Also participating in this briefing is Major General Chuck Wald, J-5.
Related briefing slides
Mr. Bacon: Good afternoon.
Let me bring you up to date on what's happening, and General Wald in his last briefing here will give you more details. But in short, the Serb forces continue to stream out of Kosovo. They're taking out some of the last airplanes they had there. They're taking out military equipment, and they're taking out soldiers. General Wald will have pictures of that for you later.
There have been several, yesterday, there were several skirmishes between UCK and Yugoslav forces, but they were small and much more limited than in the past. We see no signs that there are major engagements, nor do we see any signs that the UCK is trying to block the Serb forces from leaving.
As you know, the NATO forces are poised and ready to move in as soon as Lieutenant General Mike Jackson gives the world. He's the commander of the KFOR, the man on the spot, and the man who will decide when the KFOR forces move into Kosovo.
With that, I think I'll turn it over to General Wald, and then we'll take your questions afterwards.
Q: How many strike sorties were there?
General Wald: Zero.
[Charts available at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/#slides]
[Chart - Weather Conditions]
We'll kind of stick with tradition. The weather over the next few days will still be pretty good. There are some thunderstorms in the area, some up and down, but shouldn't hinder the ground movement of troops into the area.
[Chart - NATO KFOR]
Just to remind everybody, the chain of command for the KFOR forces. General Clark is the SACEUR, still will be in command as the CINC. His theater commander will be Admiral Ellis, Navy Admiral Ellis at Naples, AFSOUTH. Then Lieutenant General Jackson will be the ground commander as the ARRC commander with, as you can see, five major brigade commanders underneath.
The commanders here with the Brits, the U.S., the French, the Italians and Germans, will all have a general officer in charge of their sectors.
Q: Is there any thought on where the Russian troops would fit into this wiring diagram?
General Wald: That's being worked out right now, and they should fit in, I'm sure, in one of the sectors underneath the unity of command of General Jackson.
[Chart - Kosovo Sector Responsibilities]
The sectors, again, just to remind you. The U.S. sector will be at Gnjilane; the Pristina sector, sector five with the Brits; the French will be up north; the Italians to the western sector; and then the Germans in the southern sector, in Prizren.
[Chart - Requirements]
The plan of attack so far. Entry into force was the 9th, as you know. Yesterday was day one, and today we're in day two, now. Just to remind everybody, the VJ and MUP should be providing mine and obstacle data to General Jackson and his troops. They have -- no air or air defense artillery activity is allowed at this point. Obviously, there has been none, although yesterday they thought it was a SAM radar come up. They fired one HARM missile yesterday early. It turned out that wasn't a SAM, but it landed in the Pristina area, but it wasn't in a populated area.
Q: What was it?
General Wald: It may have been some other kind of microwave or something, but it was not a SAM.
Q:...today, General? There were reports they fired a HARM at two today and took them out.
General Wald: No, that's incorrect.
Q: There has been no...
General Wald: There has been no air defense activity today that they've seen, or any SAM firing or any AAA that they've seen today.
By day three they should have all their air defense and aircraft and missiles and radars out of Kosovo, and I'll show you some film of them leaving with their MiG-21s that they had left at Pristina in a moment.
They're vacating Zone Three earlier. We showed some of that yesterday. We have an image of that. They'll start vacating Zone One by day six, then move into Zone Two by day nine, and then out of Zone Three and fully out of Kosovo by day 11. Then, of course, these forces now are closing into Skopje and ready to go as we speak -- the MEU, the Task Force Hawk group, and then General Craddock's headquarters element is closing into Skopje there. They're now, General Craddock is in place. They're moving a lot of the forces from Task Force Hawk via land as well as helicopter lift as well as C-17s. I'll talk a little bit more about that.
Q: Are they ready to go now?
Q: Can you just clarify one thing on this chart? You've got vacating Zone Three on, now, and also at the very end. What's the difference?
General Wald: The plan here, as General Shelton and Secretary Cohen mentioned yesterday, is Zone Three starts vacating as of yesterday. That will make room for other forces to move into Zone Three. Then Zone One they'll just vacate, kind of a stair-step from the south to the north. So they had to, Zone Three first, get the border group out and then go from there.
Q: I'm sorry, I have another niggling question. When they vacate Zone One, they don't actually have to vacate the country, they just have to be out of Zone One. They can all be in Zone Two.
General Wald: That's right. So they'll stair-step on up, and they've got 11 days to get it all out.
Q: General, are the Marines and the soldiers ready to go?
General Wald: Yes, they're ready. As a matter of fact, some of those troops are on the border right now, setting up com gear, ready to go in. When General Jackson decides the time is right, he will go in.
Q: There are reports that the British are moving across the border into Kosovo already in order to meet the Russians. Is there any truth to that?
General Wald: The last we heard, just a few minutes ago, is that no NATO troops have moved in at this time, nor Russian troops, for that matter. The last we've heard is the Russians have agreed not to move in until General Jackson decides to go in.
Q: Are there Russians on the border of Serbia and Kosovo?
General Wald: We don't know if there are any there yet. We saw a film on TV just like you did, of some moving through Belgrade, but the last we heard is the Russians have agreed to go in when General Jackson agrees to take the NATO troops in.
[Chart - U.S. Initial Entry Force Deployment]
Just a reminder, Task Force Hawk will be right under 2,000 soldiers. They've got about half of their tanks in Skopje now. They're moving more in today. They're moving those by C-17. They're moving other equipment by heavy lift -- CH-47 helicopters as well as UH-60s. Some by road. It's about a 15-hour drive from Tirane over to Skopje, and they're making that over a two-day period. They stopped last night, and they're moving the rest in today.
The Marines are all in place in Skopje at this time, and they'll be ready to go when General Jackson says go ahead -- well within the timeframe they planned for.
Q: Are all the Apaches there yet?
General Wald: They all have been there, but they're actually going back and forth doing lift of some of the equipment. But all the U.S. forces are ready to go when General Jackson says go.
[Photos available at http://www.defenselink.mil/photos/#Operation+Allied+Force]
Just one or two images I want to show today.
[Photo - Pristina Airfield, Kosovo]
This is the Pristina airfield that we've shown several times before. This is a big, large, underground mountain bunker area that we've hit before, actually did close off the entry points before.
[Photo - Pristina Airfield Tunnel Entrance/Exit, Kosovo]
These are taxiways up to the runway. This runway has never been struck. We wanted to keep that open for KFOR when they went in, and I'll show you some Predator film today of actually MiG-21s taking off, leaving. Eleven of them. We figure they're probably about the last 11 flyable in that area. There were 40 at that base at the start of this, and we'll show that in just a moment.
Q: Where were they keeping those?
General Wald: They may have been in part of that bunker, that hill, or dispersed around that area. But like I said, we think they probably had 11 or 12 left, maybe a few more out of 40. This is just a blowup of that area. You can see they have the taxiway coming out here and here. That was hit several times, but we're not sure if the whole area was destroyed, or if it even was really destroyed inside.
The one at Podgorica that we showed before was destroyed inside.
Q: Did you use bunker-busters there, General, or not?
General Wald: They didn't on that one.
[Photo - Convoy Activity, Kosovo]
This is from yesterday, the film was a little washed out. We'll have better film today because of the equipment. But this is the first convoy leaving Zone Three that we talked about yesterday. Many of those were civilian vehicles. Whether those are civilians or not, we don't know, or if it's military equipment.
But the convoys we've seen today, which are numerous, have military and civilian vehicles mixed together, and I'll show you that. Some of the military vehicles have artillery with it. Some are APCs that are driving themselves. Then the rest are some kind of military or civilian vehicles that they're probably using to get equipment out, and who else knows what else.
Q: Do you attach any significance to that? The fact that the civilian vehicles are taking part in the exits in that several of the convoys that were hit were initially thought to be military convoys and then...
General Wald: I think the...
Q: Do you see any kind of connection there? That perhaps...
General Wald: I think the VJ and MUP are using any type of vehicle they can. Yesterday, we even saw tractors. So whether that's civilians with them or they're actually taking the tractors, I would suspect they're probably using civilian vehicles for a lot of the equipment.
Q: But if you go back a couple of months and take what we know now, that they are using these guys to exit, does it give you any reason to reevaluate what happened earlier, what NATO may or may not have hit...
General Wald: I think most military people thought they were using civilian vehicles all along. That's been a problem, obviously. So no, it doesn't make me change my opinion of whether they were using civilian vehicles. They were probably using civilian tractors early on, too. They would do anything. They still are.
The film I'll show you now is from Predator of today. I'll show you several different examples of some of the departures, which they are -- I guess I'd characterize it as a full retreat as we speak. I'll point out a few of these things. We'll have the film for you later, if you like.
But it appears they are, Pristina is in the Zone One area, obviously. This is an earlier one of some of the civilian trucks we talked about earlier. They're queuing up.
Now do we think there's military equipment in there? I'm not sure if that's civilian vehicles there leaving with civilian equipment or if that's civilian vehicles with military equipment. I would suspect some of the latter.
This is Pristina. Those are the 11 MiGs that I showed you earlier. They've been pulled out today. That was as of 11:00 o'clock 11:20 or so Pristina time. Here's another shot of it. Two have already left. They're getting pre-flighting. You can see the pilots and the equipment. It appears to me they're trying to demonstrate some professionalism here, which is, I guess they'd like to leave with some kind of dignity, but they do seem to be reasonably organized.
This is infrared at the same time. You can see the heat source from behind. This one is -- it's the same time of the day but with infrared camera, so white is hot. Taxiing out to the runway. They're taking off two ships. Two in front, two in back in a formation-type takeoff. So they all left. This is heading north. They stayed north, and they pressed north into the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and all 11 of them left.
There was one being towed that's probably not usable. They'll probably try to drive that out in a truck or something.
So we're watching them leave from the south. There's some verification of that.
This is another convoy. All this film was from around the Pristina area. You can see some military vehicles interspersed in this one. Several of them. There were several convoys. some of this film is of the same convoy, I'll show you later in some close-ups.
This is a burning house in that area. Why it's burning, we don't know. This is not a house, but it's a warehouse-type facility in the Pristina airfield area. You could speculate they're trying to burn it so somebody else can't use it. That was as of 10:45 Pristina time today.
That wasn't caused by bombing or anything, so you suspect it was caused by them setting it. Why, I don't know. Maybe just so the ARRC can't use it or the KFOR.
This is in the same area. These are some railroad fuel tankers that they've obviously had hidden. They pulled those up along the road, and they're trying to get gas out of those, obviously. There's not a lot of gas in the gas stations or other access, so they've husbanded some of their gas, so they have enough to get out, it appears. They're filling both civilian and military vehicles with that.
Here's another picture of a convoy here that has military interspersed with civilian. We'll get some close-ups of some of the vehicles in a minute with towed artillery.
Q: How many kliks between Pristina and the northern border of...
General Wald: I'm not sure, Ivan. I can find out for you. I think it's...
Q:...long it took that convoy to get out?
General Wald: It will probably take about a day once they start rolling.
You can see a little closer here, these are obviously military vehicles with military people around them.
Q: Are you surprised at the magnitude of stuff that's coming out of hiding? Did you know it was there?
General Wald: No, because, remind me in a second, I want to talk about that.
These are actually armored personnel carriers that have wheels on them, so they can go on the roads, departing. They're actually heading north.
There's the towed artillery. This is Hunter imagery here. You can see the artillery in the convoy. There's a lot of it.
The answer to your question is, I think, the numbers that were quoted [were] like 50 percent of their artillery and 30 or 40 percent of their APCs and tanks. So when you look at the numbers, they were high numbers of the amount destroyed, but that would leave half of that left, and that would be what you're seeing now. The remainder of what they had is being towed out.
Q: Is this helping you all learn how better, like how to identify where these things are hidden for future battles? Like oh, that's what that lump was...
General Wald: I think the intel, just as we've talked about before, we're not going to talk about specifics, but they're watching very closely. I think -- I don't think -- I know for sure that we have a very good map of the area from the standpoint of where things were or were not, and the air crew and intelligence is very aware of where things may or may not have been. So the intelligence now is obviously a lot better than when we started.
Q: General Wald, I wanted to ask you again about the Pristina airfield and the underground tunnel there. It seems clear now from what you've shown us today that despite several attacks on that site, and closing down, at least temporarily, the ends of the tunnel and even trying to penetrate the bunker, that they were able to successfully keep 11 or 12 MiG-21s in there and pull them out and fly them away.
General Wald: That's what it appears to me also.
Q: Does that raise a question about the tactics or effectiveness in attacking that kind of a bunker, or is that just a more hardened bunker than you...
General Wald: I think it's really a hardened bunker. It's actually dug into the side of a mountain. It, obviously, is made out of granite or something. So I'm not surprised at all that a 2,000-pounder wouldn't penetrate a mountain.
Q: You said they didn't use the 5,000-pound bomb on this. Why...
General Wald: I don't believe they did on that one.
Q: Why not, in retrospect?
General Wald: I don't know why they didn't. I don't know what the targeting was there. But I think one thing, going back again on Pristina. The ARRC and NATO had the intention of using Pristina -- they still do -- after the fact. So that's why the runway wasn't destroyed, etc. I'm not sure, I think they probably closed the mouth of both the tunnels, and once it's inside, it doesn't really matter.
Q: Was there an incorrect battle damage assessment, though, that initially rated that bunker as being destroyed and only now discovered...
General Wald: I don't think I ever read that they thought everything inside that was destroyed. As a matter of fact, it was just the contrary.
The one at Podgorica that you saw blow up, that I think the Navy hit, there is verification that the Galebs that were inside there -- and there are numbers up to 25 or so -- were destroyed. But I never did hear a report or read a report in intelligence that said they thought they destroyed things inside Pristina.
Q: General, is there enough sealift in place to get the main force out of...
General Wald: Yes. The BOB HOPE is there, and they'll be loading it on the BOB HOPE, and that will be steaming around with the replacement force from Germany.
Q: General, what's the status of current operations? Are we still flying CAP? What kinds of planes are flying what missions?
General Wald: They're flying as we speak. They're flying combat air patrol. They're flying intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance with the assets you would use for that -- AWACS, JSTARS, you've seen Predator and Hunter. They're flying aircraft loaded with bombs in the vicinity of Kosovo. And so when General Jackson, if he needs them, they'll be available on a very short notice.
Q: You mentioned some of the pictures you're seeing, General, of the types of equipment that are being moved out and the aircraft that remain. Are you able to make an assessment of what kind of fighting force Milosevic has in his possession after this campaign?
General Wald: I think they'll know more as we go along and we see more equipment leave. But I think the intelligence estimates are probably going to end up about what we thought it was at the end of this, really. That his, the destruction of his equipment and force is probably going to end up about what we thought it was, which is, as General Shelton and Secretary Cohen talked about yesterday, that was -- and I can go through the numbers if you want, but a lot. It depends on which ones you're talking about.
But the front-line MiG-29s obviously in the high 80 to 90 percentile; MiG-21s themselves, I think it was 30-some percent destroyed. Galebs about 35 or 40 percent. You can go down the list all the way. I think we'll find out those numbers were pretty accurate.
They did have indications today of them also pulling out SA-6 or SAM equipment and radars also. That was on German TV. So it appears they're following up on that portion of their requirement as well, but as they go out, I know there's going to be a lot of questions -- can you count them as they go? I don't think we have anybody sitting there counting pieces. But as the ARRC and the KFOR go in, there will be more and more information that they will find.
Q: I guess more than the numbers, do you have an idea whether this force still constitutes or could constitute a significant threat to his neighbors?
General Wald: We don't know that yet. My estimation would be I doubt very seriously if his force is in shape to try to do anything outside of the FRY right now, mainly because they've been in the field for a long time taking a pretty heavy pounding. I'm not sure of their sustainability. It looks like they're having trouble finding fuel. I'm not sure what their equipment for ammunition status is or their ability to even support the vehicles.
We've heard indications they're asking for, as General Shelton yesterday mentioned, for mechanics to come down and try to help get things out. So I don't think that's the way anybody would want to start a combat situation, with a force in that shape.
Q: General Wald, given that, has anybody heard from the Serbs that they need more time to get out yet?
General Wald: Not yet. It looks like they're trying hard to make the timeframe.
Q: Two other questions. Is it still the plan that even though U.S. forces are ready they will follow the Brits, the French and the other NATO forces in?
General Wald: I think as you saw the geography of the sectors, it would make sense for the NATO force, and this is General Jackson's call, to phase in with a force that would go north to go first. It wouldn't make sense for somebody to go in south, and then have somebody try to go by them.
So I think they're all going to go together. I would suspect there will be some U.S. forces that will go into the headquarters with General Jackson. They're part of the ARRC. We have those members that are U.S. members of his headquarters staff, as you recall from before. So this is not a U.S./U.K./French/German type competition. They're all under the KFOR.
Q: You mentioned, I think, that there are some U.S. troops on the border today setting up (inaudible) facilities?
General Wald: There are KFOR troops setting them up.
Q: How close to the border are U.S. troops today?
General Wald: I imagine they're pretty close with the rest of the KFOR.
Q: Could they go in? Could U.S. troops...
General Wald: If General Jackson wanted them to go in, they could go in as we speak. But he feels the time will be right when he's ready.
If you saw General Shelton's chart yesterday, it was 48 to 72 hours from the time this thing was initiated where they'd go in. We're still well within that cycle, and there shouldn't be any problem.
Q: To your knowledge, what are the factors that General Jackson has to consider before he starts calling any of these forces in?
General Wald: I think he wants to make sure that we don't lose any of the troops unnecessarily. Get them hurt for any reason. There's no sense in that. Obviously, the Serbs are leaving. Even though there's been some skirmishing along the border with the UCK and the VJ/MUP earlier, that's dying down. So there doesn't seem to be a rush from the standpoint of getting in there and not making sure the roads are cleared, the mines are cleared, that it's safe for the folks to get in. I don't think anybody would expect anybody to rush in right now and do something that we're regret later. So he's going to make sure it's all set, ready to go with force protection and the roads are clear, and he'll do it at his own pace.
Q: Along those lines, what is the progress of the Serb withdrawal from Zone One? Have they begun moving people out at this point? What are they doing?
General Wald: What I just showed you is all Zone One.
Q: Southern zone.
General Wald: Right. Pristina is part of Zone One where there's kind of a loop that comes up through. As you know, that isn't necessarily way down south. That area, Pristina, is all in that area. They're moving it out.
Q: General, with regard to the Russians that were seen moving through Belgrade, are you saying nobody in the Pentagon knows where those troops are now?
General Wald: I'm sure somebody knows where they are. I don't know exactly, but I know I saw them drive through Belgrade. But from what I understand, they have agreed, Secretary Albright has talked to Ivanov and he has assured her that the Russian troops will not go into Kosovo until General Jackson agrees that they'll all go in.
Q: Ken, do you have any better idea where those troops are today?
Mr. Bacon: Yes, let me just clarify that. What Minister Ivanov has told Secretary Albright is that the Russian troops will stay out of Kosovo until they have reached an agreement on the command and control situation for the Russian troops. In other words, the circumstances under which Russian troops would serve in KFOR.
We believe it would be very useful for the Russians to serve in Kosovo. They, obviously, believe that, too. Secretary Talbott is now in Moscow working out the arrangements.
Q: A series of questions on these Russian troop movements.
One, was the movement of the Russian troops out of Bosnia a surprise to the Pentagon and to NATO? Is the command and control of the troops, of the stabilization force in Bosnia such that the Russians have the option to pack up and leave whenever they see fit? And where are talks, where have things progressed in terms of an agreement for those troops to take part in the KFOR?
Mr. Bacon: Answering those questions in reverse order, the talks in Moscow are continuing. Secretary Talbott's there with three U.S. generals. One is Lieutenant General Foglesong, another is Brigadier General Casey, a colleague of General Wald's in the Policy and Plans Division of the Joint Staff, and the third is Brigadier General Dayton, who is the Defense Attache in Moscow.
Those talks continue. There have been talks as of several hours ago. I don't know whether they're ongoing right now, but they were ongoing several hours ago.
In terms of the Russian troops in SFOR in Bosnia, there are approximately 1,300 Russian troops there. They did notify SFOR, the stabilization force, early this morning that they planned to dispatch a small element of their force, approximately 200 soldiers, into Yugoslavia in order to operate as an advance party. They told SFOR that those troops would return, that they would perform some advance work for other Russian forces coming into Yugoslavia, and they would return to their SFOR duties.
Several hours after they alerted SFOR to their plans, they did in fact leave. And we estimate that there are a little under 200 who left and moved into Yugoslavia where they remain.
Q: Did NATO commanders put the KFOR troops on a higher state of alert or prepare to move them in because of the movement of the Russian troops and then stand down once NATO received assurances from Moscow the troops would not move in without an agreement?
Mr. Bacon: I'm not aware that that's the case. General Jackson has been organizing his troops to prepare them for an entry into Kosovo. He'll do that, as he said yesterday very clearly, when he chooses to do it. He may not announce it ahead of time.
Q: So there wasn't an order to go and then an order to wait and to go later instead?
General Wald: I think if there had been an order to go, they would have gone, since they were right next to the border.
Q: Aside from a few skirmishes, what's the situation with the KLA? Are they standing down, as far as you know?
Mr. Bacon: Yes, as far as I know they are honoring their agreement not to interfere with the exit of the Serb troops.
Q: What, inside the Russian military, what other preparations are you seeing them make in terms of training and other things to assemble a longer-term peacekeeping force for Kosovo?
Mr. Bacon: They have announced that they're training some troops, and I take them at their word. They have announced they're prepared to send a rather large contingent of troops to Kosovo. We have said we would welcome Russian participation as long as it meets the terms that are actually laid out and the package of documents passed by the United Nations Security Council yesterday, and that is that there be unified command. That's what the discussion is about now in Moscow, how do we work out an arrangement that worked for NATO by preserving unified command and works for Russia as well.
Q: Ken, there's no zone for the Russians yet, is there? That hasn't been decided either. A second question is, was any of this movement by the Russians anticipated by NATO until the time they got the notice?
Mr. Bacon: We had some anticipation that something like this could occur, yes. In terms of the zone, it is true that the exact location of where the Russians will go in Kosovo has not yet been worked out. That's one of the issues that Secretary Talbott is negotiating in Moscow now.
Q: Can you walk through some of the non-traditional soldiering and non-traditional tasks the peace force, KFOR, will be involved with? I'm thinking of setting up city governments, arbitrating disputes about homes, of feeding, providing water, some of those non-traditional civilian types of activities that NATO...
Mr. Bacon: I think you've just listed a lot of tasks that will be performed primarily by civil authorities. If you read the U.N. Security Council Resolution, it clearly envisions two types of forces going into Kosovo. The first is KFOR, the peacekeeping force. The second is the civil reconstruction force that will not only help to rebuild, but will help govern and will help set up institutions that any society needs to run itself -- law enforcement institutions, courts, etc.
What the KFOR forces will do when they go in is set up -- their primary job is to establish a safe and secure environment, and that is the foundation on which everything else has to be based. The humanitarian workers can't do their jobs without a safe and secure environment. The Kosovar Albanians will not return home unless they believe the environment is safe and secure. So that's the fundamental task that confronts KFOR as they move in.
They will, obviously, go through the military task of setting up base camps, establishing supply lines, establishing force protection envelopes, setting up patrols that will go from village to village to check out the security situation.
As I said the other day, they'll also set up joint military committees similar to the ones that we have in Bosnia. These committees have turned out to be extremely important ways for the military to establish day-to-day communications with local officials -- whether they're county, town, village officials -- to work out the types of arrangements that have to be worked out any time you have a military force living side-by-side with civilians, and also laying down rules of the road, sort of working out a whole variety of things about troop movements, protection, that type of thing -- rules of behavior, to a certain extent.
Obviously, these troops will not only do the peacekeeping, but they will do a certain amount of humanitarian assistance. Let me give you an example.
The United States Air Force in Europe is already planning on the possibility of airdropping significant numbers of humanitarian daily rations into Kosovo. They've lined up a number of C-130s, which are prepared to launch airdrops within two days of the entry of the peacekeeping force, and they could drop as many as 84,000 humanitarian daily rations a day for several days in order to get food quickly to the internally displaced people who have been in the hills for the last almost three months.
So that's the type of humanitarian activity that the forces would perform.
Q: You commented that water units had been trained to go down to Africa to provide these reverse osmosis machines...
Mr. Bacon: One of the things we'll do, obviously, is take an inventory of what the problems are and then try to respond to those problems as quickly as possible. If the problems are acute -- problems of starvation, problems of dehydration, problems of lack of health care -- the military would be prepared to address those problems on a short-term basis. Over time, it's much more appropriate for civilian authorities and NGOs to deal with these basically civilian services. That's not the military's comparative advantage. Their comparative advantage is providing security.
Q: Now that you're in a different type of mission, Ken, do you anticipate going back to Congress with a revised or new budget request to cover what's coming up? Or has all this been figured into the original planning that was done...
Mr. Bacon: No. As Secretary Cohen said yesterday, the supplemental that was passed did not contain money to pay for KFOR. It contained money to pay for the air campaign. There were some humanitarian funds in there, but they were generally retroactive. They were to pay for the Hurricane Mitch reconstruction and some other activities. I think there might have been some money for the State Department in there that addressed problems in the future in Kosovo, but not for the military.
So two things will happen. First, we will look at the amount of money we have left and the amount of money we've saved by ending the air war on June 10th rather than September 30th, because the funding went through the end of the fiscal year, September 30th. So to the extent that there are significant savings -- and I don't know whether there will be or there will not be -- some of that money could be applied to the KFOR costs.
Obviously, we have a very strong interest in the military -- General Wald, others, Secretary Cohen, General Shelton -- in not having to rob readiness and maintenance accounts to pay for the KFOR operation. So we will do our best to protect the readiness funds, the procurement funds that have been fought for so hard by this Administration, and we will take appropriate action to make sure that we don't get into those funds to pay for KFOR.
Q: General Wald, President Clinton today gave an interesting statistic about the B-2. He said it had flown one percent of the sorties but dropped 11 percent of the bombs or the munitions. Is that the figure that you have? And can you explain a little bit why -- about the B-2's capabilities -- why it was able to drop a disproportionate number of bombs?
General Wald: I don't know the number of the percentage.
I think what's fascinating about the B-2 is it dropped probably on some of the very, very significant targets, a high percentage of the bombs. I don't know -- if he said that's the number, I believe it -- but I will say this much. There are a lot of people, and for those that didn't know much about the B-2, and particularly that hadn't seen it fly, the question of whether it was going to work or not, and it came across like gangbusters. I think JDAM was a star of the campaign as well as the B-2. And the other one, too, is the B-52. That did drop a significant amount of the bombs, as you know, 44 per aircraft. They all were -- I think it did away with the term "dumb bomb." So I think the President's real proud of all the guys that did their job and saw the B-2 up front today.
Q: Do you anticipate that the Air Force might change its position on acquisition of more B-2s based on the performance of the plane in this conflict?
General Wald: I don't know what the Air Force plan for the B-2 is in the future. I know they planned to have 20 of them. They'll all be capable. And I guess if you did the math, 20 times 16 targets is a lot right off the bat, so it shows it's got a great capability to come from the CONUS and drop almost any place in the world on high value targets under the worst conditions. So it's pretty impressive.
Q: Ken, more B-2s?
Mr. Bacon: I'll point out, Jamie, that we never flew more than two B-2s at a time, so that was ten percent of the force in action at any one time, and I think we showed that we have an adequate number of B-2s to perform the types of challenges faced during Operation ALLIED FORCE.
Q: You raised the Bosnia peacekeeping model as how the Russian coordination with NATO might work. Can you briefly tell us how does that work, and would you expect the same thing in Kosovo?
Mr. Bacon: I would expect something akin to it. Whether it will be exactly the same remains for Secretary Talbott and his Russian counterparts to work out.
The way that works is that the Russians serve in an American sector and they report to an American general. They also report to a Russian general who was embedded in SHAPE Headquarters, in Mons, although he has left recently, but presumably he can come back. This way they have basically taken their commands from a Russian or from a U.S. general.
They have basically -- they are given their orders through a U.S. chain of command, and if they accept the orders they go off and do them as they have done the vast majority of the time. If they find an order that is distasteful for some reason or that offends their principles, then they have said we won't do that, but we will stand aside to allow other SFOR forces to perform the mission. That has happened in one or two cases.
So this has worked actually quite smoothly, and I think the Russian troops have been very pleased by how they've been treated in their sector, and certainly the American commanders, including American Secretaries of Defense who have visited the Russian troops, have been very pleased and impressed by the quality of the troops that the Russians have sent and by the quality of the work they've done as peacekeepers in Bosnia.
Q: What's the thinking about when U.S. forces that are not part of KFOR will begin coming home? Also, will the TR battle group which was diverted to this operation when it was originally scheduled to go to the Arabian Gulf, will it now go on to the Arabian Gulf?
Mr. Bacon: Those are both good questions. I know of no indication that the TR is about to be diverted to the Gulf, but we'll check into that. Obviously, there's another carrier in the Gulf. I think that we will probably want to keep the TR on station for at least awhile longer. It would only be prudent to make sure that the withdrawal takes place as we think it is, and as planned.
In terms of the other forces, that's entirely up for General Clark to decide at some appropriate time. Obviously, he'll decide to release a number of the air forces and naval forces and maybe also some of the Army forces in the area that aren't directly connected with KFOR. But that's a question for the SACEUR, General Clark, to decide. I suspect that he's been thinking primarily about deploying KFOR into Kosovo right now, and he'll think later, in the next several weeks, about what to do with the other forces.
Q: Ken, the Predator video shown today showed a warehouse burning. Do you have any other evidence of the Serbs laying waste to parts of Kosovo as they leave? Any other imagery or other evidence?
Mr. Bacon: We did see some other pictures of burning buildings in Predator films yesterday. I'd have to say there aren't a lot of them that we've seen, but we have seen some. Of course it's hard to know when you encounter a burning building from a UAV like the Predator how it started to burn. We know one thing, NATO wasn't responsible for it. But other than that, we don't know the circumstances.
There have been reports from the Kosovar Liberation Army that a few or at least one of the VJ units has laid a few mines as it was going out, but we are not -- overwhelmingly the reports we get, overwhelmingly, is that the evacuation is taking place quickly and in compliance with the rules laid out by the Military Technical Agreement. And I would have to say that the story here is that the withdrawal is happening speedily and in compliance with the rules.
Q: No briefing tomorrow?
Mr. Bacon: We'll have a briefing tomorrow at 11:00. This is General Wald's last briefing, though, and I thank him for the great job that he's done. (Applause) At 11:00 tomorrow.
Press: Thank you.