DoD News Briefing - Rear Adm. Craig R. Quigley, DASD PA
Tuesday, March 27, 2001 1:30 p.m. EST
Quigley: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I have two announcements this afternoon.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz will deliver brief remarks this evening at the Metropolitan Washington United Service Organizations' 18th annual awards dinner. The dinner will be held at the Ritz Carlton in Pentagon City, beginning at 7:15 p.m., with Dr. Wolfowitz's remarks starting at 9:25 p.m. No press availability is planned for the event, but it is open to press coverage, if you wish to attend. [The press advisory for this event is on DefenseLINK at http://www.defenselink.mil/advisories/2001/p03272001_p060-01.html ]
And second, we have three bluetoppers today covering three additional follow-up reports from the office of the special assistant for Gulf War illnesses. The reports concern the results of Gulf War coalition bombing of two different sites and an updated paper providing insights of the Fox tactical vehicle capabilities. And copies of the bluetop are available here and in DDI upon completion of the brief. [The news releases are on DefenseLINK at http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/2001/b03272001_bt127-01.html , http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/2001/b03272001_bt128-01.html and http://www.defenselink.mil/releases/2001/b03272001_bt129-01.html ]
And with that, I'll take your questions. Charlie --
Q: Is Wolfowitz's speech, prepared remarks, going to be available?
Quigley: Eventually, yes.
Q: But if he's got a speech at 9:00 tonight, why can't --
Quigley: Well, I won't have them tonight, Pat. I'm sorry.
Q: Why not?
Quigley: He makes extensive changes to them. I mean, I've only seen him do a couple of speeches so far, but he makes extensive changes to them up until the time he walks up to the podium.
Q: So you're going to give it as delivered, then, huh?
Quigley: Right. Mm-hmm.
Q: Can you update us on the two crashes? There's one in Scotland, one in --
Quigley: I can, yes. The subject is the F-15 accident. A body and wreckage from one of the two F-15s reported missing yesterday was located today near the peak of a mountain in the Scottish Highlands. The body has not yet been identified.
The other aircraft and pilot have not yet been found and are listed as "whereabouts unknown" at this point. The search continues.
SAR [search and rescue] efforts were launched by the U.K. Ministry of Defense from RAF Kinloss in Scotland, and they had the lead on the search and rescue efforts. This involves approximately 200 Royal Air Force rescue personnel, police, civilian volunteers, and three different types of aircraft for air searches.
The rescue effort is severely hampered by terrible weather in the area where we continue to look -- snow, 50-mile-an-hour winds, a very rugged topography. With the snow and the wind, there are whiteout conditions there. And the weather forecast, unfortunately, predicts that those sorts of conditions will remain there for the next 24 to 48 hours.
Our sincere appreciation goes out to the Royal Air Force search and rescue folks who have helped us get this far. And when it is safe to continue the search, they'll continue to do so.
Q: What was the weather like yesterday at the time of the crash?
Quigley: The weather was good yesterday, but a front came in overnight, I think, Ivan, and today it's awful.
Q: So there is no searching today?
Quigley: I'm sorry?
Q: No searching today because of the weather?
Quigley: No, the actual -- the wreckage was spotted early today. And it's a front that has moved in as the day progressed; it didn't start off terrible today, but it is now the conditions that I described. So they were able to find the single crash site and get there to the point where they have recovered the remains of one of the pilots. We don't know which it is yet; they just have not been identified.
Q: Will they be able to do that work today, though, to get to the crash site?
Quigley: I don't think so, because not only is it -- it's 7:30 in the evening there, but you're also considerably north, Pam, and you've got your daylight hours shortened anyway by your northern position. So I think it's pretty well dark, and with the whiteout and the weather conditions, I think they've called it quits for today.
Q: Can you define "good" for yesterday? What was the ceiling and visibility? And what they were doing? There's some conflict here. Air Force is now saying low-level training. But as we were saying here, the C model would not normally do that kind of training because that particular model of the 15 is used for CAP or high-altitude flying.
Quigley: Well, I don't have the specifics to the first part of your question, Ivan, other than having the weather described yesterday as being "good" with clear air mass, but I don't have ceilings and wind velocity and things of that sort. But it was described as "good." [One witness reported a snow storm in the area and a low ceiling.]
But the F-15C single-seater principal mission is, indeed, air to air, but it also has an air-to-ground mission. [Correction: The F-15C has no air-to-ground mission. F-15C pilots have a low altitude currency requirement and must be able to perform air-to-air employment functions while at low altitude.]
And the training that they were on was to use a Scottish range for low-level training. So they took off from Lakenheath -- just for a quick timeline: the two aircraft took off from Lakenheath at about 12:30 in the afternoon, local time. And at 1:15, the RAF base in Scotland reported that they had lost radar contact. So that's 45 minutes after takeoff from Lakenheath. Now, the planes were due back at about 2:20 local time for about a two-hour training hop. And then about an hour later, at 3:30, then they formally declared the aircraft overdue and started the search procedures at that point.
Q: Do you know what kind of ordnance, if any -- was this a live-fire training exercise?
Quigley: No, there was no live ordnance on board. But each aircraft carried a single captive-carry Sidewinder, air-to-air, short-range infrared homing. This is no warhead, no rocket booster, but the seeker will -- it is functional and it allows the pilot to practice engagements and get a very good feel for realism, but without a rocket motor or warhead. And that was the only ordnance on each of their planes.
Q: Were they playing in opposition to each other, or were they playing wing man? Do you know what they were doing?
Quigley: I don't have those details, John.
Q: How are they using the Scottish range then?
Quigley: That is a low-level range -- low-level training. And why they particularly had one practice air-to-air missile on their wings, I don't know that yet.
Q: And they had no other coordinates --
Q: I mean no --
Quigley: No air-to-ground type of ordnance, no, no.
Q: Actually, you said that they had recovered remains. Did you mean that? Have they actually recovered remains now?
Q: If I could just clarify that with you?
Q: So, was it a British search and rescue team that landed? Do we know who landed?
Quigley: Yes, it was.
Q: And the remains have actually been brought down off of the mountain?
Quigley: When you say recovered --
Quigley: That is my understanding, Chris, yes, that they've been brought down the mountain. Now where they are right now I do not know -- where the remains are.
Q: Another subject --
Quigley: Any other F-15 -- Ivan?
Q: German crash --
Q: Well, no, but you said, "the package." Can you refer to the Army\German crash too? Anything else we know about that?
Quigley: No, nothing more as of today. I was about eight miles on a final approach into the field. Two passengers -- two people -- two crew members on board, both warrant officers, both were killed in the accident, but the Army has just started the accident investigation there.
Q: How is the weather there?
Quigley: I don't have that, John.
Q: Is there a --
Quigley: From the video that I have seen, it looks to be fairly decent. I saw the smoke coming up from the crash site.
Q: Is there any concern in the building about what appears to be this rash of accidents of all different types? And is Rumsfeld considering doing anything other than just watching it happen?
Quigley: Well, you're always terribly affected by the loss of life in any sort of an aircraft accident. But you have such a disparity of types of aircraft here, different parts of the world doing different missions under different circumstances. It's hard to discern any common thread that would tie all of these together.
So other than a concern, as you always would, for the loss of life, there doesn't seem to be a common cause here. They're not all the same type of airplane, they're not all in the same part of the world, they're not all doing the same sort of mission. It's very diverse. And the overall safety record for the year so far seems to be quite good, but there has been, in the numbers of accidents that we've had so far, a very high loss of life.
Q: Someone has suggested that if training was being slightly cut back, or funds for training, one of the first places it would begin to show would be in accidents. Is that a valid assumption?
Quigley: I think you'd see that in readiness reporting before you would see it in actual manifestation of accidents; where you call upon squadron commanding officers to be sensitive to the readiness and the flying hour program preparedness of their flight crews, and if they weren't meeting the marks and getting the requisite number of hours and the diversity of types of training and things of that sort, that should show up in their readiness reporting, and that has not, so far. Ultimately you could, perhaps, come to that conclusion, John, but that would not be the first thing I would think you would see.
Q: More on that line, laymen looking at the Pentagon or at the military in general would say, "Well, it might not be all the same planes that are crashing," and indeed you had, you know, a sub accident and the training range accident in Kuwait, "but maybe the underlying common thread is the military personnel, and is the readiness of the troops." How would you address that? Do we have enough information to be able to make those links in --
Quigley: I don't think we do, not that I have seen. A lot of the instances recently have not yet been -- I mean the investigations, the courts of inquiry and what have you, have not come to their conclusion as to the cause of the accidents that we've seen here recently. Some have. Some have. But not all, and you're hard-pressed to compare the findings of one with works-in-progress, if you will, on other types.
Q: Speaking of court of inquiry --
Q: Can I just --
Q: We're on the same subject?
Q: The same subject, yeah. If you compare -- we're about, what, 40 percent through the fiscal year, or something like that, if you --
Quigley: Mm, yeah. (Off mike.)
Q: Something like that. If you pro-rate that and look at the Class A rate of accidents, where are we as compared to last year, for instance?
Quigley: Well, I have year-to-date figures, and let me just go through those real quickly. We are half-way through the fiscal year, as of a couple of days from now, the end of March. This is Class A mishap rate per 100,000 flying hours. The Army is about 1.75; the Navy is about 0.99; Air Force, 1.06; and Marine Corps, 1.91.
Q: Does that include --
Quigley: So that's half-way through the fiscal year.
Q: Does that include yesterday's accident?
Quigley: Does not include yesterday's accident. You count it differently, also, Pam. If the investigation into yesterday, where you had two F-15s involved, if there was no evidence of some sort of a collision between the two airplanes, you would count that as two events. If there was a collision, you would count that as a single event. So, since we don't know that yet, we just hold that in abeyance for now. There's a total of 38 people have lost their lives in these accidents over the course of the year. And again, that does not yet count the F-15 from yesterday, F-15s from yesterday.
Q: Does it count the Guardrail?
Q: The Army (inaudible)?
Quigley: Yes, I think so, but -- yes, it did incorporate those, but not the F-15s.
Q: I suppose we could do the math, but what is the overall rate and what are the comparables for last fiscal year?
Quigley: Well, let me do the second one first, if I could. Army for last fiscal year was .96; Navy was 1.75; Air Force, 1.04; and Marine Corps, 2.63. And again, that's for fiscal year 2000, okay? And I believe I have a total DoD-wide rate at this point of 1.22. And that compares to a year ago of 1.23 overall. So we're right there on an average rate. But you have had a fairly high loss of life at the halfway point of this fiscal year, with 38 deaths. All of last year, for instance, was 58 deaths, so you're slightly ahead of that rate. We hope we don't keep up the pace.
Q: Is there an increase in accidents -- in short, is there an increase in accidents or is there not?
Quigley: No, it looks as if the overall figures are right in line with where we were for the end of fiscal 2000. It's just that they have come in a tightly packed bunch, Chris, I think, that have been -- and resulting in a high loss of life. The Sherpa accident coming from Florida to Virginia a few weeks ago with the Air National Guard Red Horse unit, that was a lot of people in a single accident, 21 people in a single accident. And so you've had your numbers come up in big chunks during the course of each of these accidents during the course of the year.
Q: Just parenthetic. You mentioned court of inquiry. I'm just curious, is this accidental. Any word yet as to when the court is going to make a determination or recommendation to -- (inaudible)?
Quigley: No, I do not have that.
Q: Do you know, in the bombing range accident in Kuwait, what progress they are making there, who the folks have actually interviewed in terms of --
Quigley: They have interviewed some of the injured, if they're fit to be interviewed, John. And CENTCOM says as of yesterday that they're making good progress with their goal of having a report to General Franks by mid-April.
Q: I take it what you're saying here, Craig, is there's no intent now to call any kind of stand-down, 24 hours or otherwise --
Quigley: No, sir.
Q: -- to stand back and look at training.
Quigley: No. Again, if you could -- if you could pull a common cause here, Charlie, you might come to a different answer, but you can't. It's widely divergent circumstances in each and every case.
Q: Next week, India's foreign minister and defense minister will be here in the building. And any idea what is their mission here, meeting with the secretary of defense? And also, does that include CTBT [comprehensive test ban treaty] or any future U.S.-India defense deals?
Quigley: I'm sorry. I have not gotten a read-out on the anticipated topics of discussion yet.
Q: And just to follow that, Pakistan's military commanders have offered -- the military regime -- to sign CTBT with the United States. Have you received any official or unofficial word or what is the Defense Department's views on that?
Quigley: I understand the question. I don't know the answer. Let's see if we can take that and find out an answer for that.
Q: Back on the readiness issue, several of the CINCs have testified on the Hill today and last week, and they've all begun to -- they all cited readiness concerns. CINCPAC Admiral Blair today said that his air force -- the Navy and Marine fliers in the Pacific will run out of money -- flying money my August if they don't get a reprogramming or a supplemental. You know, what's the status of -- are we still waiting for the review before we decide whether there's going to be additional money this fiscal year?
Quigley: Yeah, you know, again, we're half-way through the fiscal year, and I think the secretary's very much aware of that, and has heard the reports from the unified commanders as well as the service chiefs. And when he feels that the time is right with some clarity of need for dollar amounts and specific purposes, he will not hesitate to go forward to the president asking for a supplemental, if that's what he thinks is necessary.
Q: When will he be finished with is top-to-bottom review? Any target date, yet?
Quigley: He has not -- he has not stated a date, although it will be kind of a rolling result, Ivan. Some will be -- some of the efforts will be done earlier than others, particularly if you need to have -- if you need to be impacted by the fiscal year '02 budget. If it is something that does not need money in fiscal year '02, you could perhaps wait. And some of the efforts will also call for follow-on work that could take several more months, depending on the issue and the level of analysis that you should do in order to come to a good, clear -- so it will be a shifting, moving date that they will come to fruition, although he's not let himself be pinned down on any dates.
Q: You're saying this kind of rolling effect based on money, reading you correctly, one then would assume that the weapon systems issues will be pretty close to the top, the big ticket items: F-22s, DD-21, Joint Strike Fighters.
Quigley: He is very clear on the fact that programmatic specifics will follow the strategy, in that order. And I've seen a lot of pieces that have been written in recent weeks that are very quick to jump to the programmatics. And Secretary Rumsfeld is not there. He has had no specific recommendations on programmatics made to him at all, let alone to the president. So he is very focused on getting the strategy piece right and what our nation's military needs to have, what its mission should be as we enter the first part of the 21st century, and then, as an absolutely required follow-on, but in that order, to go to the programmatics about what sorts of equipment we would need for our nation's military to carry out its mission.
Q: But one -- I mean, again, when you get down to the strategy, if you see the strategy does not call for the use of aircraft carriers or carrier battle groups, it then becomes pretty clear that his intent is to either phase out the carriers or not build new ones, I mean they hinge together, don't they?
Quigley: But I don't think he's going to treat it -- on the strategy piece, it needs to be a total piece, in the sense you need to have an understanding across the board of what our nation's capabilities need to be in the military area. He needs to be satisfied with it, and then he needs to take that to the president and get his concurrence in that. Then, and only then, when the strategy piece is done completely, will you go to the programmatics of how to carry out that strategy.
Q: Craig, there's an interesting piece in the New York Times about emerging policy differences between this building and the State Department. For instance --
Quigley: I read that.
Q: Did you read it? Do you have any comment on it? And I have a follow-up question.
Quigley: I was amazed, to be honest with you. I just know things differently. My perception of that whole circumstance is very different from the writer's. This is a team, a national security team that speaks together on the phone in a planned manner once a day -- in the morning, at 7:15. A more typical day has all of them speaking about three times a day. They have lunch once a week at a roundtable. It's hosted here one week by Secretary Rumsfeld, over at State by Secretary Powell the next week, and what have you. And these are folks that are constantly in touch with each other and working through issues together as a team. I just -- the tone of the article is such that there's some sort of a bitter, very unpleasant, very divisive sort of a relationship amongst them. And I just don't see it. I don't see --
Q: But there are -- there are disagreements on policy. And whether they're bitter or not bitter --
Quigley: You're always going to see opinions -- I don't think the president would want it any other way than to hear different points of view if there are different points of view. But how this team works together is really something to see.
Q: Well, would you like to correct any of the positions given in the article, or are the positions as expressed correct?
Quigley: I would do neither. Their advice is provided privately to the president.
Q: Given that true, too, that this is the traditional resting place of the doves. I mean, the hawks are at the State Department. Isn't that -- don't you actually have that confused --
Quigley: I don't know if I'd characterize it that way, either.
Q: Well, I mean, over the years we are very reluctant to use military power at this end. Very happy to use it over at the State Department.
Quigley: I think the leadership in DoD is always taking a look at each circumstance and treating it for the unique circumstance that it is and trying not to use a one-size-fits-all approach.
Q: I think of Chairman Powell's opposition to the Gulf War. Now maybe he's changed his mind; he's over on the other side of the road.
Quigley: I don't know. I'll let Secretary Powell speak for himself on that.
Q: So would you say that there aren't major policy -- I mean, you're talking, sir, about style of interaction, but are you saying that there aren't major policy differences, and is that because this building doesn't have a policy on many things yet -- (laughter) -- or because they agree with the State Department on everything?
Quigley: I would say that you see the national security team working very closely together to present their views to the president on a wide variety of topics. Where their opinions differ, they will clearly state that to the president, but they try very hard to make sure that everybody understands everybody else's positions and the rationale for that, so that the president can get a cogent, comprehensive set of recommendations where he understands, if there are differing views, what are the elements that took that person to take that view, that they think are the significant issues that make them think that way. I mean, you would ask for nothing less, I think, from your team.
Q: On the review, is the idea that it's going to complete the strategy, roll out the strategy, and then do the recs, or will you push through everything and then you roll it out as a package?
Quigley: No, you'll have different parts being publicly released at different times. The strategy is going to be right up near the top, certainly before any programmatics. If there are other issues that don't have programmatics attached to them, necessarily, then you can move those to the right and make them later, because you don't need to have them impacted by dollars as part of the '02 budget.
Q: And do you have an idea where we are in the budget planning, sending a detailed budget over to the Hill?
Quigley: No, I don't have that date, either.
QYesterday there was a published report saying that Rumsfeld had received a list of, like, 30 programs that could be whacked to save $3 billion a year, approximately. How does that square with your notion that there's been no programmatic recommendations? Was the report inaccurate, or did it mischaracterize the so-called list?
Quigley: I think what you're looking at now is a variety of stories that are coming out, taking pieces of work that are going on in the various reviews that are under way, and perhaps coming to some faulty conclusions as to -- based on what they see.
If I read that story yesterday correctly, to me, it is a pretty good description of all of our significant acquisition programs. And if I was trying to understand where the money is in our future acquisition plans, that would be the list that I would ask to see. I don't think I would predict as to what I would then cut from that line, or do I -- or from that list. Do I draw a line and everything below the line goes? I just -- we're just not to that point yet.
But if you're trying to understand where we have significant acquisition investments in the future, then that list of programs is where the money is -- the significant tac [tactical] air programs, the shipbuilding. You don't care about the smaller programs, because they can't make a difference. But I need to understand where the big-ticket items are. That's what that list looked like to me.
Q: (Off mike) -- was that it was that this is where we are, and where we're going over the next five or six years, dollar-wise.
Quigley: Right. Right.
Q: In other words, everything is on the table is what you're talking about. This is what --
Quigley: Absolutely. But today -- stop the music, okay? -- where are our acquisition dollars for the most part, and where are the big acquisition programs, where there are many billions of dollars in the years ahead.
Q: Craig, you mentioned that there had been no programmatic recommendations made to the secretary, so that he couldn't make any yet to the president.
Q: Has he received specific strategic recommendations yet?
Quigley: Not if it buys equipment.
Q: You know, where we are in the world, and the Defense Department has to prepare its --
Quigley: Well, on the strategy piece, that is further along, certainly, than of the programmatic pieces that goes. And when he met with the president last Wednesday, he gave to the president a quick look at the initial findings of his work in that area and also in quality of life. And this -- it was kind of, "Mr. President, this is where we are at the moment. This is not done but it's kind of how we're dividing up the work, if you will. And here is the work we have come up with so far on both the strategy piece and the quality of life."
Q: Has he scheduled any -- or has he had any subsequent meetings with the president or scheduled any, particularly --
Quigley: No, not that I'm aware of -- not that I'm aware of. There will be more though, Alex. I mean, there will be -- this will be an iterative process over a period of time.
Q: Is it then safe to say at this moment that the emphasis is shifting to the Pacific Rim and the Far East, away from Europe and Eastern Europe?
Quigley: We have to stay tuned on that one, Ivan.
Q: Last week you talked about the secretary divesting himself of firms in which he may have defense contracts by the end of next month. Has he recused himself during this review from firms in which he continues to have an investment in, relating to their programs? And which programs has he recused himself from?
Quigley: I'm not aware of the Department having made any major acquisition decisions in the last two months.
Q: Well, they have ongoing contracts with the Defense Department -- firms that he has investments in. He's recused -- he's divesting those eventually. My question is, as he makes this review over the fate of these firms, is he recusing himself from any specific firms?
Quigley: I'm not aware of his involvement in any contract having been signed by the Defense Department since he has come into office.
Q: No, these are firms he has investments in, or as a -- you know, might even have a little more significant role than investments.
Quigley: There are contracting officers, Pat, at every level of the Defense Department, depending on the scope of the contract. And there are --
Q: But they can't hold -- they can't have defense -- they can't have investments in the defense contractors.
Quigley: But I'm a contracting officer at a local installation and I need more paper for my administration department. That's a contract that's going to be let locally, negotiated locally, and those are not decisions that the secretary of Defense has any part of.
Q: Well, he had a -- he had several million dollars in General Dynamics when he was nominated. Has he gotten rid of that General Dynamics stock or is he recusing himself of decisions involving General Dynamics?
Quigley: I don't know as if he's made any decisions regarding General Dynamics, in the example that you've just cited.
Q: Well, I think a number -- there are several major programs.
Quigley: Well, I -- he would be scrupulous to avoid even the perception of any conflict of interest, and --
Q: (Off mike) -- he's recused himself?
Quigley: He has not recused himself from a process that he's not been a part of.
Q: Just on general terms along this line, if someone comes in who has, you know, far-ranging investments and the bottom falls out of the market, which it has, does the United States government still force that person to take those heavy losses and sell immediately --
Q: -- or is there some way they could put them in limbo or, you know --
Quigley: There are a variety of things you can do, but ultimately you need to divest yourself of the interests in those firms. And you are a victim of the market going up or down, and if the market goes down, your losses are greater, if the market goes up, you have more buyers for your equities.
Q: In a case like Rumsfeld, you could be talking about several millions or many millions of dollars, perhaps.
Quigley: Well, and a lot of his holdings are very complicated -- limited partnerships, and the like. Where you or I might want to sell or buy some mutual funds tomorrow, we could do it that day, if you're the direct owner of equities in a firm. But if it's a limited partnership, it's a much more complicated structural arrangement to divest yourself of that, and you must find a buyer. So now I must seek a buyer on a good day is a complicated process, but if you combine that complication with a declining market, it's just that much more difficult. But it does not excuse the individual from the ultimate divestiture.
Q: Yes, on training, the USS Enterprise Battle Group is scheduled to be deployed to the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf sometime the end of April. Has a final decision been made if that battle group is going to use the inner range in Vieques?
Q: Congressman Curt Weldon has been in to the secretary proposing Saint Kitts and Nevis as alternatives to Vieques. Are they really seriously being considered as alternative sites for training for the Atlantic Fleet?
Quigley: Well, the secretary has received the congressman's letter and a response is being prepared, but I don't think he has responded to him directly, yet.
Q: Okay, but is his proposal -- or the congressman's proposal under serious consideration by the department in the search for alternative training to Vieques?
Quigley: I think that the answer to the letter will show that we have considered his suggestion and will answer the suggestion specifically.
Q: The March 9th report that was due to the president on how the Navy was going to conduct its training through May 1st, 2003, has that been finally submitted to the White House?
Quigley: No, it has not. They know it's not there yet. We've told them that it's late. We are trying to determine a more comprehensive way ahead on Vieques. That long-range training schedule will be a part of that and trying to incorporate that as part of a larger package on the way ahead to Vieques.
Q: Could you elaborate a little more what you mean by a more comprehensive package on Vieques?
Quigley: Well, the report that was called for was simply a listing of the training requirements for battle groups and amphibious ready groups through 2003. That's a pretty simplistic package to put together. But the issue is much more complex. We're trying to be able to come to a solution to the training needs not only of the Enterprise battle group that you mentioned earlier, but downstream training needs as well as part of a comprehensive program on the way ahead on Vieques involving land transfers, money, use of the range, how often, with what ordnance, under what conditions. It's very complex. It took a year to come up with the original agreement. It's taking a while longer than we would have liked probably to prepare what we are working on right now and will ultimately more forward as a proposal.
Q: Do you consider that this existing agreement is still valid or in place?
Quigley: That is our working assumption. That's a starting point, yes.
Q: In Vieques, there has been this group of citizens, I believe (inaudible number) individuals who have signed petitions to have Vieques secede from Puerto Rico. They had meetings in Congress last week. Some of these people are being actually harassed by other anti-Navy sympathizers in Vieques. They claim that they're being, you know, physically attacked and under surveillance by the anti-Navy groups. Is the department concerned about security on the range -- on the range and for those people in Vieques who might support the Navy's stance?
Quigley: Well we would always be concerned about security on the range. But I would think it would be incumbent upon the civil law enforcement officials within Puerto Rico if any citizen of the commonwealth feels threatened for whatever reason.
Dale, you had --
Q: Yeah, just to follow this for a second. Is part of this review also involve the status of other military facilities in Puerto Rico? Or is that being discussed as part of --
Quigley: Not that I'm aware of, no. Not that I'm aware of. It's really -- that really isn't the issue.
Q: Can I have one more, sir?
Q: Is there any update today from the German MoD that the U.S. military in Europe hold training on foot and mouth disease, I think tomorrow?
Quigley: Tomorrow's the day. Now I asked that very question before coming out here this afternoon. And as of yet, the Germans have not -- at least not shared with us or any of the other allies that would use some of those ranges. So we'll have wait and see until tomorrow.
Q: And we've made no formal proposal on mitigation measures yet for military training?
Quigley: Well, you're kind of -- nobody expects this to be over real quick. So the impact of the long haul is not yet very clearly known at all.
In the near term, it doesn't have a major impact. There are exceptions for the things that really matter. Units preparing to go to KFOR can continue the training. Units that have a contiguous training area can continue training. The German government has granted waivers for other items.
So right now, today, the impact is not great. What the longer term impact will be is anybody's guess. What time frame are we talking about? And we'll just have to wait and see and see where that takes us. The longer the time, of course, the greater the impact, and we may very well have to design some work-arounds in the weeks or months ahead, depending on the time frame.
Q: I want to shift gears from foot and mouth to missile defense a second. Can you give us a -- up-to-date on the testing schedules here? BMDO last week confirmed that the first Boeing booster test is not going to happen next month, but delayed till about August or September at the earliest. How concerned is the Pentagon about that delay rippling throughout the rest of the program for the next couple years?
Quigley: Well, you're always concerned anytime you have a delay in any developmental program because of the downstream effects of that delay. You try in each and every case to mitigate the effect as best you can. In this case, our original plan had been to have a series of three developmental booster tests. What we're going to do now is have a -- we're calling it a pathfinder test, and that is to do everything up to and -- but short of actual launch of the new booster. So you get the handling training, you get the launch procedures training, and you get everything but the launch, and do one of those, followed by two live firing tests. And then we'll see what the live firing tests have given us.
So the mitigation in this case is to design this pathfinder idea to try to get some training benefit. But it will have an impact on the program; we just don't know how much.
Q: From the podium, can you explain a little bit why it's important to test this new booster, and why can't the U.S. just go along with the one that's been used in the prior three tests?
Quigley: Well, the one we've been using for the integrated flight test so far is a Minuteman booster, basically, but it's a two-stage booster. It will do at this stage of the development of the program itself. It gets your kill vehicle in the air, it launches the systems that you need to test in outer space. But our assessment for the long-term need, for a ground-based system, now, is that you need a three-stage booster for the speed and the range. You obviously want to interdict any incoming missiles as far away from United States territory as you can and as quickly as you can. And you simply don't get the speed or range from a two-stage booster that you would from a three-stage booster. So the long-term goal remains the development of that three-stage booster.
Q: It's crucial to make sure these tests stay on target to --
Quigley: As close as we can. As close as we can.
Q: Does this mean the next hit-to-kill test is likely to be next year instead of this year?
Quigley: No. We'll have an integrated flight test this year, but it will use the Minuteman booster, not the Boeing developmental booster. It was never planned for that either, but we had hoped that integrated flight test seven might be able to use the new booster, and we will not make that.
Q: When do you expect that?
Q: When is flight test seven scheduled for now?
Quigley: I don't know. I don't know. We hope to have the first of the live shots of the three -- of the pathfinder and then two live shots, hope to have the first of those by late summer.
Q: For the record, can you compare when, under the original schedule, the first Boeing booster was supposed to launch a warhead, versus what the current schedule is on IF-7, IFT-7?
Quigley: Sure. Yes. I don't know that off the top of my head, but we can get that. [The test was originally scheduled for March 2000.]
Q: For the record for folks.
Q: Are both those live flight tests following the pathfinder test to take place this year?
Quigley: The first is late summer, and I think the second is later this year, I believe, but I don't have a date on that. But I believe so, yes.
Q: Can I just follow up on that?
Q: The next intercept attempt -- which I thought was six, not seven, actually.
Quigley: The next one is six. We had hoped for the first of the new boosters to actually fly on seven. So six was always going to be the Minuteman.
Q: Right. When is six?
Quigley: I think that's like midsummer, early to midsummer. I don't have an exact date.
Q: That also is moving to the right. Is that because of the review, or what?
Quigley: I think what you're going to see in integrated flight test six is a near duplicate of last July's test, using just about identical components in every facet of the shot.
Q: Why does it take so long to get there?
Quigley: We're going to want to make sure that -- you know, when last July's shot failed to deploy the decoys appropriately, failed to get the separation of the kill vehicle from the booster, these were much more simplistic things than -- It just goes to show the incredible complexity of the overall system, I believe, from start to finish. We're going to want to make darn sure, as best we can, that we check and double-check every system and subsystem before the test is actually -- These are expensive. These are about $100 million for a test shot. We're going to try to get it right as best we can, and double-check everything along the way.
Q: Isn't the point of testing to kind of just go out and do stuff? I mean --
Quigley: Sure, but that should never be done in a lackadaisical manner. If we can ensure a higher chance of success by delaying a test a couple of weeks that has no overall impact on the program itself, and you get much more and much better quality test data points by that marginal delay, that's a good investment.
Q: So should we expect future tests also to have delays of up to 12 months between each other?
Quigley: Depends on what you find in each of the succeeding flight tests. If you have components that are developed and they proceed very smartly along their development path with no glitches noted, you can anticipate sticking to a schedule, but if there are snags along the way -- and the new booster would be an example of that -- you're going to have to adapt your testing program to reflect the reality of the snags that you've developed along the way.
Q: Do you have comments on the published report that -- on the Chinese missile program? And also, last week's CIA report that China is still exporting missiles to Iraq, Iran, Libya and Pakistan?
Quigley: I'll let CIA talk about their report, but we're very much aware of the Chinese ongoing modernization of China's military, and that would include weapons systems that are arrayed along the coast facing Taiwan. By the same token, it all depends on how China would use its modernized military in the years and decadesto come. It could be a force of stability there in that region, or it could be a source of instability and, obviously, we hope it's the former.
Q: Any threat to the U.S. security, to U.S. national security, from Chinese stepping up the military missile defense --
Quigley: Well, it's always something that we watch very carefully, but I think, at this point, no.
Q: Thank you, Craig.
Quigley: You're welcome.
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