DoD News Briefing, Friday, April 30, 1999 - 2:30 p.m.
( Also participating in this briefing was Rear Admiral Thomas Wilson, J-2 and Major General Chuck F. Wald, J-5)
Related briefing slides
Mr. Bacon: Good afternoon.
We have a two-part briefing today. First Admiral Thomas Wilson, the J-2, director of the Joint Staff for Intelligence, will give you an update as he did last week on the latest developments. Then Major General Wald and I will follow and take your questions.
Admiral Wilson will do his presentation, take his questions, and then he's got to go. Then General Wald and I will follow.
Q: Ken, we can count on Admiral Wilson every week?
Mr. Bacon: You can count on Admiral Wilson whenever he's available to give you information.
Rear Admiral Wilson: Good afternoon. How are you today?
[Chart - Changing Serb Fortunes]
I'd like to give you, as the J-2, kind of my assessment here of what I would call the changing Serb forces and the way I think I probably would see things in Belgrade if that's where I were at.
If you go back into late March when this campaign started, I think that what you would fairly say you could see was a rapid Serb success in terms of conducting operations against the KLA or UCK in Kosovo. Then of course the tragic and brutal cleansing of the province which generated hundreds of thousands of refugees.
Certainly Serb solidarity was apparent in the early stages, and I think that President Milosevic was counting on what the army was telling him which was they could achieve success and clean up the KLA or the resistance in just a week or ten days or two weeks.
I also believe that they were counting on a fairly short NATO bombing campaign, probably an Easter pause or an Orthodox Easter pause or some kind of pauses, perhaps, something other than the absolutely solid NATO performance they've seen.
Of course they accompanied this early success with an extreme amount of brutality that was exhibited as they generated these hundreds of thousands of refugees, burned hundreds of villages in Kosovo, and by many, many reports have been conducting killings and torture of many, many people in the province.
I believe it's changed a lot since then and time is not on the Serb side. Their fortunes are changing and things are going downhill for them.
I'll talk later today about the impact of fuel shortages which are occurring because of the attacks on the infrastructure and particularly the fuel infrastructure. What I see is evidence of declining morale and cohesiveness within the Serb military. How transportation problems exacerbate the damage which has been done to the infrastructure and to the army itself, and, of course, all of this against the backdrop of what are significant losses occurring within the Serb military, their infrastructure, increasingly their forces in the field, the inability of the air defense network to defend the country against a dedicated and increasing--and more widespread NATO air attacks.
The strikes are prolonged. They're continuing. They're going over a longer period of time each day. And of course we're seeing a resurgent UCK or KLA back once again contesting for lines of communications, expanding certain areas, trying to get more supplies into the country, and the Serbs having to increase operations against them, which is more difficult to do because of their ammo and fuel situation.
So I believe that this is going down for an uncertain future, if I were looking at it from Belgrade's perspective, because their responses to all this thus far clearly have been unyielding, disingenuous, and any type of proposal--for example, the Rugova proposal which came out fairly early in the situation--and the absolute barbaric treatment of the people which leads to I think a dead end.
So that's, as the J-2, that's the way I see it. It's hard to put time on it, but that's the direction things are going.
Next chart, please.
[Chart - Fuel Shortages: Impact on the Military]
I'd like to talk about the situation as we see it in terms of the fuel. The last time I was up here we talked about air defense and command and control, so today I'd like to talk more about fuel, ammunition, and lines of communication.
Right now we're looking at fuel at the strategic, operational and tactical levels.
From the strategic side their fuel reserves are being drawn down. Some is being destroyed by NATO bombing. Some is being used. But the big point is that there is relatively little fuel coming into the strategic reserve, and they're using fuel out of the strategic reserve at a rate much faster than it's going in. That's because crude oil imports are down. Even if they could bring crude oil in, the refineries are 100 percent out of operation, so they can't refine crude oil, which could be brought in, nor can they refine oil which is domestically produced inside Serbia.
Now there is, of course, or has been, fuel imports, probably refined products, occasionally getting into the port of Bar in Montenegro, but certainly not enough to meet their requirements and not enough to increase the strategic reserve.
At the operational level, they are certainly getting some of the fuel drawing down, the strategic reserve drawing down army wartime reserve. And if you took an operational perspective, they probably have enough fuel in a quantity sense to meet the needs of a corps or of an army. So if you're writing the books and say do you have enough fuel to meet operational requirements, well perhaps the number of barrels or metric tons is there.
But what we see is only partially meeting tactical requirements. This is true where we have some of the best information in Kosovo. This is a rather notional chart here, but we certainly have indications, increasingly so, that units either can't carry out a mission which is assigned to them because of fuel shortages, or are reluctant to plan a mission which can't be carried out because of fuel shortages, or have to call out a mission short because of fuel shortages.
So this impact on the brigades or operations in Kosovo--and especially as they have to increase the level of operations to continue counterinsurgency ops against the UCK or to prepare to defend against increased NATO air operations--if they have to create more mobility for themselves, then it will be more difficult to meet tactical and even eventually operational requirements.
Of course, the inability to meet strategic requirements is felt throughout the economy because the Serb forces do draw off from the civilian sector to try to meet their needs, even if they're having trouble in making distributions of fuel. So we see that manifested by one-third of the normal bus service in Belgrade, very long lines at stations, reduction to agricultural support, reports of black market attempts across the Romania and Bulgarian borders and things like that as they scramble to meet fuel requirements.
We see in some isolated cases, for example, of the even tactical reserves being at the 10 percent level of what they were prior to the initiation of hostilities.
So, in a broad sense, this is the way I am looking at the impact on the military of their fuel situation overall in Yugoslavia.
Next chart, please.
[Chart - Impacton Ammunition Storage/Production]
This chart here shows the 18 ammunition storage facilities and perhaps from a long term perspective, more importantly, the four very large ammunition production facilities which have been damaged.
We believe that in a functional damage assessment that there's been severe functional damage done in particular to the places where they produce ammunition, and increasingly to explosive fuels and things like that, making it very difficult to conduct any kind of resupply or rearming of forces in garrison or forces even in the field.
Now clearly the forces that are deployed in the field have ammunition with them. Some of them have been destroyed, some of the staging areas including ammunition. We've destroyed a lot of ammunition bunkers and facilities at Pristina Corps and Third Army garrisons in particular.
So when we destroyed all of these storage facilities, sometimes they were empty, sometimes as General Wald would show, we had large secondary explosions, so ammunition was destroyed in the facilities. But the point is the places to store them are being destroyed. A lot of the ammunition is being destroyed in the garrisons, and, of course, the ability to produce more is not there, which is a long- term, sustained negative consequence for military operations.
The same is increasingly true as we go after explosive and rocket propellant production, and even though the ammunition stocks are dispersed, we are also -- like in fuel, although not quite to the extent of fuel -- seeing indications of shortages.
[Chart - Lines of Communication Disruptions]
Finally, lines of communication in which our targets have primarily been highway and railroad bridges. Some of them are combination rail/highway bridges.
This gentleman here had some foresight. He couldn't get across the bridge, and knowing he was about ready to run out of fuel with his engine here, he has an oar in his hand and is ready to go, I guess.
But the real damage here is to their ability to get anything that they need, be it ammunition or fuel, to the places where it is needed. So with the 20 highway bridges, eight railroad bridges, and a couple of combination bridges which were destroyed or dropped in key areas around Kosovo and up in the northern part of Serbia, Novi Sad, we believe the throughput has increasingly been degraded. It's approaching 50 percent for the highway, already at 100 percent for the rails in the Kosovo area. So the ability to resupply units in Kosovo is clearly degraded, and the long-term reinforcement, the ability to conduct mobilization and sustainment is negatively impacted. And ultimately the impact on ground operations will be felt.
Next slide, please.
[Chart - Grdelica Highway Bridge]
I've got some photographs then. This is one which is not imagery from the sky, but ground-based imagery. It came off the Internet.
This is the Grdelica Highway bridge on one of the main lines of communication into Kosovo, taken out by a 117 the night before last, I believe. This is the highway bridge which is very near the rail bridge that was attacked a couple of weeks ago which had the train on it. So those two main lines into eastern Kosovo from Serbia are now disrupted.
[Photos available at htttp://www.defenselink.mil/photos/#Operation&Allied&Force]
[Photos - Kursumilja Third Army War Command Post, Serbia]
This photograph shows the Kursumilja Third Army command post. It's a garrison just on the northeast border of Kosovo. It was struck on a couple of nights by Canadian F-18s and F-15s, U.S. F-15s, and once with a B-2 dropping JDAMS. So in addition to the barracks or storage areas that were destroyed here, we also, most importantly, destroyed a satellite communications facility, a command bunker, and command post or headquarters area right up in this corner of the picture.
[Photo - Evidence of Fuel Shortages, Serbia]
This is evidence of the current fuel shortages in Serbia. This picture is taken in the southern part of the country in Nis. What's evidence is there are very few sedans. Reliance primarily on public transportation. But even in that case you see dozens of buses in a long line waiting to try to get gasoline at a gas station there in Nis.
[Photo - Lucani Explosive Plant Milan Blagojev, Serbia Post-Strike]
I talked about the explosives as well as the ammunition. This is a very, very large facility. I think you've seen photographs before of Lucani. This one was attacked by B-2s with GBU-31s on night 32 of this air campaign. You can see the bunker facilities here and here, which have been destroyed, mixing or support building here and down here which were destroyed by the strikes. That's just a part of that facility. It's very large, and more of it was also destroyed.
[Photo - Pontoon Bridge Construction, Danube, Serbia]
Here's another example of a destroyed bridge and the ability to try to work around it. This is up in the Novi Sad area, the Danube. You can see the remnants of the bridge laying in the river here. These are pontoon sections that they're trying to get in place to build a pontoon bridge across the river, which would be a partial work-around but would not have near the weight-bearing capacity or the through-put capacity of the many bridges that were destroyed in the Novi Sad area.
Q: Could you possibly take those out, too?
Rear Admiral Wilson: Possibly. Sure.
[Photo - Smederevo Highway Bridge over Dunav River, Serbia Post-Strike]
Here's another one up north. This one attacked by F-117s. They dropped a span right here near the abutment, which is a hard kill on that bridge which no longer is capable of any traffic across the river.
[Photo - Attack on IDP Convoy, Kosovo]
Finally, just a couple of days ago we got evidence in reporting from Kosovo of Serbian attacks on an internally displaced person's convoy in northeast Kosovo near the Podujevo area. In looking through our imagery resources we found the evidence here. Some burned out vehicles here, vehicles pushed or shoved into a stream bed and abandoned along this small trail or road here, which we think is photographic evidence of this attack, which was reported via other sources. It continues to show the brutality which is being exercised by the Serbs as they conduct operations against not just against the KLA or the UCK, but also against the innocent people in these convoys.
I think that's all I have. General Wald has a number of good videos to show today. But that's all I have.
Q: You and others have been saying for a couple of weeks now that there's evidence of declining morale and cohesiveness among the Serb troops. Can you give us any specific evidence of that claim? For example, are there numbers you can offer on desertions?
Rear Admiral Wilson: What I can offer is--as I look at the inputs I receive every day--is you develop a feel for the number and quality of reports that you get across your desk. I have an increasing number of reports from a variety of sources which indicates that desertions are occurring in various units.
A prisoner reported, for example, that seven people had deserted from his platoon.
We had indications a couple of days ago that an armored brigade had two battalions that were affected by a significant number of desertions that perhaps made them if not combat-ineffective, perhaps delayed or not ready to immediately assume their mission.
I saw a report a week or so ago. Which reported a number of 300-plus deserters in a single day.
Many of them cannot be verified; just like when you get the occasional reports of high morale in a unit, you can't verify or corroborate those reports either.
My job is to make assessments. I've been doing it for a long time. We're not always right, but generally speaking we are conservative; we look at the evidence that comes in. We balance the number and quality of reports one way or the other. And my assessment is that there are increasing morale problems in the Serb military which is showing up in a number of sources, and ultimately will show up in their ability to conduct combat operations.
They're still responsive to their national command authority. They're still carrying out their orders. But anybody who could believe that this army has a high state of morale right now is not seeing the same evidence that I am.
Q: In addition to fuel shortages, what sorts of deprivations do you think the people of Serbia, not Kosovo, but Serbia are suffering? Are there shortages of food, staple items? How uncomfortable are these people becoming?
Rear Admiral Wilson: I haven't seen indications of food shortages. I think the principal-well, first of all, any deprivations they're suffering is a result of their country. They know how to stop this; they just need to do it.
But I think that most of the deprivations are probably clearly fuel and other kinds of utility outages, which are occasionally occurring--some power outages, fresh water outages, and things like that. That seems to be the primary one.
Q: Admiral, if I could.
You showed a photo of a convoy of internally displaced people trying to get somewhere. It was clear that they were attacked. We've heard other versions of this, people being...
What I would like to know is two things. What's happening to the people that are still holed up in the mountains? Are they being forced to come down, to get into buses, to go out? Or are they even being allowed to? And second, do they have, are they being used in any way as human shields?
Rear Admiral Wilson: It's a widely varying situation all over Kosovo. We certainly have evidence of Serb military equipment mixed right in and among civilian villages and even internally displaced people in the convoys.
We have evidence in some cases of IDPs being bussed out of a village or out of an area and being taken to the Albanian or Macedonian, primarily the Macedonian, borders.
I have not seen evidence that the Serbs are going into the mountains, or valleys, where some of these pockets are, to round up the IDPs and bring them out of those locations. The Serb military still primarily operates on the roads and near the roads, the lines of communication. When the people are far off those, I think that they're not going to round them up. But that could be happening in isolated examples.
Q: Let me just follow briefly. So there's no signs that people are being rounded up and forced one way or the other.
You say they are parking their tanks and vehicles amongst the crowds of IDPs. Is that deterring the U.S. from taking any action, or NATO from taking any action specifically on those vehicles?
Rear Admiral Wilson: I didn't say there were no signs of people not being rounded up. There are signs of people being rounded up. But not--it's more often people that are down in villages or near roads as opposed to up in the large IDP concentrations.
We always have a concern about collateral damage or attacking people who are not the targets of operations. So on occasion ordnance is withheld because of concerns about IDPs that are near convoys.
Q: How do you explain the fact that one of your missiles hit again Bulgaria for the third time a few miles from the Kosoldwe [ph] area, where a nuclear factor is located?
Rear Admiral Wilson: The missiles, they're not 100 percent accurate for a variety of reasons. A laser-guided bomb or a GPS-guided missile will occasionally go into an area unintended. When that occurs and it causes collateral damage, naturally we regret it. But it's a very small percentage, and we take a lot of care not to have those kind of things happen. We certainly try to not target things which are going to have catastrophic consequences.
Q: But do you take into consideration those nuclear factories in Yugoslavia and those in Bulgaria?
Rear Admiral Wilson: We take everything possible into consideration.
Q: Admiral, two questions. First, you said you were seeing indications of ammunition shortages. I wonder if you can give us some specific examples.
My second question, you talked about desertions. I take it that was from the Yugoslav army. Are there like desertions coming from the special police and the paramilitary?
Rear Admiral Wilson: Most of my indications are from the army, but there are some from the police.
And most of the indications I have on shortages have to do with attempts, almost frantic attempts at times, to acquire more munitions from various sources. So I think that a large part of the ammunition shortages also have to do with distribution, able to get ammunition to the right place at the right time.
Q: And what about resupply for the KLA? Are they getting adequate supplies, ammunitions and arms? And are they still pretty limited to small arms and light machine guns? Are they getting anything else?
Rear Admiral Wilson: It is still a light infantry insurgent kind of operation. AK-47s and RPGs are the kinds of weapons they use. They are also challenged in terms of supply lines, which the Serbs are trying to interdict without total success.
I think the real news for the KLA is the size of the combat organization has increased significantly during the whole course of this last month or month and a half, from estimates at the 4,000 to 8,000 to estimates now up as high as 20,000 or 25,000 in the UCK, and receiving probably more organized training in these camps in Albania.
Q: Where are they getting their ammo, do you know? And the resupplies?
Rear Admiral Wilson: The same place that they always have. They procure it from the gray arms market, and most of it came originally from Albania, generate income in Europe among the diaspora and purchase it.
Q: Admiral, some of us have talked to retired officers and, indeed, in private to some folks on active duty who suggest that the kind of graduated intensifying bombing campaign that NATO is conducting gives the enemy time to adjust to the gradual intensity, to dig in, and if anything, hardens the enemy's resolve to hold out.
Can you respond to that? Do you see evidence of that?
Rear Admiral Wilson: Well, they certainly try to dig in and protect themselves. I think that's, I don't know what else anybody could expect, whether it was gradual or not. But I said before, all the evidence that I see indicates declining morale based upon what is happening to their army and the frustration with the inability to defend themselves from air attacks.
Q: You mentioned, in terms of desertions, that you'd gotten evidence from a prisoner. Is this based on interrogations of the one Yugoslav lieutenant that is being held prisoner of war? Or do you have prisoners you haven't told us about?
Rear Admiral Wilson: It's based on primarily--the example I used was from the one prisoner that we had. Then we have other reports, for example, where the KLA may have prisoners inside the country where we have reports out from them.
Q: Admiral, excuse me. You speak as (inaudible) people speak about a very small percentage of precision-guided weapons that go astray. Do you worry as an intelligence specialist that you might start getting reports of more collateral damage and more innocent civilians killed if these B-52s start using dumb bombs?
Rear Admiral Wilson: I think the mission, it's more of an operational question, but the mission planners are going to use the kinds of ordnance and delivery platforms which are appropriate to a certain kind of target in a certain kind of area.
Q: Admiral, let me ask you an intelligence question for a moment. You said that from all the reports we've had up to now have indicated that the UCK is vastly overmatched by the Serb Yugoslav army. Are you saying that, in saying they're resurgent, are they anywhere approaching the point where they can actually challenge the Yugoslav military at this point? And do they control any substantial amount of territory in Kosovo?
Rear Admiral Wilson: They have, for the last now year and several months, been a force which the Yugoslav army and police have been unable, really, to defeat and inflict heavy losses on. They don't necessarily stand and fight infantry against tanks. So it's like many other insurgencies; you can cause them to go into the hills and hide only to come back again another day with more people dedicated to the cause, and now more people recruited in Albania and Macedonia and even some from the U.S. I've seen for the cause, and so they come back with numbers. And of course, the army, which has been going against the KLA, has been severely damaged by the airstrikes which are inflicted in Kosovo.
I said this the last time, the army, for the last several weeks, really hasn't been doing that much fighting against the UCK. They've been killing, and they've been driving people out of Kosovo.
So this insurgency problem is a long way from being over for Yugoslavia.
Q: Have you seen any changes in the disposition and composition of Serbian forces that might suggest they're preparing for a possible allied ground operation?
Rear Admiral Wilson: I've seen indications that a portion of the army is defensively dispersed and concerned about their borders.
Mr. Bacon: Just two more questions...
Q: Sir, can you give your best assessment on the damage meted out to both artillery and the tank force right now, both in terms of numbers possibly destroyed, and whether the airstrikes have had an inhibiting, have inhibited tank traffic and artillery traffic? Are they being silenced now only because of fear of airstrikes?
Rear Admiral Wilson: We've taken out a fair number of artillery pieces and some tanks as well. I saw the initial reports from this morning, the engagement zone events, which indicate they have had good weather and a pretty good day in Kosovo.
It's hard to prove the negative. It's hard to say what somebody was going to do they haven't done. I've seen more indications that they can't go do something because of fuel concerns, and they certainly do have concerns about being out in the open where they can be engaged.
So as the ops have expanded to a 24-hour-a-day time period, when there are always essentially aircraft overhead, it is clearly more difficult to conduct the kind of unrestricted operations that you might like.
Q: Admiral, can you just go back on one point? I'm confused.
Just to clarify, the U.S. is only holding one VJ/Yugoslav prisoner, is that correct? Or are we holding more?
Rear Admiral Wilson: To my knowledge there's one.
Q: And has U.S. military or intelligence directly interviewed these other prisoners that are under the control of the UCK?
Rear Admiral Wilson: I don't have any comment on that. We've gotten reports. We'll leave it at that.
Press: Thank you, sir.
Mr. Bacon: I should announce that Admiral Wilson has now become Vice Admiral Wilson. He was confirmed by the Senate last night as Director of the DIA.
I just have one announcement and then I'll turn it over to Major General Wald.
The ten B-52H Straton fortresses that Secretary Cohen announced having deployed yesterday are all departing this evening for England. Eight will come from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, and two from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, and they will arrive at Fairford Royal Air Force Base in England tomorrow morning.
With that, I will turn it over to Major General Wald.
Major General Wald: Thank you.
[Chart - Weather Conditions]
As I said, the last couple of days have been better. The Chairman briefed yesterday the weather over the next few days will be good, and in fact the last 24 hours have been about the best weather we've had since the operation started. Today there are a scheduled 650 sorties, of which about 325 of those are actual strike sorties. Then, as I mentioned yesterday, there's a large number of combat air patrol and then the rest will be support. That will bring it up to, if they fly the sorties today, something over about 12,500 total, of which -- of those 12,500, nearly 7500 are direct combat of some sort.
Q: This would be the heaviest day of action if they complete all these sorties?
Major General Wald: If they complete all the strike sorties it should be the heaviest.
NATO mentioned today they had 600 strike sorties. I think what he meant was around 600 sorties scheduled, is what that was.
[Chart - Level of Effort Last 24 Hours - Day 37]
As far as yesterday, the last 24 hours, there were 35 different targets struck, several of those new. You can see a preponderance of a lot of the targets were in the Kosovo area itself, against fielded forces. There are still several command and control targets attacked. Some of their sustainment was attacked, some of the bridges, many of their early warning radar. Some of their SAM radars were attacked, and I'll show you some of those actual attacks a little bit later.
Q: So how many actual targets?
Major General Wald: There were 35 actual target areas that were struck. And as you know, Bill, some of those targets have several points. I'll show you one of the attacks that took several aircraft to attack.
[Chart - International Contributions (Non-US)]
On the international aid effort, still 57 nations. Eighteen of those are taking in refugees, as we speak. And just to kind of put the tons in some perspective for a change, the food total so far will feed about 380,000 people for a month - obviously, it will feed the number of people there for a period of time, so there's still food required from the international relief agencies, need that. Shelter for about 355,000 people has been in place. There are other types of shelter that aren't quite as good, but they continue to move shelter forward. 730 hospital bed equivalents--what that means is it would be a hospital of 730 beds that would take care of that number of people. Obviously, there aren't that many ambulatory there. Then about 200 to 300 vehicles.
So there's still a large need for food and shelter contributions.
[Chart - Summary of U.S. Contributions]
The U.S. contributions to date. You know about the humanitarian daily rations. We've sent another 12,000 blankets and 30,000 gender-generic health kits over in the last 24 hours. They're building the camp at Fier as we speak, and within the next week or so they should be ready to start taking refugees into that camp.
[Chart - Air/Sea LOCs for Humanitarian Assistance]
The airlift continues from Travis. As we mentioned yesterday, the tents are coming in from Travis for the camp. Some of those commercial flights do go into Thessaloniki as well as out of Dover, flights into Ramstein into Thessaloniki, and then the ferry bridge is continuing between Ancona and Durres.
[Chart - Mobility Support to SUSTAIN HOPE]
About 473 large aircraft sorties since the humanitarian aid has started out of CONUS.
This basically wraps it up. About 1,500 hours of flying of different types of aircraft, as the Chairman mentioned.
[Photo - Pristina Airfield, Kosovo]
Just a couple of images. This is Pristina airfield in Kosovo. You can see, not very well here, but there's a large tunnel under this complex, this mountain complex here. These are taxiways that actually go all the way out to the runway from either end. About a week ago, I showed you bombs that closed off both of these ends of the tunnel. Today, I'll show you a film of a 5,000-pound bomb they dropped in there last night that should have destroyed the remainder of the aircraft munitions and supplies that were in that tunnel.
[Photo - Pristina Airfield Tunnel Entrance/Exit, Kosovo]
This is actually the tunnel itself. This is one of the taxiways coming out from the tunnel. This is the other end of it here. The bomb landed right in here. You can see this large tunnel. And for all practical purposes, we're pretty sure there's probably nothing left in there of any use.
Q: So you caved in the center storage area.
Major General Wald: Actually it penetrates that bunker and then explodes inside.
Major General Wald: F-15E.
Q: The first use of this?
Major General Wald: That's the first use of it in this campaign.
Major General Wald: No, it was used in the Gulf War.
Roll the film, please.
The first film is of the bomb we were just talking about, 5,000-pound GBU-28 off an F-15E. It's a little bit hard to see here, but you can see under the cursor, you'll see a puff of smoke come up first and then a little bit of smoke after that, so you can see it actually penetrated and blew up inside.
There's the first puff, and then there's another column of smoke that comes up afterwards. That was a 5,000-pound bomb.
Next is an F-15E with an optically-guided AGM-130. Low Blow radar around Belgrade airfield. This is in conjunction with an SA-3 SAM, so we continue to take down their IADS, their radar. And as we do that, we develop a better ability to establish local air superiority and give ourselves more flexibility of the targets we go against. That was totally destroyed.
This is another F-15E of the same flight, different aircraft with the same type of bomb against the generator that went with that low blow radar. You'll see under here it drives right into the trailer itself and destroys that generator.
So his ability to [inaudible] his SAMs and track aircraft is being taken down.
Novi Sad radio relay site. It's an F-15 again, E model with an optically-guided AGM-130. This is one of his significant C2 facilities for strategic command and control.
These were all last night.
You can see it tracks right onto the facility, and that was destroyed.
Railroad petroleum tank car. This is in Kosovo. There are several questions on how much fuel he's getting. This is an F-16CG with a 2,000-pound bomb.
They've tried to disperse their rail cars out into the countryside thinking we wouldn't find them. As the weather gets better and we have a better idea where things have been or not, we find these. That fuel car was destroyed.
This is another railroad petroleum car in western Kosovo. Again, F-16 with a laser-guided bomb. These are out of Aviano. You can see the rail car underneath the cursor. This one has a fairly large secondary, so it was full of fuel.
So we continue to, as this all accumulates over time, as Admiral Wilson said, he's starting to have a problem with fuel.
This is a tank and revetment in Kosovo last night. When we do get out and we find them, they're going to get destroyed.
This aircraft you see here is actually the FAC again. He's filming what will be an attack just to the north of here on the tank by another aircraft that he's called in. You can see where the target is under the arrow. That tank is more than likely not functional.
Another tank in the Kosovo engagement zone with an F-16CG. Laser-guided bomb, 2,000 pounder. Underneath the cursor.
Q: What kind of tanks?
Major General Wald: I think they're probably T-55 type tanks. I don't believe either of these were T-72 or-T-84 type tanks.
Podgorica airfield, a Galeb fighter out in the open. They still have a few of those out in the open and when they do, they don't do too well.
This picture has been expanded to the maximum magnification for the aircraft as the pilot puts it under his cursor so it's a little bit fuzzy for the video. It's clearer in the cockpit. You'll see, though, that he hits it, and there's a large secondary explosion in the field, so that was obviously a fueled aircraft, used to be.
Another Podgorica Super Galeb fighter. An F-14 off the THEODORE ROOSEVELT, laser-guided bomb. You can see the outline of the aircraft under the cursor.
One bomb earlier from another aircraft, and another target went by just a minute ago, and you saw he destroyed that one. So as these all add up, his army is being totally destroyed.
A Flat Case radar in the vicinity of Pristina airfield last night. This is an early warning type radar. You can see under the cursor this area has been struck before. This radar is still operational, or it was as of 18 seconds prior to I'm talking right now in this film. That is more than likely destroyed.
The Pristina nickel production plant. Several strikes on that last night. This is an F-16 with a laser-guided bomb. This plant is not functional, but the MUP and Serb army have been using it as a staging area. It's a large facility.
This is the first of several strikes last night in this facility. The next film you'll see is after several aircraft from the THEODORE ROOSEVELT attacked it as well. Once again, an F-16CG. You'll see that there's been quite a bit of damage done to the building since the last strike I showed you over the last few minutes in this strike of several aircraft.
The rest of the building on that particular building is destroyed.
I believe that's all the film for today.
Q: General, was that bunker buster the first use of the 5,000-pound bomb?
Major General Wald: It's the first time they've used it since this operation ALLIED FORCE has started.
Q: Also, if I might ask you, do you worry that the use of dumb bombs from the B-52s could increase collateral damage? Especially since the VJ and the MUP are mixed in with...
Major General Wald: I think as Admiral Wilson said, and I think the Secretary of Defense mentioned yesterday, which was exactly correct, the B-52 gravity bombs or the B-1 gravity bombs will be used against the appropriate target with the appropriate level of collateral damage figured in at that particular time.
I think one thing people forget about the B-52, this is not your father's B-52. This is a -- not the Vietnam B-52. This thing has been modified over the last 29 years to the point where now the bombs that are dropped from the B-52, because of the global positioning satellite capability of the B-52, are as accurate as the ones off the B-1. But once again, they'll be dropped against targets of the appropriate type that would not be a problem with collateral damage. There are some of those targets there. As this war, or this operation I should say, continues to increase in OPSTEMPO, those type of weapons will be used on the appropriate targets.
Q: Where was that airfield where the bunker buster went down?
Major General Wald: That was in Pristina airfield in Kosovo.
Q: General, you've shown us any number of targets that have been hit for a second or third time, presumably to prevent them from bringing those things back on-line after you hit them once.
Are we running out of targets that you're able to go back and hit things two or three times instead of finding new targets?
Major General Wald: No, there's no running out of targets yet. I imagine sometime we will, but as of now we have targets we can continue to strike, and, of course, there are fielded forces that we want to continue to go after. But until either Milosevic quits or we run out of targets--we run out of targets it's de facto, he's had a problem anyway, so we'll see what happens there.
Q: Your chart today showed a lot of attacks on SAM sites or SAM radars, whatever. In the last few days, you've shown some concealed ones or whatever. What is making you more successful at doing that than you were before? Are they using them more?
Major General Wald: It's a combination of several things. One is we've been in the area now for awhile, and we're getting better and better intel and it's accumulating, so it's more difficult for him to move around. If he moves things, we can figure out he's moved it, because we have an idea where it may have been before. So some of it is the fact that we have more of a database, if you will. The operators that are out there are becoming more familiar with the area, just as a forward air controller in Vietnam used to get used to his particular area and he'd know when something changed. And he's becoming a little bit more desperate to use some of these weapons, and maybe not quite as careful as he was. And he doesn't have the robust integrated air defense he had before, so the work-arounds sometimes aren't as easy for him to deceive us, let's say. So there's a lot of reasons for it, and obviously it's all because of the cumulative effect of what's happening.
Q: General Wald, what do you see happening right now with the VJ reinforcement of Kosovo? Are they still bringing additional troops and equipment into the region? If so, what are you able to do to stop that?
Major General Wald: If you look at all the bridges and roads and lines of communication that have been destroyed--first of all, there's been a lot that has made it more difficult for him to reinforce or to leave, for that matter. And the reports are kind of spotty, whether he is able to reinforce very much at all or not. And number three is, if he does start to reinforce in a large way, I feel fairly confident we'll detect it, and he'll have a problem doing that. But I do think he has some ability to reinforce in a small way here and there and some onesie-twosies coming and going, but I haven't seen a large reinforcement of any sort.
Q: General, the targets you show us (inaudible) troop concentrations at all. Do you have any evidence at all that there's any depletion in the numbers of troops at all? And if not, isn't their campaign incapable of reaching troops themselves?
Major General Wald: Well, there have been some reports of troops being actually hit in some of these attacks. It's hard to count the numbers, obviously, and we're not into that type of game. But as some of these targets are hit, there are troops associated with those. So I wouldn't even venture a guess on what that is.
But the idea here is to take down his ability to have a functional army, and a functional army without this type of weapon makes him obviously quite a bit less functional. Then he's going to have to start balancing whether his army has the capability to do a couple of things. One is, can he defend himself against the UCK? Number two is, eventually, can he defend his own country? So he'll have to make that decision at some point. Obviously, as long as there are men out there with weapons, they have some kind of an army, but it would be very ineffective.
Q: General, a munitions question. General Richard Hawley yesterday from ACC used some colorful language to describe the looming shortage of JDAM weapons. It's pretty well known that they were being depleted, but he used colorful language to describe them going "Winchester." Can you give us the state of the force in terms of precision-guided weapons? Do you have a lot of laser-guided kits for use over the next couple of months or however long this goes?
Major General Wald: First of all, the term "Winchester" means you're out. We're not Winchester.
Number two is, I think what people have forgotten here is that's only one type of weapon. We have lots of type of weapons we're using. As a matter of fact the other part that's forgotten is the allies. Many of them, there are 13 other nations flying in NATO along with the U.S., the 19. Out of those 13, there are eight other countries that are using precision munitions. So we are not even close to being out of precision munitions, and I think, first of all, I know there's never been a target scratched for us not having the right type of weapon to use, and I don't think there ever will be in the future. So I don't see that as a problem at all. Maybe Mr. Bacon would like to add to that.
Mr. Bacon: The JDAM is a new weapon, and it's basically created by adding a kit, a global positioning satellite guidance system and some fins onto a MK-82 or MK-84 bomb, essentially. This, coincidentally, has been a very successful program in that when we started we thought it would cost $42,000 each. It's turning out to cost about $18,000 each to convert each one of these to a precision-guided, all-weather munition.
They are very useful because they are all-weather. Therefore, they were extremely useful in the early days of the campaign when the weather was terrible. As the weather gets progressively better into the summer months, it will be much easier to substitute laser-guided munitions for the JDAMs.
Because it's a new weapon, and one which we plan to buy in huge quantities-- at least about 90,000 so far is what we're planning to buy--but we only started building it in May of 1998. We are now in the process of tripling the production rate from what it was, and it will be tripled very soon.
The production rate when it's tripled will be about equal to or more than the monthly usage rate now.
In addition, you have to look at every munition in terms of a stock and a flow. We clearly have a supply and inventory of these munitions. It's an inventory that right now is certainly adequate for the rate at which we're expending them, but we will then add to that inventory. Obviously, some are coming out of the inventory every night or so, but we'll be adding to the inventory at about the same rate we're taking them out.
I don't think this is a problem for two reasons: one, the stepped-up production rate which will be financed by the supplemental that's currently working its way through Congress, and two, the fact that there is the ability to substitute laser-guided munitions as weather improves for a lot of the targets for which we could only use the JDAMs in bad weather.
Q: Was the tripling a direct response to (inaudible) going on right now as a part of the campaign?
Mr. Bacon: Well, of course it was. But we were increasing the production rate anyway. The production rate for May was higher than for April, was higher than for March, was higher than for February, so the production rate has been going up progressively.
We have taken, if you take the May production rate, we will by July have a rate that's about triple the May production rate. So the rate is going up consistently.
What we have done is increased it even faster once we got into this engagement.
Now you can look at another type of new munition which we plan to buy in huge quantities, and that's the Joint Standoff Weapon which is now being used by the Navy. It was first used in DESERT FOX. I'm not sure it's been used yet in this engagement, but--General Wald says it has been used. That's another example of a weapon that's exactly like the JDAMs, which is the Joint Direct Attack Munition. We have just started building that; it's new in the inventory, so we obviously have a small inventory. But we plan to buy that in the tens of thousands over a period of time, and we will, as a result, begin ramping up the production rate.
Q: The AGM-142, is that what we're talking about?
Mr. Bacon: The AGM-142 is the HAVE NAP. That's a different munition entirely. That is a precision-guided munition that has somewhat of a standoff range. It was designed by the Israelis. We do have a supply of those, and five of the B-52s that we are sending over, of this new batch of B-52s, are outfitted to fire the HAVE NAP.
Mr. Bacon: They're about 3,000 pounds in all, and maybe have a 750 pound warhead. They also are precision-guided munitions. They have several guidance systems.
Q: As the weather gets better you're not going to be as dependent on satellite-guided bombs; you'll be able to drop the plentiful laser-guided bombs that you have, is that...
Mr. Bacon: Exactly right. The advantage we had in the early days was that we had three types of all-weather munitions. We have very adequate supplies of two of those right now. We all know that the CALCM, the conventional air-launched cruise missile, we're low on, but that's in part because we're transitioning away from the CALCMs to a new design -- a cheaper, smaller, standoff cruise missile that will be launched from bombers.
Q: What about the AGM-130? That also is a very popular weapon as we've seen from the videos that have been shown. Are you fully stocked in that area?
Mr. Bacon: We certainly have enough to meet projected needs in this engagement. There again, we continue to make those. The AGM-130 is another adaptation of taking a so-called dumb bomb that we have adapted with a rocket motor and a new guidance system. So we're taking basically old munitions that were not precision-guided and turning them into precision-guided munitions at a reasonable price. And we're doing that, these kits are being produced at an increasing monthly rate. I think the monthly rate is in the process of doubling for converting these 2,000 or 3,000-pound so-called dumb bombs into precision-guided munitions.
Q: Just to follow up more generally, congressional critics, in particular Congressman Duncan Hunter, have said that the Pentagon doesn't have nearly the stocks of munitions that it needs in order to meet the two-war contingency, and he cites numbers of munitions needed for that two-war contingency developed, he said, by the Joint Staff. He said in some cases it's tens of thousands, the discrepancy between what the Joint Staff said was needed for a two-war contingency and what we actually have. Your response?
Mr. Bacon: I don't believe that's the case.
Look, you always have to distinguish between a static picture and an active picture, and if you freeze any picture in time with the current inventory you can say under some usage profiles, we're going to run out. But we don't live in a static world. We live in a world where we can adjust production rates. That's what we're doing with the JDAMs. That's what we're doing with other weapons, including the conventional air-launched cruise missile, the CALCM. We are finding ways to produce that faster than we anticipated or to restart the production line faster than anticipated.
So if you believe we live in a static world where nothing changes, yes, in some theoretical level that would be true, but we don't. And we have a huge industrial capacity, and we are able to make these adjustments.
We've found, for instance, that with both the CALCM and with the JDAMs that when we've gone to the contractors and said we want to ramp up production at a faster rate--we have the money to be able to do it--we've found that the contractors have been very responsive in two ways. One, they've been able to meet our needs for higher production rates, and two, they've been able to do it at quite reasonable cost. Now these are not cheap weapons -- even at $18,000 a kit for the JDAM it adds up when you're going to buy nearly 100,000 of them. But the fact is this is a very cost-effective way to turn an existing, imprecise inventory into the weapon of the future which is an all-weather, highly accurate, precision-guided munition.
Q: A question about the roads, bridges and railways that have been interdicted going into Kosovo. If refugees are going to go back, are those blown up bridges and bombed out roads an impediment to them going back? Are they going to need to be repaired in order to get refugees back there?
Major General Wald: There are other means of crossing rivers, smaller ones The roads and bridges we're going after would be things that an army would need to cross with heavier equipment or a large number. But obviously, if we get the refugees back, which is the ultimate goal, we're going to help them get back and there are ways for that to be done.
Mr. Bacon: The other thing is we've concentrated on bridges that are between Serbia and Montenegro, on the one hand, and Kosovo. In other words, roads coming south rather than bridges that are going in from Albania and Macedonia where there's not heavy or any supply going into the Serb troops. So those are the bridges and the roads that the refugees would be most likely to use when they flow back into Kosovo.
It is true, however, that the Serb troops have mined those bridges, so if they wanted to, they could blow them up. But we have been focusing on interdicting supplies flowing south into Kosovo.
Q: The IDP people are not bound by bridges or roads that are damaged, that are keeping them in the country or keeping them from going back into Kosovo, is that correct?
Mr. Bacon: That's basically what I said, yes.
Q: You're limiting the movement of Serb forces, but is there any evidence yet that the displacing of people in Kosovo has been stopped or has been lessened?
Major General Wald: You mean as far as the Serbs moving the IDPs around inside?
Q: Right. Are they still moving people around? Are they still uprooting people, getting them out of their houses...
Major General Wald: There are some indications that they are moving them either back into towns at times or out of towns at times, and for various reasons. I think Admiral Wilson showed one image today where they showed a group of IDPs that had been attacked, we think. So it's hard to speculate exactly what he's doing with the IDPs, but he's obviously using these people as pawns, which is once again appalling. So it's hard to tell for sure what he's doing with them.
Q: Ken, I have question. On your policy of not permitting reporting of the full names of troops in the field, you mentioned once that that was a security concern about that. Can you explain what the security concern is, and will that policy continue?
Mr. Bacon: Right now we don't have any intention to change the policy, but I should point out that many of the policies originate under the rubric of what we call security at the source, so that local commanders decide what policies suit the security profiles of their units. I think General Wald could talk about this with authority, because he was the wing commander at Aviano, and he can explain to you what they did in 1995.
But we have received reports that some people have received harassing mail and e-mails and phone calls as a result of having names appear in print, some of their family members. I think that few commanders would be willing to run the risk that family members back home, wives, parents, children even--and some children have received abusive communications because of their father's involvement -- few commanders would want to run the risk of having this happen by allowing full names to be used. And many pilots...
Q: Has that happened?
Mr. Bacon: Yes, it has happened.
Now it's also happened to members of the media, I might point out. Television commentators who have appeared talking about the Operation ALLIED FORCE have received harassing phone calls from people and letters from people in the United States. They don't have the same--you cannot appear anonymously as a television commentator, obviously. They don't have perhaps the same flexibility that pilots have. But pilots do have this choice, and most have chosen, or their commanders have chosen not to use their full names.
I think actually it's a courtesy we owe them. They're facing danger every day. Their families are obviously away from them many times, particularly if they're a Navy pilot. And [there's] a certain amount of anxiety because they're in harm's way every day, and it's one way we can minimize the strain.
But I'd like General Wald to talk about that because he can talk from the experience of having flown in a hostile environment and lived with pilots who are facing that type of threat.
Major General Wald: The policy we had when I was in Aviano was actually, as Mr. Bacon mentioned, a local policy. It was based on pretty much exactly the way he depicted it. Our policy was we would let people use their nickname -- as you know many pilots use nicknames or their first name--but for the same exact reason as Mr. Bacon mentioned, that although it isn't that predominant, but it happens sometimes where people do harass active aviators as well as anybody else that's involved in a mission. And at Aviano--you might add that although, I think Mr. Bacon was exactly right, the folks that are on the THEODORE ROOSEVELT are all away from their family, but at Aviano it's a little bit different. At Aviano they're living where their families are; they're flying where their families are; which is pretty unique, actually. Most of the time, I think probably Aviano is one of the only places, except for actually the Italians in Italy and some of the other aircraft that are flying from some of the longer distances away, but at Aviano they live there with their families year round. So we want to make sure that those people have some freedom and some privacy because they are going to be staying there afterwards as well. So...
Q: This isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened...
Major General Wald: Not at all. As a matter of fact this has traditionally been the way things have happened.
Mr. Bacon: We'll be back tomorrow at noon.
Q: More more...
Q: POWs, and the Pentagon...
Mr. Bacon: We are certainly glad to learn that the POWs appear to be in good shape. We're certainly glad that the American people -- I haven't seen this, but CNN was promising that they would have pictures of them. I haven't seen those pictures before I came here, but the contact with Reverend Jackson is helpful to the POWs, and it's a good sign.
But our view is very clear. These men should be freed. They should not have been captured in the first place. They should be let go. And to the extent they're still there, that's regrettable.
So we're glad that people have had a chance to get a report from them and to see their condition. We're sorry that they're still in captivity.
Q:...also be used with your air, military base in Incirlik, Turkey. Could you please, do you have any comment?
Mr. Bacon: Well we're using it every day in NORTHERN WATCH, and it's been an extremely valuable...
Q: No, against Yugoslavia. Against Yugoslavia.
Mr. Bacon: I actually haven't seen that report myself, and I think that until I know the facts, I'd better not comment on it.
Q: Have you gotten any closer to solving the bed-down issue for the additional aircraft you're sending over?
Mr. Bacon: Every day we get closer, but we're not there yet.
Last question right there.
Q: The New York Times has reported that the U.S. has agreed to sell early warning radar systems to Taiwan. Can you confirm or deny this?
Mr. Bacon: We have not made any agreement that I'm aware of to sell early warning radars to Taiwan. My understanding is that we have agreed to work with the Taiwanese to evaluate their early warning radar needs, and that will take place over the next year or so, but there is no specific agreement on a specific type of radar, specific sale, or specific terms of sale at this time.
Q: Have there been any attempts to send refined products from (inaudible) Serbia?
[No response given]