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DoD News Briefing

Presenters: Rear Admiral Craig R. Quigley, USN, DASD PA
April 04, 2000 1:30 PM EDT

Tuesday, April 04, 2000 - 1:30 p.m. EDT

Rear Adm. Quigley: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. By way of a quick update, the secretary is currently in Jordan, where he is scheduled to meet with King Abdullah and Prime Minister Rawabdeh. This follows a visit earlier today our time with Egyptian President Mubarak in Egypt.

While he was in Egypt and meeting with President Mubarak, he told the president that the United States agrees in principle to sell Egypt the short-range surface-launched version of the AMRAAM -- that's advanced medium-range air to air missile. And the reason is to improve Egypt's short-range air defense capability. The size, the timing, the details, costs, et cetera will be worked out in future discussions between U.S. and Egyptian technical teams. But there was an agreement in principle to sell the Egyptians that system.

And the secretary now moves to the next phase, I guess I'd call it, of his trip, where he goes to the Arabian Gulf states. And while in the gulf he'll also visit the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis. And then as a wrap-up he'll return to Andrews on the evening of the 12th.

And with that I'll take your questions. Yes.

Q: Are these the AMRAAMs HUMRAAMs that have -- you launch off Humvees of --

Rear Adm. Quigley: No. Well, yeah. They can be launched off the back end of Humvees, cannot be -- they've been modified so that they cannot be launched in a typical AMRAAM air to air mode, which is a much shorter range version for ground-based. But you could put them on the back of a Humvee, if you wished.


Q: But not air to air.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Not air to air, no. This is a -- many, many components are similar, Bill. But this particular version you cannot launch air to air.

Q: This is identical to the U.S. Army HUMRAAM --

Rear Adm. Quigley: I don't have that, if it's identical in every way. Some nations -- and again, these are details that are going to be worked out between the two nations in the weeks ahead. And this today was an agreement in principle, to execute the sale.

Many details of cost, of schedule, of technical specifics to be worked out ahead of time or in the weeks ahead, but we're just not quite to that point yet.


Q: Vice President Gore said today that he thought that General Kennedy's complaint of sexual harassment would hasten the day when women in the military would not face such treatment. And I'm wondering whether Secretary Cohen shares that view?

Rear Adm. Quigley: Well, he's on the road; I mean, I don't have the ability to ask him that specific question. But boy, Secretary Cohen has said on many occasions -- and you've heard the chairman and you've heard the service chiefs and many other officials say that this is something that is not acceptable to them. There is an official policy foundation that says this is not acceptable. We try very hard to train our people at all levels, to teach them that this behavior is not acceptable. And this is something -- it's one of those things you're going to always try to get to zero. You're heartened when you can come close, you're disappointed when you occasionally fall short of the goal, but it's a goal that we all share.

Q: But the point of that was that she, being the most senior woman in the military, that her status would by itself hasten the day when this kind of treatment would be done away with, rather than just as a routine case. I'm not talking about your general approach, I'm talking about the fact that she's the most senior woman in the Army.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Well, I don't think we've ever made a distinction as to whether or not it's more or less acceptable to harass a person based on their rank.

Q: (Off mike) -- as a result of her status as being the senior --

Rear Adm. Quigley: I'm not quite sure I know how to answer your question. I think I'll let Vice President Gore's words stand alone. I just think on any number of occasions, I hope that Secretary Cohen's policy on that is very clear.

Q: Admiral?

Rear Adm. Quigley: Yes, Tammy. I didn't see you.

Q: Regarding Colonel Hiett, is the Pentagon concerned that the Army did not fully investigate his possible role in his wife's drug smuggling activity?

Rear Adm. Quigley: Well, the Army CID is taking a look at the additional evidence that the Customs Service has developed in the case of Colonel Hiett and then we'll kind of take that one step at a time, and they'll take a look and review that material and information and kind of see where that takes them from there.

But beyond that, you know, Colonel Hiett remains on active duty. He is assigned down at the Army's Training and Doctrine Command in Fort Monroe. But because of this is very much an active matter in federal court, I am reluctant to go much further on either the investigation or his status in the court system. But that is something that Army CID is doing, taking that Customs information and taking a look.

Q: And what Army CID is looking at, I assume, is whether he may also be subject to Uniform Code of Military Justice issues once he gets -- (inaudible) -- of these?

Rear Adm. Quigley: Well, I don't think they are going in with any preconceived notion, Chris. They are just going to take the material, read it, study it, kind of see where it leads them from there, and do the right thing.

Q: But this case aside then, would someone be subject to UCMJ, or other disciplinary action, outside of civilian court proceedings?

Rear Adm. Quigley: At this point, and this is prior to the Army CID review of any of the Customs Service evidence, it is completely a Justice show. We are supporting, as much as we can: answering questions; providing materials, if relevant, and things of that sort. But first things first; I mean, that's the status today.

When Army CID has reviewed the information on Colonel Hiett, we'll just kind of see where that takes us, and we'll work that very carefully in conjunction with Justice, so that there is good cross- talk back and forth between --

Q: But again, more generically, could someone in this type of position potentially face UCMJ action or other military --

Rear Adm. Quigley: Yes.

Q: Yes.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Yes. And it wouldn't be a double-dose -- okay? -- of the exact same issue, but it could be something under the UCMJ that is not covered under federal statutes or vice versa.


Q: Let me put that another way. Would somebody who is an active-duty military person -- is he subject to prosecution other than UCMJ?

Rear Adm. Quigley: Well, sure; yes. I mean, Americans are subject to both the laws of the land. And if you are subject to the UCMJ, in addition you are subject to the rules and regulations of the UCMJ. Both of those are always true, if you are in uniform.

Q: And could the Army -- is this a decision by the Army to give this case to Justice? Is this something that's worked out between the two departments? Or do you have any sense of how exactly that works, whether Army just now sort of gave the case to Justice or whether Justice had --

Rear Adm. Quigley: Oh, you mean prior to this point?

Q: Right.

Rear Adm. Quigley: The information that CID had learned from their investigation was indeed shared with Justice. Now then where they took it from there -- I won't speak for them and the mechanics of that process.

Q: I suppose my question is, why is he not facing an Army court martial, rather than a civilian court?

Rear Adm. Quigley: Well, it's a discussion that goes on all the time as to whether or not, if a -- if a person in uniform commits a crime that is both covered under civil statutes and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, there is a discussion between the law enforcement agencies and the judicial agencies of the service, and of the civilian court system how do we do this. There's no pat answer to the question, but sometimes the UCMJ and the military system will prevail. Sometimes the civil system will prevail. There's always a sharing of information, but which venue it takes is negotiable and depends on the particular circumstances of the case.

Q: Speaking --

Q: And then after this is -- I'm sorry. And then after this is resolved in the civilian courts, then it will be up to the Army to decide whether there are any additional charges that could be --

Rear Adm. Quigley: Correct.

Q: Okay.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Correct.


Q: Speaking in general, you raised a question -- and I'm not sure of its answer, but if somebody is in fact charged and tried in a civilian court for a specific crime, can he also be charged and court-martialed under UCMJ for that same crime?

Rear Adm. Quigley: No. No, that would be double jeopardy, and the service member would not be subject to double jeopardy in that regard. There would be a discussion between the two organizations under which system the person would be tried. But it would not be both, it would be one or the other. Information could be shared, but ultimately the charges are going to be filed in one or the other.


Q: I'm sorry. If somebody was prosecuted by civil justice and found guilty, that would obviously adversely affect their standing in the military, correct?

Rear Adm. Quigley: Oh, yeah. Very much so.

Q: Then what is it -- are they -- with a felony, are you just automatically discharged?

Rear Adm. Quigley: I'm not sure. I believe it -- it is, of course, an increasingly serious thing to be felony versus misdemeanor, but I'm not sure how that is sliced.

I need -- let me take that question. We'll see if we can get an exact answer for you. It's important because it all deals with the precision of the law.


Q: I have a missile defense question, a cost question?

Rear Adm. Quigley: Yeah.

Q: Last week Dave Oliver signed-off a new acquisition program based on documents that now means the NMD acquisition costs are $20.2 billion versus the widely publicized $12.7 billion figure a lot of us and gets repeated. Can you walk us through the math about how it got to 20.2 billion?

Rear Adm. Quigley: Sure. I'm flipping to my notes here because I -- because of the dollar figures, I want to make sure I get them right.

The 20.2 billion represents the acquisition cost for the program going back to 1991. The publicly stated, as you often said -- or, you said, Tony, often used, the 12.7 billion represents the total cost from 1999 to 2005. So one would be a subset of the other.

Now, the 12.7 includes 2.3 billion increase. That was previously announced. And the reasons for the increase in total cost are increase in the scope of the program from the 20 interceptors to 100, and significant upgrades to the X-band radar. So different time frame, and a rationale for the previously announced increase in the prices, increase of the scope of the program.

Q: Were there any cost overrun issues associated -- begun with 20.2 --

Rear Adm. Quigley: No. Extending the calendar is what it amounts to, as I understand it, from the BMDO folks.

Q: To 2005?

Rear Adm. Quigley: Yeah. One figure, the smaller figure, 12.7, takes you from 1999 to 2005. The larger figure takes you all the way back to 1991.

Q: To where, though?

Rear Adm. Quigley: To 2005.

Q: To 2005? Okay.

Q: To 2010, you said.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Or -- no, 2005. 2005, as I understand it.

Q: That ought to give you 20 interceptors, I mean. Except the plan is for 20 interceptors by 2005, because a hundred would be --

Rear Adm. Quigley: Yeah, but it's not so much a timing issue as it is a program cost estimate. The program isn't even done at that point. I mean, there's additional --

Q: I mean more than 20 interceptors.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Yes. It's increase of the scope from the 20 to the hundred, and improvements to the X-band radar, and over an extended period of time of the program itself.

Q: I want to be sure I understand one thing. For the 20 billion, for the 20.2 billion you get a hundred interceptors.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Correct.

Q: Okay.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Correct.

Q: Fine. And so for the smaller figure --

Rear Adm. Quigley: And an improved X-band radar.

Q: For the smaller figure you had 20, and then there's the accounting thing in there.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Right.

Q: Fine.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Chris?

Q: And that's just the procurement cost. Now, when we had General Kadish here a few weeks ago, he gave the figure for the life cycle, and then within minutes it was pulled back. I think it was $38 billion.

Rear Adm. Quigley: I've got that one too. The total life cycle cost of the program, from '91 to 2026 -- okay? -- is projected to be $30.2 billion.

Q: Does that include the additional interceptors?

Rear Adm. Quigley: Yeah. That gets me from 20 to 100, that gets me X-band radar increases, and it's total life cycle cost; now I'm talking maintenance, I'm talking everything -- okay? -- to do that program. Now, bear with me here. The further you go into the future, the less certainty you have for your figures, but that is our best estimate of life cycle cost today, looking 26 years into the future.

Q: Is that base year, though, or then-year inflated dollars? Because last week BMDO was telling me that was base year and they didn't have inflated dollars.

Rear Adm. Quigley: I think that's base year, Tony, yes.

Q: So it would be more in inflated then-year dollars?

Rear Adm. Quigley: And I don't have the then-year dollar figure with me.

Q: You should get that because that's more apples and apples.

Q: Then what's the base year, is '91 or '99?

Rear Adm. Quigley: Ninety-one. So I'm going from nine -- I'm 35 years worth of program.

Q: What is it '91, by the way? What's the magic number?

Rear Adm. Quigley: That's when the program started. Really the origins of it were '91.

Q: So $32.2 billion -- (inaudible)?

Rear Adm. Quigley: I'm sorry.


Q: Thirty-point-two-billion dollars in 1991 dollars?

Rear Adm. Quigley: Correct. Correct.

Q: Is the $20 billion also in 1991 dollars?

Rear Adm. Quigley: Yes, those are in constant year dollars as well.

Q: So in current year dollars, it's considerably more than $20 billion?

Rear Adm. Quigley: Yeah, I don't have the then-year dollar figures with me.

Q: But without doubt, it's considerably more than $20 billion, even though we don't know off the top of our head what the figure --

Rear Adm. Quigley: Yes, it would be a higher figure than that.

Q: Okay.

Q: Craig, how come the Pentagon never really disclosed the figures from '91 through '99 before? I mean, that limited figure, it's kind of low-balling that. Including the '91 expenditures would have been, its seems, a more complete measure of cost.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Well, I don't think I agree with your characterization. I don't think we've ever talked about total life cycle costs projected 26 years in the future, either. I mean, these are estimates, these are our best estimates. We're very cautious with giving those cost estimates, because when they change, for some reason or another, everything needs to be recomputed, people need to be rebriefed on the changes in the program.

So you can ask the question six ways from Sunday, but this is the way that we've chosen to project it, which I think is somewhat reflective of the most common questions that were asked of the program.

But you can look at this any number of ways you want to. And again, some folks prefer -- for comparison purposes -- "What is it in constant-year dollars?" Others say, "No, I'd prefer then-year dollars." I mean, we can move back and forth. But it's helpful to pick one and stick with it, for consistency's sake, when you are trying to describe.


Q: So when we ask, "How much does it cost?" we are not asking, "How much does it cost in the six-year snapshot?" right?

Rear Adm. Quigley: If you ask me how much it costs, I have got to come back to you with 16 additional questions to define your question.

Q: Okay. For next --

Rear Adm. Quigley: R&D?

Q: Yes. (Laughs.) (Laughter.)

Rear Adm. Quigley: Program costs.

Q: Okay.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Life-cycle costs.

Q: Lay it on me.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Constant dollars?

Q: Yes.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Then-year dollars?

Q: Sure.

Rear Adm. Quigley: How do you want it sliced?

Q: As many ways as you can. (Laughs.) (Laughter.)

Rear Adm. Quigley: Well, and I don't know that any of those pieces of data are not available to you by checking with BMDO. But it's just a matter of -- that is such a simple question to ask that has no simple answer.

Q: They haven't been answering that question -- I mean, I have in the last couple days, they --

Rear Adm. Quigley: Which question?

Q: Well, for example --

Rear Adm. Quigley: (Inaudible.)

Q: -- the life-cycle costs; they said it was not available.

Q: I think I am --

Rear Adm. Quigley: Well, I don't know what to tell you.

Q: Well, I am just responding to what you said.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Yeah.

Q: We have just asked them -- we have asked them. They don't always give you an answer.

Rear Adm. Quigley: If you ask me today, if you ask BMDO today, how much confidence they have in the total estimate of the costs of the program in 2026, they are going to say, "Not as much as I have for the estimated cost next year." And things could change. And of course, all this is dependent on the DRR and the estimates that will go into whatever program goes forward from this summer, and the president's decision later on this year. But you must precisely define the program you're talking about.

And, Steve, going back to your question, I mean that life-cycle cost; that gets you a hundred missiles; it gets you an improved ex- band radar and incidentals along the way. But that's the definition of the program. Change the question, change the program; and of course all the costs change, as well.

Q: Then-year dollars is the most honest, though, in terms of what is actually spent in the year that it's spent. It's not the base-year dollars. Base-year always underballs.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Well, I --

Q: I mean, you guys go with underballing.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Yeah, but you can also make a case for, "I don't have a weighted comparison." What's a truck cost me, if I built it during the Second World War? And what's a truck cost me in the year 2000? Okay? And if I use then-year dollars, do I then say that, "Look how much the cost of a truck has increased in 55 years?" Or do I try to put them on the base-year dollars -- pick one, 2000 or 1945 -- and then compare how much the cost of that truck may have risen?

You can make a case for both. Both are useful in their own way. You just have to be precise and make sure you understand the terms of reference when you're asking the question.


Q: Getting away from the numbers for a minute, there's been some reporting lately that there's sort of consensus building for the president not to make a decision later this year and to let his successor do that. There's both -- members of Congress from both parties have said this. And is it the department's position that, as far as the department is concerned, he will have the information that is appropriate to make the decision as soon as possible, for the reasons you've outlined, of building season and all that kind of stuff, or would it be better to put it off?

Rear Adm. Quigley: Yeah, yeah, I understand your question. We are committed to giving enough technical information to the president for him to make an informed decision. Now when he makes it, what the decision is, is completely his call, of course. But we want to provide him the technical information on which to base a sound decision.

Q: By?

Rear Adm. Quigley: Summer.

Q: (Off mike.)

Rear Adm. Quigley: By summer. By late summer.


Q: I just want to ask a couple questions on the details and the cost. Did you just say that the $30 billion was life-cycle cost of the '91 dollars?

Rear Adm. Quigley: Correct. Thirty-point --

Q: Would you be willing to check on that? Because I believe it was in '99 dollars.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Sure. Will do.

Q: Okay. And the other thing -- did you say that the procurement -- that the $20 billion was out to '05?

Rear Adm. Quigley: Correct.

Q: And would you be willing to check on that, too? Because I believe it was out to 2010.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Okay.

Q: Somebody told me this week it was 2010.

Q: So just for the record, some of us did ask BMDO very precisely how much does it cost, and then your dollars, total acquisition cost. And we were not given an answer on the record recently until this document became publicly available.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Let me make sure I got it right. And on what year dollars -- on the program cost, out to 2026, and basically the same question on the 20 billion. We'll check on that -- on both.

Q: And to what year does the 20 billion go? Is it like --

Q: Right, the 2005 --

Q: Yeah, '05 or '010?

Rear Adm. Quigley: Oh, for the extent?

Q: Yes.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Oh, I'm glad I asked the question.

Q: (Off mike.)

Rear Adm. Quigley: Okay. Got it. Will do. [The program cost of $20.2 billion represents the acquisition costs for the program from 1991 through 2026. The total life-cycle cost of the program from 1991 to 2026 is projected to increase from $23.8 billion to $30.2 billion. All of these dollar figures are in base-year (1999) dollars.]


Q: Admiral, can you confirm that the Israelis -- Mr. Barak, I believe, turned the U.S. down, told Mr. Cohen that they would not withdraw the order of an AWACS for the Chinese.

Is that accurate, that going ahead with their program to build and deliver an AWACS to the Chinese? And then I have another follow-up.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Well, I've seen pretty consistent reporting on that as well as a transcript from the actual press conference that the two of them had yesterday. So I think I'll let Mr. Barak and Secretary Cohen's words just stand alone. They're pretty clear, I believe.

Q: So that's basically --

Rear Adm. Quigley: My definition, I think they agree to disagree and keep talking about it.

Q: Oh, okay. And then there was something said about a treaty -- it was reported -- a treaty that would basically say the United States would regard an attack on Israel to be an attack on the United States. Do you have any further clarification about that?

Rear Adm. Quigley: I -- no. I have no information on that.

Q: No information?

Rear Adm. Quigley: No. I have not heard that.

Q: Okay. Thanks.

Rear Adm. Quigley: Tom?

Q: Do you have a status report on the troop to task analysis being done by Wes Clark?

Rear Adm. Quigley: I am told that that has moved from KFOR to SHAPE headquarters, where it is undergoing analysis there.

Q: Do you have a timetable on when the 125 recon troops and the UAV soldiers will be heading home?

Rear Adm. Quigley: Well, the UAV folks are -- both the Predator and the Hunter -- have started movement in the direction of the Balkans.

Q: Yeah. Where are they going to be based?

Rear Adm. Quigley: The Hunter is going to be out of Skopje, I believe, and Predator out of Tuzla. And I believe they were there last fall, until the weather got crummy, and they were removed. They seemed to work very well from there and provide broad area coverage of the Balkans. And again, the Predator system will be at KFOR's disposal with the Hunter being at the disposal of the American commander, Brigadier General Sanchez. And I believe they started moving, although I'm fuzzy on details as to is it the people, is it the gear, is it both. But they are headed in that direction now.

Q: On the troop to task analysis, do you know how many they're asking for --

Rear Adm. Quigley: I have not seen that analysis yet. It's still being -- it's still at SHAPE, and they're taking a look at it first before they go out to the nations.

Q: Are you familiar with the process by which SHAPE or NATO goes out to -- it's not necessarily, okay, America, I need this from you, and France, I need this from you. It goes out to, in this case, not only the 19 NATO nations, but it's the other nations that have volunteered to send forces to that region as well, and saying, "I need X, Y, Z. Which nations out there can provide these forces?"

Nations go back, they assess their own internal capabilities and limitations, come back to NATO headquarters with an answer to the question. So that's kind of the next step, Tom. But at this point, KFOR has provided its analysis to SHAPE.


Q: Can we assume that since they've provided an analysis, it's a request for more troops?

Rear Adm. Quigley: I don't have any details as to what it entails, Pam.

Q: So it could be, "We don't need as many as we have"? Although that seems highly unlikely.

Rear Adm. Quigley: It could be -- I hate to put any bounds on it because I've not been provided any details of what it might contain.

Q: And on the South Korea question I was asking you yesterday, have you heard anything further about their threat to cut off the MLRS deal with Lockheed?

Rear Adm. Quigley: No. No.

Somebody started -- Steve?

Q: Can I ask just an idle curiosity -- (laughter) --

Rear Adm. Quigley: I don't know, that's dangerous!

Q: Just the process, the process of analyzing reinforcements for Kosovo, how quickly could something like that work if you actually had an emergency? I'm just -- it's amazing to me that it takes so long to --

Rear Adm. Quigley: Well, you've got Exercise Dynamic Response 2000, which is wrapping up right now. The troops that were involved in that are redeploying to their home bases. And you've got a variety of units participated in that as an exercise, an annual exercise of the Strategic Reserve, and they were able to move pretty fast. I mean, that's the whole point of a Strategic Reserve, is being able to have a force that exists that you can move quickly to a trouble spot when you need it.

Q: How long did it take them to get in?

Rear Adm. Quigley: I don't have the exact figures. We weren't monitoring that closely from here. I would steer you probably to General Clark's folks and to General Reinhardt, particularly. But the feedback I've gotten, although general, was that folks felt that the exercise went very well and it really did test the system quite a bit. I think it wrapped up either late Sunday or yesterday, and the forces involved are redeploying to their various home stations.

Q: Thank you.

Q: Can I ask one more question? About the Turkish participation in the Joint Strike Fighter?

Rear Adm. Quigley: Yes?

Q: What's their financial contribution going to be? And are there other benefits to the United States?

Rear Adm. Quigley: The United States has invited the Turks to participate. The Turks have accepted the invitation. And it's kind of like going back to the surface-launched AMRAAM with the Egyptians. Now we talk about specifics, and one of those will certainly be the specifics of the financial contribution of the Turks to the program, but we're just not there yet.

Q: Thank you.

Q: Thank you.

Rear Adm. Quigley: One thing -- let me clarify one thing, in response to a legal question. Whether or not to discharge or separate someone who has convicted in a civil court is a separate action taken by the armed forces. It's not an automatic action. But it is separate from the civil court action.

And we'll post the dollar figures and date figures on the NMD system.

"This transcript was prepared by the Federal News Service, Inc., Washington DC. Federal News Service is a private company. For other defense related transcripts not available through this site, contact Federal News Service at (202) 347-1400."

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