Also participating in today's briefing are Lt. Gen. Mike McDuffie, director for Logistics (J-4), and Maj. Gen. Chuck F. Wald, vice director for Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5).
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Mr. Bacon: Good afternoon.
I have two announcements at the start. The first is that Secretary Cohen has ordered the deployment of 30 additional tankers, or I should say KC-135 equivalent Tanker aircraft, air crews, and support personnel to join Operation ALLIED FORCE. These tankers will immediately help increase the tempo of air operations, allow us to keep planes on-station for longer periods of time, and increase the number of hours of the day in which we're actually flying over or near Yugoslavia and Kosovo.
These 30 tankers are really a down payment on a much larger deployment order that will be coming soon. This is the order -- this is in response to General Clark's request for approximately 300 planes. About a third of that request was for tanker aircraft, so this is a down payment of those 100-odd tankers that will be in the final package.
Q: Are these Reserves? Where are they coming from?
Mr. Bacon: Some will be active and some will be Reserves.
Q: Do you know where they're coming from?
Mr. Bacon: I believe these particular ones are coming from four states. I believe Michigan, California, Arizona, and I can't remember the fourth state, but we'll get it for you.
Q: What's the status of that Reserve callup?
Mr. Bacon: The Reserve callup will be coming soon. This will -- we have actually now, of course, probably about 1,000 Reservists operating with the Air Force on a volunteer basis. This will require some Reservists to be called up, and the planes won't be leaving until probably around the weekend, so a Reserve callup will come very quickly, and it will cover this and other things as well.
Q: What do you mean by KC-135 equivalents? You mean some might be KC-10s or...
Mr. Bacon: Yeah, some could be KC-10s; some could be KC-135s. I think the KC-10s are bigger than the 135s, is that right? So if you had more KC-10s you might have fewer planes, but they'll carry the amount of fuel that 30 KC-135s would carry.
Q: Can we get a specific not only state, but bases where they're coming from if that's available?
Mr. Bacon: We'll get that for you.
Q: Jamie Shea said yesterday that Clark was asking for more tankers, etc., beyond the 300 planes that he had already requested. Have you guys received that request, or are these planes what he was referring to?
Mr. Bacon: I'm not aware that he's asking for more beyond the 100-odd he's already requested. I think he was referring to this. He wanted these cleared quickly, very quickly. He asked a couple of days ago so the Secretary is deploying them.
It's very consistent of what happened at the Summit where all the leaders left the Summit saying that they're determined to intensify the air campaign, and this will allow that to happen.
Q: Ken, how many tankers are there in the approximately 500 U.S. planes that are already in the force?
Mr. Bacon: I don't have that off the top of my head, but I can get that for you. There's 137, General Wald says.
General Wald: Correct.
Q: More than 136?
Mr. Bacon: We'll say about 137 tankers.
Q: Any comment from here on the visit by International Red Cross head to the three servicemembers? Has any additional detail come to the attention of the Pentagon about that visit, their status, and so forth?
Mr. Bacon: Let me deal with that and then make one other announcement, and then I'm going to turn this briefing over to two other people, and then I'll come back.
There was a very brief visit by three members from the International Committee for the Red Cross to the three American POWs who were taken on March 31st. This visit did not comply with the rules or conventions under international law, the Geneva Convention, in that they were not allowed to see these prisoners alone. They were escorted by representatives of the Yugoslav government. The rules say they should be allowed to meet with them alone.
They were not allowed to take a doctor with them. But they did talk briefly to the soldiers about their condition.
They received a promise from the Yugoslav government that they'll be able to return for a longer private visit tomorrow, and we hope that's the case.
These soldiers have been held, we believe, improperly in captivity since March 31st, and this is the first visit they've had from representatives of the ICRC. By contrast, the Yugoslav soldier who was turned over to allied forces by the government of Albania has had two visits by ICRC representatives since April 16th. So there's been radically different treatment of these POWs by the allied governments on the one hand, who have worked hard to comply with the terms of the Geneva convention, and the Yugoslav government on the other hand, which has not complied.
We're glad that they've had one meeting. We hope that the Yugoslav government will follow through on its promises to allow another meeting and a longer meeting tomorrow, but time will tell.
Q: Can I just clarify one point. Has the United States ever determined with any degree of certainty where these soldiers were when they were captured? Were they in fact on Macedonian soil?
Mr. Bacon: We have not made an official, final determination of where they were.
Q: Do you believe they were on Macedonian soil?
Mr. Bacon: General Clark believes they were on Macedonian soil, and he's probably in a better position to know than I am, but we may never know for sure until we get to talk to the soldiers about that.
Q: Shea suggested this morning there was an exchange of letters, that not only did they pass on letters to the POWs but they passed on letters back to their family. Is that true? Have you seen them? What do the letters say?
Mr. Bacon: According to the ICRC, the representatives brought -- and the representatives included the President of the ICRC -- brought messages to the soldiers. Tomorrow, if the meeting takes place, the soldiers will respond to those messages. So my understanding is the ICRC delivered messages to the soldiers, and they will respond at the next meeting.
Let me must finish this section with one more announcement.
Tomorrow Secretary Cohen will host the Israeli Defense Minister, Moshi Arens, at the Pentagon for an arrival ceremony, a meeting, and then a briefing here at 11:15. So that will be with Secretary Cohen and Minister Arens.
I ran into Lt. Gen. McDuffie in the hallway, and he told me that he's just come back from Europe where he was reviewing humanitarian arrangements for Albania and Macedonia, and he's agreed to come down and give you an update on where things stand. He'll take some questions after that. Then General Wald will come and give an operational briefing. Then General Wald and I will answer your questions.
Lt. Gen. McDuffie: Good afternoon.
In fact, we just came back from a four day trip where we were at NATO, at U.S. European Command Headquarters, and also at the U.N. relief agencies in Geneva. Our intent was as part of this coordinating council to determine where the military's support continues to fit in and try and get a feel for the way ahead in the whole humanitarian effort.
Of course we met with naval authorities; we met with U.S. authorities at Stuttgart; at U.S. European Command; but most importantly, we had a full day session with our U.S. mission in Geneva, with Ambassador Moose, and then we had a session with the World Food Program, International Committee for the Red Cross, and then a significant session with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and Mrs. Ogata herself to discuss one, the situation as it is today, and two, her views on where the situation is headed and how we can help.
That all said, of course, my focus was the U.S. piece. I'll get to the map and the camp that we're going to start erecting here in just a minute.
I will tell you that the things that we have brought to bear -- I say we, the U.S. military specifically as part of the U.S. government's support in the region -- has specifically been [to] the HDRs and the shelter -- specifically tentage, plastic sheeting, all those things. We've delivered quite a bit. General Wald updates you daily on that, but just to give you a rough order of magnitude, we're approaching 5,000 fairly decent-sized tents that have gone into the region. We're over 1.1 million HDRs, thousands of blankets, and thousands and thousands of sleeping bags, and thousands of clothing items. That will continue to be our thrust on movement of material from the United States into the region. When I'm talking about thrust, I'm talking about the U.S. military piece of that.
That is coordinated, again, through the United Nations High Commission for Refugees as the requirements clearing house, if you would, and we in fact discussed that and got agreements on it. That's really where they need our help and will continue to need our help.
We've had some success in the, if you would, ground lines of communication, the sea lines of communication and the air lines of communication. Our big concern is that as we were in the process of doing an operational deployment with Task Force HAWK and other capabilities in the region, we were competing for airlift and the humanitarian needs, and that was a very, very complex situation.
There is a liaison cell that's in Geneva. It's comprised of U.S. airlifters, airlifters from the United Kingdom and other countries, that actually bring the humanitarian requirements for airlift from Geneva into, actually get it from down-range and bring that into NATO where they are then inserted into the overall airlift priority system.
That said, we felt it would be much easier, much more efficient, if we could get humanitarian assistance going via ground and then ferry across the Adriatic into Durres. We have that in place now in a fairly robust situation, so we feel pretty good about that.
Way ahead. We will continue -- when I say we, the U.S. military will continue with the flow of humanitarian daily rations. We've got several requests in now. We've got a 200,000 order that we're working right now to preposition, also additional tentage and cots, blankets, sleeping bags, and that type of equipment.
The biggest concern, and I got this directly from Madam Ogata, is that in fact the IDPs that are in Kosovo -- we don't know if we're going to get a significant influx across the border into Macedonia and into Albania.
As you know, the infrastructure there is still fragile. Even though it gets a little better each day because we're able to manage the problem a little more efficient[ly] each day because of capability, but to get another influx of another 100,000 to 200,000 to possibly 300,000 refugees, everybody's very concerned about that. And that is the thrust that the relief agencies and we are taking to try and prep for that.
Now getting onto a specific issue that we are working on, and that is the building of a 20,000-capable camp in Fier. Just to orient you here, you see the port of Durres, Tirana, then the port of Vlora. This is a very good location for us from the standpoint of being able to bring supplies in, bring capability in to not only build the camp but also sustain the camp long-term.
Concept of ops. The U.S. government, specifically Department of Defense, will build the camp and then sustain the camp during a transition period to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees or a specific NGO sponsor. What do I mean by that? I mean as we are building this, as refugees are coming into the camp, we're working arm in arm with these U.N. relief agencies to make this transition happen sooner [rather] than later, and we're very, very concerned about that because we want to build a camp, we want to build it to the UNHCR standards, we want to make it right, but we also want to get out of that business as quick as we can and go on and do other things.
To date the site selected, supplies are moving; tentage is arriving. Albanians have been hired. That was one of our concepts that we would bring resources into the Albanian economy. Security has been identified for the building of the camp. That will be initially by the 24th MEU. They'll actually provide security as the camp is being built.
I would tell you what's really important about this is we're doing this with an existing Air Force contingency contract. This contract that we let and the companies that will go in and build this camp, it's the same outfit that if we were going to do a bed-down site somewhere, and using the contracting capability vice U.S. troops or airmen out of Red Horse, the construction capability. So we're executing an existing capability.
We anticipate that we will be able to start housing refugees in the camp within the next ten days.
That said, questions?
Q: General, the other day the Vice President announced that some 20,000 refugees will be coming to the United States ostensibly to be placed with families or somebody comparable. Is that realistic? We also hear possibly that they may be coming to places such as Fort Dix? Can you give us a list...
Lt. Gen. McDuffie: I would defer the details to the Department of State, specifically PRM. That's not by-passing that. We have a role in that if that takes place and there is a requirement for a DoD installation. We've looked at several. There has not been a decision made.
Obviously the East Coast, or in that general region, is where we would like to have it because of proximity, but I don't have any hard decisions on that at all, and that's really a State lead.
Q: With regard to the number of refugees that may yet come, with regard to the condition and number of those people that are let's say hiding from the Serbs, did you receive from Ms. Ogata or any eyewitnesses, for that matter, what the conditions are? What is expected? A prediction of...
Lt. Gen. McDuffie: Yes, in fact we did. We received a briefing from the World Food Program specifically on this.
The condition of the refugees that are now coming across the border are in fact much weaker than the initial grouping of refugees.
Now you have to be careful when you use the word malnutrition and other things because they have specific meanings in the U.N. relief agency world. The comment was they have not seen signs of malnutrition. That doesn't mean you're not pretty hungry, and it doesn't mean you haven't been fed for a few days. But the point is when you start reaching malnutrition, that takes you through another threshold that many of you are very familiar with, and that's the conditions we had down in Africa during many of the operations there.
So, quote, there were no signs of malnutrition as a theme, but they're very concerned about the condition of the refugees because they have been out in the open longer, there's been more exposure, and they're weaker. In fact that was the exact quote used.
So that connotes several things. The U.N. relief agencies start thinking more medical capability, making sure they get food to people in a very quick time frame, get water to them, and get them settled quicker. So that's literally their focus. As refugees come across the border, get them moved more -- possibly with families or further into the country away from the border area where they can get a little bit more permanent care.
Q: How many does Ms. Ogata think are going to try to come over?
Lt. Gen. McDuffie: Sure.
Q: And those that are weak, can they even make it?
Lt. Gen. McDuffie: We don't have the definition. Obviously the number, as I mentioned earlier, they're working at is anywhere from -- 100,000 to 200,000 is what we're looking at right now. But again, we don't know. We don't know how many are going to come. We can watch it the best we can with some system.
Q: The refugees that you're going to be housing in Camp Fier, will they be coming from Macedonia or from Albania?
Lt. Gen. McDuffie: From Macedonia, planned right now. If you remember the President's original commitment, about 20,000 at GITMO -- remember how we were going through GITMO? This camp idea and the thrust of that camp is just another piece of U.S. support on this. This isn't a major piece. When you look at the airlift we've done and the other things we've done, this is just another piece, and it doesn't mean it's limited to that.
I would not think it also means that you wouldn't see, possibly, if we got into a situation where you had a lot more refugees come across the border, that you may see some refugees go into Albania.
Q: So within ten days there will be...
Lt. Gen. McDuffie: About 2,500 is what we said we'll be able to start handling.
Q: Ultimately the capacity will be what?
Lt. Gen. McDuffie: Twenty-thousand. We're also looking in other areas for a possible other camp if required. That's just our planning figures.
Q: General, one of the things we've been told is the delays regarding Task Force HAWK are partially because of the need to move humanitarian aid. Can you talk about the balance between the two? Could they move a lot faster?
Lt. Gen. McDuffie: In my view, the flow of Task Force HAWK is not significantly affected by the humanitarian flow. That's why we've worked hard to establish this sea-LOC. The Task Force HAWK flow, which was talked about before was really constrained by the airfield's ability to take a number of airframes and be able to download aircraft. Maximum on the ground -- we worked very hard in the first four or five days of the Task Force HAWK flow to increase that capability where we could simultaneously download two C-17s. So in my view, it has not.
We also have to remember the CINC's mission. It's not just operational and humanitarian. He's got to work both. I think it's been worked quite evenly, actually.
Q: We understand that obviously the immediate concerns are food, shelter, things like that. Further down the road there could be a problem with these people being able to prove their identities. As we understand, a lot of people had their papers and even their license plates taken from them at the border.
Lt. Gen. McDuffie: Right.
Q: Is there any effort going on to reestablish some form of paperwork, some identity for these people?
Lt. Gen. McDuffie: I don't know about producing documents. As you know, it's a team effort there with the DART team, with INS, with all the folks involved. I do know there's a lot of work working with registration and trying to identify people, get families together. That is a major objective of the U.N. relief agencies across the board, but I don't know about actually producing documents. Again, I'd have to refer you to State on that.
Q: Eventually, when they go back, somebody's going to want to prove that you lived in...
Lt. Gen. McDuffie: Certainly, and that would be a normal part of a vetting process, but I really don't have the detail or the expertise to speak on it.
Q: Camp Fier, is that the Operation ALLIED HARBOUR camp? Or is that different?
Lt. Gen. McDuffie: Yes. When I say ALLIED HARBOUR -- I seemed confused when you asked the question. But our Joint Task Force, the U.S. Joint Task Force is responsible for putting in the camp. The U.S. Joint Task Force SHINING HOPE is in fact connected to the planned ALLIED HARBOUR and it will come under that NATO umbrella of command and control, so that's why I say yes.
Q: I'm just wondering, I'm trying to, just for fun, keep track of ground troops. How many Marines will be, from the MEU, will be there for security?
Lt. Gen. McDuffie: I don't know the number. We just got the tasking in. There's going to be some I would not think significant numbers. One, the location, it's close to the coast, so we're not up around the border. So we're really talking about more local security than anything significant. I would think it would be a minimal force.
Q: And I keep hearing the number 7,300 folks associated with the refugee camp. Is that this camp? Jamie Shea's been talking about ALLIED HARBOUR, 7,300...
Lt. Gen. McDuffie: No. Again, JTF SHINING HOPE, the U.S. effort specifically building this camp, is part of the overall NATO humanitarian operation, so there certainly is...
Q: ...not going to be on top of the number of folks that they're counting in Operation ALLIED HARBOUR. Okay. Thank you.
Q: General, there are two other proposed U.S. camps on that map. Can you just tell us what they are?
Lt. Gen. McDuffie: These are camps that we looked at or areas that we looked at that had potential. This was selected. You could infer that if we picked up a tasking to go somewhere else, we would look at those again, but there's no decision made on those.
Q: How are you going to get the folks there? I guess General Wald said that the road network is lousy. Are you going to fly them in?
Lt. Gen. McDuffie: We don't have a decision on that. The intent would be, as we've done in the past, to bus; but we'll see how that sorts out. Don't know. We're not to that level yet. The State Department actually is working that issue in Macedonia, developing the group of people that would come, and working through that process. It doesn't mean that we would not be involved, but I don't have an answer for you.
Q: You said in ten days you'd expect the first refugees. How soon do you expect to turn it over to the UNHCR, the camp?
Lt. Gen. McDuffie: We think it will take about 30 days to build the camp to a 20,000 capability. We're working diligently to shrink the time from the time the camp reaches that 20,000 capacity until we turn it over. Obviously, there're challenges with that, and I'd be hard pressed to give you a timeframe between day 30 and when we'd actually turn it over. I would envision it would be a transition turnover more than, okay, let's have a ribbon cutting ceremony, and here are the keys. It would be over time as you build the transition.
Maj. Gen. Wald: I'll start out with the weather. It's been persistently bad over the last week or so and we expect in the next couple of days once again for it to improve, but you just can't predict for sure. But I would say from experience this is the worst string of weather we've had in this area for a long time. I think the only thing that's more persistent here is NATO's will to continue.
Over the last few days we've hit 40 different targets in both Serbia and Kosovo. Once again, military forces was the focus there. Command and control, air defense, more fuel, and roads and bridges. I'll show you some imagery of all of that in just a moment. But even though the weather has been extremely poor, worse than normal, we've still hit 40 targets and some of those targets, as I said earlier, many times. There have been more than one aim point on those.
I just want to show you an example of what I just mentioned before about targeting and some of the things we talked about last week.
This was a city sector in World War II. The red is the area that 200 B-17s had actually bombed in this one particular area, and they didn't have any specific target areas. They were bombing an area at that point, which was not very efficient, obviously. It caused a lot of problems.
In Vietnam, a truck park of this size could be hit by about 40 F-105s with reasonable accuracy, but you couldn't really determine that you weren't going to have collateral damage, and you just kind of had to take your chances on that.
In DESERT STORM, you can see in here there are some dots in some of these areas in here. For 32 targets it took 16 F-117s.
Now with the B-2 last night -- they flew two of them -- they hit 32 different targets and they were able to hit specific points, as we show here, 32. So that would be today, one target many times you would say that was. So when you see 40 on there, you may get the wrong impression sometimes.
Q: Thirty-two out of the 40 (inaudible)...
Maj. Gen. Wald: I beg your pardon?
Q: You said 40 targets. They hit 32 of the 40?
Maj. Gen. Wald: Last night they did not. Last night the B-2s hit several targets. They did not hit all 32.
Q: But we didn't bomb...
Maj. Gen. Wald: There were 40 targets, I mentioned earlier, over three days, Ivan.
And by the way, the one last thing I wanted to mention on here is that even though the weather has been terrible, the B-2s don't need any specific weather. They can drop right through the weather. So this is probably the first time in history we've had a weapon off an aircraft that's been able to bomb with precision through the weather off an aircraft.
As a matter of fact, one of the bridges that was taken down that you heard about was taken down with ten precision weapons through the weather.
Q: Which bridge?
Maj. Gen. Wald: I'll just say it's one of the bridges.
Q: Can you tell us about the one overnight?
Maj. Gen. Wald: I'd say one of the bridges that was taken down over the last three days was taken down with ten precision weapons.
Here, all these areas that I show here in the yellow, that show areas that have been struck -- this is a representation. It isn't all specific. It isn't everything necessarily, but I want to give you an idea of where we're hitting their line of communication.
Once again, we talk about fielded forces, and everybody wants us to destroy tanks and armor in the field. We're doing that. But more importantly, I think this whole campaign is focused on having their fielded forces not have the ability to operate, whether because of fuel or munitions or resupplied for their troops rotating in and out. And you can see here, and this is only a portion of it -- I won't tell you all of it -- that systematically we're closing it off where he won't be able to resupply his troops in the field in Kosovo, or they won't be able to exit when they want to, if they ever do want to.
Q: Excuse me, General, were any troops and armor hit overnight, or was the weather so bad...
Maj. Gen. Wald: No, they did hit a few vehicles last night. I understand they had a couple of tanks and a few trucks and APCs.
Q: In Kosovo?
Maj. Gen. Wald: Yes.
I want to just show you a couple of the images of things that are -- once again, his command and control is important to him. He is losing the ability to be able to communicate with his fielded forces in a real time fashion. Additionally, their integrated air defense system is losing the ability to have an integrated capacity to that.
This is a radio relay site at Sremcica, which is in Serbia, northeastern Serbia. It shows a building here in the middle of it, and that's been destroyed, and that site has been rendered ineffective.
Q: Can you tell us when that was?
Maj. Gen. Wald: It's in eastern central Serbia.
Q: No, when?
Maj. Gen. Wald: When was that? That was, I believe, two nights ago.
Pristina general storage depot. I just show you this because sometimes even imagery doesn't tell the whole story. This building here, and by the way you can see here this facility is pretty much evacuated now, has three holes in the roof, but it's been rendered destroyed inside the building itself. So there's an imagery kind of interpretation problem you have to go through when you go through these.
This one here has one large hole, and it's moderately damaged, and this one here has some holes -- it's probably light to moderate damage. But this whole facility here is rendered unusable now.
Q: When was that?
Maj. Gen. Wald: That was within the last few days.
Q: That was a military facility?
Maj. Gen. Wald: That's a military facility. Military storage facility.
The last one I'll show you is a communication site in Serbia itself. This is one target again. It was hit a few days ago. These buildings were destroyed. Then two nights ago they came in and destroyed this particular building here. It's a com site that has now been rendered ineffective. Once again, there goes his IADS continuing to try and chip away at this time over time. He's starting to have a real problem.
The last one I'll show you, it's probably difficult -- I'll show you afterwards if you want to get closer. This is buildings in Dakovica, Kosovo. We all know about Dakovica, heard about it. It's in Kosovo on the western side of it. If you look closely, the majority of these buildings have been burned out. You can see it's systematically done because there's some of the houses that are in there that haven't even been touched, so you would have to suspect maybe they're Serbian of some sort. So they continue to burn the villages as people leave.
We'll show some imagery, some gun camera film.
First is Pristina airfield. Once again, we continue to hit Pristina. This is as of a few days ago, F-16 with laser-guided bombs on a support building.
You'll see this building has been, you can see the bomb coming in. That destroys the support building.
Once again, this is one of the days, the 21st was a bad weather day, so we continue to hit. I think it's Krecedin radar site. It's an F-15 with an optically guided AGM-130 bomb. You can see it as it gets closer. This building is occupied; there's lights on in the building. As you get closer, you can make it out as a definite radar site. That building was destroyed.
This is the Pristina airfield again, command bunker, camouflaged. This is an interesting shot. It's very difficult sometimes even with optically guided weapons to determine the target. They confirmed this target. It's underneath netting with snow on it, which is one of the camouflage techniques -- not the snow, the netting. You can see as you get in closer. They've destroyed that target.
Q: That was an F-15?
Maj. Gen. Wald: That was an F-15. Yes.
Novi Sad railroad bridge. F-15 with an optically guided bomb. This bridge had been hit before in this spot. They go after the same spot. That bridge, the full bridge is now in the water.
Q: As a result of this bomb?
Maj. Gen. Wald: As a result of that bomb and other bombs.
Q: This was last night?
Maj. Gen. Wald: That particular shot was not last night.
There's a radio relay site and a dish antenna here, a 117 target. I won't tell you exactly where it is. It's in Serbia. You'll see directly under the laser spot tracker there.
A little bit of weather makes it a little more difficult.
Q: What effect does that weather have on...
Maj. Gen. Wald: It makes it tough if you can't track the target, because it will draw it off, so you have to work very hard to maintain that. That's, in the mean time, while you're being shot at, so it makes it tough.
Artillery revetments, southeast Kosovo.
This is an actual, fielded artillery piece. This was a forward air controller watching the target, and it was bombed by another aircraft. That was an AFAC mission. So we're starting to pick away at his fielded forces as well with tanks and artillery.
TV, FM transmitter tower in southern Serbia. F-117 target. Command and control. Getting to the point where he's having a very difficult time communicating. You can see the tower in here. It's difficult to see. This bomb will land on the top of the tower, and just before it goes off, you can see the tower start to topple.
You start seeing it come down here.
Petroleum storage. We continue to hit his petroleum and fuel storage, northern Serbia, F-117. Once again, under the cursor -- this is in a bunker. You'll see the bomb go in, a little puff of dirt. Then a few seconds later, or a second or so later, the actual explosion. So it's penetrating the bunker. So they aren't just obvious targets all the time. You see the puff of smoke come up, the bomb's in the bunker, then the explosion.
Maj. Gen. Wald: Some of those are hard to a certain extent, Tony. They have dirt and some concrete over them.
This is a tank in Kosovo itself, F-14 off the THEODORE ROOSEVELT. For those that wonder if we're hitting his fielded forces you'll see underneath here, there's some APCs here that I understand were attacked later. That tank was rendered destroyed.
Q: When was that?
Maj. Gen. Wald: That was two nights ago.
Artillery revetment, once again in Kosovo.
Q: What does that...
Maj. Gen. Wald: It's covered with dirt, or possibly -- this is an F-14 lasing for an F-18 off the THEODORE ROOSEVELT. This is an F-14 FAC. This revetment was destroyed. We believe the artillery piece destroyed with it.
Another artillery revetment in Kosovo. Another F-14 AFAC with an F-18 bombing. You can see some of the revetments there, see the actual bomb coming in.
So once again, all these attacks are cumulatively starting to add up, and his forces are starting to take a pretty good hit in the field particularly. But you add that up to the fact that he can't sustain the force; he has no ammunition; his command and control's going down. In the mean time while we add forces, it's starting to hurt him.
I'll take questions.
Q: The last of the Apaches arrived today...
Maj. Gen. Wald: The bulk of the Apaches arrived. There's one left that's having maintenance, I think a fuel, hydraulic problem, that's still in Italy. The rest of them arrived today.
Q: How about the possible additional 24?
Maj. Gen. Wald: That's still under review.
Q: Is that still on hold or...
Maj. Gen. Wald: There isn't any hold. They haven't really been asked for yet.
Q: Just to clarify, there's 23 of the original 24 have arrived now?
Maj. Gen. Wald: That's correct.
Q: As of yesterday 18 arrived, but then five more arrived today?
Maj. Gen. Wald: The remainder -- out of the 24 -- there's one left in Italy; the rest have arrived, as well as the other helicopters with that group, which I think there's about 56 total helicopters now.
Q: General, are you using the same percentage of precision munitions as you were a couple of weeks ago?
Maj. Gen. Wald: Actually, the percentage is almost 100 percent, so yes, we are. It hasn't changed a bit.
Let me clarify that, too. We are using some non-precision weapons on larger aircraft at times, like the B-1 has dropped MK-82s. But the vast majority of the remainder of the weapons will be precision, and they'll stay that way throughout the rest of the campaign. There isn't any reason to change that.
Q: Can we put that chart on the lines of communication back up? It appeared that there were many strikes on the ones between Serbia and Kosovo, but on the ones between Montenegro and Serbia where oil coming into Bar would presumably go across, there didn't seem to be too many...
Maj. Gen. Wald: This is a campaign. Once again, as I've told you many times before, I'm not going to talk about future targeting. But what we want to do is go after the ones that have the most immediate effect on what's happening in Kosovo. So this campaign will continue, and at the right time at the right place if the CINC decides anything is a target, he will go after that.
But once again, if you look at that, we want to make sure that he can't reinforce or resupply his fielded forces from Serbia itself.
Mr. Bacon: The main line of communication or transport was the railroad which was interdicted very early in the conflict. He can still get around that by taking the railroad up to there, taking it off and putting it into trucks, but it's cumbersome; it takes time; and it gives targets. We have begun to hit fuel trucks. I think you can anticipate that we'll hit more in the future.
Q: So if they're not necessary to interdict refined product, importations say to Bar, it will then be satisfactory to take care of any movement of such products to Serbia by air interdiction? Is that correct?
Mr. Bacon: No, that's not correct at all. What the NATO Ministers did, the NATO heads of state did over the weekend was to agree that there should be a maritime program to stop the flow of oil into Montenegro. They instructed the Defense Ministers to work out the details of doing that. The Defense Ministers looked at four possibilities, and they chose two of the possibilities -- a program that combined two of the possibilities. The possibilities were one, a visit and search program that can take place under the laws of armed conflict that will allow naval vessels to check the cargo of vessels coming into Montenegro and to deter them if they contain contraband material including oil. The first is visit and search.
The second is more aggressive interdiction of supply lines out of Montenegro into Serbia and Kosovo. And what Chris asked about was how do we stop that flow of goods from Montenegro into Serbia, and one of the things we talked about was that the rail line has already been severed, and we have begun already to attack tank trucks and other methods of carrying that oil.
I want to point out that there's a substantial storage facility in Bar that is next to the port and has oil in it. So one of the things we want to do is stop more oil from coming into those storage tanks, and then prevent that oil from getting out of Montenegro into the Serb...
Q: Can we clear something up? General Naumann said this morning that under current rules, since there was no U.N. embargo, that warships could not deter ships that were not part of the European Union or NATO ships from bringing that oil in, not forcibly do it. You said deter. What do you mean by deter? Do you mean discourage, or do you mean actually force ships that wouldn't be part of the European Union or NATO to not bring in oil, risking a confrontation with the Russians?
Mr. Bacon: The NAC will work out the rules of engagement, and they will decide exactly how this program is going to work. Under the rules that the Navy follows, it says specifically that visit and search is the means by which a belligerent warship or belligerent military aircraft may determine the true character of merchant ships encountered outside neutral territory, the nature of their cargo, the manner of their employment, and other facts bearing on their relation to the armed conflict.
It goes on to then talk about the ways in which these ships can be searched and what can happen to them if they are carrying contraband material. It says visit and search should be exercised with all possible tact and consideration, and then it explains exactly how the visit and search will take place, and it says if the summoned vessel takes flight, she may be pursued and brought to by forcible measures, if necessary. Now those are the U.S. Navy rules under a visit and search program that is allowed under the laws of armed conflict.
NATO will examine the situation and will come up with a program that will carry out what the heads of state decided should be done.
Q: When you say the laws of armed conflict, is that part of international law? What is that, what document are you referring to?
Mr. Bacon: The laws of armed conflict are basically the practices and laws that are followed during conflicts.
Q: The U.S. Navy and other ships have done this kind of thing in other places, in the Gulf and also I think in enforcement of the arms embargo to Yugoslavia. But that's been under U.N. resolutions normally. Do you consider that the U.N. resolution on the arms embargo in Yugoslavia is cover for this, gives you authorization to consider oil a war materiel?
Mr. Bacon: We believe, the United States believes, that the so-called laws of armed conflict cover this. NATO will be making a determination over the next couple of days about the mechanics of this program, the rules of engagement, and also the requirements, the statement of requirements that are necessary, the ships and other assets, planes, that will be necessary to implement this program. Then they will make this proposal, first the Military Committee and then the NAC. It will be adopted and put into place. I think it will happen on an accelerated basis. It probably doesn't make sense to talk about the details until NATO is finished drafting what the program is.
Q: You mentioned a big storage facility in Macedonia at the port of Bar.
Mr. Bacon: Montenegro.
Q: I'm sorry, in Montenegro at the port of Bar. Have you ruled out attacks on that facility?
Mr. Bacon: I'm not going to talk about future targets.
Q: General, how many MLRS units are associated with the Task Force and how many soldiers overall? And what is the range of those rockets into Kosovo? And is it envisioned that the Apaches would only operate within the umbrella of the range of those rocket systems?
Maj. Gen. Wald: There's 18 MLRS with them, and the number of troops as of yesterday was about 2,300. It's probably plussed up today, obviously, because they've flown some helicopters in.
The range of the MLRS is several hundred kilometers. And as far as how they operate, I'd rather not talk about that right now. But, obviously, they're there for a lot of reasons.
Q: General, do I understand you're already starting in on trucks. Have you also attacked pipelines...
Maj. Gen. Wald: We have not attacked any pipelines out of Montenegro.
Q: General, can you put in context the oil flow that seems to be trickling out of Montenegro? You've destroyed POL facilities that obviously store hundreds of thousands of gallons. What's coming in from Montenegro in terms of amount? Is there any rough order of magnitude you can give us?
Maj. Gen. Wald: I'm not sure what the rough order of magnitude is. There are discussions of hundreds of thousands of barrels, but that's not necessarily accurate. The fact of the matter is, it's very difficult for them to move some of it in because of what Mr. Bacon said a few moments ago. But when they do move, it's easier for us to find them, obviously, if they're moving by vehicle. So we'll be concentrating on making sure they don't get any more fuel in there than they have in the past over the next few weeks, obviously.
Q: Will JSTARS and Predator be used a little more aggressively in that role in terms of tracking, moving vehicles from...
Maj. Gen. Wald: JSTARS can look at the whole area at once, so it's not a matter of moving it around. Predator, I won't talk about whether that's going to fly.
Q: Do you now have enough bases for all the airplanes that General Clark has asked for from the United States in particular in the region?
Maj. Gen. Wald: They do have enough bases for all the aircraft. The problem with the basing, the person that has a problem with basing is Milosevic. He's losing his bases while we get more of them.
Q: Where are the bases for all the new aircraft?
Maj. Gen. Wald: They're at various spots. I'd let NATO kind of announce where that is. It's the countries that they would go to that would do that announcing. But they have enough basing for all the aircraft.
Q: This may be for Ken also, but tomorrow an American company is going to launch an imaging satellite with one-meter capability. What kind of impact is this going to have on you folks? Also are you going to, is the Defense Department going to have any shutter control?
Maj. Gen. Wald: I don't know what the Defense Department's going to have for shutter control, but I think any one-meter imagery that we would have available to us would be beneficial to us, and that's about as far as I'll talk to it.
Q: Milosevic. It's a commercial company.
Maj. Gen. Wald: If they're a commercial company, I think there are some embargoes on certain things, and I would let the Department of Commerce and State talk to those issues.
Mr. Bacon: We'll get the answer.
Q: Other than the port of Bar, is there any place where fuel could be offloaded and transported from the sea?
Maj. Gen. Wald: You mean into Montenegro?
Maj. Gen. Wald: Not that I know of. No.
Q: So is there any plan to hit that port, to take out the facility you would use to unload ships there?
Maj. Gen. Wald: I think Mr. Bacon spoke to that just a minute ago. I don't think it appropriate for us to talk about that. But NATO's making a determination, should be shortly in the next day or two, on just what course of action they will take. It's in our interest for Milosevic and the fielded forces not to have any more fuel than they have. It's very difficult for them. It's very important for him to have that fuel. The less he has, the tougher it's going to be on him.
Q: General, since you have a rough idea of where the bases are going to be and where the planes are going to be, can you give us an idea of how many folks you are going to base in that...
Maj. Gen. Wald: How many additional folks?
Q: ...How many more servicemembers you're going to need?
Maj. Gen. Wald: I don't know the number. We can get that for you tomorrow. But there would be maintenance crews with those, as well as some support, administratively, plus the air crews and tanker crews that actually go with them. We can get the number tomorrow. I don't have it for you today.
Q: Ken, can we run this base question by you, because the Hungarian Foreign Minister yesterday, sorry, Prime Minister, gave us to believe that in fact there would be some basing of NATO aircraft in Hungary, and perhaps some other nearby nations? Can you tell us anything about where these aircraft might be based?
Mr. Bacon: No. When the basing decisions are all made, we will announce them as a package or at the appropriate time as the planes go off. I think it's premature now to talk about exactly where additional planes will go.
Obviously, as you can tell from statements that were made over the weekend, we're getting a lot of support from front line states in the area, and I think the reason for that is obvious. They want this conflict to end as soon as possible. They want Milosevic's activities to end as soon as possible. And they will work with NATO if they're not NATO members, and certainly as part of NATO if they are NATO members, to help that happen quickly.
Q: General, I just wanted to clear something up. I asked you earlier about how many tankers were in the force now. I want to be clear on this. You said 137. That doesn't include the equivalent 30 that are being sent, right?
Maj. Gen. Wald: That's correct. I made one error earlier. I said 2,400. It's 3,400 with Task Force HAWK. Approximately. That will change over the next few days, obviously.
Q: A question for Ken. I'm just a little confused on the visit and search operation. Is anything that you said -- as opposed to what is going to come out of NATO and the rules of engagement, we understand all the details will be coming later -- but does anything you said suggest that force would be used to prevent -- saying a ship had been visited and searched and somebody says I've got oil and I'm going to Bar -- would at that point on the basis of what you said, force be used to prevent that?
Mr. Bacon: What I referred to was the rules in the Navy Handbook. These are illustrative of what we think is possible under a visit and search.
Q: ...at NATO.
Mr. Bacon: But NATO has to make its own decisions and its own ROE. They may adopt the ROE in the Navy Handbook, or they may adopt a different ROE, but that's something that will be happening, I assume, this week. It's something that General Clark is giving a press conference tomorrow in Brussels, and he might address this tomorrow. I don't think the NATO action will be done on it by tomorrow, but they're certainly in the process of considering it.
Q: Admiral Wilson estimated, I think it was last Thursday, that 50 percent of the through-put on these routes into Kosovo -- it was down to 50 percent of what it appears to have been. What do you think it is now?
Mr. Bacon: Fifty percent of the traffic?
Q: He said the through-put on these roads and railroads into Kosovo had been reduced by 50 percent. I wonder what you think it is now.
Mr. Bacon: He briefed on Friday, right? Thursday? So it's probably a little more than 50, to the extent we've been hitting more bridges and roads, but I can't give you a precise figure on that.
Q: General, can you say anything more about? I know we're told that the Apaches will be operational soon. Are they operational now, just to clarify?
Maj. Gen. Wald: They were operational before they left, so they're operational.
Q: But they're ready?
Maj. Gen. Wald: The answer is this. What you're asking is when are they going to be employed, correct?
Q: I want to, that's part one.
Maj. Gen. Wald: Okay, let me answer part one -- when the CINC's ready for them. They are theoretically ready to operate as we speak. Now what they're doing is they're working with the Combined Air Operation Center at Vicenza with General Short, who is the JFAC. Lieutenant General Hendricks is in place; he's the task force commander. They are talking today and the next couple of days; they'll talk about how they best want to employ these aircraft. They'll work out the procedures. There's a complicated airspace control order. They have to be in the ATO. They want to talk about their tactics. Then when the time is right, the CINC will say go ahead and employ, and that's an NCA decision. That still needs to be made, but there isn't any reason to think that wouldn't be made. So when the time's right, you'll know.
Q: Can you clarify, the President has signed the employment order for these helicopters, and the ROEs have been worked out for these? Or is that still ongoing?
Maj. Gen. Wald: The ROE is worked out. That's under NATO. They're going to work under the same ROE that everybody else does there. And as far as presidential decision, I'll let Mr. Bacon talk to that.
Q: Let me just ask you the second part here. Will these Apaches, will they be used to go against -- Colonel Freitag at the NATO briefing yesterday said that one of the targets of the Apaches would be anti-aircraft artillery. Are these the smaller guns that are hidden in the hills? Would that help again degrade the air defense system, make air operations more successful if they're able to go against some of these targets that are harder to find?
Maj. Gen. Wald: Let me put it this way. I've flown for many years in some combat situations. First of all, I'm not an Apache driver, so I can't tell you exactly what their tactics are, but I can say this, that any target in Kosovo that's a military target will be vulnerable from these aircraft. On the other hand, it's never smart to go fighting guns with guns. So we're going to go after targets that would be beneficial to go after, where they make the best use of these Apaches, and when the time's right we'll report back with what they've hit. But anything in Kosovo that's of military value or a military target will be on their list.
Q: Can you give us a timeframe? Do you expect a week, two weeks, three weeks?
Maj. Gen. Wald: Like I said, they theoretically are operational now. They've got to bed-down for a day or two and work into the ATO. It shouldn't be very long. But once again, I don't want to help Milosevic with his problem by telling him when that's going to be.
Q: ...of an Apache pilot who's aircraft is downed? Is there any ejection capability?
Maj. Gen. Wald: It's the same -- you mean when he crashes? I have no idea whatsoever.
Q: Is there any beefed up search and rescue that's going to be dedicated to the Apache force?
Maj. Gen. Wald: There's a robust search and rescue force there now, and the Apaches have their own organic search and rescue as well. They will have the best search and rescue capability that we can afford.
Q: General, could you talk just for a minute about -- we've now seen between Operation DESERT FOX and Operation ALLIED FORCE, I don't know what the sortie number is up to now in ALLIED FORCE, but in DESERT FOX...
Maj. Gen. Wald: It's 10,500 or so.
Q: How much?
Maj. Gen. Wald: A little over 10,000.
Q: And obviously the number for DESERT FOX is known. So far as we know, there have been no operational losses. One plane down in Serbia for reasons which you won't tell us.
Can you talk about the kind of effort and concentration on the part of the entire, the air controllers, the maintenance... It's an astonishing performance.
Maj. Gen. Wald: There's a lot of professionalism involved. We've learned things even since DESERT STORM and DESERT FOX in how to employ. we have a lot of capability to support those aircraft, and I believe the Serbian air defense and Milosevic are a little bit concerned about actually employing their systems. But as we've seen over the last few days, every once in awhile they'll start shooting several SAMs, and they have done that. They're trying to have work-arounds. But it's an indication of a lot of things. One is, I think people that are employing the aircraft over there, the flight leads and the planning, and all that is done in a way that's pretty darn professional. They know how to work around these things. It doesn't mean you can't get hit; it doesn't mean there's not a lot of risk.
Number two, we have some systems that we hadn't used so much before that are working very well.
Number three is, we're not taking unnecessary chances out there. When we go on a mission we take every possible precaution we possibly can. But still, you have to spend a lot of time in the target area to make sure you hit the target right, particularly in Kosovo. So is it luck or professionalism? I'd kind of lean toward a high degree of professionalism.
Q: But your loss rate is below that that historically you have sustained in training missions.
Maj. Gen. Wald: Well below what we sustain in training missions.
First of all, any loss for me is way above what I'd accept. But the fact of the matter is they've done a great job, and we plan to keep it that way.
Q: General, could you give us a pretty firm figure on what the 30 will bring us up to, the 30, in terms of...
Maj. Gen. Wald: ...137 and 30 -- 167.
Q: No, no. I'm talking about overall aircraft, attack and support.
Maj. Gen. Wald: Oh, overall for U.S.? It's in the 650 to 660 range, I believe.
Maj. Gen. Wald: We have about 600 and some now that I saw last night.
Mr. Bacon: I think we've got around 550, so this will get it up to about...
Maj. Gen. Wald: I actually believe we're over 600.
Mr. Bacon: It's rising so fast, our commitment to the air campaign, that we can barely keep up. (Laughter)
Q: So that should bring us around 650.
Maj. Gen. Wald: Right.
Q: General, the U.S. (inaudible) traffic. How much dwell time does a pilot have over a target on average?
Maj. Gen. Wald: Well, when I used to fly, it was about ten seconds, is where I wanted to be over the target. Actually, in some cases you don't spend any time over the target. In other cases, if it's close air support, you may be in the target area for, as we heard not too long ago, one of the pilots on the tape said he was in that area for 25 minutes.
So it depends on the mission. Sometimes we have standoff capability; sometimes we have to fly over the target; sometimes we have to stay in the target area a little longer. But the higher the threat, the less time we want to be in the target area, obviously.
Q: But these guys are not being pushed from behind because of the timing of the operation.
Maj. Gen. Wald: No. Not a bit.
Q: Sir, on the Apaches. You mentioned that the CAOC was integrating them into the Air Tasking Order.
Maj. Gen. Wald: Right.
Q: Will they and the MLRS batteries have access to the same JSTARS, Predator, and ABCCC command and control imagery and instructions that the airplanes do?
Maj. Gen. Wald: The Apache unit will have the same exact information and data that all the aircraft flying in ALLIED FORCE have. Real time.
Q: Is that a substantial increase in capability over the last two or three years, to be lashing up helicopters with airplanes and...
Maj. Gen. Wald: Yes it is, as a matter of fact. Although we've had that in Bosnia, as you know. But they'll have the same capability.
We have time for one more.
Q: I'll open this up by saying I know you're not sending in ground troops. I know you're committed to your air campaign. But it's darn interesting that you have Lieutenant General Hendricks down there commanding 24 Apaches. The man is the V Corps Commander. He commands one-quarter of the entire ground force. Why him? Why somebody that senior if you're not...
Maj. Gen. Wald: Well, it's the same as Lieutenant General Short doing the JFAC mission. It's an important mission. He's there to oversee the integration of that mission. I'm not sure how long he'll stay. There's a brigadier general that is actually running the combat portion for it, but we have Admiral Ellis who is the AFSOUTH commander who's a four star; we have General Clark who's a four star running that portion of the mission. I think it shows a couple of things. One, it's pretty darn important. This is not just your everyday, run-of-the-mill type mission, and the type of leadership we have there is commensurate with the importance of the mission.
Press: Thank you.