to the early weeks of this because of the close proximity made this a real threat to the ability to operate and then to lead the effort not only to aid identify and those that are at sea and the parade that the
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leadership of the navy has done an incredible job it is an amazing story of resiliencyde to address the issue and isolate the issue, contact tracing come all the protocols that cdc and nih have put out. i will let the cnl talk to the details but if we are better for us prepared for nuclear biological chemical warfare because of the lessons we have learned from this pandemic.em talk about our carbon footprint and the ability to have the workforce telework then we finally busted through i think we thought beyond that to be more c realistic from afar and be productive but believe
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me it is an incredible leader doing and an incredible job and i am very proud to be his wing man. >> one of the things that strikes me the most right now is the change in behavior almost a cultural change as the secretary said you are operating in such close quarters and it comes down to that individual responsibility. so now everyone understands that they have a responsibility to the shipmate that is tangible and also a responsibility to hold other people accountable if they don't follow the protocols of the standards that theysi should so with respect to the culture ofhe excellence and that leadership for people to exhibitt their has been second
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order effects with the excess capacity to the police state with over $100 million a year with that space that we don't even meet. >> of that realization that we need to be focused and with that working for so the other is the acceleration of it capabilities. i don't want to say the specific company, but the capabilities you can imagine that has been accelerated by the secretary of defense to put a said much better place. and briefly operating the covid bubbles why is ed a single production line, why
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can i do that with six ships at once to get more out of the trainers to become more efficient to increase the number of ships generatingrs from the secretary to present atf sea. so i think overall it has caused everybody to think more innovatively to be more efficient and the pandemic is once every 100 years but this is not an operating environment that is new. you expect us not to go through and that is what has happened. you asked for lessons learned this is not an exercise or a training event and we have a
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long list like recruiting training we had to continue to recruit training that we can't be taken to our knees. so we learned we wouldt continue because normally every officer class every recruit training class get some type of credit the first two weeks and that shuts them down and we have not had that problem. why? because basically and not just
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finish to occur the same as he had role that the committee or subcommittee would be very proud of the small unit leaders and this is where discipline matters prick we ever had large outbreaks because we are a disciplined force. we very much trust our leaders so they have not let uss down. >> i'm so glad i asked that question. one of the first places i did and the initial months of covid when the senate was closed i went to the v.a. hospital which is dealing with a lot of these issues. generally strike me until i walked into that massive and with that arrangements in the cafeteria everything that you
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check in as the patient every last thing done in that facility tens of thousands of square feet and it is massive they had to rethink on board a ship or a submarine close quarters working in close proximity c is magnified but it's important for us and then to reimburse telehealth the lower-level we made an emergency change to allow that equalization of reimbursement rates and that has dramatically improved it would be foolish to go back when this is done because then we would sacrifice all the learning and slide back in with those changes that are been put upon us there are
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some things will be glad to let go but as you pointhe out , why would you have a 14 day quarantine. forever just too. avoid those common infectious viruses. >> those are some great answers and general burger i saw "the new york times" article that talked about the changes to the marine corps recruit training and how it is still working and in my view some of the best so i will end
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it with a couple additional questions. we appreciate the patience of the three gentlemen. in your testimony does the infantry officer myself and as a marine officer and then to create a more distributable formation with much greater organic with units traditionally associated with special forces and commando units. can you unpack that for us.
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>>rm senator, here is is a little bit more distinguished. >> we have common ground. >> i believe if we're going to compete first of all, then those who have the advantage and that reconnaissance efforts that both sides have any competition will do. we are relying more and more and more on the ford expeditionary forces to paint the picture of what has happened . that is the foundational element of the strategy.
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as we shaped the marine corps we will reshape the reconnaissance efforts and the infantry units as well infantry training will be long is more than the entire level we are producing right now and then you join your first unit the rest is on the back of the platoon sergeant we need to take a marine to a higher level so the battalion can get to a higher level because it will be more distributed to make higher-level decisions. we asked captains to make decisions now that lieutenant colonel's made a decade ago. why? because i have the capabilities now and to get the to a higher training
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level. so more extensive longer reconnaissance forces and a deeper reach and to commit to communicate to distribute and laterally to the rest ofof the force. we will see a lot of investment in ground andba aerial reconnaissance to give the commandd commanders a better picture of what is in front of us. >> thank you for that. mr. secretary, we talked briefly on the arctic and the icebreakers. i offered language in the nda a a couple years ago and then the president put forward a couple months ago how we
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operationalize that and then importantly, from my perspective, where you would want to home core these polar class icebreakers that in my view should have much more than just icebreaking capabilities with intelligence capabilities and weapons capabilityve and then as you mentioned we have two and then the building in the arctic of america. and you and i had a great visit when you came out.
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but do you have a view on this from the national security team? the national security advisor commandant of the coast guard? i am a little bit bias but i thank you make strategic sense to be based in the place where the action is and that is the arctic were for the are other places with no i.c.e. and other president has asked that in a memo. >> i always have an opinion mr. chairman. [laughter] >> however the united states coast guard does not fall under command and control of the department of navy.
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>> personally. >> of course you could change that t and i would be happy to incorporate the coast guard as part of thea navy with maritime service i think that would be wonderful not taking away from homeland security but i love the coast guard they are incredible partners and with all the resources they need i words see the efforts of the shipbuilding building a new national security code but that which it requires but i am not in a position mr. chairman to make a determination for the coast guard where to put those icebreakers. if we operate those, then i think as the executive order has indicated, we would come back to work with you mr. chairman to figure out the best placement and have
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support. going into kodiak i was impressed with the coast guard facility their meeting with the station commander meeting with a phenomenal base with the infrastructure to supportt additional ships. there are lot of options but a lot of work to be done. unfortunately is not a through z quick answer. >> i will press you do you have a personal opinion? >> you and i both serve. you still serve. thirty-one years i wore the cloth of the us naval officer very proudly. in my role now as secretary of the navy i fall under command and control of the president of the united states and i have to follow the law folders of those appointed over me. so yes i have personal
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opinions and professional requirements of how i conduct myself each and every day. in this case the coast guard can operate those vessels and they have to determine the home core. >> and then to make the decision just a few days ago that this will be a ship that is decommissioned can you give an understanding of what happened that this committee has a lot of interest and why you made that decision recently. and what that does to our capability from the navy and marine corps perspectives. >> absolutely. first of all the investigation
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isna ongoing and and see i guess has done a remarkable job working through the details as chief of naval operations and i went out to have the performance of the crew to what they did was remarkable and the testament to the training they received. i am a business man mr. chairman and the return on investment to rebuild that ship working closely but we don't give up her ships are easily. we have a battle flag that hangs and says don't give up the ship.
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but using logic and looking at what it would require to put the ship back together, it would have been a foolish investment of american and instead of looking at the options of building another ship in the future to have more relative. so invites of those to go into the particulars of what would be determined and be deployed through 2022 talking with the commandant how to make sure we have the red assets to come in with that appointment plan to offset the loss of the ship
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but if we try to rebuild this ship to return it to the original state it would take between five and seven years and we think that it would cost almost as much is a brand-new ship. if we took a look at other options like repurpose in command-and-control or hospital ship or a seaworthy vessel it cost us less money to buy new then to restore or repurpose to another function . so for those reasons that 30 million of decommissioned was the best decision i think. inre this has come to his desk and supported his recommendation with the near-term impact operationally, we have mitigated those. longer-term with the five
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years we take a look at what the other options would be to accelerate the production and looking at the department and the demand signal from the secretary of defense? that is work to be done ongoing right now but in the near-term no operational impact. we mitigated that by working with other schedules around. >> thank you for that answer we look forward to the report classified or unclassified on a lot of sailors took heroic actions to try to hear in the senate we have a number of
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important tools we're trying to finish up prior to the end of the congress with the nda and the final appropriations bill that would have the military appropriations but it's not for sure and then to get a compromise bipartisan bill. it's not ideal but better than that government shutdown but i would like the three of you to pray in on what cr would be better but those operations even though with continued fundin funding, it's very disruptive for military operations and that is the
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whole point of the oversight of the subcommittee. mr. secretary we will start with you. >> thank you for this question. selecting the appropriations bill for those that are extremely important especially to an organization and we are looking at ways now we do and we asked for the anomaly and we have received that and they continue to build a follow-on and associated but they are not be able to replace the t ohio's. on behalf of the department would like to thank congress for relief.
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>> the way we operate our fleet all of that will be impacted. paid to the sailors and marines, significant with that but to talk to the more specifica to those services. >> as the secretary mentioned we begin to see the effects cumulate over time so the 72 days is about $1 billion or primarily affects so think steaming hours are flying hours and with those levels of
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spending. you can see that began to itself at the six-month the point wheree we have and the aircraft carrier we want to get operational fy 22 as fast as we can. or with the overhaul on the ongoing and then he began to see the effects more acutely as well where you cannot hire the people you want to hire in numbers to get to where you want to be in the fiscal year. hat was what cr.
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so that is a staggering observation. so that they would say stable and predictable funding they would ask for a dollar amount but some stable predictable funding so that they would say stable and predictable funding they would ask for a dollar amount but some stable predictable funding i believe it down to readiness and modernization. >> we will get by a so far on this cr with readiness without any negativeve impact going into the next few months. and this accurately highlighted those areas that are similar to ours. my bigger concern frankly and
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all of them modernization but it is not a good picture. >> thank you and i appreciate it and i appreciate the comments about my father. in my favorite things i got to go to the army-navy game every year with him and as a member the game will continue which is great and i appreciate the prediction if you cannot make it in your professional capacity may be your personal view on who will win that game.
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is a very important question for - the nation. and the two uniform leaders also have a view i would welcome tha that. >> as a proud member class of 1984 we will be the army at west point we have a record the first and in 1890 and we played it at west point. we are back to army during world war ii under the same pressures as today with covid and he lives in philadelphia and one hour outside of the
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city it's always great to go back to philadelphia but they would not allow us to go beyondys 7500 that cores all the core cadets so secretary mccarthy and i working with the cnl and army chief of staff and with the military academy and naval academy to determine and with this spanish influenza and world war i and world war ii it will not stop us and army will be navy december 12th we play at west point. >> go navy beat army. >> are there any dissenting opinions on of you? i didn't think so. [laughter] with the gentleman i appreciate very much your time and professionalism we believe
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the hearing open two more weeks for additional questions and we ask respectfully if you get hours please try to get them back to the committee in short order. again we appreciate it and thank you for your service. this hearing is adjourned. [inaudibleit conversations]
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>> welcome, everybody. and thank you for joining us. i'm delighted to be able to welcome to brookings, albeit virtually, sir mark lowcock, the undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs and the emergency relief coordinator at the u.n. his bio is available online so let me be very brief in introducing


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