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DoD News Briefing, Tuesday, April 20, 1999 - 2:05 p.m.

Presenters: Mr. Kenneth H. Bacon, ASD PA
April 20, 1999 2:05 PM EDT

Also Participating; Major General Chuck Wald, J-5

Mr. Bacon: Hello.

We're actually going to reverse our order today and have Major General Bruce Carlson, who is the director of operational requirements for the Air Force, brief on stealth. A number of you have asked questions about the impact, if any, of the loss of the stealth aircraft over Yugoslavia, and Major General Carlson is here to answer your questions on that. He's got a few charts. We'll start with him. Then we'll move into the rest of the briefing.

Q: Can we just ask one quick thing, Ken? Have the Apaches arrived yet. There are conflicting reports...

Mr. Bacon: It's part of our operational security to have conflicting reports about where the Apaches are.

No.

Q: What's the problem, do you know?

Mr. Bacon: Weather.

With that, Major General Carlson.

(CARLSON BRIEFING TO BE PUBLISHED SEPARATELY)

Major General Wald: Good afternoon.

We'll talk about the weather first. It was raining in Whiteman; it was raining in Albania, and the FRY too. But yesterday, the start of the night, it was pretty bad. It got better towards the day. They've flown quite a few missions today. Yesterday, as a matter of fact, the weather looked bad most of the day, but they flew 603 combat sorties yesterday, so they're still flying. Over the next couple of days, it looks like the weather will start clearing, and as the spring weather comes in, we should have more and more good weather days. They are continuing to fly, though.

As I mentioned, the weather's a little bad. There were 11 targets struck. But once again, 603 combat sorties, so several of these targets were struck more than once, and quite a bit of activity in the Kosovo engagement zone.

Military forces, command and control, air defense, bridges, lines of communication and industry were hit, and there were several tanks, APCs, destroyed in the Kosovo engagement zone yesterday, and I'll show you some film of some airfield attacks as well.

Quickly, on the humanitarian, not a big change here. Almost 12,000 short tons of food, supplies, medicine, and shelter have moved in. There has been food moving into Skopje and Tirane over the last 24 hours, and there are 350 tents now that have moved into Ancona into the intermediate staging base. Those tents will be the first group of tents that will be moved forward for a camp that the U.S. will contract out to be built in the next few days, and I'll talk about that in a moment.

Cumulatively, we've already sent in 1,050, 350 of those I just mentioned into Ancona, as well as those HDRs. All the humanitarian daily rations that we planned for now, 1.1 million, have moved forward, and they continue to -- they're actually manufacturing more HDRs as we speak -- but what I understand is the major thing they need now in the refugee camps is shelter.

The way ahead, as I mentioned, 1,050 more tents have been shipped, are going to be shipped. There will be 2,000 total tents that will be shipped forward to Tirane that will be made into a 20,000 person camp. For right now there's projected some more sleeping mats and blankets; as I said, shelter and cover for the refugees is the main issue right now.

The refugee camp, as I mentioned, for 20,000 for the first camp being built. Right now they're going to try to move it in and get at least minimum essential coverage for the folks. The plan is to contract this tent city out to a contractor, and then as soon as it's done, hand it over to the UNHCR for their management and control.

We'll be working with the UNHCR as well as USAID and governmental agencies to develop camp guidelines, security with NATO, and then there is planning in effect for an additional 20,000 person camp if needed.

They're doing the site survey for the camp today. It could be in several various areas in Albania. Some are actually fairly close to Tirane, and then a couple of them not too close. But the C-date would be the date, once the contractor starts work; within ten days after the work -- the first 2,500 portion of that camp -- it will be built into approximately five to ten different camps where they won't be all clustered into one large camp. That will be done in ten days, and then within 30 days that first 20,000 person camp will be completed.

The Albanian border, as we understand, was closed last night about 0300. The Macedonian border remains open. There have been some indications of refugees crossing into Albania, and as a matter of fact, 7,000 or so have been reported over the last 24 hours in spite of the fact the border's been closed.

I mentioned the HDRs are completed, the first 1.1 million delivery. Then the cargo moving out of Durres via barge has started. There have been three barges moved over the last three days with 24 trucks on board, and that's eliminated the need for C-130s moving into Tirane which has given us the capability to move more C-17s for Task Force HAWK into Tirane.

Some imagery over the last couple of days. I've shown this target several times. The reason I show you now is because the first time I showed it it had several covered radomes with several control buildings. It's a radar facility in southwest Kosovo. There were several vehicles parked, obviously an operational facility. Yesterday they took down the last radome. The other radome was taken down earlier. There's a bunker here that was destroyed. There are several buildings here that are totally destroyed. And as you can see, nobody's parking there, so evidently they're not using it anymore.

The next one is Veliki Jasterebac, is a radio relay station in the mountains in Serbia itself. There's a control building, a big tower that you can hardly see that's fallen into the trees, and then another support building here. They've all been destroyed, and that facility has been rendered unusable and destroyed.

There's a central operating command center in Serbia, Beograd-Batajnica; that's been also destroyed. Several bunkers. We estimate there were actually command and control facilities under these bunkers. All three of these have been destroyed. We estimate that facility to be destroyed as well.

Another radio relay site. All this in the command and control area. Up in the mountains of Serbia itself. Very difficult target to find because of the trees. You see in here the actual control building of that facility has been destroyed.

Q: Is that a tower there?

Major General Wald: That's a tower. It's still standing.

The last picture I'll show you, this is ten kilometers from the Albanian border going from east to west. It's a road in Kosovo itself, and shows IDPs along this road. Most of them are walking now. On that particular picture there's about 1,000 in here, and that extends out for at least another kilometer down the road.

The first film I'll show you is Pristina airfield. We've shown several of these over the last few days. There's been 12 MiG-21s destroyed at Pristina over the last week. This is an F-16, MiG-21 underneath the cursor. There's been a bomb dropped here earlier, and later I'll show you another MiG-21 sitting down here in the same flight. That's been destroyed. Lots of fuel in the aircraft.

Second flight, actually the same flight, another F-16, two ships from that same flight. Same target area. You can see in the top part the previous bomb that dropped; the MiG-21 is still burning. There's another MiG-21 under the cursor. That one was also destroyed. You can see a large chunk of the aircraft flying through the screen here.

We continue to destroy his IADS. This is a railroad bridge over the Ibar River. F-16 with an LGB laser-guided 2,000 pound bomb. Trestle bridge. You see the bomb coming through the air. It will hit the approach end and drop the abutment at the approach end of the bridge. Still analyzing that photo, but it looks like it was at least rendered unusable.

So we continue to destroy his lines of communication.

Pristina ammunition depot in southwest Pristina. F-16 with laser-guided 2,000 pound bombs. This target had been hit earlier. You see the flames from this area here. This is an ammunition storage facility. We continue to take out his ammunition. Large secondaries, large fire from this.

Cumulatively, over time, you can only use your imagination, what this is doing to his sustainability to continue.

Another highway bridge in western Kosovo. Line of communication for sustainment and ability to move forces back and forth or resupply. A large highway bridge. The bombs land right in the middle of the bridge. Afterwards you can see that the bridge has not dropped, but there's some pretty good damage to the road itself.

Pristina airfield again, maintenance hangar. Pristina's probably not a good place to live right now at the airfield. This is a large hangar facility, MiG-21 over here partially destroyed from an earlier bomb. You'll see the bomb. You won't see it go in; it goes in the side, with an extremely large secondary explosion afterwards. There was obviously something inside. It could be aircraft or other types of equipment.

That concludes the slides. I'll take questions.

Q: General, on the Apaches, Ken said the weather is keeping them from getting in. You mean the weather is keeping them from flying across the Adriatic? Or conditions are just so lousy in Tirane because of the recent rain that you haven't got enough pads for them? What's the reason why...

Major General Wald: Really because -- I showed I think a slide two days ago where it showed the mud. It just took a little longer to get the aluminum matting down. The plan for right now, assuming we don't have another downpour, is for them to move half of the Apaches tomorrow, the remainder on Wednesday (sic) [Thursday], and they'll be in place by then.

Q: Was the only choice to build that base in a low-lying area susceptible to such mud buildup?

Major General Wald: As a matter of fact, there are so many other types of aircraft, helicopters around there -- there's the French as well as Austrian, Swiss, UNHCR. The runway itself we can't use, and the ramp -- we need to use some of that for offload of equipment. The area they are using is the best area that's available left so they can be in proximity of the airport for command and control and other support. So the answer is yes.

Q: General, what's going to be available when those helicopters get there to defend them from some kind of air attack coming out of Kosovo?

Major General Wald: First of all, they have their own organic self-defense with the Avenger coming with them. They also have ground protection with the Bradley fighting vehicles; there are eight in place. The 82nd Airborne, some of the units from there are landing today. That will be in place for ground force protection, and there are air CAPs flying in the area as well.

Q: Will there be aircraft available and radar available to protect that forward deployment?

Major General Wald: You bet.

Q: General, can you address why, simply, these things take so long. I think there's a lot of curiosity, with moving the Apaches -- talk about the weeks now -- the request for additional aircraft -- and that's still being worked, the callup of the Reserves which still hasn't been settled on. Why do these things take so long?

Major General Wald: I think in your estimation it might be taking long. In the CINC's estimation he's, I think, happy with the progress of this. He'll get them there when he wants them there. If we needed them there sooner, I think we would have pushed it up a little bit faster. There's no reason for them to be in place right now, and not be fully operational until the time's right, so from what I understand, the commander in the field, General Clark, as well as the air commander at the CAOC are satisfied with the progress. And right now we continue to take his fielded forces down in Kosovo as well as his IADS, and when the time's right we'll employ the Apaches.

On the other request, as you mentioned that's still working through the process. Right now they're balancing the requirements worldwide to make sure the requirements as requested by the CINC are fulfilled properly and we cover our other worldwide deployments, so that's going on as we speak.

Q: So it's not just a matter of saying we want 300 planes and then moving them to forward bases, but that request has to be -- there's a lot more planning that has to be done before that...

Major General Wald: There's planning of where you're going to bed them down; there's planning to make sure the requirement requested by the CINC is satisfied, so it takes a little bit of time. But from what I understand, there's nobody upset in Europe that the pace is too slow. Additionally, as I mentioned, we flew 600 sorties last night, so I think things are moving along quite well.

Q: General, Task Force HAWK seems to be gaining some weight. It's gone from 2,000 to what?

Major General Wald: Right now there are 2,000 on the ground, and what I have heard recently is they're looking at about 3,000 after this.

Q: Three thousand more?

Major General Wald: No, 3,000 total. Now that could grow back and forth depending on the force protection requirement and the mission, but I won't talk about missions of the future there. But that's been adjusted as we come and go.

Q: (inaudible)

Major General Wald: Thirty-three hundred. As a matter of fact, that was right, they just moved in the 82nd, so it's 3,300 today. Thank you.

Q: I'm under the impression, and maybe it's wrong, but in the early days of this conflict when the weather was bad, NATO wasn't flying a lot of missions. But now it seems like even with bad weather NATO is flying a lot; 600 sounds like a lot to me.

Is that right? And if so, what accounts for that? Have we somehow figured a way to work through the weather, or is NATO just very determined that they want to keep striking and so...

Major General Wald: For sure NATO is determined. They're going to keep striking. There's no doubt about that. But there's a couple of things.

One is it's a campaign. It's a progressive campaign. There's a plan of how to do this. We talked about it in the early stages where we were concentrating a lot on their integrated air defense. Additionally, we're concentrating on targets that weren't necessarily in Kosovo as much.

As it's grown and we've had the ability to take some of the targets down that we wanted to early on, we can concentrate more on some of the other areas. They're concentrating on fielded forces.

Additionally, as you remember, there have been other aircraft that have moved into the theater since the beginning of this. We talked about a group of about 80 aircraft not too long ago, of which 30 were tankers. That allows you to fly more sorties, and the pace is going along as the CINC planned. If more aircraft arrive, I would suspect the OPSTEMPO will only increase in the near weeks.

Q:...Task Force HAWK fits into the NATO command and whether it will be part of the air tasking order or whether it's going to be operating somewhat separately?

Major General Wald: From what I understand Task Force HAWK will be fully integrated into both the ACO, the air coordination order, the airspace coordination order, for good reason; as well as the ATO, and the command will be under SACEUR at that time through his Allied Forces South Commander, General Ellis, at Naples.

So it will be fully integrated into the ATO; it will be under the command of General Ellis at Naples.

Q: General, could you address an air defense question? Right now we're doing very limited low-level flying. If you're flying an A-10, you're in a titanium bathtub. Therefore, you have quite a lot of protection. If you're in an Apache, you're very vulnerable. So why is the air environment now safe for Apaches when it's not safe for less vulnerable fixed wing aircraft, unless you're going to operate in corridors that are declared safe, or whether you're going to rely on nap of the [earth] tactics.

But can you address that, how come it's suddenly going to be safe for very vulnerable Apaches, and it's not safe for less vulnerable fixed wing aircraft flying low?

Major General Wald: First of all, you kind of talked to the tactics yourself a little bit, so it's pretty obvious tactics are different for all types of aircraft and situations. I won't tell you exactly where they're going to be used or how they're going to be used, but they don't use them exactly the same. Every aircraft has its own tactics, its own capabilities, its own vulnerabilities. I won't speak exactly of how they're going to use the Apaches or when, but they won't be used necessarily exactly like fixed wing; just as it wouldn't be used like a B-2, we wouldn't use the Apache like we would an F-16, for example. So they'll use their own tactics, they've trained for this type of environment, and for me to give away tactics at this time would be wrong.

Q: I guess what I want to talk to, are they going to be ready for action or do we still have to degrade the air defense more? Once they're in place, once the mechanics are, tuned them up. Are they going to be ready to go into action, or does the air defense still have to be belittled more than it is already?

Major General Wald: First of all, they're ready for action under conditions a lot worse than this; I'll tell you that. But they'll be put into action when the CINC thinks that's right. I won't tell you when that is.

Q: To follow up on that. From what I gather once they're in place in Albania, there's another approval process that has to take place before they can be employed. Can you talk about how long that will take?

Major General Wald: No, I won't talk about that. That's future action...

Q: The mission of the Apache. You can't say how they'll be used. Can you at least define what their mission is going to be? Is it close air support or some other...

Major General Wald: The close air support we've talked about so far is not, once again, the traditional close air support we've talked about in the past where there are troops on the ground that we are providing close air support for, they being in contact with an enemy. But it is a situation where we are going to attack the enemy in the field that could be hidden in tree lines. They could be hidden by buildings. They could be in semi-populated areas possibly, they're harder to find. So this is the type of mission the Apache is good for. It's out rooting around trying to find armor and destroying those. There's a complex way they employ these aircraft. There's a lot of support that goes with it. It isn't just a helicopter driving around on a Sunday afternoon looking for targets. It's comprehensive.

So I would say it would be in complement of the type of CAS, if you want to call it that, that we're flying there now in Kosovo.

Q: General, the NATO briefer today talked about what he called a disturbing new development, that is ethnic cleansing along the Montenegrin border with Kosovo. Can you address what you all know about that, to what extent it's taking place, and what if anything this means in the larger scheme of things?

Major General Wald: All I know about ethnic cleansing is exactly what we've talked about for the last month. Milosevic is, for all practical purposes, ethnic cleansing Kosovo. He's done it along the border, he's done it in the central area.

Q:...Montenegro we're talking about. Ethnic cleansing inside Montenegro near the Kosovo border.

Major General Wald: I have not heard any reports of that. Maybe Mr. Bacon could talk to you about that later.

Q: Could you talk about, not any specific targets, but in a general way about how the MLRS and the Apaches work together?

Major General Wald: Very well. (Laughter) No, I won't talk to you about tactics.

Q: General, yesterday NATO said the Yugoslav forces have increased by about 8,000 in Kosovo, I believe you said around 3,000. What's actually the best figure to use on that? And do you have any idea of composition? Are we talking about 60 percent VJ and the rest MUP? Are we talking mechanized infantry or armor?

Major General Wald: Mr. Bacon talked about that yesterday, and I think what he says is about as accurate as you're going to get.

I would just say to kind of add to that, it's hard to tell in fact if it's increased 200, 2,000 -- it probably has decreased some, if you look at the pictures I've been showing you over the last few days. So the net amount may be about the same as it was before, but there's not a significant increase in the amount of Serbian or MUP forces in Kosovo, and a lot of that has to be attributed to the fact they can't move their forces there. Some of it has to do with the fact that they have another part of the country to watch out for, which probably Milosevic ought to put into his equation on this whole thing.

Q: General, could you tell us how much [of] the fuel supply of Yugoslavia as well as Kosovo we've eliminated so far?

Major General Wald: Well, we've heard different reports, I think. I think Prime Minister Blair today mentioned 25 percent, and I'm certainly not going to go against what a Prime Minister says. So I think that's pretty close.

Q: We've had several instances where the borders have been closed and then reopened and closed again. When they're closed, are they attacked at those border crossings? And if they're not, why aren't they?

Major General Wald: Are you talking about the Serbs that are closing the...

Q: When they close the borders, do we attack the border crossings to force them open again?

Major General Wald: There have been some cases where there has been an opportunity to attack some of those forces. I won't say how. It wasn't by ground. But the difficulty of attacking a border post, you've seen them on TV. If you drive off the road, you hit a mine. These are very controlled. So there's UNHCR; there's a mixture of civilians and military there. So obviously we're not going to attack that target from the air.

Q: How taxed is the humanitarian mission right now? Is it going along just fine? Or is it a matter of we need more supplies, more planes? How would you assess the humanitarian mission?

Major General Wald: I think you could use a lot more of the humanitarian aid. The people that are working that, the UNHCR, the ICRC, as well as the SHINING HOPE military portion of that, as well as ALLIED HARBOR, that will be moving into place.

Q: A second followup question. Will the Air National Guard be a part of those humanitarian missions? Is there a use for them in SHINING HOPE right now?

Major General Wald: The Air National Guard is part of the humanitarian. They're flying tankers. They are part of the air ops and some of the airlift missions, and in the future if they're needed, I think they'll be called upon. I'd let Mr. Bacon talk about a PSRC.

Q: General, it was reported that the Department of Defense proposed that Greece would allow the use of port of Thessaloniki as a stage area for eight NATO divisions against Yugoslavia, including the passage of 1,000 Turkish forces. I'm wondering if you could comment on that.

Major General Wald: Are you talking about a future operation?

Q: Yes.

Major General Wald: I think NATO can speak to that better than I could in that case.

Q: General, to what extent is the fact that Yugoslavia is still receiving petroleum and oil from the port in Montenegro undermining the overall NATO campaign to degrade his facilities for oil and petroleum that feed his troops in Kosovo?

Major General Wald: I don't think it's a net plus for the amount we're taking down, but it isn't what we would like. It obviously helps. I think Secretary Cohen talked about that very clearly on TV today. NATO's looking for options, and our preference would be for that to stop.

Q: There's been a report that part of the Croatian border has been closed and several hundred Serb forces have moved into that U.N. demilitarized zone there, in between Montenegro and Croatia. Do you...

Major General Wald: I'll let Mr. Bacon speak to that.

Mr. Bacon: We've seen that report and we're looking into it, obviously, but we don't right now have evidence that that's occurred.

Q: If it were taking place, how big a...

Mr. Bacon: That is a demilitarized zone, it would be an affront to the United Nations because it's the United Nations' established demilitarized zone. It would be a problem that the U.N. and members of the Security Council would have to deal with. But as I say, right now I don't think I should speculate about what's happening. We do not have evidence that there are, in fact, Serb troops in that demilitarized zone now. We have seen the reports, and we obviously will look into the matter as will the U.N.

Q: That area would seem to control access to some of the northern Montenegran ports there. What do you think they're up to if in fact there are Serb troops there?

Mr. Bacon: I think rather than speculate about what they're up to, we ought to find out first if they're there. Some of the reports I've seen lead to conclusions that there's a lot of confusion about border posts, border checkpoints and where they are. So this is something we're obviously looking at, along with the U.N.

Q: What can you say about these reports that NATO this morning -- about the ethnic cleansing now ongoing in Montenegro near the border?

Mr. Bacon: We've seen those reports that there is ethnic brutality -- I wouldn't dignify it by calling it ethnic cleansing -- killing or other ethnic brutality being carried out against Kosovar Albanians who have made it across the border into Montenegro. These are obviously extremely disturbing, and we're looking further at them.

Q: Do you see any clashes going on now between the Montenegrin forces and the VJs that are within Montenegro?

Mr. Bacon: I'm not aware that those clashes are going on, but this is obviously something we have to look at further.

Q: Is there a shortage of bases for forward basing some of these additional aircraft? And is that one reason why the request isn't being approved more urgently?

Mr. Bacon: I think General Wald dealt with that very well. The CINC is getting the equipment when he can put the equipment into his operational plan, into his basing plan.

Obviously if you read the newspapers, you can tell that we're looking at new basing configurations and possibilities, and we'll continue to do that. But there is a well established process for approving these requests. Basically, you start with a request, and then you have to come forward with a concept of operations to employ the equipment, and that concept of operations has to include basing. The basing has to include security considerations. And we have to make sure that there are proper force protection and support troops or facilities there when we base planes in new places. These are all part of the mix that are being considered right now.

I think you can tell from the fact that we flew 600 missions yesterday, that we are attacking aggressively; we're attacking persistently, and we're attacking through much of the day and night.

Q: Is basing planes in Hungary an option?

Mr. Bacon: I think we'll just wait for these options to be determined before we talk about them.

Q:...give us a cumulative assessment of how much you've degraded the VJ and MUP forces in Kosovo?

Mr. Bacon: Well, we're avoiding percentages that I think lead to a false sense of precision. We've spoken about this in the past, but basically we are seeing some mobility problems. That doesn't mean that every troop and every tank is stopped, but we are beginning to see some supply shortages and mobility problems.

We'd like to see a lot more. Frankly, that's one of the things we're aiming to do is to create more mobility problems. We've seen some morale problems; we've seen some command and control problems, but nothing we've seen so far is a clear stop to their operations. What we're seeing is signs that we're grinding them down but it's slow, and it will require a lot more attacking on our part, and NATO is prepared to do that.

Q: There was a statement today by a Canadian member of Parliament, either today or yesterday, saying that a small number of Canadian Special Forces were operating inside Kosovo. Do you have any knowledge of any special forces from the United States or any other NATO country operating inside Kosovo now? Ground troops?

Mr. Bacon: I'll let the Canadians speak for themselves, and I don't think I'll talk about special forces in any way.

Q: What would you say to those that say that Task Force HAWK puts American ground troops in harm's way in the war zone?

Mr. Bacon: There are American pilots in harm's way, and allied pilots in harm's way every single day. Adding a significant helicopter task force with its own force protection and its own air defense suppression capability as Task Force HAWK will have will obviously put a group of soldiers closer to a potential attack from the enemy. But should they attack our soldiers, we will attack with swift and severe force.

Q: General Clark stated to a number of U.S. congressmen in questions that NATO should strike the pipeline of Hungary; and (inaudible) some tankers (inaudible). I'm wondering why.

Mr. Bacon: I'm sorry, I wasn't at that meeting with the congressmen, so rather than comment on a meeting I didn't attend...

Q: It was reported extensively (inaudible). It has been proposed to strike the pipeline of Hungary? And also (inaudible)? Why this site?

Mr. Bacon: I'm not going to comment on a report with which I'm not familiar.

Q: Is there any consideration of using U.S. forces based in Japan as part of Operation ALLIED FORCE?

Mr. Bacon: Not that I'm aware of, no. But I have been glad to see reports that the Japanese plan to contribute significantly to the aid and humanitarian operation in Albania and Macedonia.

Q: You'll be happy to know that Secretary Kramer tossed this question to you, even though he's a lawyer.

Mr. Bacon: It's probably because he's a lawyer that he threw it to me. (Laughter) I'm going to throw it to General Wald.

Q: I thought it was his bailiwick. At any rate, the question is what is the precise legal justification for NATO of attacking a sovereign country?

Mr. Bacon: The...

Q:...Security Council Resolution at this time.

Mr. Bacon: Well there is a Security Council Resolution that talks about the humanitarian problems in Kosovo, and that's the resolution under which we're operating. I think it's 1199 (sic) [1160]. NATO has made it very clear that this was an urgent matter, and that we were doing this for humanitarian reasons.

Q:...on the Reserve callup?

Mr. Bacon: There's no progress on the Reserve callup.

Q: Do you expect to have it in the next couple of days? By no progress...

Mr. Bacon: Well, I mean, there's progress in that the system continues to be worked, but let me tell you it's clearly related to the additional request of 300 planes and where those planes are based. I think you can see that there are a number of questions that have to be resolved here, and they're connected. You can't go on one part of the package without completing the entire package.

Q: So you wouldn't expect it the next day or two, for instance?

Mr. Bacon: Well, rather than lock myself into a firm date which we'll probably miss, I think it will be coming relatively soon.

Q: Why not? We've missed the Apache thing maybe 134 times. (Laughter)

Mr. Bacon: I'm helping you not put down a date that might turn out to be misleading.

Q: Do we have Army engineer forces in Tirane now? Are they with the humanitarian, or are they with Task Force HAWK? Are they building roads? Army engineers?

Major General Wald: Yes, there are some at Tirane, and they're looking at putting a Red Horse unit in there as well. But right now there is Army engineers. They have two bulldozers, and they're working their darndest to get the runway open.

Q:...HAWK or are they...

Major General Wald: They're part of Task Force HAWK.

Q: How close is NATO to achieving its military objectives at this stage in the operation?

Major General Wald: You need to ask Milosevic.

Q: Well, I'm asking you.

Major General Wald: I'm not going to tell you.

Q: You represent NATO here, and I think it's a fair question. You've been bombing for a number of days now...

Major General Wald: I'll tell you right now NATO is satisfied that what they're doing is the right thing. They're satisfied with the pace of it, and they understand that the only thing that's going to change this is Milosevic.

Q: I was talking to the White House today that the total cost is coming up to $20 billion. Do you have anything on that?

Mr. Bacon: Maybe that includes some of the allied costs as well, but as you know, yesterday this administration proposed an emergency supplemental of $6 billion which we reckon will be enough to cover the cost of this operation through the end of the current fiscal year, which is September 30th.

Q: White House (inaudible) justification for NATO to not (inaudible) the U.N. and the [ITO], the international (inaudible) of aviation organization. Do you (inaudible) operations against Yugoslavia?

Mr. Bacon: I'm not aware that we are ignoring the ITO.

Q:...the U.S. and NATO, this operation. Even though we talk like it's the UN and the ITO rules.

Mr. Bacon: I've already addressed the U.N. issue, and I'm not an expert on the air traffic organization.

Q: The first month of bombing, can you give us, as dispassionately as you can, where has NATO done the best in terms of executing its goals, and where has it done the least? Where has it been least successful to this point?

Major General Wald: I think the real success is the fact that 19 nations are participating in a very large air campaign in a way that we've had success from the standpoint of not losing air crew, fortunately, and we're taking down his ability to sustain a military operation that in my estimation is immoral, going across the board against a very sophisticated air defense system, degrading that system, taking out targets across the board -- even in Iraq we didn't take out -- in a way that I would characterize as about as professional as you can get.

Once again, 19 different nations making decisions politically. People from 19 nations actually participating against one nation where unity of command is somewhat of a benefit. I think NATO's done a darn great job, in my estimation.

Q: Militarily, though, where have you not accomplished your goals? This is not going all smoothingly, and you know that.

Major General Wald: I think if Milosevic were to say he's made an error, it's a dumb thing to do and quit, that would be achieving a goal, and we'll get there eventually.

Q: General Wald, is there any sort of firewall to protect American pilots and the information on their missions from a NATO-at-large mission?

Major General Wald: Every country has their own intel, but I will say this, that from my experience in flying in Bosnia and other places, that any intelligence that would be of importance to an air crew, particularly that would put him in any danger whatsoever, is shared by everybody.

Mr. Bacon: We have time for one more question.

Q: Is there an air tasking order separate for American pilots and not NATO-wide?

Major General Wald: There is one air tasking order that's run by the CAOC in Vicenza.

Mr. Bacon: Two more questions. First Bryan, then...

Q: We haven't heard too much about the Yugoslav navy. Can you tell us as to whether or not you've seen any movement there? And perhaps if not, why not?

Major General Wald: We haven't seen any movement. I think they're smart enough to know that they shouldn't move, and maybe they have better intelligence on the fact that they shouldn't take on NATO than the air part does.

Q: Is the 603 sorties, is that the most you've ever flow in in one night? What percentage of those were actually strike missions?

Major General Wald: Usually the number of strike missions is in the -- the actual people that drop bombs is usually probably 35 percent. Of course there's a lot of CAP and other aircraft that actually carry weapons, but I think it's probably one of the higher nights.

Press: Thank you.

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