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DoD News Briefing, Friday, May 28, 1999

Presenters: Mr. Kenneth H. Bacon, ASD PA
May 28, 1999

Also participating in this briefing are Lieutenant General Mike McDuffie, J-4 and Major General Chuck Wald, J-5.

Related briefing slides

Mr. Bacon: Good afternoon.

We've got a double header here. First, Lieutenant General Mike McDuffie, who's the director of logistics for the Joint Staff, is going to bring you up to date on the humanitarian operations. Then he'll be followed by our normal operational brief from Major General Chuck Wald.

We'll turn it right over to General McDuffie now.

[Charts available at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/#slides]

Lieutenant General McDuffie: Good afternoon.

[Chart - DoD's Humanitarian Effort]

What I'd like to do this afternoon is really just give you an update on the humanitarian assistance operations that we have going on in the region. I'd like to talk about it in three basic areas of what we've been doing in the area of providing humanitarian relief supplies; the efforts that are ongoing in improving infrastructure and, in fact, building refugee camps; and then finally talking about the resettlement side.

Let's go to the next slide.

[Chart - Refugees in Theater]

First of all, you can see here's the situation we still have. This has not changed. We're still looking at a million to a million and a half refugees and IDPs. You can see that the numbers that we have in Albania in the last month have increased significantly, and in fact, the numbers in FYROM in the last month have doubled.

We still have refugee flows into Montenegro, Bosnia, and the other countries.

Our concerns right now are obviously with this large refugee population in Albania, the large refugee population in FYROM, and also the IDPs that we still are very concerned about in the Kosovo area itself.

[Chart - DoD Personnel in Support of Humanitarian Operations]

Okay, what does our footprint look like from a U.S. force presence? It's really in two parts. The Joint Task Force Shining Hope, as you can see, located in Germany, Albania, and aboard the USS INCHON is our main effort in the region in assisting the refugees in Albania.

We also have a Joint Task Force that has stood up here in the United States that is hosting the refugee center, if you would, at Fort Dix and the McGuire Air Force Base complex. These are some real pictures of troops and refugees and some of our assistants that are doing this operation.

[Chart - Air Bridges (Intertheater & Intratheater)]

Our air bridge -- I've talked to you about that before -- continues to be in place. That's bringing supplies off the West Coast of the United States, off the East Coast, and then the flights that are coming back. As you can see, this is the flow of refugees back into the United States and to Fort Dix.

It's two-fold, as you know. We have one leg of this. The refugees in the FYROM are actually designated to families before they ever depart Macedonia. So they actually come into JFK and New York and are met there by HHS folks and placed with families immediately. There's another group of refugees that do not have placements into families, and they are in fact flown into McGuire and then on to Fort Dix where then they go through a vetting process and a placement process there with NGOs.

You can see we've had ten flights a day, this number of folks. And we'll talk about that a little bit more.

This is not insignificant. When you think about the number of airframes that we have used to fly from CONUS and elsewhere into the region, 142 sorties, and we're talking C-17s, C-5s, and 747s -- quite significant.

And in our intratheater list, and that's primarily been between Germany, Italy, and into Albania, Greece and into Macedonia, you can see C-17s and C-130s. Our C-17 aircraft have performed magnificently in this entire operation. It is the workhorse, truly, of the fleet. And you can see our helicopter lift off the USS INCHON.

[Chart - Sealift (Ferries & LSVs)]

We're doing a lot with boats and small ships, primarily ferrying supplies from Ancona and Barre into Durres. A significant amount of supplies continues to go in this mode. This really helps us deconflict air flow into Tirane. This is very important to us because, as you can see, we can fly things into Italy; we're not getting in the way of the air flow into Macedonia or into Albania, and yet we can then use the ferry service and get it into the region. Most all of the supplies for Camp Hope have gone in this fashion.

[Chart - Summary of USG Contributions]

Here's a summary of our major items. You can see this is where the tents were initially pulling in and getting stacked up. You can see now we're at 2.1 million HDRs. I told you before, when we first got this, we committed 1.1 million. That's all we had. So you can see we did a lot of producing here in the last 45 days and continue to keep that line open and in fact, going at a very fast pace to produce even more.

Significant food. That's enough tents to put about 150,000 light infantrymen in, you know. Blankets, on and on and on. And when you total up what we've provided versus the entire national community, we're about -- 20 percent is a good round figure of what we've provided.

[Chart - Infrastructure Improvement, Tirana - Rinas Airport]

Let's talk a little bit about infrastructure improvements and tent improvements. This is what the taxiway looked like at Tirane airfield early on. As you can see, we had -- the C-17s were backing in and downloading things. You can see the mud on each side.

We now have a Red Horse team in there, and that's an Air Force engineer team. You can see now what they've done.

This paving is this side of the apron over here, to give you an idea. Quite a change. That will continue to improve.

This is the road that was going around the airfield there. That's what it looked like, and that's what it looks like today.

So I don't have a figure, but we're talking thousands of tons of gravel and other things that have gone in now to try and improve these roads and improve the infrastructure. You'll see later on here where we're going to continue to focus on infrastructure improvement.

[Chart - Albanian Road Network - A Repair Challenge]

I don't know if you've seen these pictures or not, but you've heard much about the road between Kukes, where there's a very large population of refugees, because it's close to the border, and Tirane. This is the road.

You can see a driver's challenge. We call this an engineering challenge. That's a bridge. Here, you have engineers that are working to clear a significant rock slide, and here, you can see the tremendous erosion on this road.

This is in the spring and summertime. Let's leap ahead to winter, and this averages about a meter of snow on it.

So when we talk about refugees in Kukes, and you've heard about the effort to get refugees in the Kukes region, specifically those refugees that are in camps, south on into the interior of Albania, and primarily headed down towards Camp Hope and that region, there are several reasons. One, is that this road becomes almost absolutely impassable in the winter time. Two, the water supply in the Kukes region is exclusively from the snow cap. And three, there's a security problem being that close to the border.

So we're going to put some engineers now to work this road and significantly improve this line of communication.

[Chart - Camp Hope, Fier, Albania - Site Selection/Construction/Temporary Home]

This was just a big open field. This was the field we had before Camp Hope, bringing things in. This was the first modules or contractors. This is what the first module looks like. This handles, right here, 2,500 folks. That's a typical module for about 240 people, air picture. There's a mother and daughter there in the camp. I can tell you while it looks a bit sparse on the chart here, I'm told that without a doubt, it's absolutely the best camp around from the standpoint that the infrastructure -- the way it's laid out.

There's been some criticism saying it's taken awhile to get the camp built, but I will tell you it's been built to a good standard, so you don't have to go down that road twice.

[Chart - Camp Hope Status and Projected Completion]

Here's where we stand to date. We have the capacity for about 8,700. We've got 2,500 there. So as you can see, there's significant room as the refugee flow starts south, primarily out of the Kukes area, or if we have a significant flow that would come across the border again. We're starting to get there, and by the 15th of June, we'll be a full 20,000-capable for the first camp.

[Chart - Temp Refugee Location Commitments]

This is another initiative that you're all aware of. These are the commitments by the different nations. This is a number that we've actually placed against that commitment. Of course, the United States commitment was 20K, and we've taken about 4,869. Again, this was initially started to relieve the pressure in the FYROM.

Finally, I'd like to talk real quick about this Fort Dix operation. Again, this is the total, we talked earlier, that arrived in the States. The difference in this nation and this nation were those direct placements, and there's been about 260 refugees that have been placed out of the population in the Fort Dix side of the homes.

So it's kind of, I think, a good news story. Camp 2, Camp 3. We've picked a site now for Camp 2. It's the government of Albanian land. It has some significant drainage challenges. It's going to take us a bit longer to build it. We're in the process of working that now. It would have taken us about 30 days normally. It's going to take us about 45 to 50 days. Capacity will be a bit smaller than the 20,000, somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000. However, we do have room to expand Camp Hope in the area they're in to up to 30,000.

Camp 3 we're looking at leasing a site now from a landowner, and we'll continue with that.

That's all I have for you today. Questions?

Q: You mentioned Camp Hope and so forth that you've built. Are they winterized? And overall, how many of the refugees, or do you have a sense of how many of the refugees are in quarters that would be adequate for the winter if they're still there?

Lieutenant General McDuffie: First of all, the winterization was figured into the price of the camps from the very beginning. The answer is, is the first module at Hope winterized right now? No. It will be, yes. We wanted to get on with getting capability to get people out of the elements. So it's always been our intent to winterize.

And remember, winterizing means many things. It's not just a heater. It's the reinforcement of wood floors. It's what we call hard-backing, or it could be hard-backing which gives you more structure in the -- tent liners, which are also good in the summer time, because while it looks heavier, it actually cools the tent off, and other things all tied to that. So we've never, ever had any intent to do anything but winterize.

Q: So they're not now, but you can.

Lieutenant General McDuffie: They're going to be, absolutely, yes. That's in the plans.

Q: When will that have to start, and how long will it take?

Lieutenant General McDuffie: I don't have a time for you, but I can just tell you it's not a challenge for us. It is not a challenge for us. The next two camps will be built from the very scratch as a winterized camp with all the structure. The second half of Camp Hope will be built as a winterized structure, then we'll go back and winterize the first half of Camp Hope. So we have plenty of time to do that.

Q: Even these three camps will only service I guess a drop in the bucket of the number of refugees that are there. Is there going to be a continuing process to keep building these camps? Or are these three basically it?

Lieutenant General McDuffie: When you look at, let's talk Albania just for an example. Most of the refugees in Albania are in private homes. AID has an effort ongoing to try and get more refugees into private homes, which we support. We think that's a very good idea. We think it's good for the refugees, and it gives them more security in the region, and they have some incentive programs that they're working right now with additional food allotments and other things to help those host families take care of the Albanian refugees, the Kosovar refugees.

I don't know. If you have the entire population of IDPs come out of Kosovo, then I don't know where we're going to be. We're prepared to do what we need to do, but right now we're at the three-camp stage and we don't have plans to build more than three camps.

Q: The refugees in Albania, do you have the figures?

Lieutenant General McDuffie: Yeah, Kosovar refugees, it's 450,000.

Q: 447,600.

Q:...roughly 60,000?

Lieutenant General McDuffie: That's the U.S. camps. There are other camps. But again, I said the majority, and I don't have the number, but it's upwards of -- isn't it around 300,000? 300,000 of these refugees are in homes. That's what -- when I first gave the first briefing I talked about the difference in the refugee situation or the humanitarian assistance operation here versus Africa was quite significantly different. One, we have a friendly population that will host these people in different countries; and you don't have the lines of communication difficulties that you do down in Africa. Again, the AID program is to try and push us more towards this number to get them in to being hosted by families.

Q:...homes in Macedonia? Do you have a count?

Lieutenant General McDuffie: The majority, but I don't have a number on it.

Major General Wald: About 130,000.

Lieutenant General McDuffie: About 130,000, so half or more.

Q: If I can understand, I'm sorry, but if I can understand one thing about Macedonia, can you give a sense of how much of a strain, if any, that that many refugees put on the roads, the airports such as they are, and how much capacity is left to deal with the military force, whatever size, that ultimately arrives there?

Lieutenant General McDuffie: It would be hard for me to give you an objective answer to that. Clearly, there's a strain on the infrastructure. We know that. More strain in Albania than Macedonia, because the infrastructure in Macedonia is much better than the infrastructure in Albania. Clearly, there's an impact, but would it preclude through-put of other issues? I think that's something we can work our way through.

Q:...have to be building, you'd have to be improving the airport in Skopje and that sort of thing?

Lieutenant General McDuffie: The airport in Skopje, and I don't know if we're doing much repair there now. It's in pretty good shape. We did an analysis of that early on. It's been very good in any through-put we've worked through Skopje. You can see we're doing significant work there in Tirane and have been all along.

So I think I know what you're getting at, does the refugee situation have an affect on the flow of peacekeeping forces and other things that may go on? Will it have an impact? It will always have an impact. It is a variable that we must take into account in our operational planning. Would it preclude it from going effectively? I don't think so.

Q: The Greek foreign minister's been in town the last couple of days, and he said today that he's concerned that as winter approaches a lot of Serbs may start to leave Yugoslavia. He said you could have 10 million people looking for food and water. I just wondered whether the U.S. military has considered that as a possibility, done any kind of planning at all for whether we would try to help the Serb refugees if they started crossing the borders? I don't suppose they'd go to Albania, but...

Lieutenant General McDuffie: I haven't discussed that. It's something -- there's always possibilities. We have not specifically looked at that. We've been focused, obviously, on the Kosovar refugees, because of the ethnic cleansing and the tragedy that's ongoing there, but certainly, I mean, we as a nation have always looked at being humane. If some type of humanitarian disaster would start of that magnitude, I'm sure the nation would react accordingly.

Q: On the road you showed us where repairs that are going to take place, am I right that that's between Tirane and Kukes?

Lieutenant General McDuffie: Correct.

Q: How much of that repair work is because you anticipate that road possibly being a major deployment route for NATO peacekeeping troops? Do you have to repair that road and improve it in order for KFOR to go in?

Lieutenant General McDuffie: I really don't want to get into the operational piece of it. I will tell that the engineers are being brought in to repair this road specifically because of the humanitarian situation. I'm very candid with you on that.

Certainly, infrastructure improvements that you make for whatever reason [are] going to benefit you in other things that you do, but that is not the underpinning of why those engineer forces -- as a matter of the Seabees, the initial group of the Seabees will be in, should be in by the end of the weekend. We've had that planned all along, because just moving refugees from Kukes into the interior has been a real challenge for us all along, well before the discussion that you're going down now ever came to life, so clearly that's the reason. If that was available, sure, I mean if you've got a good road, you use it in any type of operation, but -- and it's good for the country of Albania, when you stop to think about that. Those infrastructure improvements, I mean it's a win/win. You can almost say a win/win/win.

Q: Is that strictly a Seabee operation then?

Lieutenant General McDuffie: We have Seabees coming in, and they will be applied to that, but we also have Red Horse, which is the Air Force engineers. They're there on the ground now, but they've been primarily working in the Tirane area. And we're also looking at additional engineer forces. So it would be a joint, I envision a joint engineer force there working infrastructure.

Q: Are there other major infrastructure improvements that you're doing in the area besides, or in Macedonia as well, that involve roads, ports, airfields, things that could have sort of a dual-use purpose?

Lieutenant General McDuffie: Barbara, in Macedonia, you know it's primarily the ARRC that's leading that effort. We have a very small U.S. footprint there, so I really can't answer that. I don't know.

In Albania the infrastructure work that we are doing, other than the preparation that we did for the bed-down of Task Force Hawk, the infrastructure improvements that I'm aware of have been initiated and are done for the humanitarian assistance effort.

Q: Are there other additional major roads, ports, improvements?

Lieutenant General McDuffie: I don't know of any projects where we're expanding the port now, whether we're doing things that are tied to any type of ground force movement.

Q: Can I ask a couple of questions about IDPs? First of all, I notice on your chart you've got a very wide scale there. Do you tend toward thinking there could be 700,000? Or do you tend towards thinking there might only be 260,000? Or you really just have no idea.

Lieutenant General McDuffie: I think the last is better. An idea. I mean we have a bracket. That's primarily from intel sources. And we really looked at the UNHCR to give us assistance on them, so that number, that band there comes from multiple sources. Obviously, some sources are on the low side, and some are on the high side.

Q: First of all, do you have any way of assessing how hungry are some of these people getting to be? And secondly, I'd like to ask you, the International Rescue Committee is announcing today that they plan to start airdrops of food using chartered planes out of Italy, Pescara, dropping -- I guess you're aware of this -- yeah, dropping those.

What role, if any, is the Pentagon playing in that? Are you, for example, perhaps supplying them with the food?

Lieutenant General McDuffie: Let me answer the first question first, and that is what's our analysis of how hungry or the shape of the IDPs. We're very, very concerned about that. And as you know, as the flow of refugees that we've seen recently that have come across the border, they're in much weaker shape than previous. As a matter of fact, it's almost been a line that's going down. So that gives us an indication that there are difficulties with the IDPs in Kosovo. And of course, we're getting a lot of information from those recent refugees. So we're very concerned about that.

Now on the airdrop issue, there are two airdrop initiatives that are ongoing, and I think it's important to understand the difference. One is an initiative by an outfit called, it's called Focus Group, which you're familiar with, I'm sure. It's another third-party group. It's the Swiss, the Russians and the Greeks. They're looking at flying an IL-76, which is a C-141-like jet transport out of Sofia, Bulgaria, and drop rations to IDPs in locations.

The second initiative is the one you're talking about, is being led by the IRC, the International Rescue Committee, and they are in fact flying AN-26s, which are reciprocating small transports out of Pescara, Italy, and they are also looking at it going into locations.

Both of these efforts are third party, independent. However, we're concerned about these efforts. We understand that IDPs could be in dire straits, and there needs to be some things done. But again, clearly not military. We do not have our hand or involvement in this. However, we are coordinating and making sure that we know when the airplanes are going in, because we want to make sure that there is not an accident or a shoot-down or whatever. However, we cannot guarantee their safety, even though the Serbs have been notified about the potential airdrops. It's a difficult and dangerous mission at best. And again, you question the effectiveness.

There have been many convoys that have been going in, 10 to 15 a day now. I think we're upwards of about 150 convoys. The intel says that most of the stuff is going in the hands of the VJ, and in fact being sold. So again, you get to the point where you need to do something, and we support this third party airdrop. And again, we don't have command and control of it, we don't have our hands on it. This is one of the biscuits. As a matter of fact we brought some and chopped them up so that after this is over you can taste them. They taste pretty good, like a cookie. It is supplied by a U.S. company.

Q: Is that what's going to be dropped by...

Lieutenant General McDuffie: By the IRC. And other things, too. They're looking at dropping clothing and HDRs, and I showed you the HDR, before so we didn't bring one of them.

Q: They're going to do it on pallets, am I right?

Lieutenant General McDuffie: We don't know yet. That is -- again, we're not going to apply the 6,000-mile screwdriver on that. There's many ways to do this, and it depends on what you're dropping. Something that you can flutter, you can have a net and just flutter them, actually climb the airplane up and just let it flutter out. Others you put in a tri-wall cardboard container, and it actually goes out and drops, and sometimes you use parachutes. So it depends on what you're dropping. It depends on the contractor or whomever is dropping it, and I really can't speculate on each mission.

Q: I have a couple of operational questions about it, but perhaps that will be for later.

Q: It sounds like despite all these efforts, things are pretty dire inside for these people.

Lieutenant General McDuffie: You can come to that deduction. I mean after this many days of being ethnically cleansed and terrorized, it would be pretty dire. I'd feel pretty dire, too.

But we don't have examples of mass starvation. We don't have that. We don't have intelligence that shows that. But we do know these people have been outside for a long time. But these are some tough folks. They're resilient. They want to stay in their homeland. They want to go back to their homeland. That's been the continuous theme of the Kosovars as they've come out. They want to go back to their homes. They're very resilient, tough folks.

So the airdrop piece, at least, is a shot at trying to help them, and the CINC, General Clark, is supportive of that, and we've been in the coordination mode on it.

Q: I think it was suggested a day or two ago that part of the reason for the flow of refugees stopping and starting and now starting up again may be an effort to sort of isolate the KLA and make them stand out more. Do you see any evidence of that?

Lieutenant General McDuffie: No. I mean I can't really -- it would be speculation at best. I think there are so many variables of why the refugees, why there's been a strong flow and a weak flow, and I think you can have the answer you wanted to at a given point in time. It could be the Serbs causing it, on and on and on. But I really couldn't speculate on that.

Q: You mentioned that you're coordinating now with the NGOs that are going to conduct the airdrops. There had been a coordination problem until now. Has that been resolved?

Lieutenant General McDuffie: I'm not aware of a coordination problem. We've always been very concerned about the airdrop itself because of the incredible air defense systems we had early on. That's changed. Conditions have changed since the early statements about airdrop. But there's been coordination specifically with the IRC initiative. There's been coordination with NATO on this right from the beginning.

Q:...met with the Focus initiative?

Lieutenant General McDuffie: That has not been as coordinated to the level we did with the IRC, but in fact that coordination is ongoing. In fact, I've been in discussions with NATO in the last few days specifically on that, and they have in fact come to the G-9 (sic) [G-8] at Shape to work this. So that's all being worked. We feel much better about that today than we have in the last week.

Q: If I might, the last time I asked you about that, you said you'd let us know. Apparently, on Wednesday the word was given that the Swiss/Greek/Russian triad of NGOs was ready to go except they needed a signature. Did they need a signature from Milosevic himself in order to do this?

The second part of the question is, there's also a rumor out there that American NGOs are ready to go without permission. Can you expand on that at all?

Lieutenant General McDuffie: I don't know about the first one. I don't know about a signature. And I know nothing about the second piece.

As I said before, there are two airdrop initiatives going on -- Focus Group, that's the Swiss, the Russians and the Greeks; and the second piece is the IRC. That's a contractor with Moldavian pilots. They've both delayed different times. It's primarily their decision to delay, other than some tests, they wanted to test some things. I see that on track. So I don't know anything about a lack of signature, and I don't know anything about the second part.

Q: Do you have enough troops to deal with the refugee situation now, and if there is another big exodus of refugees, do you foresee any kind of additional Reserve call-up to deal with it?

Lieutenant General McDuffie: Let me answer that in two parts. One, I do not anticipate a flow of refugees any greater than we experienced early on, and in the second flow. We were able to deal with that. We are much better postured today to deal with increased flows than we were then.

Remember, we took the ARRC early on when we had that big flow into Macedonia. General Mike Jackson worked that hard and we used the ARRC to assist with that. They're still there. Plus the UNHCR is much better organized today. We have more NGOs. We have more volunteers, the whole structure in Albania today.

So I would tell you, we are better prepared today to handle refugees than we've ever been, without a doubt. So I would not anticipate that to be a problem.

I'm sorry, I forgot the second part because I talked too long on the first part.

Q: Are you going to call up some Reservists?

Lieutenant General McDuffie: The President authorized, under the Presidential Selective Reserve Call-up, and we don't anticipate, we don't see any need to go above that ceiling at this point in time, whatsoever. That's just kind of ops normal, as we call it, plugging along. And we're very judicious in calling the Reserves up, I'll be very candid with you, because of the impact.

Q: I have a question about infrastructure, if I may. You said that you thought that there might be problems putting a military force in there but that you could deal with them. I want to accept both those things and just try to get you, if I can, to lay out a little more concretely what the problems are and what you need to do about them, or whether you can just put in a force with the roads and everything you have now.

Lieutenant General McDuffie: Well, if I said I thought there was a problem in putting a military force in, I misspoke. I didn't think I said that, because I don't see that. I said there are always impacts of many variables, whether you're putting a military force anywhere in the world. What I said was, I said based on those impacts we don't see that as something that would inhibit us. I mean it's something you have to bring into the operational equation and look at and work. They're very complex operations.

Q: That's what I want to understand. What needs to be done in the situation, or can you just...

Lieutenant General McDuffie: I really wouldn't want to speculate on that, because you're really getting way out in front. You're talking size, mass, all of that, and it would be all speculation, hypothetical, and I really don't want to go there.

Mr. Bacon: Thank you very much.

Lieutenant General McDuffie: You didn't try the biscuit. It got by you. I saw that. (Laughter)

Mr. Bacon: Thank you very much, General McDuffie.

Mr. Bacon: Let me start with a couple of announcements before turning this over to -- I don't have any biscuits. No, they're for you.

A couple of announcements. First of all, Secretary Cohen will visit the Woodbridge, Virginia, High School on Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. to address the Junior ROTC cadets there. Secretary Cohen is a former Junior ROTC cadet himself, and he's going out there to talk to the participants in this program and talk to them about the importance of the program not only in Woodbridge but all over the country. There are currently 400,000 young people participating in this program in 2,600 schools across the country. He will speak from about 11:00 to 12:00 and there will be a press availability afterwards, if anybody is interested in going to Woodbridge, Virginia on Tuesday.

The Secretary will appear on Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery with President Clinton for the wreath-laying ceremony. President Clinton will make an address during that ceremony.

The briefing schedule for the weekend is: we'll have a briefing here tomorrow at 11:00, and no briefing on Sunday or Monday.

I think I'll turn it over to General Wald for the operational update, and then we'll take your questions afterwards.

Major General Wald: I've been put at a disadvantage. I don't have cookies to hand out. (Laughter)

[Chart - Weather Conditions]

The weather, as I've mentioned over the last few days, is projected for, through the 6th of June to be outstanding. Hopefully, it will be that good here, but it has been excellent today. The sortie rate is still up around 600 or 700 strike, suppression of enemy air defense and CAP sorties. We'll continue with that. Then throughout the summer/fall months it should stay pretty much like this. This is actually about as good a string of weather as you'll see over there, and it's paying off.

[Chart - Level of Effort - Day 65]

Sixty-four plus targets yesterday, 13 fielded forces, 27 forces on the ground, plus type targets. A lot of command and control. A lot on C3 yesterday, taking down another layer of his command and control ability to coordinate his troops. Continue to go after sustainment. Some air defense yesterday, continuing to go after that. They are still firing SAMs. I understand there was a potential that one of the aircraft may have been hit today, but it made it back. And some mobility, some lines of communication, continue to take those down. So we're just continuing to layer away at him, grind away at his capability. And long-term, as Admiral Wilson said yesterday, I think his long-term capability for his military is very, very bleak right now.

Q: May have been or was...

Major General Wald: Report may have been hit, but made it back.

Q: Was it a U.S. plane?

Major General Wald: Yes.

Q: Is that the F-16 in (inaudible)?

Major General Wald: I didn't hear that. No, I didn't.

Q: By "made it back", you mean...

Major General Wald: Landed.

Q:...to Aviano, or...

Major General Wald: Landed at the base of origin. I'll try to get more on that tomorrow, Charlie.

Q: How about in like a half an hour?

Major General Wald: If I can get more in a half an hour, I'll get it for you.

There have been aircraft hit, as we've talked about before. There have been some that have been hit that we haven't mentioned before much mainly because it hasn't taken that much damage. They're being fired at. I'm going to have a chart tomorrow, I hope, that will show you the amount of SAMs they've fired, what they've got in the inventory. There are some questions on that.

[Chart - Your Blood...Their Rewards]

I think one of the reporters asked yesterday about our feedback to the Serb population, both the population of the Serb people as well as their military, the VJ/MUP. They've dropped over 50 million leaflets now over the last few weeks. This is an example of one of the leaflets that has been dropped, and you can see that, as Admiral Wilson mentioned, there's been a rift building between -- it's a traditional rift, but it's getting worse -- between the VJ army, the more traditional army, and the MUP which is their paramilitary police. And they're a lot closer to Milosevic, the MUP are. We're trying to highlight here, obviously, that there is this rift occurring. We understand that the VJ has not been paid for about a month. So that's starting to be a problem, and we want them to know that's a problem, obviously. We'd like them to have some information on that.

So these type of leaflets are dropped via various means. Some with aircraft that drop and let the wind float over where they're supposed to land. There are several different types of these that we have dropped. Obviously it's in English here, but it's in Serbo/Russian (sic) [Serbo-Croatian], the language of the Serbs on the actual leaflets. We have some more of those if you'd like to see them. You can see all the ones we've dropped in the past, if you're interested in that.

But it seems to be having an effect from the standpoint of letting them know that there is another side to the story. In our case we think it's factual, although it's written to, obviously, elicit their attention. The Commando Solo continues to fly with actual, some of the reports that you hear here, some of the reporting you do in the paper actually are read over Commando Solo via Radio Free Europe, Voice of -- I think there's two other stations on there. I can't remember what they are right now. Then they have actual reporters, military reporters that do other informational flow for the Serb people.

[Photos available at http://www.defenselink.mil/photos/#Operation+Allied+Force]

[Photo - Bor Copper Smelter and Refinery, Serbia - Pre Strike (from May 27)]

There's quite a bit of imagery. I showed you the film of this yesterday. This is the Bor copper smelter refinery that's used to make military equipment as well as some civilian equipment we hit yesterday. See those two buildings? They're right here.

[Photo - Bor Copper Smelter and Refinery, Serbia - Post Strike]

It's a little different angle, but those two buildings. One here is destroyed totally and the other one's damaged. They're both shut down. This is a power production plant at that refinery and that refinery is now closed. Or it's shut down. It's not functional.

[Photo - Presevo TV-FM Relay Station, Serbia - Post Strike]

A little tougher shot here, but I said a lot of C3 yesterday. This is a harder picture to see, but this antenna's been dropped. That's one of the command and control antennas we hit yesterday.

[Photo Kraljevo Training Area, Serbia - Post Strike]

This is the Kraljevo training area. You can see that these buildings here have been destroyed. This is actually a tank barracks area, and they have some tank repair facility there that's been destroyed.

[Photo - Sabac Army Garrison, Southwest Serbia - Post Strike]

The Sabac army garrison. I showed you some film of these earlier, some cockpit film. You can see these buildings have all been destroyed. This is the Second Army facility here.

[Photo - Nori Pazar Army Garrison, Serbia - Pre Strike]

The Novi Pazar army garrison. You can see pre-strike, these buildings here were the target.

[Photo - Nori Pazar Army Garrison, Serbia - Post Strike]

I'll show you in just a moment on the next film. They're all pretty much destroyed. So once again, his army has to start wondering where they're going to be living when they start rotating, if they ever do.

[Photo - Sjenica Air Base, Serbia -Post Strike]

Sjenica air base. We continue to keep his airfields from being operable in case they do have any aircraft left, or they're trying to use helicopters and other things. I'll show you a film of a helicopter being destroyed last night. You can see these are B-52-type attacks. There was some question on why we're using more gravity-type bombs. One reporter called them "dumb." I wouldn't think with this type of accuracy where we actually intended to close this taxiway and close the runway -- that's pretty smart for being dumb, so we accept that. But we're using this type of aircraft to close the runways in more of an area-type target. This is an example of that.

[Photo - Deployed Surface-to-Air Missile Equipment, Serbia - Pre Strike]

This is a surface-to-air missile site here. You can see that this is actually a pre-strike imagery of that. You can't tell from where you're at, but this is a Low Blow radar, which is one of their more important radars. It's a little blown up here. If you want to see afterwards, you can tell that's what it is.

[Photo - Deployed Surface-to-Air Missile Equipment, Serbia - Post Strike]

This is a post-strike imagery of a high speed anti-radiation, a HARM missile that actually hit it, so it stayed on until impact. That Low Blow has been destroyed.

They fly a lot of HARMs. Some of those missiles will impact at the target if the target is emitting when it strikes, or if it turns it off, it will land close to that target. But in this case, that target was unfortunate enough to remain emitting and we destroyed it.

[Photo - Jamena Armor Depot - Deployment, Serbia - Pre Strike]

Jamena, I'll show you some film of this in just a moment. Armored depot where they either maintain or store or repair or live at one of the armor units of the Third Army. You'll see today, this is actually because of the way the imagery is taken, this is vehicles. I'll show you that today. That was hit, as well as these two buildings were struck, and I'll have film of that. That was last night.

[Photo - Untitled]

The hardened aircraft shelters. I told you that when the bomb goes in it probably blows up whatever's inside of it. We don't have any imagery of the hardened aircraft shelter in Kosovo or the FRY right now, because we don't have access to it, but this was an Iraqi hardened aircraft shelter during the Gulf War. Their shelters are even a little bit more hardened than the FRY shelters, and this was just one bomb went in, and this was a MiG-25 that after the war we were able to get access to. So the reason I show you this is when a bomb goes into a shelter, it probably destroys what's inside of it. I have a couple of films of those today I'll show you, some secondaries. So there were probably aircraft or something inside, and they're blown up.

[Start Video]

The first thing I'll show is the weather. This was as of 3:30 this morning, Eastern time. As you can see, about as good as you're going to get in the southeastern European area, just almost totally clear. A little bit of puffy here and there, but outstanding flying weather. The results of the weather, obviously, are being translated into the success we're having.

This is the projection, computer-wise, for the next few hours and into this morning. It looks like even the computer's projecting, because of the moisture in the air, some clouds. So far we haven't had a problem with that. It's been better than projected. But late night you might get a little bit of afternoon-type thunderstorms and then the morning fog, but generally speaking, outstanding flying weather throughout the AOR and into the refueling tracks and where some of the support aircraft would fly.

A lot of command and control yesterday. Over 20 targets attacked for command and control. This is the radio relay site at Mladenovac, central Serbia. This is an F-16 with a laser-guided bomb. A little bit difficult, a harder target to find. You can see, this is a forward air controller here. We've got other aircraft bombing. You'll see another bomb come in and hit that one. So we keep beating away at his command and control as well as sustainment.

From what I understand in talking to some of the folks, this is a sustainment target here. This is the one I showed you on imagery a minute ago. The storage building, the trucks, and then another storage building at Jamena armor depot, an important target for their capability to repair their tanks if they ever get back out of Kosovo.

The first one's an F-16 LGB on one of the storage buildings. And the bomb after it hits -- there's obviously something in it, either munitions or something. That was a good-sized secondary. This was the second target at the same place, same type of aircraft last night. You can see the first hit here. Trucks are in here -- actually, the trucks are over here. We'll get those in a second. The second storage building.

This is three of eight attacks on that area last night. There were eight F-16s with 16 2,000-pound bombs that basically took the target out. This is the trucks.

Q: It's not in Kosovo?

Major General Wald: No, it's not in Kosovo. It's in southern Serbia.

Once again, the trucks. It's hard to tell from the imagery, but there's probably a dozen or so trucks in that area, and they're, most of them, probably destroyed. Not drivable, for sure.

Ammunition storage bunkers in Kursumlija. We've hit this target before. There are several design point, mean of impact areas that we wanted to take out. This one was bunkers. I showed you the same type of thing you put an aircraft in. This is more of a munitions bunker. You see a pretty good secondary off that, some burning afterwards. So obviously munitions inside.

Another ammunition -- same area, same type bunker. F-16 with a 2,000-pound penetrating bomb. You can see the one I just showed you above.

This one also has a pretty good-sized secondary.

It's going to be very difficult for Milosevic to ever replace any -- most of this stuff. That's a significant amount of damage on his ammunition and his sustainment, and his fielded forces are really going down.

Dakovica MUP barracks. This was an F-14 off the THEODORE ROOSEVELT forward air controlling for an F-18. You'll see first the forward air controller. He's actually watching the target of an F-18 hitting this. The F-18's a ways away from the F-14, not very far. Then this is the F-18, actual video from his aircraft hitting that bomb you just saw. So the F-14 will probably be over in this area some place, across the circle from him. That's how you work together. One guy will find it and then...

This is a HIP helicopter. They're trying to resupply their troops or move troops. This is what one HIP helicopter would look like, a Yugoslavian HIP. This is an actual hit last night. F-16 with a 2,000-pound bomb. I think you'll see after it hits it probably wasn't a dummy. That's one off the charts there.

[End Video]

Major General Wald: Any questions?

Q: General, you've referred to "dummies" a number of times, as to whether or not they were using I guess, but have you any proof that they've done that?

Major General Wald: They traditionally have. Their doctrine [is] -- we've shown that even when they were in the Warsaw Pact -- to try that type of thing. So it's hard to tell. There are some ways you can tell, and there are some indications we have that we know when a certain type thing is a dummy or not. I'm not going to talk exactly how that is for good reason, but sometimes they look pretty good, and you'll hit them, and then afterwards you'll go back and find out via different means whether or not it was an actual target or not. But there are some. It's not as prevalent as maybe has been led to imply, but we watch for that, and there's different means for us to find out.

Q: But you do have indications they have done it...

Major General Wald: They try everything. Milosevic and his army are trying every trick they can right now, because they're hurting. And the best trick they have right now, from talking to some of the folks over there, is hiding.

Q: The leaflet that you showed us, to be I guess a little blunt about it, is NATO and the U.S. trying to sow a further rift between the VJ and the MUP? And I guess either you or Ken, follow that up. Where do you see a better source of perhaps sowing some instability, the army or the MUP, in terms of which group if they turn against Milosevic, would he be more likely to feel threatened first?

Major General Wald: What we're trying to do is tell them actually what's happening. If the side effect of that is a rift, I think that's good, but there's a natural rift between the VJ and the MUP, as Admiral Wilson talked about yesterday. The VJ have a lot of what we would call draftees or conscripts, reservists, and they're not as much in favor, traditionally, as have been the MUP to Milosevic. The MUP are more of a paramilitary-type organization. You see them on pictures sometimes. They don't have helmets on a lot of times. They're more of a -- sometimes they'll have soft hats or uniforms -- they all look pretty good, because they have more money for their equipment; they're paid better, and they are probably what Milosevic probably depends on more than anything for his power. He obviously has no moral power, and he has to have them for his power.

So the fact of the matter is, I think if we can educate their military on what the facts are, that will be beneficial. Maybe Ken's got something to add on that.

Q: Can I just follow up? When you said the army isn't getting paid, is that officers and enlisted, or just enlisted?

Major General Wald: I'm not sure, but from what I understand from the reports is there have been reports that their VJ have not been paid, which would be their whole military, for a period of time. I'm not sure if that's in the southern part only or all of the Kosovo, or the FRY, I should say. But there are indications they have been not paid, and there are indications the MUP have been paid.

Q: How much of an impediment to the airstrikes will the airdrops be?

Major General Wald: I don't think all that much. We're pretty able to coordinate airspace, as long as we know where they're at. In spite of that, we'll have to be very careful, but I don't think it will affect the airstrikes very much at all.

Q: Why not? Don't you have to... You've got CAP up looking for unidentified aircraft. Wouldn't you have to clear out a corridor?

Major General Wald: There isn't a lot of flying going on from the standpoint of the FRY right now anyway. I've flown air superiority aircraft as well, and it's very easy to determine whether a slow-mover is, which type of aircraft it would be within reason.

Q: Wouldn't you have to clear out corridors for these planes to fly through?

Major General Wald: No, we're going to deconflict from them. We'll stay away from them. There's quite a bit of airspace out there, more than is likely believed. But the fact of the matter is, we expect them to generally tell us where they're going to be, about what time, and we'll watch for that. And I don't think it's going to hinder the operation one bit. As a matter of fact, I think General Clark mentioned that he didn't think anything would change whatsoever from the air operation standpoint.

Q: How would you feel as a pilot if you were asked to do what these Moldovan pilots are being asked to do...

Major General Wald: I wouldn't do it unless I was told to do it. I think it's not a good idea, frankly, as an airman. And the one reason I say that is because I have zero trust in what Milosevic or his army might try to do. So I think they're putting themselves, from an operational perspective, at great risk in doing this. And I hope it succeeds for their sake. We'll do everything we can to watch out for them. But I have zero trust for what the Serb/VJ/MUP army might do.

Q: You're saying that NATO will not provide any kind of protection, ECM-type stuff or anything else for these planes, right?

Major General Wald: The only protection we'll provide would be anything that would be consequential because we're operating there in the first place. If we see a Yugoslavian aircraft fly, we'll do the same thing we would have before.

Q: What does that mean, if a radar, fire control radar turns on, locks onto this aircraft, does that mean...

Major General Wald: We're not going to be in coordination with them. We won't be on the same radio frequency with them. So if they're locked up or lit up, I'm not even sure if they will have gear on board to detect that. I think that's the concerns a lot of people have had with this operation is they aren't, we're not sure if they have the capability to do that type of self-protection, if they will even know it.

So I think it's a -- you have to say it's admirable to try to help, but I think the best thing that will help is for this campaign to be successful and for Milosevic to decide that those NATO conditions that have been spelled out, he accepts those. That's probably the easiest way for this thing to be resolved, where people can be fed. But I think some of these operations could be potentially very, very risky. NATO will do everything they can to ensure that we continue to fly the way we have been in a very responsible way, and watch what we do. But in fact the best thing we can do is find out where they are and avoid them.

Q: General, some British pilots have apparently made some comments about running out of targets, and also they're beginning to suffer from boredom and fatigue. Do you have any concerns about that? And how much longer can pilots go on this kind of an OPTEMPO, six days a week, 12 or however many hours a day they can?

Major General Wald: I've heard as of today -- not because you were going to ask this, coincidentally, because I try to find out what's happening in the theater -- that after the report that Milosevic had been indicted yesterday, that the morale went up. And as a matter of fact, I have heard no indication whatsoever -- this is U.S. now, I don't talk for the British pilots -- that there's any indication whatsoever that they are fatigued to the point they don't want to fly.

I heard a report yesterday that one of the crew chiefs when he was on the headset with one of the pilots before he took off had heard about Milosevic being indicted and he said, "it's about time. I'm glad we're doing what we're doing."

So I think it's important for the American people to know that the U.S. military -- and in our case the aircrews flying both off the THEODORE ROOSEVELT and those flying off land in Europe -- I think it's important to know that they're behind what's going on.

I've been around the Air Force for a long time, and there's a lot of squadron talk sometimes when you don't think the mission is right. Pilots are not afraid to voice their opinion. From what I understand, they believe in this, and they know it's the right thing to do, and I think they got an actual kind of jolt and energy after this occurred. So I think it's contrary to what the British have said. On the U.S. side they're feeling pretty good about it.

Q: How long can they keep up the pace, though?

Major General Wald: Indefinitely.

Q: General, both your maps today and the NATO maps that they showed this morning showed something in the neighborhood of a dozen strikes on ground troops in southwestern Kosovo in the same area where there has been a KLA offensive. I'd like to know, is this an example of something you discussed the other day about the KLA in effect drawing, or forcing the Yugoslav army to move into the open where you have an opportunity to hit them? And if so, how did it play out in this particular case?

Major General Wald: Frankly, it would be nice if we knew exactly where the KLA was all the time. But it's a coincidence, because we're going to hit the targets, we will hit the targets where they congregate or where most of them are. In fact, they are along that part of the border. Lots of the troops in Kosovo. So it becomes almost coincidental that we're hitting those targets at the same time, almost at the same time where the UCK might be attacking them.

If we know there are UCK in the area, we'll try to avoid bombing that area, but it's more of, I think, a beneficial consequence than anything that this is occurring, quite frankly.

Q: My question, in this particular instance do you know if, for example, the VJ massed troops to deal with this offensive, and that's one of the reasons you were able to find them and hit them? Or do you not know the details in this particular instance?

Major General Wald: I don't know the details, but I would suspect there could be some of that happening. Where both the pressure of the UCK may be causing the VJ, if they are, to mass, would be beneficial to air power. But once again, we have to be careful. We're not coordinating with the KLA, and therefore, we have to watch where we drop bombs. So there could be a kind of a negative spinoff if we're not careful, too.

Q: The Greek Prime Minister said today that he was concerned that the destruction from NATO's bombing was such that the civilian infrastructure in Serbia had been damaged so much that Serbs will start to leave Yugoslavia because they need food and water.

Do you think that the bombing campaign, which is supposed to be aimed at the military, has actually caused so much destruction that there could be a new form of refugee crisis?

Major General Wald: I think General McDuffie talked to that. I think that could be potentially -- there's 60,000 Kosovo Albanians and Serbians in Serbia as refugees out of Kosovo. So they've gone into that area already. So I think there's potential some of that could occur where there might be people that would need, not necessarily because of the bombing but because of the economy. Its economy doesn't seem to be functioning very well. They're having to black market oil or gasoline, as you know.

At some point I think the Serbian people are going to have to wonder whether or not Milosevic, his stubbornness in this case or his lack of vision or lack of concern for his own people is really the right thing, or the proper thing for their leadership, if you want to call it that, to take on.

So I think as that happens, he's going to probably feel more pressure to go ahead and understand that he's got a losing hand dealt to him. But once again, I think the international community has stepped up to a crisis of very large proportion already, and if there were that type of problem, I'm sure the international community will step up to that one, too.

Q: Russia complained today that they haven't been allowed to inspect NATO troops in Albania and elsewhere. Is that true? Have they not been allowed to? Or to what extent have they been getting access?

Major General Wald: From what I understand, the Russians have been able to inspect the troops under the Vienna agreement, CFE, in every place they've asked to in accordance with the agreement. For example, I think in Hungary they've been asked to look at some aircraft, and the ones that are under that treaty agreement they'll be able to look at, as far as I can tell. Under the Vienna agreement, I believe, where there are security concerns, and it's obviously based on for them to try to find intelligence, I think there are accommodations in the treaty for that not to occur.

Q: Can you quantify the extent of power outages that are a result of NATO bombing? And to the subject of water, how many households, or how can you quantify it, do not have running water because there's no electricity?

Major General Wald: From what I understand, they still have water. I don't know that for a fact, but I think they do. And the electrical power has been taken down across the country in certain areas, some more than others, just about exactly to the extent that we had planned for.

Q: So that's a done deal then with the power grid?

Major General Wald: Well, it comes and goes.

Q: What I'm saying is, the bombing has been done that you anticipated doing to take out what you wanted to?

Major General Wald: Up until today the bombing that we anticipated has worked exactly as we planned.

Q: You can't say any more, if more is needed or not.

Major General Wald: No.

Q: You mentioned several aircraft had been hit during this operation. Do you have a rough number of times this has occurred?

Major General Wald: I think it's probably been about five to ten or something like that. I'm not sure. Don't quote me on that, because there may have been some that took a little nick... (Laughter) Okay, quote me on this. About five to ten. How's that? Less than ten, more than five.

Q: And two have been downed. Two were down or...

Major General Wald: Two have crashed. The F-16 and the F-117. The F-117 we already told you we're not going to talk about why. The F-16 was an engine problem. We're not sure if it was because of AAA or a SAM ingesting into the engine, or it was just an engine failure.

Q: (inaudible)

Major General Wald: There was an A-10 that landed that had been shot with a SAM that hit one of his engines, a hand-held SAM.

Q: General, do you have an estimate of how many VJ troops are now massed along the southern border? And are you continuing to see movement in there, or has that pretty much leveled off?

Major General Wald: I don't know the exact number. I'll try to find out from the intel folks. I don't think they have the exact number, but there are still the 40,000 -- 25,000 VJ, 15,000 MUP -- estimated in the area. What they're doing, from what I understand, is basically -- it sounded like I was being trite, I wasn't. They're hiding. They're not moving. So when they do move, we're able to find them, and we destroy them. So they've got a real dilemma right now. They spend most of their time during the day hiding, and at night they try to get around. Well, we have good night capability, and when they move, we go ahead and hit them.

Q:...throughout this area, or are you finding...

Major General Wald: There is some congregating going on. Some. But the fact of the matter is they're not all lined up in some kind of -- as you would imagine maybe in the old days where they'd line up with their tanks and get everybody ready to go -- into some kind of offensive mode. They're dispersed. They're hiding in former Albanian houses. They have their tanks in garages and basements -- underground garage-type things, not basements where you'd have to drag them down the steps. But they have them below ground at times. They're hiding. It's pathetic, frankly.

Q: When do you expect the F-15s and F-16s to start operating out of Turkey?

Major General Wald: I think the plan is for them to start moving in the next couple of weeks, but I don't think the exact date's been set yet. I don't know, Ken, if you have anything more on that?

Mr. Bacon: No, (inaudible).

Q: Have the F-18s started flying out of Hungary?

Major General Wald: They're flying today.

Q: What else is operating out of Hungary? Have there been tankers?

Major General Wald: We have tankers flying out of there as well, and the Hungarians have MiG-29s that they're flying their own air defense with.

Q: Is there any more -- how about in addition to the 176 planes that have been approved, have any more planes been approved? Is that still in the offing, or is that on hold?

Major General Wald: It's still being worked, and as needed, General Clark will request those to be moved forward, but there hasn't been any problem as far as debate and should they or not go. It's a matter of whether General Clark decides he needs them. They're available for when he does want those to come forward. If things continue as they are, he may call those forward. It depends on the scenario. But the weather's great. There's plenty of airspace.

Press: Thank you.

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