Also participating in the briefing were Gen. John P. Jumper, CINCUSAFE and Major General Chuck Wald, J-5.
Related briefing slides
Mr. Bacon: Good afternoon.
We have a guest briefer here, General John Jumper, Commanding General of U.S. Air Forces in Europe. So he'll start and do his part of the briefing, take some questions, and then General Wald and I will follow.
Before we start, just let me say I know all of you understood in the Serb reports about the village of Korisa. We just urge you to be careful with those reports. Don't rush to judgment. NATO is in the middle of investigating this now, and as soon as we finish, we will have something to say, but it's premature to say anything about it at this stage. If something develops during the briefing, we'll get it to you.
Q: By urging care, do you mean there's any indication at all that NATO in fact might not have done this?
Mr. Bacon: There's good reason to be cautious about the Serb reports. But we're still completing our own investigation, and when we do, we will get it to you as soon as we can.
Q: Why does John look happy?
Mr. Bacon: He looks happy because you're going to refrain from asking him any questions until he's completed his entire presentation. (Laughter)
Q: Do you have evidence to indicate that there's good reason to be cautious...
Mr. Bacon: Charlie, I've told you we're going to be cautious, and we're going to wait until we completed our investigation.
General Jumper: It's great to be back and to see all these familiar faces. I know how easy you are on guests that come.
I would like to take just a few minutes and talk to you about, from my perspective, what's going on over in this conflict.
My job as the commander of United States Air Forces in Europe is to be the force provider. We have most of my command deployed into Italy and in places around Europe supporting this operation. From the early days, dating back to as early as last May, it was portions of my staff engaged in helping with the campaign planning, and over the months developed the many iterations that that plan went through.
Today I have most of my staff engaged in helping other joint staffs, joint task force staffs around the theater prosecute this campaign.
So while I am not in the chain of operational command, it's many of United States Air Forces in Europe's people that are deployed and engaged in this conflict.
To start with the people, let me just say that the morale over there is as you find whenever you go out and visit flight lines in these engagements. The morale is sky high. People are happy to do what they've been trained to do, and they are fully engaged in that.
The way that you read many of the news reports you would think that the skies over Serbia are somewhat antiseptic, that it's sort of a Nintendo-64 environment. I think you all have heard that there have been more than 600 surface-to-air missiles fired, and although we've taken his surface-to-air missile capability down below I think 50 percent of where we started, he continues to hide those SAMs during the daytime and bring them to bear, when he brings them out, usually at night time in search of high value assets.
We've also seen an increase in the shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missile threat, and you all have seen, I think, the reports of the A-10 pilot who came back with his right engine having been shot by an SA -- what we think is an SA-7, and struggling back to get the airplane on the ground, which he did safely. It shows us that the skies are still dangerous.
But the altitudes that we're using I think help us take those shoulder-fired missiles at least out of play to the extent that is reasonable.
Also the AAA threat. We've got many reports from our F-15 pilots even, who fly mostly at high altitude, CAPs of AAA fire, and of course, the skies over Belgrade are not unlike the skies over Baghdad when you're actually flying over that area at night.
So to the people who are flying these sorties night in and night out, these are exciting missions, and I think you'd be very proud of the bravery that's displayed on a daily basis.
As far as our weapons are performing, I think there's good news to report. I think we will find at the end of this that we're using a greater percentage of precision-guided munitions by far than we ever have before, and their performance has been excellent. I especially commend the performance of the JDAM -- the Joint Direct Attack Munition -- which you've seen in various reports that we're running short of. I will report to you that we don't have as many as we'd like, and the main reason, from my point of view, is it's a new weapon, and we just started buying it. I don't think it's any more complicated than that. Plus the fact that it's performed better than we ever thought it would. As a matter of fact on this trip, one of the stops I've made on this trip back to the States is to the factory in St. Louis that manufactures the JDAM kits, and it's a small group of about 85 people who are extremely dedicated and working very hard to step up the production and get as many out there as they possibly can. I had a very nice visit with them, and they're great Americans and want to do all they can to help us out.
Another feature I think that is unique in this war, and one of the features that makes this different from DESERT STORM, is the situation we're in, trying to deal with the fielded forces on the ground in Kosovo.
In the architectures that have been set up to make that happen, which start with our normal intelligence-gathering platforms as sort of a course cuing, and then for the first time using platforms like the U-2 and the Predator UAV -- unmanned air vehicle -- and the Hunter UAV to help shorten the cycle between early detection and bombs on target.
What we find is that platforms like the U-2 have utility as tactical reconnaissance vehicles in ways that those in the strategic community had always considered that asset a national asset is proving to be most valuable.
Now the architecture is such that the U-2 can snap a picture from very high altitude, beam it back in what we call reach-back to the States where it is very quickly analyzed and either, usually it's either quickly confirming that something is there that we thought was there that we got cued by other imagery, and if it is there, getting the right targeting data very quickly back into the CAOC in Vicenza to pass on to people in the cockpit.
That can be further refined by use of the Predator UAV, which we find to be very useful in doing the sort of precise location, and with latest iterations of software we are able to derive now from Predator imagery very precise location coordinates. This is a capability that has been brought up just in the course of this conflict.
The Army UAV Hunter has also proved very reliable and very useful in this regard.
So it's sort of a course cuing from our intelligence platforms onto actual imagery and photography that we work through the U-2 and the UAV or the Hunter to get precise coordinates and get those into the cockpits. Later on, General Wald's going to show you some pictures of SA-3s and SA-6s that in the last 24 hours we tracked down.
We have a dedicated group of people that do nothing but track the SAMs, and cue in the way that I just described, trying to get inside decision loops and movement cycles to get ordnance on the target within minutes, if we can, of location time. These capabilities are capabilities that we are also using against the fielded forces, because that cuing also tells us where command centers, command posts, mobile headquarters are located roughly in Kosovo and again through this narrowing down process. We get the timelines down so that between first detection imagery and bombs on target, we try to get that process down to minutes so we can root out these guys, these commanders in the field who are actually organizing and carrying out the killing, and get to them and to the sources of their mass execution as quickly and efficiently as we can.
These things are processes that have been perfected and in many cases invented during the course of this battle, and they're helped out by what I would call a great joint effort. We have some magnificent U.S. Army professionals in our Air Operations Center whose job it is and whose profession it is and whose proficiency [it] is getting into the heads of these commanders on the other side and trying to understand their movements and how they think and how they operate. This has proven to be very useful to all of us and, I think, will affect doctrine on into the future.
I've talked about people and weapons. Let me say this is certainly also not all U.S. Air Force. We have the THEODORE ROOSEVELT afloat out there with great cooperation with our Navy partners. We have 5,500 Army soldiers on the ground in Albania and great cooperation between the upcoming Apache operations and our folks who are working day in and day out to perfect those pieces of tactics and doctrine. And, of course, it's not only just the combat operations. SHINING HOPE has delivered thousands of tons of food and other supplies to the refugees, and Operation SHINING HOPE is commanded by Major General Bill Hinton who is in the NATO chain of command and working with the non-governmental and private volunteer organizations to set up tents and shelters for the tens of thousands of refugees that are across the borders in Macedonia and Albania.
Of course, finally, it's, and I've already mentioned it briefly, a coalition effort. I will tell you after more than 30 years in uniform, the first night you're always a little bit nervous, but you watch the aircraft from 11 nations, from all the services take off, muster, go to the tanker, ingress into the area, and do the magnificent job they're doing, and get out and come home safely -- it's a tribute to 50 years of a NATO alliance where we have practiced together and multiple nations can carry out these very complex operations and do it as effectively as they have.
So I'm very proud. I mentioned the Navy and the Army. The Marines are also -- we're using their Harriers. They have Marines employed in operations also with humanitarian operations ashore and in Albania as well. I'm very proud of the cooperation that we're all demonstrating in getting this job done.
With that as an opening statement, please.
Q: General, when do you figure you'll start launching raids from Turkey and Hungary?
General Jumper: Well, we are still working the final permissions and the deployment details of getting our forces into that. As you know, there's a sequence of events you have to go through. Some of these bases will require considerable logistics construction and other elements that will have to be put in there to make the base usable and up to standards, navigation aids and the like. All of those take varying periods of time.
So as we go through the process, I think the place we are right now -- and Ken can help me out with this -- I think we're still getting the final permissions to go in and start some of that work, so that's the process.
Q: General, while holding judgment on what happened in today's incident, nevertheless, there have been a lot of questions about the use of cluster bombs. You talked about some of the munitions.
The impression that some people have is that this weapon, because it's not as precision-guided, is an indiscriminate weapon that has a higher potential for civilian casualties.
Can you explain a little bit about what degree of precision you're able to get with a cluster bomb, and why it's an appropriate weapon in this campaign?
General Jumper: Jamie, let me put it this way. We always match the weapon with the effect. We take in -- the circular error probable is the calculation you go through, and we use the appropriate weapon for what the target is. It's a calculation we go through for every target, and it's the same for CBUs. And the precision of these things, we're able to put these down in fairly tight clusters. No, they are not guided, but we are also using unguided Mk-82s, also with considerable success, off of conventional airplanes.
So I would say that the process is the same. The accuracy's the same. It doesn't mean mistakes don't happen. I have no idea what the events will unfold before us today. I will tell you, though, that there is no weapon we use that we don't put through the same calculated and careful process.
Q: Can I just follow up on that very quickly? That question?
Can you tell us, were cluster bombs used in the Korisa area today by NATO war planes?
General Jumper: I cannot tell you that. I'm just not that closely in touch with today's operation. I've been off somewhere else this morning, so not...
Q: Thank you.
Q: It's nice to see you again, welcome home.
General Jumper: It's good to be back.
Q: A two-part intel question, if I may.
General Jumper: Yes, sir.
Q: First of all, in addition to the U-2 and the UAVs, what about satellite imagery and some of the other recce (inaudible). Do they have the reach-back capability? And roughly, if you can tell us, how long would it take from a photo coming back via reach-back to get an appraisal, targeting data, to put bombs on target?
General Jumper: Of course we're using everything in the arsenal, so the answer to overhead photography is "yes," and overhead other systems, "yes."
How long does it take? What used to take hours is now taking minutes, and it's to the credit of those great people who have gotten themselves invested in the real-time nature of this conflict that have tightened those processes up, put people in the right place, and done what it takes. It's American ingenuity at its best. And it's also youngsters whose minds are free of the Cold War mindset, who you put in a situation and you lay this problem before them, and you would be amazed at what they come out with. It's really quite amazing.
Not only the intelligence, but you probably notice that everything else is in this fight, too. We have the B-1 now equipped properly. The B-1 made a rather dramatic entry the first night as it was shot at and targeted very precisely by SA-6s. The defensive systems on the airplane worked exactly as advertised, and the results of the B-1 [have] been quite remarkable. They have quite an accurate system on the airplane, as well as the other things that we always wonder if they're in the game or not. It's all in the game.
Q: Just to follow up on that, obviously the B-1, one of the things it does, it comes in very low and very fast. That first night can you give us a...
General Jumper: No, not low. We don't do low. We're keeping people out of the range of the AAA and the small arms. I spent a lot of time as a fast forward air controller in Vietnam flying an F-4 at 500 knots at 100 feet above the ground trying to find tanks under trees. I lost a lot of friends doing that, because we thought that's the way you had to do it. We're a lot smarter than that; our equipment is a lot better than that, and we, either with the bombers and the fighters, we're not doing business that way any more.
Q: General Jumper, many of your colleagues in the Air Force, both in uniform and recently retired, have criticized this air war for being at least unconventional in the way that it was designed, and disregarding some of the basic tenets of air power including, for instance, the fact that you should strike hard very quickly to destabilize the enemy.
Can you speak to those criticisms and explain how you would characterize this air war as opposed to all others, and whether the incremental approach gives you confidence that it will achieve the goals that you've set?
General Jumper: Again, I speak as a force provider, as one with air power experience for a long time.
We are in an alliance of 19 nations. That alliance spent 50 years as a defensive alliance that was concentrating on protecting its borders. We're now in a campaign that is not defensive and it's beyond the original borders To achieve consensus on how, and what means and at what intensity this war was to be, or this operation was to be conducted, took considerable coordination and discussion.
What I will tell you is that, especially in my opinion since the Washington Summit, we have the consensus to do the job that needs to be done, and that we will continue and persevere for as long as it takes to do that job.
Q: General, could I follow up...
Q:...earlier destroyed 50 percent of their SAM systems. Do you have now air supremacy over the area? And what does that mean for your attacks on fielded forces? Are [we] in a mid-game there, end phase with the fielded forces?
General Jumper: Air supremacy, yes. That means we can go anywhere we want to in the country any time we want to, and that is true.
For the attacks on fielded forces, it's not a matter of not being able to go one place or another or not having the air superiority to do it, but it's having the processes to find these forces that are fielded and whose main objective is to hide from airplanes and to find ways to get at these fielded forces, especially the ones that are committing the most atrocities and to root them out and take them down.
Q: As a follow up, this is what you've been doing in the past couple of days, it sounds like. What is your estimate on the impact, the effectiveness of it?
General Jumper: It's very hard to say. Why is it hard to say? It's hard to say for the main reason of weather. In 50 days I think we can count 14 days of decent weather. This is one of the main differences between this operation also and the operation in DESERT STORM. We need weather, and we need patience.
Q: General, along the same lines, what did you mean when you said you've seen an increase in the shoulder-fired missile threat, and how would you assess the risk that's going to be faced by the Apaches when they're eventually employed?
General Jumper: The shoulder-fired weapons, of course, are a significant threat, and there are thousands of them located down there. We have seen even through the video, which you all, General Wald shows you the AGM-130 video where you're actually looking out the camera in the front of the bomb as it goes all the way to the target. We have video of shoulder-fired SAMs being shot at the bombs as they come in-bound to the target area, also video, significant video, of AAA being shot at the bombs as they proceed in-bound. So it gives you some idea of how poised they are to bring these weapons into the conflict. We deal with that by suppression and by standing off.
I don't want to discuss the Apache operation, because it's a future operation, and training and rehearsals are underway with that. But yes, I consider the shoulder-fired SAM threat to be one that is significant.
Q: General Naumann said in Washington recently that he couldn't think of a campaign that had been won by air power alone in history. Can you give an example to rebut that? And if you can't, what does it say for the...
General Jumper: I don't want to get into definitions of winning. What I can tell you is that we're going to take down his military. We're going to make his military ineffective. It's going to take some time; we have to stick with it. We have some dedicated warriors in the air every day working this problem, and we're going to step up and continue to step up the intensity of this until that job is done.
Q: Just to follow up on that, what would you say to the critics, and there are many of them now, who are saying that this conflict underscores the limitations of air power, that air power alone cannot achieve the goals. What would you say to that?
General Jumper: I would say I don't predict the final score at halftime.
Q: But General, we've been hearing a lot about asymmetrical warfare. This is the classic case of it. We're fighting one war; he's fighting another. He's winning his, and we're grinding away at ours.
General Jumper: No, I'm not sure I'd characterize it that way. I can just characterize it the way I have. Certainly he's got his strategy. His strategy is to put the guns to the heads of innocent people and pull the trigger, and our strategy is to root out those who are doing it and take out the means that they're using to do it, and in that particular place, which is Kosovo, that's what we're doing. In the places up north we are doing considerably more. But we're going to get better at all of it.
Q: I'd like to try this one more time. Are you confident that the air power alone can achieve the ultimate goal here which is to get the Kosovar Albanians back...
General Jumper: Air power alone is capable of rendering his military ineffective, and that's what our charter is; that's what our task is, and that's what we're going to do.
Q: General Jumper, you described some new targeting techniques to shorten the shooter time line, but yet we have some 12 or 15 incidents where targeting has not worked as planned, and they have largely involved U.S. aircraft. So how do you account for this? And at this point, what are the differences in targeting information availability between U.S. aircraft and our allied aircraft?
General Jumper: First of all, let me answer the last one first. The answer is none. We don't put anybody at risk in the air by giving them inferior or partial information. Our forward air controllers call in aircraft from all nations who are participating, and they perform equally, and they're all performing very well.
As far as the mistakes that have been made go, I will tell you that we've flown, I believe, approaching 20,000 sorties. I think maybe on 10 to 12 of those 10,000 or so sorties -- or 20,000 or so sorties -- we have had collateral damage that's been an issue. I think if you calculated the percentage, you'd have a .0-something-something in front of that. I don't do math in public very well, but I think it comes out to about that. I think that these are probably the best results we've ever seen, and it's certainly in an environment where our enemy is engaged on a purposeful mission to take out innocent civilians. So I'm not defensive about our performance.
Q: I just wanted to ask, though, do you from your expertise and what you've reviewed see any thread, or is it just bad stuff happens?
General Jumper: I think you're looking at, in probability as a matter of fact, I think you're looking at better than what the normal odds would indicate.
If you take the example of the pilot who shot the AGM-130 at the train, I listened to the torturous explanations of this. Having been in that sort of situation before myself, I can tell you that here's a young pilot who has been given a bridge target, and along with that bridge target he's been given an expected collateral damage, and the expected collateral damage depends on his ability to put that bomb very precisely on a very specific point on that bridge. Plus, he's firing the bomb some tens of miles away. And as the airplane is departing, he's guiding this thing through the nose of the camera.
So the first thing that happens is the bomb breaks out below the clouds, a ceiling of 3,000 or 4,000 feet, and there in the field of view is the bridge that he's supposed to be bombing, and the first thing he says is, "thank you Lord, the target is in the field of view, and the ceiling's not lower than I thought it was." He's very thankful for that.
Then from that moment on, on a four-inch TV screen -- not the 20-inch one -- that we review it in retrospect. On a four-inch TV screen, his whole life is that dot on that spot. That young man never saw the train.
The same sort of dynamics happened with the convoy incident. As the young pilot, the first pilot saw a sequence of events, and, of course, we don't know if the good guys were in the tractors or the good guys were in the army trucks. We have no way of knowing.
But it's those sorts of things, those dynamics that we have to deal with, and it's an environment that is rich for these kinds of mistakes. And quite frankly, I think we are extremely fortunate that we haven't encountered any more than we have.
Q: General, when you say you stay high to protect air crews and you have modern, sophisticated weapons, that's fine, but is it not difficult, or do you have some concrete means of say at 15,000 feet of telling the difference between a military and a civilian vehicle on the ground? That's three miles up.
General Jumper: Let me tell you this. First of all, I don't know where you get 15,000 feet. It ain't 15,000 feet.
General Jumper: That's the first thing. We are going lower than 15,000 feet, and we're doing it in a calculated and prudent way. Our people -- one of the things, the points of pride, we've got the best-trained people in the world, and they know how to deal with these situations, and we rely on their judgment to do it. So we are not up there at some ridiculous altitude trying to parse the difference between a good guy and a bad guy. We're doing more or less what it takes, within reasonable limits, to make sure that we, to the best of our ability, can make these calculations.
Q: Can I follow up on that? I mean all the NATO spokesmen for the first month at least were saying that you were flying at 15,000 feet and above. Are you saying that that's not accurate? If so can you...
General Jumper: No, I'm saying that the rules have changed as time has gone on. Some people are at 15,000 feet and some are doing what they need to do to be able to identify the targets.
Q: But during the time that most of the ethnic cleansing was going on, you were flying above 15,000 feet.
General Jumper: Some people were. Not all.
Q: General, we've heard the figure now as 12,000 feet. Is that the figure that's tossed out there?
General Jumper: I'm not going to talk about altitude.
Q: Can you talk about steps that have been taken in recent weeks, however, to try to lower the risk to collateral damage, or civilians, civilian casualties?
General Jumper: Exactly. It's the processes I'm talking about. It's being able to put specific imagery up in real time and be able to identify exactly what it is that you think is there and confirm that it's really there, confirm its distance from things that could result in collateral damage, and act accordingly.
Q: Have additional steps been taken like since mid-April, in addition to...
General Jumper: All those processes I defined that are more or less brand new to bring these into near real time. Not rely on an old picture, make sure that you're there inside a movement cycle so you can see things, when they have moved, how they have moved, and take advantage of as near real-time information as you can possibly do.
Q: Do you see a target, then come back and see it again later? Can you explain that to me?
General Jumper: Or standing there and staring at it until it's killed.
Q: General, it's clear from the memoirs and studies like the (inaudible) study and the air campaign in DESERT STORM. In that campaign the air operation center did draw-down graphs showing the degradation (inaudible). Are you able to do draw down graphs showing the degradation of forces?
General Jumper: Again, I'm not in the operational chain, but those figures, absolutely. We track those as best we can.
In this situation it's much more difficult. You have, again, people under cover; they have the benefit of camouflage; the conditions of the terrain, the weather are all different than in DESERT STORM.
Q: Let me take you back and switch the conversation a little bit, a couple of months. I think it was like March 17th was the last, until April 17th, was the last time that we heard about anything happening in Operation NORTHERN WATCH, around the same time this was all coming to a head. I know that some EA-6Bs were switched over to this site. Also some F-16s and some A-10s.
Could you discuss what was taken, how many were taken, and what that says about especially the Air Force's ability to fight two major theater wars given their current force structure?
General Jumper: There was a lot of dynamics at that time, and a lot of that was matching types of airplanes with the specific types of capabilities that they had. A lot of that had to do -- a lot of the swapping back and forth was that.
I can't give you precise numbers, I'm afraid. But the objective always was to get NORTHERN WATCH back on-line, which it is now, and they're back up to speed. But that was just a matter of getting assets in the right place at the right time for the moment.
Q: General, you said it would take some time to render the Yugoslav military ineffective. Can it be done by this fall?
General Jumper: Sir, I don't want to venture a guess. I'm not going to stand up here and make claims, because I just don't know. We're going to stay with it as long as it takes.
Q: When you were describing the targeting process that that pilot went through when he attacked the bridge, you said -- excuse me if I'm not quoting you correctly -- but expected or projected collateral damage.
General Jumper: Yes.
Q: How is that factored into each mission? Is there a collateral damage factor and an acceptable level of collateral damage that applies across the board?
General Jumper: There's nothing that we call acceptable. We certainly try to calculate what might be expected, but there's no specific threshold. The military importance of the target is the main feature we look for. But we don't do this, any of our pre-planned targets, without due respect for the potential for collateral damage.
Q: You said you had an across-the-board ratio that applies.
General Jumper: No. No, it's the military importance of the target is the prime...
Q: Sir, if you've got damage on the ground, is it going to be possible for people to go to a place after bombs have fallen and decide this was a cluster bomb, this was a conventional bomb, this was artillery? Is that doable? And if so, how?
General Jumper: You mean after the conflict's over can...
Q: No, I mean in the next few days or hours.
General Jumper: You can tell, and I don't want to be too specific here because I'm a little beyond my expertise, but you can tell generally from photography the difference between say a large 500- or 2,000-pound bomb and cluster bombs, unless the ground is very unforgiving or you're dropping into very thick trees. But generally the answer to that is "yes," within certain limits.
Q: Would it be possible to tell the difference between say artillery and bombs...
General Jumper: That would be more difficult. I think that an expert -- I must tell you, I really don't know, but we can find the answer to that. That should be a simple answer to get.
Q: Early in the conflict there was a lot of air traffic over Kosovo. It was one of the main threats to allied aircraft, that they would run into each other. I'm wondering if you could characterize how the opening of additional air corridors has eased that situation, or are you still having some of those deconfliction problems you were having earlier on?
General Jumper: One of the very difficult things to do in a situation like this is to deconflict not only the ingress and egress routes and to try and make yourself as unpredictable as possible, but also the myriad tanker tracks, platform orbits, and other pieces of airspace that have to be either secluded or reserved for one activity or another during one of these things.
So what you have is a virtual interstate highway network all around the area up there to make sure we do stay safe, and the appropriate radars to sort of be the traffic cops for that.
Q: Is that changing now with the additional...
General Jumper: Oh, absolutely. Yes. We step it up. Of course it's good to step it up ahead of when you bring more forces in, and that's what we attempt to do. Absolutely.
Q: General, you said you were involved in some of the planning before this operation began. Can you just tell us, now that we're this far into it, how many targets were on the initial target list and how has that target list continued to grow and evolve as the campaign continues to mature?
General Jumper: First of all, it's a difficult question to answer because there are many iterations and many combinations, and I would really rather not go into the specifics of that, because it gets into our processes that I think - really, it's not appropriate to discuss.
Q: Is it fair to say, though, that this is a dynamic process?
General Jumper: Absolutely.
Q: The target list is constantly evolving and changing?
General Jumper: Absolutely.
Q:...as we go up an escalate the sorties?
General Jumper: Max effort is defined by the force we have there. By the time we get everything over there, we will be producing our max effort.
Q:...talk about close to 700 strike sorties a day now?
General Jumper: I don't want to put a number on it, but more.
Q: General, in looking at the force structure, what has proven to be the systems that you wish you had more of? What are the ones which if you had more you could leverage more strikes...
General Jumper: There's one weapon that I would have in my arsenal that I don't have, that I would love to have now. That weapon is patience.
Q: General, can I ask you something? You said earlier...
Q: You can't buy patience. Things you can buy.
Q: General, you used the term earlier when you were talking about NATO, you said "discussion and cooperation." As a military man, you left out the word "compromise," which is implied when you have 19 nations like (inaudible).
Do you think as a military man without the compromise required from all of these nations working together, that the thing could have been done more quickly? The bombing campaign...
General Jumper: Charlie, there's always a formula that we could have used to make it go more quickly, to make it more violent at the top, at the front end, but we are working in a situation where consensus is required, and that's what we have.
Q: General, the intelligence agencies last week took it on the chin, justifiably so, for providing poor intelligence on the Chinese Embassy. That tragic mishap aside, to what extent are you using National Reconnaissance Office imagery and other spy satellite imagery, archives of that, to cross-reference Predator imagery and other pictures you have to make sure you've got accurate locations?
General Jumper: There is cross-referencing going on at every level. And a mistake is a mistake. We have scores of people dedicated to prevent just that sort of thing, and mistakes are going to happen. That's all I can say.
Q: General, at the outset we know there was a lot of emphasis on minimizing collateral damage. I don't want to get into rules of engagement, but have they become less stringent on collateral damage, more stringent, or about the same?
General Jumper: I think the way to characterize that is that we have, I think we have proven that the accuracy of our weapons, our tactics, the processes of identifying targets have all come together in a way that people are much more confident with our ability to deal with the collateral damage, and the results, I think, sort of speak for themselves. So I wouldn't put it as any one thing. But collateral damage has always been a prime consideration.
Q: Has there been any change as far as the requirements for missions on collateral damage since the outset?
General Jumper: You mean a certain number of people that are acceptable to be killed or...
Q: No, I mean...
General Jumper: There are no dictated tactics. The only change has been our demonstrated ability to control the collateral damage within acceptable limits. I can't think of any -- again, not being in the operational chain of command, I can't think of any one dictum that's come down that's changed the requirement to be attentive to collateral damage and be responsible about it. That's where we've been.
Q: For instance, probably the worst instance of collateral damage was about the 25-minute series of airstrikes on what turned out to be a civilian convoy, which may have had military vehicles, although we never saw any of those. Obviously, you had to change something so that wouldn't happen again, right?
General Jumper: No.
Q: No, you didn't change anything?
General Jumper: No, we don't have to change it. We have to be attentive, we have to understand that the possibility of convoys like this include the possibility of bad guys in friendly-looking vehicles and good guys in military vehicles.
Q: Good guys in tractors, as it turned out.
General Jumper: And the possibility...
Q:...strikes by multiple pilots were carried out until somebody got a closer look and decided "hey, break it off."
General Jumper: Right.
Q: You're saying that nothing has changed, so that could happen again.
General Jumper: The requirement to do the very best we can in those situations has always been there, and we continue to do that.
Q: General, you're the guy who owns the air crews, I guess, at Aviano, Spangdahlem, the people who are actually flying the missions. Are you the man who's going to set the limits on the rotation of these folks?
General Jumper: No, no. I am not. That is an Air Force level policy, and it goes along with many of the personnel policies that have to evolve as this thing goes on. My concern, of course, is making sure that we don't burn out the people who are deployed, that we keep the level of attention to detail as high as it needs to be, and that the people we send up over in those skies stay sharp and on their toes.
Mr. Bacon: Just a few more questions.
Q: As you concentrate more on fielded forces in Kosovo, will you be using cluster weapons more?
General Jumper: Again, we will -- no. We go with the target that is appropriate for the weapon. That's the way we plan it. It's not a guarantee that that will be more or less, it will be when it's appropriate. I can't estimate...
Q: There has been acknowledged more concentration on fielded forces, that's what we've been seeing, more cluster weapons.
General Jumper: But it doesn't follow that cluster bombs are the best things to use for fielded forces. In many cases other weapons are more appropriate and that's what we continue to use. Again, the primary being the precision weapons, when we have targets that we can spot to control collateral damage. If the target is appropriate, that's what we use. If it's an area-type target, we use other type weapons.
Q: General, you just said a couple of things -- maybe I misheard some things at the start.
First of all, are you flying lower now because you have harder-to-identify targets than you did in the early part of the campaign or because you're more concerned now about collateral damage, civilian casualties?
And I thought I heard you say earlier on in terms of any changes that have been taken in recent weeks, basically pilots are being told to be more careful, to take that second, harder look. Then in a later question, you seem to be saying we haven't really changed anything.
General Jumper: I think we've always had the requirement to be careful. We've had the same requirement to be attentive to collateral damage as we always have.
As far as the lower altitudes go, again, this is an evolving process. Your tactics are adjusted to what you find when you're in the target area. This is true in any conflict. You take the measure of your enemy; you take the measure of his ability to deal with you; you take the measure of his ability to put air defenses up, and the measure of your ability to deal with them, and tactics change and evolve.
Q: You've gone to lower altitudes without endangering the pilots any more than they were earlier on?
General Jumper: We are using the altitudes that are appropriate for the situation. We do this; I think the results speak for themselves.
Q: You didn't answer my question about the force structure and...
General Jumper: Of course I didn't. (Laughter)
Q: Why shouldn't I conclude that the Air Force's current force structure isn't sufficient for two nearly simultaneous major theater wars when Operation NORTHERN WATCH was essentially suspended for a month, which I've had confirmed from Incirlik?
General Jumper: I just think it's apples and oranges. First, I'm not responsible for two major theater wars. I'm responsible for the one that we're dealing with now, and only that portion of the forces that are supplied. In my theater we have the forces that are required to do the job.
The situation in Incirlik was simply brought about by making sure we had forces postured within the right timeframe, and that was the easiest place to get them. There was really nothing more sophisticated to that. When it was appropriate, we replaced them, and [they] are back [at] work. We don't see any great enemy advantage from that break in the action.
So I personally don't relate that to two MRCs.
Mr. Bacon: Thank you very much.
General Jumper: Thank you, Ken. It's good to see you all again.
Press: Thank you, General.
Mr. Bacon: Come back any time.
Mr. Bacon: Let me start with a couple of brief announcements before turning it over to General Wald for the operational update.
First is Secretary Cohen announced that President Clinton has nominated Vice Admiral Vern Clark to appointment to the grade of admiral, and he will be assigned as the commander of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet in Norfolk, Virginia. As you know, Vice Admiral Clark is currently the director of the Joint Staff.
Second, Secretary Cohen will go to Louisiana on Monday. He's actually leaving Sunday night. He'll visit Fort Polk, where the Joint Training Readiness Center is located, and observe the 10th Mountain Division training there. The 10th Mountain Division will go to Bosnia in July to take over SFOR there. He'll also go to the U.S. Navy Information Technology Center in New Orleans and address the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce at its "Salute to the Military" luncheon, then make remarks at the Eisenhower Center at the University of New Orleans. That's all on Monday. He'll be talking to the press at Fort Polk and also in New Orleans.
Finally, tomorrow the briefing will be here at 11:00 o'clock.
Q: Ken, before you turn it over to General Wald, can you just comment at all on today's New York Times story that says China is getting close to deploying a nuclear warhead that's largely drawn from U.S. technology that was apparently stolen? Is that true? Can you comment on that?
Mr. Bacon: It is not a new story that China did in the late '70s or early '80s acquire some information about the so-called W-70 warhead known more popularly as the "neutron bomb." I don't know how close they are to deploying that warhead. I would point out that the neutron bomb or the W-70 warhead, which we no longer use and in fact never used, is a tactical weapon, not a strategic weapon. It has very peculiar properties. It's not the type of weapon that any normal force would use in a strategic context. But it has, for instance, a relatively small footprint, because of the way it's designed.
But I cannot tell you at what stage they are, if any, in their development. We do know that they have had some information about this for some time.
Q: Maybe I misunderstood this, but I thought the New York Times story was referring to the W-88 warhead.
Mr. Bacon: It was not. It's very important to make a distinction. There have been two -- that's an entirely different issue. That's an issue that occurred from alleged espionage perhaps a half decade to a full decade later than the incident involving the W-70 warhead. The W-88 warhead, of course, is an entirely different warhead. That is a strategic nuclear warhead. The W-70 or neutron bomb is not. The New York Times story clearly was about technology that is now 20-25 years old and has been completely abandoned by the United States, actually during the Carter Administration.
As you know, there was a major dispute and debate about that with our allies in Europe, the so-called "neutron bomb debate."
Q: The Times story associates the neutron bomb with a strategic missile system, a new one which they say is about to be fielded. Does that make any sense?
Mr. Bacon: I found it a curious... (Laughter)
Q: They were talking about mobile missiles.
Mr. Bacon: They were talking about a mobile missile, I think.
Q: Can you update us on when you expect that mobile, ground-based missile to be deployed?
Mr. Bacon: I'm afraid I cannot, but the article itself said it would be -- they thought it would be several years.
Q: That conflicts with some other reports that it would be much sooner than that.
Mr. Bacon: I don't know.
Q: Do you have any information about the Chinese having done neutron bomb testing in recent years?
Mr. Bacon: I do not. No.
Mr. Bacon: Of course the buildings would still be there, so it would be hard to... (Laughter)
Q: There was some disturbing news today that the Russians have broken off some of the joint military projects, some of the cooperative projects with the United States military. Can you give us any more details on that particular report?
Mr. Bacon: I talked to General Hughes about that yesterday. It's my understanding that we still do have important mil-to-mil relationships with Russia. Clearly, there has been some tension in the relationship, but I think both countries realize that we have long-term interests that need to be pursued. One of the most important long-term interests is the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, and we are still carrying on that program with the Russian military.
So we continue to work with them in the ways that we can. There clearly have been some tensions. We will work through those tensions as we always try to in situations like this.
Q: Does this come from disagreements over Kosovo?
Mr. Bacon: There is no secret that Kosovo has been a neuralgic feature in our relationship.
Q: Apparently, the six MiG-29s that were intercepted in Azerbaijan on the cargo plane were bound for North Korea from Czechoslovakia. Have you all been able - apparently, the Czech government has confirmed that. Have you talked to them, and is there anything that you guys are planning to do? The Czech Republic is now a NATO country, and North Korea is...
Mr. Bacon: I'll have to look into that and get back to you.
Last question before General Wald.
Q: Could you tell us what is the situation (unintelligible) forces? Do you have any cooperation with (unintelligible)?
Mr. Bacon: Did Dana Priest ask you to ask this question? (Laughter)
We have, I would say, a limited relationship with the Indonesian military now, but a continuing relationship with them. Secretary Cohen has been to Indonesia twice since he's been Secretary. Admiral Prueher went there when he was commander in chief of Pacific Forces. I don't know whether Admiral Blair, his successor, has been there yet. We have tried to work with the Indonesian military as best as possible. We think that it has worked hard to be a moderating force. We think it has made important reforms over the last couple of years. There have been some very noteworthy changes in command and in top-level personnel in the Indonesian military. Obviously, the entire nation of Indonesia has been going through a difficult economic and democratic transition. They are nearing elections, which we hope will be very successful elections. We continue to work with the military as best we can during this tumultuous period.
Q: Can I ask a not-Kosovo question?
Mr. Bacon: Sure.
Q: As you know, the Senate Armed Services Committee rejected once again base closure. To what extent does that cripple or derail the Administration's plans to funnel more money into modernization and operations and maintenance over the next three years?
Mr. Bacon: It complicates the plan. The savings from BRAC would have come from the next two rounds of BRAC, would have come several years in the future. As you know, initially BRAC costs money, but the reason for pushing for additional rounds of BRAC were that we've cut the size of the force by approximately 36 percent and cut the size of the domestic infrastructure by about 23 percent. We have a disequilibrium, and we're basically shelling out money for structures we don't need. We would much rather put those billions of dollars into equipment, training, readiness, etc.
So we will continue to press for BRAC in this Congress. I don't think the chances are high at this stage, but we continue to hope that Congress will see that it's more important -- particularly at times when our forces are at risk flying over enemy territory -- to invest in the future than it is to continue to paint buildings that we don't occupy or need any more. I think it's a basic issue of efficiency, and it's a very important issue.
Q: One more brief non-Kosovo question.
I don't know if it's been raised before, but is the Secretary concerned about the failures of the Titan, the recent failures of the Titan rockets. I know the Air Force is studying that.
Mr. Bacon: Of course. Everybody's concerned. One of the problems with that is that the failures seem to have different reasons. If there were one reason for these failures, it would be relatively easy to fix it. But my understanding is, from what I've read, that every failure has occurred for a different reason, and therefore, it's harder to focus on exactly what the problem is. But the Air Force is going to set up -- has I think already set up -- a special study group to look at what's happened. It has contractors on it. It has some retired military experts on it. And they'll try to get to the bottom of this.
I'm going to leave right now and turn this over to General Wald. I'd like to point out that the new assistant secretary for Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict, Brian Sheridan, has just walked into the back of the room. I don't think we'll get him up here to give a briefing. We'll let General Wald do it. (Laughter) At another time we'll have him come and do this.
[Charts available at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/#slides]
Major General Wald: Good afternoon.
[Chart - Weather Conditions]
The weather since we started this briefing has changed. (Laughter) Actually, in the last couple of days it's been pretty good. You'll see the yellow here means it's going to be partially bad for operations some of the time, obviously. But in a minute when I show you the cockpit imagery, I'll show you a film of how they predict the weather on a daily basis with a computer model that we actually send to the AOR. It's available at the squadron level as well as the CAOC as well as it would be at Tirane. That will show you a little better about how we predict the weather, short of just having these squares up here with different colors in them.
[Chart - Level of Effort - Day 52]
The weather has been pretty good, though, in the last couple of days. Yesterday 70 targets, which is another heavy day, about the same number of sorties as previously. Yesterday, about 900 total scheduled, of which 695 or so are in the strike category with SEAD and CAP. Lots of forces-on-the-ground type-targets. Numerous of those. You can see many of them are located in the southwest portion of Kosovo, where they're pretty much doing a lot of the activity with the UCK. And several vehicles, fielded forces yesterday. So we continue on, and you can see the array continues on up into the northern part of the FRY.
[Chart - Integrated Air Defense]
Let's go through kind of a reminder of where we are. There have been about 95, actually 52 integrated air defense targets hit over the last few days. General Jumper talked about that. I'll show you some film from last night where we were able to attack a Low Blow radar, which is associated with an SA-3, as well as a Spoon Rest acquisition radar, which is with the SA-3 as well, and an SA-6 with some good success. We continue to hit the radio relay sites as well. So his sophisticated command and control, his robust IADS system is taken down; he has to work around that.
As General Jumper mentioned earlier, we have local air superiority where we need it, but there's still a threat out there and he's firing a lot of SAMs ballistically. The night before last was I think 36 SAMs. Last night probably about six or seven.
[Chart - Infrastructure and Sustainment]
In the infrastructure and sustainment, about 95 targets so far. You can see a lot of emphasis on the lines of communication and bridges. You can see that Kosovo is, from the standpoint of going north -- in and out is hindered dramatically. A hundred percent of the railroad bridges into Kosovo are down, and about 50 percent of their non-railroad bridges are down. So when he decides to come and go, it makes it very difficult. Small groups of people can come and go, but not large formations. So that will keep him pretty much tied up in Kosovo.
Q: Are you referring to the entire campaign as these results, or are you talking about the past week...
Major General Wald: Yeah, so far.
As you know some of these targets like Pristina airfield, for example, has 32 aim points or DMPIs, which each one ended up being a target, so you can multiply some of these by dozens, actually.
[Chart - Army/Police Forces, Garrisons & Headquarters]
MUP forces, we have about 45 of those major areas. As you know, those MUP forces -- many of those are barracks areas or ammo areas. Some of those ammo areas have dozens of aim points, up to 12. Sometimes more than that. Some of the - actually, the headquarters areas have dozens of buildings as well, as you've seen. So 45 major areas so far of both the MUP and the VJ forces themselves.
[Chart - Command, Control & Communications]
Command and control, about 58 targets so far. Numerous rad/rels, radio relays, as well as national command and control targets. Those are both for the command and control itself and for the IADS, of course. So, restricting his ability to coordinate his military. It's becoming very difficult for him.
[Chart - Lines of Communication/Routes into Kosovo]
You can actually see from this a little closer on the LOCs. Some of the areas. These are the major bridges and rail areas we've taken down so far. We continue to do that, and we continue to move forward to the north to continue to take down some of the secondary bridges as well to make it more difficult for him to work around. So he has a very tough time resupplying and coming and going into Kosovo.
[Chart - NATO Air Campaign - Degrade FRY Military Capability]
Lots of questions on charts. I thought I'd make one up to kind of put things in perspective. (Laughter) This is actual data here.
There isn't a percentage here when you go to low, medium and severe damage on these areas of targets. But I think people need to put into perspective where we are on this. I think there's a lot of emphasis placed on how Milosevic's army is doing, which is being degraded on a daily basis in a significant way, and ironically as we do that, NATO continues to move up. Right now we're at 922 aircraft. In a few weeks we'll be at 1260. So when his aircraft are continuing to be destroyed -- I'll show you one of those again today -- we are going up. You can do that in all the areas we have. Lines of communication. We have the air bridge full up and running. We have no problem. We're getting more fields for that. Our POL, we have no problem; we have 100 percent fuel. Mil production on these weapons -- General Jumper's already mentioned about the JDAM. It has gone down, but in the next month or two, the production at the industries for both JDAM and some of the special weapons will be increasing with the budget increase as far as that goes, as well as the industry. So that will only increase. And as the military forces and the aircraft -- we'll be plussing up.
If you look across the board here, and you have to start wondering what his level of tolerance for sustaining damage is. Some of his areas are already at zero production here. Some are in the high percentage points, where they're going down to almost zero for aircraft. His front-line forces there. Ten or eleven of his MiG-29s were destroyed. Of the three or four remaining, two of those are trainers. If you look over here, I think what General Jumper said after the Summit is totally 100 percent. As those forces are increasing, our ability to hit his forces are decreased, his forces are decreased. NATO's resolve is only going up, and then you have to kind of start deciding here what Milosevic's will to sustain this is, and that's kind of the equation that has to be decided.
But if you look at pure numbers, if he looks at that, kind of a logical man would start saying "I have some problems here."
Q: General, before you take that off could you explain, for instance, in the LOC, what are the two arrows for?
Major General Wald: This one here is for bridges throughout the FRY. In the Kosovo area it's 100 percent -- railroad bridges, now. And for the entire FRY, it's up in that area, severe. So all of those railroad bridges in the FRY are not taken down, but in Kosovo they are. These are road bridges.
Q: And the two in the POL category?
Major General Wald: This is production, and this is his reserve and sustainment.
[Chart - Refugees in Theater]
Once again, not a lot of activity coming out of Kosovo over the last few days. The FYROM does continue to decrease their total number of refugees, some of those going into Albania. Of course, we still have them going into various countries around the world. I think the number's nearly 200,000 now have gone to other countries.
[Chart - Provide Refuge - Refugee Status]
Fort Dix continues to take refugees, and they are starting to get ready to place those refugees in homes outside of Fort Dix. They have a capacity increase; I think they can go to 4,200. I think they plan to not go over about 3,400 total at any one time. And the mechanism there at Fort Dix is starting to work; families are being placed in homes around, outside of Fort Dix around the country, and, of course, the ones that go into JFK go directly to families that have relatives, etc. with them.
[Photos available at http://www.defenselink.mil/photos/#Operation+Allied+Force]
[Photo - Belgrade Ministry of Defense North, Serbia - Post Strike]
Just a few images today. This is the Ministry of Defense, the north side in Belgrade itself. This was taken yesterday, the picture itself. This was struck on Saturday. You can see damage to several areas in that building in downtown Belgrade.
[Photo - Popovac Highway Bridge over Railroad, Serbia - Post Strike]
This is a highway bridge over the Popovac highway bridge in Serbia itself. I'll show a film of this a little bit later. You can see it's cracked and damaged here. Probably not usable for heavy vehicles. This span here has been dropped.
[Photo - Urosevac Radio Relay Station Southwest, Serbia - Pre Strike]
This is the Urosevac radio relay station in southwest. The reason I show this is you can actually see the tower standing here. This is a shadow. Then there's some buildings under here. It's kind of whited out. Then down below here, right at the bottom there are some bunkers. I'll show you this on UAV, Hunter UAV a little bit later. They went and actually took a picture of this to see what the battle damage was yesterday. Then based on the battle damage assessment and the fact that the bunkers were there, we struck that this morning, and I'll show you the films of that in just a few minutes.
[Photo - Urosevac Radio Relay Station Southwest, Serbia - Post Strike]
This is the actual post-strike that you'll see on Hunter of the antenna. That building here is washed out a little bit. You'll see that a lot clearer on Hunter; then the two bunkers that were remaining that were part of this facility are right below there.
The intelligence assessment after the strike this morning is this facility will be down for a very, very long time.
[Photo - Deployed Surface-to-Air Missile Equipment, Serbia]
The last thing I want to show you here -- and once again this is a little bit washed out, but this is a Low Blow radar, the one I talked to you about we struck last night. This was imagery from yesterday. These are two of the SA-3 launcher sites. I'll show you this in just a minute where an F-15E with an AGM-130 struck that target last night and destroyed it.
Once again this is the weather that the air crew in the field as well as the CAOC and the squadron level itself see every day. I'm jumping this through, one hour at a time. The green clouds are higher clouds; the blue clouds are lower clouds. You can see the scale on the right. This is one hour at a time, so it's predicting from yesterday until through tonight what the weather is going to look like in Kosovo, which has a lot of purposes for it. If I were a pilot, it's very beneficial to know my target area, what I would expect for weather. You can see later tonight [that] it's predicting that there will be some high cloud area coming in, but once again it's a prediction. And what we've seen so far today, it's been just a little bit better than that.
I'll continue to show that every day, so you have an idea of what we're contending with for weather.
This first imagery is an F-16 with a laser-guided bomb on a bridge, southwest Serbia. You see the bombs coming in. One lands just a little long. The other one has a direct hit. That was assessed to be infrastructurally not usable any more.
The Kursumilja highway bridge, this is another F-16. This bridge had been hit earlier, taken out one end of the abutment here to make sure. It's already had part of it dropped. We're going to drop it for good here. That's been taken down.
The Popovac highway bridge over a railroad. F-15E with an LGB. This is the picture I showed you a minute ago on imagery where one of the bombs cracks it here, and we drop this span.
We had one drop short right here, it looks like about 50 meters or so. No collateral damage.
Command and control. This was a Hunter UAV imagery from yesterday taking a picture of that antenna I showed you. You can see it laying down. Obviously destroyed or not usable. There's a building a little bit to the far right top of the screen.
Q: General, what altitude are they flying...
Major General Wald: I'd rather not tell you what altitude they're flying at.
One thing I was going to mention about altitude. Everybody talks about 15,000 feet. That's the last altitude I'd be flying at as a pilot in Kosovo right now, I can tell you that.
Major General Wald: Because everybody talks about it. (Laughter)
As you can see, this is very good. There's various different things you can take imagery of. You can real-time, as General Jumper mentioned, target this. But in fact that was last night, and this morning F-16s went out and attacked the targets. There are some bunkers down in here. That's the actual target. This is a forward air controller actually filming that area from afar, and these two bombs hit in that area based on the Hunter imagery from late last night. They retargeted and took that out. And once again, intel says that's down for a long, long time.
Q: Does the Hunter have a video link so you can actually watch it here in the Pentagon and at the CAOC in real time?
Major General Wald: You can watch the Hunter any place they have a downlink for it, and yes, you could watch it here.
This is a Spanish F-18 attacking a site in Serbia itself. You can see here that part of it was taken down. This is his wingman. It's a support base. You can see the previous strike right here. His wingman's taking out the other end. These are some buildings. It's a little washed out. There are vehicles in those buildings. You can see the damage from the previous attack. One short bomb. That looks like about 20 meters. The other one was a direct hit.
Integrated air defense. Once again, Low Blow radar, Spoon Rest, and an SA-6. And we took out some runway capability with an F-15E. It's taken out an intersection to keep them from flying against the Kosovar Albanians. This is going to be taking down an intersection here. It's been repaired before. You can see below there. He'll take it out and keep it down for a few more days.
This is the tracking or acquisition radar I mentioned last night. F-15E with an AGM-130 optically-guided bomb.
We'll pause it here in just a moment so you can verify that what we're saying is actually hit. It's a C model. You can tell it's a C model, that's how clear it is. It used to be.
SA-3 guidance radar. Once again, F-15 with AGM-130. These targets were found the previous morning. Once again, that's gone.
SA-6 with a support vehicle. This is one of their more capable SAMs, obviously. F-16 with an LGB. That was a direct hit. Five-hundred-pound bomb.
A MiG-21 at Pristina with an F-16CG. When we find them on an apron or something and have the ability, we'll take them out. It's a direct hit.
He eventually will have very few of these left, I'm sure.
Forces on the ground in Kosovo. Just a few examples of the things that are continuing to be taken out real-time as well as his sustainment. This is a tank and a vehicle in southern Kosovo. F-16 with a laser-guided bomb. They're dug in a little bit, but it's really not much of a sanctuary against this type of weapon.
Some artillery with an F-16, day before yesterday. LGB. You can see lined up. Quite frankly, they didn't use it, but this would have been a good cluster bomb weapon target. But they used an LGB against it. Probably damaged a couple of them, destroyed one.
That's the end of the video for today.
I know there's not a lot of time for questions, Charlie, but I imagine you have one.
Q:...live-fire exercise I think of the 155s in Albania overnight?
Major General Wald: I beg your pardon?
Q: Wasn't there a live-fire exercise using 155s in Albania overnight?
Q: Sorry, 105s.
Major General Wald: Yes, they did some live-fire practice.
Q: Would that be an indication that we're moving closer to using Apaches?
Major General Wald: I think we're always close. They're operationally ready. They're continuing to practice. Nothing has changed over yesterday, but they continue to stay proficient and practice.
Q: General, could you clear up something for me on the cluster bombs? Some of the video you've shown us of cluster bombs make me assume that the mother bomb was precision-guided and then once it dispensed the bomblets, then they were unguided. Is that how the weapon works?
Major General Wald: No, the way the AGM, or the CBU-87 I should say, works is that it is dropped by a precision system, which is an F-16 or F-15 with an outstanding INS, inertial nav, and GPS. So when they drop it, they're dropping with very, very accurate information to the weapon.
The weapon then free-falls to a certain altitude, and it opens up. That altitude that it opens up is always the same altitude regardless of how high or low you drop it. Then once it opens up, it's not very high above the ground, David, and then it goes into a pattern that is about 200x400 meters.
Q: If you're dropping using this GPS system, does the altitude from which you drop affect the accuracy of the...
Major General Wald: It would, yes. It would somewhat. Obviously, the further distance you are away, there could be somewhat of an error, but with the systems we have in certain delivery modes, it's still very, very accurate.
Q: Did you determine on the one about a week ago, I think it was near Nis wasn't it, where one went astray and hit a...
Major General Wald: I think they think it was a weapon problem of some sort. They'll never be able to tell, because we can't recover it. But it wasn't an aircraft or a pilot problem. They think it may have been a weapon problem.
Q: A good drop, but then the weapon just didn't go where it was supposed to...
Major General Wald: Right.
Q: General, have you seen any of the Serb video or independent video of this bombing site today at Korisa?
Major General Wald: I did see it on television.
Q: Does it look to you like it was struck by either a bomb or cluster bombs?
Major General Wald: The area looks like it was attacked. Whether it was artillery or a bomb, I don't know. But from the little bit I could see on television, it did not look like cluster bombs to me at all. But I think General Jumper kind of talked to that a minute ago. It's hard to tell unless you're on the ground.
Q: Why didn't it look like cluster bombs?
Major General Wald: I think you've seem some imagery, some post-strike imagery of some of the things we've shown and some of the film, and a cluster bomb is in a pattern, almost a rectangular pattern, with several smaller holes, pock marks in the ground. Generally speaking, you can see some kind of scarring from that, usually. But once again, as General Jumper alluded to a minute ago, it depends on the terrain. It could have been the type of dirt that doesn't show that type of thing, which is rare, but -- and once again, when you're very close up like it was on TV, you can't tell what caused that to be burned. It could have been any number of things. Somebody could have set the vehicle on fire with a match the way I looked at it, but they looked somewhat destroyed, and it could have been a weapon, and I think NATO will take all due care to find out what the answer is. I know they've got a lot of information on that, and I think they'll come up with that pretty soon.
Q: And these vehicles didn't have that kind of swiss cheese pock-marking that a cluster bomb would leave behind?
Major General Wald: Well, not just that. It would be on the ground, around the buildings, etc. It's hard to tell from TV what they're showing. I'm not even sure that was in the area that we're talking about, to tell you the truth. I can't even tell you what their TV tells. I have no faith in the truth of their television.
Q:...the map that you showed, I think the only thing I could see that was in the general area of southeast Kosovo -- what did you hit in the southeast area of Kosovo last night?
Major General Wald: I think there were probably 30, 40 targets. There were 70 targets total.
Q: That's southwest...
Major General Wald: Oh, southeast, no. In the southeast, there were just a few, I think, in the southeast. I'm not sure what the number was. I thought you meant southwest.
Q: Can you check on that?
Major General Wald: We'll find out.
Q: General, could you explain again in layman's terms, if you can, why is it that these are not, cluster bombs are not an indiscriminate weapon? That is, why can it be dropped on an area fairly accurately? What systems allow these bombs to be directed with some accuracy, even though they're not precision-guided munitions?
Major General Wald: We don't drop any weapons indiscriminately, first of all. That's not just a statement; that's a fact. So if a weapon is dropped in the wrong place, it's because of a mistake, not indiscrimination. But we use the same delivery system for a CBU-87 as we do for a Mk-82, for a Mk-83, Mk-84, with the same general-delivery-type systems, although a little bit different because it's a bomber versus a fighter -- that they would use for a B-1 of a B-52, let's say -- or any of the other aircraft over there that are dropping weapons that don't require a laser for them.
On the other hand, the difference today is, as we've talked about before, is our inertial navigation systems are very, very good. Then you put on top of that the global positioning satellite systems we have today that has changed the world of gravity bomb delivery.
So you add all that up together, and a CBU -- the only difference between a CBU-87 which is a cluster bomb and a Mk-82 is the footprint of the bomb hitting itself. To get a little technical, a 500 pound bomb actually has a frag pattern that's bigger than a CBU-87 after it blows up. So even though it's a little more discriminating when you hit the target, there is some fragmentation that comes off that bomb -- a 500-pounder or 1,000 -- that actually has more potential to damage targets a little bit nearer to where it hit than a CBU-87 does. It's a smaller bomblet. So in the mean, this delivery system, to make a long story short, uses the same accuracy as it would for a Mk-82.
Q: General, you say the footprint for the CBU-87 is 200 meters by 400?
Major General Wald: Approximately.
Q: Can you use Predators now with this new geo-location capability to check out like the site in southwest Kosovo that might have been hit by a cluster bomb? Get your own BDA fairly real-time rather than rely on Serb TV?
Major General Wald: When it's airborne you can, and the weather's right, and if it has -- there are priorities out there. We still want to continue to find targets. So if the commander wanted to direct it over there and it was available, he could do that.
Q: Can you walk us through the sequence a little bit of how...
Major General Wald: Let me just say one thing. Once again, the Predator has a very good capability, but it's not like standing on the ground next to something. So it has a very good capability. Whether you could tell from a Predator anything different than what maybe was mentioned about television, I'm not sure. You can generally tell the area and what's around it and get a good feel for it, but Predators don't attack anything. They find things. So we send somebody else over there, a FAC, forward air controller, as General Jumper mentioned, to really get a good look at it.
Q: Can you walk us through the sequence of taking Predator imagery and putting its geo-location material or information, giving it back to the pilots so they can attack the tanks and artillery? You're showing us all this..
Major General Wald: There's various ways. On Predator there is the capability to actually read off -- we haven't shown you here because we don't want to show you that, but there's a way to read off the geo-located coordinates for where that Predator is looking. In the future they'll have even better ways to determine exactly where they're looking at, but it's generally right now in a pretty good area where that is transmitted back real time to the Combined Air Operations Center at Vicenza. General Short, the JFAC, or his Deputy will look at that or anybody else. They have people actually working that full time that are experts at this, and they have weapons officers and fighter pilots watching the screen as well. They will look at this and determine if it's a valuable target to go after or something is of interest there. They will then call back to the ABCCC, Airborne Command and Control aircraft, and they will then tell an aircraft that that target is at a certain coordinate.
Now there are some capabilities with certain aircraft that you can actually data transmit to that aircraft, to their computer in the aircraft, that directs it into that target, and they will then help it find it easier. And if they need to, the Combined Air Operation Center or the JFAC at Vicenza can call direct to an individual aircraft rather than go through ABCCC and tell them. So there are various means, and it just depends on how they want to employ those.
Q: A two-minute time line or a ten-minute time line? How do you...
Major General Wald: That's about the right time.
Q: Two minutes or...
Major General Wald: It's real-time to the CAOC. If they wanted to call somebody real-time back and say go take a look at it, they could do that very shortly. So it depends on if they wanted to redirect a forward air controller from a target, because they think it's that important to go look at, and in that case they could tell them just about instantaneously on that frequency, "why don't you go look at it." So it can be cut down very short. But once again, when you get there, you have to determine if it's the right target or not, etc.
Q: Most of the video we've seen were targets on the ground, forces in the field have benefited from this system?
Major General Wald: I think the forces on the ground have not benefited from it. (Laughter)
Q: No, no. Have they been...
Major General Wald: Many of them have, yes. Right. There are very, very many -- there are lots of systems. There is the Predator, the UAV; there are other, the Hunter, I should say; there are other UAVs from other nations actually flying. The Germans have one. The French have one model -- they have more than one. There are all different types of ways to find targets on the ground. They're all fused back at the Combined Air Operations Center. The JFAC then decides what's the best utilization of an aircraft at that particular time, and if it's more important than what they're doing, they'll direct them on over.
Press: Thank you.