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tv   Senate Hearing on U.S. European Command U.S. Transportation Command...  CSPAN  February 26, 2020 12:08am-2:02am EST

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free c-span radio app. -- radio at. -- radio app. leaders ofthe european command in transportation command testified before the senate armed services committee. chairman inhofe: our hearing will come to order. we meet today to continue receiving the posture statements. we have quite a few more. this is the time of year, and we have general todd walters,
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and i appreciate very much the time we spent together last week. and general stephen lyons, so i appreciate you two, the years of service that you have donated and given to your country. as stated many times before, the armed services committee's top priority is to ensure the effective implementation of the national defense strategy. we have that. yeah. we have -- it pretty much surprised me, senator, how we have really stuck with the from the very beginning. -- with that from the very beginning. it means that we must ensure that in this era of great power and competition with russia and china, that our military services are resourcing commands to address the challenge of strategic competition. this is especially true of our two combatant commands that are here today, ucom is focused on deterring vladimir putin, who has repeatedly shown his willingness to use force to achieve his political objectives, and then there is transcom, focused on full-spectrum mobility operations.
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both of which face capability shortfalls. i just returned from the security conference with several others here at this table. it was a great reminder of the importance of allies and partners as we deal with the challenges from china and russia. there are great opportunities to work with our european friends, especially in africa, and i hope we will continue to do that. america's commitment to nato remains bipartisan and unwavering. we are matching our words with action, especially through the posture investments in the european deterrence initiative in the upcoming exercise called "defend 2020," which will be the largest movement of u.s. troops to europe since the end of the cold war, we are talking about in addition to the 10,000 already there, an additional 20,000. that is a large one. it is a record setter.
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general walters, i look forward to hearing about your priorities going forward, especially in the maritime domain, where russia's increasing activity, advancing submarines and air and missile defense as russia continues to threaten u.s. and allied forces with its missile arsenal. general lyons, you recently stated that the aero refueling fleet is the most stressed in the u.s. transportation command's arsenal. we look forward to getting your thoughts on how we can address the shortfall, much of which is due to the problems we have had with the kc 46. i'm particularly sensitive to that, because i was due to come back -- from all the way to washington state to come back to the air force base in the kc 46. i don't think there was any problem with it. obviously, there is.
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and before we turn to senator reed, we will have a classified closed, informal briefing at 2:30. that is going to conflict with some of the votes. : i want to join you in welcoming our witnesses this morning. firstgeneral walters' time here in his position. general lyons, i welcome your return. let me thank both of you for the many decades of military service and please extend our appreciation to the dedicated men and women serving our command. the transatlantic relationship remains absolutely critical to u.s. national security. our close bond with european allies is one of our most strategic and benefits.
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congress reaffirmed the unbreakable u.s. commitment to nato. cuts to theed that deterrence initiative proposed in the president's fiscal year budget request may send the wrong signature to our allies regarding our support for the transatlantic relationship. ucom faces a wide range of security challenges, including the reemergence of russia, seeking to reassert a claim to break power status. russia is actively undermining the rules. its militaryloaded aggressively to undermine neighbors' sovereignty. ucom is developing the operational concepts, plants, and programs necessary for the strategic competition with a militaryto ensure deterrence against russia.
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the committee will be very interested in whether you have posture in europe to meet this challenge. additionally, russia is engaged in a campaign of hybrid warfare to advance its strategic interest. havet news reports highlighted russia is once again inducting information warfare operations to influence the upcoming u.s. presidential election to advance preferred candidates, so division, and undermine public faith in our democratic process. i will be interested in how ucom is working with cybercom to counter the threat. and what progress of any we have nade to defend against russia maligned influence. --
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the exercise is a largest employment of troops in the last 25 years. there are some that still remember. 30,000 u.s. nato forces will participate in the offender. defender. the men and women of transcom protect our nation security. such, theyetitive ag provide the of the with unique capabilities that we have come to expect and perhaps to frequently take for granted. without them, the u.s. would be at a significant disadvantage almost everywhere in the world. of readiness by the maritime administration. it is aging and will need to be modernized over the next decade.
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three years ago, the committee of the rest a program to capitalize a reserve force. this authorized purchase up to two vessels on the navy designed for a number of uses, including recapitalizing the reserve force. two years ago, congress authorized to buy five more .essels a plan we have yet to receive. i am interested in the status of fy rrf recapitalization and 2021. general lyons, i am interested in your views on what needs to be done to ensure readiness. global transportation capability has been one of our asymmetric
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advantages for many years now. however we cannot assume that potential adversaries will allow free reign in this area in the future. lester, we received report of the analysis of wartime transportation need in the mobility requirements study. the committeeo the department needed to continue the analytical effort to identify requirements because the study presented last year did not reflect implementation of the national defense strategy. general lyons, perhaps you can give us an update on where trams com stance. -- transcom stands. general lyons, i would like to get an update from you on where it stands on its effort to improve cyber security posture. let me thank the witnesses for appearing before the committee today. i look forward to your testimony. chairman inhofe: we will now hear opening statements. will start with general walters and general alliance.
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your statements should be around five minutes. general walters. general reid,s: this thing with members of the committee, it is an honor to appear before you. we thank each and every one of you for your support. as all of you will know, it is an absolute privilege to serve alongside the patriots that represent the u.s. of america -- the united states of america. in europe, political uncertainty, competition, and diffusion of destructive technology are stressing the established western order. seek toand challenges take advantage of these conditions through aggressive action using all instruments of national power and are backed by increasingly capable military forces. the national with defense strategy implementation efforts, we confront these challenges by adapting our approach to most effectively
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employ our means. together with like-minded allies and partners, we defend freedom around the clock. thanks to their efforts in the authorities and resources you ucom is you -- posture to compete, deter, and thectively respond with full weight of the transatlantic alliance. in 2000 19, nato took significant military strikes with improvements in commanding control indications and warnings mission command, and by approving a new nato military strategy titled comprehensive defense answered response. nato continues to adapt its structure with the establishment of two additional nato headquarters. joint forces command, focused on maintaining transatlantic lines of communications, and one focused on a logistics
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ordination. these headquarters increased our ability to command and control enabled appointment and sustain nato forces in crisis through conflict. the european union, nato, and ucom may progress in transit procedures to facilitate rapid movement of forces across the euro atlantic. we will facilitate the portman of a division size force as mentioned by the chairman during the u.s. let exercise defender. an exercise that showcases u.s. and allied commitment to collective security of the euro atlantic. in united states position europe is an invaluable cornerstone and national security. today, u.s. service members in europe continued to generate peace alongside our allies and partners. we are grateful for sustained congressional interest and support through authorities and funding.
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together, with the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coast guard men, and civilians, your support the mistreats our nation's continued commitment to defend the homeland forward and preserve peace for the citizens in the euro atlantic. thank you. chairman inhofe: general lyons. general lyons: thank you, , theman, senator reed committee. it is my honor to represent the men and women of the united states transportation command. who are at this very moment employed, in operations. ranscom isn at t enduring, sustaining the force ranscom is enduring, sustaining the force globally at our time and place of choosing, thereby representing multiple options for national leadership and multiple dilemmas for potential adversaries. with 85% of the stations in united states, it is transcom's
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job to advance strategic priorities. the national defense strategy underscores the importance of advancing our national security interests, deterring potential adversaries, and if a deterrence fails, responding with overwhelming force to win. our projection is a distinct u.s. comparative advantage, that we are not alone in this effort. our vast logistics networks are underpinned by allies and like-minded partners facilitate critical access in overflight activities. today, i am confident in our ability to successfully execute our mission. this past year, with a no notice alert, we most the first brigade of the 82nd division in less than 5.5 days. in total, we moved over 42 army brigades, refueled multiple bomber task force and fighter movements, delivered 1.9
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million passengers, over 6000 patients, over 100,000 containers, and over 26 million square feet of cargo. much of this activity largely went unnoticed. this is good news and a sign of sustained success across dod's mobility enterprise. however, as the chairman pointed out, the world is changing. that internal defense strategy describes a future in which trans, stable to project a joint force under all persistent attack. with knowledge our success today does not guarantee success for tomorrow. we are actively preparing to meet tomorrow's challenges, working through environment were games, enhancing cyber defenses and resiliency, and improving the integration of a sustainment were fighting function across a joint operation. to maintain readiness today, our area refueling forces require attention so they can continue to meet current and
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future challenges. before i close, i want to have a department's ongoing work to improve the personal property program, an area of great interest for congress. as directed, we have submitted a business case analysis to work closer with the gao on their report. both reports underscore the need for change. the department can no longer afford to operate a disparate confederation of government activity supervising is similarly disparate collection of hundreds of transportation providers. we are on track to restructure ,ur relationship with industry moving dod families ahead of the 2021 season. my message for dod families, we heard your call for accountability, transparency, quality capacity, and we are committed to deliver. my message for industry providers, if you provide
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quality service for military members, you have a place in the future program. we need every quality service to include our small businesses and appreciate all that you do. it is an exciting time to be the commander of u.s. transcom. i cannot be more proud of the team of professionals that form the joint distribution enterprise. looking forward for your questions. thank you,hofe: general lyons. i appreciate you bringing up that issue. we spent a lot of time on that, addressing that. you are carrying it out exactly as we had intended you to. wolters,ioned, general we appreciate everything that we got in germany. you covered something i think might be worth repeating here. in october of 2019, the news
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report suggested that russia to put as many as 10 submarines, some of the largest fleet since world war ii -- fleet maneuvers since world war ii. can you describe as you did this last week how the pace and scope of russia's maritime activity has changed in recent years and what that application has toured ucom? general wolter: we took note of the activity in 2018 and compared it to what russia executed in the summer of 2019. what we size a 50% increase in the number of resources that russia committed to out of of area submarine patrol operations. what we also witnessed was an good order discipline on behalf of russian sailors. this observation is one more
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reflection about how important it is to continue to improve our competitive edge to make sure that we can operate with freedom. chairman inhofe: on that same trip, we went through spain when they were talking about adding the two u.s. destroyer's to the four that are already there. is that something you support? where does that fall into your level of request that you have for additional forces in ucom? general wolter: it is precisely in line for a request for two additional destroyers. i am also proud to report we have been in a position to where we have been able to improve and mature the infrastructure of roda. if you ask me to accept a more destroyers tomorrow, we possess the infrastructure to be able to house those additional destroyers. chairman inhofe: they made that very clear. commented in, we
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my opening statement about the kc 46, going from washington to seattle to the air force base. and i remember at that time, we there andecretary deborah james, and i recall making an observation. 1959, twoas that in things happened, number one, i got married, and number two, the were actually delivered to altus air force base. at that time, we did not know that there was any problem, at least i did not know. and anybody else did either. the fact that it lasted 60 years, and looks like that is going to enhance the prosperity of the air force base for the next 60 years. that was something that really aware of.not
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i have a problem, and the problem of course is what to do to fill that function. and i know that you have given a lot of thought to what. let us know where you are right now. we have been doing this for years, getting rid of old things before we get anyone's online and ready to perform. -- the new ones online and ready to perform. tell us where we are. what is that going to do with the preparations we already made for the kc 135's and casey 10 -- kc 10's to be downgraded? general lyons: as you mentioned, area refueling is the most stressed element in the portfolio, both for day-to-day operations as well as and i will defer to the air force on the particular technical aspects of the kc 46 as it comes online.
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we will be having the air force hearing to talk about that. >> yes, sir. what i can describe, as we bring the kc 46 on, we convert more crews, when that capability is not usable and that is not presentable to the joint force for some technical deficiencies, that means a dip in operational capabilities. continue to retire the kc 135 and the kc 10 at the rate that was proposed by the air force. we are working closely with the air force and the department to retain a level of levels exceeding -- legacy capability. >> you are attaining some. you had not planned on retaining any. >> we are working with the air force now. there were some number of planes that were retired, programmed for retirement.
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we believe they must be retained. 135's and casey tends we believe must be retained -- 's.ey -- kc 10 >> european command strategy document states meeting the challenge of counseling crime and -- kremlin sponsored campaigns requires a solution. do you suggest we have a synchronized campaign to address malign influence directed to the 2020 election? >> our campaign momentum is improving in that area. thestablished two years ago russia integration group that bears the responsibility to represent u.s. yukon with the united states and many nato nations. the level oflow
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actual kinetic conflict to ensure we can have better control of the information domain. we are improving i think a point where we expect to do better and i think that is a good place for military leaders to be. i have had the opportunity to visit with many u.s. national entities that represent old government -- whole of government and whole of nation activity to provide more information and i am pleased with the process. me yourou give assessment of the current state of alliance cohesion with nato? i would assume at a military level there is one sort of analysis and out a political level, another. can you touch on both? tosenator reid, the mill mill alignment i see united states and nato with the north atlantic extension through the euro atlantic is the strongest i have ever witnessed.
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i have had the opportunity to serve in nato since 1983. i am pleased to report at the political level, as a result of recent documents that were approved at the political level, we are seeing greater cohesion. for the first time in over six decades, we at nato approved the first nato military strategy. it is a document that is classified, nato secret, that codifies the threat and codifies the activity we need to embrace to more comprehensively defend all 29 nations agreeing to the nato military strategy. >> i think that is a reflection at the political level, the military level, of improving cohesion. we talked about the shipbuilding program, can you give us a quick summary of where we are at and where we have to go? gen. lyons: yes, senator. on -- toow, we depend carry 90% of our cargo capacity
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in a wartime scenario. our readiness of the fleet is below where we needed to be. it is rapidly reaching the end of useful life. we are working closely with the nato -- the navy. i anticipate we will purchase two in 2021 working closely with the navy. my view is we should have the first vessel in the first quarter of fy 21. >> we are far below what we would need for a surge of a significant military operation at this point, correct? is correct.that we need a much longer plan. >> the chairman touched on air refueling. one of the areas that is ubiquitous everywhere is cyber. you are in a position where you not only have to have a military organization you have to keep ahead of the curve, but you have literally hundreds of private companies, some large, some
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small. can you give us an idea of the cyber challenges you are facing? do we have significant vulnerability there? characterizewould cyber vulnerability is the most consequential to the enterprise. time lookingt of at resiliency, looking at other issues too harden our defenses, particularly with regard to commercial carriers. we have included contract link which in all of our contracts. we check compliance. we have a self reporting mechanism. as the level of cyber hygiene has increased from this level of effort. i would not come here to tell you they could survive a threat from a persistent threat after until we have sufficient resiliency in our contracts as well. sen. reed: do you have the in noy to send in teams notice inspections? the unit only those with the
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commander checks. you can have everything you want in the contract and get nothing. gen. lyons: we do not have the authority you are describing. sen. reed: do you need that? gen. lyons: there are second and third applications on those activities. --. reed: i'm not surprised standing operation. thank you. >> gentlemen, thank you for your great service to the united states. to me you, general wolters. in the proposed fiscal year 21 budget, there is a request for $700.5 billion for dod. this represents 3/10 of 1% over the current fiscal year. , the proposed budget provides us less
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resources than the current year considering inflation. am i correct there? gen. wolters: yes, senator. sen. wickers: let me ask you this. do we need less security resources in the european command next year than we did this year? gen. wolters: senator, we need more. sen. wickers: in addition to that, the secretary of defense, the joint chiefs of staff, and the national defense strategy commission have all endorsed 3.5% real growth. is that also your opinion, general? gen. wolters: yes, senator. sen. wickers: general lyons? gen. lyons: yes, senator. sen. wickers: i appreciate the distinguished chairman mentioning early on in this questioning, and i'm glad he and his team visited.
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a bipartisan delegation visited there just the other day. the de cheese are the workhorses of the navy. -- how does command a mere 0.3% increase over the current fiscal year affect what we are going to be able to do with the ddg's? senator, every cent counts. those additional ddg is what allow us to continue to improve our ability to get indications and warnings in the potential battle space and also dramatically improve our ability to command and control. because of the flexibility of those resources, they can comprehensively defend in all geographical areas in support of europe. sen. wickers: so those destroyers are critical to the campaign to deliver peace in the areas of command-and-control?
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thank you. thank you for that. we are going to certainly try to help you. on the resources that we need to defend america and americans. it is interesting that the eucom would mention in the first few seconds of his statement not only russia, but china. could you enlighten us about where you are seeing increased problems with china and increased influence in the european theater? senator, two areas. the first is seaport equities and the second is 5g huawei. what we have seen in several critical nations on the periphery of europe is a economic majority on behalf of investment for seaports in critical nations like belgium,
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italy, france, and greece. that is a large concern to all the nato nations. when you start to do the collective math, you discover china has access to 10% of the shipping rights into and out of europe. those are daunting figures that should lead one to believe that we need to continue to be vigilant with respect to seaport equities on the economic side. the second issue happens to be huawei and 5g. severalmly aware of european nations who have a tendency to lean toward huawei and 5g. my concern goes back to the soldiers. without the appropriate network protection, there is potential compromise of data and that is not to the good order and discipline of our u.s. soldiers and nato soldiers. finally, a number obviously have been involved on a member to member basis with our parliamentary brothers and
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sisters in the parliamentary simile. we have a great new ambassador to the osc, ambassador jim gilmore. oschat extent is the organization important to you and to providing you information you need? >> very important, senator, and it tilts incredible trust -- builds incredible trust. a huge boost in trust not only between the u.s. and poland, but all of nato. sen. wickers: thank you. thank you mr. chairman. >> senator blumenthal. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you both for your service and thank you for being here. many of my colleagues and i have received briefings as recently as this morning from other departments and agencies in the administration about the coordinated response to the coronavirus. i am also concerned about the
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department of defense response to protect service members and family members stationed at military installations abroad, the rapid spread of virus as well as the number of diagnoses and deaths in countries where americans are stationed. a lot of americans are stationed in south korea. it is very concerning. ensuring theon department is reevaluating and updating procedures and actions necessary to keep our service members and their families safe. general lyons,-- your command manages movement and and out of areas impacted by coronavirus, making you uniquely positioned to address these issues.
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what action is your command taken to mitigate the spread of covid-19 and ensure the well-being of our service members and their families? do you need additional resources? is there more we can do to help you? what more do you think should be done? i agree with your concern. and the secretary of defense has indicated that protection of the force is his number one priority regarding coronavirus. northern command is the department working in support of health and human services, connected with them on a daily basis. a frequent number of times per day. we are watching very closely for the implications on mobility. what specificl: actions are you taking? gen. lyons: inside the transportation enterprise
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locations like travis air force base has become a receiver for potential folks coming out of the pacific. we are not taking particular health protection measures inside the command other than to protect the force, but in a more broad sense, support of health and human services through the lead of usnorthcom. sen. blumenthal: general wolters, do you feel you have been given the necessary tools to protect servicemen and women and their families in europe? gen. wolters: yes, and the appropriate authorities as we speak in europe today we have over 300 cases in the nation that is most concerned is italy with six reported deaths. we have restricted travel to certain zones and we require all mil air arrival flights to be screened for the virus. sen. blumenthal: are you taking any additional steps to constrain travel by servicemen
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and women or their families on their -- on leave and so forth? gen. wolters: we have in the affected areas, two states in italy. sen. blumenthal: do you have plans to restrict travel in any other states? gen. wolters: we anticipate the need might arise in germany but that is still to be determined. sen. blumenthal: in your statement, you highlight american service members on the ground in the joint military training group ukraine work and serve withey ukrainian forces. can you expand on the efforts to deter russian investment there? gen. wolters: the joint military training group initiated military training team activity on a rotational basis starting
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in 2016. they also began about six months later to rotate military training teams in the special operations category. there are several phases of the long-range plan. here we are three and a half years later into phase three, which put those teams that represent the joint military training group, canada and u.k. are the participants. those teams are now in observer status because of the demonstrated expertise of the ukrainian armed forces and the conventional force in the soft side of the house. ukraineleased with the armed forces and the stronger they are and the more they embrace democratic values, the greater the alignment with the west, exactly where we need to head. sen. blumenthal: my time has expired. thank you for your service. >> thank you mr. chairman, and i would like to thank both of you gentlemen for your service and also to thank the men and women who serve under you. would youlters, how
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assess the progress in implementing the mbs and its influence on prioritizing strategic competition with russia? gen. wolters: i am very pleased, as i mentioned earlier on one of the questions from your colleagues, the first time in many decades, we approve the nato military strategy and it looks very similar to the united states national defense strategy. i believe this is one area that reflects the powerful alignment and willingness on behalf of nato to lean forward with respect to what we do across the full spectrum from competition to crisis to conflict, which is exactly what we called for. pleased with the ever improving alignment. sen. fischer: what do you think is the biggest challenge that you have in fulfilling the goals in europe? it is to do what
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we can to cure the malign influence on behalf of russia. a morequires concentrated effort in the competition phase of embracing a potential foe and what we have heard throughout many of the questions today are the activities we have to embrace in 21st century military below the actual activities of kinetic conflict and understanding what we are doing and what the return on investment is. we are making rapid improvement in those areas sen. fischer: in order to improve, basically you need to work together more in your training? gen. wolters: yes, ma'am. sen. fischer: do you feel you have come together or are coming together with other nato facing what the threats are? gen. wolters: the reflection of that is the improvement of nato military strategy that codifies those threats in agreement by the 29 nations to identify those
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threats. sen. fischer: you and i discussed the growing recognition there is, among the nato partners on the important role of our nuclear deterrence and keeping the peace. understandwe all that our deterrence, the triad is the bedrock of the security of this country. can you tell us a little bit about what you are hearing from our nato partners when it comes to the deterrent in private conversations, if you can share that, but also in public, the support that you see? gen. wolters: senator, there is a greater degree of awareness of the importance of deterrence. as we look at the success nato has had the last seven decades to deliver peace, one of the elements has to be the triad that exists from the united states and its representation to nuclear deterrence on the
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european continent. it has been very effective and the nations understand more and more about that with each passing day as a result of embracing deterrence to a greater degree than we have in the past. sen. fischer: would you say that our partners in their embracing of this deterrence are also becoming better messengers within their own countries about the importance of not just a strong nato, but of having that strong nuclear deterrence, that umbrella that is so vital in their freedom as well? gen. wolters: absolutely, senator. it has to do with the represent -- the responsibility we feel in native to generate peace, not just within the boundaries of europe, but on the periphery as we embrace missions for iraq and operation resolute support in afghanistan, we see how important it is to proliferate
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deterrence to the maximum extent practical to achieve greater peace. sen. fischer: what are your views on adopting a so-called no first use policy? do you believe that would strengthen deterrence? senator, i am a fan of flexible first use policy. sen. fischer: do you believe developing ground launch conventionally armed intermediate range weapons will enhance your ability to deter russia? gen. wolters: it will. andramatically complicates enemy's task. sen. fischer: thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman, thank you to the witnesses. i appreciated the opportunity to visit with you each before the hearing. in yourwolters, testimony, with senator reed you talked about increased russian sub activity in the atlantic. the president's budget plans to subproject anda
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on february 13, the dod used its toeral transfer authority move pentagon money to the general drug account use on the southern border. part of those funds that were moved was a reduction of $180 million from the pa poseidon aircraft program. that airplane is a modified boeing 737 used as a sub hunter. it usually operates from iceland or elsewhere in europe to work attack subs like the virginia class to track russian sub activity from the greenland-iceland u.k. gap. without commenting on the budget , i would like you to talk about the importance of the virginia class sub and the pa poseidon in countering russian sub activity. vital iners: they are what they contribute to maritime subjectivity, proven to be very successful.
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we lean on our brothers and sisters from a national perspective to ask them to take a look at the resources they can contribute when we are in situations with respect to detriments in maritime patrol area. norway has been a great contributor and we see the effect -- the effectiveness of that system. they are vital resources and very much needed. sen. kaine: both platforms, the virginia class and the poseidon? gen. wolters: yes. sen. kaine: on pages five and six of your written testimony, you talk about military issues, and senator reed asked you about it. there was an ig report about readiness reporting. one of the areas they focused on was that the readiness reporting was coming from the ship captains and they were sort of doing a self report about readiness. these are our assets, but the operation to shift the contract, there was a question about
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whether there was an incentive for captains to report readiness. what is their incentive to say we are not ready? trains, theut in current readiness measurement. what are you doing to make sure the reporting of readiness is as accurate as it can be? i concur with that assessment. we have made a lot of improvements to elucidate the readiness. part of that is the reason we are seeing such low readiness in the 50th and 60th percentile about our reserved fleet. readiness we generate as we discovered in september. about three say is years ago in 2017, the military sealift commander started to take this seriously, deep diving, he has come up with a comprehensive plan. the dod ig reflected his findings in 2017, 2018 report
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you are referring to. there is a lot of work still to be done. sen. kaine: to your written testimony, there is a goal of 85% readiness, but the current measurement is 59%. vessel material condition and age are the primary factors. those continue to degrade readiness. you have some additional testimony about the sealift, which will lose capacity each year as the ships reach the end of their useful life. tell the committee in my remaining minute about, what are the plans to restore that readiness and hopefully get more near the 85% goal? it is a significant issue. it is a top priority for transcom. we are going to work with the navy on this. we have a fleet that is about 43 years old average. if you compare that to the ships 15 toustry,
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25 depending on the business case. when you maintain a facility like our largest sealift platforms, it becomes more expensive. what we would like to see is less in terms of service life extension, extending these ships beyond 50 to 60 years. that is not returning the investment we thought it would. we are a strong advocate of the acquired use strategy. you have allowed us the authorization to do seven. we need to execute what you have given us the authority to do and come back with a long-term plan to recap over the next 16 to 20 years. sen. kaine: thank you, mr. chair. let's talkwolters, about coronavirus and the european theater. i am leaving here the stars & stripes report on sunday saying there had been a temporary closing monday through wednesday
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of schools, activity centers, fitness centers, chapels. is that record accurate? gen. wolters: yes. >> are there any other things from that report? gen. wolters: those facilities remain closed and travel to the states are still prohibited in italy. >> do you expect those facilities will reopen thursday as initially planned or do you think that might have to be extended? give it ars: i would 50-50 right now. sen. cotton: how many u.s. troops do we have there, roughly speaking? gen. wolters: 6000 or 7000. sen. cotton: how many have accompanied spouses or children? gen. wolters: 70% to 80%. sen. cotton: 4000 to 4500 husbands and wives and then some larger number of children probably? absolutely, over 35,000 u.s. military members in
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italy. sen. cotton: they are mostly just sitting at home right now trying to avoid the coronavirus? gen. wolters: not mostly, but there is a fair amount. sen. cotton: coronavirus has been present in germany as well. that was one of the first european nations in which it has appeared. it has exploded in italy in the past few days. first off, has there been any such closures at our military bases in germany? we. wolters: not yet, but are anticipating an increase in the number of cases reported in germany and we are prepared to execute. sen. cotton: a troubling situation. speaking of another troubling situation, what you have spoken about briefly as well, huawei, the chinese telecom company. you state in your written bytimony that 5g networks huawei will place intellectual ,roperty, sensitive technology
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and private personal information at heightened risk of acquisition and exploitation by the chinese government. say this ongoing initiative coupled with china's growing interest in european infrastructure complicates steady-state dependency operations. which sounds like you consider the use of huawei in 5g networks in europe to be a threat to our national security. is that correct? gen. wolters: certainly a threat to the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines. sen. cotton: unfortunately, some european nations are moving forward with huawei technology in their networks. most notably the united kingdom and germany. that?re we to do about how can we guarantee the as well of our troopers as our nato command and control systems? vigilance,s:
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education, and going back to the basics with respect to network protection of the critical data on the technical side of the house and the personal side of the house for soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, not just in the u.s., but nato forces. sen. cotton: do your military counterparts understand the threat huawei poses? gen. wolters: yes, senator. sen. cotton: so the problem may be at the political leadership level. a statement, not a question. i want to conclude on a similar related matter. we discussed this yesterday in our meeting. , want to bring your attention bring everyone's attention to an by the pewll research center. 16 nato countries. nato's favorability rating is strong. countries these 16 have a favorable impression of nato.
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not inprisingly, nato is russia. somewhat disappointingly, when russia ifshould fight there were a conflict between a nato ally and russia, only 38% of peoples in these nations said, my nation should fight 50% of peoples said the united states should fight russia. in some of the biggest nato allies it was more alarming. in italy, 25% said we will fight them. 75% said, you americans fight. 63%, whichwas 34%, is better, but not too much. can europeanss, expect americans to care more about their security then they care about their security? senator, my:
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consultations at the mill to mill level with ministers of defense, i see a very eager desire and willingness to fight the russians. those nations i continue to communicate with show that desire, if required to protect themselves. sen. cotton: i hear the same thing when i consult with european defense leaders, not surprisingly. these are men and women who have dedicated themselves, dedicated their lives to the service of their country and the defense of their country. it is really a political problem at the level of political leadership in europe, in the leaders and the leadership they show the peoples to demonstrate that they have to be willing to fight as hard for their future and their security as they expect americans to fight for them. thank you. you, mr. chairman, and gentlemen, thank you for your service. general wolters, i would like to focus on the baltics.
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to lithuania to observe the u.s. army's year of .peration sabre strike exercise the michigan national guard regularly participates in this as latvia's counterpart in the national guard state partnership program. latvian forces participate in the michigan northern strike exercise, a joint national exercise hosted in michigan. the latvian military benefits from this training in michigan because of offers of opportunity , and as a result of this program, latvia is one of only eight allied countries certified to call in united states close air support in combat. part of the reason the michigan national guard and the latvian military have a strong relationship is because the latvian military is built around integrating reserve and irregular forces as a major component of their national defense strategy. my question to you is, could you discuss how you found partner
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strategies to support the baltic states reliance on these reserve forces and specifically the state partnership with our national guard and how integral that is to all of this? gen. wolters: i can. for the baltics writ large, the insertion of the four battalion size battle groups into estonia, latvia, lithuania, and poland in 2016 has dramatically improved our whole domain security awareness and in particular, as you know, with the participation of your michigan international guardsmen who have been very piece, the lead nation in latvia happens to be canada. we have many force elements intermixed amongst the other nations. the overall approve meant they in and day out of those battle groups to see the battle space and defend their sovereign territory is palpable. they are doing so in all domains
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and functions and our next step is to make sure those battalion size battle groups that represent generating peace in the baltics are aware of all the activities in the southeastern sector of europe as well as the western portion of europe. so we are very pleased with the continued transparency and alignment and very pleased with the integration we have seen improving in latvia for the past two years. sen. peters: my next question is related to the development of the next generation combat vehicle, now taking place in michigan with a cross functional team. the first platform was intended to replace the bradley fighting vehicle that the army has just recently restarted. much of the debate has focused on the trade-off between armor and mobility, specifically, how readily the vehicle can be positioned in a crisis zone. in the european theater, the size and weight of the equally problematic for its maneuverability through european terrain and civilian
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infrastructure, particularly bridges there. general wolters, you seem to address this in your written statement where you mentioned the eu and consultation with nato investing six alien euros in the improvement of -- 6 billion euros. this approach may not address the core issue i just mentioned, but my question is, what is more realistic? should the next generation of combat vehicles be built to accommodate european infrastructure limits, particularly in the baltics, or is the situation to reinforce transportation infrastructure throughout eastern europe? gen. wolters: i think it is a little bit of both. i know the general leading army has his experts taking a look at that. he stepped up one more level. it gets to a discussion between armor and mobility, and from a global perspective, there are trade-offs. from a regional perspective, there are trade-offs. it has to do with the capability of the nations in europe and other regions.
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i know we are taking a serious look at that. sen. peters: my follow-up question is how do our western european allies who also produce heavy military equipment accommodate limitations of civilian infrastructure, particularly in poland and the baltics? gen. wolters: a greater degree of education on the challenges we face from emerging perspective in eastern europe versus western europe. it was an issue all of europe was aware of in the 80's. they are getting reacquainted with it today and they understand the imperative of making sure we have programs in the regions in the northeast and the southeast of europe to ensure that we can communicate fast. sen. peters: thank you so much. appreciate it. >> gentlemen, thank you very much. general lyons we have already the kced a little bit 46's, but our national guard
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does have the refueling wing that operates kc 135. we want to make sure this incredible unit is able to sustain operation ongoing. something we will definitely want to discuss with the air force during their posture review. going toolters, i am pick up where my colleague left off. the stateking about partnership program and is michigan national guard with those baltic state members. iowa, our national guard has a partnership with kosovo, and i am always very excited about that and have relationships i have carried on for about the decade of time the iowa army national guard has been involved with those partners. both thely force that coast of ours and serbians trust, how can k for posture itself to ensure there is
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thering stability between two sites, kosovo and serbia? i cannot thank you enough for the contributions of your state to kosovo. they have been, more engaged then they were one year ago as a result of the continued involvement of u.s. operations activities and investment in kosovo and serbia as well as the nato investments and operations activities. we typically rotate in nato military training teams, but when they landed those locations, to have a soft landing with the element for your national guard state partnership program, it affords us the opportunity to reintegrate a faster pace. about thecerned security disposition in the balkans. we are pleased with the effort is more capable
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today as a result of partnership programs like yours as they reveal themselves in kosovo. sen. ernst: and obviously a number of us here do support those partnership programs. what is nato's role for peacekeeping as the ksf transitions into a full army? will it be able to guarantee kosovo's territorial integrity? gen. wolters: that is certainly the goal. neighborhood,ough as you probably know better than i, there are some very serious tendencies that exist between serbia and kosovo that we are seeing improve over the course of the last real weeks. getting those security apparatus to communicate with each other, we hope for continued good news with respect to the kosovo-serbia relationship. sen. ernst: i think there is
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undue pressure coming from russia in that region as well. if we could talk a little bit about autonomous vehicles and how that impacts logistics and delivery, i am really excited. i chair the subcommittee on emerging threats and capabilities. we have talked extensively about autonomous systems and how that , like i our operators had wonderful truck drivers that were out on the roads and how it would reduce their risk. can you describe a little bit how you are leveraging and integrating these emerging technologies into some of the modernization efforts? gen. lyons: senator, i agree there is an arm's potential -- enormous potential. each of the services are working with separate development initiatives. you mentioned the army, which is
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a combination team. there is an arm's potential to expand what we are doing in the air domain and even potentially space in the future. sen. ernst: absolutely. to speedhe best way delivery of those types of systems into operations today? we often see large defense contractors, they are slow-moving, but this is a great emerging technology. how can we deliver that quicker? gen. lyons: it is a great question. each of the services are working. there is a combatant commander, i have the requirements out there. the services prevent capability, so i cannot speak to the timelines. sen. ernst: if you come up with the answer to that, let us know. we need to be much more delivering technologies to men
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and women in uniform. thank you very much. both for your service. we appreciate you being here today. , we have taken the first steps to begin the military exercise, the largest of its kind in 25 years. what are the biggest challenges you see in executing the defender program? what do you hope to see out of the exercise? on the logistics side of the house, the environment in europe has to be material enough to absorb 25,000 soldiers and get them to the right locations to be able to grab the appropriate gear they are supposed to get and get to their foxhole and execute. what we want to do is count every second that it takes to get the soldiers from the first point of entry all the way to
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his or her foxhole to be successful and adequately defend. we anticipate there will be some snags. i want to applaud this committee on the fact that two years ago we could not exercise defender europe 20. we were not mature enough with respect to the pre-position stockpiles to have soldiers show up at location x and grab resources. today we can do that. we know the fitness of the resources and we will be able to examine their speed with which they can get to the foxhole and execute. sen. jones: is turkey participating? gen. wolters: senator, they are, as observers. they are in certain areas with respect to activity on the periphery of georgia. sen. jones: what, if any, reaction are you seeing from russia? or do you expect from the russians? or any other adversaries? gen. wolters: senator, we have seen a fair amount of response. they are not overly pleased with defender europe 20. we are concerned about the
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readiness of our forces. we are doing that in accordance with international law in sovereign space and sovereign sees and land. sen. jones: general lyons, we have an air refueling wing in alabama. in your remarks to the atlantic council, you were quoted as saying, across transcom, the aerial refueling force element is the most stressed and the one pushing the red or exceeding the redline. you speakingere about the number of available aircraft or the need for more crew? combinationit is a of both. the iron,rlier about the legacy tales during the conversions before the kc 46 becomes accessible to the joint force. i would also comment, this is true across all components, reserve and guard, the high tempo of our airmen around these
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missions, particularly in the guard, i would say we come very close in some cases, we penetrate in that particular force element. i would highlight that the contributions the army reserve, or the air force reserve makes in day to take competition is extraordinary between long-term mpand pilots we have flying every day. sen. jones: do you think you could use more crew? is that fair? gen. lyons: crew is a friction point. sen. jones: what can we do to get more crew to air refueling in the guard or whatever it might be? gen. lyons: we are doing that today. the air force is working. some of this is a combination of what the kc 46 will bring. some of this is a function of what we must retain. there is friction between how
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many systems you can crew and the associated output. sen. jones: thank you. i yield the remainder. you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, thank you for your years of service. general lyons, i want to start with you on the hhg program. i have a little history with military housing and trying to fix that problem and improve accountability and really put the family at the tip of the .pear in terms of our focus i like that you are moving forward, the program should reduce costs, improve service. that is really but we set out to do in military housing, and we did it for a while. can you tell me how this program is going to execute, what your expectations are for performance in the upcoming season?
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more importantly, i would like to know mechanics. how does that family member who is coordinating a move, the spouse may be deployed somewhere. to what extent are they going to have power over assessing the completeness and the satisfaction of the move? gen. lyons: senator, all great questions. you brought up the housing issue. part of what got us to the housing issue was a lack of clear accountability with the private sector and the appropriate governance structure to manage that large contract. that is exactly what is driving us here in the household injury true -- industry to restructure our relationship. we have defined levels of accountability. that is the design of the global household contract. -- it is designed designed to clarify responsibility inside the department and through a longer-range relationship with
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industry, incentivize the growth of capacity to meet peak season. members, wefamily owe them that. in 2020 peak season see this come to fruition. we intend to aboard in 2020 and prepare for 21 21. there will be a transition to grow this capacity over time. sen. tillis: we hear a lot of town -- housing town halls. about aeard rumblings less than satisfactory experience with the status quo. i appreciate you taking the lead and trying to get it right and have a consistent experience across the globe. i appreciate the work on that. we will do it maybe with a meeting in my office if i can get with some other people working on the contracting, i would like to see how they are going after key performance indicators. we are trying to retrofit that
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into the housing program. looks like you are going to be ahead of it, so i thank you for your work. general wolters, tell me about how well your area of responsibility partners are closing the gap on their cyber capabilities, how well we are actually coordinating, and your assessment of, if you take a look at russia, they are all over the place. any time i travel to that part of the world, you are talking about russian information campaigns. malign activities. give me some hope on how we are either creating a gap or filling holes we have right now. we are improving strategic transparency and alignment in cyber. over the last two years, the nato nations have done a much better job of understanding the challenges they face on the defensive side of the house from a hygiene perspective. once they have their backyard in
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order, they are in a position to understand where they start with respect to network protection. that has come about as a result of our u.s.-cyber calms com'sgness -- cyber willingness to lead from front. sen. tillis: i would like you to talk about huawei and zte and whether they are going to allow that infrastructure to be present in terms of critical infrastructure, are we getting to a good place? gen. wolters: that is exactly where i was headed. the hygiene piece, the defensive cyber piece has to be applied with respect to what is about to become an issue with respect to proliferation of 5g activity. network protection is going to be job one. we are right back to the basics. as you will know, the general is keen on that and we have seen a market improvement on the demand for cyber ops on the u.s. side in europe.
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we have seen an increase in the manning on the defensive side for nato nations in europe. sen. tillis: thank you both. i have a lot of questions, but general lyons, we will be in touch so i can get insight into hhg. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gen. lyons:, we have touched on --general lyons, we have touched on the kc 46. you say this is your number one shortfall. you say it will create a critical and deepening gap in refueling aircraft for the next five to seven years. you do a good job outlining the problem. at the end of your prepared remarks, you say we recommend reevaluating aerial refueling for structure plans annually. that does not reassure me. i want to know, what is the plan? we cannot project force if we cannot refuel airplanes. you have identified a five to
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seven year gap. do we do? you don't need to give a full answer here, but for the record, i would like to see an action plan, not just reevaluation. gen. lyons: we will be happy to work with the air force and come back to you on that. term, we had agreed with the air force to retain 28 legacy aircraft to mitigate the conversion of the kc 46. the kc 46, as we receive that air force, the air force receives that aircraft, will time to convert you can appreciate, there is going to be tension between crews. a combination. very complex. the air force are pushing as
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hard as they can with boeing. sen. king: if you could give to the committee and analysis of what you perceive as the gap and what the solution is, because if , well, a crisis saying it was a complicated problem, is not going to cut it. gen. lyons: i agree. the issue is not -- actually it is day-to-day competition. today's day-to-day competition is where we are taking the reduction. sen. king: we are stressed right now. gen. lyons: we are stressed today. that is where the 10 or 13 in the current reduction we are working with the air force and the department -- sen. king: i look forward to working with you on this. general wolters, do we have sufficient visibility of russian submarines in the atlantic? do we know where they are? gen. wolters: we do, but not 100% of the time. i don't want whatever
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the missing percent is to be off the coast of maine or new york. gen. wolters: i agree. sen. king: not to be too parochial. [laughter] risk of a what is the -- i think it is unlikely, i hope i'm right, that russian tanks are going to roll into the baltics? what is our thinking and strategic thinking about a hybrid kind of activity involving russian language, the kind of crimea model? is that a concern and do we have a strategic response? gen. wolters: it is very much a concern, senator. it has to do with the posture of our forces as we sit today in competition and attempt to effectively deter. we are improving our ability to do so. we have to do so to a point fill any potential enemy to not take those first steps against us. nato agree to also recognize a
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whole of government, whole of nation approach. that will help us to dramatically improve our posture so we can better see the battle space and better be able to proactively deploy to defend. sen. king: and be prepared for a different kind, not a traditional tanks rolling over the border invasion. gen. wolters: absolutely. sen. king: a lot of study on crimea and how that played out and what the response could have been or might have been. gen. wolters: yes, senator. question, theal attacks on the saudi tanker field and also the iranian missile in iraq after soleimani 's death to me raise concerns about our ability to defend against -- i don't know what you want to call them. cruise missiles, low-level missiles. believeiate range and i
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the iranian missile was an icbm. what is our capability to defend against those kinds of attacks? it did not work in iraq and it did not work in saudi arabia. gen. wolters: it is improving, but it has to get better. we have a plan that refers to integrated air missile defense that comprehensively takes into account what happens at long ranges and long altitudes and short ranges and lower altitudes. it all has to be nested together from an indications and morning standpoint and a command-and-control standpoint. sen. king: you would agree this is a significant gap in our defense that we need to get to work on in a hurry? gen. wolters: it is a shortfall, senator, and we need to work on it. sen. king: thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for your service. european or nato members that are now spending
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the money they were supposed to spend in the past, does it give us any opportunity to reduce our funding or reduce our troop deployment in europe? gen. wolters: senator, it could in the future. it concern you countries like germany still don't want to pay their fair share? does it impact our ability to defend? does it give us a need to start thinking about where we should have troops and really should not? should we be in poland more than germany? gen. wolters: i believe all of those are of concern. in my consultations with my german counterparts, they are just as concerned about meeting 2% as we are. sen. scott: but there is no action that we need to be taking? gen. wolters: i think the vigilance we continue to show with respect to requirements with defense spending needs to
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continue today. what we have observed between fy 16 and fy 20 is an increase across nato of an additional $130 billion of funds for defense. that is positive and we need to continue on that track. sen. scott: with turkey buying s400 andd cozying00 -- cozying up to moscow, does it reduce your ability to rely on them as an ally? gen. wolters: turkey remains a reliable nato ally. sen. scott: with huawei, have you had to make changes on the information you are willing to share as a result of knowing these countries are going to in 5g buto use huawei also existing infrastructure? gen. wolters: we have not at this point with the current posture toward huawei and particularly u.k., but my guess
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would be in the near future we have to be more vigilant with response -- with respect to network protection and 5g. sen. scott: the investment that communist china is making around the world, does that impact your ability to be able to defend against russian invasion, but even what china is doing? senator, not on impact today but it could be in the future if we continue to see that economic equity increase with respect to seaports. >> it is mostly the seaports impacting in europe? gen. wolters: today, that is the biggest issue. >> how about the supply change? how dependent the world is on china as a member of the supply chain, does that cause you any concern? gen. wolters: it does cause a
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concern, senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you for your service and testimony. general lyons, i think you mentioned at the outset, your command does so much great work in moscow. i think we have more of an understanding of that than most places, and how you do, professionally, quietly. critical to the whole military. i also thought that the anecdote that you mentioned in your testimony about saving the life of one soldier was just very powerful. so please tell the whole tra nscom civilian and military members that we respect and appreciate all that you are doing.
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i am glad you mentioned the personal property program in your opening statement. i am going to have a number of questions for the record that if you and your team can get back to me on relatively soon, i would appreciate that a lot. you know, you talk about also stressed capability and number one concern is on the aerial refueling fleet and thinkers -- tankers. i mentioned this a number of times in this committee. billy mitchell when he was testifying in front of this committee in the 1930's, the father of the u.s. air force, mentioned that alaska was the most strategic place in the world because of our location to asia, europe, other places. secretary esper when he was testifying several months ago said that we are going to have over 100 50 generation fighters located in alaska starting -- 5th generation fighters located
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in alaska starting in april. o-locate kc 46's with the fighters, the secretary defense said that would provide the warning to our allies -- adversaries that we have extremes for teaching reach -- extreme strategic reach. right now, the air force is looking at where to put the fleet. almost everything is focused in pay,, except for alaska -- paycom, except for alaska. can you give me your sense on that? to me, this seems like a no-brainer. i think it would help you with your most stressed capability, number one, readiness concern. if you put tankers in a place that can service strat calm, northcom, versus guam, which is
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kind of a conventional wisdom, but in my view, does not make any sense. gen. wolters: senator, thanks. there is no question about the strategic significance of alaska. the air force does have a basic methodology and basing plan for the kc-46 as it comes online. >> i am not telling you to make a -- but do you have a view on that? you call it the most stressed capability, aerial refueling. does it help to have capability tra place that can help nscom? gen. wolters: i have to look at the analytics. >> i think the answer is yes. maybe you can get back to me on that. seems to me pretty clear. we want to help you with your most stressed capability number
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one, readiness concern. i think there is a way to do that, which is to make this decision, which to me seems like a no-brainer. i appreciate your reference on testimony,es in your even though that's not necessarily alaska. forces, theycom atcom, from russia, star everybody.orthcom, this focus -- this hearing has been focused on issues. the pentagon has been pretty slow to address some of these challenges. we have two icebreakers right now. one is broken. that is the american capability. russia has 54. this article, for the record,
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they just recently announced they have a nuclear icebreaker launchessian shipyard a cruise missile capable icebreaker. can you talk to the challenges of the arctic with regard to russia and how you are addressing it? gen. wolters: senator, it is of great concern. as we crafted the nato military strategy, its title is comprehensive defense and shared response. one of the realizations is the fact that we need to be as focused in the arctic as we are in the baltics, black sea, mediterranean, central portion of the atlantic. the arctic needs to ensure that it gets the appropriate scrutiny and appropriate resources. we are excited about the fact of northcom serving as the executive agent for capability development in the arctic. we are also pleased that in the summer of 19, dod delivered the arctic strategy. that,w you have driven
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senator, and we appreciate that. onsee a lot of activity behalf of russia and the arctic. we think most of that -- in the arctic. it is of great concern. whyarctic is a big reason we have to make sure that we maintain our vigilance. >> thank you, mr. chairman and generals. thanks again for your service. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you to both of you, general wolters, and general lyons. i want to begin with a continuation of the discussion we had yesterday. i appreciate you taking time to meet with me. theier this month, president informed congress that he would divert another $3.8 billion from the pentagon for the barter wall -- border wall. this is on top of the money he
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took from military construction projects last year. eliminateograms would the military weapons systems. i know senator kaine referred to one of those. -9 8 mq my recollection of previous conversations is that isr assets are at a premium within the european theater and other areas. can you discuss how the elimination of these weapon systems and projects are going to affect your campaign momentum? i would like to address the fact that we had 44 thatcts that were related were deferred because we could not get those projects on contract by september of 2019. the total value of the 44 projects was approximately $1.3 billion. they came in two buckets.
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one was a set of projects, 25 that were european deterrence initiative projects. the other projects were baseline mil 19. -- base was about 550 million. when you take a look at all 44 of those different projects, which we hope will reappear one day, what you see is three major areas of reduction of campaign momentum. withirst has to do advanced airfield infrastructure on some of the nato airfields in the far eastern side of europe. the second has to do with that supports pre-positioned stockpiles for fuel and ammunition. the final area of impact for campaign momentum is the modernization of infrastructure that supports a couple of military headquarters in schools. all of those are important to campaign momentum.
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it slows the campaign momentum. senator, weof that, still maintain positive campaign momentum in the critical areas of indications and warnings, as you alluded to isr, command and control, and mission command. it just slows down the progress. >> you read the national defense strategy. what is a bigger threat to our national security, a threat from russia and china and the great power competition or a threat from immigrants coming across our southern border? gen. wolters: senator, both are threats. i will tell you that i am most concerned with -- >> that was a very diplomatic answer and thank you. i should have not put you in that position but i think it is an important point to make. the threat you are dealing with is one that has a significant implications for future when we look at russian aggression and its potential to impact the united states. i want to go back, general
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lyons, to, i know there have been a number of questions around the kc-46 and delays in the aircraft and what that challenge means for us. it is an issue for national wing, 157th air refueling which lost its last kc-135 because we thought the 46 aircraft would be arriving this year. last month, the general sent a letter to boeing asking them to review the remote vision system, which is probably the most prominent problem at this point. to give a design review by march of 2020 and flight demonstration by 2020. can you tell us whether we have heard from boeing at this point and what they have said with respect to that review of the system? gen. wolters: senator, i really appreciate the chief's focus on this particular area and i have
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relayed that to him as well. there has been many contacts between boeing and the air force. there is some design issues that they are working through. i do not have a complete answer yet and i will defer to the air force on the particulars of the program. >> do we expect an answer from boeing by the end of march? gen. wolters: yes, ma'am. i believe the chief expects an answer. i believe that will come to fruition. >> thank you. i want to go back to nato. senator tillis and i chaired the senate nato observer group, an effort to try and make sure that the senate is aware of what is happening with nato and what we need to do. i wonder if you can give us an update on the new cyber operations center that nato is planning to be fully functional by 2023? gen. wolters: we are very pleased. it all originated in estonia. it started with the involvement of the u.s. and the declaration by the united states u.s.
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cybercom to have one u.s. a single military commander responsible in the military for the domain of cyber. nato headquarters on the political side is also very excited. >> and so i am out of time, but i would do a follow-up question for the record on this. bit aboutalk a little the european deterrence initiative. i assume you would characterize this as a success. is that fair to say? gen. wolters: yes, i would. >> can you give us specific examples of things you would not have been able to do without -- gen. wolters: we have started defender europe 20, an exercise that brings over division size force. we could not do that one year ago, two years ago. we could do this exercise as a result of the funds. >> why would you have struggled
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to do some of these things without edi? what specific obstacles has edi help to overcome? gen. wolters: it has funded the teams that go to poland. that teaches them how to lift and shift larger quantities of forces across the atlantic without any harm. that is very important. beenve also through edi able to fund our army pre-position stockpiles, emergency contingency air operation sets for the air force and deployable air-based systems for the air force. we have also been able to dramatically improve the airfield infrastructure and reception infrastructure in the eastern part of europe to where it is equipped today to safely receive those resources and effectively get those resources where they need to go for soldiers and sailors and airmen and costars and marines to be effective. >> impressive record of success and that's one of the reasons i think that we need something
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similar. you, my home state of missouri, proud home of the b2 and proud future home of the b@21. can you speak to the roles you see them playing in deterring russia? gen. wolters: senator, those airframes are part of the critical triad -- airplanes are part of the critical triad. deterrence that sits over europe as part of the great success we have had to be able to generate. piece i am excited about the 21, because i b think it will do more of the same with even greater impact. ,> in your written testimony you say china's efforts to build 5g networks and its growing investment in infrastructure complicates city, state
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operations. can you say more about that? how specifically do these chinese activities complicate operations? gen. wolters: the equities they have on the shipping cap has the dutch capacity inside and outside of europe is very alarming -- the equities they have on the shipping capacity inside and outside of europe is very alarming. you have a large impact on what actually exists on consonant with respect to its ability to effectively generate peace and security. that's the concern. >> how do our european allies respond when you raise these concerns with them, as i'm sure you do? gen. wolters: with vigilance. in some cases, they are surprised to the degree of equities that china has it with respect to seaports. in most cases, very concerned. vigilance increases once we get past the education stage. >> you are seeing encouraging
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signs from european nations as they become increasingly weary to the strings attached to chinese capital. gen. wolters: several nations not willing to accept 5g, huawei . inhave had reports of that other nations being a lot more stingy and scratchy with respect to their willingness to engage in the liberations on port equities. >> let me ask you for a second about our ally's contribution to nato, which has come up in number of times already. i think the progress towards a 2% mark is very important but only just a first step. the division of labor within nato has to fundamentally change , i think as this committee has been saying now for some time. what is your assessment about what would need to happen for european allies to get to the point where they are able to assume primary responsibility for their security in your theater? gen. wolters: senator, i think we need to continue on the
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current campaign that we are on. 2016-2020, inrom the cash portion of contributions for burden sharing, we have had a net increase of $130 billion. there is also the examination of contributions and capabilities. in nato, we have been very vigilant with respect to our focus on improving our readiness, the ability of elements to be more resilient, more responsive, and more lethal. that is all part of the equation with respect to european contributions to adequately defend and we are improving. >> thank you very much. look forward to seeing you both this afternoon. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for making the time earlier this month to talk about com.s ranking member reed asked about that in his question line. i want to go further into this.
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know, you saidou our current readiness is lower than where we need to be, but you are working to recapitalize on capability. how do you ensure that this plan continues to be prioritized with the navy and dod leadership when they are always balancing other higher cost programs and initiatives? i feel like this is the plain sister and needs a little bit more attention. how do you make sure that priority also plays on your particular plan? gen. wolters: first, let me just publicly thank you for your leadership and leading our logistics efforts across the department. i think this is a hard decision for the navy. they have a lot of competing requirements. sealift is one of many. my own view on this, if you go back to the original recapitalization of sealift, we had something which we have
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use., but we don't i think the way that we are going to move in a positive direction is we are going to have to have an appropriation of the fund that allows us the --xibility to take capitalize on opportunities in the open market to continue the acquired use strategy. i think that's what we need to do over a long period of time, over the next 15 plus years where we have 46 vessels aging out. >> thank you. isther concern that i have based around view. we have talked -- fuel. we have talked about alleviating stress on the airports tanker fleet. i want to talk about fuel capacity and distribution and storage. how would you work with the services logistics arms to properly identify each of their needs and how to meet those needs as they come around and reframe to face. --petitors under the nds
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face competitors under the nds? what do you need to do to push it out forward into theater? gen. wolters: yes, ma'am. you are alluding to something that is very important across the department. that is, fuel is liquid gold essentially. we require it for every thing that we do in every single domain. so we are actually looking to, you know, we have a study directed by congress that we will complete this year in terms of assessing our ability to access maritime tankers, for example, in a value chain. two look also at the nodes. the way we look at it -- to look also at the nodes. we need to see if that's the applicable way to go. and assess where we need to go for the future for global posture and maritime transportation, as was air refuel that we talked about.
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>> i feel like at this sort of reflects the struggle we had a just a couple of years ago when i was in the house about ammunition. we were not talking to each other well enough before we did an audit. i feel like we are getting the same issue with fuel. you can't fight and win without class three in class five, right -- and class five, right? am i correct in this sense, that we have to do better with communicating within the services? gen. wolters: senator, i think you're absolutely correct. need a global view of the end to end liquid supply chain to make sure that we have sufficient not just supply and posture, but resiliency to continue to operate under a contested environment. i agree with you wholeheartedly. >> i would like to bring into the discussion, you have been hearing a lot about europe. i am looking forward to hearing
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about the successes, but the challenges that it helps identify as well. how would you classify your level of concern going into defender your? -- defender europe? how are you going to leverage that going forward? gen. wolters: great question. i would like to extend a personal thanks to you for your support and logistics area. as we speak, there are soldiers downloading for defender europe 20 at this very moment. i am concerned about the bandwidth to be able to accept this large force. i am also concerned about road and rail from the center portion of germany to the east, all the way to the eastern border. because we have the appropriate resources, we now possess it capability to examine our speed of move from east to west -- correction, from west to east. we have enough individuals to assess how safely we can stuff
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the and into the next point -- stuff through and into the next point. bandwidth is my greatest concern . >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i know you are so happy to see me because i am the last one. you will get to finish up and head off. i want to go back, general. you told senator reid that the chinese control 10% of the shipping rights in and out of europe. i would like for you to expand on that just a little bit, talk about, do you think it is pretty much going to stay at that level. if it's going to increase, the rate of increase. a little bit more insight into what you think this means. gen. wolters: the chinese investment covers 10% of european shipping capacity. a wholecontend that is
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of government, whole of nation concern to make sure that europe has the appropriate equities with respect to shipping capacity. >> you see that as a floor or ceiling? gen. wolters: i see that as the conditions that exist on the ground today. i think the nations need to understand what that means with respect to their ability to effectively ship what their nation needs for the national interest. educationation -- an process needs to follow fast. for think we see the need that education process, not only when it comes to infrastructure, but the belt and rode initiative initiative, the implications that might have as we look at 5g and the rollout there. the implications that it has, so what is nato going to do to address this? itause it does not matter if
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is shipping and that infrastructure or building roads and connectors, or 5g with that infrastructure. there is an issue. being able to communicate with networkes over a huawei is a very difficult thing to do. what is -- give me kind of a timeline and the steps that you all are taking to implement an education process. the natoers: in political paradigm, there is a growing realization that this is an issue. there will have to be a common understanding at the political level at nato that this is an issue that nato should embrace. that is the start of success, to ensure that the national interest of the 29 nations in nato are protected with respect to china proliferation. we are at that phase. as a military member supporting
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nato, it is my job to report the facts, and that is what we are doing. >> ok, so who is receptive to this message? the first part of solving a problem is defining a problem. so you say there is awareness in defining this problem, correct? gen. wolters: correct. the first task is to ensure of the 29 nations, which ones have concern, and which ones still need more of a dialogue done. >> out of those 29 nations, who is receptive to this and who are you getting pushback from? are you at a 50-50 on this? what is the standing there? gen. wolters: senator, i can only speak at the mill to mill level, not the political level for the 29 nations. i would say the majority of the nations are incredibly concerned about china proliferation. >> i hope we can talk a little bit more about this this afternoon, if that would be ok. general lyons, let me move to a
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couple of things. india and cyber and space. have they been identified as contested were fighting domain -- war fighting domain? isk to me about how transcom working with private sector partners to improve cybersecurity, their ability to defend. a senator asked you about autonomous vehicles. as we look at building out space command and artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles, we know there is -- that the cyber component is going to be more relevant in those discussions. talk with me for just a couple of seconds about that. gen. wolters: yes, ma'am -- general lyons: yes, men. cyber is -- yes, ma'am. cyber is a very high priority.
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you asked specifically about our commercial providers. we have worked to instill contract language that i would characterize as at least brings our commercial providers up to a basic level minimum cyber hygiene. i think we have been successful in that. i think we have been successful in getting the attention and focus of the c suite. this is an issue they have to contend with, whether it is for national defense or private equities. we are making progress. i would also say that when confronted with an advanced persistent threat actor, i don't think any of our commercial providers necessarily are in a position to protect themselves in that particular scenario. we very intentionally have multiple providers in each of the conventional areas so if we lose when we can provide others. >> are you increasing the standards of compliance for them? gen. wolters: yes, senator, we are.
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you may have seen the department's cyber maturity model that they just rolled out. >> igo back -- i yields back -- i yield back. [indiscernible] ♪
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c-span's "washington journal," live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up this morning, we will discuss the u.s. and global response to the coronavirus outbreak with someone from jon hopkins center of out security. we will talk -- health security. we will talk about russian interference in the 2020 election with someone from the center for european policy analysis. live "washington journal" at 7:00 eastern this morning. discussion. >> live wednesday on the c-span networks, the house takes up several suspension bills, including legislation making lynching a hate crime. the house returns on c-span at 10:00 a.m., on c-span2 at 9:30 a.m., the first of two hearings with health and human services secretary alex azar, where the governments preparedness for the coronavirus outbreak is expected to be discussed. at 9:30, he appears before a
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house appropriations subcommittee. --retary a's are testifies secretary --cash secretary azar testifies. on c-span3 at 10:00 a.m., the house armed services committee hears from mark esper and drug chiefs ash joint chiefs of staff chair -- and joint chiefs of staff chair on the budget for the defense department. health and human services secretary alex azar testified on 1 budgetrnment's 202 request for his department.


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