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Services Praise Successes; Set Priorities
Excerpts Departments of Army, Navy and Air Force , Senate Armed Services Committee, Tuesday, February 25, 1997

Defense Issues: Volume 12, Number 26-- Services Praise Successes; Set Priorities The world environment remains volatile as the nation enters the new millennium. The United States must have a force capable of accomplishing missions across the full spectrum of military operations to provide stability in that world.

 

Volume 12, Number 26

Services Praise Successes; Set Priorities

Excerpts from the Departments of Army, Navy and Air Force posture statements as presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Feb. 25, 1997.

 

Excerpt from the Army Posture Statement for Fiscal 1998 -- "A Broad Range of Missions" -- as presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee by Secretary of the Army Togo D. West Jr. and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Dennis J. Reimer, Feb. 25, 1997.

 

The Army's fundamental purpose is to fight and win the nation's wars, but it also executes a broad range of dangerous missions around the world and assists on the home front. The national military strategy calls for flexible and selective engagement; America's Army serves on the front lines of the world's trouble spots to further the strategy's overall objectives of promoting stability and thwarting aggression.

The Army has more than 100,000 soldiers and 28,000 civilians stationed around the world, and on any given day during the past year, more than 35,000 soldiers were deployed from their home stations to conduct operations and participate in exercises in more than 70 countries. Each contributes to deterring aggression, promoting stability, strengthening alliances and maintaining American presence in regions vital to our national interest.

In every region of the world, the Army engages daily in two kinds of activities -- operations and international activities. Operations encompass such activities as the participation in multinational exercises and the conduct of humanitarian and peacekeeping missions. International activities are the proactive methods by which the Army executes preventive defense and include all official activities involving cooperative, noncombat interaction with the armed forces, governments, industries and people of other nations.

Southwest Asia. Southwest Asia (SWA) has vast energy resources, and the United States has strong ties to many of the region's countries. Army forces in the region continue to enforce United Nations (U.N.) resolutions and fulfill commitments to American allies. Multinational and joint exercises -- such as Bright Star in Egypt and Intrinsic Action in Kuwait -- promote regional stability while providing important training for both the Army and host nation forces.

The deployment of 3,500 American soldiers to Kuwait in October 1996 following the expansion of the no-fly zone in Iraq provided a credible deterrent to further hostile Iraqi acts. In addition, more than 1,500 soldiers equipped with fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and other equipment continue to assist Joint Task Force Southern Watch in monitoring no-fly areas and support Operation Provide Comfort in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq.

The Army also continues to provide regional peacekeeping forces to the Multinational

Force and Observer (MFO) organization monitoring the Israeli-Egyptian border as agreed to in the Camp David Accords. The United States, along with 10 other nations, has contributed to this effort for 14 years. The U.S. Army provides nearly 1,000 soldiers, mostly from light infantry battalions that are rotated every six months; other soldiers serve one-year tours to provide logistical support to the entire multinational force.

Pacific Rim. To reassure allies and deter aggression, the Army maintains 50,000 soldiers and 14,550 civilians forward-stationed in Korea, Hawaii, Alaska and Japan. These personnel provide a rapidly deployable force for the U.S. Pacific Command and participate in multinational exercises, nation assistance programs and military-to-military contacts throughout the region.

In the Republic of Korea, the Army, as part of the Combined Forces Command, has deterred North Korean aggression and promoted stability on the peninsula for more than 40 years. In conjunction with the armed forces of the Republic of Korea, U.S. Army troops maintain a constant vigil over North Korea, conduct regular exercises and work together in combined headquarters to closely coordinate plans for the defense of the Republic of Korea. In Japan, the Army provides theater logistics for the Western Pacific and continues to improve bilateral relations with the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.

The Army is also engaged with more than 35 other Pacific nations in conducting exercises, joint training, exchanges, conferences and humanitarian assistance operations. U.S. Army, Pacific, for example, directs the Pacific Armies Management Seminar, at which representatives from militaries throughout the region conduct symposia on topics of broad interest. The Army also participates in humanitarian and civic action programs, such as construction and medical assistance throughout the region.

These efforts strengthen the professional bonds between the U.S. Army and the armed forces of host nations while helping those nations improve their living standards. Additionally, the Army serves as the Pacific Command's principal military agent for assisting law enforcement agencies in the war against illegal drug trafficking.

Finally, U.S. Army, Pacific, has personnel permanently assigned to the Investigation and Recovery Team of Joint Task Force Full Accounting, which conducts investigations, excavations and recovery operations of missing American service members from previous conflicts in the region. This support includes explosive ordnance disposal and medical assistance.

Europe. U.S. Army, Europe, has shifted its focus from central Europe to individual regions, staying trained and ready to conduct the full range of military operations. The Army in Europe also participates in multinational formations and is a visible affirmation of U.S. commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The 65,000 soldiers and 8,400 Army civilians forward-stationed in Europe are continually involved in a wide range of multinational exercises and operations. In December 1995, Army engineers from the 502nd Engineer Company battled snow, rain, wind, floods and mud to bridge the Sava River on the border of Croatia and Bosnia. This enabled Task Force Eagle, comprised of 20,000 American soldiers, to cross the river and implement the military elements of the Dayton Peace Accords in support of Operation Joint Endeavor.

This operation marked the first commitment of forces in NATO's history as well as the first time since World War II that American and Russian soldiers have shared a common mission. Today, thousands of people are alive in Bosnia because of these soldiers' sacrifices and selfless service. They stopped the senseless slaughter, provided stability and are helping to shape the environment of the 21st century.

In 1996, American soldiers -- many of them from the reserve components -- also took part in 16 NATO Partnership for Peace exercises. These exercises focus on noncombat operations -- such as peacekeeping and humanitarian assistance -- and are designed to expand and improve interoperability among NATO and other European nations.

In Operation Able Sentry, a reinforced mechanized infantry company observes and reports from the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia as part of the U.N. Preventive Deployment Force. U.S. Army, Europe, soldiers also continue to support Operation Provide Comfort in northern Iraq and to supply humanitarian assistance to the states of the former Soviet Union.

Africa. Army activities in Africa promote stability and support economic, political and social development. The United States seeks to foster regional stability and the growth of democratic institutions by helping African governments protect their natural resources and resist destabilizing outside influences. The Army provides U.S. European Command and U.S. Central Command with a range of capabilities that can be put to use in the region.

In 1994, for example, the Army contributed to the U.S. government's desperately needed humanitarian relief operations in Rwanda by providing clean water to combat outbreaks of cholera, helping to bury the dead and integrating the transport and distribution of relief supplies. In 1996, the Army assisted in safeguarding and evacuating Americans from Liberia when that nation's civil war reignited. In addition, the Army trains officers and soldiers from all parts of Africa, conducts a variety of exchange programs with various nations and provides observers to the U.N. peacekeeping missions in the western Sahara.

Western Hemisphere. The Army has had a significant impact on the nations of the Western Hemisphere. Army participation in multinational exercises, nation-building activities, counterdrug operations and civic action programs, as well as army-to-army contacts have been particularly effective in promoting stability in nations adjusting to democratic rule. Today, every nation in the region, except Cuba, embraces democratic principles.

The Army supports two unified commands in the Western Hemisphere: the U.S. Atlantic Command and the U.S. Southern Command. Approximately 3,000 soldiers and 2,300 civilians are part of the latter and are forward-stationed in Latin America. Hundreds more are deployed as needed.

The Army is engaged with every Latin American nation except Cuba. In each, much of the U.S. Southern Command's internal development program is built around the foreign internal defense (FID) capabilities of Army special operations forces, and reserve component soldiers deploy frequently to conduct civic action and engineering operations throughout the hemisphere. In 1996, the reserve component provided medical and dental care in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ecuador, Panama and Belize, and built classrooms, clinics, community centers and roads in Belize, Honduras and Costa Rica.

The Army also funds a variety of delegation visits through the Latin American Cooperation Fund, hosts the Multinational School of the Americas at Fort Benning, Ga., participates in the biannual Conference of American Armies, and has ongoing army-to-army interchanges throughout the region.

The Army's work fosters the development of professional militaries throughout Latin America, promotes human rights and supports national counterdrug strategies. More directly, the Army is assisting in the peaceful settlement of the border dispute between Peru and Ecuador by providing support personnel, helicopters and U.S. observers to Operation Safe Border. In the Caribbean, the Army continues to conduct bilateral engineering projects to improve Haiti's infrastructure and to support the U.N. mission there.

Office of Army International Affairs. The Army established the Office of Army International Affairs in May 1996. This office develops and recommends broad policy guidance for Army international activities and oversees the implementation of the Army International Activities Plan (AIAP). This plan establishes guidelines, methods and means for the conduct of Army activities with the armed forces, governments and people of foreign nations. The AIAP provides planning and programming guidance for the management of all Army international activities including political-military interactions, material-technical cooperation and security assistance. Each of these activities contributes significantly to the professionalism of foreign militaries, the growth of democracy, and regional stability.

In addition to executing missions abroad in support of national policy, the Army also lends support at home. In the past year, American soldiers and members of the civilian work force supported domestic relief operations following floods and hurricanes, battled wildfires, conducted counterdrug operations and supported the Olympic Games in Atlanta. The Army's Civil Works and Environmental Programs provide benefits as well.

Disaster Relief. Last year on the home front the Army conducted emergency evacuations during flooding in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, and assisted communities battered by hurricanes. In the aftermath of Hurricane Fran, for example, the Army provided debris removal, dredging, power generation, ground transportation for distributing relief supplies and logistical support. More than 3,500 National Guard soldiers on state active duty and 300 Army Corps of Engineers members participated in the effort. The Army's 4th Engineer Battalion, Fort Carson, Colo., deployed to Oregon's Umatilla National Forest to help fight wildfires, and the Oregon Army National Guard had 930 members on state active duty providing firefighting support in six states. The Army also provided support in the aftermath of the TWA Flight 800 tragedy. The Army Corps of Engineers and 157 soldiers of the New York Army National Guard took part in recovery operations.

The Army also served the nation through the National Guard's Medical Innovative Readiness Training -- formerly known as Guard Care. This program enables the Guard's health care professionals to train in wartime clinical skills while providing medical care to underserved populations in the United States. In 1996, 1,091 National Guard soldiers treated 7,500 patients in 23 communities in 12 states.

Olympic Support. The Army supported the 1996 Summer Olympic Games and Paralympic Games in Atlanta with more than 11,000 personnel. Joint Task Force-Olympics, operating under the commander, U.S. Army Forces Command, provided command and control of all active duty personnel working at the games. Army personnel provided logistical and administrative support, as well as security at venue sites.

Counterdrug Operations. The Army continues to support the counterdrug activities of civilian drug law enforcement agencies (DLEAs) and regional commanders in chief. The Army contributes more than 4,000 active and reserve component soldiers to the counterdrug effort every day, and more than 200 are permanently assigned to counterdrug joint task forces. The demand for operations along America's southwest border continues to rise, as does the need for Army mobile training teams to work with DLEAs. Military intelligence analysts and linguists are also in high demand, and the Army Reserve and National Guard continue to play a major role in counterdrug efforts. In the past year, the Army Reserve conducted more than 150 such operations involving some 600 soldiers. During the same period, the Army National Guard took part in more than 7,000 operations, contributing an average of more than 3,000 soldiers per day.

Army Civil Works. Immensely beneficial to the nation, the Army Civil Works Program conducts harbor and inland waterway projects vital to the movement of strategic materials. One-sixth of the nation's cargo moves through the nearly 300 ports, 235 locks and 12,000 miles of waterways maintained under the Civil Works Program. In addition, flood and storm damage-reduction projects designed to protect against the ravages of nature have prevented nearly $300 billion in damages.

Army Civil Works also produces nearly 25 percent of the nation's hydroelectric power, supplies the water needed by more than 10 million people and ensures that infrastructure development projects take care to protect fragile ecosystems. A force of more than 300 soldiers and 28,000 civilians, supported by tens of thousands of contractor employees, carries out the Civil Works Program.

Environmental Stewardship. The Army is successfully blending its military mission with its environmental responsibilities. We are committed to protecting the environment and conserving natural resources for present and future generations through an environmental strategy based on compliance, restoration, prevention and conservation. Its goals are full compliance with environmental laws and regulations; restoration of past environmental damage; prevention of environmental degradation through the elimination or reduction of toxic wastes; and conservation of the land, water, air and all other natural resources.

The Army will maintain a stable, predictable level of funding for restoration while vigorously pursuing opportunities for conservation and pollution prevention. Environmental stewardship is a consideration in everything the Army does - it is the right way to do business and directly affects the Army's legacy and future.

America's Army -- active, Army Reserve and Army National Guard -- provides the nation with the capability for full spectrum operations. Soldiers on the ground are America's most visible sign of deterrence and reassurance, and securing peace and stability requires long-term commitment -- a role the Army is uniquely structured to fulfill. Every day, the Army meets the demands for forward presence while remaining prepared to project power into any situation threatening the nation's interests. The abilities to compel, deter, reassure and support comprise the essence of today's capabilities-based Army -- the nation's force of decision.

 

Excerpt -- "Operational Primacy" -- from the Department of the Navy 1997 Posture Statement as presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee, by Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jay L. Johnson and Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. C.C. Krulak, Feb. 25, 1997.

 

Although our overarching responsibility ultimately lies in maintaining our ability to fight and win wars, our day-to-day efforts are focused on peacetime engagement and crisis response. ... the actual force dispersal of a carrier battle group and amphibious ready group with an embarked Marine expeditionary unit during a recent deployment -- the George Washington (CVN 73) Carrier Battle Group (CVBG) and the Guam (LPH 9) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), with 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) embarked -- provide a vivid example of the utility of naval forces to the National Command Authorities across the full range of operations.

Specifically, the Guam ARG and 22nd MEU demonstrated mobility by transiting over 3,500 nautical miles within the region; flexibility by executing multiple taskings through combined and split force operations; joint capability by performing as a joint task force commander during a regional crisis; sustainability by remaining unobtrusively on station for 69 days; and national resolve by protecting and evacuating U.S. citizens and foreign nationals. Simultaneously, the George Washington CVBG rapidly repositioned multiple times in support of national interests in three widely dispersed geographic regions: the Mediterranean Sea, continuing our Adriatic presence in support of Bosnia peacekeeping; the Persian Gulf, supporting a U.N.-mandated no-fly zone in southern Iraq and Southwest Asia maritime intercept operations; and the Indian Ocean/Western Pacific, surging to release Nimitz (CVN 68) in response to heightened tensions in the Taiwan Strait. These diverse actions highlight the importance and utility of naval forces to the nation.

The following summary reflects the wide variety of real-world operations and exercises that the Navy-Marine Corps team conducted in 1996. It includes crises, humanitarian operations, support to our civil authorities, and major joint and combined exercises.

Europe. Bosnia-Herzegovina: Operation Provide Promise (July 1992-March 1996). This joint operation with the U.S. Air Force involving both naval carrier aircraft and land-based air protected humanitarian relief efforts in the besieged cities of the former Yugoslavia. Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, a Marine aerial refueling squadron, a military police unit, a Navy fleet hospital manned with both active and reserve personnel, and on-call Marines from the European theater's amphibious ready group (ARG) and Marine expeditionary unit (special-operations capable) (MEU [SOC]) supplied vital support to U.N. forces.

Adriatic Sea: Operation Sharp Guard (June 1993-December 1995)/Operation Decisive Enhancement (December 1995-December 1996)/Operation Determined Guard (December 1996-Present). U.S. naval forces including surface combatants, intelligence-gathering attack submarines, and active and reserve maritime patrol aircraft operated with NATO and the Western European Union to enforce the U.N. sanctions in the former Yugoslavia. Over the past three years, 73,000 ships have been challenged. Among these, more than 5,800 were inspected at sea and another 1,400 were diverted for inspections in port.

Bosnia-Herzegovina: Operation Joint Endeavor (December 1995-December 1996)/Operation Joint Guard (December 1996-present). The European Command's ARG/MEU(SOC) was assigned as theater reserve for NATO forces, while Naval Mobile Construction Battalions 133 and 40 constructed base camps for implementation force personnel. In addition, from June to October a Marine Corps unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) squadron, VMU-1, supported the operation with Pioneer UAV imagery both to U.S. and multinational units. VMU-2 continues to provide similar support.

Bosnia-Herzegovina: Operation Deny Flight (July 1993-December 1995)/Operation Decisive Edge (January-December 1996)/Operation Deliberate Guard (December 1996-Present). Operation Deny Flight transitioned to Decisive Edge in support of the implementation force (IFOR) Operation Joint Endeavor. Operation Decisive Edge then transitioned to Deliberate Guard in support of the stabilization force (SFOR) Operation Joint Guard. Carrier and shore-based squadrons continued flight operations in support of joint and combined enforcement of a U.N.-mandated no-fly zone in the airspace over the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Throughout the year, Italy-based Marine F/A-18D and EA-6B aircraft provided suppression of enemy air defenses, close air support and electronic warfare to IFOR. This included support from the Tactical Electronic Reconnaissance Processing Evaluation System that provided critical, analyzed intelligence information to the area commanders. In addition, Navy maritime patrol aircraft, equipped with electrooptical sensors, provided real-time, still and full motion video imagery to the ground commanders.

Africa. Liberia: Operation Assured Response (April-August 1996). As a result of factional fighting and general violence in Liberia, the exceptional flexibility and capabilities of naval forces were again showcased. In early April, elements of the Guam (LPH 5) amphibious ready group (ARG) and the 22nd MEU (SOC), were ordered to the vicinity of Monrovia, Liberia. Upon arrival, the 22d MEU (SOC) commanding officer assumed command of Joint Task Force-Assured Response (JTF-AR) which included Air Force, Navy and Marine forces. With additional support from an HC-4 MC-53E helicopter detachment and other Navy-Marine Corps aircraft, embassy security and transportation were provided and 309 noncombatants were evacuated -- including 49 U.S. citizens. While still conducting this operation, elements of JTF-AR were ordered to Bangui, Central African Republic, to conduct similar operations. A special purpose Marine air-ground task force, embarked on the Ponce (LPD 15) and with 10 days' notice, relieved the Guam task force and assumed the duties of CJTF-AR. This was done to allow the Guam ready group and the 22nd MEU(SOC) to return to the Adriatic Sea and provide the European Command's desired over-the-horizon presence during the Bosnian national elections.

Central African Republic: Operation Quick Response (May-August 1996). In response to civil unrest and rebellion by rogue military elements in the Central African Republic, the same Navy-Marine Corps team that responded in Liberia successfully provided security to the U.S. Embassy and evacuated 448 noncombatants, including 208 American citizens.

Zaire/Rwanda: Operation Guardian Assistance (November-December 1996). To assist in the large humanitarian effort in Africa, Navy P-3C aircraft, which were forward-deployed to the Mediterranean, detached to Entebbe, Uganda. The crew and aircraft provided critical overland surveillance data to the joint task force commander. This information on the mass movement of refugees from Rwanda to Zaire assisted national-level policy-makers in responding to changing needs. The timely distribution and evaluation of this data prevented the unnecessary deployment of a multinational force.

Southwest Asia. Iraq: Operation Southern Watch (1991-present). U.S. Navy, Marine and Air Force units continued to enforce the U.N.-mandated no-fly zone over Iraq, protecting Iraqi minority populations. Naval operations in 1996 included extensive Navy and Marine aircraft sorties from the carriers America (CV 66), Nimitz (CVN 68), George Washington (CVN 73), Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Enterprise (CVN 65), Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and amphibious assault ship Peleliu (LHA 4).

Iraq: Operation Desert Strike (September 1996). Despite warnings from the United States, Iraq moved 40,000 troops into northern Iraq, which threatened the Kurdish population. In response, the president ordered a strike on military targets posing a threat to coalition aircraft in the no-fly-zone. On Sept. 3, 1996, a coordinated cruise missile attack on the Iraqi air defense infrastructure was launched. Laboon (DDG 58) and Shiloh (CG 67) fired 14 of the 27 cruise missiles while Air Force B-52s, escorted by F-14s from Carl Vinson (CVN 70), fired the remaining 13. The following day, a second strike of 17 Tomahawks from destroyers Russell (DDG 59), Hewitt (DD 966), Laboon and nuclear-powered attack submarine Jefferson City (SSN 759) was conducted. The speed and flexibility of forward-deployed naval forces was demonstrated following the initial strike. Enterprise (CVN 65) departed the Adriatic Sea on order of the National Command Authorities and conducted a high-speed transit through the Suez Canal. Her arrival in the theater two days later enhanced the overall force disposition in the Persian Gulf and further demonstrated U.S. resolve.

Saudi Arabia: Operation Desert Focus (July 1996-present). The I Marine Expeditionary Force provided counterintelligence team support to Joint Task Force Southwest Asia (JTF-SWA) in the aftermath of the Khobar Towers bombing in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Effective route survey and counterintelligence ensured protection of JTF-SWA movements in Riyadh, to include the U.S. Air Force 4409th Operational Group aircrew relocation to and from the airfield. The deployment has been extended into FY [fiscal year] 97 in light of a continued terrorist threat.

Kuwait: Operation Vigilant Sentinel (August 1995-present). Navy and Marine Corps combat forces and active and reserve Military Sealift Command forces quickly responded to Iraqi threats against Jordan and Kuwait. Maritime Pre-positioning Ship Squadron Two sortied from Diego Garcia with equipment for a 17,300-Marine combat force and remained on-station to provide rapid response capability in this U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

Bahrain: Reinforcement of Naval Security in Bahrain (July 1996-present). On July 4, 1996, elements of the Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team (FAST) Company deployed in response to a request for security augmentation. The FAST company reinforced Navy security forces of Administrative Support Unit Bahrain immediately following the attack on an Air Force barracks in Dhahran. Following the initial reinforcement, the Marine Corps developed a plan to provide extended security support. The timely disestablishment of Marine Corps Security Force Company on Diego Garcia provided a force structure for an interim company in Bahrain.

Maritime Intercept Operations. Throughout 1996, surface combatants and maritime patrol aircraft continued to execute maritime intercept operations in the Arabian Gulf in support of U.N. sanctions against Iraq. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Morgenthau supported the 5th Fleet's mission in the gulf, applying the 1995 Department of Defense and Department of Transportation Memorandum of Agreement on "Use of Coast Guard Capabilities and Resources in Support of the National Military Strategy". By the end of 1996, surface combatants had conducted more than 23,000 at-sea intercepts, while simultaneously carrying out other forward-presence missions in the region.

Caribbean. Haiti: U.N. Mission in Haiti (April 1995-April 1996)/U.S. Support Group Haiti (April 1996-present). Navy SeaBees participated in Exercise Fairwinds 96-2, helping to rebuild Haitian infrastructure that included schools, hospitals, water systems and roads. Navy construction personnel, both active and reserve, built, repaired or upgraded these facilities. Marines from the Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team provided security to all facets of the operation. Naval forces provided humanitarian civil assistance and supported the effort to institute democracy in Haiti. Currently, the II Marine Expeditionary Force has deployed three of the four subordinate elements to the USSPTGRPHAITI, which include detachments from a medical battalion and the 2nd Marine Air Wing, and companies from a tank and engineering support battalion.

Guantanamo, Cuba: Operation Sea Signal (August 1994-February 1996). Navy personnel based at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Marines from II Marine Expeditionary Force continued Cuban and Haitian migrant handling as well as security support to Joint Task Force 160. Since September 1994, the Navy-Marine Corps team housed and processed over 40,000 migrants awaiting repatriation or parole to the United States. Support to Joint Task Force 160 spanned 18 months.

Counterdrug Operations. Navy ships and aircraft, active and reserve, continued counterdrug detection and monitoring missions in the transit zone of the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific. In FY 96, more than 32,000 counterdrug flight hours were flown by fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft; 2,000 ship steaming days were provided by Navy surface combatants and surveillance ships modified especially for counterdrug missions; and 170 days of covert support were conducted by submarines. Marine Corps teams conducted 96 logistical and operational missions with domestic law enforcement agencies along the southwest border of the United States.

Naval mobile training teams provide additional support and training to drug source countries in Central and South America. Navy and Marine Corps personnel also serve as tactical planners and analysts to enhance host nation law enforcement and military capabilities. Navy relocatable over-the-horizon radar sites in Virginia and Texas provide wide-area surveillance of the transit zone. A third site, planned for Puerto Rico, will enhance coverage further. Marines provided one of five ground mobile radar sites positioned to assist in disrupting illegal uses of airspace and interdicting alternate modes of transportation and drug-production capabilities. The director of naval intelligence provides dedicated, maritime-focused counterdrug intelligence support and interagency coordination through multisource fusion analysis of commercial shipping and noncommercial suspect vessels.

Northeast Asia. Guam: Operation Pacific Haven (September 1996-present). The U.S. Pacific Command established a joint task force (JTF) on Guam to screen and process Kurdish refugees fleeing from northern Iraq after Iraqi military operations began in early September. More than 350 Marines and 35 Navy personnel are supporting the operation -- either with JTF Headquarters, security details or medical units. To date, more than 2,100 refugees have been processed and relocated while another 4,500 remain on Guam awaiting relocation decisions.

Taiwan Strait Flexible Deterrent Option (March-April 1996). The value and flexibility of forward-deployed naval forces was demonstrated when the U.S. Seventh Fleet monitored Chinese military live-fire exercises off the coast of Taiwan. The forward-deployed Independence (CV 62) carrier battle group (CVBG), with embarked Carrier Air Wing Five, responded to rising tensions between China and Taiwan by taking station off the eastern coast of Taiwan. These forces provided a visible sign of U.S. commitment to stability in the region. The Nimitz (CVN 68) CVBG transited at high speed to arrive in the South China Sea within days, intensifying the signal of U.S. resolve. The successful tracking of missiles during the exercise demonstrated the inherent capability of Aegis as a foundation for sea-based theater missile defense.

Korea. Forward-based Navy and Marine expeditionary forces from Japan continue to provide a visible and unambiguous presence on the Korean Peninsula and in surrounding waters during routine operations and bilateral training exercises with South Korean forces. One of the most important exercises is the Combined Forces Command-sponsored, joint/combined command post exercise Ulchi Focus Lens. This exercise supports real world operation plan concepts and evaluates specific aspects of command, control and communication by providing essential joint and combined staff interaction from the lowest to the highest staff echelons. Participating elements were globally sourced with personnel coming from Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces Atlantic joining the in-area staffs from Naval Forces Korea, Marine Forces Pacific, Marine Forces Korea and 7th Fleet. This total force exercise provided a unique opportunity for both commander, Marine Forces Korea, and commander, Naval Forces Korea, as component headquarters to operate and to demonstrate the importance they play in the overall defense of Korea.

Military Support To Civil Authorities. TWA Flight 800 Salvage Operations (July-November 1996). The Navy supported operations closer to home with salvage operations for TWA Flight 800. Navy Supervisor of Salvage assets and explosive ordnance disposal teams were among the first to respond to this tragedy. Their efforts included coordination of both the civilian and military crash site mapping efforts. The first Navy salvage ship on scene, Grasp (ARS 51), responded only 50 hours after returning from a five-month Mediterranean deployment. As the scale of the operation grew, the Navy deployed Grapple (ARS 53) to provide additional support. A total of 149 active and reserve Navy divers participated in the recovery of victims, location and retrieval of flight data and voice recorders, and recovery of more than 90 percent of the wreckage. Amphibious ships Oak Hill (LSD 51) and Trenton (LPD 14) served as afloat command post and wreckage-retrieval platforms.

Northwest Forest Fires (September 1996). During September, more than 500 Marines from I Marine Expeditionary Force deployed to Oregon and joined 5th Army efforts in fighting forest fires in the Umatilla National Forest. The Marines provided a command element, 25 firefighting teams and a medical evacuation detachment for two weeks, supporting the National Interagency Firefighting Center's effort to bring forest fires under control throughout the West.

Additional Domestic Support (July-November 1996). Our forces responded to numerous requests for assistance to civil authorities in support of domestic operations. During July and August, the Marine Corps Chemical/Biological Incident Response Force (CBIRF) and military police explosive detection dog teams supported security efforts for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga., and just recently, CBIRF provided support during the presidential inaugural. In addition, from August through November, the explosive-detection dog teams provided support to the U.S. Secret Service at the Democratic and Republican conventions, and during campaign stops by candidates throughout the United States.

Major Joint and Combined Exercises. Russia. Exercise Cooperation From The Sea 96, conducted in Vladivostok [Russia], included both amphibious and at-sea training for U.S. and Russian naval forces. In addition, elements of the America (CV 66) carrier battle group and Wasp (LHD 1) amphibious ready group conducted bilateral operations with a Russian carrier battle group in the Mediterranean. These interactions continued to build on the positive foundation laid in 1995 and set the stage for further cooperation between our naval forces. U.S. naval forces also participated in the Russian Navy's 300th anniversary celebrations in St. Petersburg [Russia] and Kaliningrad [Russia].

Central and Eastern Europe. . The Partnership for Peace (PfP) program continued to be the centerpiece of NATO's strategic relationship with Central and Eastern Europe. Naval forces conducted four major PfP exercises with Eastern European nations. These operations, part of our bilateral military-to-military contacts program, included basic seamanship exercises and familiarization visits with the naval forces of the region. Units from the Sixth Fleet, including assigned Marine expeditionary forces, conducted fleet and amphibious training exercises with forces from Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Albania and Georgia. The training exercise BALTOPS 96 was conducted in the Baltic Sea and involved a record 43 ships from 12 countries, including the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Gallatin (WHEC 721).

Cooperative Osprey 96. This 19-nation exercise was conducted at Camp Lejeune, N.C., with the commanding general, Marine Forces Atlantic, as the exercise director. Part of the PfP program, this exercise focused on military operations other than war. Exercise objectives included developing procedures to form and train coalition forces for peacetime operations in the littorals. The first visit by Ukrainian navy ships to the United States in September was particularly significant. These vessels conducted amphibious training with Atlantic Fleet units at Norfolk, Va. Black Sea Operations. Marines conducting training with forces from Romania, Ukraine and Bulgaria made a major contribution in building Black Sea alliances and furthering PfP efforts in the region. Forward-deployed, self-sustaining amphibious task forces can exploit excellent opportunities for initial bilateral training with the armed forces of emerging democracies.

UNITAS 96. The 37th annual UNITAS deployment is a primary means of supporting regional stability in the Western Hemisphere. Active and reserve surface combatants, P-3C aircraft, Marines embarked in an amphibious combatant and a submarine joined to conduct multinational exercises with South American nations while circumnavigating the continent during a five-month period. This year, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, South Africa and the Netherlands also participated during certain phases of the deployment. Our naval forces operate with host nation air, sea and land forces during each Latin American stop. These exercises often provide the only opportunity for Latin American forces to train with U.S. and other allied forces. For example, UNITAS Marines participated in four amphibious exercises and two riverine exercises in the nine-nation, 27-city deployment. The two riverine exercises provided an invaluable foundation for the expanded riverine training occurring with South American allies through the recently established Riverine Center for Excellence. In addition, this year embarked explosive ordnance detachments experienced real-world training while searching for voice and data flight recorders from AeroPeru Flight 603 after the aircraft crashed off the coast of Lima, Peru, in October.

CARAT 96. Regional stability in Southeast Asia is supported by the Pacific Fleet's Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) program, patterned after the UNITAS deployment. Active and reserve surface combatants, maritime patrol aircraft, a special purpose Marine air-ground task force embarked in amphibious combatants, medical detachments and a U.S. Coast Guard training detachment exercise with six countries in the South China Sea region for two months each year. In 1996, Brunei, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore participated. During each stop, our naval forces exercised with the host nation's air, sea and land forces. The objectives for each phase were to promote regional maritime interoperability, increase readiness, enhance military-to-military relations and ensure stability of Southeast Asian sea lanes of communication.

Rim-of-the-Pacific 1996 (RIMPAC 96) is a biennial exercise designed to enhance interoperability and proficiency of multinational and bilateral forces operating in response to short-notice littoral missions. More than 28 ships and 1,200 Marines -- including the Independence (CV 62) and Kitty Hawk (CV 63) carrier battle groups, the Essex (LHD 2) amphibious ready group with the 11th MEU(SOC) embarked and U.S. Coast Guard vessels -- participated in RIMPAC 96. An additional 29 ships from Australia, Canada, Chile, Korea and Japan were involved in the exercise. In addition to embarked carrier air wings, U.S. Air Force and Hawaiian Air National Guard and maritime patrol aircraft from the United States, Canada and Japan also participated.

West African Training Cruise (WATC 96) is an annual exercise conducted to provide interaction between U.S. naval forces and host nation counterparts, enhance military training and maintain familiarity with the West African littoral environment. U.S. Marine Corps and Coast Guard personnel embarked in amphibious ship Tortuga (LSD 46) conducted training in Benin, Cape Verde, Cote D'Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal and Togo.

Sorbet Royal was a NATO-sponsored submarine escape-and-rescue exercise involving units from seven countries and observers from six other countries. Conducted in the Vestfjord area of Norway, the exercise successfully demonstrated an ability to coordinate a multinational rescue of the crew of a disabled submarine and marked real progress in the standardization of procedures and equipment.

Freedom Of Navigation. An essential element of U.S. foreign policy is ensuring free and safe transit through ocean areas and international air space as a matter of legal right -- not contingent upon the approval of adjacent countries. Naval forces are especially useful in demonstrating transit rights under international law. In 1996, Navy ships and aircraft conducted numerous freedom-of-navigation operations in or through areas where coastal nations have maintained excessive maritime claims in conflict with existing international law. The president, secretary of defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff all have emphasized the importance of these operations as an active component of U.S. policy.

 

Excerpt -- "Worldwide Operations" -- from the Air Force Joint Posture Statement presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee by Secretary of the Air Force Sheila E. Widnall and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman, Feb. 25, 1997.

 

Over the past year, the unique capabilities offered by Air Force core competencies have often made the Air Force the instrument of choice in operations around the world. From global attack operations in Iraq to humanitarian response in the Caribbean, we have met the needs of combatant commanders and our nation.

Our impact around the world has been spectacular -- at times, it's even headline news. Much of the time however, our people perform their missions quietly, away from the glare of publicity -- and it seems clear that this quiet, steady work will, in the long run, have as profound an effect on this world as our more visible feats. The global engagement we provide is gradually helping to transform the world and prevent future conflicts. Because much of what we do is away from the eyes of publicity, it is useful to briefly discuss the range of operations that we have conducted over the past year.

Long-Range Strike. On Sept. 3, 1996, the United States military demonstrated its ability to operate from the CONUS [continental United States] to the far reaches of the globe during Operation Desert Strike, a joint operation against Iraqi air defense facilities using both Air Force and Navy assets. In the first strike, B-52s from Barksdale AFB [Air Force Base], La., staged out of Guam on a 34-hour mission and fired 13 conventional air-launched cruise missiles (CALCMs) while the Navy fired an additional 14 Tomahawk land attack missiles (TLAMs) from the USS Shiloh and the USS Laboon.

During this mission, the B-52 and CALCM weapon systems demonstrated their capability for rapid en-route retargeting, providing the joint force with additional target coverage and strike flexibility that would have otherwise been unavailable.

Sustained Theater Operations. Beyond global responsiveness, the Air Force offers a unique ability to sustain high-tempo air operations over extended periods of time. Throughout 1996 for example, we sustained the air occupation of Iraq and Bosnia with Operations Southern Watch over southern Iraq, Provide Comfort over northern Iraq and Joint Endeavor over Bosnia. In each operation, with superb support from the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard, we worked hand in hand with our coalition partners and forces from our sister services.

The Air Force continued an important role in Bosnia by deploying and protecting NATO's implementation force. As of Jan. 31, 1997, we have flown more than 5,000 sorties over Bosnia, providing the full range of theater air capabilities. At the peak of operations in 1996, there were over 4,100 Air Force people deployed to five nations supporting NATO-led contingency operations by providing airspace control; on-call close air support; command and control; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; airlift and special operations.

Although this in itself was no small task, as 1996 drew to a close, we had a total of approximately 80,000 Air Force men and women forward stationed and 13,000 deployed in support of operations around the world. Of these, over 6,000 were deployed in support of the coalition air operation over southern Iraq, Operation Southern Watch. Air Force aircraft and crews have flown 68 percent of the total sorties at the end of January 1997 -- amounting to over 28,800 sorties flown in support of this coalition effort since 1991. Similarly, the Air Force executed the bulk of the missions over northern Iraq in Operation Provide Comfort, flying over 4,500 sorties in 1996 -- about 60 percent of the coalition total since 1991.

Global Mobility. Our airlift and aerial refueling forces provide us with the capability to rapidly deploy, employ and sustain our nation's armed forces in operations around the world. Beginning in December 1995, U.S. and allied nations deployed peacekeeping forces to Bosnia in support of Operation Joint Endeavor. In just three months, Air Force mobility forces flew 3,000 missions, carried over 15,600 troops and delivered more than 30,100 short tons of cargo. While U.S. fighters patrolled the skies over northern Iraq enforcing the no-fly zone, Air Force airlift and air refueling aircraft transported troops and equipment in support of these ongoing operations.

In June 1996, mobility aircraft demonstrated their flexibility by serving in their aeromedical role and flying medical personnel to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, to provide timely care, treatment and movement of injured personnel after the Khobar Towers bombing. Shortly thereafter, our mobility crews were called upon to fly Hurricane Bertha relief missions from the U.S. to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Later, in September 1996, our airlift and air refueling assets were vital to the success of Desert Strike, enabling strike aircraft to reach targets in Iraq. On top of all this, our mobility crews and aircraft continuously supported critical Air Expeditionary Force operations in the southwest Asia theater and sustained NATO operations in Bosnia -- not just supporting Air Force movements and operations, but those of our sister services, allies and coalition partners as well.

Force Protection. The June 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia accelerated ongoing Air Force efforts to protect its forces operating around the globe and gave the entire Department of Defense (DoD) new insights into the operating methods of world terrorist organizations. Responding to this tragedy, the Air Force, in conjunction with the United States Army, assisted in the repatriation of over 900 DoD military members, civilian personnel and their families. At the same time, we relocated the majority of our Southern Watch forces to Al Kharj Air Base and instituted an aggressive series of force protection measures throughout U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility.

To help us combat this increased terrorist threat, the Air Force will stand up a field organization at Lackland AFB, Texas, called the 820th Air Force Security Forces Group. This organization will integrate force protection programs and provide trained and ready forces capable of deploying base force protection capabilities. The group will also have a force protection battlelab focused on exploring and integrating technology, tactics and training to increase our force protection readiness. We expect this organization to achieve initial operational apability (IOC) in July 1997.

We are also undertaking a variety of measures to provide clearer force protection guidance to commanders in the field, and we are reviewing Air Force instructions and doctrine documents to ensure force protection guidance is added where appropriate. Recurring assessments of risk, mission and environment are also being instituted, and we are developing a staffing plan to augment command staffs with properly trained force protection personnel. The bottom line: The Air Force values its people and will protect them from all threats.

The Air Expeditionary Force (AEF). As America's military forces become more CONUS-based, we look to the AEF to provide a flexible, tailored, quick-response force to fill theater needs across the spectrum of conflict. The Air Force exercised the AEF with deployments to Bahrain, Qatar and Jordan in 1996. Each AEF flew their first combat sorties with less than 72 hours of notification to deploy and provided a balanced capability for air superiority, precision attack missions and suppression of enemy air defenses. This rapid response capability is key to winning the air battle and ensuring the success of the joint task force. The fourth AEF will arrive in Qatar in early 1997.

In the near term, we are developing AEFs capable of conducting both lethal and nonlethal operations for deployment to areas outside the Middle East and will use them during some of our upcoming exercises. For the long term, we expect AEFs to mature into a significant component of our global engagement and shaping capability. We will adapt our operational and logistics systems to more easily accommodate their widespread use, making them a force theater commanders can count on for a variety of operations. The key to successful AEF operations hinges on the synergistic effect of the global reach and global power characteristics of our Air Force.

Space Launches and Operations. Space is an essential element of U.S. military operations. A combination of military and commercial systems provide our forces with the command and control, communications, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, weather and navigational capabilities necessary for success in all aspects of modern military operations.

During 1996, our service supported 33 successful space launches using Air Force launch, range and support facilities. The Eastern Range, headquartered at Patrick AFB, Fla., supported 25 space launches while the Western Range, headquartered at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., supported another eight. Of particular note, we launched five Titan IV heavy-lift vehicles, all on the first attempt; all achieved successful orbital entry. Two of these launches were three weeks apart, demonstrating improved turnaround capability of the launch facility. The Delta II launch vehicle continued its string of successful launches with another 10 in 1996.

This brings the total number of Delta launches from October 1977 to February 1997 to 107, with only two failures that destroyed the launch vehicle.

The Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN) controls over 95 satellites daily with greater than 400 individual contacts with satellites per day, totaling approximately 148,000 contacts per year. Aside from routine communications with our satellites, the AFSCN, along with Air Force Space Command, have kept our space assets flying while providing uninterrupted service to the user.

The Global Broadcast System recently demonstrated critically needed, increased global situational awareness capability during operations in Bosnia when direct satellite feeds were used to transmit live unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) images to theater commanders and supporting forces via the Joint Broadcast Service. Efforts are currently under way to provide a nearly identical capability, globally, using military satellites.

In the area of survivable military satellite communications, we increased our on-orbit capability by launching the second MILSTAR [Military Strategic and Tactical Relay System] satellite. This satellite is providing commanders in the east Atlantic and European theaters with nuclear-survivable, jam-resistant, communications connectivity between subordinate combat forces in the field, key military leaders and national-level authorities residing in the United States.

We have also expanded our space support to our allies. The Air Force and the DoD began providing missile early warning data to NATO and Japan, and we have extended this service to other nations as well.

Noncombatant Evacuation Operations (NEO). During the first week of April 1996, as a result of intense street fighting during the ongoing civil war in Liberia, about 500 people sought refuge on American Embassy grounds and another 20,000 in a nearby American housing area. On April 6, the president approved the U.S. ambassador's request for security, resupply and evacuation support. Air Force special operations forces led the evacuation effort, Operation Assured Response. Air Force KC-135 tankers and C-130 transports were put on alert in Europe to support 24-hour operations, while other mobility aircraft began to deliver critical medical supplies, food, water, fuel and communications gear.

On April 9, less than 72 hours after the decision to deploy U.S. forces, the first MH-53 helicopter landed in Monrovia to begin the operation.

Those evacuated continued on our helicopters through Freetown, Sierra Leone, then on MC-130s to Dakar, Senegal, all under the cover of AC-130 gun ships. Throughout the rest of the week, the evacuation continued, as well as airlift of critical supplies to sustain the effort. By April 14, the evacuation was essentially complete, however, security and sustainment operations continued through Aug. 3. In this operation, Air Force special operations forces safely evacuated over 2,400 civilians representing 68 countries.

Domestic Assistance. The total force -- active duty, Air National Guard (ANG) and Air Force Reserve (AFRES) -- provides a key service assisting in disaster relief operations within the U.S. For example, we responded with airlift support following Hurricane Fran and provided food, shelter and clean-up assistance to West Coast flood victims. When fires raged out of control across the western U.S. last summer, our ANG and AFRES crews and aircraft flew over 400 sorties, dropping more than 1 million gallons of water and an additional 10 million pounds of fire retardant to help control the blazes.

Training Programs/Modeling and Simulation (M&S). The pace and complexity of air warfare places special demands on our people -- not just those who operate our air and space systems, but on those who plan, command, control and support our forces as well. It is essential that we continue the sort of aggressive, realistic training that has been a distinguishing characteristic of the Air Force for decades. State-of-the-art modeling and simulation is leveraging exercises like never before. We use our exercises not just to train, but to develop operational concepts and tactics, adjust to new missions and test new approaches. For example, this year we expect to structure some of our training exercises to build expertise in employment of the Air Expeditionary Force.

One of the more exciting war games we've run so far was Strategic Force '96, conducted at Air University's Wargaming Center at Maxwell AFB, Ala. During November 1996, this joint operational war game demonstrated the true value of air and space power for the first time by modeling air and space power capabilities more realistically. This breakthrough was accomplished, in part, by the capabilities of our newest wargaming technologies to enable near-real-time analysis of each move throughout the game. More importantly though, this war game set the stage for future war games to incorporate the real value of air and space power throughout the spectrum of future operations.

Strategic Force '96 will serve as an integral component in the Air Force's continuing long-range planning process. Using JV 2010 and Global Engagement as a baseline, Strategic Force allowed us to test some of our assumptions about the future in a joint environment, while also providing a hands-on opportunity to employ future weapon systems. Through cooperation with our sister services and the unified commands, we were able to test strategies and operational concepts in the 2010 time frame. Using advanced modeling and simulation, we employed the airborne laser, the F-22 air superiority fighter, as well as other advanced systems from all the services. Ultimately, all services benefit from this structured test of strategies and the refinement of operational concepts allowed by vastly improved modeling capabilities.

These same kinds of breakthroughs in modern technology are enabling us to move some of our training toward simulator systems. We are proceeding with care and with the understanding that there is no substitute for field training -- but also with the understanding that advanced simulation offers enormous potential we can exploit. We are employing these systems not just for training, but to help with our planning and execution while building a true understanding of the capabilities and contributions of air and space forces to the joint team.

Engagement. The ability of the Air Force to engage globally is vital to America's current National Security Strategy and is of growing importance at a time when the number of our forward-stationed forces is dwindling. We recognize that coalitions are a key strategic feature in today's world and that global access and influence ultimately depend on the bonds of alliances and international cooperation.

Partnership for Peace (PfP) is one of the many initiatives the Air Force supports that underscore our commitment -- strengthening and developing cooperative military relations through joint planning, training and exercises. Thousands of airmen are engaged in military-to-military activities around the globe -- from the Joint Contact Team Program in Central and Eastern Europe to Constructive Engagement with China. In 1996, Air Force units from across the total force participated in 11 PfP exercises with 28 nations.

Further illustrating our commitment to building strong international ties are the efforts of Air Force personnel engaged in political-military activities, such as Foreign Military Sales (FMS), cooperative research and development, International Military Education and Training (IMET) programs and Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT). Last year, nearly 4,000 students from 110 countries took part in Air Force training through our FMS and IMET programs. Over time, Air Force education and training have a significant impact on U.S. access and influence, promoting military-to-military relations and exposing international military and civilian officials to U.S. values and our democratic process.

At the close of 1996, our FMS picture showed total Air Force sales contracts valued at approximately $105 billion. System sales account for 78 percent, and support for new and established systems accounts for another 21 percent. While training accounts for only 1 percent, or $1 billion dollars, it is extremely important to the overall success of the other sales -- and growing more so as we come to rely on our ability to build capable coalition partners.

Today, the United States uses its military forces in a much broader range of operations than ever before. As a matter of fact, United States forces are involved in more operations of greater duration than at any time in the past 20 years. Air Force assets and personnel have conducted military operations other than war in over 90 countries since 1989. The scope and scale of these operations demand that we continually balance the tempo at which our people and systems operate, with the overall readiness we must maintain for our nation's continued security.

Operations and Personnel Tempo (OPTEMPO/PERSTEMPO).

Since the end of the Cold War, the Air Force has stepped up to an operational tempo four times that demanded prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall -- while reducing force structure by about 40 percent across the board and with 32 percent fewer people. That increase in demand for Air Force capabilities has, of course, increased demands on our people, our units and our weapon systems. Over and above our permanently forward-stationed forces (over 80,000 people on an "average" day over the past year), about 13,700 Air Force men and women were deployed on missions ranging from sustaining combat and humanitarian operations in Iraq, peacekeeping in Bosnia and humanitarian aid in Africa and the Caribbean.

In a very real sense, this is a direct result of our providing the precision and flexibility our nation needs across the diplomatic and political spectrum -- Air Force capabilities are in demand around the world to achieve our national objectives and meet our nation's requirements.

We have taken a series of steps to share the burden of these taskings and posture the force to sustain this tempo. We established the goal of limiting the time our people spend deployed to no more than 120 days per year and are refining the system we use to track this data. We also structured a strategy to meet that goal: first, share the burden of these taskings across the Air Force so that temporary duty (TDY) days are more equitable between major commands (MAJCOM); second, eliminate or find alternative capabilities where taskings allow; and third, adjust our forces where appropriate to meet the need using the ANG and AFRES when possible.

Both the Air Force and the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) have made efforts to reduce taskings on our highest demand systems. In 1995, the Air Force instituted an annual Global Sourcing Conference to balance the deployment burden for all our systems throughout the MAJCOMs. To help manage the demand for our specialty systems such as AWACS [Airborne Warning and Control System], reconnaissance, special operations and rescue, in July 1996, OSD implemented the Global Military Force Policy to prioritize the allocation of these assets for crises, contingencies and long-term joint task force operations.

We have also been able to reduce the load on some units by relying on our sister services or our allies to fill some mission requirements, for example, Navy EA-6Bs and E-2Cs. In some cases, we have reduced taskings where the balance of operational requirements in theater, vs. the long-term health of our force demanded.

As we sought to share the wealth between active duty units, we have also counted more on the services of the ANG and the AFRES. Their units now support a greater share of contingency taskings and have increased their participation in joint-sponsored exercises. Our combatant commanders long ago ceased to ask whether the Air Force units deployed to their theaters are active duty, Guard or Reserve. Warfighting commanders confidently, and rightly, expect that any unit from across our total force can provide the capabilities they need.

Finally, we have taken steps to strengthen some portions of our force which are facing particularly heavy demands. As an example, we established a reserve associate unit for our AWACS wing at Tinker AFB [Okla.] to reduce personnel tempo in that highly tasked system. We have also begun the procurement of two additional RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft along with some of the manning for the additional airframes to help lessen the worldwide TDY mission load on the current fleet of 14 airframes. Using AEFs offers the potential to help relieve the heavy perstempo load as well. Through the careful use of AEFs, we will be able to provide a rapid response capability anywhere in the world, while reducing the need for standing deployments.

This aggressive range of management actions has already begun to have a positive effect. In 1994, personnel operating more than 13 of our weapon systems exceeded the 120-day goal for deployed time; in 1996, that number was down to four. Our specialized systems and capabilities are those most stretched --our electronic combat aircraft; command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems; our special operations forces; our special tactics teams; and our tactical airlift control elements. We will continue to work this issue to enable us to provide these capabilities while maintaining reasonable perstempo into the future.

We also recognize the imperative to take care of the families of our deployed personnel. For example, the Family Support Center (FSC) Family Readiness Program aided our families impacted by the Khobar Towers bombing and arranged for food and lodging for those families living in low-lying areas near Pope AFB, N. C. -- getting them to a safe shelter before Hurricane Fran hit.

Our 84 FSCs are doing an excellent job of supporting the families of our members. The FSC Career Focus Program provides information on career and employment opportunities as well as strategies for job searches for our families when they relocate. This helps ease the burden on our people and their families as they move from base to base during their careers.

We remain committed to continuing this kind of support for those who serve our nation and for their families. Of course, keeping our forces honed, easing the burden of deployments, and caring for Air Force families are essential to maintaining our overall operational readiness, ensuring we are always ready to step up to our role as the world's premier air and space power, and to serve in that capacity as part of our nation's joint team.

 

The entire posture statement for each service is available on the Internet at:

 

  • Army: http://www.army.mil -- then click on posture statement.
  • Navy: http://www.navy.mil -- Click on "what's here," then click on "index." Scroll down to "posture statement" -- "Enduring Impact ... From the Sea."
  • Air Force: http://www.issues.af.mil/headli7.html -- The Air Force posture statement is restricted to domains ending in ".af.mil" for Air Force only.
    Published for internal information use by the American Forces Information Service, a field activity of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs), Washington, D.C. Parenthetical entries are speaker/author notes; bracketed entries are editorial notes. This material is in the public domain and may be reprinted without permission. Defense Issues is available on the Internet via the World Wide Web at http://www.defenselink.mil/speeches/index.html.