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tv   U.S. European Transportation Commanders Testify Before Senate Armed...  CSPAN  April 20, 2021 1:32pm-3:55pm EDT

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available every weekend on c-span3. tonight an evening of programs on the life and legacy of abraham lincoln. we begin with a tour of the peterson house where president lincoln died. john wilkes booth shot the president as he watched a play at ford's eastern. watch tonight at 8:00 p.m. eastern and enjoy american history tv every weekend on c-span3. next, testimony on the conflict between russia and ukraine. cybersecurity threats. and the biden administration decision to increase troop levels in germany. army and air force generals testify. rhode island senator jack reed chairs the hearing. >> let me call the hearing to
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order. this morning the committee will receive testimony from general walters, ucon, and general lions, transcon. thank you both for the decades of military service and please extend our appreciation to the men and women serving under your command. general lions, this is likely your last hearing before the committee. on behalf of my colleagues, i want to thank you and your family for a lifetime of service and dedication to the nation which continues with your son, now a cadet at west point. the tradition goes forward. thank you. the security challenges in th ucon area grow bigger each year.
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russia is engaged in an ongoing hybrid warfare campaign just below the threshold of conflict that would provoke a military response including disinformation campaigns, targeting democratic processes, and the continued use of proxy groups to further russian interests in numerous countries around the world. combatting the threat requires a whole of government effort. i'll be interested to hear your views on the military means required as part of that whole of government effort. as well as what support we can provide our allies and partners as they seek to counter russian malign influence. last week ucon raised its watch level in ukraine from possible crisis to potential imminent crisis in response to significant russian military activity in ukraine and of course europe.
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the committee will benefit from your assessment of the current security situation and an update on ucon's engagement with partners and allies in response to the ukrainian situation. consistent with the 2018 national defense strategy ucon continues to define the operational concepts, plans, and programs necessary to counter russia and the strategic competition that defines this theater. the u.s. must ensure combat credible military deterrent against russia's ambition than threaten the sovereignty of our allies and partners. general walters, the committee would like to hear your voice on the posture and investments necessary to maintain deterrence. turning to transcon, the men and women of transcon perform duties that sustain the whole department of defense in protecting our nation's security. with the competitive edge in its ability to deploy and sustain america's armed forces, transcon
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provides the unique capabilities we have come to expect and perhaps too frequently taken for granted, supporting all of the commanders. without them the united states would be at a significant disadvantage almost everywhere in the world. general lions, you were adamant last year about maintaining air fueling capability because you felt that transcon was at the minimum levels for maintaining capacity. this year i understand the air mobility command believes transcon can rely on some contribution of the kc-46 tankers even those the kc-46 are not allowed to do so. we cannot assume that potential adversaries will allow us free
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reign in this area in the future. two years ago the commit decided the department needed to continue the analytical effort to identify requirements because the studies presented at that time did not reflect implementation of the national defense strategy. general lions, perhaps you could give us an update on where transcon stands in updating this alliance. you have initiated a program to contract out the defense personnel property program, that handles the transfer of goods. it issues contracts to movers and contractors rather than the u.s. government. the losing bidders protested the award and gao upheld the protest. i would be interested in hearing about the status of this program. transcon faces a unique set of cyber threats because of the
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command's extensive work with private sector entities in the transportation and shipping industries. general lions, the committee would appreciate an update on transcon's cybersecurity posture. thank you both for being here this morning. i look forward to your testimony. but i turn it over to senator inhofe, there will be an informal classified briefing immediately following this session in the senate security building office in the capitol. senator inhofe. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i just would acknowledge both of our witnesses as very good friends and i would say to general lions, it's not too late to change your mind. as stated many times before, this committee's top priority is to ensure the effective emanation of nds, national defense strategy, which focuses on china and russia as primary
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threats to our national security. that means we have to ensure our combatant commanders have what they need in this strategic competition. i'm sure you'll be very straightforward with some of the reductions that are not going to be desirable. i want to highlight that russia's recent activities regarding ukraine are very concerning. at the same time, russia and chinese threats are converging in europe with an ever more aggressive china seeking influence and threatening security through the economic coercion. these growing threats highlight the value of our 2018 nds. secondly they illustrate why we should not be reducing defense spending and thirdly demonstrate the critical need for more advanced capabilities like the
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f-35 to deter russia, particularly since there have been some controversy over that from some of the leadership in this administration. transcon is focused on full spectrum mobility operations to meet requirements needed combat both russia and china as well as support training and force projection to forward deployed forces. i'm encouraged to hear the administration's voice, strong support for nato. you know, the rhetoric is easy. we want to make sure we have the resources to support those statements that are being made. general walters, i look forward to hearing the priorities for the european deterrent initiative. and where else we need to bolster our defenses to address threats you see growing every day. general lions, i would like to know the status of our refueling capability, that the chairman has already addressed, as well as he has addressed the global
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household goods, contacts. we have some specific questions about that. finally, whether this morning, or in our classified session, i would like to hear from both of you as to how this contested environment impacts mobility operations. general lions, you've been a friend for a long time, and as i've said, it's not too late. mr. chairman? >> thank you very much, senator inhofe. now let me recognize general walters for an opening statement. >> chairman reed, ranking member inhofe, distinguished members of the committee, on behalf of the men, women, and families who serve the nation, we want to thank you one more time for your steadfast support. it remains a privilege to serve alongside these patriots and our like-minded allies and partners. it's great to be aligned with our distinguished commander general steve lyons. he has led with distinction and
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over the last year he's been pivotal in not allowing the pandemic to transform into a security crisis. we thank him for this blood, sweat, and tears to the nation. we want to pass our condolences to those impacted by covid-19. the battle against the virus continues and we must remain vigilant. we're fully aligned with secretary austin's priorities to defend the nation, take care of our people, and succeed through teamwork. via nato, we work closely with our allies and partners to address the evolving challenges posed by our adversaries to secure peace and protect our interests abroad. nato remains the strategic center of gravity and the foundation of deterrence and assurance in europe. everything we do is about generating peace. we compete to win. we deter, and if deterrence fails we're prepared to respond to aggression with the full weight of the trans-atlantic
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alliance. the united states relationship with our partners remains a key strategic advantage and we must defend it. we live in an increasingly complex and contested world. political uncertainty, energy competition, and diffusion of disruptive technology are stressing the established rules-based international order. threats and challengers seek to take advantage of these conditions through aggressive action using all instruments of national power. and they're backed by increasingly capable military forces. adversaries amplify these malign activities and foster instability with disinformation. success in 21st century warfare demands we embrace competition and all of its associated activities below the level of armed conflict. this is actually as critical as our preparation for crisis or conflict themselves. we're in an era of strategic competition and winning in this era is all about ensuring that
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strategic competition does not morph into a global conflict. one example is activities and investments contributing to competition and deterrence is our robust exercise program. this summer, when we execute our defender series exercises composed the u.s. ucon europe and nato's steadfast defender, service members, allies, and partners from all warfare domains will demonstrate their ability to lift and shift massive forces over large swaths of territory at speed and at scale from the atlantic to the eastern periphery of the european continent. once our troopers are on station, they'll sharpen their responsiveness, resiliency, and lethality. our current security process tour is strong yet challenged. as evidenced by actions in the vicinity of ukraine. we possess combat credible
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capability across all domains. we will maintain and work to hone this capability to deter our adversaries and defensive partners and our interest. the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, guardians, coast guardsmen, and civilians of u.s. ucon appreciate your support to preserve peace for the 1 billion citizens living in the euro atlantic. chairman reed, ranking member inhofe, thank you for this opportunity. >> thank you very much. let me recognize general lyons. >> can you hear me okay? great. chairman reed, ranking member inhofe, members of the committee, it's my pleasure to represent the united states transportation command operating around the globe, every day, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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i'm pleased to be joined by fleet master myrick. my enduring purpose at transcon is to support our forces at the time and place of our choosing, providing an advantage and a wide range of options to assure allies and partners and if necessary respond with a decisive force to win. given the unprecedented challenges amid the covid-19 global pandemic, i could not be more proud of the men and women of transcon who have continued their impressive support for the joint force and support the whole of government efforts to help american citizens at home. i would particularly like to highlight our air components, rapid fueling of capability to move highly infectious patients which was nation prior to the
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pandemic. i appreciate the committee's continued support on important global mobility issues including capitalization, area refueling, defense personal property, as well as your acknowledgement of the future challenges of logistics operations under attack. today i'm absolutely honored to join general todd wolters and pleased to play a supporting role in his initiative. thank you for your leadership and support for our trans-com teammates. >> let me remind my colleagues, due to the nature of the hybrid format we're using today, we will handle the order of questions by seniority, alternating sides until we've gone through everyone, and if there's anyone we've missed, we'll go back. and we will use the standard
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five-minute rounds. i'll ask my colleagues to keep a watch on the clock. and finally, if you're not engaged, please keep your microphones muted. thank you very, very much. general wolters, today it was reported that secretary austin announced an additional 500 troops going into europe, which seems to be a reversal of the trump administration's proposals to reduce forces in europe. can you comment on this increase in forces? >> i can, chairman. we're very excited. they're part of the previous tranche of forces that were nested underneath dp2, decision program 2. its focus is to maintain a force
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in germany, approximately 500 shoulders. that will improve our ability in all domains to bring fires from the surface to surface dimension to increase our ability to deter. >> from your first review of the proposed budget, do you feel you will have adequate resources to meet all your obligations? >> we do, chairman. but as you well know, we're always interested in working to increase our competitive advantage. but we do have the adequate resources. >> thank you very much. general lyons, as i indicated in my opening remarks, we've asked the mobility requirement study, it's still in the works. when will we see that report? and can you give us some initial reactions to date as to what your prognostication is about the report? >> chairman, let me first say
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thank you for your continued advocacy and support. as you've directed multiple mobility capabilities requirements study. and the 2020 study is due to be delivered in june, mid-june. i i can tell you, you know, as a task for the study it was to assess the program force. we're looking at that in the context of our current demands in terms of war plans but also in future concepts. as we look at that there are some areas which we see will require some work in some areas, elevated risk. i would just ask for your continued support for example for modernization which this committee has been very supportive on reference to do so thus far. and so without getting too far ahead of the analysis, that report is due to you soon, sir. >> thank you, sir. one of the issues and represents the transition from benign areas
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of operation particularly for logistics to contested operations is the potential problem of contrition during wartime and you feel that will be adequately addressed in the study in. >> senator, we certainly are looking at contesting environments. there's no question we can assume what we can deploy how we want and when we want, perhaps as we've been able to do in the last several decades, but as we look to attrition per se in terms of foresizing we don't include attrition in the construct but we do understand implications to support or the department's priorities. and so we will see that in elevated risk. i would just offer, though, as often is the case the solution may not be in more capacity, in
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mobility capacity but may come in better integration, so as we look to the future we know we have to move in that direction. and i'm very pleased to see the chairman of the department identifying that as a major line of effort in our joint war footing concept. >> this goes to a point of our effective conductivity is that something you're working on with others? >> we are. we're really pleased to report
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with general nakasone, the direction and guidance has been much clearer over the course of the last 24 months and we've been able to make improvements in europe with respect to our ability to command and control. >> thank you. and general lions, quick comments, please. >> i would reinforce cyber continues to remain a top priority for the command. cyber comm has been extraordinarily supportive and we've taken many other initiatives. >> general waters, i have three questions i want to try to get around in this short period of time. in the book and we've all been talking about this now ever since 2018 when this came out. the recommendation said it's
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going to take 3% to 5% annual growth spending to implement nds, and i really believe that is true. now the current budget doesn't even keep up with inflation. this is kind of an if question, general walters. if the defense budget shrinks and the initiative gets cut, what would be the impact to your efforts in europe just off the top? if that happens? >> senator, it would slow down our campaign momentum that we've been able to sustain for the last four years in improving our indications and warnings, our command and control and our readiness. >> okay, thank you very much. now, general walters i also mention and you and i talked about this in my office, it's unfortunate but a lot of people in this administration are talking about the f-35 and some
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don't think it's worth the resources. the f-22, f-35 the only two veekz vehicles out there in the fifth generation. the goal was 700 copies and they started witling down. this happened -- it started actually when i was still on the house side and went down to 187 f-22s. and it was a mistake. right now we have russia and china pursuing their own fifth generation programs.
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how concerned are you about your competitors fifth generation capabilities and how important is the f-35 to deter these threats in europe? >> senator, the f-pais very important. as i mentioned in my opening comments our disposition from a military perspective is strong yet challenged, and part of that challenge is the evolution of the sue 37 fifth generation aircraft on behalf of the russians. and we in the u.s. need f-35s in europe which begin in the fall of 2021 to ensure we have to competitive advantage necessary to protect our sovereign territory. >> that's good. and during the -- last year's hearing the air force investment of the kc 135 and kc 10 would
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put transcom -- the kc 36 didn't come out the way we want it to, and yet it took action from the ndaa from 2021 to reverse the number of those divestments to ensure transcom has the necessary capacity to meet the requirements. you may want to elaborate on this for the record. but i look at this and say what's wrong with our requirements process when congress has to step in to ensure they have enough tanker aircraft to stay mission ready? your observation was right, that it took us action to make sure that happened in our fiscal year 21 ndaa.
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anything come to your mind in terms of why it's necessary for us to do this and why this couldn't have been done before our action was necessary? >> well, senator, first i want to thank you for your support on the issue of aerial refuel which is such a critical force element and basically the lifeblood for the joint force in terms of weapons systems. last year you asked a question what was the implications operationally to the delay of the boeing kc 46 delivery and based on the retirement profile there were applications to respond to the day to day crisis. i'm pleased to report to you this year we're in a much better position. we have very good alignment between air force and transcom. air force has stepped in with capability with the kc 46. i am very comfortable with where we are with the air force. >> so you think that has been corrected? >> i do. >> thank you very much.
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mr. chairman? >> thank you very much. >> thank you. and thank you to both general walters and general lions for your service and being here this morning. general walters, i especially appreciated our conversation yesterday. and one of things you mentioned in your opening remarks we discussed briefly is the buildup of russian forces on the border of ukraine. do you have any view about what russia's doing? are they preparing for a potential offensive? is this consistent with past russian posturing? what are they doing? >> senator, we've categorized their actions into four separate categories and i would enjoy the opportunity in a different security environment to be able to address that. but what i can say is number one there's been an inject of a very sizable ground domain for half of the russians, a notable air
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force injection and a notable maritime force injection. and it is of the size and scale and scope that is of great concern and mirrors the size and scope and scale of the infiltration of forces that the occurred back in 2014. so we are remaining very, very vigilant keeping as many options open as possible and obviously very concerned. >> thank you. i look forward to hearing your comments on classified session. as the administration considers the best way forward in afghanistan can you tell us what you think would be the most significant impact of the withdrawal of american troops by may 1st or shortly thereafter? how would that influence both nato's role and what we might expect on the ground in afghanistan? >> senator, our number one
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concern at u.s. ucomm is the force protection considerations for all of our u.s. service members and all of our nato service members in whatever transaction we engage in. >> thank you. i would again urge nato and everyone who's part of our mission to include women at the negotiating table because we know that has a positive impact on the stability of negotiations. general lyons last spring you expressed concern about the retirement of legacy tankers and you had a brief exchange about that. but it sounds like you may begin to assign kc 46 aircrews to operations as early as this
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summer. so what has changed, and why do you feel like we should begin doing that as early as this summer? >> ma'am, a couple things have changed since we talked about this last year. the first is probably the most important is boeing acknowledged and agreed they have the responsibility the fix the weapons system. it won't be fully operational but certainly can conduct missions, and they presented that capability over time. so that's important. plus with an additional plus up of reserve guard augmentation and a slight adjustment in the retirement profile against the kc 10 i am comfortable we're in a good position based on the work the air force has done to support operations today. >> i think that's very good news. it's welcome news to all the kc
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46 crews including at the national guard base where we were the first recipients of the kc 46, but i want to ask you because i understand there's an issue i had not heard about with respect to the trance portable gallery laboratory system, essentially the bathrooms that make missions problematic. is this a new problem, or have we known about this? and what's the prospect to fix it? >> ma'am, i know those kind of issues i don't want to get in front of the air force. i'll defer to program manager. there's a range of category deficiencies that are being worked by both the air force and boeing. i don't know enough to comment on that particular issue. >> will it impact our ability to fly missions with the kc 46 as early as this summer as you're hoping? >> i'm not aware of any impact on initial capability release, but that doesn't mean there
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aren't a wide range of deficiencies that still need to be remedied, you know, by boeing before the jet is fully operational and capable. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> senator wicker, please. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. general walters, in a question from senator shaheen about russia you mentioned they were increasing their ground, air and maritime efforts. in light of that do you continue to support the additional two destroyers based in rota? >> i do, senator. and as you well know for the last 12 months the activity of the four destroyers we've had access to have been pivotal in destroying deterrents. we also see increased maritime activity in the arctic, to the central portion of the atlantic ocean. and the need for two additional
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destroyers in the area in command and control is what we need to continue to work forward to have that competitive edge. >> let's expand on the arctic. china is an issue for us there, is it not? and could you elaborate on that? >> they are, senator. their investments in ports is significant. >> do we have the capabilities we need to deter russia and china in the arctic presently? >> we do. and they're adequate, but our growth isn't matching theirs. >> i heard you say adequate in response to the senator's question also and you mentioned in answer to a question the recent budget run-down would slow down readiness.
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kwee have the leading ecpert in this area of the world and that sort of merely adequate response and slow down readiness is of concern i think to members on both sides of the dias here. one more thing, general walters, with regard to the coast guard they have a statutory mission but also they're very vital in assisting you with our national defense requirements, is that correct? >> it is, senator. and as you know the coast guard actually recently produced an arctic strategy, and there were many identifications in that strategy that were very, very helpful for future security in the arctic region. >> thank you very much. and let's shift, general lyons,
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to military sealift and let you elaborate on an answer you gave to senator reid. the g.e.o. reported last year, quote, the u.s. flagship yards and work force have been in decline and the industry as a whole faces significant economic sustainability challenges, unquote. do you agree with this assessment, and can you discuss how a diminished maritime industry impacts sealift during both peacetime and conflict? >> senator, thanks for the question and more importantly thanks for being a strong advocate for sealift modernization and the acknowledgment of how important sealift is to deliver a decisive force. i think you know that 33 of 50 of our rollout shifts will reach
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end of life over the next ten years. industrial base is absolutely of critical importance and you know we've advocated for acquired use strategy largely based on cost. there's also work required in conversion so we work closely with the navy. i think the navy has got the best pulse on the industrial base with regard to sealift. >> how helpful in your judgment are the maritime security program stipends and cargo preference laws in supporting am maritime industry? >> senator, i think they're critically important. we must maintain a u.s. flag that's reliable and accessible to support the defense department needs, so those are critical programs. >> thank you, gentlemen. and mr. chair, i yield back 23 seconds. >> thank you very much, senator wicker. we'll put that on your account.
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and now via webex, senator gillibrand. >> thank you, senator wicker, for those extra seconds. for general walters, i want to continue along the questions senator wicker and senator shaheen asked about ukraine. the u.s. began providing lethal aid to ukraine based on a 2014 authorization support act of 2015. do you believe this lethal aid has helped ukraine to deter russia aggression? and what changes would you make to our current lethal and nonlethal assistance to ukraine to help further deterrence? >> senator, i think those contributions have been very helpful. the other very notable change that's occurred in the environment was the establishment of the multinational joint commission which provided us an architecture to be able to take
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an all domain whole of government approach. and from that we were able to establish the joint military training group ukraine that's afforded the nations that are signatures to the multinational joint commission and many nato allies and partners to contribute military training teams to episodically enter ukraine and help train some of their sources to better defend sovereign soil. >> thank you. in the u-conn demesne and many other places we've seen in the last decade an increase in the strength and engagement with illiberal political forces, increasing popularity of far right political groups and leaders. and we've seen significant democratic backsliding. how do you see these forces affecting our efforts to effectively deter russia,
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strengthen our allies and protect the values we've shared with our european allies for decades? >> they are an impact, senator. and i think we have to take an whole of ally, whole of nation approach. number one, we're responsible given our support to democratic values to tell the truth, and we continue to profess the truth. and the information environment and we are gaining campaign momentum with nations that want to be part of the alliance with nato. >> for example? >> precisely hut is knowing on today in ukraine with president zelenskiy's open comments with respect to his desire to look westward and assess towards nato. >> thank you. general lyons, i want to ask a question about covid. in the early stages of the
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pandemic some of the early problems we faced were supply chain issues including getting ppe distribution, early stage vaccine distribution. based off your testimony transcom has been instrumental in ensuring vaccine distribution was able to ramp up through a functioning supply chain. as we continue vaccine distribution, what are some lessons learned that we can apply to improve our success to prepare for another pandemic or other world emergency? >> ma'am, thanks for the question. i have to say a large portion of the credit goes to general perna and the lead at warp speed. they worked through most of those issues. we were supporting effort where they needed additional support. i think there's a task force now looking from a national security perspective at supply chain and implications to national security and national defense. and i think that's a worthy
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effort just to understand the source of many of the critical manufacturing and supplies and where they come from and where that supply chain might be vulnerable. >> thank you. another question on supply chain. transcom is the largest user of oil for the federal government, and president biden's interim national strategic guidance lists the climate crisis as one of our primary national security threats. from increased major weather events to migration crises due to climate change, fossil fuels should be at the front of our minds for strategic planning. what is transcom doing to mitigate these massive expenditures of fossil fuels? >> well, ma'am, i first say to your point i think the department clearly understands -- we all understand that climate is a driver of instability. and where there's instability there's potential implications for the department of defense
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and for transcom. the secretary has been clear. he's focused on climate as a priority and setup a lead in that area. i think most of the efforts to date, you know, you can appreciate the level at the installation, base level. i think in the operational energy realm the sheer consumption of liquid energy is going to be a challenge for us, but it's going to be something we have to take a look at. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator gillibrand. let me recognize senator fisher via webex. >> general walters, as you know the 55th wing is headquartered in my state and b135s and their crews provide a valuable contribution to their mission from their base. these provide a unique
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capability but i'm concerned our overall demand is greater than the capability that we currently possess. for that reason i believe it's essential we not only continue investing in new isr networks but also that we maintain and modernize high end capabilities we currently have in the irc 135 fleet. in right of that how does the icr 135 fit into your current need for isr? and if you could fell tell me overall what the percentage of the requirements are currently being met. >> senator, the rc135 is pivotal in our campaign with respect to indications and warnings in what it does from intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance standpoint. the concern we all have when new
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systems come onboard it has the potential to create a vacuum the enemy can exploit. and we to be rock solid in the transition. at u.s. ucon, we've been pleased over the course of the last several years with the percentage of the isr we've received and a lot of that has been through this committee and the support through edi. right now we're hovering around 33%, 34% of our concerns being reported. and we're in good shape. >> thank you. general lyons in prior testimony you said, quote, we expect will be contested in all domains, end quote. given that fact what steps are you taking to make transcom more resilient to these threats?
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>> senator, thanks for the question. we fully acknowledge that the way we deployed in the past isn't the way we'll deploy and sustain the force in the future and we must be prepared and operate. in that realm we looked at a wide to look at potential vulnerabilities. one such area is cyber but there's a full range of areas. to my point earlier about the integration of protection with the sustainability and crit criminal as we understand the homeland is no longer a sanctuary. i've been very, very pleased with the joint staff work on the joint war fighting concept that includes an entire line of effort to elevate the importance of joint concept on contested
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logistics. you think it's vital we start to rethink or continue to rethink some of the fundamentals out there on how we operate logistic support? if you could continue on that train of examining the existing platforms and methods we're currently using and looking at what's needed in the future. >> yes, ma'am. i think what's critical as we look to the concept so the character warfare as it changes, as we continue to evolve will drive changes in the character of logistics in the way that we are able to deploy and sustain the force on a global scale. and so we've got to continuously adapt as we look at that and we understand those implications we may find ourselves changing the way we fight. and i think in all domains that
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we will and that will change the character logistics but we must be able to sustain the force. >> thank you. general walters, one aspect of the previous administration's realignment plan announced last year was an increase in forces around the black sea. i know the broader plan is currently under review, but deyou talk about the importance of the black sea region and the rationale for increasing our presence there? >> yes, senator. we produced a nato military strategy that stressed comprehensive defense and shared response in all the geographical regions in all domains in seeking assistance from a whole of government, whole of nation. and in europe what we discovered is we over the course of the last three years hadplassed appropriate interest in the vicinity of the baltics and we needed to make sure we were
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giving the same due interest in the vicinity of the black sea because we had to shore up in all geographical areas so that has been our approach, it's been successful and we'll continue to comprehensively defend with shared response. >> thank you, sir. thank you, mr. chairman. >> let me recognize senator blumenthal. >> thank you for your service and thank you for being here today. first on the topic of vaccines i want to follow-up on some of the questions that have been asked most recently. do you know how many men and women under your command, general, have been vaccinated? >> i do, senator. we have a tier one vaccination plan for tier one constitutes those in military uniform.
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we're at about 46% of that force being completely vaccinated. those needed two shots. and we're forecast based on the arrival of future vaccines to have the entire tier one force, those in military in europe vaccinated by the middle of july. >> and have you encountered resistance? >> i'm sorry, senator, i didn't catch all your question. >> have you encountered resistance or hesitancy among the men and women in your command to being vaccinated? >> we have not. we've got the traditional deferral rate we've seen across all of dod. but our percentages are within the norms and actually slightly less.
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>> let me ask both of you as you well know the secretary of defense ordered that there be a review internally of white supremacists and extremist ideology. could you give us your assessment of whether there is evidence of that impact or influence or adherence among the men and women under your command? >> senator, i'll take that. and i appreciate the question because i think this is a critically important issue not just for today but into the future. anything i think that the greats that violates our oath to the constitution is incompatible
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with good order and discipline in military service. i think these first steps as the secretary has taken regarding the stand down, it may represent a very small percentage, and i guarantee it is a very small percentage. but it's something we must contend with. and i think the leadership of the department's concerted and focused to deal with it long-term. we're taking early steps now, but i think we'll continue to persist on this issue. >> how widespread do you think it is? you say it's a small percentage. what's your evidence? >> senator, you know, my evidence is just 38 years in uniform and i'm not at all dismissive of the problems and i acknowledge it does exist. but i would not characterize it as prevalent. we've got an incredibly talented force of volunteers, the best america has to offer. and so even with a small
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percentage is worthy of our leader effort to eliminate it from the force. >> what steps do you think should be taken? >> well, senator, as i mention the stand down i think is the first step. i know the secretary got briefed this past week on some of the insights from the services. i think there's other activities in terms of how we do selection or recruitment, how we transition military members out of the military so they're not susceptible to being recruited. i think there's a wide range of activities like that that will develop over time as concerted minds of effort. >> do you think recruits or enlistees should be taken if they are members of organizations that espouse views with white supremacy or violent extremism? >> senator, i would say when you get into some of the finer policy issues there's a lot there, there's a lot packed in. i'll defer to the policy experts
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on that. i do know clearly, though, as a commander in the force it is not consistent -- extremist behavior activity is not consistent with the values of the good order and discipline of what we need as a war fighting organization. >> i agree that it may be a small percentage, under 10%, but that's a large percentage in terms of its potential impact on the readiness and the capability of our military and public support for our military. and i welcome your focus on it and your characterization of it as a very important issue of policy. so thank you for being here today and thank you for your continuing work on this issue as well as so many others.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, let me begin by thanking both of you for your service to our country as well as your family sacrifice as you dedicate your time to our country. i'd like to begin by just talking a little bit about the challenge we see right now or the possible challenges with regard to regional conflicts that could occur, and let me begin by pointing out most recently we've seen some very aggressive posturing by both china, their incursions in taiwan airspace with larger and larger groups and second in the european theater and russian aggression we've been talking about earlier in the committee meeting. can you describe briefly the impact on the ability of your command in your professional military judgment to execute its missions if the united states became engaged in two conflicts
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and was forced to defend friends and allies in the pacific and in europe simultaneously? general walters? >> i can, senator. it starts with the appropriate approach, and we've been very aggressive in europe in making sure that we understand the importance of allies and partners in the process. and the importance of a comprehensive approach to regions and the importance of not getting myopic in one region and forgetting what is happening in another region. and today when you ask most military members in europe if they have a concern, for example, about russia it will take at least 5 seconds to where the follow on question is do you have a concern about china? so in the military and in our nations we have to continue to think big and we have to take a whole of government, whole of nation, whole of alliance
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approach to the security challenges that we face. and we have to be willing to look up and out of each one of our areas of responsibility. >> general lyons. >> senator, i think there should be no question to our commitment as general walters mentioned, to our long-standing values based international order, whether that's in the east or the west. from a transcom perspective we assess continuously a full range of plans and contingencies we might have to respond to. we look within the construct of the planning guidance and plans themselves. i'll be happy to discuss any of those kinds of questions in a closed hearing, if you like, sir. >> both of you would agree that prior planning for the appropriate concerns or the different situations is critical, fair enough. >> yes, sir, absolutely. >> yes, sir. >> let's talk about a bit what
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happens if we actually do have conflicts with either russia or china? they would almost certainly attack the ports and the air fields where we would load and unload troops and equipment. general lyons, what are the implications of a contested environment on bulk fuel capacity distribution and storage as well as traditional lines of communication? are we effectively working contested logistics in our planning and taking into account the attrition into our war games yet? >> senator, we have begun that journey. and i appreciate the support of this committee on that effort. again, i'm pleased with the joint staff's work particularly as a concept, a joint concept for contested logistics that's under development to address these kind of issues that will then subsequently, you know, shape force design and force capability work down the road. we know we must be able to
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sustain and project a force under all domain persistent attack. that's fundamentally different than the way we've operated in logistics in the past. >> general, the way you answered my question, and i appreciate the way you positioned your answer saying we have begun to look at it, i presume that would suggest there is a concern about the way we have either done it in the past or that we are improving on our planning for that type of a contested environment. >> senator, i think that's accurate. i think as a character of warfare changes so should the character of logistics and we have to adapt to continue to be successful. and what made us successful previously won't necessarily make us successful in the future so we have work to do. >> thank you. my time has expired. thank you, mr. chairman.
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>> let me recognize senator king via webex. >> general walters, in the last hour since this hearing has been going on, a story broke about a leading spokesperson for the russians who's also known as an advise, to putin saying war in ukraine is inevitable, that it'll start with a major cyber attack that could extend to this country and that they have overwhelming conventional forces and that there is no way they could be repelled from taking over the if not the entire country. i view this situation as extremely concerning, and i guess my first question is what's your reaction to the assertion that a russian invasion of eastern ukraine would be unstoppable? do the ukrainians have the weapons, the man power, the
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training, the wherewithal to stop such a -- such an attempted annexation? i've got to say i'm -- i'm mightily reminded of 1938 and the sudaten land and similar things we're hearing from russia. talk to me about the preparation and readiness of ukrainians and our readiness to assist. >> senator, as we discussed yesterday in our phone conversation we are very concerned, and in ukraine and their partners in the region are doing all that they can to improve their posture with each and every second as we go forward. so if in fact an incursion does incur their best position for success not only within their
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forces but in our partners within the region. >> do you believe they could repel an invasion that started next week? >> i certainly do, senator. >> let me follow-up a moment about the political situation in eastern ukraine. there are many russian speaking people there. what's the political mood in terms of loyalty to the country of ukraine versus loyalty to russia? >> senator, i would categorize as high loyalty to the country of ukraine. >> so the claim that russia would be liberating these people from ukrainian control would not -- would not resonate in that region. >> i agree, senator. >> and have we communicated to
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the russians the fact that this -- an invasion of this type would be met with a response that would be -- would serve as a deterrent? seems to me the only thing we have right now is deterrents? >> senator, i know our senior civilian leadership have had conversations with their colleagues in ukraine and at the senior level with russia. and i'm not privy to all of the words that were exchanged, but i know that our senior leaders expressed deep concern about the robust activities in crimea. >> thank you. let me turn for a moment. we mention china and russia numerous times in this hearing. do you see evidence in your aor of increasing relationship cooperation, if you will, between russia and china? traditionally at least in the recent past they've been
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adversaries or at least suspicious of one another. do you see a developing cooperation which would be amicable to our interests? >> senator, i see cooperation that's superficial at best. i think it's higher at the tactical level, soldier to soldier. and i think it's pretty close to phony at the strategic level. >> that's reassuring. i hope that's correct. general lyons, you and i had an exchange last year about the potential gap in coverage for refueling. you testified this morning you feel that's resolved. i just wanted to sort of nail that down, if called upon whether it's in the next two years or in the next 5 to 7 years which is where i recall the potential gap was identified
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that we will have sufficient refueling resources to project power? >> senator, i am comfortable and aligned with the air force's position on this. i think that we have to be clear that boeing has a long way to go to deliver full operational capable weapons system. but in the interim i am confident with the capability that exists to meet day to day competition and crisis. >> i'm just about out of time, but does boeing have -- do we have a date for final delivery and deployment of the kc-46? >> senator, on that i'll defer to the air force on a programmatic perspective. it would take some time to fuel the capability after that. >> thank you, gentlemen, both
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for your testimony. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator king. and let me recognize senator ernst. >> thank you, gentlemen, for being here today. we appreciate your commitment not only to the men and women in your commands but to the furtherance of our objectives. so i'll start with you, general walters. thank you very much. let's talk a bit more about our force posture in europe. and senator king had just mentioned russia and the conventional forces that they have available. but beyond just their human resources they have other capabilities. they continue to modernize their military. they have a number of advanced capabilities like ballistic and cruise missiles. certainly sophisticated air defenses. as we know anti-satellite weapons, electric magnetic and cyber attacks. i could go on and on in this area. but these capabilities do pose a
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challenge to the united states as well as our allies in that region and certainly our partners in the ucomm, aor. they also continue with their operations short of open conflict. so they're operating in that gray zone area. so how are we adapting our forces to those capabilities, to those challenges to push back on russia and what they might be able to do in the future? >> thanks, senator. we're maximizing our focus to win in the competition phase, and we're doing it through a very deliberate fashion to continue to improve our ability to see the environment with indications and warnings, our ability to respond with solid commanding control and our mission command which characterizes the readiness of our forces forward being able to conduct all domain operations,
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that take into account the desired effect at the appropriate time and place of our choosing, to ensure we can be most effective, and that approach affords us the opportunity to counter many of the issues you just mentioned. and we're also in accordance with the national defense strategy working very diligently to increase our competitive edge in the areas of indications and warnings command and control and mission command. >> and so with that deliberative approach, you're working with our allied forces as well as to make sure we are nested and each able to lean on one another, our strengths and our weaknesses to provide push back. >> absolutely, senator. the strategic alignment required is also outside the government dimension. >> great. and one thing being a national guard member and being, of
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course, very aware and supportive of our state partnership program you've mentioned the baltics. but i was heavily involved in the balkans in our state sponsorship program with kosovo. so i'd just like to hear about how this program has been beneficial through your area of responsibility and how we can maybe further strengthen those partnership programs. >> senator, we're very proud of the state partnership program especially yours in kosovo. and as you well know the 632 members of the united states we rotate into k4, the nato secretary-general is very fond to ensure we keep laser focus on the balkans. the biggest challenge we face and one we've achieved success with is make sure the lanes in the road are perfectly
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understood between k4 and the evolving kosovo security force and the existence of our kosovo force has been instrumental in ensuring we each understand our lanes. >> yes, very good. and briefly, thank you, sir, general lyons, i was able to go out on a flight yesterday in a kv46 with a number of others in a delegation. and it was a great opportunity to really see this aircraft in motion, in work. we refueled some f-15s, got some great boom operators that are training a lot of really wonderful airmen out there. this is very important to the iowaen national guard as well. we still have the kc135s. we're anxious to move into the kc136s as soon as boeing does a little work. how important are your planning moves involving the national guard? are you considering the rotation for the reserves, the national
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guard, their deployments and so forth as we move those 46s into those areas? >> ma'am, thanks for taking time yesterday on the ramp there. really just acknowledges what an important capability area refueling is. i would just say it's largely misunderstood or under-appreciated how much the guard and the reserve but especially the air guard contributes every single day to the output of the area refueling force element whether that be overseas or the continental united states on short strip alert day in and day out. my own opinion is the air force does this best in terms of total force int gragds. completely integrated today. it's absolutely seamless to me, when i see units in the field i can't tell which components they belong to. >> gentlemen, i appreciate it very much, and mr. chair, i yield back. >> thank you, senator ernst.
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let me recognize via webex senator manchin. >> thank you, chairman. and thank both of you for your service and your family's commitment to allow you to have the opportunities you be to serve our country. the european and russia have built a strategic partnership in trade, energy, climate, change, research, education, culture and security. the crisis in ukraine and crimea, increased sanctions from both the u.s. and eu but they seem to have limiting effects. so my question would be understanding that the eu is russia's biggest trading partner, and russia is the eu's fourth largest are sanctions in their current forms a viable solution to shaping russia's actions? >> senator, i certainly agree that they contribute in shaping russia's actions. i'll also say living in europe that there's a high degree of
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convergence at the strategic level between what the eu does and what nato does. and for a military member in charge of military operations i will tell you that the eu contributions in the area of transportation are a significant boost in our ability to effectively deter. >> especially concerned with the continuing development of the nordstream pipelines. not only do they create a further dependence on europe and russia on gas and oil -- and your thoughts on that. >> i share your concerns, senator. it's disconcerting to see what happens to the pipeline and the countries it reaches out to and several of those countries are going to potentially be put in a position where their reliance on russian fuel is far higher than it should be. it is of great concern to me.
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>> do you have any thoughts how you would see a potential armed conflict playing out with our allies whose economies are closely tied to russia? >> well, i would promote those nations to do what we do in the united states and that is to store fuel appropriately and we do with our nations in europe to ensure that we have the resources within to be able to execute whatever it is we need to do to effectively deter and defend. >> you are coordinating with them on that? >> we are, senator. >> thank you. general lyons, the level of coordination, fleet readiness and response in light of the covid pandemic that transcom provided is nothing short of amazing. the global threat from rational and irrational states and actors is ongoing in the rise of humanitarian support and crisis mitigation is enduring. what are your calls and concerns
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to support an armed conflict, forced rejection, sustainment and redeployment in a contested environment while also potentially called to support humanitarian missions and on opposite sides of the world? >> senator, thanks for the question. we know that the security environment is changing quite rapidly. we know the character war is changing quite rapidly and so should the character of logistics. so our ability to project the force and sustain the force over global distances is a key strategic comparative advantage that we all understand we must maintain. and as we look at that ability and look at it from the lens of a potential adversary and where there might be vulnerabilities particularly vulnerabilities with consequence we are, in fact, addressing those in buying down the risk associated with those. i am confident in our ability today to continue to project the
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force and support the force at our time and place of choosing, but i do acknowledge we have work to do in anticipation of a more sophisticated adversary. >> let me follow-up on one of my final questions. you spoke of the success of the power, capabilities being contingent on three critical elmmts global military power, global transport capacity and global control integration. so what allied shortfalls currently exist to support these if called to surge forces in support of the eu? >> senator, i have to say i'm very pleased with the enormous installation of like minded allies and partners. we could not operate the global mobility enterprise successfully without the access they provide and the extension of our broad and far reaching logistics
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network. so i'm very pleased with our allies and partners, i'm very grateful for their continued support. >> i know you spoke about russia's moving on ukraine and crimea again and everything, and we wish all of our allies and under you all's leadership the most success because that would be severely critical for all of us if they continue to do what they're doing right now but again thank you both for your service. >> thank you, senator manchin. i recognize senator sullivan. gentlemen, welcome. thanks for your service. i wasn't planning on raising this question but since it came up from senator blumenthal, i just got back from a week of marine core reserve training. it's great to serve with such men and women, but this notion of extremism in the military which is thrown about as eif we
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know numbers, senator blumenthal, 10%, i think that's irresponsible. i've asked from the military data -- i want data before we besmirch the entire military. sir, we need to be careful with this. i'm just asking you two generals who served your whole career do you think we have this giant group of extremists in the military? i think it's one of the best group of americans who aren't racist. you've got knuckle holds in every organization in the world including the congress in the united states, by the way. but there's this narrative now that we got all these extremists in the military.
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i think it's ridiculous and we need to see data before we start throwing out issues like 10%. how the hell does he know it's 10%? do you think he served in the military with a bunch of extremists? >> extremists? >> senator, icon occur with you. i don't see a giant portion of the population. >> it really makes me mad. "the washington post," u.s. senators besmirching the whole damn force. irresponsibly. general, what's your experience? we have bad people. of course. idiots, in any organization. but this is getting ridiculous when a u.s. senator is saying 10%. where the hell did he get that number? one in ten, is that your experience, general? >> senator, let me be perfectly clear. i think we have the finest military our world has known. >> me too. >> i believe that.
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>> and i served with them. i just got done serving with them. >> i appreciate that. we have the best america has to offer. no question in my mind after 38 years of service. i believe that in my heart and know it to be true. a very small, very small -- >> 10%? do you think it's 10%? >> senator, i don't think it's 10%. >> not even close, is it? >> matter of fact, i don't think there has been any data on the topic. i can tell you from experience it's extremely small. and even though it's extremely small and it may be less than 1%, i don't want to be dismissive. >> no, of course not. >> of degradation in the ranks. but it should not characterize the joint force, enormously powerful and professional joint force. >> thank you, general. do you think it's 10%, general? anything in your experience, in thundershower 30, 40 plus yeas as a general officer in the military? >> senator i certainly agree that number is too high. >> here is what the secretary of defense needs to do. enough of this. we need data, okay?
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and besmirching the whole damn force, reserve or active duty, with no data or the undersecretary, who wants to be undersecretary -- i hope he will not be undersecretary for the pentagon. we need to start using data and not this bs that's shameful. it will make people not want to join the military. i wasn't go on this topic but when i hear the senator throw out 10%, it's ridiculous. really pichlt ssing me off. sorry, chairman. i've had enough of this. general, can i talk about the russian arctic buildup and what we need to be doing about it?
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we have strange seams of cocoms, actions in the arctic. paycom, arctic with missile defense. what's happening there is more than what's happened recently. and what should we be doing about it and how to think about it? >> senator, in the right direction with your great work over the course of the last several years, all the services, usbod and the nato military strategy and deterrence and defense for the atlantic specifically points to the fact that we must have an arctic strategy. nations, militaries, are constructing strategies that must include considerations for activities in the arctic. so the focus and the architecture, improving the resources growing, as you well know through your initiatives. most of what they did was
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contribute to the vicinity of the arctic, getting the nato nations, not just the ones above the arctic but all in the process is occurring through the work of the secretary general. i believe our campaign momentum is going in the correct direction from strategy all the way down to requirements. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much, senator sullivan. let me recognize via web-x senator roseman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. appreciate this hearing. thank you, gentlemen, for your lifetime of service. we appreciate everything you do, every day, and to all the service men and women under your command. i would like to speak a little bit today about cyber security. our nato allies, of course, are essential to ensuring cyber security. we rely on our allies to harden our collective defenses against frequent and sophisticated cyber threats. cyber threat security has
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increasingly become an area of focus for nato to operating a cyber-spaced operations center in belgium. so, general wolters, what are the most significant cyber threats that the nato alliance is facing and can you specifically describe to us the cyber threat that european allies are facing from russia? >> thanks for the question, senator. it's a great topic. i will tell you that i'm excited about the fact that from a u.s. perspective, our force presentation by selecting one military commander to lead military cyber, as the general has allowed us to deliver, clear guidance to the nations that assist us in the cyber arena. our manning is much better for all the organizations and the organizations have continued to perpetuate the nations, importance of improving the
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nation's cyber hygiene and the network. as you well know, we have a long ways to go in that area. nations have to make sure that they understand what it takes and how to defend their networks and then they can start to get into other areas of cyber deliverance of forces. and i'm very, very pleased to report that the manning across the nato nations with respect to cyber activity has improved and the focus on improving our cyber hygiene has improved across the european nations. >> that's terrific. that was one of my next questions, what are you doing to prevent, mitigate and recover from the cyber attacks? but how can we help you? how should we be coordinating? what do you think you need to coordinate better with our allies in this realm? >> in europe, we've had the opportunity to lead from the front with respect to the u.s. c2 in cyber, we've had the opportunity, with the assistance
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of other european nations, to educate the masses on the appropriate steps forward in the cyber domain, and we are getting great support from all nations, who want to protect their networks. i think what we have to do is continue the campaign momentum we're currently on and continue the advocacy from nato and the eu in the cyber domain. >> then. general lyons, i want to continue on this and talk about cloud migration. first d.o.d. organization to move its cyber capabilities and command and control applications to a commercial cloud environment. general lyons, can you provide us with an update to the services to the cloud? are you experiencing the benefits? and what are you feeling about this? what are your best practices? again, what do you think you need going forward as you move everything to the cloud and begin to work there?
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>> i think we all acknowledge that cyber is a war-fighting domain and adversary gets a vote, particularly across the mobility enterprise. we have a very large and sometimes vulnerable attack surface so we're working diligently for that. digital modernization effort. we've been able to move well over 20 systems into the cloud. we're still working on virtualization in some of these areas. the cloud does offer capability and security we don't have today. i'm pleased with the progress we've started but we still have a ways to go. >> thank you. i appreciate that. i would like to move on and talk a little bit about covid-19 operations. general lyons, can you describe
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the short-term and long-term impacts covid-19 has had on trans com's operations as you're moving forward? and how have you responded to d.o.d.'s mission to respond to covid-19? >> i can't be more proud of the trans com team, the way they've continued to operate throughout the entire past year, despite covid, while taking the appropriate mitigation measures. early on, we really didn't know what we didn't know. we were able to continue to support the force, continued to a lesser degree. commercial airliner with hepa filtration is extraordinarily low. we've been able to work on a
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wide range of things, highly infectious patients. i am incredibly grateful for the team to be able to face that level of adversity and continue to drive on. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you, senator rosen. senator kramer? >> thank you, generals, for being here. i would like to associate myself with senator sullivan and appreciate your direct responses. it's time for members of this committee and leaders throughout our government as well as -- we can't expect much from our media but to start being accurate and representing that you represent the best of us, not the worst of us. that's my observation with the vast, vast majority of the military men and women i encounter. i have some concern about the gap being created between
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legacy. i will ask you about our outstanding nuclear deterrent currently and going forward. >> most of our national plans around the world. my question for you is if the united states didn't have this umbrella would it change the posture? >> yes, senator i believe it would. >> what would be the ramifications of them not feeling safe under our umbrella? >> that's the precise issue. compromising safety and security. >> could we see the build out of
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modern allies? >> that's possible, senator. >> all right. then i'm going to shift gears to question of energy and ask you specifically, do you believe that completion of north stream two would affect russia over our allies in europe? >> yes, senator. >> because one of the other peripheral issues we sometimes get into around here, besides our military, posture and legality and readiness. one example that concerns me a little bit. i've asked many of your peers about the monitoring, for example, of iran's tankers and energy. in europe, we know the situation
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a few months ago where power in france made a large contract for liquid natural gas, french government intervened in that and used to be a wholly owned, sole owner of enghi power. they intervened and said no, we want to continue buying pass from putin. i'm not sure that people around here grasp the magnitude of a decision like that. your issue is national security, as is our committees. for those people who want to transfer their climate guilt to other parts of the world, they should know that vladimir putin's natural gas sent by pipeline emits 30% more of greenhouse gases than natural
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gas produced and shipped from the united states of america. >> we need our public to better understand the ramifications globally and ramifications of hurting america's production of fuels in high demand around the world and not let our adversaries be dependent on not as clean and certainly not as secure energy resources as the alternative to the american clean, good energy is. with that, i thank you, and yield back. >> thank you, senator cramer. let me recognize, by web-x, senator hirono. >> thank you, chairman.
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i have a series of questions for you. in your statement to the committee you point out that 33 of our 50 roll on/roll off sea lift ships are scheduled for retirement in the next ten years and last year congress took steps to bolster the government's ability to use vessels currently on the market to aug mechlt nt the readiness force. how do you assess our sea lift fleet? >> senator, thanks for that question. we spent a lot of time on this issue with the secretary of defense over the last year. in fact, the cape issue team was formed around this specific issue. i think we're headed in the right direction. we've got good alignment on the strategy, good support here on the hill with the authorizations and we've got money in the program by the navy. we are, quite frankly, about a year behind where i wanted to
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be. i wanted to be at the end of last fy to buy the first two authorize added ships authorized by the nda a couple of years ago. due to some gao protest issues with maritime administration, that's been delayed a little bit but they are on track the end of this year to deliver those first two ships. >> second question, general, the currency recapitalize plans sufficiently address the potential of attrition during a conflict with a competitor like china or russia? >> senator, as we work through the mobility, capabilities and requirement study as directed by congress, one of the things we're doing is we're considering the future joint concepts as well as the contested environments that we know in the future that we'll face. and we are able to assess and do assess some level of elevated risk in terms of our ability to
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deliver the force on the timelines that the combatant commanders desire. so, we are evaluating that now. by policy, we do acknowledge significant implications attrition in any environment and the need to mitigate that. largely through the integration of war-fighting effects. >> therefore, is your answer that the assessments that you're doing currently address the attrition issue that i asked you? >> senator, we do. we address losses. we do. >> thank you. tanker security program subject to the results of a mobility requirement study.
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do you have sufficient results from the study to determine whether the tanker security program needs to be implemented? >> ma'am, we do. we've looked at this in concert with some other studies. we do support, and i pressure the initiative interest here. we think there's value in that. we think it's important to have assured access to u.s. flag tanker capacity in the event we have to serve as mobility enterprise. >> again, i have a question relating to the fact that trans com is working closely with industry partners like space-x on the viability of using space vehicles to rapidly deliver time-sensitive logistics anywhere in the world. this technology is a potential game changer, especially in the
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indoosteopathic area when it comes to time and moving people and parts from one location to another. can you provide me with a general overview of the progress being made in space mobility and what additional authorities you need from congress to help you accelerate this technology? >> thank you, ma'am, for highlighting this. we are working closely with a couple industry partners to include space-x as well as air force and space force on this particular issue. if uh-uh you think about the possibility, and it's a real possibility, to be able to take a c-17 load, say 80 short tons, and lift it off and deliver it anywhere in the face of the dploeb in less than 60 minutes, that is a real possibility in the near term. while we can't scale that to the entire requirement of the mobility enterprise, to your point, senator, it offers us great flexibility and i think it
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creates a powerful dilemma for potential adversaries to move very, very rapidly. >> you will let us know if you need further support or authorization to move us on this, the development of this technology? >> i will, ma'am. we do not at this time, but thank you for that. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator. allow me to recognize senator scott, please. >> thank you, chairman reed. general wolters and lyons, thank you for your service and the men and women who serve and put on the uniform to serve and protect this country. harbor allies, harm the u.s. through cyber attacks and catch up to us on advanced equipment.
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i'm aware of communist china and russia to catch up to us and harm us. how do you deal with these threats and are you concerned about a potential cut to the defense budget under president biden? >> senator, we're concerned about all those threats. i certainly agree with every one of the categories that you pointed out. and as a traditional commander, i will tell you, i have a force that's getting faster every day and is better postured every day, but i'm never satisfied in our speed and posture. adequate to improve our command and control and readiness with a reduction in those resources from a monetary perspective, there will be a corresponding degradation in our capabilities in those areas. as we speak, it is adequate. and my suspicion going forward is we will have add equate resources to effectively win in competition if called upon to do
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so. we must continue to improve our competitive advantage in all the areas that you point out and i pointed out from a c2 perspective. >> if you saw a cut in the defense budget, where would you -- what could you cut, if you had to cut things? what would you reduce? >> i would have to take an incremental reduction in isr that supports imw and an incremental reduction in r2 that supports our ability to respond, and i would make sure that we're adequately resourced in the mission command/source readiness area. >> how long would you be able to do that before you would have to say to us that you're not ready? >> it just depends upon the magnitude of reduction, and i don't have the specifics on what the budget looks like, but base ed off the evidence i have today, from an adequacy standpoint we're in good shape in the near term, between now and the next five years. >> thank you. general wolters, it's clear
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turky and president erdogan is not our ally nor a helpful member of nato. i met with erdogan during the trump administration along with my republican colleagues to question turkey's ongoing relationship with russia. i introduced legislation calling for sanctions against turkey for purchasing the air and missile defense system for the russian federation and questioned their membership nato. it seems like only erdogan has gotten worse. what's your thoughts about the value of our relationship? is there any value today in that relationship with turkey? and where do you see it going? >> there is, senator. i must tell you, they remain a vital nato partner. from a military to military perspective, turkey being the second largest military in nato, they do assist greatly in the area of deterrence and competition. one of the reasons we have such trust, mill to mill, is the fact that the 2300 u.s. military members that live and work each
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day on turkish soil are appointed and given tremendous force consideration on behalf of the turkish military and that trust from a mill to mill perspective remains very, very high. but, as you said, they are no longer part of the f-35 program with the united states. we understand the decisions that they made with respect to the s-400. we understand that sanctions are working. we will continue to work with our military counterparts. as we move forward mill to mill, they remain a very vital nato military partner. >> did you ever understand why they did the s-400? does it make any sense to you? >> senator, it doesn't, unless it was for the purpose of an easy way out with respect to money. >> thank you. i yield back. >> thank you, senator scott. senator peters, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to both of you for your service to our country. general wolters i would like to
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begin, in your opening statement you alluded to the conflict only in the context of russia's role in brokering a cease-fire agreement in november. i would appreciate your thoughts as the supreme allied commander in europe on some of the broader implications for regional stability. foremost on my mind is the fact that azerbajan is still holding an estimated 200 armenian prisoners of war. i understand that's a diplomatic endeavor outside of your area, but as someone who is in charge of watching that area very closely, i would like your view on thun resolved issue. >> it remains a frozen conflict. obviously, the activities over the last 90 days were concerning to all. one thing i will mention, senator, that i was proud to report on was the active
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involvement of many nato nations on the periphery to assist in calling for recognize sill krags reconciliation and calming of tensions. this was curtailed. a certain set of circumstances remain with regard to the territorial pursuits, that there is goodness in the fact that observation posts have been created jointly and our ability to see the environment is greater than it was in the past. we still have a lot of work in front of us to make sure from an observation perspective, we can achieve more productive campaign momentum with respect to achieving peace in the nk. >> from a military perspective,
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azerbajan's drone fleet highlighted sophisticated weapons systems, tanks, radar, surface-to-air missiles that did not have specific drone offenses. is that how you prioritize, counter uas capabilities in your area of responsibility? and what more do we need to do? >> i would tell you, senator, i wasn't surprised with any of the actions that took place in the vicinity with respect to small uas. as you know, based off many of your good efforts in the past, we've got a dedicated d.o.d. lead with respect to countering small uas. i think the campaign momentum with respect to missile defense sim proving so we can counter that kind of capability against us. we're traversing in a productive fashion. >> i had a chance to see that in yuma proving ground where you're testing those defenses and opening up a process to the
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department of army at large. clearly, you're weighing in heavily for the need of that type of technology to be developed, and i appreciate that. general lyons, your opening statement reported a partnership with cyber command to implement zero trust on your network environment. trans com relies heavily on commercial shipping. 95% for steady state, sea lift operations, 90% for ground steady state and contingeny operations and 90% for air passenger. my question to you is, how do you ensure that your next network environments for your commercial partners are secure? >> senator, it's a great question. we spend a lot of time both on the doden and off the doden, nondoden activities. understand the full spectrum and potential vulnerabilities of the mobility enterprise.
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we work closely with our industry partners. we've got consistent hygiene language in all of our contractual relationships but more importantly, we're talking to the senior leadership of all of these countries. we provide insights on best practices. we're developing a group of principle for a third-party indication. basically this will be a new venture for the department to be able to confirm or deny cyber compliance. so a lot of work on that area. the industry partners are coming along. but i don't want to mislead anybody to think that we have some magic ability to protect commercial partners from an advanced, persistent threat. i would say, though, it's bigger than cyber. resiliency is bigger than a networks piece. it's a bigger redundancy.
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i am confident in our approach with that. >> annual self assessments based on the skylines. where do those assessments lead? is there more work we need to do? >> senator, there's always more work to do. they come in at an executive level. we share those assessments. you know, for example, one of the concerns might be multifactorial authentication. we have those conversations. i find that inside the board rooms today, they are very cyber savvy, committed and want to improve their cyber posture so we're pushing on an open door. >> great. thank you. >> yes, sir. >> thank you very much, senator peters. via web-x, senator blackburn, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and to each of you, i say thank you for your service. we are greatly appreciative of the work that you do every
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single day. general lyons, let me stay with you there on the cyber security issue. trans com has strategic mobility missions on a daily basis. there are varying levels of detail. and so as we move personnel and equipment in and out of the different theaters, how much of that information is communicated across classified versus unclassified networks? >> senator, i think you're aware that a great deal of our information is moved across unclassified networks, both inside the doden and, of course, outside the doden. that unto itself isn't the risk, as long as we take the proper
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procedures and measure of defense and encryption but a large volume of our description moves across networks. >> i think it would be helpful if we had a percentage and kind of a threshold at which we need to classify some information for course protection purposes, but not others for uncleared personnel. and that is an area that in my opinion, would serve a little bit of a deeper dive and a bit more attention. general wolters, the nato 2030 report identifies china as a full spectrum systemic rival. and that is something that i agree with. it is not only -- china is not only a security threat, a national security threat, they are an economic threat. the way they are pushing the
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belt and road initiative, the way they are pushing debt diplomacy is something that should give us pause. because it all feeds in to the civil, military fusion that they practice and live every single day. so, since the last time you were before us at this committee and we discussed this issue, what has -- and i'm quoting now your commen -- expanding the competitive space mean to ucom specifically to competition with china, and how does this afbt the work we do, the mobility with our nato allies? >> it has a large effect, senator. i think it's an imperative as a result of the way that china conducts activities to take a
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whole of government, whole of nation, whole of military, all domain approach with the activities of china as they bear on the european continent. and we're obviously very concerned with respect to huawei 5g, the proliferation of their involvement with seaports, arial ports and we're paying very close attention to all of those areas. in the information environment, as a nation who supports democratic values being part of an alliance that supports democratic values, we told the truth about some of the sacrifices that nations would make if they continued to endeavor in 5g. and we've actually seen a little bit of the turning of the tide with respect to china and 5g huawei, nations electing to go in different directions. as you well know, senator, the united kingdom made that call recently and we're in a position on the european continent where several other nations are doing the same. vigilance remains sky high.
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there must be an all-domain approach and all of government, all of nation approach to this challenge. >> well, i agree with you on that and totally believe if we look at china as a problem set that we need to solve, that we're going to have to have our allies working with us. so talk with me if, you will, for a couple of moments about any physical roadblocks, any regulatory roadblocks that are -- that would prohibit movement of our forces ar, nato allies or their working with us on the china issue. >> no roadblocks at this time. >> okay. >> but what we are anticipating is an increase in our demand to
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share across secret information lines. from our policy perspective to be able to share certain classified information. we are achieving success in that area with the assistance of this committee and i would ask for your continued endorsement in that area to make sure we can adequately share information so that we can make headway against an influence on behalf of china. >> i agree with you on that issue. >> that goes back to the amount of information that we're communicating over classified and secure verse unclassified and secure and the danger that may put our men and women who are currently deployed in various areas that that may open
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them to. i've got a couple of other questions that we will submit i see senator duckworth is there, waiting. so i will yield back my time and allow her to get her questions in also. >> thank you, senator blackburn. let me recognize via web-x senator duckworth. >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you to my good friend from tennessee. i have discussed portions of our supply chain with the department's civilian laerdship, dechlt f sec of defense. i've discussed it with service chaefs, commandant of the mar aen consider and admiral davidson. i've discussed advancement way knead to make in our logistic capabilities in order to face the awe neek challenges of the ind o-pacific's geography and threat of real competitors.
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i've been diagnosed in my insistence we will not be able to build a combat credible idea tenderness if we do not have the logistics capability and capacity it realistically support our complex military operations. my takeaway from these conversations with these many defense leaders is that they do recognize the prb and do agree with mae, yet it still doesn't seem to me like we are adequately investing in transportation command and strategic arms capabilities. general lyo ns, it's good to see you today. in this setting, as far as you can in this unclassified setting, what are your biggest capability and capacity challenges, shortfalls and statement necessary for our operation plans? >> senator, let me say thank you for your strong, unwavering advocacy and assurance and
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really be able it respond to when that's is he critical. i know you're aware of many initiatives. we've alluded to some work inside the department on the joint concept for contested logistics. i think this begins a very important journey for us across the joint force and department to fully integrate the logistics, war-fating function amongst all war-fighting functions that will be critical as we move forward and evolve to support both the changing character of warfare and to support the change in character warfare. a lot going on there to include some of the discussions you just heard on cyber. we are, in fact, getting good spurt and good collaboration across combatant commands and
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inside the department that i think are most important. whether they be mobility or liquid energy to ensure we can continue and sustain the force well into the future. >> thank you. >> evaluate cyber requirements in terms of your civilian partners? how do you enforce cyber security measures? >> yes, ma'am. thank you. >> that's currently done through self assessment and self reporting. we are working a proof of
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principle for a third party to be able to validate compliance. that's a relatively new initiative. we have to work through the feasibility of that. we are working in that regard. i would say, though, today we have a transparent and good level with our partners. we're pushing open a door when it comes to cyber risk. we are getting good cooperation and at the end of the day we knead to make sure we don't have any gaps inside our efforts. >> thank you. i would like to remark on your remarkable career and trans com is a cap stone. it's my personal -- i want to thank you how well you've done there and moved both capacity
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and capability forward when it comes to logistics for our national security. i can't thank you enough for your dedication. hope you have a wonderful early part of your retirement where you say you're going to go under ground. enjoy that. i'm sure we'll see you around. >> general wolters, i want to ask you a pfau more questions about ukraine. an alumni of your organization said he believes that russia buildup in the donvos area isn't about donvos but trying to take
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control of the sea of az ov to stage russia for further. have you seen that interview and if so what do you think of general hodges' comments? >> i haven't seen the interview but i, too, am concerned about the protection of sovereign activity in the vicinity of the black sea. >> this was a concern back in 2015, was it not, after ukraine first made its encouragement into the donv os, that they were going to try to build a land bridge to crimea? >> it was, sir. >> that would be deeply harmful to ukraine and the black sea region and europe more broadly? >> concur, senator. >> thank you. i know you were asked a question earlier about the javelin
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missiles. to be exact those are in possession of ukrainian armed forces and they're entitled to use those anywhere in their country and in any manner they need to defend their territory? >> that is correct, senator, for defensive purposes, to defend their sovereign territory. >> javelin, by definition, is a defensive weapon. wouldn't you say? >> i would, senator. >> i'll relay what story from summer of 2015. >> we met with troops from there and then forces that rallied to come to ukraine's defense. former tank commander, of the red army and now commander of this new unit. he was pleading with us at the time to convince the obama and biden administration for the
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javelin and they never did. he said to us, mr. senators, we do not need 100 javelins to use against russian tanks. we only need one javelin to use against russian tankers and then they would think twice. would you agree with that, general, that one javelin would make a lot of russian tankers think twice? >> i would and i think you accurately characterized the spirit of the ukrainian armed forces. >> thank you. let's move on to another manner about making russians think twice. >> our long- overdo departure, how should nato posture forces to adapt to missile threat and what in particular should we do to focus on missile strike
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capability in the theater? >> as we talked before, we have to continue to improve indications, warning, command and control so we can cede deeper into the environment and respond quicker. if we'll continue to improve those areas with respect to the air, missile and defense programs we have in work today, we'll keep the campaign momentum traversing in a productive direction. >> are nato allies comfortable with those capabilities that can hold at risk russian targets that previously would have been within the inf prohibitive range of missiles? >> i would characterize the environment as the nations are becoming more comfortable as they gain greater understanding of the operational environment. >> if they're going to start putting missiles in cuba,
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bahamas, mexico zblie concur, senator. >> seems to me like we should do a lot more. thank you, general. thank you, general lyons, as well, for your thursday. >> thank you, senator cotton. let me now recognize senator kelly. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, general wol techlt rs, general lyons. we train so we're prepared i want to hear directly from the two of you, what were the top lessons learned from defender europe 20 and how does that translate in the changes to the exercise coming up in this year?
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>> senator, number one lesson learned, employable air base systems. in moving at speed with large formations across the atlantic, in getting to point, ultimately to the appropriate foxhole with the ready force member. more so than we could have possibly imagined in defender europe 20 verified that. >> general lyo ns? >> thank you. we do, as a nation, have the ability to move immediately if required and follow it with a divisive force. in order to get the force to him
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i felt very confident in our ability to deliver the decisive force when needed. >> sea lift capability, was that tested? we had more navy resources, msc resources involved. do you feel you have the sea lift capability you need if this was not an exercise but was -- if we wound up in a real fight? >> senator, i think you're aware, we have a lot of work to do on sea lift. we have an aging fleet, that has readiness challenges and we've got a plan to, you know, remedy that, over the next decade. in this particular exercise, some organic, some frankly being integrated in the hand-off between second fleet and six fleet in europe, it was a great test of our ability to coordinate the transatlantic
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crossing and very successfully so. to your point, we have work to do on the broader sea lift capacity because in a surge environment we're making quite literally hundreds of turns as opposed to dozens of turns, as in this case. >> general wolters, further in eastern europe, the infrastructure was designed for war saw, pac nations, designed for things to be traveling east to west. did that come up in part of the exercise in transporting our troops? >> it did, senator. over the course of the last three years we've had the opportunity to specifically work on road and rail from west to
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east, central germany to hungary, bull gara. it's something we'll continue to work on but we're much faster than we have been in the past. >> finally, in the remaining minute, how would you like to see this exercise change to make sure we are as prepared as possible? >> we're in the process of and one of the changes is a cyber red team and we want to improve our cyber defensive posture through the duration of the exercises involved with defender europe 21. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for being here. >> china is our pacing threat.
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given that, what can you do in the department in the pacing theater? >> senator, my first response is what we do to effectively compete and deter against the nearest peer competitor in europe, russia, is effective in deterring china because of the connectivity between the two nations and willingness of both nations to engage in maligned influence against the united states and against nato. those activities that allow us to continue to be successful in the competition phase against russia are also helpful against china. whether it's pointing out the path to 5g with huawei, and seaports and investment in europe. >> nato, there's been a lot of talk about their role in helping
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confront china. wouldn't it be helpful if our european allies did more to bear the burden of confronting russia so we could focus on the pacing threat in the pacing theater? >> no argument here. the nations are very fixated on russia. there's no hesitancy on their part. i say that as a result of producing the first nato military strategy? over six decades, deterrence and defense in the atlantic area. all of those codify the challenge we face against a maligned russia. the nations have been taking into account russias a malign influencer in the region. >> let me ask you about our nato allies spending in 2014 i think it was, agreeing to spend 2% of their respective gdps on defense by 2024. the world has changed a lot
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since 2014, and with respect to our pacing threat. given the change to security environment, do you think 2% is still the right target? >> i do, senator. the ten nations that meet the 2% minimum, all the nations involved have allowed us to get our hands on 130 billion extra dollars and that makes a big difference with our ability to effectively compete. >> has ucom done any analysis as to that 2% number, why you think that's still the right number? >> sir, ucom has conducted analysis, nato has conducted analysis and the 2% is still viable with respect to our ability to build a competitive age against near peer competition in europe. >> would you be willing to shear that analysis, general, in the appropriate setting with this
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xhet? >> yes, sir. >> thank you very much. let me just ask you, before i move to general lyons about isr. you mentioned in your opening statement that timely indications and warning would be key to blunting any russian attack in the baltics. isr is a scarce commodity. forces in the pacific also need a timely indication of warnings to chinese tacks particularly with regard to taiwan. my question is, how do we minimize the amount of american isr that's needed in your aor so we can monitor russian forces effectively, but also continue to bolster our deterrent posture to pay com? >> continue to communicate to our allies and partners the criticality of isr and indications and warnings and what it affords you the opportunity to do before uh-uh get to crisis or conflict. in nato, we're having success
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with that. >> thank you. admiral darchdson has recentlily warned much sooner than we might otherwise have anticipated. what do we need to do or have in place in. indo-pacific region in your view? >> admiral davidson has done great work out there. it still has to continue in terms of the posture. not just in the pacific but the global posture. >> a physical advantage of to come when we're told to come. i know there's still work to be done as we evolve and look at the future character of warfare but i think we're on the right path to support admiral davidson's initiatives.
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>> very good. my time is expired. >> thank you, senator hawley. senator tuberville, please. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. how important is it for us to move up in space command? i know we're on the infant ages of that but what do you think about space command? >> senator, i think space is clearly war-fighting domain. i think the creation of space com as well as space force is critically important to the way we're going to operate in the future. you know, the character of warfare as we see it. i can't really comment on the basing issue.
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i will confirm knowing at huntsville how critical that installation is to army operations and other operations and such. >> thank you. general wolters? >> couldn't agree more. space is a war-fighting domain. it's a pretty large domain compared to all the others. it's important we understand how to effectively compete and deter and defend in space. >> what do you think about laser warfare? i've seen examples of that in huntsville and what we're developing. do you see a future for that? >> i do, senator. >> i would say it has to remain on the table. >> thank you very much. and just a quick comment earlier about some things that were said. i was disturbed a little bit about you using the word white
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supremacist. i'm a football coach in trade. and i built teams. and that's what you're doing. you're building a team. we've got people in here that's never been on a team. they don't understand. you recruit people and make something out of them. you bring them together and you fight together. you live, you eat, you breathe. they come from all economic backgrounds, every culture in the world. some people don't understand that. they don't understand it. and you will eliminate them, as i did when i was coaching. if you had somebody that wasn't a team member, they were gone. you do the same thing in the military. we need to stay out of that. we need to leave it to the generals, which to me are the coaches. the people who do it, get it done, know these young men and women because listening to our people we were talking about drafting in the future, drafting women. this is a dangerous world, dangerous world. and we can't sit back and try to
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tear our military down from people that really know nothing about it, about building a team. i want to apologize for that. i mean, that was not a good selection of questions, i don't think, for this committee. because we're here to give advice if you want advice but you don't have to take that. pointing to secretary austin, he's an auburn guy. first thing we do is stand down. stay out of it personally and in terms of publicly. you kept it within because you've got to build because you divide if you start bringing it up publicly. we need a killing machine and we're going to need one, just looking at what's coming. thanks for your service and your building and hopefully, we can keep people out of what y'all do and do great, because you're the defense of the world, not just
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the defense of this country. thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, senator tuberville. thank you, gentlemen, for your testimony. let me yield to senator. >> no further comments and the hearing is adjourned.
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>> as a preview of what's available this weekend on c-span3. evening of programs on the life and legacy of abraham lincoln. we begin with the tour of the
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peterson house where president lincoln died. john wilkes booth shot the president as he watched a play across the street at ford's theater. enjoy american history tv every weekend on c-span3. listen to c-span's podcast the weekly. this week, house majority whip james clyburn of south carolina, chair of the congressional black caucus talks about the history of the group and their priorities moving forward. >> stay focused, stay in touch with the aspirations and dreams of the people who look to you for leadership, not necessarily who you may represent. i'm the only african-american in the congress from south carolina. but south carolina is a state of over 4 million people and right around 29% of whom are
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african-americans. so, though i have one of the seven districts, there are african-americans in all of those districts that look to me to help. c-span is c-span's new online store. order a copy of the congressional directory, compact spiral bound book with contact information for every member of congress, including bios and committee assignments and contact information for state governors and the biden administration government. order your copy at c-span every purchase helps support c-span's nonprofit organization. next on c-span 3, a hearing on the


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