United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

News Transcript

Press Operations Bookmark and Share

Transcript


DoD News Briefing - ASD PA Clarke and Mr. Evey

Presenters: Victoria Clarke, ASD PA
October 02, 2001 1:30 PM EDT

Tuesday, October 2, 2001 - 1:30 p.m. EDT

(Also participating: Lee Evey, manager, Pentagon Renovation Program.)

Clarke: Good afternoon. It is a busy day, and it's getting busier, so I would just like to touch on a few issues, take some questions, and then turn it over to Lee Evey, who is the Pentagon Renovation Program manager, because I know we've had a lot of questions and a lot of interest on the status of the building. He's got an update, so we'll turn to that pretty quickly.

As you've probably heard, the secretary of Defense is going to leave Andrews Air Force Base this evening for a visit to the Middle East. He'll meet with ministers of defense and some other leaders in the region. We don't have details; we don't have countries yet. As the itinerary gets worked out this afternoon, we'll supply that to you. He is traveling at the request of the president, and, obviously, it is to talk about the campaign against terrorism and have significant consultations over there. [ Press advisory ]

We have received tremendous international support for the effort against terrorism, and a very welcome part of that support has come from India. The Indian Minister of External Affairs and Defense, Jaswant Singh, will visit Secretary Rumsfeld here at the Pentagon this afternoon. We'll have an honor cordon at 4:30. And following the meeting, at about 5:00, both the minister and Secretary Rumsfeld will hold a media availability out at the River Entrance. [ Transcript ]

Update --

Q: Torie? Torie, just very briefly.

Clarke: Yes, sir. Sure?

Q: Will this Middle East -- can we assume that the Middle East trip will include the Gulf? And is this in any way because of any fears of non-cooperation or recalcitrance of the leaders --

Clarke: I wouldn't assume what countries are in at all, Charlie. We're working on the countries as we speak right now. And the support from countries around the world has been very, very good. This is to continue the consultations that have already started, and it is to show our appreciation for the cooperation that has been given and our commitment to the region.

Okay?

On Enduring Freedom, the Defense Department, as you know, is engaging and positioning its forces in various places to conduct whatever operations the president decides to direct. Yesterday, the White House did release some approximate numbers about who we have headed into the region, in theater. [ White House release ] And I want to underscore, these numbers are approximate, they are flexible, and they will change. As we can give you information, as we can put out information that in no way compromises the operations, we'll do that. But I just want to underscore the flexibility and the changing status of those numbers.

As a part of Operation Noble Eagle, the military is performing a variety of missions as part of homeland defense, including the patrols, remote sensing, transportation and advisory teams. We have approximately 20,000 members of the Reserve and National Guard who have been called to active duty, and that covers 115 units from 43 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Looking ahead slightly, we're having several meetings here this week, and hopefully by the end of the week, we'll submit our recommendation regarding General Dynamics/Northrop Grumman on the Newport News shipyard merger.

And in something we have not talked about too much lately, Task Force Essential Harvest has completed the weapons collection. They did so on September 25th. Approximately 3,800 pieces collected. The region is relatively calm right now. The North Atlantic Council has approved the next step, which is called Operation Amber Fox, which is a three-month mission aimed to further promote the stabilization process there. And our role in Operation Amber Fox will be essentially the same as it was for Essential Harvest, and that is to provide some enabling functions, some logistical support. And no additional U.S. troops will be submitted for that.

And with that, Barbara?

Q: Can you just, from this podium, review those numbers for us as they stand today? Tell us what your latest numbers are in the region?

Clarke: Which numbers?

Q: The numbers you said the White House had offered up.

Clarke: The White House had offered up approximately 30,000. They had --

Q: In the region?

Clarke: In the region, in the theater. They had talked about an amphibious ready group, they had talked about approximately 350 military aircraft, and two carrier battle groups currently deployed.

But I want to underscore again, these are approximate numbers, these numbers change, they are flexible. And as we can provide information that is meaningful without compromising any of the operations, we'll do it.

Q: When you say these numbers change, are you indicating that it is inevitable these numbers will increase?

Clarke: It's inevitable that the numbers will change.

(Aside) Thanks very much.

If you didn't hear it, there was an accidental, false alarm going off. They are working on the system -- in case you heard that coming down the hallway.

Pam?

Q: Could you tell us the breakdown of how the $4.2 billion that DoD has gotten so far from OMB in this terrorist relief package -- how that money is being spent?

Clarke: I can do it very roughly. It is a very elaborate process that we're working out with Congress, with the OMB (Office of Management and Budget), and with the services.

Approximately $10 billion has been made available to the -- to the president immediately, an additional $10 billion after 15 days. To date, we have allocated -- the OMB has allocated approximately $8 billion of the first $10 billion allotment. Of that, DoD gets slightly more than half -- $4.25 billion. And the groups roughly break out to intelligence, command and control, increased optempo, repairs to the Pentagon, initial response to the crisis, and some other needs. And we can give you a more specific breakdown on that if you want afterwards, Pam.

Yes, sir?

Q: As you know, there have been repeated comments that military action is not imminent. Is that still the case?

Clarke: You know, the president has said it, the secretary said it, and I can only underscore what they have said -- we're not going to talk about timing. It's just not useful, and it's not helpful. Element of surprise is one of the things we want, so we're just not going to talk about the timing.

Q: Except that administration officials at the highest levels have asserted, up until now, that military action is not imminent. Is that still operative?

Clarke: Well, I don't know who the administration officials are, but from this podium we're just not going to talk about timing.

Q: Why is it --

Clarke: Yes, ma'am?

Q: -- necessary for Secretary Rumsfeld to go to the region now? Is he trying to bolster the coalition? Is he trying to negotiate specific things? What --

Clarke: Obviously, it's a very important region. Clearly, we've been very pleased with the support and the cooperation we have been getting from around the world. The world is fairly united in this effort to combat terrorism, and we want to make sure that we have the consultations at the highest levels. We want to make sure we underscore the importance we place on countries in that region.

Q: And why would the secretary --

Clarke: It's a very strong -- no, let me just follow up. It is a very strong sign from the administration -- the president has asked him to do this -- it's a very strong sign of the importance we place on the region and the importance we place on the coalitions.

As the secretary and others have said many times, this is a very different kind of war, and the coalitions will be very different. And we use coalitions, plural, for a reason.

Q: Why is the secretary of Defense taking this diplomatic mission as opposed to the head diplomat?

Clarke: Well, the head diplomat, if you're referring to the secretary of State, was just there a few weeks ago. And we do want to have consultations about the defense arrangements.

Q: When exactly did the president ask the secretary to go?

Clarke: When did he ask him?

Q: Yes.

Clarke: I don't know exactly. They've been talking about doing something like this for a few days, but I don't know exactly when the request came in. We found out about it this morning.

Q: And he's meeting with military counterparts or only diplomats?

Clarke: The agenda is really still being worked out. Exactly where we'll go and with whom we'll meet will still be worked out, and we hope to have something in the next few hours, since we're leaving this evening.

Q: How long?

Clarke: A few days.

Yes, sir.

Q: It's widely reported that the Kitty Hawk has sailed from Japan with a minimal air wing, less than her full complement. Can you tell us anything about who or what she might be picking up on route to the region?

Clarke: I can tell you she's left Japan, and that's all. We're not talking about the direction, and we're not talking about the configuration.

Yes, sir.

Q: Just administrative, on the numbers you gave us, the 350 aircraft includes or does not include the air wings on the carriers?

Clarke: You know, I'm just not going to go any further than that. Just wanted to underscore that it's approximate and flexible. And again, I hope people understand, we're trying hard to provide some information that is helpful and useful. We are trying hard not to let those who would wish us harm paint the picture of what it is we're doing and how we're going to do it.

Yes.

Q: Why would you plan a trip before you know where you're going or what the agenda is? (Laughter.)

Clarke: I'm going to call the front office on that one. There have been discussions for some days about the importance of having a senior administration official head to the region. There is a lot going on these days, so we make the decisions as quickly and as effectively as we can. And as I said, I hope in the next couple of hours we can tell you exactly where we're going and with whom we'll be meeting.

Q: Does he plan to share any evidence that he has?

Clarke: You know, I just don't find it career-enhancing to talk about the conversations he may or may not have. (Laughter.) But there will be wide-ranging conversations largely focused on this effort to combat terrorism.

Tony.

Q: Personnel question. Last week, Charles Abell, the undersecretary for force management put out a memo saying that all uniformed personnel injured or killed in the attack of September 11th would be eligible for hostile fire pay.

Clarke: Mmm hmm. (Affirmative)

Q: I got a number of civilians here who were involved in it asking why can't civilians have the equivalent of hostile fire pay? Since this is a new war and those terrorists who -- the attack didn't distinguish between civilian or military, what's the rationale for keeping this just to military personnel?

Clarke: Well, you're right, Charlie did sign -- Charlie Abell did sign on the 25th that members of the military can receive hostile pay. They are looking at the issue of civilians, but it's still at the staff level, and I don't know how it's working through.

Q: Could you keep us informed, then?

Clarke: Sure.

Q: Because it seems like a basic issue here.

Clarke: Be happy to keep you informed.

Yes, sir?

Q: Without going to what Secretary Rumsfeld may or may not do as far as the evidence, where does the administration's or DoD's indication that it will show the world the evidence of Osama bin Laden's link to this -- where does that stand now?

Clarke: Well, I think if you look at what the world has been doing and saying, their expressions of support for this effort, I think they believe there is a fair amount of evidence there. You look at what Tony Blair said, you look at what NATO has done, you look at what the EU has done.

And I'd underscore two things. One, this is not just about Osama bin Laden and one network. It is about terrorists and the networks and the people and the entities and the organizations and the banks and the corporations that sponsor and foster them. So it's not just about Osama bin Laden.

And in terms of the evidence, in this town it has become code word for classified information. We're just not going to be in the business of talking about it, from this podium or other places. And we're not going to be in the business of what the actual conversations and the details of information we're sharing with our friends and allies on this matter.

Q: Well, where does the idea stand now of showing the Taliban that there is some kind of link that we know of? Have we decided we're not going to do that in any way, or we are?

Clarke: I'm sorry, I don't -- what's your question?

Q: Are we going to provide any kind of evidence at all to Afghanistan of why they should give him up, or we just say it's obvious?

Clarke: Well again, I'd push back on your question a little bit. This is not about Afghanistan. As a matter of fact, we have a great deal of sympathy for the people of Afghanistan, who are terribly repressed and starving and fleeing for the borders. And one of the reasons we have made it such a large recipient of humanitarian aid in the past and will in the future is for exactly those reasons. We have made very clear to the Taliban what we expect of them, and so far, the response has been next to nothing.

Charlie?

Q: Torie, Tony Blair said today that the Taliban either are going to have to give up Osama bin Laden or lose power. Is the U.S. military capable of or in a position to take away the power of the Taliban, using force? I mean, aside from direct opposition, aside from -- the secretary himself has said there are not a lot of hard targets in Afghanistan. Is the U.S. military able to do that, take away the power of the Taliban?

Clarke: Well, I want to push you off again -- I just repeat what I say earlier there, is push you off again from focusing just on Osama bin Laden or just on that network. And this is not about centers of power. This is about draining a swamp. This is about eliminating the support, getting rid of all those entities that support terrorism and allow it to continue. So it is not about their control per se.

Q: I'm talking about the Taliban on that and military structure -- (inaudible). Is the U.S. military in a position to rob them of their military structure and thereby take away their power?

Clarke: Well, that gets very close to talking about what we might or might not do, so I'll stay away from that.

I would echo the secretary's comments that there are a lot of people in Afghanistan -- there are -- there's the Northern Alliance, there are tribes from the south, there are a lot of people in the country itself who are not happy with the Taliban. And whatever we can do to show our support for democratization in that area, we will do. But we're not going to get into particulars of what we might or might not do, especially what we might or might not do with the military.

Yeah?

Q: The secretary, and others in the administration, have spoken increasingly in recent days about the need for a humanitarian program to sort of run parallel to the military, especially in Afghanistan. What kind of planning is going on in this building for --

Clarke: There's -- well, there's intensive planning going on in this building, and with the interagency team, if you will, to determine what the humanitarian aid will be, both content and size, for Afghanistan and the entire region. As I said, I think Afghanistan this year alone has been the recipient of about $170 million worth of aid. We will certainly be continuing that. And humanitarian aid going forward is certainly something that the administration puts a lot of value on, because we want to emphasize, this is not about the people of Afghanistan.

Q: Well, there have been reports that it would include air drops of food and that sort of thing. Are you actually planning the logistics of that kind of thing already? You're not that far along, or --

Clarke: Well, beyond going -- beyond saying that we're working closely with the interagency colleagues to figure out what we'll do and when we'll do it and how we will do it -- and they're pretty intensive conversations and consultations -- I just don't feel that I should go past that right now.

Q: A quick question on the airplanes. You mentioned 315. What's the base? Was it about 200 --

Clarke: I'm going to quit mentioning. I'm going to underscore one more time, "approximate," and stick with that.

Q: Approximate means, though -- there was something already there. I just want to get a sense of how we increased what was already there.

Clarke: You know, Tony, I'm just not going to go there this afternoon. Just going to say those are approximate numbers, and you guys know this is something we're working on, is what kind of information can we share that will be useful to you-all without giving away too much for those who would wish us harm.

Q: It's useful to know what the build-up is, though.

Clarke: We'll keep working on it.

Q: Torie --

Clarke: Yeah. Wait, how about -- Charlie, let me go here.

Q: Sorry.

Q: Thanks.

Could you tell us the practical significance of NATO invoking Article V, because it's my understanding that that doesn't exactly compel them to do anything militarily.

Clarke: Well, I think you look at what NATO is doing, you look what the EU is doing, you look at what friends and allies around the world are doing, and the expression of support the Indians are showing by sending their leading official here today, it is another sign that most of the people in this world are united behind the war against terrorism. And if you take, you know, each of these things in and of themselves, I can see where you're headed. But if you look at the overwhelming amount of support that has been shown around the world, it's very, very significant.

Q: Torie --

Clarke: Let me go in the back here, Charlie, for a second, and come back.

Q: Oh, sorry.

Clarke: Yes, sir.

Q: You said -- I mean, you said on the second point, you said earlier that the world is "fairly" united. But can you identify those --

Clarke: I think I meant to say "very," but -- (laughter). Okay.

Q: Can you identify those parts that perhaps aren't as united as the Pentagon would --

Clarke: Not -- you know, you've heard the secretary talk about this before. The support around the world has been truly remarkable and very positive -- V-E-R-Y. What individual countries decide to do or not do and what they decide to talk about and not talk about is up to them. You all know better than I do just how sensitive some of these situations are. So beyond saying we're very, very pleased with the response, we're not going to start lining up country by country.

Yes, sir.

Q: During Secretary Rumsfeld's trip to the Middle East will he outline the proof the United States has to those countries?

Clarke: Well, we're still putting the trip together. And as I said before, they'll have a series of meetings and consultations on these efforts, on the defense-related efforts on the war of terrorism. Beyond that, we're probably not going to characterize it too much. At least for the next few hours.

Yes, sir.

Q: The Pakistani president yesterday was talking about a strike on Afghan targets as "inevitable". Was he speaking -- was he stating the obvious, or was he giving information that you would rather have been not have given?

Clarke: You have to ask him.

Again, we're going to -- it is so sensitive and so clearly so sensitive that we cannot be in the business of -- I mean, we don't do it as a normal course of business around here. We certainly now can't be characterizing for other countries what they may or may not do or what their views may or may not be. The response has been very good, it has been very positive. We understand and appreciate those sensitivities. So we will try to let others speak for themselves.

Charlie.

Q: Torie, aside from any specific plans that have or have not been made yet, wouldn't the U.S. military almost have to be involved in humanitarian airdrops to the Afghans?

Clarke: Well, I don't think we should be talking about specifics at all. What we're doing right now is organizing and preparing for a wide range of contingencies. We are preparing and organizing ourselves to do what the president directs us to do. Humanitarian aid will be a part of that. But beyond that, we're not going to give too many details. And again, I think you all understand why.

Q: Could you clarify? Did you say three-five-oh aircraft, or three-one-five?

Clarke: To clarify again, I said "very approximately" --

Q: Right --

Clarke: -- three-five-oh. Approximately 350.

Yes.

Q: Russia the other day signed an arms cooperation treaty with Iran. In fact, I think it might have been actually today. Given the U.S. position and Defense Department sensitivities before about Russian arms cooperation with Iran and Russia's newfound generosity to the U.S. in opening up its air bases for U.S. support, do you -- do you have a position about Russian and Iranian arms cooperation?

Clarke: You know, I have not heard too much about that today, so I'll have to get back to you on that one.

And if we're okay here, I would love to bring up Mr. Evey to talk about the building update.

Okay. One question, and then we'll turn it over.

Q: There are a number of former Soviet air bases in the northern part of Afghanistan --

Clarke: I'm sorry. I missed the first part of your --

Q: There are a number of former Soviet air bases in the northern part of Afghanistan that are controlled by the anti-Taliban forces, including in Feyzabad and Weygam. And I was wondering -- the last one once housed 1,000 Soviet troops. Are there any airfields that are being considered -- are these airfields being considered for use by the allied forces?

Clarke: We sure wouldn't talk about it from up here.

Okay. Thank you very much, you guys. Mr. Evey?

Evey: I'm Lee Evey, the program manager for the Pentagon renovation, and I wanted to take just a few minutes to go over with you some of the activities that we have under way in the wedges for recovery and ultimately renovation. [ Briefing slide ]

Q: Would you spell you name and give us your title?

Evey: Sure.

Q: We should probably get it before --

Evey: (Chuckles.) My last name is spelled Evey, E-V, as in Victor, E-Y.

Q: E-V-E-Y.

Evey: That's correct.

Q: And your first name?

Evey: My first name's Walker. W-A-L-K-E-R.

Q: And you are?

Evey: The program manager for Pentagon renovation.

Q: Thanks.

Q: But we'll call you Lee.

Q: (Laughs.)

Evey: (Laughs.) If Walker were your first name, you'd go by Lee, too. (Chuckles.)

The first thing I wanted to talk about is just physically some of the things we're doing out at the site. You start from the farthest perimeter of the site. Most of you have probably noticed that we've put in additional security screening. Kind of out here alongside Highway -- out there alongside Highway 27 -- we've put in some additional screens, with a green barrier. We'll be putting probably two more layers of screening behind that to provide additional security for the site, and ultimately those will become lay-down areas. We'll bring construction equipment and materials and people, sheds, et cetera, to support the reconstruction activity. That's the first thing.

The second thing is, at this point we've gone through many of the underground tunnels that honeycomb the areas underneath the building. They kind of parallel the sides of the building, as well as go underneath Wedge 1 and Wedge 2 itself. Those are in basically good shape. They all seem to be structurally sound. We've identified three areas where there's some leaking of water, but those things are being repaired as I speak, and probably by this afternoon those are all fixed.

We have been undergoing for some period of time and we continue a recovery of personal and government property that was left behind as people exited the area very quickly. That's a scheduled process. Depending on which wedge you're in, it's either being done ring by ring or floor by floor because of some slight difference in the configurations in the areas.

But we schedule organizations to go. We take them in, stand guard in the area while they go through the materials, et cetera, recover and retrieve what they can, and we leave with them.

We are doing a laser imagery and digital photography effort to map both the outside, the exterior of the wedges, as well as the inside. And we think that's going to make the reconstruction of those areas a little bit faster. We anticipate we'll save probably about a month in reconstruction effort because we can do that kind of remotely instead of having to physically measure things.

As you know, we were involved in the removal of equipment that allowed us to reopen Route 27, so that's open. Traffic's passing through that area freely.

We've begun to establish reoccupancy schedules for the wedges. And I'm proud to say that the first areas were available for reoccupancy yesterday, Monday, the 1st of October. And that was about maybe 10 percent of Wedge 1 and a slightly smaller percentage of Wedge 2 became available for occupancy as of yesterday. We've got some additional areas coming open, especially in Wedge 2, on the 5th of October. We have some additional areas coming open in November; some others areas coming open in January.

And probably the longest areas that we face are the areas we actually had the very large amount of physical destruction. Right now, our best estimate is going take us about 18 months to do the physical shell work in that area, that is the reconstruction of any of the foundations that are required, the columns, the floors, the outer wall, roof repairs, et cetera.

Probably the biggest ongoing challenge we have right now isn't construction per se -- we really haven't gotten into that phase very much -- but mostly the control of mold and mildew, especially in Wedge 1 and portions of Wedge 2, where literally thousands of gallons of water were dumped into those areas fighting the fires. There's a very large mold growth and mildew growth in that area. So we're going to have to do extensive recovery as a result of that.

At this time, about 50 percent of Wedge 1 has electrical power of some kind turned back on. In some cases, it's just enough to have electrical lights, some emergency lights on. But at least 50 percent of the Wedge have some type of electricity available.

We've already ordered the replacement electrical gear for Wedge 1. And we've also started to develop all of the long-lead equipment item lists that will require immediate ordering and immediate action to get those long-lead items underway and ordered.

We've got the domestic water lines reconnected in Wedge 1. We also have the fire pumps and the fire system, the sprinkler system recharged in Wedge 1, so that's available to support people moving into those areas. We've got extensive dehumidification available and ongoing in both wedges. We had to truck in very large equipment to accomplish it in the very large areas that we have.

We are accomplishing -- I think this is important -- extensive air monitoring to ensure that the air in both the areas that were damaged, as well as other areas in the building, are healthy and safe for our working environment.

And we also have, although it's not the alarm that you heard here just a few minutes ago, we're also starting fire alarm testing; we have that underway in the wedge, and especially Wedge 1, we'll have that going on for the next few days.

Now, a lot of interest has been expressed in who it is that will get this business. And I know in the past we've announced some contract awards and things like that. I'd like to mention that we are going to hold for small -- and small, disadvantaged businesses, who might be interested in working on the wedge recovery effort, who are interested in meeting with the Pentagon renovation prime contractors to discuss subcontracting opportunities, that we're going to have a meeting available to them so they can meet both of the prime contractors. It's going to be in Rosslyn Plaza North on the 24th of October, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. That's at 1777 Kent Street, Rosslyn, Virginia, Conference Room 3. So they'll have an opportunity to come in. We're going to give an overview of the Pentagon Renovation Program. We're going to follow that with a presentation from each one of the prime contractors and how it is they intend to go about doing their work. They're going to outline subcontracting opportunities that are available. And the attendees may also schedule appointments with the prime contractors to look for subcontracting opportunities, business opportunities, within the resultant wedge construction.

And information on that is available, as well as for many other subjects dealing with our program, at our Pentagon website, and that is renovation.pentagon.mil.

Some specific contract awards that we've made recently, I think you all are already aware of the AMEC contract for $520 million. It was a letter contract that we wrote early on. I'd like to say that AMEC has already awarded subcontracts to several contractors, among them is a company called Jewel, which is a small, disadvantaged business; it does cleaning services. It's $100,000. CapCo, another small, disadvantaged business which does painting and drywall. It's about $400,000. ACM, which is another small, disadvantaged business that does environmental remediation. That's going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $2 million to $3 million worth of subcontracting. Another firm, called Mufti International, which is also a small, disadvantaged business, does carpeting, it's approximately $60,000.

We've also written subcontracts with firms KTLH Engineers, which is a woman-owned small business. It's about $500,000 worth of subcontract work. A subcontract for Core Drilling Services, which is also a woman-owned small business. That's approximately $500,000 for testing services. We've awarded a contract to Stanton Engineering Services, which is a small business; it's about $3.2 million. That's for fire protection services. We also, as you know, awarded a contract to RTKL Architectural -- it's a large business -- for about $20.8 million. But they've announced subcontracts with Orline Associates, which is a woman-owned small business, for about $500,000; and Historical Architecture for $500,000.

That's the information that I have that I just wanted to brief you on very quickly.

Questions? Yes, sir?

Q: Is the plan to do -- to restore the damaged part of the building and then go back to the renovation schedule?

Evey: Sir, it slightly depends, and we have a number of areas with different types of varying damage.

In general, there are areas in Wedge 1 which may be recovered independent of any of the activity we'll do for the rebuild-recovery. And so we'll be working to do that work as quickly as possible.

For example, if you were to go through Wedge 1 right now, much of what you would see would be, we're removing drywall and other porous objects and substances -- surfaces, up to about four to six feet high, depending on the amount of water damaged it received. We're removing all of that. We're removing a lot of furniture. You may be familiar with the library that was about to open down in Wedge 1 -- a very large, open area. We've removed all the furniture from that area. We actually knocked a wall out in the rear of the Pentagon, pushed all that furniture out through that hole, and we're reconfiguring that area as individual workstations. It's going to be like a big, open bay area. We're doing that work as quickly as possible. So we have that kind of work that's on-going and will continue in large areas of Wedge 1.

There are other portions of both Wedge 1 and Wedge 2 which will first require the recovery of structure, that's the building of the foundation elements -- the columns, the floor slabs, the outer wall, et cetera, and the replacement of limestone and such activities. The recovery, or the renovation of those areas will be dependent upon, first, the recovery activities taking place.

Same thing on the other side, almost a mirror-image of Wedge 1, in Wedge 2 you have areas that were not so badly damaged that they can't be brought back online independent of the recovery activity.

Yes, ma'am?

Q: As I recall, the $520 million contract was just for Wedge 1, right?

Evey: Right.

Q: So I guess what I want is the total count and amount. How much will the whole thing --

Evey: Right. That was $520 million for the recovery effort plus the rebuild of Wedge 1. Okay? The recovery being the actual structure rebuilding that we have to do.

Q: Right. But there's obviously damage in Wedge 2, as well.

Evey: That's correct. And the damage in Wedge 2 -- the Wedge 2 through 5, contractor, Hensel Phelps -- one of the first steps that they would undergo as part of their normal renovation activity is they would do demolition and abatement. And as they go into the area and remove -- after the people left and after the furniture was gone, things like that, asbestos, et cetera -- they would strip that entire wedge down to bare concrete. So in effect, some of that work, perhaps, has already been done for them as part of the remediation effort underway.

Q: I know this is tough, but I'll just have a little follow-up because, the question that an ordinary citizen might ask is, how much overall is this repair going to cost, incorporating renovations and repair from the attack? And when might it be concluded?

Evey: Okay. We estimate about $520 million, okay, for the rebuild that has to be done that covers portions of both Wedge 1 and Wedge 2, plus the reconstruction of Wedge 1, which is also a recovery activity since it was already built and was brand new. Okay?

In addition to that, we'll have the dollar amount that's associated with Wedge 2 itself. Okay? My guess right now is that's probably in the neighborhood of 200 (million dollars), $300 million, somewhere in there.

Q: And a time, maybe?

Evey: The longest lead time that we have under way before we can actually start doing renovation in that area is where we have to rebuild the structure of the building. That rebuild effort will take about 18 months before we can start doing the renovation, what we call core work and tenant fit-out work. That's primary and secondary utility distribution, furniture, fixtures, equipment, carpeting, things like that, so you can actually move people in. So on top of that 18 months, it could take as much as about two years after that. We'll certainly try to do it faster than that, however.

Q: Thank you.

Evey: Yes, ma'am.

Yes, sir?

Q: I assume there would be a lot of irreplaceable historic material in the Pentagon library. Do you know how extensively it was damaged?

Evey: Well, we were very lucky in that respect, in that the library we're talking about was the new library. The old library is located in Wedge 2, but in Wedge 2 outside of the direct impact and fire area. So to my knowledge, the library was affected very little by that. We lost a lot of brand-new furniture, but very little in the way of historical materials.

Yes, sir?

Q: I know, or I guess, that the recovery of people who were lost in the building is not your primary responsibility, but how has that impacted on the work that you're doing?

Evey: That's not an effort that we've been involved in. That was accomplished by the fire department services.

Q: But is that completed to the point where it's clear for you to do what you need to do?

Evey: Essentially, yes, sir. Actually, the crash area itself, the damaged area, has been under the control of the Military District of Washington. It was handed off from the FBI to the Military District of Washington. And probably today, is my understanding, we will gain control of the area. By the time they have left, all of those activities are presumably completely finished.

Q: Does that mean that essentially all the debris from the destruction from the attack has been cleared as well?

Evey: Not all of it. There are some areas where, as part of the fire recovery activities, they were clearly operating in great haste, and they took things like desks and chairs and file cabinets and moved them out onto the roof of the second floor. And if you go through the area that's been fire damaged, you can see some amount of that type of debris still out on the roof areas. They're not visible from the roads exterior to the Pentagon and they are on the second- floor level, so you don't see them very easily. But some of that material will have to be recovered. In addition, certainly there's a much greater portion of the building that's physically damaged, and significantly damaged, such that it will have to be torn down before we can rebuild. We're still involved in assessment of that right now. So we're not exactly sure what the full extent of it will be.

Q: The first phase of clearing out that debris is finished.

Evey: Most of that first phase is finished.

Yes, sir.

Q: You said that a small portion of Wedge 1 and an even smaller portion of Wedge 2 were made available to re-open this week?

Evey: Correct.

Q: Is there -- are there any lingering odors? What are the conditions like in that -- and has there been any hesitancy by anybody to move back in there?

Evey: Well, there's a lot of concern. In adjacent areas there's mold growth and mildew, things like that, okay? And we're undergoing testing, extensive testing, as I've mentioned several times in the past, of the building to ensure that it's a healthy work environment.

If you go into those areas, those areas from the second floor to the fifth floor in -- it's an area we call "C area" -- let me point it out to you. (Pause - moves to diagram). It's right there.

Q: How many people are working on this project?

Evey: On my staff? About 300 people, sir. And most of them are pulling 15-18 hour days, and they've done it for 21 days now.

In that C area that I just highlighted for you, on floors 2-5, they were virtually untouched. Very, very little water damage. In those areas there's essentially no odor, no problem like that. We've provided temporary personnel walls that block those areas off so there's no movement of air from adjacent areas that may have mold and mildew. We've also established alternative routes in and out of that area different than what you might normally use in the Pentagon to provide easy access to those areas and effective use by the personnel that work there.

(Pause.) Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Q: Thank you.

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.

Additional Links

Stay Connected