Index

Pentagon Spokesman's Briefing




DEFENSE DEPARTMENT REGULAR BRIEFING

BRIEFER: REAR ADMIRAL CRAIG QUIGLEY, USN, SPOKESMAN

PENTAGON BRIEFING ROOM

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA

1:30 P.M. EST - TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2001



Q: Can we assume that - for example, there's been speculation about
different kinds of, different varieties of NMD would be a completely
separate thing, even though there's ultimately a resource question
that goes completely separate.


Quigley: Sure. Well, the president has been very unambiguous here in
his desire to pursue a missile defense system for the United States,
and perhaps for our allies. When Secretary Rumsfeld was at the
Wehrkunde conference this last weekend in Munich, that was a frequent
topic of conversation in his bilateral meetings with his counterparts
from other nations, a topic of several speeches in the main conference
floor. But the specific description and the parameters of the type of
missile defense system that you would put in place is still a work in
progress.


Q: Is the current project continuing on the schedule it's been on
since before he took office?


Quigley: Yes. And the secretary has had two or three meetings, three,
I believe, with General Kadish at the Ballistic Missile Defense Office
to make sure that his understanding of the program as it's currently
structured is complete and he understands, you know, what the
near-term goals are and the near-term test objectives and what have
you, funding streams, time frames. And his guidance to General Kadish
at this point is to press on.

....

Q: The Pentagon IG issued a critical report on the Army-led WMD assist
program this week?


Quigley: Right. [On the Web at
http://www.dodig.osd.mil/audit/reports/01043sum.htm ]


Q: Could you tell us a couple of things: how much money was spent on
that, when teams will be ready to deploy - they're - I guess,
according to reports they were supposed to be in January 2000 and
they're still not ready - and how that program is now being managed
and organized. In November there was that memo that went out
dismantling, or starting to dismantle the --


Quigley: COMPIO [Consequence Management Program Integration Office]?



Q: Yeah, the COMPIO. Who is in charge now, and what --



Quigley: Well, the Army is still the executive agent of the program,
and with oversight by DoD, and specifically in this case, the
assistant secretary for Reserve Affairs. And the goal with the COMPIO
organization was always to ultimately disband it and to farm-out its
responsibilities to other elements of the Defense Department. But in
order --


Q: Yes, but --



Quigley: Well, but in order to get the program started on a fast
track, which is what we wanted to do some years ago, you needed to
have a focus that could be brought to the program; hence, the creation
of a consolidated office to do that. But once you had the program up
and moving at least in the right direction, the goal was to then
disperse those responsibilities to other elements of DoD.


The question on timetable, the shortcomings that were noted in the IG
audit report have been assimilated; a couple of them are actually
already done; others are not. And when they are completed and you have
the teams that are ready to be recommended for certification to the
secretary, then that recommendation will go forward.


I know it's a priority, but I can't put a time frame on it for you.



Q: Do you have confidence that all of those teams that - I think nine
of the 10 were getting ready to be certified. Are they actually
qualified?


Quigley: I think it was seven of the 10 where the original
recommendation was made, but we still found shortcomings.


Q: Are you going to go back and review their readiness before --



Quigley: Oh, indeed. Absolutely. That's all part of the whole, using
what we already knew, what the IG found, of blending the two together
and making sure that the teams are in fact ready to be forwarded to
the secretary for his consideration to certify them ready for use.
They're a long ways down the road of their training, of their
equipment, and have had many exercises at the local level with first
responders. But are they ready to be certified yet? Clearly, they are
not. Progress is being made in that regard, but we're not there yet.
We set pretty high standards for these teams, both in equipment and in
training, and we're not there yet. I think you just don't want to have
anything lower than you absolutely have to in the way of quality of
training, type of training, amount of training, equipment that the
teams are proficient with. And until all of those criteria are met,
they're not ready to be certified.


Q: Is DoD pleased with the way the - (inaudible) - program, and so
it's just a standard transition?


Quigley: If we could look back, I think, right now, would we do some
things differently than we did them initially? Yeah, I'm sure we would
have. But there was a great sense of urgency in getting this program
going on a fast track. And the Army, as the executive agent, was
tasked with a pretty tall order here, in retrospect. And could there
have been things done better, in retrospect? Absolutely. But we all
learn from that. And the IG report is a very good blueprint on the way
ahead, and we're looking at it in that regard.