VICE ADMIRAL CONRAD C. LAUTENBACHER JR
DEPUTY CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS FOR RESOURCES, WARFARE REQUIREMENTS AND ASSESSMENTS
KOSOVO LESSONS LEARNED
Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you again. Our recent experience during Operation ALLIED FORCE taught us several new lessons and reaffirmed some from previous operations. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss these with you today. As always, I am very grateful for your support in ensuring that our men and women have the resources and training they need to respond to challenges today, as well as prepare for those of the future.
OLD LESSONS REAFFIRMED
Before I address the specific lessons learned from Kosovo and how they impact upon our modernization plans, I will address a few broader lessons that were made clear once again.
First and foremost, while we were fortunate not to lose any personnel, the skill, innovation, and professionalism of our men and women in uniform contributed significantly to that good fortune. We can never overstate that our people make operations such as Kosovo succeed. We must continue to strive to provide them the resources, training and quality of life they deserve. The help of the Congress has been invaluable in this area, and we thank you.
Second, the events in Kosovo should remind us of the value of the forward presence provided by combat-ready Carrier Battle Groups and Amphibious Ready Groups with their embarked Marine Expeditionary Units. The THEODORE ROOSEVELT Battle Group commenced highly successful strike operations three days after entering the Mediterranean and only 10 days after beginning her regularly scheduled deployment. The THEODORE ROOSELVELT Battle Group's performance is noteworthy for its many successes: scores of fixed targets destroyed, more than 400 tactical targets destroyed or damaged, and in excess of 3,000 sorties without a single loss.
Following the hostilities, another Naval force, a 375 person SEABEE detachment with 99 vehicles, tools and equipment to support itself undertook a very different mission. They constructed shelters for NATO personnel and the Kosovars, as well as helped restore running water and reliable power to the devastated region. This is an essential capability, and one we are determined to maintain.
Maintaining this level of deployed readiness, around the globe and throughout the year, cannot be taken for granted. It takes a proper level of resources and the most realistic training we can provide prior to deploying -- precisely the type of coordinated, live fire training conducted at the Atlantic Fleet Weapons Testing Facility at Vieques. I cannot say with confidence that future Atlantic Fleet battle groups will be able to sustain such a level of combat readiness if they are unable to train using that facility.
Third, ALLIED FORCE reaffirmed that future conflicts are likely to be "come as you are" affairs. Specifically, future conflicts will require mobile, combat-ready forces that can access the region early in the crisis. Arriving later, even with more combat power, will often entail greater risk. Today's Navy/Marine Corps team provides such a mobile, forward deployed and ready force 365 days a year. It should be noted that we may not always enjoy the allied bases and infrastructure support found in Europe during ALLIED FORCE. Furthermore, even the most well-intentioned ally may hesitate to grant us access to bases when faced with threats that could include missiles and/or Weapons of Mass Destruction. Robust Naval forces, operating from international waters, provide assured access in time of conflict.
Finally, the events in Kosovo reminded us that some elements of our readiness remains fragile. From our command elements to the combat units themselves, the operational impact was primarily upon our deployed forces, but some important effects were experienced by our non-deployed forces. In particular, increased support requirements during ALLIED FORCE stressed our Low Density/High Demand Units (LD/HD). Specifically, our EA-6B and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) squadrons were operating at maximum surge. This surge required the use of personnel and equipment from non-deployed squadrons, placing added stress on our people and resources. Additionally, we found it necessary to cross-deck additional Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) and Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) pods from the USS ENTERPRISE Battle Group to the THEODORE ROOSEVELT Battle Group.
KOSOVO LESSONS LEARNED
I will now turn to some specific lessons learned during the Kosovo operation and address what they tell us about our forces and how these lessons may affect our plans for the future.
The first lesson from Kosovo that I will examine concerns ISR assets. Today's naval assets operate as part of joint forces and nowhere is this more true than with our ISR units. ISR platforms are essential for the commander to assess the adversary's positions and movements. They are critical for accurate targeting and battle damage assessment. Accordingly, our P-3, EP-3E, and TARPS equipped F-14 aircraft were in constant demand by the Joint Force Commander. Although these platforms constituted only 21% of the available reconnaissance aircraft during ALLIED FORCE, they flew 36% of the missions. The EP-3E and special mission P-3 communities were adversely impacted by deferred aircraft maintenance, and very high PERSTEMPO. The special mission P-3s were actually used at twice the rate we had projected for a major theater war.
Clearly, the requirement for intelligence and surveillance is not going to diminish. Accordingly, we have several efforts underway to address the situation in the future. The President's Budget submission for Fiscal Year 2000 included funds for several upgrades that will give the EP-3E capabilities very similar to a RC-135. Additionally, we are purchasing additional Anti-Surface Warfare Improvement Program (AIP) upgrades for our P-3 aircraft that will enable them to employ the Stand-Off Land Attack Missile (SLAM) and provide the Joint Force an enhanced armed surveillance capability. The Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) validated the need to use Kosovo Emergency Supplemental funds for upgrades to improve joint interoperability for the EP-3E, for an additional EP-3E, and for funding for conversion of an additional special mission P-3 aircraft. We have received the funding for the special mission conversion, but are still awaiting emergency supplemental funding to provide the additional EP-3E and upgrades to the EP-3E fleet. For the longer term, we are pursuing a very promising Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle program, the Shared Advanced Reconnaissance Pod (SHARP) for use with the forthcoming F/A-18E/F, as well as examining additional ways to increase the number of ISR aircraft available.
The second lesson learned concerns the critical importance of the EA-6B Prowler. ALLIED FORCE showed that the ability to strike with manned aircraft requires a very robust EA-6B fleet. The Prowler is our only stand off jammer as well as our premier HARM shooter. And we know now that all strike aircraft will continue to require Prowler support. As a result, a significant percentage of the entire Navy and Marine Corps EA-6B fleet was committed to the Kosovo operation. While our dedicated jammer force performed brilliantly in Kosovo, this greater than expected use degraded the Prowler community with respect to aircrew training, scheduled airframe maintenance, and the high PERSTEMPO for the aircrews and maintenance personnel.
diminish in the future. By its rapid passing of the FY 99 Kosovo Emergency Supplemental Bill, the Congress helped us address several of our greatest needs with regard to the EA-6B. These include funds for several necessary upgrades and engine overhauls. Additionally, we are considering ways to stand up an additional expeditionary squadron, increase the number of available aircraft, and accelerate the installation of the Improved Capability (ICAP III) upgrades. For the longer term, the Navy is conducting, with input from the other services, an Analysis of Alternatives for an eventual replacement for the Prowler.
Kosovo also taught us new lessons about the weapons we employ, starting with our Carrier Air Wings' Precision Guided Munitions (PGMs). If Desert Storm introduced us to the potential of PGMs, ALLIED FORCE illustrated how essential they have become. These weapons were originally developed to allow for precise attacks on a specific category of targets, while requiring fewer sorties and thus less risk to our aircrews. Stockpiles were sized appropriate to the limited target sets for which PGMs were designed. However, these weapons have been increasingly used for a different purpose altogether, to minimize what has been euphemistically called "collateral damage" to surrounding structures and non-combatants. As a result, the practical requirement for PGMs has grown dramatically. While these weapons "pay for themselves" by reducing the risk to our aircrews, aircraft and civilians, they are not inexpensive.
Like the other services, we are examining our stocks of PGMs in order to ensure we have the right mix of the right weapons. Once again, the Kosovo Emergency Supplemental provided considerable assistance. In particular, the supplemental included funds for additional all weather GPS-guided Joint Direct Attack Munitions, as well as Laser Guided Bomb kits. Beyond the supplemental, we are reviewing our PGM plan as part of the Fiscal Year 2001 budget development as well as the FY 2002 Program Objective Memorandum (POM) process.
In addition to lessons regarding our aircraft delivered PGMs, we learned a great deal about the Tomahawk cruise missile. The fact that the Tomahawk is a weapon of choice is not new. In fact, more than 600 of these weapons have been employed by our ships and submarines since August of 1998. What is new is how responsive this weapon is becoming. A true 24 hour a day, all weather weapon, Tomahawk accounted for a disproportionate number of key targets attacked and destroyed. Not long ago, the timeline from planning and transmitting a mission to a firing platform, to actually launching the missile was measured in days. During ALLIED FORCE, the process was condensed to as little as a few hours. Still, timeliness is essential in striking mobile targets and we know we must continue to improve.
We have a number of initiatives underway to enhance the land attack capability of our ships and submarines. Several of you have expressed concern about the numbers of Tomahawks in our inventory. The Kosovo Emergency Supplemental provides funds to remanufacture a total of 624 Tomahawk missiles. I believe this represents the most cost-effective measure to fulfill our requirements until the Tactical Tomahawk enters service in 2003. As far as the Tactical Tomahawk is concerned, it promises to be even more capable and responsive. The Tactical Tomahawk will provide, among other features, in-flight retargeting capability, longer range, and greater lethality. In addition, we are developing the Land Attack Standard Missile as a near term, affordable weapon to complement Tactical Tomahawk and address the Marine Corps' requirement for accurate, high speed fire support. Farther downstream, we envision the DD-21 Land Attack Destroyer employing the Advanced Land Attack Missile and the Advanced Gun System, which will provide an even greater capability.
Beyond our precision munitions, we learned much about our targeting processes and capabilities. While I am confident that our targeting systems and processes are among the best, clearly further improvement is desired. Additionally, our increasing use of PGMs will only place a greater premium on timely, accurate targeting data in the future. Targeting is a complex process. Efforts to improve it will entail many of the initiatives I have already mentioned. These include tactics to increase the responsiveness of Tomahawk, increasing our ISR capabilities, increasing the availability of all-weather munitions and procedural improvements such as streamlining the target review process.
We also learned a great deal about the way we are likely to communicate in the future. Connectivity during Operation ALLIED FORCE was significantly different than during DESERT STORM. ALLIED FORCE involved extensive use of secure telephone, video tele-conferencing and DOD's Secret Internet Protocol Routing Network or SIPRNET technologies that were impractical or did not exist ten years ago. These systems produced dramatic improvements in connectivity and exceptional potential for future development. However, they also created new problems to be solved.
The Navy is attacking the problems inherent to information operations by undertaking what we call Information Technology for the 21st Century, or IT-21. This technology is essential to many of the issues I have addressed. In particular, IT-21 will provide the bandwidth necessary to transfer the intelligence, targeting data and battle damage assessments tomorrow's warfighter will require. We call this desired capability Network Centric Warfare (NCW). Put simply, NCW is the netting of dispersed sensors and shooters and is about getting the right information to the right shooter at the right time. We believe NCW is essential for the future and that we have a sound plan in place to achieve it.
We have already funded the outfitting of IT-21 upgrades to Carrier Battle Groups and Amphibious Ready Groups and expect to complete these installations by 2003. We are currently examining ways to extend this technology to Combat Logistics Force ships, Naval Reserve Force ships and shore installations.
I mentioned earlier that our naval forces operate as integral parts of Joint Task Forces. They also often operate as part of combined forces with our allies and coalition partners. ALLIED FORCE taught us and our allies that we cannot overlook coalition interoperability. I believe this has been a sobering lesson for our NATO allies, one that they are still pondering, and one we will need to include in our plans for the future. However, there were certainly successes. These included the participation of a United Kingdom SSN in the Tomahawk strikes during ALLIED FORCE and the close cooperation among several allies in monitoring and deterring the Former Republic of Yugoslavia Navy.
Nonetheless, we are pursuing several initiatives to increase interoperability with our allies. These range from developing standardized High Frequency radios and increasing the number of allied LINK 16 capable platforms to making our secure information exchange systems such as SIPRNET compatible with similar allied systems.
Finally, while the lessons I have cited are important, I remain convinced that our ongoing modernization plan is right on target. Nothing in these lessons leads me to believe that Carrier Battle Groups and Amphibious Ready Groups with their embarked Marine Expeditionary Units will not continue to be essential to carrying out the National Military Strategy. In fact, the events of Kosovo reaffirm the relevance of our key programs. Ongoing programs such as the CVX, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the DD-21 Land Attack Destroyer and Tactical Tomahawk will greatly enhance the combat power of our battle groups and the ability to shape events ashore. Similarly, programs like the LPD-17 in company with the MV-22 Osprey and Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV) promise to greatly increase the capability of our already potent Amphibious Force. Lastly, the Joint Command Ship (JCC-X) will provide precisely the type of facilities and connectivity our Joint Task Force Commanders will require in a future where access will be at a premium.
Mr. Chairman, we are constantly reassessing our force structure and the requirements to modernize that force. Conflicts such as occurred in Kosovo only intensify that process.
We have worked hard to apply precious emergency supplemental resources to the areas that are under the greatest strain, but many areas of strain still remain. I suspect we will have to do much more. However, to succeed we will need the continued help of this committee and the Congress in general. This committee has always been very helpful in addressing Navy readiness and modernization. We cannot thank you enough for that very critical support and we look forward to continuing our positive relationship.