1998 Congressional Hearings



STATEMENT OF

LIEUTENANT GENERAL MARTIN R. STEELE

DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF FOR PLANS, POLICIES , AND OPERATIONS,

AND

MAJOR GENERAL THOMAS L. WILKERSON

COMMANDING GENERAL, MARINE FORCES RESERVE

UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

BEFORE THE MILITARY PERSONNEL SUBCOMMITTEE OF

THE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COMMITTEE

29 JAN 1998

CONCERNING THE

QUADRENNIAL DEFENSE REVIEW AND THE

NATIONAL DEFENSE PANEL

MR. CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY PERSONNEL SUB- COMMITTEE, IT IS A GREAT PLEASURE TO SPEAK TO YOU TODAY CONCERNING THE RESULTS OF THE QUADRENNIAL DEFENSE REVIEW (QDR) AND THE NATIONAL DEFENSE PANEL (NDP). THESE TWO REPORTS, WHEN VIEWED TOGETHER, OUTLINE A NEW, DEMANDING DIRECTION AND BROADER SENSE OF PURPOSE FOR OUR ARMED FORCES. WHILE THEIR MEANS MAY DIFFER SLIGHTLY, BOTH EXPLICITLY REFER TO A COMMON END: THE NEED TO "TRANSFORM" OUR ARMED FORCES TO BETTER PREPARE US FOR THE COMPLEX AND CHALLENGING NATIONAL SECURITY THREATS OF THE 21ST CENTURY.

THIS MARKS A MILESTONE IN POST-COLD WAR NATIONAL SECURITY PLANNING. FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE END OF THE COLD WAR, A FORMAL DEFENSE REVIEW HAS ARTICULATED THE NEED TO GO BEYOND THE MERE MODERNIZATION OF EXISTING PLATFORMS AND FORCES AND TO TRANSFORM THE CAPABILITIES OF THE AMERICAN MILITARY TO MAKE THEM MORE OPERATIONALLY RELEVANT IN THE FUTURE. THIS IS A SUBJECT THAT MARINES HAVE BEEN THINKING ABOUT FOR NEARLY A DECADE, AND WE WELCOME A MORE COMPREHENSIVE AND THOROUGH DIALOGUE ON THE PACE, SCOPE, AND PRIORITIES OF OUR TRANSFORMATION STRATEGY.

OUR COMMANDANT HAS LONG ARGUED WE SHOULD NOT APPROACH A DEFENSE TRANSFORMATION WITH A MINDSET THAT WE ARE IN A STRATEGIC "PAUSE"-- A LULL IN GREAT POWER COMPETITION THAT OF WHICH WE CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE. IN OUR VIEW, THE TERM STRATEGIC PAUSE IMPLIES WE NEED JUST STOP, CATCH OUR BREATH, AND PREPARE FOR THE NEXT COMPETITOR TO EMERGE ON THE HORIZON. IT IMPLIES WE CAN CUT OUR DEFENSE BUDGET BECAUSE NEAR TERM THREATS ARE LESS STRESSING THAN IN THE PAST. IT FOSTERS THE IMPRESSION WE CAN PLAN FOR THE FUTURE BY MAKING A STRAIGHT LINE PROJECTION FROM THE PAST, AND THAT FUTURE NATIONAL SECURITY CHALLENGES AND WARS WILL BE MUCH THE SAME AS WE KNOW THEM NOW. AND IT FOSTERS THE IMPRESSION WE NEED ONLY TO GRAFT NEW TECHNOLOGIES ONTO OLD OPERATIONAL CONCEPTS TO EXTEND OUR CURRENT MILITARY DOMINANCE INTO THE FUTURE.

MARINES THINK THIS TYPE OF MINDSET IS FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG. WE INSTEAD SUBSCRIBE TO THE VIEW THAT WE FACE WHAT ANDREW S. GROVE, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF INTEL CORPORATION, REFERS TO AS A STRATEGIC "INFLECTION POINT." IN HIS WORDS, A STRATEGIC INFLECTION POINT IS A TIME IN THE LIFE OF A BUSINESS WHEN ITS FUNDAMENTALS ARE ABOUT TO CHANGE. THEY ARE FULL-SCALE CHANGES IN THE WAY BUSINESS IS CONDUCTED, SO THAT SIMPLY ADOPTING NEW TECHNOLOGY OR FIGHTING THE COMPETITION AS YOU AS NORMALLY DO USED TO MAY BE INSUFFICIENT. AND IN THE "BUSINESS" OF NATIONAL SECURITY, MARINES ARE CONVINCED ALL THE SIGNS POINT TO JUST SUCH A IMPENDING FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE.

NOWHERE WILL FUTURE CHANGES IN NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS BE MORE DRAMATICALLY FELT THAN BY OUR INDIVIDUAL MARINES, SOLDIERS, SAILORS, AND AIRMEN. IN THIS REGARD, MARINES ARE GUIDED BY A VISION OF THE FUTURE CALLED "CHAOS IN THE LITTORALS." IN THIS FUTURE, WE SEE ETHNIC TENSIONS, AGGRESSIVE NATIONALISM, AND INTRACTABLE TRANSNATIONAL PROBLEMS REACTING IN INCREASINGLY CROWDED URBAN SLUMS AND COMPLEXES IN VOLATILE AND UNPREDICTABLE WAYS. THE RESULT WILL BE FREQUENT "COMPLEX CONTINGENCIES" -- OPERATIONS IN WHICH A BEWILDERING ARRAY OF INTERNATIONAL, REGIONAL, GOVERN- MENTAL, AND NON-GOVERNMENTAL ACTORS WILL RESPOND TO, COOPERATE, AND SOMETIMES COMPETE TO SOLVE THE CONFLICTS WHICH THREATEN OUR NATIONAL INTERESTS.

MARINES REFER TO A CONTINGENCY OF THIS TYPE AS A "THREE BLOCK WAR," IN WHICH OUR FORCES MAY BE EXPECTED TO OFFER HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE ON ONE BLOCK, SEPARATE WARRING FACTIONS ON A SECOND BLOCK, AND PREVAIL IN A DEADLY, CLOSE-IN URBAN FIREFIGHT ON A THIRD BLOCK -- ALL WITHIN A TWENTY- FOUR HOUR PERIOD! THIS TYPE OF CONTINGENCY WILL PLACE MUCH HIGHER DEMANDS ON THE PEOPLE INVOLVED THAN EVER BEFORE, AND WILL REQUIRE THAT WE TRAIN EQUIP OUR MARINES DIFFERENTLY IN THE FUTURE.

AS A RESULT, WE HAVE LONG HAD A SAYING IN THE MARINE CORPS THAT THE GUIDING PRINCIPLE OF OUR TRANSFORMATION STRATEGY MUST BE WE "EQUIP THE MAN, NOT MAN THE EQUIPMENT." THAT IS TO SAY, AS IMPORTANT AS CHANGES IN TECHNOLOGY MIGHT BE, AND AS DIFFERENT AS FUTURE MILITARY CHALLENGES PROMISE TO BE, ONE THING IS CERTAIN: IT WILL BE THE YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN IN OUR ARMED FORCES WHO WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE THE CRITICAL DIFFERENCE ON TOMORROW'S BATTLEFIELDS. TECHNOLOGY WILL MATTER, BUT ONLY IF IT IS USED TO EMPOWER THE YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN OF OUR ARMED FORCES TO PREVAIL AGAINST THE NEW ADVERSARIES AND IN THE NEW AND LETHAL OPERATING ENVIRONMENTS WE SEE JUST OVER THE HORIZON. IT IS THEREFORE PARTICULARLY GRATIFYING TO US THAT THE FIRST HEARINGS ON THE COMBINED FINDINGS OF THE QDR AND THE NDP ARE BEING HELD BY THE MILITARY PERSONNEL SUBCOMMITTEE. I LOOK FORWARD TO OUR ANALYSIS OF THE QDR AND NDP WITH YOU TODAY.

I WOULD LIKE TO START MY FORMAL REMARKS BY SAYING OF THE TWO REPORTS, WE BELIEVE THE QDR WAS MORE ANALYTICAL AND BASED ON NEAR-TERM REQUIREMENTS, WHILE THE NDP WAS MORE PHILOSOPHICAL AND FOCUSED ON LONG-TERM REQUIREMENTS. IN OUR VIEW, WHEN THEIR RESULTS ARE COMBINED, THEY BROADLY VALIDATE THE ROLE OF THE MARINE CORPS, AS WELL AS ITS CURRENT TRANSFORMATION STRATEGY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY.

THIS IS NOT SURPRISING TO US. THE MARINE CORPS WAS NEVER A COLD WAR, SOVIET-ORIENTED FORCE. AS THE NATION'S BY-LAW "FORCE-IN- READINESS," WE HAVE ALWAYS HAD A GLOBAL, EXPEDITIONARY PERSPECTIVE NOT FOCUSED ON ANY PARTICULAR THREAT. INSTEAD, WE HAVE FOCUSED ONLY ON OUR ROLE -- TO BE THE NATION'S PREMIER CRISIS RESPONSE FORCE. HERE, CRISIS IS DEFINED AS RANGING FROM OVERT MILITARY ATTACKS AGAINST OUR INTERESTS, TO ACTS OF POLITICAL VIOLENCE AGAINST AMERICANS ABROAD, TO "OPERATIONS OTHER THAN WAR" SUCH AS DISASTER RELIEF OR EVACUATION OF CITIZENS. FAITHFUL TO OUR ROLE, WHATEVER THE NATURE OF THE CRISIS, MARINES HAVE TRAINED TO BE FIRST ON THE SCENE, FIRST TO HELP, FIRST TO QUELL DISTURBANCES, OR FIRST TO FIGHT. TO US, SUCH A ROLE SEEMS TO BE AN ENDURING ONE, REGARDLESS OF THE EXACT STRATEGIC LANDSCAPE.

AS A RESULT OF OUR FOCUS ON GLOBAL CRISIS RESPONSE, WE HAVE DEVELOPED SIX UNIQUE CORE COMPETENCIES WE BELIEVE WILL PROVE TO BE AS VALUABLE, OR EVEN MORE VALUABLE, TO THE NATIONAL COMMAND AUTHORITIES IN THE 21ST CENTURY. THE FIRST IS EXPEDITIONARY READINESS -- AN INSTITUTIONAL MINDSET TO BE READY TO RESPOND INSTANTANEOUSLY TO WORLD-WIDE CRISES, 365 DAYS A YEAR. EXPEDITIONARY READINESS MEANS MUCH MORE THAN JUST BEING "READY TO GO." FIRST, IT MEANS BEING EVER READY TO WIN OUR NATION'S FIRST BATTLES. THIS REQUIRES A FORCE THAT CAN TRANSITION FROM PEACETIME TO COMBAT OPERATIONS AT A MOMENT'S NOTICE, WITHOUT CRITICAL RESERVE AUGMENTATION, AND WITH CERTAIN SUCCESS. SECOND, IT DEMANDS A FORCE READY TO FLOURISH UNDER CONDITIONS OF GREAT UNCERTAINTY. EXPEDITIONARY READINESS IS ABOUT BEING ABLE TO ADAPT "OUT THERE," IMPROVISING AND FINDING UNCONVENTIONAL SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED IN THE "THREE BLOCK WAR." AS OUTLINED ABOVE, THIS DEMANDS A PRIMARY FOCUS ON THE HUMAN RATHER THAN THE TECHNOLOGICAL DIMENSION OF BATTLE. AND THIRD, IT MEANS PREPARING FOR THE "OPPONENT AFTER NEXT" -- REQUIRING A RELENTLESS COMMITMENT TO INNOVATION AND CHANGE.

OUR SECOND CORE COMPETENCY IS COMBINED ARMS OPERATIONS. AS SPECIFICALLY DEMANDED BY THE 82ND CONGRESS, THE NATION'S NAVAL CRISIS RESPONSE FORCE MUST BE CAPABLE OF ACTING ON SHORT NOTICE AND WITHOUT IMMEDIATE SUPPORT FROM ARMY AND AIR FORCE WARFIGHTING FORCES. IN OTHER WORDS, SUCH A FORCE-IN-READINESS REQUIRES AN ORGANIC COMBINED ARMS CAPABILITY. FOR OVER HALF A CENTURY, MARINE AIR-GROUND TASK FORCES, OR MAGTFS, HAVE TRAINED SO THAT THEIR GROUND COMBAT, AIR COMBAT, AND COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT CAPABILITIES ARE DIRECTED BY A SINGLE COMMANDER. AS SUCH, MAGTF OPERATIONS EMBODY THE ORGANIZATION AND ART OF COMBINED ARMS.

EXPEDITIONARY OPERATIONS ARE MUCH MORE THAN MILITARY OPERATIONS ON FOREIGN SOIL. LIKE EXPEDITIONARY READINESS EXPEDITIONARY OPERATIONS REQUIRE A SPECIAL MINDSET -- ONE THAT IS CONSTANTLY PREPARED FOR IMMEDIATE DEPLOYMENT OVERSEAS INTO AUSTERE OPERATING ENVIRONMENTS. AS A RESULT, EXPEDITIONARY OPERATIONS CONSIDER HOST NATION SUPPORT A LUXURY, AND ARE DESIGNED TO BRING EVERYTHING NECESSARY TO ACCOMPLISH THE MISSION -- FROM INDIVIDUAL EQUIPMENT UP TO AND INCLUDING AIRFIELDS AND HOSPITALS.

THE MARINE CORPS' NAVAL CHARACTER IS AN INDISPENSABLE ATTRIBUTE FOR A FORCE-IN-READINESS, AND FORMS THE BASIS FOR OUR FOURTH CORE COMPETENCY, SEA-BASED OPERATIONS. SEA-BASED OPERATIONS PROVIDE FOR EXTRAORDINARY STRATEGIC REACH, AND GIVE THE NATION AN ENDURING MEANS TO INFLUENCE AND SHAPE THE EVOLVING

INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENT. IN ADDITION, SEA-BASED OPERATIONS AFFORD UNITS A LARGE MEASURE OF INHERENT FORCE PROTECTION. A HIGHLY READY, COMBINED ARMS MAGTF, OPERATING FROM A MOBILE, PROTECTED SEA BASE, PROVIDES THE NATIONAL COMMAND AUTHORITY WITH UNIMPEDED AND POLITICALLY UNENCUMBERED ACCESS TO POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS AROUND THE WORLD, AND A "RHEOSTAT" OF SCALEABLE MILITARY OPTIONS ACROSS THE FULL RANGE OF MILITARY OPERATIONS.

THE MARINES ARE PERHAPS BEST KNOWN FOR THEIR FIFTH CORE COMPETENCY, FORCIBLE ENTRY -- FROM THE SEA. ULTIMATELY, A GLOBAL SUPERPOWER MUST POSSESS AN ABILITY FOR UNILATERAL ACTION. A KEY REQUIREMENT FOR UNILATERAL ACTION IS THE ABILITY TO PROJECT POWER ASHORE IN A THEATER WITHOUT FORWARD BASES, IN THE FACE OF ARMED OPPOSITION. IN THE PAST, FORCIBLE ENTRY FROM THE SEA WAS DEFINED BY AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULTS, FOCUSED ON ESTABLISHING LODGMENTS ON THE BEACH AND THEN BUILDING UP COMBAT POWER FOR SUBSEQUENT OPERATIONS. IT IS NOW DEFINED AS AN UNINTERRUPTED MOVEMENT OF FORCES FROM SHIPS LOCATED FAR OVER THE HORIZON DIRECTLY AGAINST DECISIVE OBJECTIVES.

AS THE NATION'S FORCE-IN-READINESS, EIGHTY PER CENT OF OUR TOTAL FORCE IS FOUND IN THE ACTIVE COMPONENT. THIS IS BECAUSE WE CANNOT AFFORD TO PAUSE TO CALL UP OUR RESERVES IN ORDER TO INITIALLY RESPOND TO AN EMERGING CRISIS. ONCE COMMITTED, HOWEVER, MARINE RESERVES PLAY A KEY ROLE IN AUGMENTING, REINFORCING, AND SUSTAINING MAGTF OPERATIONS. AS A RESULT, USMC OPERATIONS DEMAND A SIXTH CORE COMPETENCY, RESERVE INTEGRATION. MARINE RESERVES ROUTINELY TRAIN WITH ACTIVE COMPONENT UNITS IN PREPARATION FOR CRISIS RESPONSE MISSIONS, AND TO ADD COMBAT POWER FOR OPERATIONS, ESPECIALLY AT THE HIGH END OF THE CONFLICT SPECTRUM. IN FACT, OVER 95 PER CENT OF MARINE RESERVE COMBAT UNITS ARE INCLUDED IN THE TIME PHASED FORCE DEPLOYMENT DOCUMENTS (TPFDD'S) ASSOCIATED WITH CINC OPLANS, MAKING THEM A CRITICAL PART OF THE MARINE CORPS' WARFIGHTING CONTRIBUTION TO JOINT AND COMBINED CAMPAIGNS. NOWHERE WAS THE INTEGRATION AND CONTRIBUTION OF MARINE RESERVES MORE EVIDENT THAN DURING DESERT STORM, WHEN 53 PER CENT OF THE SELECTED MARINE CORPS RESERVE END STRENGTH WAS ACTIVATED, SURPASSING ANY OTHER SERVICE COMPONENT ACTIVATION BY MORE THAN A FACTOR OF TWO. THIS DEGREE OF INTEGRATION PROVIDES THE MARINE CORPS AND REGIONAL COMMANDERS-IN-CHIEF WITH UNPRECEDENTED MISSION DEPTH, OPERATIONAL FLEXIBILITY, AND SUSTAINABILITY UP AND DOWN THE CONFLICT SPECTRUM.

THE QDR REAFFIRMED THAT THE WORLD IN WHICH WE NOW LIVE REQUIRES A FORCE WITH JUST SUCH CORE COMPETENCIES. CONSIDER THAT DURING THE COLD WAR, MARINES WERE CALLED UPON TO PROTECT OUR NATION'S INTERESTS ON THE AVERAGE OF ONCE EVERY 15 WEEKS. SINCE 1990,

MARINES HAVE RESPONDED TO SIMILAR CALLS ON THE AVERAGE OF ONCE EVERY FIVE WEEKS -- AN INCREASE IN TASKINGS BY A FACTOR OF THREE. AS A RESULT, THE USEFULNESS OF A READY FORCE, CAPABLE OF SIMULTANEOUS AIR AND GROUND ACTION, AND POSSESSING UNIMPEDED ACCESS TO POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS AROUND THE GLOBE, BECAME READILY APPARENT DURING QDR DELIBERATIONS AND ANALYSIS.

FOR EXAMPLE, THE QDR STRATEGY OF "SHAPE, RESPOND, AND PREPARE" HIGHLIGHTED THE IMPORTANCE OF PROACTIVE MILITARY ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITIES, EMPHASIZING OVERSEAS PRESENCE AND CLOSE AND COOPERATIVE DEFENSE RELATIONSHIPS WITH NATIONS THAT SHARE OUR VALUES AND GOALS. NAVAL EXPEDITIONARY FORCES, BUILT AROUND AIRCRAFT CARRIER BATTLE GROUPS AND MARINE EXPEDITIONARY UNITS (MEUS) EMBARKED ABOARD AMPHIBIOUS READY GROUPS, PROVED TO BE KEY SHAPING TOOLS IN BOTH CINC THEATER ENGAGEMENT PLANS AS WELL AS THE OVERSEAS PRESENCE STUDY. OUR CORE COMPETENCIES OF SEA-BASED OPERATIONS AND EXPEDITIONARY OPERATIONS PROVED ESPECIALLY VALUABLE IN INSTANCES WHERE AN UNOBTRUSIVE OVER-THE-HORIZON PRESENCE WAS DIPLOMA- TICALLY PREFERABLE TO A MORE HIGHLY VISIBLE, PERMANENT GROUND PRESENCE. AND OUR CORE COMPETENCY OF COMBINED ARMS OPERATIONS, MANIFESTED IN SELF-CONTAINED MAGTFS, MAKES FORWARD DEPLOYED MAGTFS ESPECIALLY VERSATILE SHAPING TOOLS, AS THEY CAN EXERCISE WITH ALL COMPONENTS OF A HOST NATION'S ARMED FORCES -- AIR, GROUND, AND SEA.

WITH REGARD TO RESPONDING TO THE FULL SCALE OF POTENTIAL CRISES, MARINE FORCES LIKEWISE PROVED TO BE IN HIGH DEMAND. THE VERSATILITY OF MARINE FORCES AND THEIR CORE COMPETENCIES OF EXPEDITIONARY READINESS, COMBINED ARMS OPERATIONS, EXPEDITIONARY OPERATIONS, SEA-BASED OPERATIONS, FORCIBLE ENTRY -- FROM THE SEA, AND RESERVE INTEGRATION WAS VALIDATED IN EVERY ANALYSIS. MARINE EXPEDITIONARY UNITS AND MARINE MARITIME PREPOSITIONING FORCES PROVED EXTREMELY VALUABLE IN THE SMALLER SCALE CONTINGENCY STUDY CONDUCTED IN SUPPORT OF THE QDR. IN ADDITION TO THEIR INHERENT FLEXIBILITY, THESE SEA-BASED MARINE FORCES WERE ESPECIALLY USEFUL IN PLACES WHERE THE LOCAL INFRASTRUCTURE HAD BEEN DESTROYED.

IN THE MORE THAN FORTY VIGNETTES STUDIED DURING THE DYNAMIC COMMITMENT WARGAMES, EXPEDITIONARY, SEA-BASED, GENERAL PURPOSE FORCES PROVED TIME AND AGAIN TO BE EXTREMELY VALUABLE ASSETS FOR DECISION MAKERS. THEIR GREATEST STRENGTH WAS THAT THEY WERE DIRECTLY APPLICABLE ACROSS THE FULL RANGE OF MILITARY OPERATIONS. MOREOVER, WE BELIEVE THE GAMES POINTED TO THE CONTINUING NEED FOR A COMPONENT OF THE ARMED FORCES THAT COULD RESPOND IMMEDIATELY TO EMERGING CRISES WITHOUT THE NEED FOR A SELECTED RESERVE CALL UP OR GENERAL MOBILIZATION. HOWEVER, AT THE SAME TIME, THE GAMES ALSO VALIDATED THE MARINE CORPS' TOTAL FORCE INTEGRATION POLICY, AS RESERVE FORCES THAT WERE NOT IN THE TPFDD OF EXISTING OPERATIONAL PLANS WERE LARGELY UNUSED DURING THE GAMES. FINALLY, IN THE TWO MAJOR THEATER WAR ANALYSIS, WE LITERALLY RAN OUT OF MARINE COMBAT FORCES -- THERE WAS NO EXCESS IN EITHER OUR ACTIVE OR RESERVE FIGHTING UNITS.

AS A DIRECT RESULT OF THE VERSATILITY, FLEXIBILITY, AND UTILITY OF MARINE FORCES IN EVERY QDR ANALYSIS, THE QDR CONFIRMED THE MARINE CORPS TO BE AN EFFECTIVE AND LEAN FIGHTING FORCE. AS A RESULT, WE WERE DIRECTED NOT TO CUT OUR COMBAT CAPABILITY ANY FURTHER, AND TO TAKE MODEST REDUCTIONS IN OUR ACTIVE, RESERVE, AND CIVILIAN INFRASTRUCTURE MANNING. THESE CUTS, ALTHOUGH DIFFICULT, ARE EXECUTABLE, AND WILL NOT THREATEN OUR CURRENT COMBAT CAPABILITIES OR OUR TOTAL FORCE. AS SUCH, WE DEEM THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH THESE CUTS TO BE MANAGEABLE. IN ANY EVENT, AS WE WORK TO IMPLEMENT THESE CUTS DURING THE FUTURE YEARS DEFENSE PLAN (FYDP) AND TO RESHAPE OUR TOTAL FORCE , WE WILL PROTECT THE INDIVIDUAL MARINES AND TRY TO MITIGATE ANY NEGATIVE IMPACT UPON THEM.

THE QDR ALSO REAFFIRMED THE IMPORTANCE OF AMPHIBIOUS FORCES IN EXECUTING OUR NATIONAL MILITARY STRATEGY. THE CURRENT AMPHIBIOUS PROGRAM OF 36 MODERN AMPHIBIOUS SHIPS, BUILT AROUND 12 LARGE, "BIG-DECK" AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT SHIPS, 12 LSD-41/49 DOCK LANDING SHIPS, AND 12 NEW SAN ANTONIO CLASS LPD-17 'S, WAS REVALIDATED. THIS IS THE FORCE REQUIRED TO MEET BOTH THE COMMITMENTS OUTLINED IN THE OVERSEAS PRESENCE STUDY AS WELL AS THE WARFIGHTING REQUIREMENTS OUTLINED IN THE 2-MTW ANALYSIS. THIS FORCE WILL HELP TO ENSURE WE MAINTAIN OUR CORE COMPETENCIES OF SEA-BASED OPERATIONS AND FORCIBLE ENTRY -- FROM THE SEA WELL INTO THE 21ST CENTURY, AND THAT WE CONTINUE TO MEET ALL CINC REQUIREMENTS FOR SHAPING AND RESPONDING. GIVEN THE STRONG COMPETITION FOR RESOURCES WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY AND THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, NO PROGRAM IS EVER TOTALLY SECURE. BUT THERE IS STRONG RATIONALE AND SUPPORT FOR THE AMPHIBIOUS SHIP BUILDING PROGRAM, AND WE ARE CONFIDENT IT WILL SURVIVE FUTURE SCRUTINY AND COMPETITION.

DURING THE QDR, THE MARINE CONCEPT FOR FUTURE AMPHIBIOUS OPERATIONS KNOWN AS OPERATIONAL MANEUVER FROM THE SEA (OMFTS) WAS RECOGNIZED AS OFFERING POTENTIALLY REVOLUTIONARY ADVANCES IN THE CAPABILITIES OF SEA-BASED FORCES. OMFTS VIEWS THE BEACH LESS AS AN OBJECTIVE AND MORE OF A PHASE LINE. IT DEFINES COMBINED ARMS THRUSTS LAUNCHED DIRECTLY FROM A SEA BASE AGAINST OPERATIONAL OBJECTIVES DEEP INLAND IN ONE SEAMLESS MOVEMENT, BYPASSING HEAVILY DEFENDED COASTAL AREAS. BY TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE SEA AS BOTH MANEUVER SPACE AND PROTECTED BASE, OMFTS AIMS TO CREATE AN OPERATIONAL CONDITION IN WHICH WE CONTROL AN ENEMY'S VITAL AREA BY FIGHTING (FROM) OUTSIDE IT.

AS THE NATION'S FORCE-IN READINESS, READINESS IS AND WILL REMAIN OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY. WHILE MARINE CORPS READINESS IS HIGH TODAY, WE MUST TAKE STEPS TO ENSURE IT REMAINS HIGH IN THE FUTURE. THIS REQUIRES WE REVERSE THE DOWNWARD TREND IN MODERNIZATION OF EQUIPMENT TO SUPPORT OUR FORCES, APPROPRIATELY FUND OPERATIONS AND SUPPORT, AND SUSTAIN AND ACCELERATE THE PACE OF AVIATION PROCUREMENT.

WE ARE THEREFORE PLEASED TO REPORT THAT OUR FUTURE READINESS WAS WELL REFLECTED IN THE QDR, AND THE PROGRAMS ASSOCIATED WITH MAKING OMFTS A REALITY SURVIVED ANALYTICAL SCRUTINY. THE LIGHTWEIGHT 155MM HOWITZER, ADVANCED AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT VEHICLE, AND JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER -- ALL CRITICAL CONTRIBUTORS TO OUR CONCEPT OF OMFTS -- REMAIN ON SCHEDULE. WE WERE ESPECIALLY PLEASED THAT THE MV-22 OSPREY, A REVOLUTIONARY TILT-ROTOR AIRCRAFT DESIGNED TO REPLACE THE MARINE CORPS' FLEET OF AGING VIETNAM-ERA MEDIUM LIFT HELICOPTERS, WAS MARKED FOR AN ACCELERATED PROCUREMENT RATE OF 30 AIRCRAFT PER YEAR STARTING IN 2004. THIS WILL ALLOW US TO REPLACE CH-46 AND CH-53D AIRCRAFT IN A MORE TIMELY, EFFICIENT, AND COST- EFFECTIVE MANNER.

WHILE THE QDR ACKNOWLEDGED THE NEED TO TRANSFORM THE FORCE, BY ITS DESIGN AND TIME HORIZON, IT WAS FOCUSED PREDOMINANTLY ON NEAR TO MID-TERM MILITARY REQUIREMENTS AND PROGRAMS. IN CONTRAST, AND CONSISTENT WITH ITS LONGER TIME HORIZON, THE NDP FOCUSED MORE ON THE NEED TO START AN AGGRESSIVE TRANSFORMATION STRATEGY NOW IN ORDER TO BETTER PREPARE US FOR POTENTIAL 21ST CENTURY OPERATIONAL CHALLENGES. AGAIN, WE WERE PARTICULARLY GRATIFIED BY ITS FINDINGS, BECAUSE THE NDP'S FINAL REPORT IN LARGE MEASURE VALIDATED OUR PRESENT DIRECTION.

OUR TRANSFORMATION PROCESS IS AN EXTENSION OF THE CONCEPT BASED REQUIREMENTS PROCESS (CBRP). THE CBRP STARTS BY ARTICULATING A TENTATIVE OPERATIONAL CONCEPT, SUCH AS OMFTS THAT IS USED TO STIMULATE WIDE DISCUSSION, DEBATE, AND WARGAMING; WHICH LEADS TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW TACTICS, TECHNIQUES, AND PROCEDURES. THESE TACTICS, TECHNIQUES, AND PROCEDURES ARE, IN TURN, TESTED IN FLEET EXPERIMENTS AND EXERCISES. AS A RESULT OF THESE EXPERIMENTS AND EXERCISES, CHANGES TO OUR DOCTRINE, ORGANIZATION, TACTICS, EDUCATION AND TRAINING, AND SUPPORT ARE GRADUALLY MADE.

THE CONCEPT BASED REQUIREMENTS PROCESS INVOLVES SEVERAL INTERCONNECTED ACTORS:

- THE MARINE CORPS COMBAT DEVELOPMENT COMMAND FORMULATES CONCEPTS, DETERMINES FLEET REQUIREMENTS, AND INTEGRATES CAPABILITIES.

- THE OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND INNOVATION SEARCHES FOR PROMISING NEW TECHNOLOGIES.

- THE MARINE CORPS WARFIGHTING LAB CONDUCTS FIELD EXPERIMENTS WITH NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND OPERATIONAL CONCEPTS.

- THE MARINE CORPS SYSTEMS COMMAND ACQUIRES SYSTEMS.

- AND THE FLEET MARINE FORCES USE CAPABILITIES IN COMBAT.

THE CBRP RUNS IN A CONTINUAL LOOP, CONSTANTLY PROVIDING FEEDBACK TO ALL ACTORS. BUT THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND THE PROCESS -- THE "ENGINE OF CHANGE" -- IS AN OPERATIONAL CONCEPT. AND IT SEEMS OUR EMERGING OPERATIONAL CONCEPTS ARE EXTREMELY COMPATIBLE WITH THE NDP'S VIEW OF THE FUTURE.

FOR EXAMPLE, THE NDP STATED THAT THE "CORNERSTONE OF AMERICA'S CONTINUED MILITARY PREEMINENCE IS OUR ABILITY TO PROJECT COMBAT POWER RAPIDLY AND VIRTUALLY UNIMPEDED TO WIDESPREAD AREAS AROUND THE GLOBE." IT POINTED OUT THAT MUCH OF OUR CURRENT POWER PROJECTION CAPABILITY DEPENDS ON SUSTAINED ACCESS TO REGIONS OF CONCERN, AND THAT THERE WERE ANY NUMBER OF CIRCUMSTANCES THAT COULD COMPROMISE ACCESS AND DIMINISH OUR ABILITY TO PROJECT POWER. THEY THEREFORE CONCLUDED THAT "NEW CONDITIONS" WOULD HAVE TO BE MASTERED IF WE WERE TO MAINTAIN A CREDIBLE ABILITY TO PROJECT POWER, AMONG THEM: INSERTING AND EXTRACTING FORCES IN THE ABSENCE OF FORWARD BASES; MAINTAINING FORWARD DEPLOYED FORCES IN THEATER PRIOR TO CONFLICT IF FORWARD BASES ARE AVAILABLE, BUT AT RISK; RESUPPLYING FORWARD FORCES WHEN ACCESS TO FORWARD AIRFIELDS AND PORTS IS AT RISK; SEIZING AND CONTROLLING KEY TERRAIN IF OUR GROUND FORCES MUST OPERATE DISPERSED; ACHIEVING AIR SUPERIORITY; AND DEFENDING KEY REGIONAL PARTNERS AGAINST ENEMY MISSILE STRIKES.

ACHIEVING THESE CAPABILITIES IS AN APT DESCRIPTION OF THE GOALS OF OUR EMERGING OPERATIONAL CONCEPT OF OMFTS AS WELL AS OUR CONCEPT FOR FUTURE SEABASING ARTICULATED IN MARITIME PREPOSITIONING FORCE 2010 AND BEYOND. AS YOU KNOW, MARINES PIONEERED THE CONCEPT OF AFLOAT PREPOSITIONING OF EQUIPMENT. HOWEVER, OUR MARITIME PREPOSITIONING FORCE, OR MPF, HAS EVOLVED FAR BEYOND MERE FORWARD STORAGE OF EQUIPMENT UNTIL IT HAS BECOME A KEY ELEMENT OF USMC OPERATIONS, AND IS A RAPID, SUSTAINABLE, GLOBAL CRISIS RESPONSE CAPABILITY IN ITS OWN RIGHT.

COMPRISED OF THREE SQUADRONS OF FORWARD DEPLOYED SHIPS AND TWO U.S.-BASED AVIATION LOGISTICS SUPPORT SHIPS, THE MPF IS A VAST FLOATING WAREHOUSE OF CAPABILITIES THAT CAN EQUIP AND SUSTAIN UP TO THREE LARGE MECHANIZED MAGTFS FOR 30 DAYS. TO DEPLOY AND FORM THESE HEAVY MAGTFS, MARINES FLY INTO THEATER AND "MARRY UP" WITH THE EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES DELIVERED BY THE MPF SHIPS, THEREBY SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCING THE AMOUNT OF STRATEGIC AIRLIFT REQUIRED TO DEPLOY SUCH A LARGE, CAPABLE FORCE.

WHILE TODAY'S MPF REQUIRES PORTS AND AIRFIELDS TO OFFLOAD AND ASSEMBLE A MAGTF, MPF 2010 CALLS FOR CAPABILITIES THAT ALLOW MARINES TO ASSEMBLE ON THE MPF SHIPS AT SEA, PREPARE THEIR EQUIPMENT, AND TO CONDUCT SUSTAINED OPERATIONS FROM THE MPF SHIPS. TAKEN TOGETHER, OMFTS AND MPF 2010 DEFINE AN OPERATIONAL CONCEPT BEYOND THAT OF SEIZING ADVANCED BASES, TOWARD CONDUCTING DECISIVE FORWARD OPERATIONS IN THE ABSENCE OF ADVANCED BASES.

CONSISTENT WITH THE NDP'S CALL FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO OUR POWER PROJECTION CAPABILITIES, WE ENVISION THE ENTIRE NAVAL EXPEDITIONARY FLEET OF THE 21ST CENTURY TO BE CONFIGURED AND TRAINED TO OPERATE AS A DISPERSED, DEFENDED-IN-DEPTH, MOBILE OFFSHORE BASE. THIS BASE WILL HAVE HEAVY ORGANIC COUNTERMANEUVER AND DEFENSIVE FIREPOWER LINKED TOGETHER THROUGH A DISTRIBUTED COOPERATIVE SENSOR NET; ORGANIC COMBINED ARMS MANEUVER FORCES CAPABLE OF SUSTAINED OPERATIONS FROM THE SEA BASE, IN BOTH MASSED AND DISPERSED CONFIGURATIONS; AND AN ORGANIC LOGISTIC SYSTEM DESIGNED TO SUSTAIN BOTH THE SEA BASE ITSELF AS WELL AS FORCES OPERATING FROM IT ASHORE. WE ARE CONVINCED THIS FORCE WILL HELP TO SOLVE MANY OF THE JOINT PROBLEMS HIGHLIGHTED IN THE NDP REPORT, AND WE BELIEVE WE ARE AHEAD OF SCHEDULE IN EXPLORING THE CAPABILITIES REQUIRED FOR SUCH A FORCE.

THE NDP ALSO PREDICTED THAT FUTURE POWER PROJECTION OPERATIONS WILL INCREASINGLY BE AIMED INTO URBAN COMPLEXES AND SLUMS. THIS TOO ECHOES A LONG-TIME MARINE CORPS CONCERN. AS YOU PROBABLY KNOW, THE SECOND SERIES OF ADVANCED WARFIGHTING EXPERIMENTS NOW BEING CONDUCTED BY THE MARINE CORPS IS EXPLORING THE TACTICS, TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES NECESSARY TO PROJECT MARINE FORCES FROM AN OFFSHORE BASE DIRECTLY INTO URBAN AREAS, AND FOR THE FORCES TO BE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH OPERATIONALLY RELEVANT TASKS ONCE THERE. WHILE WE APPLAUD THE CALL FOR A JOINT URBAN TRAINING CENTER, WE WOULD LIKE TO HEAR MORE ABOUT HOW IT WOULD BE PAID FOR AND STAFFED BEFORE FULLY EMBRACING IT. IN ANY EVENT, OUR FOCUSING OF RESOURCES TO SOLVE PROBLEMS INHERENT IN THIS CHALLENGING OPERATIONAL ENVIRONMENT SEEMS VINDICATED BY THE NDP REPORT.

THE NDP ALSO HIGHLIGHTED THE THREAT OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION (WMD) TO U.S. CITIZENS AT HOME AND TO U.S. FORCES ABROAD. WITH REGARD TO THE FORMER, THIS WAS THE MOTIVATING IDEA BEHIND THE FORMATION OF OUR HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL INCIDENT RESPONSE FORCE (CBIRF), WHICH IS TRAINED TO HELP CIVILIAN AUTHORITIES HANDLE COMPLEX CONSEQUENCE MANAGEMENT TASKS ASSOCIATED WITH A DOMESTIC WMD TERRORIST ATTACK. WE THEREFORE APPLAUD AND SUPPORT THE NDP'S FOCUS ON THIS ISSUE, AND AGREE IN PRINCIPLE WITH THE NEED TO MORE FULLY ADDRESS HOMELAND DEFENSE IN OUR DEFENSE STRATEGY. WITH REGARD TO THE LATTER, THE THREAT OF WMD IS A KEY PART OF OUR EMERGING ADVANCED SEABASING CONCEPTS. WE BELIEVE A MOBILE, DISTRIBUTED SEA BASE, WITH IN-DEPTH ACTIVE AND PASSIVE DEFENSES, IS MUCH LESS VULNERABLE TO WMD STRIKES THAN FIXED, IMMOBILE INSTALLATIONS ASHORE.THE NDP ALSO VOICED CONCERN ABOUT COMPLEX TRANSNATIONAL THREATS, THE STRESSES THESE THREATS PUT ON OUR INTER-AGENCY TEAM AND THE WAY IT RESPONDS TO CRISES. THIS CONCERN IS MIRRORED IN THE COMMANDANT'S THOUGHTS ON THE "THREE BLOCK WAR," AND IS REFLECTED IN HIS CALL TO RE-EXAMINE THE WAY WE HARNESS ALL COMPONENTS OF OUR NATIONAL POWER TO HELP SOLVE THE SYSTEMIC PROBLEMS BEHIND FUTURE INTERVENTIONS.

FINALLY, THE NDP CONCLUDED WE ARE IN A POTENTIALLY REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD IN MILITARY AFFAIRS, BUT THE EXACT NATURE OF ANY EMERGING "REVOLUTION" IS AS YET UNCLEAR. THIS CONCLUSION STRIKES A RESONANT CHORD TO MARINES, AS WE UNABASHEDLY REFER TO OURSELVES AS "UNCERTAIN REVOLUTIONARIES." AS UNCERTAIN REVOLUTIONARIES, WE ARE MORE THAN WILLING TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES, PRECISION NAVIGATION, LONG-RANGE PRECISION STRIKE CAPABILITIES AND STEALTH WILL HAVE AN IMPORTANT IMPACT ON FUTURE MILITARY OPERATIONS. HOWEVER, WE REMAIN HIGHLY UNCERTAIN AS TO HOW WE SHOULD BEST "EQUIP THE MAN" AND HOW WE SHOULD BEST TRAIN AND EMPLOY FUTURE FORCES. AS A RESULT, WE BELIEVE THIS IS A TIME TO EXPERIMENT, FAIL, AND EXPERIMENT AGAIN, AND TO KEEP OUR OPTIONS AND MINDS OPEN.

FOR EXAMPLE, MANY ASSERT THAT THE AFOREMENTIONED CAPABILITIES WILL MEAN DIRECT COMBAT UNITS WILL BE SMALLER IN THE FUTURE. THIS MIGHT BE TRUE. HOWEVER, MANY OF OUR CONCEPTS ARE BASED ON HIGH-TEMPO, 24 HOURS-A-DAY OPERATIONS, OPERATING OVER A MUCH WIDER AREA. TO SUSTAIN SUCH OPERATIONS MIGHT REQUIRE MANY MORE SMALL UNITS IN THE FORCE, AS WELL AS, AN EQUAL OR EVEN GREATER OVERALL NUMBERS OF FIGHTERS THAN WE HAVE TODAY. FUTHERMORE, FUTURE OPERATIONS IN DENSE, CLUTTERED URBAN AREAS MAY BE EXTREMELY MANPOWER INTENSIVE. THE POINT IS THAT IT IS FAR TOO EARLY TO "LOCK IN" ON ANY PARTICULAR PATH, CAPABILITY, OR CONCEPT, AND WE MUST PURSUE FUTURE FORCE CAPABILITIES ON A BROAD FRONT.

REFLECTING THIS BELIEF, IN 1995 THE MARINE CORPS' INITIATED ITS FIRST THREE PHASE, FIVE-YEAR EXPERIMENTATION PLAN , EACH PHASE CULMINATING IN AN ADVANCED WARFIGHTING EXPERIMENT. THIS FIRST PLAN IS MERELY THE FIRST STEP IN A TRANSFORMATION JOURNEY WITHOUT A PRESCRIBED DESTINATION. MARINES WILL CONTINUE TO FOLLOW A GENERAL DIRECTION MARKED BY THE JOINT OPERATIONAL PROBLEMS HIGHLIGHTED ABOVE. HOWEVER, WE BELIEVE IT BOTH PREMATURE AND IMPRUDENT TO SETTLE ON A FINAL DESTINATION AT THIS POINT ON OUR JOURNEY.

FURTHERMORE, WE AGREE WITH THE NDP THAT OUR MILITARY TRANSFORMATION STRATEGY MUST BE ANCHORED IN AN EMPHASIS ON JOINTNESS. WE ALSO AGREE WITH THE NDP THAT THE TRANSFORMATION MUST ALSO ENCOMPASS GREATER COMPETITION AMONG THE MILITARY SERVICES NOT LESS. THESE TWO CONCLUSIONS, WHILE AT FIRST GLANCE SEEMINGLY INCOMPATIBLE, MUST DEFINE THE TWO KEY COMPONENTS OF OUR DEPARTMENTAL TRANSFORMATION STRATEGY.

SUCH A COMBINATION WILL NOT BE AN EASY ONE. AN OVER-EMPHASIS ON JOINTNESS AND "EFFICIENT" EXPERIMENTATION RISKS DOCTRINAL AND EXPERIMENTAL OVER-CENTRALIZATION THAT HAS PROVEN DECIDEDLY INEFFECTIVE IN THE PAST. THE TIGHTLY CONTROLLED, TOP DOWN FRENCH APPROACH TO PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE PROVED A FAILURE IN THREE WARS. THE CENTRALIZATION OF AIRPOWER UNDER THE ROYAL AIR FORCE ENSURED THAT BRITISH CARRIER AVIATION WAS ILL-PREPARED FOR WORLD WAR II. HOWEVER, AT THE SAME TIME, THE FREEDOM ENJOYED BY THE SERVICES DURING THE INTER-WAR YEARS IS NOT APPLICABLE IN THIS DAY OF JOINT OPERATIONAL ART AND UNFETTERED SERVICE EXPERIMENTATION IS NOT THE PREFERRED MODEL, EITHER. WE THEREFORE URGE THAT WE LOOK BEFORE WE LEAP, AND CAREFULLY CHOOSE AN EXPERIMENTAL FRAMEWORK THAT IDENTIFIES JOINT OPERATIONAL PROBLEMS, AND RUNS EXPERIMENTS IN WHICH ALL SERVICES CAN COMPETE TO SOLVE THEM.

WHILE WE STILL HAVE MUCH ANALYSIS TO DO, WE ARE CONCERNED THAT A JOINT FORCES COMMAND MAY BE A STEP IN THE WRONG DIRECTION. AT FIRST GLANCE, IT SEEMS TO OVER-EMPHASIZE A CENTRALIZED APPROACH TO EXPERIMENTATION. WE URGE THAT THIS ISSUE BE FULLY CONSIDERED AND DEBATED BEFORE ANY FINAL DECISIONS ARE MADE CONCERNING THE MOST EFFECTIVE JOINT EXPERIMENTAL FRAMEWORK.

WITH REGARD TO THE NDP'S OTHER SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS, SUCH AS CHANGES TO THE UNIFIED COMMAND PLAN AND CHANGES TO THE ARMY RESERVE STRUCTURE, WE LOOK FORWARD TO EXAMINING THESE ISSUES MORE FULLY IN THE MONTHS AHEAD. AS YET, WE HAVE COME TO NO CLEAR CONCLUSION ABOUT THEIR MERIT.

IN CLOSING, THE QDR AND THE NDP VALIDATED THE ROLE OF YOUR UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS, ITS CURRENT PLANS AND PROGRAMS, AS WELL AS ITS CURRENT TRANSFORMATION STRATEGY. WHILE WE ARE AS YET UNCERTAIN ABOUT THE FULL EXTENT OR CHARACTER OF OUR TRANSFORMATION, WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT WE ARE ASKING THE RIGHT TYPES OF QUESTIONS AND EXPLORING SOLUTIONS FOR THE RIGHT TYPES OF PROBLEMS. IN ANY EVENT, WE ARE CONFIDENT THE NATION WILL CONTINUE TO NEED AN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE-IN-READINESS IN THE 21ST CENTURY, AND MARINES WILL BE UP TO THE TASKS DEMANDED BY THAT ROLE.

MR CHAIRMAN, THAT CONCLUDES MY REMARKS. I LOOK FORWARD TO ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS. TECHNOLOGY, MODERNIZATION, AND EXPLOITING THE REVOLUTIONS IN BUSINESS AFFAIRS -- IMPLICATIONS FOR DOCTRINE, FORCE STRUCTURE, CAPABILITIES, AND SIZE

1. WHAT TRANSFORMATIONS IN DOCTRINE, FORCE CAPABILITIES, STRUCTURE AND SIZE WILL OCCUR? HOW WILL THE MARINE EXPEDITIONARY FORCE (MEF) OF THE FUTURE DIFFER FROM TODAY? HOW WILL THE RESERVE COMPONENTS BE AFFECTED?

THE NDP CONCLUDED WE ARE IN A POTENTIALLY REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD IN MILITARY AFFAIRS, BUT THE EXACT NATURE OF ANY EMERGING "REVOLUTION" IS AS YET UNCLEAR. THIS CONCLUSION STRIKES A RESONANT CHORD TO MARINES, AS WE UNABASHEDLY REFER TO OURSELVES AS "UNCERTAIN REVOLUTIONARIES." AS UNCERTAIN REVOLUTIONARIES, WE ARE MORE THAN WILLING TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES, PRECISION NAVIGATION, LONG RANGE PRECISION STRIKE CAPABILITIES AND STEALTH WILL HAVE AN IMPORTANT IMPACT ON FUTURE MILITARY OPERATIONS. HOWEVER, WE REMAIN HIGHLY UNCERTAIN AS TO HOW WE SHOULD BEST "EQUIP THE MAN" AND HOW WE SHOULD BEST TRAIN AND EMPLOY FUTURE MARINE EXPEDITIONARY FORCES. AS A RESULT, WE BELIEVE THIS IS A TIME TO EXPERIMENT, FAIL, AND EXPERIMENT AGAIN, AND TO KEEP OUR OPTIONS AND MINDS OPEN.

FOR EXAMPLE, MANY ASSERT THE AFOREMENTIONED CAPABILITIES WILL MEAN DIRECT COMBAT UNITS WILL BE SMALLER IN THE FUTURE. THIS MIGHT BE TRUE. HOWEVER, MANY OF OUR CONCEPTS ARE BASED ON HIGH-TEMPO, 24 HOURS-A-DAY OPERATIONS, OPERATING OVER MUCH WIDER AREAS. TO SUSTAIN SUCH OPERATIONS MIGHT REQUIRE MANY MORE SMALL UNITS IN THE FORCE, AND EQUAL OR EVEN GREATER OVERALL NUMBERS OF FIGHTERS THAN WE HAVE TODAY. FURTHERMORE, FUTURE OPERATIONS IN DENSE, CLUTTERED URBAN AREAS MAY BE EXTREMELY MANPOWER INTENSIVE. THE POINT IS THAT IT IS FAR TO EARLY TO "LOCK IN" ON ANY PARTICULAR PATH, CAPABILITY, OR CONCEPT, AND WE MUST PURSUE FUTURE FORCE CAPABILITIES ON A BROAD FRONT.

REFLECTING THIS BELIEF, IN 1995 THE MARINE CORPS INITIATED ITS FIRST THREE PHASE, FIVE-YEAR EXPERIMENTATION PLAN , EACH PHASE CULMINATING IN AN ADVANCED WARFIGHTING EXPERIMENT. THE FIRST PHASE EXAMINES THE OPERATIONAL CONCEPTS FOR EMPLOYING SMALL DISPERSED TEAMS, BACKED UP BY LONG-RANGE FIRES, IN ECONOMY OF FORCE OPERATIONS IN OPEN TERRAIN. THE SECOND PHASE EXAMINES ADVANCED TACTICS, TECHNIQUES, AND PROCEDURES FOR FORCES OPERATING IN THE URBAN LITTORAL. THE FINAL PHASE WILL BE A NAVAL EXPEDITIONARY FORCE EXERCISE COMBINING THE LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE FIRST TWO PHASES. THIS THREE-PHASED PLAN IS THE FIRST STEP IN A TRANSFORMATION JOURNEY WITHOUT A PRESCRIBED DESTINATION. MARINES WILL CONTINUE TO FOLLOW A COMPASS HEADING AS MARKED BY THE NEED TO EMPLOY AND SUSTAIN FORWARD DEPLOYED FORCES WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF FORWARD BASES, TO PROJECT POWER INTO URBAN ENVIRONMENTS, AND TO BE AN INTEGRAL PARTNER IN INTER-AGENCY RESPONSES TO COMPLEX CONTINGENCIES. HOWEVER, WE BELIEVE IT BOTH PREMATURE AND IMPRUDENT TO SETTLE ON A FINAL DESTINATION FOR OUR TRANSFORMATION.

AS A RESULT, THE FINAL CHARACTER OF THE FUTURE MEF IS AS YET UNKNOWN, AND EXACTLY HOW IT WILL DIFFER FROM TODAY'S FORCE IS UNCLEAR. MOREOVER, THE IMPACT ON THE RESERVE COMPONENT IS ALSO UNCLEAR. ONE THING IS CERTAIN, HOWEVER. THE MARINE CORPS TOTAL FORCE AND FUTURE MARINE EXPEDITIONARY FORCES WILL RETAIN THE SAME SIX CORE COMPETENCIES FOR WHICH MARINES ARE KNOWN TODAY: EXPEDITIONARY READINESS, COMBINED ARMS OPERATIONS, EXPEDITIONARY OPERATIONS, SEA-BASED OPERATIONS, FORCIBLE ENTRY -- FROM THE SEA, AND RESERVE INTEGRATION.

2. HOW DO DOD AND THE SERVICES' IMPLEMENTATION PLANS PROTECT AGAINST THE TEMPTATION TO TRADE PEOPLE AND FORCE STRUCTURE NOW AGAINST NOT ONLY THE PRESUMED BENEFITS OF FUTURE TECHNOLOGY, BUT ALSO THE NEED TO PAY FOR THE NEW TECHNOLOGY?

FIRST, AS IS INDICATED IN OUR ANSWER TO QUESTION ONE, MARINES FLATLY REJECT ANY CONCLUSION AT THIS EARLY STAGE THAT ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY WILL AUTOMATICALLY RESULT IN A GREATER, BUT LESS MANPOWER INTENSIVE, WARFIGHTING CAPABILITY. WE THEREFORE APPLAUD THE SUBCOMMITTEE'S CAUTION THAT "THERE HAVE BEEN ANY NUMBER OF PAST INCORRECT PREDICTIONS ABOUT HOW TECHNOLOGY WILL REDUCE THE NEED FOR PEOPLE -- EITHER BECAUSE THE PREDICTED TECHNOLOGY NEVER SHOWED UP AT ALL, OR NOT AS SOON AS PREDICTED OR WITHOUT THE PREDICTED PEOPLE-SAVING ASPECTS." WE COULD NOT HAVE SAID IT ANY BETTER.

WE ARE CONVINCED SECRETARY COHEN IS WELL AWARE OF THE DANGERS OF MAKING PREMATURE CONCLUSIONS ABOUT MANPOWER SAVINGS ATTRIBUTED TO HIGH TECHNOLOGY, AND HE IS HESITANT ABOUT PAYING FOR INCREASES TO OUR MODERNIZATION AND INVESTMENT ACCOUNTS THROUGH CUTS TO OUR FORCE STRUCTURE. AS HE STATES IN HIS APPRAISAL OF THE NDP REPORT, "THE EXTENT AND PACE OF OUR TRANSFORMATION EFFORTS WILL DEPEND CRITICALLY ON THE AVAILABILITY OF RESOURCES TO INVEST IN NECESSARY RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, TESTING, EXPERIMENTATION, AND PROCUREMENT." HOWEVER, HE CLEARLY INTENDS TO FREE UP THESE EXTRA RESOURCES BY FIRST IMPLEMENTING THE INFRASTRUCTURE REFORMS OUTLINED IN THE QDR AND NDP, AND IN THE DEPARTMENT'S RECENTLY COMPLETED DEFENSE REFORM INITIATIVE.

THE MARINE CORPS STRONGLY SUPPORTS THIS APPROACH. BEFORE WE SACRIFICE FURTHER FORCE STRUCTURE, WE NEED TO WRING EVERY BIT OF SAVINGS OUT OF OUR COLD WAR INFRASTRUCTURE. WE SHOULD ONLY DRAW DOWN FORCES IF EXPERIMENTATION PROVES IT IS POSSIBLE AND PRUDENT TO DO SO.

3. WHAT DOES THE MARINE CORPS THINK ABOUT THE ASSERTION THAT AN INCREASED RELIANCE ON AIR AND SPACE TECHNOLOGY, COMBINED WITH A STRONG RESERVE COMPONENT, WILL REDUCE THE NEED FOR ACTIVE DUTY CONVENTIONAL FORCES?

WE BELIEVE THIS IS THE TYPE OF ASSERTION, MADE WITHOUT PROOF, EXPERIMENTATION, OR FIELD TESTING, THAT THREATENS OUR ABILITY TO CONDUCT FULL-SPECTRUM MILITARY OPERATIONS OR TO FULFILL OUR GLOBAL MILITARY COMMITMENTS. THE FACT IS INTER-STATE WARS ARE RARE OCCURRENCES. FAR MORE FREQUENT ARE INTERVENTIONS TO SAVE LIVES, HELP MAINTAIN THE PEACE BETWEEN WARRING FACTIONS, AND NUMEROUS OTHER OPERATIONS SHORT OF WAR. FOR EXAMPLE, BETWEEN 1945 AND 1996, THE U.S. WAS INVOLVED IN ONLY THREE MID-INTENSITY WARS: KOREA, VIETNAM, AND DESERT STORM. DURING THE SAME TIME, WE CONDUCTED OVER 300 RAPID DEPLOYMENTS OF MILITARY FORCES. AFTER REVIEWING THE FAR MORE NUMEROUS OPERATIONS SHORT OF WAR, THREE CHARACTERISTICS STAND OUT: THE MAJORITY OF RESPONDING FORCES WERE HIGH READINESS ACTIVE DUTY FORCES; THE TYPES OF CAPABILITIES DESCRIBED BY AIRPOWER TECHNOPHILES WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN RELEVANT IN THE VAST MAJORITY OF CASES; AND MANY OF THE RESPONSES WERE HIGHLY MANPOWER INTENSIVE.

IF OUR EXPERIENCE SINCE THE END OF THE COLD WAR IS ANY INDICATION, THE DISPARITY IN NUMBERS BETWEEN OPERATIONS SHORT OF WAR AND INTERSTATE WARS WILL ONLY INCREASE. FREQUENCY OF PAST OR FUTURE RESPONSES ASIDE, HOWEVER, THERE IS NO CLEAR EVIDENCE TO SUUPORT THE CONTENTION FUTURE OPPONENTS WILL TRY TO ENGAGE US IN COLD-WAR STYLE ARMORED ENGAGEMENTS IN WHICH SUCH AN AEROSPACE-RESERVE FORCE MIGHT HAVE A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE. IT SEEMS EQUALLY PROBABLE , IN FACT, THAT OUR OPPONENTS WILL TRY TO AVOID SUCH CONFRONTATIONS, WHICH PROMISE TO BE AS ONE SIDED AS DESERT STORM. INSTEAD, FUTURE ENEMIES MIGHT TRY TO LURE US TO URBAN CANYONS, OR CONDUCT GUERRILLA TACTICS, TO OFFSET THE STRENGTHS OF AN AEROSPACE FORCE. EITHER COURSE OF ACTION WOULD REQUIRE SIGNIFICANT LEVELS OF GROUND MANPOWER TO SUCCESSFULLY COUNTER.

IN SUMMARY, THE MARINE CORPS REJECTS ANY TYPE OF THINKING THAT ADVOCATES A NARROW SERVICE-SPECIFIC OPERATIONAL APPROACH TO THE MULTI-DIMENSIONAL CHALLENGES OF THE FUTURE. THERE IS NO "SILVER BULLET" THAT WILL SOLVE ALL FUTURE OPERATIONAL CHALLENGES. WE MUST PURSUE A TRANSFORMATION STRATEGY ALONG A BROAD FRONT, AND MAINTAIN A DIVERSE PORTFOLIO OF OPERATIONAL CAPABILITIES SUITED FOR AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE. AEROSPACE FORCES WILL PLAY AN IMPORTANT PART IN THE FUTURE AND, IN SOME CIRCUMSTANCES, PLAY A DOMINANT OPERATIONAL ROLE. BUT IN OTHER CASES, THEY WILL OPERATE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE TO ANOTHER DOMINANT JOINT ACTOR. THE STRENGTH OF OUR JOINT TEAM IS THE DEPTH OF ITS "PLAYBOOK," AND THE DIVERSE SET OF OPTIONS JOINT COMMANDERS CAN PURSUE TO ACCOMPLISH THEIR ASSIGNED MISSIONS.TOTAL FORCE POLICY

1. WHAT CHANGES TO THE TOTAL FORCE POLICY DOES THE MARINE CORPS ENVISION AS A RESULT OF THE QDR AND NDP RECOMMENDATIONS?

VERY LITTLE. AS THE NATION'S FORCE-IN-READINESS, EIGHTY PER CENT OUR TOTAL FORCE IS FOUND IN THE ACTIVE COMPONENT. THIS IS BECAUSE WE CANNOT AFFORD TO PAUSE TO CALL UP OUR RESERVES IN ORDER TO INITIALLY RESPOND TO AN EMERGING CRISIS. ONCE COMMITTED, HOWEVER, MARINE RESERVES PLAY A KEY ROLE IN AUGMENTING, REINFORCING, AND SUSTAINING SUBSEQUENT MAGTF OPERATIONS. AS A RESULT, OUR CREDO IS: "ONE CORPS, ONE STANDARD, ONE TOTAL FORCE-IN-READINESS."

MARINE RESERVES ROUTINELY TRAIN WITH ACTIVE COMPONENT UNITS IN PREPARATION FOR CRISIS RESPONSE MISSIONS AND TO ADD COMBAT POWER FOR OPERATIONS, ESPECIALLY AT THE HIGH END OF THE CONFLICT SPECTRUM. IN FACT, OVER 95 PER CENT OF MARINE RESERVE COMBAT UNITS ARE INCLUDED IN THE TIME PHASED FORCE DEPLOYMENT DOCUMENTS (TPFFD'S) ASSOCIATED WITH CINC OPLANS, MAKING THEM A CRITICAL PART OF THE MARINE CORPS' WARFIGHTING CONTRIBUTION TO JOINT AND COMBINED CAMPAIGNS.

NOWHERE WAS THE INTEGRATION AND CONTRIBUTION OF MARINE RESERVES MORE EVIDENT THAN DURING DESERT STORM, WHEN 53 PER CENT OF THE SELECTED MARINE CORPS RESERVE END STRENGTH WAS ACTIVATED, SURPASSING ANY OTHER SERVICE COMPONENT ACTIVATION BY A FACTOR OF TWO. AND MARINE RESERVE UNITS EMPLOYED IN COMBAT, LIKE THOSE FROM 4TH TANK BATTALION, WERE EVERY BIT AS EFFECTIVE AS THEIR ACTIVE DUTY COUNTERPARTS.

THIS DEGREE OF INTEGRATION PROVIDES THE MARINE CORPS AND REGIONAL COMMANDERS-IN-CHIEF WITH UNPRECEDENTED MISSION DEPTH, OPERATIONAL FLEXIBILITY, AND SUSTAINABILITY UP AND DOWN THE CONFLICT SPECTRUM. WE FIRMLY BELIEVE IN THE SPIRIT OF THE TERM "TOTAL FORCE," AND OUR OPERATIONS PROVE OUR COMMITMENT TO THOROUGH RESERVE INTEGRATION.

2. WHAT SPECIFICALLY IS BEING DONE BY THE MARINE CORPS TO CARRY OUT THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE'S MANDATE TO ELIMINATE "ALL RESIDUAL BARRIERS -- STRUCTURAL AND CULTURAL" -- TO EFFECTIVE INTEGRATION OF THE RESERVE AND ACTIVE COMPONENTS?

WE FIRMLY BELIEVE THERE ARE NO SERIOUS STRUCTURAL OR CULTURAL BARRIERS BETWEEN OUR ACTIVE AND RESERVE COMPONENTS. OUR POLICY OF "ONE CORPS, ONE STANDARD, ONE TOTAL FORCE-IN-READINESS" IS IMMEDIATELY INGRAINED IN THE MINDS OF ALL MARINES FROM THE MOMENT THEY ENTER OUR CORPS. ALL MARINES -- REGARDLESS OF COMPONENT -- ATTEND THE EXACT SAME ENTRY LEVEL TRAINING. AT BOOT CAMP, THE SOCIALIZATION AND TRANSFORMATION PROCESS IS TOTALLY BLIND TO THE RESPECTIVE COMPONENTS OF THE RECRUITS. THE SAME IS TRUE FOR FOLLOW-ON MILITARY OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTY TRAINING (MOS). ACTIVE AND RESERVE MARINES ASSIGNED TO APARTICULAR MOS ATTEND THE SAME SCHOOL AND CONDUCT THE SAME TRAINING.

WE MEAN IT WHEN WE SAY THERE IS ONE STANDARD -- THE MARINE CORPS TOTAL FORCE STANDARD. AS A RESULT, RESERVE UNITS ARE DEVOTED A HIGH LEVEL OF ACTIVE DUTY SUPPORT. THE HIGHLY EFFECTIVE INSPECTOR-INSTRUCTOR PROGRAM, IN WHICH AN ACTIVE DUTY TEAM OF OFFICERS AND STAFF NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS ARE ASSIGNED TO SELECTED MARINE CORPS RESERVE UNITS, ENSURES COMBAT STANDARDS ARE THE SAME IN BOTH RESERVE AND ACTIVE UNITS. CEMENTING THIS RELATIONSHIP FURTHER, INSPECTOR-INSTRUCTOR STAFFS WILL BE INTEGRATED INTO THE GROUND SMCR UNIT TABLES OF TABLES OF ORGANIZATION.

BECAUSE OF OUR INSISTENCE ON ONE STANDARD, RESERVE UNITS CAN BE THOROUGHLY INTEGRATED INTO EXERCISES AND TRAINING, AND ARE INCLUDED IN ACTIVE DUTY TRAINING PLANS WHEN AND WHERE APPROPRIATE. FOR EXAMPLE, THE 4TH FORCE SERVICE SUPPORT GROUP PROVIDES OVER 40 SELECTED AUGMENTATION UNITS (SAUS) TO THE ACTIVE COMPONENT EVERY FISCAL YEAR. THESE SAU'S PUT RESERVISTS INTO THE MAINTENANCE BAYS AND SUPPLY WAREHOUSES OF ACTIVE COMPONENT UNITS, WHERE THEY WORK ALONGSIDE THEIR ACTIVE DUTY COUNTERPARTS. EACH OCTOBER, MARINE RESERVES PROVIDE THE ENTIRE CONTINGENT OF LIGHT ARMORED VEHICLE AND AMPHIBIOUS ASSAULT VEHICLE OPERATORS TO III MEF FOR THE JOINT/COMBINED OPERATION FOAL EAGLE IN KOREA. AND IN MARINE RESERVE AVIATION SQUADRONS, ACTIVE DUTY PERSONNEL ARE AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE UNIT.

THE PREMIER INTERNAL MARINE CORPS TRAINING EVENT REMAINS THE COMBINED ARMS EXERCISE, OR CAX, A LIVE FIRE EVENT INTEGRATING ALL COMPONENTS OF A MARINE AIR-GROUND TASK FORCE. IN THE PAST, SEPARATE CAX'S WERE CONDUCTED FOR ACTIVE AND RESERVE UNITS. TO FURTHER BREAK DOWN ANY BARRIERS BETWEEN THE ACTIVE AND RESERVE COMPONENTS, WE HAVE EMBARKED ON A PLAN TO COMPLETELY INTEGRATE THE CAX PROGRAM SO THAT BY FY99 ACTIVE AND RESERVE UNITS WILL BE COMPLETELY INTERWOVEN THROUGHOUT THE TRAINING CYCLE. ACCORDINGLY, DURING FY97, INTEGRATION OF ACTIVE AND RESERVE GROUND COMBAT AND COMBAT SERVICE SUPPORT UNITS WAS INSTITUTED AT THE PLATOON AND COMPANY LEVEL. AND IN FY98, RESERVE AVIATION UNITS WILL INTEGRATE WITH ACTIVE FORCES IN SUPPORT OF THE CAX. THE PERFORMANCE OF THE SELECTED MARINE CORPS RESERVE DURING DESERT STORM, AS WELL AS THEIR THOROUGH INTEGRATION IN PEACETIME OPERATIONS AND TRAINING, PROVIDES CLEAR EVIDENCE THAT THE TERM "TOTAL FORCE" IS MORE THAN A MARINE CORPS "BUMPER STICKER." WHILE WE ARE CONVINCED THERE ARE FEW STRUCTURAL OR CULTURAL BARRIERS AMONG ACTIVE AND RESERVE UNITS, WE WILL CONTINUE TO EXPLORE NEW WAYS STRENGTHEN OUR TOTAL FORCE-IN-READINESS.

3. HOW DOES THE MARINE CORPS PLAN TO REFORM THE DEFENSE BUDGETING PROCESS SO THAT RESERVE COMPONENT NEEDS ARE ADEQUATELY INTEGRATED AND ADDRESSED?

WHEN WE BUDGET AND PROGRAM, WE DO IT AS A TOTAL FORCE. WHEN WE PURCHASE EQUIPMENT FOR THE ACTIVE COMPONENT, WE PURCHASE EQUIPMENT FOR THE RESERVE COMPONENT. THEREFORE, THE BUDGETING PROCESS FOR THE RESERVES MIRRORS THE BUDGETING PROCESS FOR THE ACTIVE FORCES.

HOWEVER, WE ARE CONVINCED THE CURRENT BUDGETING PROCESS DOES NOT ADEQUATELY CAPTURE OUR CONCEPT OF RESERVE DEPLOYMENT. IN FAST-BREAKING CRISES, THREE BRIGADE-EQUIVALENTS OF ACTIVE DUTY FORCES MARRY UP WITH THE FORWARD DEPLOYED EQUIPMENT CARRIED ON THE MARITIME PREPOSITIONING FORCE SHIPS, AND ARE EMPLOYED AS INDEPENDENT MARINE AIR-GROUND TASK FORCES, OR AS PART OF A LARGER MARINE EXPEDITIONARY FORCE. IN TURN, RESERVE UNITS FALL IN ON THE RESULTING "REMAIN BEHIND EQUIPMENT," AND DEPLOY INTO THEATER ACCORDING TO THE TIME PHASE DEPLOYMENT DOCUMENT ASSOCIATED WITH A CINC'S OPLAN.

WHILE THIS CONCEPT FOR RESERVE DEPLOYMENT IS VALID, IT IS IS NOT WELL REFLECTED IN OUR BUDGET DISPLAYS. WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK TO TRY TO BETTER CAPTURE THIS CONCEPT AND ITS IMPACT ON OUR BUDGETING PROCESS.

NEW MISSIONS AND SECURITY REQUIREMENT :

HOMELAND DEFENSE

1. TO WHAT DEGREE DOES THE MARINE CORPS SHARE THE NDP'S CALL FOR INCREASED READINESS IN HOMELAND DEFENSE? HOW IS THE MARINE CORPS TRANSLATING THEIR VIEWS REGARDING HOMELAND DEFENSE INTO ALLOCATION OF RESOURCES? AMONG A RANGE OF NATIONAL SECURITY REQUIREMENTS FOR RESTRICTED RESOURCES, WHERE DOES HOMELAND DEFENSE RANK, AND HOW SHOULD HOMELAND DEFENSE REQUIREMENTS BE USED TO SHAPE YOUR ACTIVE AND RESERVE COMPONENT?

THE MARINE CORPS HAS LONG RECOGNIZED THE GROWING VULNERA- BILITY OF THE HOMELAND TO ASYMMETRIC THREATS SUCH AS CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL TERRORIST ATTACKS. INDEED, AS A RESULT OF THIS AWARENESS, THE MARINE CORPS FIELDED A CHEMICAL BIOLOGICAL INCIDENT RESPONSE FORCE, OR CBIRF, TO HELP DOMESTIC AUTHORITIES MANAGE THE COMPLEX CONSEQUENCES OF SUCH AN ATTACK. DEPLOYED FOR THE FIRST TIME DURING THE 1996 OLYMPIC GAMES IN ATLANTA, HAD THE UNIT BEEN FORCED TO RESPOND TO AN ACTUAL INCIDENT, IT WOULD HAVE RESPONDED UNDER THE OPERATIONAL CONTROL OF THE LOCAL FIRE CHIEF. THE POINT HERE IS THAT AS THE TOKYO SARIN GAS ATTACK PROVED, THESE THREATS ARE INCREASINGLY REAL, AND NEW CONCEPTS OF CIVIL-MILITARY COOPERATION AND RESPONSE ARE GOING TO BE REQUIRED TO COUNTER THEM.

THEREFORE, THE MARINE CORPS APPLAUDS THE NDP'S CALL FOR INCREASED READINESS IN HOMELAND DEFENSE, AND SUPPORTS THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE'S CALL FOR AN EXAMINATION OF THE ROLE OF HOMELAND DEFENSE IN OUR OVERALL DEFENSE STRATEGY. SINCE THIS EXAMINATION HAS YET TO OCCUR, WE HAVE REACHED NO CONCLUSION ABOUT THE PRIORITY OF THE MISSION, THE LEVEL OF RESOURCES THAT SHOULD BE DEVOTED TO IT, OR POSSIBLE REQUIREMENTS THAT MIGHT SHAPE MARINE ACTIVE OR RESERVE COMPONENT UNITS IN SUPPORT OF IT.

THAT SAID, WE CAUTIOUSLY SUPPORT THE NDP'S ASSERTION THAT THE NATIONAL GUARD MAY BE ABLE TO PROVIDE THE BULK OF THE FORCES NECESSARY FOR THIS NEW MISSION. THIS SEEMS TO BE A NATURAL MATCH. BUT UNTIL A MORE THOROUGH EXAMINATION OF THE ISSUE IS CONDUCTED,WE DEFER TO THE ARMY AND THE NATIONAL GUARD BUREAU ON THE MERIT OF THIS RECOMMENDATION. TRANSFORMATION STRATEGIES -- ISSUES OF COST AND RESOURCE ALLOCATION

1. HOW DO THE SERVICES ASSESS THE NDP'S CONCLUSION THAT DOD'S ABILITY TO ACHIEVE $60 BILLION IN ANNUAL MODERNIZATION AND FUND THE QDR FORCE IS IN SERIOUS DOUBT?

AS YOU KNOW, A KEY GOAL OF THE QDR WAS TO CORRECT THE CHRONIC MIGRATION OF FUNDS FROM INVESTMENT ACCOUNTS (R&D AND PROCURE- MENT) TO OPERATIONS AND SUPPORT (O&S) ACCOUNTS, AND GRADUALLY INCREASE INVESTMENT SPENDING TO $60 BILLION ANNUALLY. AS OUTLINED IN THE QDR, THE DEPARTMENT'S STRATEGY TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM IS TO PURSUE A SERIES OF WIDE-RANGING INFRASTRUCTURE SAVINGS, SUCH AS TWO MORE ROUNDS OF BRAC AND ACQUISITION REFORM. THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE STRENGTHENED THIS STRATEGY BY HIS SUBSEQUENT DEFENSE REFORM INITIATIVE, WHICH IDENTIFIED FURTHER POSSIBLE INFRASTRUCTURE AND ORGANIZATIONAL SAVINGS.

AS THE NDP POINTS OUT, MANY OF THE SAVINGS ARE BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE DEPARTMENT, AND RELY UPON CONGRESSIONAL ACTION. THEY THEREFORE CONCLUDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT'S STRATEGY TO ACHIEVE THE REQUIRED SAVINGS IS IN DOUBT. WHILE THIS MAY BE TRUE, THEIR CONCLUSIONS BY NO MEANS SUGGEST THE SECRETARY'S OVERALL STRATEGY IS WRONG, OR THAT HE HAS ESTABLISHED THE WRONG PRIORITIES FOR IDENTIFYING SAVINGS. OUR FORCES ARE STRETCHED TO THE LIMIT TRYING TO MEET DAY-TO-DAY COMMITMENTS, AND OUR PROCUREMENT ACCOUNTS REMAIN AT UNCOMFORTABLY LOW LEVELS. THE ONLY COMPONENT OF THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT THAT HAS YET TO UNDERGO SIGNIFICANT DOWNSIZING IN THE POST-COLD WAR PERIOD IS OUR INFRASTRUCTURE. WE SUPPORT THE SECRETARY'S STRATEGY TO ACHIEVE INVESTMENT SAVINGS PRIMARILY THROUGH A MEASURED DRAWDOWN IN OUR INFRASTRUCTURE, AND HOPE THAT CONGRESS RESISTS EFFORTS TO ACHIEVE THE SAVINGS BY FURTHER CUTS TO END STRENGTH.

2. LOOKING AT THE ACTIONS THAT THE NDP CONCLUDED WOULD BE NECESSARY TO ACHIEVE ADEQUATE FUNDING, IT WOULD APPEAR THAT THE "EASIEST" TO DO WOULD BE TO REDUCE READINESS AND MANPOWER LEVELS. WHAT'S THE RISK THAT ADDITIONAL MANPOWER REDUCTIONS BEYOND THOSE ALREADY PROPOSED BY THE QDR WILL BE LIKELY TO FUND THE TRANSFORMATION?

UNLESS DRASTIC REDUCTIONS TO OUR WORLD-WIDE MILITARY COMMITMENTS ARE MADE, OR OUR NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY OF ENGAGEMENT IS ALTERED, REDUCING MANPOWER LEVELS BEYOND THOSE RECOMMENDED IN THE QDR WOULD ENTAIL GREAT RISKS. FOR THE MARINE CORPS, ADDITIONAL CUTS WOULD BE DEVASTATING.

SEVERAL ANALYSES HAVE DETERMINED THAT THE OPTIMAL ACTIVE DUTY END STRENGTH REQUIRED FOR THE MARINE CORPS TO MEET ITS BY-LAW AND CINC COMMITMENTS IS SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 176,000 AND 180,000 MARINES. OUR QDR-DIRECTED END STRENGTH IS 172,200. WE HAVE ACHIEVED THIS END STRENGTH AND MAINTAINED OUR COMMITMENTS BY RUTHLESSLY PARING DOWN OUR INFRASTRUCTURE, WHICH IS ALREADY THE LEANEST OF ANY OF THE SERVICES. ANY FURTHER SIGNIFICANT CUTS WOULD HAVE TO COME FROM COMBAT UNITS, AND AS YOU KNOW, ANALYSES IN THE QDR SHOWED THAT WE LITERALLY RAN OUT OF MARINE COMBAT FORCES UNDER CURRENT OPLANS. AS A RESULT, THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ORDERED US TO MAINTAIN THE NUMBER OF "TRIGGER PULLERS" CURRENTLY IN THE FLEET MARINE FORCES.

TO HELP MAINTAIN OUR COMBAT CAPABILITY, OUR CIVILIAN INFRASTRUCTURE HAS ALSO BEEN REDUCED. THE MARINE CORPS' MILITARY TO CIVILIAN RATIO IS APPROXIMATELY 10 TO 1, WHICH IS FIVE TIMES HIGHER THAN THE DOD AVERAGE. THERE IS SIMPLY NO MORE FLEXIBILITY TO MAKE ANY FURTHER CIVILIAN REDUCTIONS, EITHER.

REDUCING END STRENGTH FURTHER MAY BE THE "EASIEST" OPTION TO ACHIEVE SAVINGS, BUT IT IS NOT THE PRUDENT ONE. WE URGE THE CONGRESS NOT TO CONSIDER ANY FURTHER END STRENGTH REDUCTIONS UNTIL WE ARE CERTAIN THAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED EVERY INFRASTRUCTURE EFFICIENCY POSSIBLE.