DoD News Briefing - Rear Adm. Craig R. Quigley, DASD PA
Tuesday, May 22, 2001 - 1:30 p.m. EDT
Quigley: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have three announcements this afternoon.
Pentagon military and civilian employees now have access to a wide variety of defense news via Channel 13 in the Pentagon's cable system. What we have done is take the various service television news programs and run them with a sense of programming regularity, roughly between 11:00 and 1:00 daily. And these are all of the Navy/Marine Corps News, Army Newswatch, and Air Force Television News, as well as the various American Forces Radio and Television Service products -- Combat Camera, Time Line, and Around the Services.
Live events, such as this one, will still be carried live on Channel 13, so if there is a conflict during that window of time between 11:00 and 1:00, the regularly scheduled programming will be held in abeyance.
But there's a variety of information that our service members and their families around the world get to see in each of the services' televised news programs, and now all of us that work here in the Pentagon will have that information as well.
Q: We don't get to watch the Space Shuttle orbiting the Earth anymore?
Quigley: Not as often as you used to. Outside the 11:00 to 1:00 window you will, Pam. And we will have a schedule -- we do have a schedule, and copies of that are available in DDI.
Next, I'd like to extend a special welcome to Mr. B.G. Verghese, the media adviser to the minister of Defense of India, and two officials from the Indian Embassy here in Washington. Mr. Verghese is visiting the Pentagon today to observe how the Department of Defense conducts its information program. Welcome, gentlemen.
And we are pleased to also welcome to our briefing today 15 visitors from Algeria, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Romania, Ukraine and Yugoslavia, representing various governments, think tanks, non-governmental organizations and news outlets. They are here in Washington under the auspices of the Visiting Fellows Program sponsored by Freedom House. And welcome to you all as well.
And with that, ladies and gentlemen, I'll take your questions.
Q: Two quick items, if I could. First, a housekeeping thing. I'd appreciate it if you'd pass along to the secretary our thanks for resuming these availabilities with visiting defense ministers --
Quigley: I'll be glad to.
Q: -- and to remind him that if we could keep it up, it sure would be -- I mean, it gives us access to him on a regular basis.
Quigley: Sure. I understand.
Q: And has there been any progress on negotiations on return of the EP-3?
Quigley: I know the talks continue, but I also know that there's been no final resolution, Charlie. So other than that being still a work in progress, we have options that we think are fairly well developed. Our preference would still be for the quickest, most efficient, less amount of money, less people option to repair the plane to get it into a flyable condition and fly it off the island. But there are other options as well, and we're prepared to go with whichever one is finally agreed upon with the Chinese.
Q: China's made it pretty clear they're not going to let the plane fly out. What do you mean by "progress"? Do you mean the Chinese have agreed in fact to let the plane go and it's just a matter of how it's going to be brought out or --
Quigley: I think the Chinese have expressed their willingness to have the aircraft depart Hainan Island. But the how you go about doing that is still something that our State Department folks are discussing with Chinese authorities.
Q: Have you got a damage assessment on intelligence issues?
Quigley: No, that is still a work in progress as well, Pat. I don't -- I wouldn't expect that to be done until probably the summer sometime.
Q: Is that up to -- is that when Secretary Rumsfeld is going to brief us on national security or -- the president's speaking Friday. Is Secretary Rumsfeld going to give us a briefing after that, or --
Quigley: Let's just see what the president has to say in his speech. I have no knowledge of what he might say and what he -- end up saying on Friday.
Q: But you're familiar with the topics he's planning to discuss -- the president?
Quigley: No, I'm not. I don't know what topics he'll be discussing on Friday. I -- last I knew from the White House was that was still a work in progress, was his speech subject and speech topic for Friday.
Q: Craig, if the Pentagon's prepared to, you know, take out the plane anyway that the Chinese, you know, would like you to do it, what's the holdup?
Quigley: Well, our preferred method is, again, as I said, to fly it off the island. And we are continuing to try to work with the Chinese, discuss with the Chinese the way that both nations will agree on how to have the plane depart Hainan. As we speak, there's still no agreement on the particulars of how the aircraft will depart the island.
Q: Have they indicated a willingness to allow you to do it under any of the options that you presented?
Quigley: Getting into the particular sphere of discussions with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs -- and we're not the ones that are doing that -- to the best of my knowledge, Jim, the honest answer to your question is no, there's still not an agreement on how to do that. And I know the discussions continue. But I don't know, in the ebb and flow of those talks, where they are at the moment.
Q: How long did Lockheed Martin say it would take to repair the plane, if they were there? What's the equipment to put it together, to make safely flyable off that?
Quigley: I believe it was an estimate of somewhere between two and three weeks of work to get it ready to be safely flyable. That does not, again -- and as I've mentioned before, Linda, that does not put it in a perfect condition, but it is then safe to fly.
Q: How many people and at what cost?
Quigley: I don't have a cost, and I want to say it was about 15 to 25 people, in that ballpark.
Q: Craig, just a brief follow-up. You said earlier that -- I believe you said that you think that the Chinese have expressed a willingness to let the plane go. Have they concretely said now that the plane can go, and is the only thing holding it up the matter of how it will go?
Quigley: I don't know. I'd have to refer you to the folks that are discussing that with the Chinese, Charlie.
Q: So you don't know if there's been any formal notification with the plane --
Quigley: I do not.
Q: Can we just get some really -- really get down to the nitty-gritty? You -- both the United States and China agree that the plane is coming back to the United States, correct?
Quigley: Pam, you need to discuss this with the State Department. These are the folks that are discussing it with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Q: Is it fair for us to read you as saying it's more important to the Pentagon that the plane flies back, because it's cheaper and faster, than it is that the plane gets back sooner?
Quigley: Our preference would be, as I have stated, to take the path that is the least intrusive, takes the least amount of time, takes the least amount of money, the least amount of equipment, people, stay, which is to repair it to the point where it can be safely flown. If that is unacceptable in the end to the Chinese, there are options, and that is what we continue to discuss with them.
Q: Craig, last week some Pentagon officials -- it might have been you -- said that the only means that was actually being discussed was to fly it out. Has that now changed? Has that broadened --
Quigley: You're going to have to talk to the people that are having the discussions. I'm sorry.
Q: Is the plan to reintroduce the aircraft into service once it's been refurbished?
Quigley: There's certainly nothing that the Lockheed Martin engineers have seen in their assessment that would tell them that the plane could not be repaired to be returned to a ready-for-use status. Yeah.
Q: Any idea how long that might take, in addition to --
Quigley: No, that was not the focus of their assessment. I'm sure they have some thoughts on that, but it was certainly -- I mean, fundamental things, like the strength members of the airframe, are sound. And so the repairs that need to be done to safely fly it off would be less than what you would probably want to do to return it to a fully ready-for-operation status, but it's very doable.
Q: I believe you said last week you weren't familiar with the negotiations on the Anatoly airlifter -- you know, whether to use that to fly it out. Can you give us anything firm on that or what it might cost to do that?
Quigley: I don't have -- because it's going to depend on what we finally say to the companies that might have the heavy lift capability to perform that task, Charlie -- how quickly, how many flights, those sorts of particulars. You just can't put a really accurate description on that part of the operation until you have an agreement with the Chinese as to what parameters we're going to need to work under.
So yeah, we have contacted the folks that have that heavy lift capability. We know their aircraft are available, but we're just going to have to wait for particulars from the process of discussions with the Chinese Foreign Ministry authorities.
Q: Have there been other companies beside Antonov Airlines that you've contacted?
Quigley: I don't know.
Q: Do we -- does the Pentagon know if the Chinese still have access to this plane on the tarmac? Do we know if they've gone into it? Do they keep looking over it? And do U.S. officials have any idea, or are they going to be able to get continuous access to the plane while it still sits there and while all this is negotiated?
Quigley: I do not believe that U.S. authorities from the embassy or otherwise have continuous access to the plane, on the second part of your question. And we do not have good knowledge on the first part of your question as to if the Chinese have continued to access the plane or what they've done. We just don't know.
Q: And they haven't indicated one way or another if they're -- how they're treating the plane, if they're keeping it out of the elements or what have you?
Quigley: Not to my knowledge. To my knowledge it has not moved, it is still sitting on the runway there.
Q: Where are the funds going to be drawn from? I know you don't have a cost yet, but, I mean, where are you expecting to draw these funds from? And do you have any idea if you're going to have to ask for money from Congress if it's significant?
Quigley: I would suspect that the funds would be drawn from the existing operations and maintenance accounts. I don't think you'd have to find -- it is not so large, I doubt very much it's so large that you would have to ask for some supplemental funding from the Congress, no.
Q: Would you give us -- you said you had the estimate of two to three weeks to repair and make it safely flyable. Do you also have an estimate on how long it would take to do one of the other options, to dismantle it for shipping?
Quigley: Much longer, but I don't have exact -- yeah, it's a much more involved process to actually disassemble the plane, safely crate it, make sure that the parts are safely moved. And, of course, you'd have to move it to some -- you'd have to really be specific as to whether or not the runway there at Lingshui airfield of landing the large aircraft that you would need, or would I need to land that plane, a plane of that size at another airfield and move the parts overland. Those particulars we have not worked out yet.
Q: Maybe I misunderstood something you said earlier. Did you say at the beginning you thought it would take until summer to get the damage assessment completed?
Q: Why so long?
Quigley: Because it's complicated, and we want to make sure we get it right the first time.
Q: And if it takes until summer and this happened in February, what risk does that pose to the compromise of military intelligence gathering and surveillance?
Quigley: We still feel from the point immediately after the collision that we knew full well the sorts of equipments that were on that plane. We made immediate changes to the systems that were most at risk, if you will, of compromise so as to preclude that very thing. On the other hand, if you have a piece of equipment, you can't readily replace an entire piece of equipment. You can replace crypto codes, software, things of that sort very quickly. But pieces of hardware you cannot replace so quickly. But the hardware itself without the crypto codes and things of that sort would not pose the immediate danger to national security.
Q: When you say "damage assessment", though, you're talking about really -- making sure I understand this -- really assessing it, you're not talking about end of summer to replace any needed hardware, that would come afterward.
Quigley: Oh, correct. Correct, correct.
Q: Was there something in the crew debrief that led you to come into this extended period of assessment, something that you didn't understand even if you can't be specific about what it was, you know, from the immediate sort of taking of those measures, then you have the crew assessment when they come home? Did they tell you something that then led you to believe you'd have to go through summer to do this?
Quigley: No. No. By the time we got -- we wanted to do this in a methodical and thorough way. By the time we got a qualified team of people put together to do that, and then you try to do your best estimate of a time line, their estimate from the beginning was sometime in the summer to have that completed well.
Q: Have there been any additional discussions with the crew since their debriefs in Hawaii?
Quigley: Yes, there have.
Q: Have those -- have those continued to be --
Quigley: For the most part they're done. I'm sure if a member of the assessment team wishes to -- you know, thinks of a follow-on question they would like to pose to one or more of the crew members, they're certainly free to do that, but in an organized, sort of a systematic way they're done.
Q: Can I just ask, do you have any idea how long -- how much -- how long did those debriefings extend after Hawaii?
Quigley: Hmm. I don't know. I don't know.
Q: Can you find out?
Quigley: I'll try. I don't think it was a continuous stretch of time, though. I think it was over a period of some number of days, but it wasn't continuous. But yeah, let me try to find out.
Q: Another subject?
Q: Just to get back to what Pat said about a minute ago, I think a couple of weeks ago the president and -- oh, I'm sorry, the secretary and Mr. Marshall went to the White House and briefed the president on the progress of the review. Can you say whether they actually passed recommendations to the president, or was it more in the nature of bringing him up to speed on where they're going over here, as opposed to actual recommendations?
Quigley: Yeah, the latter, as well as a time line of kind of where we are on other studies that are being done as well, and looking down the road as to some of the anticipated completion dates.
Q: And to follow that, has any recommendation yet been passed to the president?
Quigley: Not that I know of, no.
Q: On the supplemental, is it going up this week?
Quigley: I'm sure the president will announce that when he's good and ready.
Q: Can you elaborate on the time line and completion dates that are being estimated now for bits and pieces of the study?
Quigley: Not in a very accurate way, I'm afraid. I mean, what the secretary is finding, as the studies present him some of their thoughts and findings, that poses in his own mind additional questions that need to be answered. And we're talking about a process here of bringing the secretary -- from the very beginning, he has wanted to have the studies done to help stimulate his thinking as to what issues he should be looking at, with his focus for the last several years, 25 years, having been more in the pharmaceutical and high-tech industries, with only occasional interaction with the Defense Department during that time, and now he's the secretary of Defense and he's responsible for all issues in the department. So from the very beginning, he has started these studies to stimulate his own thought and to ask questions that would allow him to get to the heart of issues, to carry out the president's tasking, which is to take a good look at what the military of the early 21st century for the United States should be able to do; how it should look, how it should be structured and sized, what equipment should it have, what is it we want America's military to do.
Q: Is there any reason why he has chosen -- I presume that it's his decision -- not to go with open testimony on this issue on the Hill and to go to consultations instead?
Quigley: Well, for starters, a lot of it will be classified that is going to be discussed tomorrow. But it's more of a briefing, I mean, along the lines that Dale was asking, to share with the oversight committees kind of where he is and what happens next and how this process will feed into the Quadrennial Defense Review, the '03 budget makeup, and things of that sort, so that they have an understanding of where we are on the time line, what happens next, and to seek their thoughts and seek their inputs on that.
Q: To stay with this, from the secretary's perspective, is it likely that there'll be any strategy to announce by Friday?
Quigley: Say that again?
Q: From the secretary's perspective, is it likely that by Friday we'll know what the strategy is and, therefore, be able to announce it, if we choose to do so?
Quigley: Let me rephrase that, if I could, just a little bit. By Friday, the secretary will not have a completed version of the strategy piece ready to publicly announce. No, he will not. This is something he's going to want to discuss with the president, make a recommendation to the president before any such public discussion would come up.
Q: You said he's made no concrete recommendations to the president --
Q: -- yet, so I assume we can't expect the president to come out with concrete plans to change on Friday if they have not been discussed with the Defense secretary.
Quigley: I'm not going to predict what the president may say in his speech on Friday. I'm just not going to.
Q: Is there another date when the secretary -- (inaudible) -- to the White House and give a follow-on briefing to the president?
Quigley: There is no date scheduled to do that that I'm aware of.
Q: But is it logical that he could do it before Friday?
Quigley: I don't believe so.
Q: If he hasn't reached a conclusion on strategy, I take it that that won't be something that will be shared with the Congress tomorrow, members of Congress tomorrow?
Quigley: I think a lot of his thinking and a discussion of the issues and questions that he has looked into for the first four months here, that will be discussed. But this is not going to be about findings and "Here it is, I'd like your views." It's very much more an iterative process to get their involvement, to seek their views, as this is still very much a work in progress.
Q: Well, is he ruling anything out?
Q: Who is he meeting with tomorrow?
Quigley: The oversight committees, authorizers and --
Q: Full committees as opposed to specific leaders, like he did early on?
Q: The committees have been very concerned about getting a budget. Is he going to be able to give them any idea of roughly when to expect it? And can you give us an idea of roughly when to expect it?
Quigley: I would not expect it before another month or so, would be my best guess. But again, that would be something that the president would finally decide.
Q: Craig, as we've been talking about these strategy things, lately we've had some hints of what might be afoot from interviews that the secretary's been giving. One, I was wondering -- it was reported in USA Today that he hinted he was going to end the Clinton administration's program to teach peacekeeping skills in African nations. Can you tell us exactly what it was he said, or elaborate on that?
Quigley: Well, if I remember correctly, I think he said that he committed to doing what the United States has agreed to do, and not to back out of any agreements that we've entered into. But beyond that, there's a question in his mind as to the further involvement and engagement of U.S. forces in that part of the world, and in what role. And he would take a good, hard look at that before he would agree to anything.
Q: Different topic?
Q: V-22. Any status on the IG investigation? And has any involvement of the general counsel occurred at this time?
Quigley: I just checked on the V-22 investigation not long before I came in, and it is still a work in progress. And IGs are never very willing to predict a completion date, other than to describe that it has been much more involved and time-consuming than he had thought it would be. So I'm sorry, I don't have a predicted date.
Q: And what about the general counsel?
Quigley: I'm sorry?
Q: And has the general counsel's office been brought in now at this point, because it would be the general counsel who would bring charges, if there were any charges, I believe.
Quigley: There has been legal involvement from professional legal counsel from the get-go. I mean, the IG has assigned -- permanently assigned legal counsel, and they're a part of virtually every one of the IG's efforts on a regular basis.
The Office of the General Counsel is very much aware, as we all are, of the work, although I don't think they've assigned any extra attorneys in order to support this particular effort. I think he's using the legal counsel that is a part of his normal team.
Q: On a different subject --
Q: I have a V-22 question.
Q: Why did -- or what was the reasoning behind moving the V-22 from an ACAT-1(c) to an ACAT-1(d)? What was the reason on that?
Quigley: To provide it the highest level of oversight, given the very visible nature of the program, given the reviews, given the recent accidents, he felt that that was the appropriate level of oversight. It's the highest one he could give it. And that was his motivation.
Q: Why was it ever a 1(c) program? It's a $43 billion program with joint application.
Quigley: Wow. I'd have to go back to '97 when that decision was made and see if we can ascertain the rationale for that, Pam. I do not know.
Q: Understanding that arms sales are an interagency process, but still that the Pentagon is a big part of that interagency process, does the secretary or the Pentagon have any concerns or issues with the Israelis making such widespread use of U.S.-purchased and U.S.- manufactured weapons in their current situation? Do you have any concerns about that whatsoever?
Quigley: In every interagency process there is a lead federal agency, and in this particular case, for arms sales, that is the State Department. We would not offer our views or comments or opinions or thoughts outside of the interagency process; they'd be funneled into the lead federal agency. So I would need to steer you to State.
Q: Does the Pentagon still have an open door to considering future arms sales to Israel in the very narrow respect of its own role in that process?
Quigley: It would not be done in the isolation of only the Defense Department, it would be done, in each and every case, through the interagency process with congressional notification. And you're very familiar with that process. There are no exceptions to that for the systems that we're talking about.
Q: But Craig, hasn't the Pentagon already made some sort of statement with regards to the situation there by canceling the joint exercise with Israel that was going to involve the elements of the 24th MEU?
Quigley: Well, that's not the question that was asked. I mean, Barbara was asking about weapons sales --
Q: But (inaudible) a statement -- well, I think Chris is asking an additional question.
Quigley: You constantly -- you always take a look at your activities, bilateral, multilateral activities with a variety of nations around the world on a regular basis. The exercise you referred to, we have made no announcement of having the exercise. I'm not sure we've made an announcement on canceling the exercise. But I would tell you that we take a look at our interaction, including exercises, with nations around the world on a regular basis. We have cancelled exercises in the past when we felt that that was simply the right thing to do, the appropriate thing to do, given world events of the moment. And we'll continue to look at that, and we could take that action in the future.
Q: So are you saying from the podium that this exercise has not been cancelled at this point?
Quigley: We've made no announcement of an exercise, to the best of my knowledge. If we have, I've missed it.
Q: Just the same question: has an exercise been cancelled?
Quigley: We've made no announcement of an exercise.
Q: (inaudible) -- exercise?
Q: Is there one scheduled?
Quigley: I'm sorry, that's -- I'm not going to get into what we may have done if we didn't announce it in the first place. I'm not going to go there.
Q: Well, Craig, here's another: is it a State Department decision as well?
Quigley: You do discuss that in the interagency process. But in this particular case, different from what Barbara had said, I mean, you -- or asked, you have -- these are strictly military exercises that we do with nations around the world. Do we cut in the State Department? Do we cut in the local embassy? Of course. But ultimately it is a decision that we make.
Q: On Vieques? Anybody else on Israel or any other thing? Okay.
On the issue of Vieques, I believe I've understood you correctly in that you've said from this podium repeatedly that future Navy exercises in Vieques will not be tied to the publication of the health study that HHS is conducting. Right? Of course, we have the case in court, and papers are being filed back and forth. From the papers that the Navy through DOJ filed to Judge Kessler, it seems that the health study is going to take much longer than anticipated, probably sometime in the summer at the very earliest. Is there -- the question is, is there pressure from civilian members of the department or other members in the administration to delay these exercises, the upcoming exercises in Vieques until the health study is conducted -- released?
Quigley: Not that I'm aware of, no.
Q: Is there --
Quigley: I think -- let me be clear, too. It's the -- it's HHS that is doing the review. Now it's Navy money that is going to HHS so they can carry out the review of the medical studies. But I'm not sure of HHS's time line. They'll do a thorough job, as long as it -- they think it takes them to do a good job. But I don't know exactly what that is.
Q: Is the department planning on continuing with the schedule for Navy exercises in Vieques that were originally scheduled for June?
Quigley: We have not made any announcements of any follow-on exercises.
Q: Friday is the deadline, I believe, for the administration to comment on the proposed merger of General Dynamics and Newport News Shipbuilding. Do you know if the department intends to make that deadline, or will it be seeking an extension?
Quigley: Yeah, good question. I hadn't -- let me take that. Had not thought of that one in the last several days. I don't know. Let me just say we can take that. [The Department is continuing to review the proposed merger. We are not in a position to provide details at this time.]
Q: Can I ask about the motion picture "Pearl Harbor"?
Quigley: Mm-hmm. (Affirmative.)
Q: Last night the Navy provided the USS John Stennis to "Pearl Harbor," the world premiere of --
Q: And what is the Pentagon's policy to cooperate with Hollywood? I mean, why is it so generous, to sending a ship from San Diego to Hawaii and to let 2,000 civilians get on board?
Quigley: Well, two questions. Let me take the broader one first. The broader question is, how is it that the Department of Defense cooperates with the movie industry to do a movie?
There's no exactly identical method by which we agree to cooperate with the production of a movie or a television program, or something of that sort. But generally speaking, you would have a production company approach the Department of Defense with an idea for a movie, let's say, and present a draft, first cut of a script, and the very rough draft of a script. And we would accept that script and take a look and read the script and see what sort of a movie it is.
We have certain standards that we apply. It's got to be in good taste. It's got to have an accurate portrayal of what the Department of Defense -- the men and women of the Department of Defense do. It's got to be realistic in the sense of it has to project or discuss a process or the way that people actually work and live and perform their duties; it can't be some really pie-in-the-sky, science-fiction sort of a portrayal.
So you walk down this list of -- a checklist, if you will, of items that says, "Okay, is this something that we want to be a part of?" And typically, the script is not perfect at its first reading, and we would go back to the production company and say, we think that -- if it's really off the scale, we'll simply say, "We don't think we can cooperate on this; it's in bad taste, it's inappropriate, what have you; we just don't think we can fix this script to the point where we can cooperate with you on your project." But if we can and there's relatively minor changes that might need to be made to the script, then we would discuss those with the production company.
And if they're willing to make those changes to their script to the point where this is something we really do want to cooperate with, then we kind of go to the next step, work out a production schedule; "What do you need in the way of support from the Department of Defense?" Planes, ships, tactical vehicles, things of that sort. And we have a known operating cost for a ship, for a plane, for a tracked vehicle, something like that, how much it would cost per hour to operate those systems. And then we would present that to the production company.
And the criteria we apply is that this is done at no additional cost to the government. So there is an hourly cost of burning fuel, let's say, in an airplane, and so if that's $1,000 -- pick a number -- then the production company would ultimately reimburse the government that $1,000 for the cost of using that airplane for an hour in the shooting of the movie. And we would proceed down that road to work out a schedule where it would work.
So that's how we go about interacting with Hollywood, if you will, to do television programs and movies and the like.
Now, for the world premiere of "Pearl Harbor" specifically, last night, this was just an excellent venue. We think the movie is historically accurate. We think it pays great tribute to the courage and heroism of the men and women that were involved. And for all of those reasons, we said yes a long time ago to participating in the production of the movie. We're very proud of the way that the men and women in the movie are depicted. And last night's world premiere, we looked at that as a great event for -- again, to pay tribute to those that were actually a part of Pearl Harbor 60 years ago, as well as today's soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. And it was -- we're very pleased with the event last night and very glad we did it.
A long answer to your question.
Q: But Craig, this carrier wasn't used in the production of the movie. Who approved sending this carrier and a crew of more than 4,000 to Pearl Harbor, at what cost, and what account did it come under?
Quigley: Well, as you know, it's a nuclear-powered carrier, so it's not like an hourly fuel-burning cost. But it was underway to do training, and some of the training was at sea and some of it was in port, and the training was conducted between San Diego, the ship's home port, I believe, and Pearl Harbor, and more will be done upon its return home.
Q: Would it have been scheduled to go to Pearl Harbor anyway?
Quigley: I don't know.
Q: And who pays for it to --
Quigley: What "it"?
Q: The ship and the time. Did the production company pick up any of the or the cost of the overflights, or --
Quigley: The actual production costs of the ceremony and the things were all picked up by Disney.
Q: Okay. So could you tell us how much they paid for it?
Quigley: I have no idea.
Q: Can you find out?
Quigley: Ask Disney.
Q: Aren't you billing them?
Quigley: No, they paid for the cost of the items that were brought on board the ship. We weren't a middle-man for the money.
Q: What about any of the overflights? Because I gather there were some jets that flew over.
Quigley: I don't know. I don't know if that was in -- we do -- you mean flyovers, Pam? Stuff like --
Q: I think there were -- I think there was, you know, a formation flyover as part of the --
Quigley: Well, we do flyovers for a variety of reasons, and we don't charge the requesting agency for that, no.
Q: When you talk about script changes, do you actually -- have you actually re-written these scripts yourself -- (laughter) -- your work?
Quigley: "Re-written," Pat, that's probably too strong a way to put it. But we point out to the production companies those areas of the script that we just can't buy into. They're an inaccurate depiction of the way that men and women in uniform conduct themselves, this system that you talk about here doesn't exist or it doesn't operate in that way, and you're going to have to re-write it in order for us to buy into an agreement to help you produce your movie.
Q: Why didn't you support "Apocalypse Now"? I mean, that's one of my favorites. (Laughter.)
Quigley: You're going back too far for me, I'm afraid.
Q: Was it the casting of Marlon Brando, who was very overweight at that point? (Laughter.)
Quigley: You're going back too far for me, I'm afraid. I don't know.
Q: You didn't like that movie?
Quigley: I haven't seen it in a long time.
Q: I just want to clarify, no money changed hands for the opening day -- the opening ceremony between Disney and DoD? They didn't pay DoD anything, correct?
Quigley: Correct. To the best of my knowledge -- I can't think of what it would be. I mean, Disney paid for the construction and movement of the equipment that you saw on the flight deck of the John C. Stennis, would have paid for the rental of chairs, and what have you, that you saw on the flight deck, all of the equipment -- lighting, sound systems, and the like. But we would not have been a middleman in that process; they would have gone directly to vendors or done it in-house or something. [Disney will reimburse the cost of utilities, crane services, and other assorted costs. Those additional costs are still being gathered, and we anticipate that that total figure will be calculated in a few weeks.]
Q: During the production of the movie, did they pay any of the sailors, who I know acted as extras?
Quigley: Yes, because the sailors that happened to participate as extras did so in their off-duty hours, and I believe they were compensated for that time, yes.
Q: Are you maintaining that none of the large cost of sending that aircraft carrier to Hawaii was for this movie, that it was all training exercises, normal, routine training exercises?
Quigley: We were very proud to be a part of the premiere last night. There is undoubtedly a cost to bringing a vessel to sea. You need to do that when you train, you need to do that for a variety of reasons. But this was seen as an event that we very much wanted to be a part of.
Q: Craig, could you take the question and get us the cost of sending that aircraft carrier to Hawaii?
Quigley: I'll try. [No additional cost. The scheduled training costs for a nuclear powered aircraft carrier remain the same whether off the coast of California or transit to Hawaii.]
Quigley: We've got a couple more.
Q: The GAO was on the Hill today talking about how serious a problem cannibalization of aircraft parts is becoming. And at the highest levels here, is there anything being done about that? Apparently 100,000 instances of cannibalization of parts is taking place every year in the Marines and Navy.
Quigley: Well, cannibalization is something that's been done for a long time. It is never the optimal way to get aircraft flying or tactical vehicles, or whatever sort of a system you're swapping parts off. It takes a lot of time for the repair crews because you've got to remove it and then install it to get your plane or your truck, or whatever the case may be, operating again because of that. And yet, you do what you need to do, given the availability of parts. So you always do a trade-off on prioritization. Do I let this plane, this truck, what have you, not be fixed, or do I cannibalize, if I can't get a repair part in another way?
So you're always doing that prioritization. It's something that nobody likes to do. Your goal would be to reduce that as much as you could as quickly as you could, but realistically you're never going to get to zero.
Q: So the Pentagon sees this as business as usual.
Quigley: Oh, no. I -- this is always something that you're going to try to reduce. But it is largely an issue of funding. It is no secret that as systems age, more components for them break down. I mean, I'll use the family car as a good example: the older it gets, the more repair you're going to do. And yet it's also expensive to buy a new car. So at some point there's a trade-off of do I fix it or do I buy a new one, what money do I have available, in what amount, so you're constantly doing that trade-off.
Q: Yes. In the television interview that the president granted and he answered a question on Vieques, he said that the Navy has to look for alternatives to training on Vieques. Is there pressure from civilians in this building and within the administration to limit even further the training on Vieques than that which is provided by the agreement?
Quigley: Not that I know of.
Q: Thank you.
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