1998 Congressional Hearings



Statement of

Vice Admiral C.C. Lautenbacher, U.S. Navy

Deputy Chief of Naval Operations

(Resources, Warfare Requirements and Assessments)

AND

Rear Admiral G. Dennis Vaughan, U.S. Naval Reserve

Chief of Naval Reserve

Before the Military Personnel Subcommittee

of the

House National Security Committee

29 January 1998

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss the implications of the recommendations of the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) and the National Defense Panel (NDP) as they relate to the integration of Navy's active and reserve components and Navy's Total Force policy.

We will first discuss the QDR strategy and its impact on Naval forces. We will then describe how Navy is implementing the strategy and what challenges we envision for the future. We will conclude with a discussion of how we are utilizing the Naval Reserve and how we are integrating our Active and Reserve forces to maximize their support to the overall mission, an approach consistent with the recommendations of the QDR, NDP, and Department of Defense guidance.

Navy was poised well before the QDR to meet its strategy. QDR emphasized the need to balance requirements of the present -- shaping the strategic environment and responding to crisis -- with preparing for the future threat. QDR also reaffirmed the importance of the naval mission and the continued relevance of forward-deployed Naval forces. Today, Navy continues to meet its forward presence commitments world-wide. Currently there are two carrier battle groups deployed to the Middle East as a tangible show of force in that troubled region.

Navy is also striving to balance its resources to meet the QDR strategy in a constrained fiscal environment. When the Cold War ended, we began to right-size the force, achieving savings and greater efficiencies while still meeting peacetime and crisis response commitments. Then, as part of QDR, Navy further reduced force structure to ensure stable funding for key modernization programs. The major impacts were a smaller surface combatant fleet of 116 ships, a smaller attack submarine force of 50 ships, a reduction of our F/A-18 E/F procurement from 1000 to a range of 548 to 785 aircraft (depending when JSF is operational), and reducing active and reserve end strengths by 18,000 and 4,100 personnel, respectively.

Despite these reductions, today's Navy is fully capable of meeting the level of forward presence specified by the Chairman of the Joint Chief's Global Naval Force Presence Policy (GNFPP). GNFPP allocates the QDR-specified forces to the warfighting CINCs in order to provide as much forward presence as possible.

In carrying out this policy, the force is stressed by the demands of the full range of contingency operations -- the responding part of our strategy. The amount of stress that small scale contingencies (SSC) place on the force is an important variable, and one which we track closely. By carefully managing the OPTEMPO and PERSTEMPO of all our deployable units, we ensure our people are not over-taxed. OPTEMPO guidelines specify that no deployment will be longer than six months and a ship or squadron must operate from its homeport for at least twice as long as its previous deployment before it deploys again. PERSTEMPO stipulates that no ship or squadron will spend more than 50 percent of its time underway from its homeport (this includes deployments and local operations). As long as we are able to adhere to these guidelines, we can continue to perform our missions without adversely impacting our personnel. We are meeting this challenge within our smaller force structure.

As Navy carries out its operational requirements, it must also modernize the force -- the prepare portion of the strategy. To balance the cost of the other two elements of the strategy, Navy has had to be selective in its modernization efforts. Nevertheless, Navy's future forces will have enhanced capabilities, in consonance with the projected threat, and will dominate any adversary for the foreseeable future. The next generation of aircraft carriers, submarines, surface ships, and aircraft will exploit the Revolution in Military Affairs to ensure our maritime superiority into the next millennium. We will take advantage of advanced sensors and precision weapons. We will have smaller crews operating stealthier ships and submarines and an overall force that capitalizes on the synergistic multiplier of information technology, commonly referred to as Network-Centric Warfare.

There are clear challenges, however, in balancing near-term readiness, operational commitments and Navy's longer-term modernization needs within fiscal realities. We must continue to fund our operations and support accounts properly, and to take care of our most valuable asset, our people. We rely on your continued support to meet these obligations.

Navy's plan, consistent with the recommendations of the NDP, places a strong reliance on the Naval Reserve to help maintain a balanced and affordable Naval Service, capable of meeting both shaping and responding commitments. We recognize that a well-trained, well-equipped Reserve Force provides valuable, lower-cost peacetime assets to the Fleet while simultaneously preparing Reservists for rapid activation in a contingency. Peacetime Contributory Support is now an integral part of Naval Reserve Force planning.

Peacetime Contributory Support helps lessen the demand on active force OPTEMPO and PERSTEMPO. For example, the Naval Reserve operates 100 percent of naval aviation adversary training squadron support (aggressor squadrons), 100 percent of Navy Unique Fleet Essential Aircraft for Fleet Logistics Air Support, 40 percent of the Maritime Patrol (VP) force and numerous other essential peacetime missions. In fact, the Naval Reserve maintains 20 percent of Navy manpower with less than 3 percent of Navy Total Obligation Authority. In short, the Naval Reserve is a significant force multiplier

We continue to look for ways to further develop and better integrate the Naval Reserve. In response to Secretary Cohen's request that the services identify and address any remaining barriers to achieving a fully integrated force, Navy has several new and on-going initiatives. The Strategic Studies Group on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations recently completed a comprehensive study on total force integration. Center for Naval Analyses is studying Naval Reserve utilization in the peacetime environment. The Commanders of the Atlantic and Pacific Submarine Forces have developed a submarine master plan focused on key processes and organizational changes necessary to implement a common vision of the One Submarine Force. Working groups within Navy's program development process are studying new ideas for total force integration. To coordinate these and related initiatives, an active duty flag officer has been assigned as the principal advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations for Total Force Policy. These initiatives demonstrate our commitment to making the One Navy Force a reality.

Today, our Navy remains forward-deployed and fully ready to protect America's interests, both at home and abroad, with Active and Reserve officers and Sailors working side-by-side. As we meet the challenges of shaping, responding, and preparing, we recognize that full Active/Reserve integration -- the One Navy Force -- provides enhanced flexibility to fulfill our missions. With your support, we are confident we can achieve the goals we have set.