United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

News Transcript

Press Operations Bookmark and Share

Transcript


DoD News Briefing - Rear Adm. Craig R. Quigley, DASD PA

Presenters: Rear Adm. Craig R. Quigley, DASD PA
August 16, 2001 1:30 PM EDT

Thursday, Aug. 16, 2001 - 1:30 p.m. EDT

(Also participating is Lt. Gen. Michael Zettler, deputy chief of staff for installations and logistics, Headquarters U.S. Air Force)

Quigley: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Several announcements this afternoon.

Let me start off with the wildfire -- the support to the wildfires out west. The director of Military Support here in the Pentagon has directed the call-up of four additional modular airborne firefighting systems, two from the Air Force Reserve in Colorado and two from the Air National Guard in North Carolina. This is in addition to the four systems and the one defense liaison officer called up on August 14th to respond to the fires in several of the Western states. The first four systems deployed for the 146th Air Wing, the California National Guard, and the 153rd Air Wing from the Wyoming Air National Guard. And in addition, the National Guard is also providing about 250 Guard members from eight different states to assist firefighters in their efforts.

Now at this point, all of these are state call-ups, called for by the governors of those respective states. And that will probably change over time, and we'll keep you posted as things do.

Next, U.S. Marines assigned to the commander's 6th Fleet will participate in a deployment rehearsal to Kosovo to demonstrate the U.S. and NATO commitment to maintaining peace in the region and the capability to rapidly reinforce NATO forces. The deployment rehearsal is a training event to validate concepts for the NATO Strategic Reserve Force. Approximately 700 Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked aboard the USS Kearsarge, USS Ponce, and USS Carter Hall will deploy to Kosovo to support Task Force Falcon, and will continue training missions in support of Operation Joint Guardian.

I know the U.S. European Command has more details on that as well. [ News release ]

This week the Tuskegee Airmen are holding their annual convention in Memphis, Tennessee. Tomorrow the convention will host a military forum focused on officer, enlisted, and civilian issues, to include professional development, advancement, and mentoring. General Richard Myers, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs, will be the keynote speaker at this event. Also participating will be Lieutenant General John Hopper, vice commander of the Air Education and Training Command, and recruiting chiefs for all of the services. [ Convention web site ]

As we mentioned Tuesday in the brief, the remains of 13 Marine Raiders killed in combat in the South Pacific in 1942 arrived at Andrews Air Force Base this morning. As a reminder, they'll be interred at Arlington National Cemetery tomorrow, following a memorial service that begins at 11:00. And see Lieutenant Colonel Dave Lapan on the news desk for more information on that. [ Press advisory ]

Later on this afternoon, at 3:30, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Vice Chairman General Myers, Richard Myers, will conduct a briefing here on the Defense Planning Guidance. This is issued by the secretary, as I think you all know, and provides the framework to the services and the direction to the services as they prepare their fiscal '03 budget programs.

And today will be the last regularly scheduled press briefing until September 4th.

At that time we'll resume the normal Tuesday and Thursday briefing schedule. But as I mentioned to several of you yesterday, as we were finishing up with Under Secretary Aldridge, we will have several roundtables, I think two next week and two the week following. We're still working on the exact schedules for that, but we will make sure that you all get the word.

And finally, I'd like to welcome to our briefing today eight visiting Russian journalists. They are here for a three-week reporting tour hosted by the Foreign Press Center. During their visit, they're focusing on energy and environmental issues, as well as U.S.-Russian relations. Welcome to you all.

And with that, I'll take your questions.

Charlie?

Q: Craig, just a couple of housekeeping questions before I get to the main one here. When is Torie Clarke going to start briefing? Or is she going to --

Quigley: Her goal is to pick up right after Labor Day.

Q: Oh, September 4th. Brief regularly.

As of the briefing this afternoon of Secretary Wolfowitz and the chairman, are they going to provide details on this defense guidance, any numbers that are being contemplated, any cuts that are being directly -- are they going to provide some details here? Because we keep getting these briefings saying that, "Well, we're making some progress, we're making some progress." That really doesn't mean a lot unless we can get -- are they going to provide some details?

Quigley: Well for starters, it's the deputy and the vice chairman, not the chairman.

And what they're going to provide this afternoon is kind of the process that's followed. It will not have numbers. The Defense Planning Guidance is not complete. But what it will hopefully -- and it should be done here very, very shortly. The secretary's goal is to have it signed out by tomorrow. But it's, hopefully, to help you understand the process and some of the overarching motivations and philosophy that goes into the new administration's approach to this very important document.

Q: We've had this process and ideas ad nauseam. (Laughter.)

Quigley: Not that I know of on the Defense Planning Guidance. If you have, please let me know when it would have been.

Q: He's been talking about Defense Planning Guidance the last two times he's come out.

Quigley: He talked about QDR.

Q: Yeah, and defense --

Quigley: That's a different critter. I mean, they are certainly linked. But -- well, again, I mean, they're going to be down at 3:30. If you don't find that helpful, I'm sorry.

Q: All right.

As far as the Marine deployment here, this Marine training deployment, has it got anything at all to do with Macedonia? Will they be used in a Macedonia operation?

Quigley: No, separate completely. It's the ability that we have exercised periodically, once every few months, to reinforce existing forces in Kosovo. And we alternate between the Marines and the amphibious units that are in the Mediterranean and the SETAF folks that are in Vicenza. We'll go with the MEU this time, and alternate back and forth.

Q: When are they going, and how long are they going to be --

Quigley: I believe European -- well I know European Command is announcing it today. And I believe it commences late next week.

Q: Are they going to land and go up by the road? Are they going to helicopter in? How are they --

Quigley: I do not know those tactical details, Otto. I'm sorry.

Q: Any idea how long it's going to last?

Quigley: It'll last, I believe, a couple of weeks.

Q: Any details yet on the Macedonia operation and U.S. participation?

Quigley: Some. First let me go over a time line, I think, might be helpful. As you may or may not know, the North Atlantic Council is meeting tomorrow. Over the course of the weekend, the advance force, a British force, that's in to take a look at the conditions on the ground and to scout out the sites that the NATO force will be using, will gather the information, will report back to General Ralston, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, the first part of the week, Monday, I believe. He, in turn, will then make his recommendation on readiness to deploy to Lord Robertson and the NAC. And again, that's on Monday. And then I guess we'll kind of have to take it from there as far as to when, and depending on what the advance force finds and the conditions on the ground over the course of the weekend.

U.S. participation -- and I should really limit my remarks to that -- will include the medical facilities, medical support from Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo. It will include UH-60 medevac helicopters, also at Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo; CH-47s for people movement or cargo movement -- multipurpose movement, I guess, of both people and equipment; the Hunter UAV, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, that's stationed at Camp Able Sentry in Skopje, in Macedonia; and general base support, I guess I would call it. As the NATO forces flow into Macedonia, they'll be flying, for the most part, into Skopje. And with the facility there at Camp -- or Camp Able Sentry -- sorry -- will be doing lots of assistance in moving the people and the equipment and getting them going in the right direction as they deploy out into Macedonia.

Time line in general: Once the flow of forces has started, it will be about two weeks until they take up their positions in country. And then 30 days, as you know, not greater than 30 days to collect the weapons and ammunition from the NLA. And then some additional period of time to redeploy out of Macedonia.

Q: How many U.S. troops total do you think --

Quigley: Well, John, that's a hard one to answer. It's really not about numbers because folks are not flowing into -- I know of no outside specialized skills or equipment that needs to be flown in or shipped into the region. They're all using forces that are already there.

So these are forces that are already on the ground and carrying out missions either in Able Sentry or in Kosovo. So they're going to be doing double duty. How much of their time will be devoted to the NATO mission is to be determined, depending on what NATO's needs are. But it's hard to give you a number. It's really not about the numbers.

Q: Well, for example, U.S. medical support in Bondsteel. Does that mean that the hospital there stands ready to help, or does that mean that it will be deploying medics over to Macedonia?

Quigley: It's a perfect example. The facility itself, which is a very good one, a very robust one, is completely available for the use of NATO forces, should they be necessary, for medical emergencies. Also you have the medevac helicopters that are co- located there, will transport injured back and forth. And if there is a need for medical teams to fly on those medevac helicopters to a location, they will do that as well. So in one sense, the entire medical facility at Bondsteel is available. Realistically, will it all be used? Certainly not. But the elements that would be needed during the period of time where the NATO forces are deployed would be certainly available for NATO's needs.

Q: And CH-47 helicopters basically are on an as-needed basis and would stay at Bondsteel, go fly, do their mission and go back to Bondsteel.

Quigley: Mm-hm. (Affirmative response.) And again, the use of those would vary over time. You could also stage them at Camp Able Sentry if you would find that more convenient to you. They have been both places over the months, either at Able Sentry or Bondsteel. And so you would imagine, as the forces are flowing into Macedonia, you would have those 47s would be particularly busy at the front end of the movement. Now, once you've got your forces in there, then it would be less of a level of effort for the helicopters.

Q: You have to 5(00) to 600 American troops in Macedonia now.

Quigley: Less than that. I believe it's just under 500, I believe.

Q: Just under 500.

Quigley: Between 4(00) to 500.

Q: So a large chunk of those would be used plus however many get sucked in from Bondsteel.

Quigley: Mm-hm. (Affirmative response.)

Q: Why aren't the American troops taking part in the collection of arms themselves?

Quigley: Well, that was just not the deal, Mik. The preconditions that must be -- that were agreed to were that this was to be a voluntary weapons and ammunition turn-in, not to go in active and seek the weapons and ammunition. So NATO will set up I believe it's three separate locations throughout Macedonia where we expect the NLA individuals to bring in ammunition and weapons and voluntarily turn them in for disposal.

Q: But, you know, under the agreement with the Macedonian government, they're talking about turning in 2,300 arms.

Does anybody seriously believe that that will disarm the Albanian rebels, given the amount of weapons in that region confiscated on the border alone?

Quigley: I don't know -- yeah, I don't know how to answer your question. I think that's an estimate by anyone's -- it's a best estimate, perhaps, but it's just that; it's an estimate.

We're heartened by the very low level of any violent activity here for the last several days. I'm not saying there will be no exceptions amongst the NLA that would perhaps hamper the process. But we're going into this, I think, for the right reasons. And the -- from all appearances, both the NLA and the government of Macedonia seem to be going in for the right reasons as well.

Q: And what guarantees are these that the American and NATO troops taking part in this operation will not be dragged into the middle of this potential civil war between the rebels and the Macedonians?

Quigley: Well, I think you have, you know, all 19 of the NATO nations, as well as the government of Macedonia, that are going to be very, very attentive to that. We've tried to take great care to describe the conditions under which the force would deploy, and once they get there, the specific activities that they would carry out in country, once they're there, for a specific period of time.

I think it's safe to say there will be a lot of attention placed on their activities and the activities surrounding the sites where the weapons and ammunition will be collected. So there will be no shortage of knowledge of the conditions around which they work. We'll be very, very careful and monitor it closely, and NATO will take action as it deems appropriate, depending on the circumstances.

Q: Well, what happens if, God forbid, violence should break out, as it so often does in that country?

Quigley: We'll just -- yeah, we'll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it. I can't give you a comprehensive answer on that. But it's going to be something we're going to be -- stay on top of as best we can.

Q: Craig, let me go back to a general question. Since most Americans might just now be focusing on Macedonia, a number of officials have said it in the past, but again, what would you say to those people who are worried about sending U.S. troops to yet another hot spot? That's -- are they logistical? Are they going to get involved in the violence? What --

Quigley: Well, the U.S. contribution to the NATO force is very much an enabling force. We are providing medical support; intelligence support, in the operation of the Hunter unmanned aerial vehicle; general logistics support, in the form of helicopters and people there on the ground at Camp Able Sentry.

We will not be providing forces to go out and help to gather up the weapons and the ammunition. This is something that has been, I think, kind of going back to Mik's question, a very deliberate and careful process on the part of NATO, and certainly on the part of the United States, to make sure we understand as best we can the conditions that we are getting into and the particular details of what we'll do once we're there.

Q: And again, when it comes to only recent, in the last month or so, there was the incident when peacekeepers -- U.S. peacekeepers were drawn into violence; what assurances can the Pentagon give the American citizens that this won't happen again?

Quigley: Well, the assurances I would offer, I guess, is that our most senior leadership are watching this very carefully and are prepared to react quickly should there be changing circumstances on the ground.

Q: How? How reacting?

Quigley: You would work it through -- I can't predict what the changing circumstance would be, but we're prepared to move in a variety of directions very quickly.

Q: Is one of those conditions immediate withdrawal of NATO forces, if in fact violence should break out? I thought that was one of the --

Quigley: I don't know.

Q: Okay.

Quigley: I'd have to review the specifics under which NATO entered into that.

Q: All right.

Q: You mentioned that a lot of those forces would be doing sort of a double duty. Does that also include the Hunter UAV, or will that be tasked specifically to monitoring what's going on --

Quigley: That is double duty as well.

Yes, sir.

Q: A new subject? It was reported that the American F-16 warplane has entered, or (improperly ?) strayed into Syrian airspace for about 23 minutes. Were there any communication between the Syrians and the pilot, and if not, were there any communication between the Syrian government and the American government concerning this incident?

Quigley: Well, I'm not aware of any communication between the Syrian and the F-16 -- Syrian government and the F-16 pilot, and I don't know on communications from governments either. I'm not sure.

Q: Can I follow on that? Could you tell us what did you learn from this experience -- unfortunate or fortunate, depends on your position -- that, did the Syrians spot the plane and turn a blind eye, or are you learning, for example, that you can stray into Syrian airspace without being detected?

Quigley: Well, I would refer you to the Syrians for what actions that they took when our aircraft strayed into their airspace. We don't know exactly why the F-16 strayed into Syrian airspace yet. We're taking a look at that; we'll find out. But it clearly was an accident and it was unintentional. And for that period of 23 minutes, until he was steered out of Syrian airspace, it was an element, or a circumstance we certainly did not intend.

Q: But you don't know if he was detected.

Quigley: I don't know. You'd have to ask the Syrians that.

Q: Well, when you say there was no government-to-government communication --

Quigley: No, I don't know.

Q: Has there been any apology, to your knowledge?

Quigley: Again, I don't know. There could have been, Charlie, but not that I know of.

Q: And to your knowledge, was the plane challenged at all by the Syrians?

Quigley: Again, I would refer you to the Syrians on that as to how they reacted.

Q: You said the pilot was steered out of Syrian airspace. Did he discover or did someone else discover --

Quigley: No, we did. We had an AWACS aircraft up and saw that he was steering wrong, that he was in to Syrian airspace, and called him out, and he got out of Syrian airspace.

Q: Yeah, but you saw it way after he had penetrated. It's surprising that the AWACS wouldn't have known like in the first minutes that he was over hostile territory.

Quigley: I can't explain those tactical details to you. I'm sorry, John. I don't know.

Q: Change the subject?

Q: Craig, I just wanted to pick up on something Charlie asked earlier when you first started the briefing, about the Wolfowitz-Myers briefing. And while we appreciate an on-the-record briefing, you mentioned that he wouldn't be able to provide any details because the document is not finished, and it would likely to be finished tomorrow. It seems logical that it would be better to do it tomorrow if he could then provide some details, which is what we are interested in.

Quigley: Well, the Defense Planning Guidance is a classified document and will remain as such. And again, I won't preclude there being another opportunity, if not tomorrow then perhaps the first part of next week, once it is signed and promulgated to the services, to provide some additional details as to what it contains.

But we have been asked lots over the last couple of days to provide some sort of insight as to what was important in the new administration, and Secretary Rumsfeld as to how he went about crafting the Defense Planning Guidance. And we're trying to be responsive to that.

Q: Okay.

Q: Change the subject? How about CBO allegations the Pentagon is exaggerating mightily on the charges that this building pays to maintain aging equipment, as opposed to having to buy new equipment?

Quigley: Yeah. We have not had a chance to go through the Congressional Budget Office report in great detail yet, Charlie, but I know that we have a couple of initial reactions to that.

On balance, there's a lot in there that we agree with, but there are some elements in there that we don't. I would just offer two thoughts here. One, I would invite any or all of you out to see our forces in the field, see our logisticians and our mechanics at work repairing aircraft, armored vehicles, ships, what have you, in the field and ask them if they think that they are spending more time repairing our aging systems.

I think they'll give you a resounding "yes" to that question.

Now, I do have Lieutenant General Mike Zettler here today from the air staff that's prepared to offer some of his thoughts and some analysis from the Air Force perspective that is, again, a different view than the findings of the CBO report.

Q: Could I ask you first, what do you agree with on the CBO? You said you --

Quigley: Oh, a lot -- again, I don't have the specifics in front of me. I was talking to our readiness folks up until just a few minutes before I came down here. But I would refer you to actually read the report very specifically and not just read the treatments of it that have appeared so far today in the press. I think you might get a slightly different impression.

Q: Well, do you agree that it's not costing as much as you say it's costing?

Quigley: No.

Q: Is that what you agree with?

Quigley: I think you're going --

Q: What do you agree with, Craig? I mean --

Quigley: Let me take that question and I'll try to give you a specific comment from the pages of the CBO report.

Q: All right.

Quigley: I don't think I'll be able to do that today, but I'll try in the days ahead.

Q: Before you call the general up, can we ask a couple of questions on the fires that you started the briefing with? Do you anticipate, other than sort of what you outlined, that this is going to get into many more hundreds, or even thousands, of troops that are going to be involved in this?

Quigley: It certainly could, John. I know that I've heard that the governor of Oregon is about ready to call up several hundred Oregon National Guardsmen -- again, under his authority as the governor of the state -- to assist in the fires near Klamath Falls, I believe. And so I would expect the numbers to grow in the days ahead, perhaps different types of equipment, as well.

Q: Mostly National Guard is what you're talking about, not federal troops?

Quigley: At this point, yes.

Q: And you're not putting federal troops through special training again, as you did --

Quigley: We certainly could do that, but we are not at this point, no.

Q: Haven't begun.

Quigley: No.

Q: Okay.

Q: Can I ask you about passive radar that's --

Quigley: Can I go back to one point, following up on that, John? A lot of summertime firefighting help are college students. And if you take a look at the calendar, a lot of those college students are about to head back to college. So that is going to have a significant impact on the available workforce -- or the firefighting force, I should say, the forces that a month ago would have been available for extended stays to help fight those fires. So the manpower -- and this is a very manpower-intensive effort for this sort of an effort -- has got to come from somewhere.

Q: Yeah, on passive radar, I'm just wondering if there's any additional evidence that China may be helping Iraq to develop this system? What level of concern is there at the Pentagon that stealthy aircraft could become considerably less stealthy, and are precautions being taken?

Quigley: I would say that our desire to have stealth technology remain effective in any part of the world is something that we are constantly going to care about very, very much. The specifics of your question gets immediately into intelligence sources and methods, and I cannot respond directly, I'm sorry.

Q: And on the part about Iraq, though, is there any -- do we have any evidence that they may be developing it with help from China?

Quigley: Same answer, I'm afraid.

Q: And again, why is it that you're so concerned about protecting -- what kind of threat could it pose?

Quigley: Any knowledge that I would have on that would come from intelligence sources and methods, and I cannot compromise those.

Q: And do you know how the systems works? Could you even explain that?

Quigley: No, I don't.

Q: Why it's different from regular radar?

Quigley: No, I can't.

Q: Okay.

Q: Craig, in February you-all were not reluctant at all to say that the Chinese were helping the Iraqis lay cable to help integrate the network, fiber optic cable to help integrate its air defense network. I asked the secretary, the week before last, at a briefing if the Chinese were still doing it, and he said he didn't particularly want to answer the question. Could you say whether or not the Chinese are still helping, to you-alls' knowledge, are still helping the Iraqis?

Quigley: No, I think I'll follow the secretary's lead.

Q: So you're not -- you're not saying you don't know, you're just saying you just won't answer the question?

Quigley: Correct.

Yes, sir?

Q: Iraq keeps repeating accusations that your planes are not only flying from southern Turkey and from ships, they're also flying from Arab countries' bases. Can you deny or confirm that your planes are using bases in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia?

Quigley: As a long-standing policy for 11 years, as we have flown both Northern and Southern Watch missions, we have not acknowledged which, if any, installations in the region any of our land-based planes fly from. We clearly acknowledged Incirlik and we clearly acknowledged carrier-based in the Arabian Gulf, but beyond that, we do not.

General?

Q: Thanks, Admiral.

Zettler: I'm the deputy chief of staff for Installations and Logistics, Mike Zettler.

Aging aircraft are a considerable concern to the Air Force, as they are to all the services with their types of respective equipment. We've seen considerable cost growth over the last five years in our spare parts consumption as our aircraft have aged. It's been a problem over the '90s from not reconstituting the force.

I do have a chart that I'd like to share with you. If I can call that chart up right now. [ Chart ]

I think it's fairly widely known that over the decade of '90 to '01 we've seen a significant downturn in the mission readiness rates of our aircraft. And in fact, because of the large infusion of dollars that we put into spare parts, we've begun to see an increase in the mission capable rate for the first time in the 10 years, where we have this year gone to 73.3. That's the first time it's turned up.

At the same time, however, you'll note the right-hand part of the chart shows that our flying hours since 1996 have been fairly consistent and level, yet the costs of supporting those flying hours have gone up dramatically. And in fact that chart shows that they've gone up 59 percent.

As the admiral said, with respect to the CBO report, there's many points in that report that we do agree with. The report acknowledges that the cost of maintaining an aged fleet is increasing. The report also acknowledges that the services uniformly have seen those costs increase. The Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, and the Air Force all have done independent studies that confirm that the costs go up.

There are, however, sections of the report that are not what we believe to be entirely accurate. We believe that as that chart shows, that our spare parts cost in the flying hours have gone up by about 50 percent. The report says 10 percent. We believe it's in the methodology, and we've got apples and oranges. Our chief of staff has testified on the Hill to 50 percent, and our empirical data will show that it's 50 percent.

I'll be happy to take your questions.

Q: How can there be such a disparity between what the CBO reports and what the Air Force is reporting?

Zettler: Well, I think that's an excellent question. We have to understand better what the CBO has in their report. However, our numbers clearly show that it's 50 percent. We believe that there's some accounting differences of what's included in what the CBO is using to flying hours that we don't attribute directly to the flying hour costs.

Q: Was the CBO report simply based on data supplied them, or did they actually send investigators out to facilities to see for themselves what's going on?

Zettler: I don't know the precise answer to that. But I do know that we had several people from the Air Force sit down with the author of the CBO report, provide him with large data as he was finalizing the report, some of which we can see evidence that he has changed, others where he has not accepted it.

Q: One of the things that seemed changed in it -- in one part of that report, CBO said that the aircraft in general are not any older than they were in 1990 -- or the 1980s, you know. And given the procurement rate of aircraft for all the services, I find that kind of hard to believe.

Zettler: Well, as you know, the Air Force average age of aircraft is 22-1/2 years right now. If we buy all the aircraft that are in our future years' defense plan, it will grow to 30 by average age by 2015.

I would point out to you that in 1980 it was when we were really entering into the heart of the procurement envelope, and we were replacing aged platforms at that time, which we did during the decade of the '80s -- but now those airplanes that we bought in 1980 through 1988 to 1990 are 12 to 20 years old. So we really need to go through another reconstitution, now that our aircraft have reached this 20- year platform.

Q: Well, CBO doesn't even agree with your number. In -- (inaudible) -- they say the average age of the Air Force aircraft is 20 years, not 22.

Zettler: I'm sure there's some accounting differences there, but we stand by our 22-1/2 years of average age; fighter aircraft, 17 years.

Q: General, in these flying-hour costs, is this strictly maintenance, fuel and other things, or things like increased pay and bonuses for pilots? Is that figured in there too?

Zettler: What we are reflecting on the chart there are consumable spare parts and repairable spare parts. We have normalized it by taking fuel out because we all know that fuel costs vary widely from year to year, and particularly over a three- to five-year span the fuels cost vary. So we have kept that very plain, very simple, but that's the cost that we associate with aging, and that's the spare parts that we consume to fly the flying-hour program. [Correction: Fuel costs WERE used in calculating the cost per flying hour in the briefing chart. If the cost of fuel is removed from the equation for the FY97-FY02 timeframe, the overall effect would be a 51% increase in flying hour cost vice the 59% reflected in the briefing chart.]

Q: Thank you.

Zettler: I would -- again, as the admiral said, it would be a wonderful opportunity to have you go to an F-15 wing where the men and women are taking care of a very aged but very capable fighter, or to our depot, where we see a large cost increase in maintaining the engines as they go through a cyclic replacement of the parts that have literally worn out over their 15- to 20-year operating time.

Thank you.

Quigley: For those of you who might want to ask some more questions of General Zettler and get into a greater level of detail, he has agreed to stick around after the briefing is over, rather than go into that level of detail for all.

Thelma?

Q: One brief question. Congressman Spence, who is not looking very well. I wondered if the Pentagon had any thoughts about Congressman Spence.

Quigley: Oh, that's an easy one. We have so thoroughly enjoyed the support of Congressman Spence to the men and women of the Defense Department for so many years, it is very, very easy to wish him well, his family well, and his loved ones, in this very, very difficult time. He is a man that has been so supportive of particularly the people, the men and women in uniform that have served our nation during his entire tenure in the Congress. And we hope he'll pull out of this one too. The man has amazing ability to recover, and we hope that he can do that again.

Q: Thank you.

"THIS TRANSCRIPT WAS PREPARED BY THE FEDERAL NEWS SERVICE INC., WASHINGTON, D.C. 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."

-NEW-