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tv   Hearing on 2023 Air Force Space Force Budgets  CSPAN  May 16, 2022 10:26pm-11:59pm EDT

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president biden's 2023 budget request.
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[indiscernible] >> we ask that you remain on mute. members are virtually responsible for muting.
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>> chief of space operations. this year's budget request of the air force is making large beds under ability and capability, coupled with full plan to divest legacy aircraft systems over the next five years, able plan and i am with you on that. then, there is the nuclear modernization, which is placing pressure on modernizing the conventional force. this pressure will continue throughout the current five-year plan and beyond.
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the air force is trading near term capacity for what hopefully will be successful investments in the capabilities needed to fight the challenge from china. as president biden stated this week, this administration is tackling inflation. as the rest of the services department and air force is not only not immune to inflation, but i know you gentlemen will be scrutinizing how to keep costs down in the budget and make sure any inflation is truly inflation to the requests being made. the fy2022 budget for space force reflects an increase of 30% of the fy 22 levels. some of this is due to the establishment of a new military personnel account which was previously included in the air force budget and was planning to be transferred to the state development agency and into
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space force. however, even after adjusting for these transfers, the budget increase is substantial, 18%. with this comes more responsibility and officially it will deliver operation of the. we'd like an update on the progress made in bringing greater discipline to delivering systems on schedule and within the budget. i would also like to congratulate mr. frank was recently confirmed by the senate to serve as assistant secretary of the air force and will serve as the first ever space position executive. we welcome his expertise and we wish him well. i would also like to take a second to think all the men and women who serve under your command in the air force or the spaceports for their daily diligence and hard work in service to our country. i would also like to note for our members that we will be here having a classified briefing
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with the secretary-general immediately or as there have announced after this hearing. so i would like to turn to the ranking member for his opening remarks. >> thank you madam chair. i would like to thank each of our witnesses who were with us today. thank you for your service and the service of those under your command. i look forward to working with each of you to find and equip our airmen and guardsmen. i am deeply troubled by the administration's week requests for defense. we are seeing marketable adversaries and this requires more resources. some aspects of the requests are encouraging, such as the air force prioritization of nuclear modernization. however, a question many aspects concluding that investment of legacy systems. again the air force is looking to reduce its structure including capable platforms like the f-22 and the a-10.
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this committee needs a better understanding of how we can meet the threat environment with a reduced inventory. i am also pleased to see the spaceports continue to grow its capabilities as the subcommittee knows, nearly all our military operations rely on the continued dominance in case. general raymond, i look forward to hearing how you are working to right size the shape of the force. throughout this year we have heard testimony from other geographic combatant,. i continue to be externally concerned that the services, the air force in particular, are feeling to prioritize the war fighting needs. i am an advocate for accelerating change and accepting risk to do so. i am encouraged by the advanced manufacturing and software-first approach you are taking for the next generation of systems. however, we cannot overlook our urgent were fighting needs to instead divert funding to untested and unproven systems.
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hope is not a planning strategy, as my old man used to say. it certainly will not enable a capable response to any conflict that may break out around the globe. before i close, i must reiterate my concern about how inflation is easing into the dod's buying power. though everyone saw it coming, the levels of inflation today are the worst we have seen in decades. even worse, we don't know what will once we pass the fy2022 rebuild. sharp increases in fuel, shipping costs and other consumer goods will have a disastrous effect on your ability to train. i am a big supporter of the use of augmented and virtual reality training, but pilots need to fly real missions against pilots. the air force just canceled a large contractor, adversarial air. i would like to see your training replacement plan going forward. as you know on june 30, 2020, my
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constituent, lieutenant david schmidt, tragically lost his life during a training mission that shot air force base. his death is a painful reminder to what we risk with limited flight hours and insufficient training. it is clear that more work is necessary to ensure this doesn't happen again and that our servicemembers don't pay the price for a shrinking budget. it is critical that we work together to provide adequate resources to fully fund weapons systems, operations, and training. again, thank you for taking the time to be with us. with that, i yield back. >> thank you, mr. calvert. as ranking full member of the committee, which elect to make a statement, ms. granger? rep. granger: thank you, chair mccollum. i want to thank each of the witnesses for appearing before us. i look forward to hearing from
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you about how the air force and spaceports are preparing for both current and future conflicts. i want to begin by restating my serious concern about the inadequacy of the administration's request for defense spending. inflation is dramatically decreasing the department's buying power and this budget proposal fails to provide the funds needed to maintain and modernize our military. looking at this year's request, it's clear that the air force wants to retire older systems to find ones. this needs to be done in a thoughtful manner. he must be prepared for future conflicts, and we should not do that at the expense of current needs. as the war in ukraine has shown us, it is critical that the united states have the warfighting inventory that's flexible, capable, and ready, and we must protect our strategic advantages in the air and in space. as we develop this year's bill, i look forward to working with all of you to ensure that our airmen and guardsmen have the
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tools they need to fulfill our national defense strategy. thank you, again, for taking the time to be with us today, and thank you, madam chair. i yield back. >> thank you. gentleman, we have your full testimony in front of us and members have copies of it made available to them. i would like to have as much time as i have for members to ask their questions, so i would encourage you please to summarize your statement and i want you to be complete but as succinct as you can be, also, when it comes to responding to our questions. i would like to proceed with the testimony, beginning with secretary kendall. >> thank you, chairman mccollum. members of the committee, i am honored to have general brown and general raymond join me in representing the nearly 700 000 airmen and guardians that defend our nation. we are thankful for your consistent support over the years.
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speaking in 1940, general douglas macarthur said the following, quote, "the history of failure and war can almost be summed up in two words -- too late. too late in comprehending the deadly purpose of a potential enemy, too late in realizing the mortal danger, too late in preparedness too late and uniting all possible forces for resistance, too late in standing with one's friends." i believe that macarthur made this comment after france fell to nazi germany's aggression. but before the attack on pearl harbor drew the united states into a war in asia. we are concerned about the obvious and acute threat of russian aggression. i would like to offer the committee a briefing that we have been giving on a hill that details the threat that china poses in detail more completely. i will be summarizing that in our classified session later today. that briefing lays out china's
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efforts to develop and field forces that can defeat the united states' ability to project power in the western pacific. our budget submission provides a balance between the capabilities we need today and investments in the transformation required to address emerging threats. with the requested budget, we will be able to support commanders in continuing campaigns that demonstrate our resolve, support and encourage our allies around the world simultaneously. it represents a significant early step in the transformation of the air and space forces, with the capabilities needed to provide advantage. there is a substantial increase in government funding. this investment is a down
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payment. we are comfortable with the balance struck in the budget submission. we also want to ensure the committee understands that hard choices lie ahead. this request is asking for divestiture of equipment that is beyond the service life, too expensive to sustain, and not effective against our challenges. these divestments are necessary to provide the resources to transform the part of the air force, to support us in greater deterrence. we appreciate the committee's support for divestiture in our request last year, and we ask for your support for those we are requesting this year and those in the future. change is hard. but losing is an acceptable. we can't afford to be too late. the work we have ongoing into the promoter of the air force is to define the necessary transformation of on seven operational imperatives each of , which is associated with some aspect of our ability to project
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power. as of today, there should be no doubt that great power acts of aggression do occur and equally no doubt of how devastating they can be for the victims of that aggression. we must pivot to transformational space architectures and systems. in fiscal year 2023, we are asking for funding to begin the transformation to resilient missile warning and tracking, and to resilient communications networks. second, we must integrate and efficiently employ air and space forces as part of a highly lethal joint force through an advanced battle management system. this budget continues funding for the early increments of abms and the ongoing work that will define additional investments that the department needs to cost-effectively modernize our command-and-control communications and battle management. third, we must have the ability to hold large numbers of air and surface targets at risk in a time-comfort scenario. this budget funds the e-7 wedgetail as an interim airwax
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replacement. fourth, our control of the air is being challenged and we must proceed to an affordable next -generation air dominance family of systems. fifth, we must have a resilient forward basing for our tactical air forces. this budget continues funding for agile combat employment in both the indo-pacific and european regions. sixth, we must ensure the long-term viability and cost effectiveness of our global strike capability within this budget. the b 21 enters production finally. the department of the air force must be fully ready to transition to a wartime posture against every competitor. members of the committee, i look forward to your support as we work to ensure this that america's air and space forces are never too late. one team, one fight. we welcome your questions. >> thank you so much, mr. secretary. general brown, please proceed. >> good morning, chair mccollum, ranking member comer and ranking member brady are and distinguish members of this committee. it is an honor to appear before you and represent the 689 000
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total forced airmen serving today i want to thank you for your continued support to our heirs and their families. i appreciate the opportunity to be here today with secretary kendall and general raymond to testify on the fy 2023 budget submission. a budget that continues to accelerate the air force's rate of change to address the security challenges articulated in the national defense strategy budget that continues to build , a on the successes of fy22 the world looks the united states air force as a lending example . airmen make air power look easy , but it is anything back. the world-class air force requires world-class airmen that are organized, trained, and equipped to remain the world's most respected air force. if we don't continue to transform, this may not longer be the case. we must continue to communicate and collaborate with this committee and key stakeholders so we can accelerate change last . last year's budget communicated the air force the nation needs for 2030 and beyond our message has not changed for fiscal year 23. and it will not change in the
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future budget submissions. we must modernize the counter-strategic competitors . the prc remains our pacing challenge. russia remains an acute threat. we must balance between the demands up to date and requirements for tomorrow . to do so puts our ability to execute the national defense strategy. it puts soldiers, sailors, marines, guardians and airmen along with our allies and partners at risk. collaboration is the critical word in excluding change, or losing. we are beginning to see successes of our collaboration efforts towards transition to the future. this year's budget brought substantial increases to research and develop meant. it is focused on placing meaningful military capability into the hands of our airmen investment in systems and , concepts that allow our air force to penetrate and dominate in any scenario. this is important as our investments -- we have been
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successful in beginning to divest systems that are increasingly irrelevant against today's and tomorrow's threats . we did not do this alone. the support of congress is much appreciated. x11 change is the impetus behind the department of the air force eggs operational imperatives. this means moving with a sense of urgency and doing so in the right direction. this year's defense strategy provides us the needed direction and when you combine the operational imperatives in a national defense strategy you see this year's budget is in alignment with what our nation demands of our air force. the air force we have been building is critical to integrated deterrence , campaigning, and building enduring advantages. because nuclear deterrence is the backstop of internet deterrence. this year's budget ensures our nuclear portfolios are fully funded. finally, the air force is investing in domestic advantages that allow us to defend the
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homeland, project our power globally, and operate as a joint allied and partner force. more than anyone, i want tomorrow's airmen to be ready to respond when our nation calls . this includes investing in programs that allow our all of our airmen and their families to reach their full potential as united states air force. as we celebrate our 75th anniversary this year, we are committed to remaining the world-class air force. the air force america can be proud of. i am certain there is still more work to be done. therefore we must continue to communicate and collaborate so we can accelerate change. thank you for the opportunity to be with you today, and look forward to your questions. >> thank you. general raymond, please proceed. >> chair mccollum, ranking member calvert, ranking member brady are, and it members of the committee, it is an honor to appear before you today with secretary kendall and general brown. let me begin by thanking each of
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you for your continued leadership in your strong support of our guardians and their families. as we testify before you today, we find ourselves at a strategic inflection point where we are faced with an acute threat from russia, and a pacing challenge from china. the russian invasion of ukraine has showcased the importance of space to follow instruments of national power. the information derived from space including commercial imagery has been instrumental in dominating the information environment , communicating with forces and detecting missile threats. it is clear that the character of war has changed, and space is foundational to that change. however russia's recent direct , ascent anti-satellite missile test last november is just the latest evidence of efforts to deny our nation the advantages that space provides. just as concerning our pacing challenge, china is integrating space into their military
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operations to detect, track, target and strike. we cannot allow potential adversaries to gain an unchallenged ability to conduct space-enabled attacks. our joint forces will remain at risk until we can complete the transformation to resilient space architecture and protect the joint force from space-enabled attacks. this is critical to supporting all aspects of the national defense strategy. to remain a world leader in space, this present budget requests prioritizing space and invests $24.5 billion to ensure our assured access to and freedom to maneuver in space the . the largest share in researched and development, testing and evaluation funding. almost $16 billion to modernize our forces, a portion of which will begin the pivot to a more resilient admission-capable warning and missile tracking design. notably, this includes funding for the space development agency which is included in the space force budget for the first time
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this year. in contrast to legacy approaches, this architecture will be built to survive and degrade gracefully under attack , help manage escalation, and be rapidly constituted. this transformation will also allow us to capitalize more fully on two of our national advantages -- our commercial industry, and our allies and partners. to increase readiness, we are funding operational test and training infrastructure. this ensures that we can get the right capability on orbit in the hands of operators trained and operating. robust tests and training capabilities are also critical to fielding our next generation systems. other key investments include increased funding for weapon system sustainment and a more resilient global positioning system and-generation satellite communications system. finally and most importantly, we invest in our guardians and their families. over the past two years, we have overhauled how we recruit assess , train, develop, promote and employ and take care of our guardians. resilient space power isn't just about satellites, it is also
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about guardians. this is one of the reasons why we are seeking the integration of active duty and reserve forces into a single hybrid component structure. this component is central to our human capital plan and will allow us to best align our full-time and part-time members. this is our number one legislative proposal. we look forward to working with this committee to implement this bold and transformational approach. as secretary kendall has mentioned, change is hard, and losing is acceptable. the transformation we're beginning now is essential to protecting the joint force and for the security of space thank . thank you again for your leadership and support of our spaceports. it is an honor to appear before you and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you, all. to the members who have just come in, we will adhere to the five minute rule. gentlemen, as you know, delivering space systems on time and within budget has been a challenge for quite some time. examples, the gps ground control segment was more than six years
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late and 70% over budget. gps handsets for war fighters are years behind schedule. the current missile warning system was delivered nine years late and $15 billion over budget. fixing acquisition is one of the primary reasons why spaceports was created. , so secretary kendall, you and i will have an opportunity to talk later today so i will focus on spaceports first. we need to make sure the overall space for a five-year budget is executable and affordable. the next five-year budget estimate is basically flat , raising a bid in 2024, before falling below the 2023 proposed budget level. secretary kendall and general brown, do you feel that the fy request and then the out year 23 projections reflect what will actually take to deliver successful acquisitions and programs? there are significant budget shortfalls that you are aware of
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over the next few years. if so, what programs could be put at risk? does spaceports believe it can carry out its mission to adopt a flat budget, reprioritizing current activities? if so, what would you prioritize question mark secretary kendall, and then general raymond. >> it's a great question, a very perceptive one. the transformation i talked about and the difficult choices that lie ahead are related to what you just asked me. we are starting the transformation of our capabilities in space with the missile warning architecture and the communications architectures that we are investing in 2023. we are also working to define our other needs both to provide the services that enable us to have the joint force in space can also protect the spaceports from attacks by our enemies in space. we have a lot of work still to do there, but we are off to a solid start. i don't anticipate that future
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budgets will remain flat. quite the opposite. we still have to decline -- we still have to make sure the programs in place are structured for success. we don't have massive schedules and cost overruns. we want to avoid that. there are opportunities emerging technologies but we still have to be disciplined and smart about how we invest in space. that is the picture that we see coming. at this point i think the 2023 budget is a good start because it is a good start towards those types of architectures and gives us the resources we need to decide what the next steps we take. >> i agree with what he said. if we acquire this force design,
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the same way we do legacy systems, it would be unaffordable. we have to change the way we do business. central to that is the work that you have done to modernize our acquisition system. you mentioned previously the current constellation and the overruns. it has met all of its key performance parameters and completed its critical design review. it is currently 25 months ahead of the average time it takes from start to launch. we are keeping laser-focused on this to make sure we are going to deliver on time. >> thank you. i am impressed with your enthusiasm that you're going to be on-time and on target on the budget. but i do have some concerns. especially as both the ranking member and i brought up
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inflation. inflation is something that wasn't fully baked into this budget. inflation in general doesn't mean an across-the-board increase and i appreciate your due diligence in making sure that when we have contracts or concerns about inflation that we are counting the right things in the right basket for inflation and not just taking across the board increases. we will follow up with some more questions for the record. i am yielding back time. mr. calvert. >> thank you, madam chair. >> general brown, you are aware of my disagreement with the air force views on the future of the reaper. it seems that when you do not want to keep an aircraft any inventory, you are labeling it not survivable without clearly describing what it means and requesting to divest it. i understand that if we are in a kinetic war with china, that the mq-9 will not be able to collect isr on adversarial territory but most of the world is uncontested airspace.
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communications in these areas desperately need more isr. every single commander i spoke to once more isr, specifically the mq-9. . i have four questions i would like you to answer. one, can you put more context and specifics into the term "survivability?" two, are we meeting our geographic combatant commanders' operational needs? three, the air force seems to have no problem justifying the purchase of fortune manned fighter aircraft at a higher cost than the more survivable fifth-generation aircraft, yet it refuses to see any value in a fourth-generation unmanned affordable isr platform. i can see value in mixing the fourth and fifth generation platforms. how do you explain the air force's differing positions on
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these platforms? and finally, if the air force position is to maintain the current fleet until the 20 30's and then retire the mq-9s, when will its replacement b prototype-tested and then fielded? >> there is a mix of capabilities we are bringing forward, and specific to the np9 and the isr and really broad across the air force. the air force is in high demand from our quebec commanders, and i speak to them quite often. 100 of the mq-9s are actually being transferred. there will be no impact to the combatant commanders. we maintain the number of combat lines. >> why do they disagree with that? >> i know that there are many customers. but we are providing them the isr we do have. again, the air force is in high demand. as far as their needs, there is
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a balance of needs between the combatant commanders not only for the mq-9's but rather aircraft. can talk more in the classified session on the specifics of these platforms. but there will be a mix. we will continue to have mp9's in our military. first on the fourth and fifth generation, we will have the same mix with our isr platforms. you will have platforms like the mq9 mixed with others. so there is a balance between what we currently have today and what will have in the future. we have to balance it against the threat. that threat we have been applicant for the past few years, particularly in the middle east, has been permissive. the threat we face today is less permissive.
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particularly the people's republic of china. >> i would point out that not just the middle east is permissive, but africa is permissive, south america is permissive. 90% of the globe is. when we take a look at the cost benefit between what we call survivable isr and what you define as an survivable, it is significant. we need to look at that and determine whether or not that risk is really worth it. both in the short-term and the long-term. so i look forward working with you on that, but as you know, i disagree with your basic premise on this. >> we don't do this >> get the right mix. i'm very happy to work with you and the rest of the committee and be able to talk to you in
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more detail about the approach, particularly as we look at the classified section. one last point i want to point out. you know the marine corps is buying more pay count, so obviously, they believe that they cannot count on the airport to provide that service which is really frustrating. because in the beginning they were saying with the airports it would run all of the isr and the csi how to do it in the army had to do it. and the marine corps is going to do it. and it should have been quite frankly all under one pump rela of the united states air force, but that change out of the bottle. thank you madam chair i feel bad thank you mr copper mr rutherford you're recognized general raymond in recent years the space development agency sda has accelerated its pursuit of low earth orbit constellations i believe that the proliferation of a leo satellite constellation is critical to our nation's
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future efforts in data communication missile defense projectile navigation and battlefield operations and more now as space force fully absorbs sda in fiscal year 2023 how does your budget ensure that we maintain the authorities and efficiencies we need at sda to remain on track for their important programs thank you for the question sir sda i i too believe that proliferation of a low earth orbit satellite constellation is critical the cornerstone of our budget is exactly that the space development agency has helped inform that they've been working side by side with us as we bring sda in those their capabilities their prototypes are included in this the way secretary kendall has has worked with rne when the the parent of sda today is that we've already treated them like they're part of our team or
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we're already integrating them and as we're going to bring them in and we want to give bring them in as they are to give them the flexibility to be able to operate as they are and then we're going to provide support to make sure that they stay lean and efficient and go fast okay secretary kendall now that we are more than two years in how do you assess the department of air forces management of building and integrating the space force and what hard budget decisions did you have to make in fy 23 to ensure we maintain our advantage in the space domain and i realize it's a broad question but give it a shot. >> i think overall i'm very happy with what i inherited as i came into office about a year ago i think general raymond and his team have done a fantastic job they have really laid out a path forward to acquire resilient capabilities and they're also dealing with what we need to do to protect the
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joint force from targeting from spacebar adversaries so we're on the right track and we've made some good steps in the right direction but there's an enormous amount of work still to done we have to define the rest of the architectures that we're going to need for space services and we have a number of things underway we'll talk about in the classified form that are important as well one of the key things we need to do is work closely with the intelligence community to ensure that the isr just came up earlier in the hearing it that we need from space is provided effectively from space the intelligence community has an intelligence mission but it also understands it needs to support operational forces and we're working in close collaboration with the intelligence community to define requirements that that meet both of our needs and then systems that will do that as well so that's a work in progress and that's one of the things that we'll be we'll be addressing in the budget and in future submissions. >> we the space force yes
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absolutely congressman stand behind it whatever fully committed to making it a success and move forward and this committee feels the same way i think you're back i think we all -- want space force to be a huge success we're next going to hear from ms granger and then mr kilmer the commander of the u.s european command testified about the incredible capabilities of the f-35 deployed in the region however the budget requests reduce the number of f-35s the air force wants to buy secretary kendall can you please explain the reduced number in your request and if the air force is still committed to f-35 and to what degree? >> absolutely committed.
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it is a cornerstone of our fleet and will be for many years to come. and people have asked me if we committed the program we're 15 years into production and i expect we will be buying it for another 15 years the the reduction we took this year and we'll probably extend it the next year was based on a number of factors there are a number of things we need to do in the tech era portfolio one of them was to buy out the remaining number of inventory of f-15exes that we need for the capabilities that the f-15ex would provide we want to increase the funding for the next generation of air dominance which will be the follow-on to the f-22. we have some other programs we need to move forward as well we also are very interested in or insistent on getting the block 4 capabilities for f-35 and the contractor's been late in delivering them so far so we want to see evidence that that he'll be able to accomplish that before we increase the production so that was a major
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factor. >> is the gentlewoman gilding back or does the gentlewoman have another question? mr. kelman. >> thanks madam chair and thanks for being with us i was us i was hoping to quickly cover two topics secretary kendall as you know air mobility command is the critical backbone of our nation's response to global threats air refueling is a key part of mobility commands operations we are fortunate to have both the 92nd air refueling wing and the air national guard's 141st air refueling wing at fairchild air force base on the other side of my state in spokane despite its critical role the 141st air refueling wing still operates as a classic associate unit without kc-135s as the air force bring as the air force brings more kc-46s into service is the air force exploring options to realign kc-135s to units like the 141st to provide added capability for the air force we are in the process of assessing where kc 46 146 46 will be based for the remainder of the fleet that we
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currently have we project we are constantly looking at debasing for cost of force basically. one of the things that we do pay attention to of course is that there is an enormous amount of political interest in retaining capability. one of the things we're asking people to look at is the flying capability is not always the best thing for you to have. there are other capabilities such as cyber and battle management capabilities. a lot of older aircraft are going to be retired. kc 135 has served us very well. i was on one and that is a very old airplane. we will be bringing down in our crest and going through the fit of the total number of tankers modestly. it's a request we have with the committee, but we are going to recapitalize that fleet and we are going to continue to do that. tankers are incredible important part of our force structure, but they're not the only thing that is important. we have to balance an awful lot of competing things as we plan for our future.
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>> the other thing i want to touch on his house and cured i know that you're dealing with issues related to recruitment and retention of service members. we've seen across the country a big spike in the cost of single family homes in my neck of the woods. it has gone up 24% from the last year. rent is up about 19% since the beginning of the pandemic and that affects everybody, particularly service members since unlike civilians they cannot choose where they live and have to deal with an increasingly competitive housing market. i applaud the dod for increasing the basic allowance for housing at the be getting of this year, but it is clearly not enough. i was hoping you could talk about what is being done to ensure that service numbers can actually afford rent or purchase a house at their new duty station and whether you are exploring any ways to increase on-base housing options as well. >> were looking at all sorts of ways to address this. what is happening as you indicated is the cost of housing has gone up dramatically and fairly quickly.
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we have secretary austin who is concerned about this. we have had a number of conversations about it. we are taking steps to in some places increase basic allowance for housing. you know, out of cycle if you will. and we need to support -- the support of the committee as we move forward, making adjustments, even in interim times, not just on an annual basis. it is something were tracking very carefully. we are try to make sure that we maintain the quality of our housing as well. that is important for us to. >> thank you. i will yield back. >> thank you members for being so considerate of everyone. mr. cole and then miss kilpatrick. >> great to have you. i want to begin by just associating myself what the remarks of the ranking member both of the full committee and the subcommittee about these concerns about the vestige are and about the overall size of the budget. you know just frankly with all the respect, too low and the
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kind of world that we are living in today. and i suspect that will be something the full committee and certainly the subcommittee will struggle with going forward. an example of this or one of my concerns is number one, we thank you for beginning to replace our airborne control systems. they are way out of date, they are old, they are aging. but i am worried about the speed with which you are retiring threes and these are again -- we have had this fight during the obama years and i remember talking to the chief. he said i'm having to cannibalize planes. i do not want to give up to keep planes flying that i need. i understand that dilemma. we should never put you in that the one month. i think you're in it again right now. these are high demand assets from a commanders standpoint, so give me an idea of how you are balancing this alterative because i am very worried that
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we were tired kid abilities that we need right now. we need them right now and frankly, probably not having enough on the others of this as we would like to have. >> thank you congressman. we have a gap today in airborne, early warning capability. currently, they are not where they need to be to deal with the threats that we are currently facing. and it is very difficult to maintain them. their availability rate is less than 50%, so what we hope to do by retiring 15 this year is to be able to increase the availability of the balance a couple of ways we can do that, we transfer people over to those aircraft to do maintenance on them. and we also have parts available from the aircraft that we are retiring. what we need to do is to accelerate the capability that we really need, which in the interim is the seven and get that as quickly as possible. there are limited possibility's to do that. it takes about two years to get the new airplanes that were going to be modifying and then another two years roughly to modify them. we are looking accretive ways to
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try to accelerate that process and to reduce the risk in it. and we are all very aware that this is an important priority for the air force. which i do every thing we can to move quickly grew >> i appreciate that but this is not like the casing 135 withers hundreds of them. 15 out of 32. and then saying we're going to have capability four years out is really high risk. i mean, you're going to have time where you simply do not have the aircraft that you need for early warning and control. >> the problem is we do not have the aircraft we need today. the a waxes we have are not adequate for the threat. >> i agree prude i praise you for that. i think you are right to be bringing out the capability degrade what i worry about is losing over the next four years and four years is a long time. and i have watched us again. i would rather a place capably as it comes on, but retire aircraft. but this idea of retiring this many now and hoping that we will
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have what we need in four years is a big risk to me. and one that i think is not wise to take. and again, we are putting you in that spot in my view by not giving you the budget that you need and capabilities or replace capabilities in a timely fashion. but anyway i said you know, be honest with you, i see that throughout the budget and again, i put the blame for that on us, not on you. we have stretch some of these platforms way too long you are exactly right on things like the kc 135 for things like -- we should've done this a long time ago, but retiring them too quickly now, i think is a risk and i would rather us give you more resources and have you bring on capabilities and retire as you bring on, as opposed to having a time where we drop from 32 plans by 58 down to 17 or so. that is just -- i don't see how you could meet the needs that
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you have from your combatant commanders if we made that kind of decision. and i suspect we see that again in an area after area, because that is where a ranking member was at, or concerns on the f-35, same thing. i do not have a lot of time and i want to follow the good example set by others, bottom chair, so i yield back. >> thank you. miss kilpatrick followed by mr. womack. >> thank you, bottom chair and thank you to all of the witnesses. secretary kendall and general brown, as you are well aware, my district is home to the largest concentration of a 10 aircraft in the world. with 89 based at davis mann thin air force base. these uniquely capable aircraft has been called upon time and time again to deliver incredibly effective close air support and a way that no other platform has been able to do, saving countless allied lives in the
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process. the budget request proposed a divestment of the fleet to 260 airframes, but the budget documents make clear that the air force only intends on procuring wing replacement kits for a fleet size of no more than 218 aircraft. you both have indicated that you do not believe there will be many viable missions sets for the a-10 in the near future. this is something we have heard from the air force for more than a decade. and yet, the a-10 continued to be called upon. the security situation in ukraine, which is largely as i mentioned the a-10 was designed for, by the way, demonstrates that the world is an incredibly
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dangerous and unpredictable place. i was glad to read this week that a-10's are applying to eastern europe to support the armories swift response exercise underscoring the jets utility there. i was also glad to read this week that the air force has determined that the a-10 and in particular its unique done system is capable of destroying even in the most modern armor and contested environments with the air force's own press release stating quote the a-10 is well-suited for agile compact combat employment roles and this test proves the a-10 can continue to deliver massive rapid firepower with devastating effects on enemy vehicles in a contested environments".
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clearly, there remains a mission for the a-10 beyond counterinsurgency, so my question for secretary kendall and general brown, do you agree that new wing sets must be procured in order to keep these aircraft flying into the 20 30's? mr. secretary, i am going to give you an additional 30 seconds beyond what you have to answer that and then we will go to the next question. >> our plan with the a-10 this year is to remove 21 aircraft and replace them with f-16s in indiana, so a relatively modest request this year. over time though, we do intend to vest the a-10 screwed we do not want to re-wing airplanes. that we intend to do best in the not-too-distant future.
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i am an army officer. i'm a big opponent for support and thin of the a-10 for almost my entire career prude the problem is it's an old aircraft that is designed for an environment that is not the one that were most concerned about now. it was designed to be very survivable against ground fire in particular. it is not survivable against modern threats. when we look at our pacing challenges, we have to get onto our next generations of capability. unfortunately, the a-10 does not -- this is not a cost-effective platform in that environment. let me ask general brown to sail a bit more about that prude >> the key part of the a-10 is to be able to operate in an area that has air superiority and that is an area that when we think about the intent we have to actually be able to take down the threat before it comes there. i can tell you from practical experience when i was air component commander for the united states central command, when the russians came in to syria, we had to move the operations for the a-10 because they could not protect themselves from the fighter aircraft above and so there's
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aspects of really concerning the threat that drives the reason why we are making a move away from the 10 -- the a-10 into a portfolio of the fighters capability. it's a transition to a bigger portfolio capability that is designed for the threats that we expect to see in the future. >> thank you very much. thank you to the witnesses and madam chair, i yield back my time. it has expired. >> thank you. mr. womack, and then miss kept her. >> thank you madame chair. generals, thank you for your service to our great country and the work that you are doing presently to the distinguished
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secretary, i want you to know that you are not alone that first week in november, even though you are situated between two very -- two air force generals. . when you try to channel that inner black night loyalty that i will be with you. i will have your back. football aside, i would like to just ask a question about the bridge tanker program. i know it is a program you are tracking closely, when you have been asked about and your other hearings on the hill. i know the air force has not determined the requirements yet for this bridge tanker. can you share with us when you expect the requirements to be finalized and what amc is looking at in developing these requirements. a critical piece of our national defense strategy. >> thank you, congressman. we are looking at what our operational needs will be going forward.
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and with the cost-effectiveness would be of various options. key to that is what we need operationally first. an air mobility command is looking at that. they are evaluating what class of tanker in terms of capacity and range and so on will be the best in the mix as we go forward. at one time, it looked as if we would be moving towards a platform that was significantly different than the kc 46. that is not at all clear at this point. so i have been trained to be very clear with people about the fact that the likelihood of a competition has diminished as we've gotten to understand the requirements better. we are not through with that process yet. we should be making a decision later this calendar year on exactly what the path forward will be. i want to be as transparent as possible about where the situation is. there is no decision at this point in time. i shared some of the same concerns of my calling from oklahoma, mr. cole had wrote particularly where it concerns the e3 aywax program.
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generally speaking, i have concerns about aircraft readiness and when you look across the spectrum of our aerial platforms, mission capable rates are a big concern of mine. and i know they're a big concern to the force as a whole. and ironically enough, i might be wrong, but i think the a-10 probably has a mission capable rate that is higher then a lot of the other platforms. but i do support the do vest -- the domestic are targets that you are looking at for terms of efficiency and need, and to be able to free up resources to address some of our other needs. how does that fy 23 budget process request address this issue and what are your overall goals and expectations for some of these numbers moving forward? >> we are working to increase the ability of aircraft. when i talk about balancing my
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opening statement, were try to balance current capabilities, which is a function of what resources we put into that versus resources we put into other things that are important to us. i think we have struck a reasonable balance. we try to meet the needs of our combatant commanders around the world. trying to focus in particular on the challenge in the indo pacific region, but also with developments in europe, were having to basically make sure that we are as capable there as we can be. as well as support ongoing requirements and other places. so i will look at all that. we try to make sure that we can retain that forward presence in capability, as well as search capability if it might be needed. at the same time, we are of course investing in the future. so we think we got the balance of about the right place at this point in time prude we are always looking for ways to improve. >> based on the analysis we do, we are focused on the analysis to look at what we project that tried to be, but also how we balance with the commanders
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need. talk in the building about balancing risk over time prude is the risk that you take today with the combatant commanders. how do you balance that so we do not buy down all of our risk here today and actually will be get to a future, we have a lot more risk. that is part of the conversation we are having as we move forward. >> well, i share the same concerns as mr. cole. look, this problem is on you and it is really from us. i do believe that we need to increase the spending so that we can buy down some of that risk. so that will be an effort i think that a lot of us will continue to fight going forward, but i do appreciate the service to your great country. and thank you so much and i will go back my time. >> thank you. it is captured then mr. carter prude >> thank you for your great service to our great
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country. secretary kendall, i wanted to just ask you a question. in terms of the current conflict in europe, with russia's war on ukraine, had the air force both in terms of regular as well as guard been integrated in a manner that allows excess space that may exist on cargo flights that are going over to europe anyway be made available to humanitarian groups in our country that are attempting to get goods there for example, rotary. there are many humanitarian groups, church groups, hospitals and so forth. it is so expensive by air. have you been asked to identify flights that are going over any way that might take goods into some of our allies tugged then sure that it gets into ukraine? >> representative captain, i'm not aware that prude we can check and take that for the record prude general brown, maybe our activities have been
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largely about supporting the conflict in providing things that as you are aware the president has brought a lot of aid to ukraine. the defense department has been very active in providing that and moving it over to europe. so we've had a lot of flights are going for the purpose prude i'm not aware the extent to which that may be additional capacity that was not used. it could be used for the purpose you describe, but it sounds at the reasonable thing for us to be doing and i would have to take it for the record to see what's being done or what could be done there >> i really appreciate that, yes. >> i'm not aware of any request so far, but we are willing to take a look at that and see where we can assist. >> there are assets sitting over the ground all over this country. and i appreciate your interest in looking at that. if someone could get back to me at some point, i would be very grateful for that. thank you very much. i wanted to ask general raymond, you asked to stand up something brand-new that is really hard. and i wanted to ask you as you
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look at where the space force is currently arrayed across the country, both in terms of physical space as well as human infrastructure, is it largely centered on one of the coasts? is it east coast? is it are made across the country? is there anything in the great lakes? did you give us a sense of what that looks like across our country? not specific locations, but just in general. >> thank you. and i am privileged to stand up the space force and i am proud of that team. largely, with space being in global domain, you have to have capability's around the globe to operate prude we operate in about six big hubs from california to the east coast. we got california, colorado, a couple different places in colorado, florida, new mexico, some of the big hubs. and we have smaller sites stationed in northern california, cape cod, north dakota, greenland, clear, alaska. so we are a global -- in europe, we are a global enterprise.
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again, very small numbers, 8400 active-duty folks by the end of this year, but it is a global presence. >> well, i would just like to say in terms of ohio, the home of john glenn and neil armstrong , the great lakes always seems to get left out and i am just making a plea. i cannot make anything happen in the city. i have tried for a long time prude but just pay attention to the great lakes. look at the number of enlistments that come from our region for each of you. and i know about. you know, but i'm just saying as we look forward, do not forget us prude you don't have to respond. >> i will not forget you. we do rely heavily on the folks. we have guardians stationed there as well. one of the big benefits that we have received quantifiable benefits that we have received in standing up the space forces our ability to attract talents. we have more people knocking on our door from around the world, around the country, then we can take. and so we will make sure we keep a close eye on and getting the
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right talents in the force. >> thank you very much and i have two other items, very briefly. i am wondering in terms of the reduction in requests for f-35 screwed i am privileged to represent the 180th fighter wing, which is a national guard unit that is always more ready and toledo, ohio. and i'm just wondering whether or not that unit is still on the list for consideration for f-35's? it was in the past. in view of the fact that you are suggesting that the procurement be reduced. >> do you want to do your other question so they can take it for the record? >> yes and also a research station in ohio on your list of potential sites for hypersonic missiles activities prude >> thank you. >> mr. carter and then. >> thank you madam chairman
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prude secretary-general, since world war ii we dominated airspace in our wars throughout the history of the united states. we political leaders and ordinary citizens are very fully where the progress going on in china. in your opinion, the fight tonight and in the future as we go through these process changes, we can be able to dominated airspace, so that we can win. fight and win in the fight tonight. >> no potential adversary the united states should doubt for a moment the capability of the resolve with united states or the capacity of the united states air force to do what it would be asked to do. we have the most for biddable fighting machine on the planet, but we are being challenged.
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and we are being challenged very effectively. the threat briefing i talked about earlier lays out the ways were being challenged, so we have to move to our next generation of capably says with as we can there is no doubt about that. the chinese have been watching the american way of projecting power since the first call 30 years ago and they spent the last 20 or 30 years investing in things designed to defeat the united states, so we have to respond to that prude and secretary brown said you have to accelerate change or we will lose and that is exactly accurate statement. that is what were trying to do in the budget in 23 is to affect some of that change. you have anything you want to add? >> that is the quality of our airmen prude is not the equipping we put in their hands, but the hard work that they do day in and day out to ensure were able to do with the nation has asked us to do. and i'm very confident that we can do that. by the same token, i do not want to put ourselves in a position where we have any doubt prude
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this is why we want to make the transition to the future. >> what's going on in the world, we are seeing a lot of people are coming based on what happens in ukraine it's going to have an influence on whether china decides to invade taiwan. which will put the fight over in the pacific and being in charge of helping out the heavy army. that is my job. we've got to dominate the airspace for our armor to be effective prude and we got armor fighters here and they know that. and therefore, i am worried about the drawdown that's when i'm thinking. i think that is the first question that mr. calvert asked. as we jot down and i read through that next question that mr. calvert submitted, it looks like you're just taking down an
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awful lot of platforms and hopes that we get to the future quickly. but our history is we don't. i would say what is take a look at the f-35. how long it took to get there. and so, there's many other platforms historically, we view our bureaucratically bogged down in our forces by some of the ways we procure and go forward. and were going to draw down in anticipation of being able to dominate in the future. it brings great concern to me, so i am going -- depending on you, that question is going to stand for the next five or six years. thank you. >> thank you, mr. carter prude mr. kryst and then mr. rogers prude >> thank you, madam chair very much. mr. secretary, as we see powerful storms and more
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frequent flooding impacting our military installations, imf that is concerned about climate change on our security and readiness. we've already seen catastrophic flooding and wind damage at the air force base in nebraska and tyndall air force base in my state of florida. many other facilities like macdill air force base in tampa bay near my district face similar risk. i wondered if you could talk about the threats posed by extreme weather events and what we are doing to respond to them? >> congressman, you get two great examples of the effect of it. tyndall air force base, also there are others where we have seen the obligations of more extreme weather. we are trying to take that into account in our plans to ensure that we are as resilient as possible. there are other effects of climate change around the world, which will change geopolitical behaviors and patterns around the world that changed our threat environment that we have to operate in. so there are a wide member of the facts in the department is very aware of this.
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and it is time to plan for it as best as we possibly can. >> thank you very much. i yield back. >> thank you. next is mr. rogers then mr. agee are and we will end with mr. aderholt. mr. rogers? >> secretary kendall, thank you for your service to the country. and for being here today with us. since vladimir putin put his finger on the nuclear button, has that changed our nuclear posture in any way? >> the short answer to your question is no. we have maintained a posture which we think is adequate, given the threat situation. but we are seeing a great deal of attention to president vladimir putin and the potential for something to happen there. it is a concern we are watching prude >> are posture has not changed. the work that they do day in and
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day out to ensure we maintain our nuclear posture. and then we would also work that very closely with united states strategic command, as well as her air force global strike command which are the operational commanders that have that responsibility as we ensure that our airmen are organized. training equipped to support our nuclear portfolio and make sure it is safe and secure. >> what level of threat are we under now? >> the weight i would characterize this is we really have increased intention just based on the rhetoric that comes from president vladimir putin based off of current events but i would also offer that we do pay attention to ensure that where we maintain our meetings, our nuclear port, not only our nuclear per folio but across all portfolios. increased awareness and we are paying closer attention particularly based on current events and how things are playing out with mr. vladimir putin and in ukraine. >> let me bring up the issue of jc2. modernization as we see in
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china and russia both increase their missile stockpiles and advanced hypersonic capabilities, i believe it is of the utmost importance that we are able to detect incoming threats before it is too late. secretary kendall in your opening statement, you mentioned that the fiscal 23 budget provides for an interim airborne warning and control replacement. i'm glad to see that we are modernizing, but i worry about the word interim. what steps are being taken to ensure that this interim solution remains an interim solution? >> two or three things in that question, congressman prude ee seven is an interim solution
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because we envision it at some point were going to need something that is even more survivable than that. the threat is doing for airborne surveillance and for any aircraft which performs that type of mission is trying to reach further out with legal -- legal mechanisms that can defeat those. traditionally the survive to a large extent by standing off, being further away from the threat. china understands that it is try to build systems that reach out further and they are pretty far down that path prude with the guard hypersonic scum to could go issue there is missile attack morning. and we have capably now that we can detect launches very well and it does a really good job of tracking ballistic missiles. hypersonic missiles are much more uncertain in their trajectories prude and they are more difficult to track prude so the new architecture is designed to do that from space. in general, we would like to move towards space race capably's for surveillance and against a variety of front. it's the most efficient force to do it, it gives us global coverage. if we couldn't do it and have
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resilient architecture, that is an ideal situation and one of the reasons i use the word and around when i talked about the seven. general raymond may want to sail a bit more about the hypersonic's and what the new architecture will do for that. >> i think you hit around that, mr. secretary. the architecture that you will see in the presence budget request has two things. one it allows us to detect and attract maneuverable hypersonic spirit which are more challenging today and the second thing it does is diversifies our architecture, just like you diversify your financial portfolio. it builds resilience to a threat on orbit prude >> are we able to keep up with the recent chinese advances? that is why were here. i'm very couple that we are the worlds best to date. and i am very comfortable that we have maintained and with your support, the resources to stay ahead of that threat. there's work to be done and we have to stay focused and move fast. >> the russians deployed
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hypersonic's in ukraine in the last few days. did our current systems prove useful in that observation? >> we have world coverage on being able to detect missiles and go into more details within the classified setting. >> all right, thank you. thanks gentlemen for your service. >> remember, we have about five votes pending shortly prude mr. agee lark, then mr. aderholt, and mr. ryan has not joined us. >> mr. secretary, thank you madam chair. mr. secretary, you previously said i wanted to follow-up up on the hypersonic discussion. you previously stated that china has an asymmetric advantage over the u.s. in relation to hypersonic's and i believe that we are crucial to invest in systems that we can compete with our near and peer adversaries.
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however, the air launched rapid response weapon in the air forces hypersonic glide missile has faced numerous challenges including the watch test failures in 2021 and in the fiscal year 23, budget air force is only requesting rdt and e funding for this program. you've stated that you are not satisfied with the pace. what is the long-term strategy for the arrow? and if we provide this funding, this fiscal year, do you anticipate being able to move into production in 24? >> that arrow is one of her hypersonic programs. it is one of multiple programs we have in the department of defense. the program has not been successful in research and development so far. it is sad as you indicated three at test failures. so we want to see proof of success before we make a decision about commitment to production, so we can wait and see the overall situation with regards to hypersonic spirit i think people are a little -- it is more complex than people i think often understand. we do not want to mirror image
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of the chinese necessarily. they have invested heavily in hypersonic's and they have done some tests, including the one that was an orbital capability basically last fall. the u.s. has a different operational problem then china does. there try to keep our forces out of the region and there is a target set that we present because that to them, they present a different target to us. and what we want to look out is what is most cost-effective mix of weapons. there is certainly a role for hypersonic's in that. we need to invest in that and procure them in some quantities, but there is still an open question my mind about what is the most cost-effective mix. hypersonic's has attractive features but they are expensive. people of asked me where we are relative to the chinese. basically, i think it is comparable from the point of view of technology. they have been very aggressive about boost client vehicles and trying to move forward with those prude we have been less aggressive, but i think in terms of our technological capability is, comparable, we have had more success with air breathing hypersonic weapons and the development of those, but it is still fairly early stages of
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development for those prude so it is a fairly complicated picture and we do need to get into some classified information to discuss it fully. >> i'm not interested in mimicking the chinese. i'm just try to understand the budgetary implications and the requests that you put before us, which include 115 million to continue testing in this respect. you're also requesting 634 million in hypersonic attack cruise missiles which is a large increase over 190 million divided in fiscal year 22. therefore, spent a few hundred million on hypersonic prototyping prude program hacksaw, only in that effort. so could you continue to expand? you have mentioned multiple layer's purity of also mentioned we can go into other venues and talk about this, but from a budgetary perspective, can you give us your thoughts on what
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the priorities are for hypersonic's and how do we continue to put money for research and to advance our interests without putting dollars into things that cannot get to production. >> overall, what we need to get to with hypersonic's is the ability to engage moving targets. current systems are limited in that cave ability. they generally are designed for fixed targets and there are some fixed targets that we might want hypersonic's to attack cost-effectively, but for the future, we want to get to another class of targets and i cannot really say much more without getting into a classified discussion >> thank you. i go back, bottom chair. >> thank you and reminding members we are five votes currently on the floor. we will be going into a classified briefing with the secretary immediately after votes. so please after the last of the five votes, go directly up if you are able to join us for the classified briefing.
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mr. aderholt and then mr. ryan. and mr. ryan, i will stay to make sure you can ask your question. >> thank you. thank you. in reviewing last year's space command basing decision to relocate space command headquarters to huntsville alabama, the inspector general ultimately found that basing decision quote complied with federal law and dod policy and that the process was reasonable, representing northern alabama, i can personally tell you that huntsville does a perfect combination for defense experts, businesses, skilled workers, educational opportunities and quality of life that will help space command accelerate our nations capabilities into the next generation. i look forward to seeing the gao report when it is released as i understand will be any day now. mr. secretary, let me address this question to you. assuming for this question that the gao report does not
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recommend overturning the original basing decision, can you briefly explain the process for reaffirming the basing decision and the timeline to stand up space command in huntsville? >> we are all hoping to move forward with the final decision as quickly as we can. we do need to see the final reports and assess those. and then, the normal process at this point would be we have picked a preferred location and some acceptable alternatives, basically a total of i think six. and so we need to do the process and evaluation of environmental impacts and so on, as well as look at other considerations before we finalize the decision. normally, that process would take on the order of four months total. there'll be about three months in which we will be doing the assessments prude end of the month of public comment, so i am very hopeful that one way or the other, we get a final decision within the next several months. >> so what would be the actual
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timeline to send up? what would be the actual timeline to stand up and that huntsville, assuming -- >> instead of after the decision? i would have to get it up for the record prude i understand it requires a new building to people for the headquarters. there is a lot of leadtime associated with that. >> oh, i see that fyi 23 request seeks to cut more than 100 aircraft in order to focus on the air force modernization priorities. and i understand and support your attempts to modernize u.s. air force to tomorrow's challenges, but concerned about the price and terms of aircraft and force structure. the budget proposes to pave to modernize. furthermore, even while we modernize, we must stay laser focused on defending the homeland. that is a given. the national guard and the reserve have long been low cost solutions for national defense. and in fact, air national guard
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performs 93% of homeland defense alert missions prude my question, has the department made any attempts to seek cost savings by transferring force of structure to the national guard rather than illuminate it from total force? >> like general brown offered his views on that too, we look at forced posture all the time prude and we try to have a balance between the active guard on reserve which is sustainable over time and which provides us a mix of immediately available capabilities and capabilities available in a slightly longer timeframe to meet all of our needs. now the role of the guard, and in particular in homeland defense, is really appreciated prude that is a cost-effective mission for the guard. >> we do a couple of things. as we do our reviews, we look at the active part reserve mix, but we also look at overseas and stateside mix. to truly maintain a healthy
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force because there is the dynamic to make sure we have the health of the force for the active guard reserve. as we do that, i look at it from a total force perspective. so are they down, it's not just the guard, not just the active duty, not just the reserve. it is how we lay down to make sure that we have the capability to do all of the things the nation has asked us to do. it's high-protein for us. and at the guard dozen outstanding job working homeland defense. and so they do play in our decision very highly as we lay out video prude in this case, the fighter for structure across united states air force. >> thank you. and i certainly think that is something that should be taken into consideration. as the department considered accelerating modernization of the air national guard alert units out of the f6, f-16 and f-15 airframes to the lv ex and the f-35 aircraft? >> general and, if that is going to take more time then you
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have, please submit that for the record. but i will extend it for another minute. >> i think we needed for the record anyway. >> mr. aderholt, i want to make sure you get a satisfactory answer. mr. ryan. >> thank you, madam chair. appreciate it. i will try to be brief here, knowing that the votes are going prude mr. secretary, i want to thank you first for speaking with me recently about the eight c-130 j's that this committee appropriated specifically for the air force reserve and i have spoken with general scobee, chief of the air force reserve many times over the years about the plans, which i fought very hard for, and which i am very grateful for chair mccullum and her staff, their diligence as well. and understanding of the need for helping our units upgrade from the h models to the j models, but i did want to note a couple of things as your team in
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the air force reserves finish the basing study that will ultimately determine where these planes go. firstly, that subcommittee has twice passed report language to the air force reserve that was written with these c-130 j's in mind and both the fy 16 and fy 17 had the reports state in nearly identical language that the air force reserve includes units that have a designated specialized mission, as well as a traditional tactical mission. and the committee encourages the chief of the air force reserve to review the requirements to ensure that specialized units are allocated equipment upgrades necessary to address safety concerns associated with these missions". so general scobee and testimony and 2019 before this subcommittee said the following. our fundamental basis is going to be that we put those aircraft in our special mission, which includes the firefighters in the
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aerial spray unit in youngstown. so point number two is that under the prior administration, this basing study was already delayed wants. it was put on ice after site visits, which you may know. after these site visits it already been completed at the aerial spring in it in youngstown and the firefighting unit in peter cham, colorado. so i want to urge you to use the work that is already been completed and complete this basing study in the most expeditious matter possible. and i just want your assurances, mr. secretary, that the air force and the air force reserve will complete a basing study whose criteria is in line with the criteria laid out by the subcommittee and that is consistent with the past statements of the chief of the air force reserve. and that is completed as expeditiously as possible so pilots are not forced to fly less safe aircraft any longer than they already have to prude
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>> councilman ryan, we want to move forward and make those decisions as soon as we can, so i can certainly commit to that prude we are in the early stages of that process. we fully appreciate the importance of the special missions, such as spraying and firefighting and even the arctic missions we have. so the c-130s provide a variety of functions. functions that are important to the department and the country. we are going to take that into account as we move forward to the basing process. >> great. yeah, the base is not far from my house and i talked to the pilots over there and you know, it is time for us to get moving on this. another pandemic has contributed to a certain extent, but we seem to have the information we need, so i really appreciate it and if you could just stay in touch with me on that, i have another question, madam chair. i'm going to summit it for the record for general brown on food a transformation prude general, i have been working on this for a long time, and i stated to the
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panel we had with the secretary of defense a few days ago, you know, we also, the appropriations committee also funds pa health and the high rates, the higher rates of obesity is driving up health care costs for active duty and veterans. and it is something that ties directly back to the issues around food. so i want to submit a question on food transformation and kind of engage on some of the changes that we have been pushing for, but i appreciate that and madam chair, i will guild back to balance my time. >> appreciate that, mr. ryan. this are covered, as we wind up, i have some questions for the record that i will be submitting, besides some technical questions staff have on the arctic hypersonic's. we will talk about that a little more, classified. the block upgrade that you were talking about, other things related to the f-35's, the
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nuclear modernization. mr. calvert, anything before i adjourn? >> just that i also will have some classified questions for the record. and when we get into the classified session, i want to obvious a get into the hypersonic issue in more detail. >> members, those are man, i will just might again, medially after the fifth vote, we will go into classified session within the capital. once again, i want to thank secretary kendall, general brown, and general raymond for being here today. please once again thank all those who served alongside of you, those who wear uniforms and those who come to work wearing civilian clothes. they all play an important role international security. without that concludes today's hearing. this subcommittee now stands adjourned.
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[inaudible conversations] .. >>. [inaudible conversations]
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