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DoD News Briefing, Wednesday, April 28, 1999

Presenters: Mr. Kenneth H. Bacon, ASD PA
April 28, 1999 12:00 PM EDT

Also participating is Major General Chuck Wald, J-5.

Related briefing slides

Mr. Bacon: Good afternoon.

I've just got a couple of brief announcements here.

First, you may have seen press reports on this already, but the families of the three POWs have received messages from the soldiers. These were delivered by fax by the International Committee of the Red Cross. It's up to the families to decide whether to make these messages public. Some have. I've seen reports out of Newsday and also the San Antonio Light reporting on some of these messages.

Second, every day General Wald briefs on charts, and we've been handing out paper copies of the charts. Now I'm happy to tell you that all of these charts are going to be posted on DefenseLINK -- so you can get them off DefenseLINK, and we won't hand out paper copies anymore. The good thing is that people back in your offices across the river can get them instantly if they need them for graphics purposes from DefenseLINK. So the Defense Reform Initiative marches on right beneath your eyes, making your lives better and better every day.

Finally, I'd like to welcome 14 educators from the South who are here visiting as guests of the U.S. Army. Welcome to our briefing.

With that, I'm going to turn it over to General Wald, unless you have particular questions.

Q: I just wonder if there's any progress, Ken, on the 300 -- the additional near 300 aircraft now or the call-up?

Mr. Bacon: Not to announce beyond yesterday. We have the first tranche of the call-up that has taken place, or is taking place, and we're still waiting to clear up the final details on the other aircraft.

Q: Have you got other bases other than Hungary all set now?

Mr. Bacon: I think we'll have ample places to base these aircraft, right.

Q: Do you expect an announcement this week on the planes?

Mr. Bacon: I think I won't make any predictions, because so many of my predictions are wrong. So rather than have to have you correct a story that has a wrong prediction in it, I'll just wait until the decision's made.

Q: Has the President authorized the use of the Apache helicopters?

Mr. Bacon: I don't believe they're ready for use yet, but they should be soon.

Q: On a different subject. Can you tell us what you know about the contacts between the Marines and Eric Harris?

Mr. Bacon: I know nothing about that.

Q: On the remainder of the aircraft, would you expect that to be done in a piecemeal fashion in different chunks? Or the remainder of it would be announced at one point?

Mr. Bacon: I think it will probably be in a couple of blocks, but I think it will be coming relatively soon, and the whole thing will become, the whole pattern will become clear relatively soon.

Q:...solely responsible for the force protection for the planes on their territory?

Mr. Bacon: Will it be solely responsible?

Q: Yeah.

Mr. Bacon: We always have some force protection assets where we deploy our planes, so there will be both Hungarian and American force protectors.

Q: Ken, did you say the President had not given authorization yet for the employment of the Apaches in action?

Mr. Bacon: I didn't say that. What I said was they're not quite ready to be employed yet.

Q: Is that the same as saying -- I mean...

Mr. Bacon: I don't believe the President has given -- I don't believe that's been brought to his attention. But I don't know that for a fact. It would be more appropriate for the White House to talk about that.

Q: Can you fill in some of the blanks on this incident that happened with the missile that NATO has confirmed went astray and hit the residential area? Can you tell us more about whose missile it was and...

Mr. Bacon: I think NATO's spoken adequately on that, and I have nothing to add.

Q: They didn't give any details whatsoever.

Mr. Bacon: I think what NATO has said is that one bomb went astray, and this will happen sometimes in conflict. And we try very hard...

Q: An American plane?

Mr. Bacon: It was from an F-15, yes.

Q: Do you know what kind of bomb, what kind of munition?

Mr. Bacon: It was a GBU-10.

Q: Was it only one, Ken? Because reporters at the scene indicated that it looked as if there may have been two.

Mr. Bacon: My understanding is that it's likely to be one, yes.

Q: Ken, one more thing. These tankers are going to be based in Budapest, right?

Mr. Bacon: There will be some there, yes.

Q: How about Tazar? Is Tazar going to be used at all?

Mr. Bacon: As I said, when we have things to say about where these planes will be based, we'll say it, but now isn't the time.

Q: Ken, both houses of Congress appear now likely to approve supplementals that are roughly twice as big as this building requested. What's going to be the recommendation of Secretary Cohen to the President on dealing with those supplementals?

Mr. Bacon: The President spoke to that today, and I don't have a lot to add. What the President stressed was that the most important task now is for Congress to pass the $6 billion as rapidly as possible.

There are a number of other very good projects that have been added on to this, but our primary goal is to make sure that we get the $6 billion that all the Chiefs and the CINCs agree we need right away, as soon as possible.

Q: Why is that important?

Mr. Bacon: Why is that important? Because we're running current operations every day. We're using munitions; we're using fuel, and remember, this is a supplemental that pays -- the two biggest elements are for operations and for munitions. We want that money. We're already beginning to borrow money from accounts for later in the year, and we don't want to do that. We don't want to strain or rob accounts for training or operations and maintenance or procurement elsewhere in the Defense Budget. We want -- we think that in order to keep our readiness as high as possible we need this money as soon as possible.

Q: The Congressional proposal would also include the proposed pay raise, instead of doing it in the FY2000 budget, doing it now. Does the Secretary have a position on that? Would he recommend it be approved, or would he rather them wait until...

Mr. Bacon: I stated the general position, which is that we want this, we need this approved as quickly as possible. And to the extent that this becomes a much larger bill, I think the prospect of rapid approval diminishes.

Q: The Department in the past, as has the White House, has said if more money is approved by Congress, you want that money funded. Would you prefer it that way now? To have any additional money over what you're asking for fully funded? Or are you willing to accept money that's not funded in order to get the money you want?

Mr. Bacon: Charlie, what we proposed would be [that] the $6 billion would be fully funded. There are many meritorious projects being added onto this bill by Congress. The question is whether it's appropriate to put them in what we consider to be a rapid action supplemental or to deal with them in some other way.

Q: At the end of the day they were talking about how Hungary had authorized use of its bases for some additional refueling aircraft, but I thought I'd understood over the weekend that Hungary had agreed to allow strike aircraft to be striking Yugoslavia from its territory. Am I correct? Has that been authorized by Hungary?

Mr. Bacon: What I saw announced yesterday by the Defense Minister was their acceptance of tanker aircraft. As I've said many times, we are working out the basing arrangements for the strike aircraft as well. When all of that is worked out and we have an announcement to make, we'll make that announcement.

Q: Back on the budget matters?

Mr. Bacon: Sure.

Q: What is the daily average operational cost for the U.S. military for the airstrikes over Kosovo? And how much money has been taken from which accounts to pay for the war?

Mr. Bacon: I don't know the answer to either of those questions. We'll try to get them.

Q: Apparently the Serbs are recruiting for their army in some of the border towns in Macedonia. And there was also apparently a grenade attack on a NATO vehicle there. Can you add anything on that?

Mr. Bacon: There's not a very large Serb population in Macedonia, so I'd be surprised if they're doing a lot of recruiting. I've not seen reports on that.

I do know that they are experiencing desertions, and there have been public reports in Macedonia, published reports in newspapers in Macedonia about people refusing to answer draft calls for the Yugoslav army reserves. So it wouldn't surprise me if they're desperate to get new people, but I hadn't heard reports of their recruiting in Macedonia.

Q: The grenade attack?

Mr. Bacon: There was a reported grenade attack against a NATO supply depot in or around Skopje. Nobody was injured, and no equipment was injured. We believe that two grenades may have been thrown from a moving car into a compound.

Q: Was this a U.S....

Mr. Bacon: Was it a what?

Q: Was it an American...

Mr. Bacon: You mean was it made by Ford or GM? Is that what you're asking?

Q: No, I'm not asking whether it was made in America. You said it was a NATO car. Were these Americans?

Mr. Bacon: No, I didn't say it was a NATO car. I said they were reportedly thrown from a car into a NATO supply area. It was not manned at the time by U.S. troops. It was manned by, I believe, French troops.

Q: Are you increasing any defensive measures as a result of...

Mr. Bacon: Defensive measures have been increased fairly dramatically and, obviously, commanders look every day after an event like this and decide what to do next.

Q: When did that happen, Ken?

Mr. Bacon: I think it happened early this morning, late last night.

Q: This may seem too fundamental here, but is the United States, according to the DoD point of view, involved in aerial warfare over Kosovo and Serbia? And second, is the ethnic cleansing that the Serbs are engaged in, is that considered a war against the Kosovar Albanians? And thirdly, is there a full-scale war going on that NATO is involved in?

Mr. Bacon: We're certainly not involved in dogfights over Yugoslavia, because the Yugoslavs lost so many of their MiG-29s on the first night of the engagement that they're not flying anymore.

In terms of the ethnic violence, we estimate now that more than 4,000 Kosovar Albanians have been executed in Kosovo since this began on March 24th by Serb special police and by special troops. These are the estimates from the international organizations who have interviewed refugees as they've come across the border into Macedonia - the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - and Albania.

We've said before, the State Department has said, that the International War Crimes Tribunal will have to decide whether these constitute war crimes or constitute something approaching genocide. Aside from the executions that have been reported by refugees, there are also many individual murders that have been reported as well, so we think the number killed is probably likely to be much, much higher than 4,000 by Serb and special police and army forces.

Q: How can you have war crimes without a war?

Mr. Bacon: Well, this is certainly a violent conflict, and it began with Milosevic's troops and special police attacking Kosovar Albanians in Kosovo.

Q: Will Judge Arbour from the War Crimes Tribunal be meeting with officials here...

Mr. Bacon: She will. She has a meeting with Secretary Cohen, and she'll be meeting with members of the Balkans Task Force tomorrow. It will be -- wait a minute, is it tomorrow or Thursday? Tomorrow is Thursday. It will be tomorrow, which is Thursday. (Laughter)

Q:...sort of press form or briefing or...

Mr. Bacon: She certainly is going to be available to the press while she's here. Whether there will be a press event here yet we haven't decided, but I understand she'll be meeting also at the State Department. I know she's doing some TV, and she's doing an editorial board while she's here.

Q: Will she be showing film and pictures?

Mr. Bacon: I don't know. You'll have to ask her.

Q: Who's briefing whom, actually? Is she coming here to get briefed on what we know, or is she briefing the Pentagon on what...

Mr. Bacon: She's obviously an international civil servant, a very important one. We are working very closely to provide the type of information that she needs in order to do her job. I think the conversations will be about -- she will tell us what she needs from us, and we will tell her what we can do to get her that information as quickly as possible.

Q: Are you providing whatever intelligence information you already have, sir?

Mr. Bacon: First of all, we're not the channel for that information. The State Department is the appropriate channel for that information, and I think specifically Ambassador David Sheffer's office. But we have been working hard to cooperate with the Tribunal and to supply information both for Kosovo and for Bosnia.

Q: Ken, with the stepped up air campaign, the 300-plus aircraft eventually going over, and the tankers now going over, is there a problem getting JP or jet fuel? And particularly, what about going into Hungary? How will they get enough jet fuel to feed the tankers to feed the strike aircraft?

Mr. Bacon: I can't answer that question. I'm not into logistics. Maybe General Wald can answer the question.

Q: Just a clarification. Colonel Freytag said this weekend that the Apaches are now in the arsenal and Clark can use them at will, but that question confused me. Does the President have to give some more authorization in order for them to be used?

Mr. Bacon: Yes. We've always said from the beginning -- when we announced the deployment decision on Easter Sunday -- when the announcement was made, I pointed out that there is one more step. That is the President has to authorize the actual employment, the use of these helicopters. I don't anticipate that that will be a problem. I think it will be done very quickly when General Clark asks for them to be used. I suspect that approval will be coming soon.

Q: Can you comment on some reports out of the region today that the Serbs possibly have been using some sort of chemical or blister agent either against refugees or perhaps NATO troops in some of the border regions? Does the Pentagon have any independent information?

Mr. Bacon: We have received a report through international officials from a doctor who claims that he treated five refugees with blisters on them that they claim came from some exposure to some sort of chemicals launched by the Serbs. We don't have any independent confirmation of that, but a doctor did report to international officials that he treated people he thought had been subjected to an attack from a blister agent.

We also have had reports that the Serb troops have used riot control agents. That is certainly something they've done in the past. It's not surprising they would be doing it now in certain combat or crowd control situations.

But we obviously are not on the ground in Kosovo, and we don't have independent intelligence about these incidents, but we do have reports from refugees that chemical agents have been used.

Q: When did this report come from the doctor?

Mr. Bacon: It was earlier this week. But I hasten to point out that we have not been able to confirm it independently. We have no reason to doubt it, but we also don't have any confirmation.

Q: Are there any plans to try and independently confirm that? I assume that that could pose a threat to any troops that might in the future operate in Kosovo.

Mr. Bacon: Of course, we don't have any intention to send ground troops into Kosovo now. The Kosovar Liberation Army is now trying to acquire gas masks and other protective equipment that they can use in their operations in Kosovo.

Q: Ken, another quick question on that GBU-10 that went astray. Any indication at this point of what caused it to go astray?

Mr. Bacon: No.

Q: Not at all?

Mr. Bacon: I mean, I assume that it was something that blocked the laser; it was a laser-guided bomb, and if a cloud or smoke or something got in the way, I assume that's what caused it.

Q: Ken, President Clinton said that there's apparently increasing evidence of cracks within the Milosevic regime. Can you share any of that information with us?

Mr. Bacon: Well, some of that has been made public. Vuk Draskovic was fired today, as you know. It was sort of a classic example of if you don't like the message fire the messenger, I think, on Milosevic's part.

A retired VJ general named Vuk Obradovic made a statement to the press in Hungary during a radio interview there essentially predicting that Milosevic would be gone soon, and that this would be better for Yugoslavia to have him out of the way. I can get you a copy of that. It was published in FBIS.

We've also seen reports of comments by a leader of the party led by Milosevic's wife about the possibility of allowing U.N. forces or international forces into Kosovo as part of a peace arrangement.

I think that there are a number of examples like that. It's hard to know what to make out of them. They're comments at this stage, and it's hard to know whether they have a lot of political momentum behind them. But one thing we know, a week ago we weren't hearing comments like this out of Yugoslavia, out of Belgrade, out of leaders -- either political leaders or former military leaders. Now we are hearing them. So there clearly has been a change in the dialogue, and there clearly has been an increasing concern about what's happening in Yugoslavia because of the attacks against military installations.

Q: Do we take advantage of those statements and rebroadcast them using Commando Solo or something like that?

Mr. Bacon: That's a good question. As you know, Commando Solo is broadcasting fairly regularly. The interview with Obradovic, the retired general, was in Hungarian. He was speaking in Serbo-Croatian, but it was translated into Hungarian.

That's a good question, and I'll take the question to find out exactly how we do use that.

What Obradovic said in this radio interview was Slobodan Milosevic's political mission has basically ended. When he disappears from the political arena is only a question of time now.

Any more questions? Tony.

Q: Did you get any numbers of precision-guided munitions dropped to date?

Mr. Bacon: No. I've referred that to the Joint Staff, and they're looking into it.


General Wald.

[Charts available at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/#slides]

Major General Wald: Good afternoon.

[Chart - Weather Conditions]

As I said yesterday, the weather's been improving. Last night it was bad up until midnight; then it started improving over the evening, and in the next few days it looks like it will be excellent, probably the best string of weather we've had over the last actually 30 days. You'll probably see an increased OpsTempo; not probably, you will, because of that over the next few days.

[Chart - Level of Effort Last 24 Hours - Day 35]

In spite of the weather, 14 targets last night, once again concentrating on not only fielded forces but his sustainment and resupply, command and control as well, air defense, fielded forces, mobility. You can see that several lines of communication, bridges were struck last night. Some of his petroleum sustainment -- remember his main petroleum production is out. There is some sustainment that was hit. A radio relay site up north of Belgrade. Then several fielded garrison forces and other forces were struck actually in Kosovo by some of the Kosovo engagement zone aircraft, targets of opportunity.

[Chart - Refugees in Theater]

Quickly on the humanitarian side. About 15,000 more refugees from Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, FYROM have come out, leaving the total number between 1.1 and 1.5 million. That's the UNHCR estimate. The number in Kosovo remains at about 260,000 to 700,000.

Q: Why has the number in Montenegro gone down?

Major General Wald: Some of those folks have moved to other countries, and I'll talk about that right now. They're moving around to other camps.

[Chart - International Contributions (Non-US)]

But 57 contributing countries, of which now 15 have actually taken in refugees -- Finland, Spain, and the United Kingdom have now received some of the refugees. You can see the short tons of shelter and medical have increased. That's what primarily is needed right now, and that's moving along.

There are actually 18 countries that have taken in refugees now.

[Chart - Significant Activities - SUSTAIN HOPE]

The camp that we talked about earlier, they're clearing the site now, putting gravel down, and tomorrow they're estimating they should start building it. On Sunday, the 9th, is the estimate of when that camp should start opening for the first 2,500 or so folks. The 2,000 tents have arrived today. As I said, they'll start building the camp tomorrow. Within ten days, 2,500 folks; and then within another 25 to 30 days after that, 20,000 refugees will have additional shelter near Fier.

UNHCR has requested permission to build three new camps. They're reviewing that right now. And Brindisi has been approved by the government of Italy as a distribution point, which will cut down the time and distance from Ancona for the ferry-type resupply.

[Chart - Summary of U.S. Contributions]

On the U.S. side, just for contribution, there's another 62,000 blankets [that] have been moved into the area. And once again, there are more tents moving into Ancona and more HDRs being produced here in the United States for distribution when the time comes.

They are increasing the overall supplies in theater for the event that more refugees do come out, so they're trying to get ahead of that in the event it occurs.

Q: General, a quick question. I know you generally say clothing in tons. How many shirts are in a ton or something?

Major General Wald: I'm glad you asked. I've been trying to get that for about three days. I think I'll have it tomorrow. (Laughter) We're asking UNHCR. That's a good question; I think I'll have it tomorrow. We'll try to have it for all the different food, shelter, etc., so you'll have a better idea how that works.

Q: Thank you.

[Photos available at http://www.defenselink.mil/photos/#Operation+Allied+Force]

[Photo - Belgrade Command and Control Facility, Serbia - Post Strike]

Major General Wald: Just to show you some of the things that have been struck earlier. This is a command and control bunker, actually a residence that was doubling as one of Milosevic's command and control bunkers in Belgrade. You've seen this before. You can see that one side of the building is actually taken out, and from the ground view on television, the front of it was actually destroyed in some way with a lot of debris here. That right now has not been transmitting.

[Photo - Cacak Ammunition Plant Sloboda, Serbia - Pre Strike]

To show you the magnitude of some of the targets, we've talked through this several times, but this is one target, that's the Cacak ammunition plant in Sloboda, Serbia. I'm not sure if it's named after Milosevic or not. But you can see in this one particular area, this is one target and there are dozens of buildings in here. Large buildings. This is an ammunition production facility mainly for artillery and weapons, ammunition, that type of thing. That's the pre-strike.

[Photo - Cacak Ammunition Plant Sloboda, Serbia - Post Strike]

After the post-strike you can see that most of the large buildings have been destroyed. Significant damage and destruction. These are all destroyed. These are all aim points. These are all one target within a target, if you will, so those have to be struck multiple times to take it down.

Right now his ammunition production is down to about 68 percent destroyed.

Q: Sir, do you know when that was hit?

Major General Wald: That's been hit over several nights.

Q: Was the B-2 used in any...

Major General Wald: The B-2 may have been used. I'm not sure, Tony.

[Photo - Valjevo Ammunition Plant Krusik, Serbia Pre Strike]

Another ammunition production plant in Krusik [Serbia], Valjevo [Ammunition Plant]. Once again, a large area with many, many buildings on these, on this target, with dozens of what we call design mean point of impact in one target area.

[Photo - Valjevo Ammunition Plant Krusik, Serbia Post Strike]

Once again you can see the major buildings have been destroyed to the point where they're not functional. The actual steam plant has been destroyed as well. I don't have arrows on all the areas that have been hit, but you can see the major ones. Once again, it takes sometimes several sorties or times over that target to get it fully dysfunctional, and that one has been rendered dysfunctional.

[Photo - Lucani Explosive Plant Milan Blagojev, Serbia Post Strike]

Lucani explosive plant in [Milan] Blagojev, Serbia. This one is a post-strike. You can see the dark areas here. It's been hit several times, dozens of times. And once again, that plant has been destroyed.

[Photo - Lucani Explosive Plant Milan Blagojev, Serbia Post Strike]

This is Lucani again. The only reason I show this, it's too big for one slide. This is another part of it. So that's how big some of these targets are. Once again, numerous buildings have been destroyed. This was one of the major buildings that's totally destroyed.

[Photo- IDPs, Kosovo]

Some IDP. This is an IDP picture in Kosovo, in the central part of Kosovo. These IDPs are actually moving back into the town, so it just shows how Milosevic is manipulating the IDPs and his total disregard for humanity. So they're moving back in. For what reason, we don't know. He's obviously using these IDPs for pawns in some way.

Q: Are they being forced to go back in, or do you know?

Major General Wald: Well, we assume they're being forced. I think everything that's happening to them in Kosovo right now is being forced in some way.

Q: That ammunition strike, did you say that over time 68 percent of his production capacity has been destroyed?

Major General Wald: That's right.

Q: Can you give us a (inaudible) of one of the other targets like that? Other images?

Major General Wald: General Clark gave a great rundown yesterday on the percentages. I can give you a paper of it. I can spit off a lot of them right now, but I think it would be better for you just to read the report. I think he gave about 12 or 10 different categories of real good specificity.

For example, his aircraft, I'll tell you right now the MiG-29s, of which they hit one last night. They weren't flying. They hit it on a runway and destroyed it. Over 50 percent of his MiG-29s, his front line fighters, are destroyed. About 25 percent of his MiG-21s, and then another handful, like almost 30 percent of his Galebs. So he doesn't have a lot of the aircraft left. The ones that are there, he's not flying.

[Begin Video]

The first bomb here, this is F-16 on a munition production area with an LGB. This actual picture here is from a forward air controller that's just monitoring that strike.

The second one is a command bunker at Kursumilja. We showed Kursumilja the other day. You probably remember three of the buildings, large buildings, being destroyed with the beams being blown up from them. That's the same area.

Another target in that area, another spot. F-16 from Aviano Air Base.

So you can see from the pictures I showed you earlier, that's one building and you would many times in the past think of that as a target. You have to go back several times to destroy the full target.

We take down his fielded forces at Prizen army barracks. Once again, an F-16 out of the 31st Fighter Wing.

Q: That's in Kosovo?

Major General Wald: Yes, it is.

Once again, F-16 under the cursor area here.

And his fielded forces, their supply, sustainment, and their places to go back and rest if they are tired -- they've been in the field a long time -- are gone when they get back.

Q: Are these all night attacks, General? The ones...

Major General Wald: Some are day and some are night.

This is an SA-6 last night. F-16s. This is an SA-6 launcher underneath a camouflage netting. Continue to take his SAMs, IADS out.

Once again, an F-16 with an LGB 2,000-pound bomb. You can see two of them coming in now off the same aircraft. You can chalk up one SA-6.

The Straight Flush radar that went with that SA-6, once again last night, this was in Kosovo.

This radar is associated with the last SAM TEL I showed you was destroyed. This is within a mile of that radar, or that Sam TEL. This radar is destroyed. So his SAM systems continue to be degraded.

Rakovina highway bridge. F-15E with an LGB 2,000-pound bomb. You can see it under the cursor at the abutment of the bridge. That bridge was taken down.

So his ability to sustain his forces in the field is being choked off in Kosovo.

[End Video]

Q: A TEL is a launcher?

Major General Wald: A TEL is a Transporter Erector Launcher.

Q: Can you give us any more details on what happened with the bomb that fell short?

Major General Wald: Mr. Bacon mentioned that NATO is going to report on that, but I think what he said, from what I understand, is exactly correct. There's lots of reasons why a bomb could fall short, but, Charlie, as you know, we've said this many times, when we started this we said there was going to be risk not only to our air crew, but to people on the ground. We understood that. The difference is we're doing everything we can to avoid damage to the people on the ground whereas Milosevic obviously has no problem with that.

One thing I will say, that for over 4,000 weapons dropped, we've had three incidents, and very unfortunate, but three incidents where the bombs have caused some damage that we really didn't want to cause. There have been other cases where bombs haven't hit the target, but they haven't damaged anything. So I think three out of 4,000 is admirable.

We still don't want that to happen. We're looking for 100 percent. But there's various things that can happen with a bomb. It could have a bad fin; it could have some disruption of the laser. But generally speaking, it's usually some weather kind of cause that would make that happen.

Q: You mentioned the three misses. There was a time when the telephone exchange building was missed. That was a miss rather than a...

Major General Wald: That was actually caused by, I believe from what I understand, it could have been air crew or a bomb fin failure, but it wasn't caused by weather.

Q: Is that the only one of such an example?

Major General Wald: The only other one that we've even talked about or know about is the convoy incident that was covered in great detail.

Q: That wasn't a bomb going astray, that was...

Major General Wald: Those are the only three cases of collateral damage that we know of that were reportable.

Now the difference is, as soon as we do these, we report it straight up.

Q: General, can we talk about resupply just for a minute? In addition to the JP, also ammunition. Having any trouble with resupply, any trouble, running short of anything? And if we're going to move into Hungary with the tankers, how are you going to get JP in there?

Major General Wald: We don't have any problem with resupply of any sort. We're watching our special weapons, obviously, but from a JP-4 standpoint or JP-5, then the tankers, the airfield in Hungary, I believe it's called Ferihegy, has enough fuel for those type of aircraft. It's an international airport that has large airline-type aircraft, so there's plenty there.

Now they're working through this, as they look at the bed-down. That's one of the major concerns. That's why sometimes it takes a little longer. But from what I understand from the number of tankers they'll send in there -- and that may be around the weekend or so -- they have enough fuel for that; it shouldn't be a problem. Plus the other ones, as we mentioned earlier, in the NATO nations all have the NATO pipeline from the Cold War set up, so there's plenty of fuel for them.

Q: Operationally, you've talked a little bit about what's the advantage of having tankers in Hungary versus flying from Mildenhall and doing their orbits over the Adriatic. Does that give the fighters more loiter time because they can be topped off quicker?

Major General Wald: The distance you would go with a tanker -- they have to burn fuel themselves -- so the less distance they have to go, the more fuel they can provide fighters, which means we can fly more sorties, etc. So closer is better.

But once again, it's a lot of factors. It has to do with -- everybody in NATO is participating in some way, which is good. Hungary's a full member of NATO. It has to do with the type of aircraft, the facility that runway has to support those. But closer is better because you can offload more fuel to the fighters as needed or other aircraft you're refueling.

Q: You said the allies weren't having any trouble with fuel because they have the NATO supply line. How about GBUs and precision-guided weapons? Do they buy all those weapons from the United States? The people like the Dutch and the British, do they make their own GBUs? In other words, are they running out of some of those weapons at all? Are they asking the United States to supply more, or asking to buy more?

Major General Wald: I haven't heard of any shortage of weapons by any country. Some buy U.S. weapons; they make their own in some countries. We do some of the same, but mostly our own. But I haven't heard of any problem from any of the other countries having a shortage of weapons. As a matter of fact, just the contrary. We're moving more equipment in. We have the weapons we need. We have the fuel we need. We have the crews we need. Now Milosevic is going just the opposite direction, so he needs to start paying attention.

Q:...ground campaign in Kosovo, any resupply efforts particularly by helicopters? And also are there any more troops coming in from Montenegro of the Second Army?

Major General Wald: I haven't heard of any troops coming in. The number I heard yesterday, again, is still around the 40,000 number that started. As far as them moving around, they aren't. They're hunkered down for a lot of reasons. One is, they've got aircraft flying over them, that if they do move they're probably going to get destroyed. Number two is, they're starting to run short of fuel and supplies. And as far as helicopters resupplying, I haven't heard any of that resupply. It could have happened, but they don't have that many helicopters left in that area necessarily, and they fly at their own risk. I'll just leave it at that.

Q: What about the areas where there's fighting? Anything on that?

Major General Wald: There is fighting going back and forth. It's not just the Serbs initiating it. The UCK, the KLA is fighting back. And from what I understand, they're fighting back more than they were before. There's some back and forth fighting going on. But it hasn't been any greater than it was a week or two ago.

Q: Which areas, do you know?

Major General Wald: Much of it in the western part.

Q: General, when you showed the chart of targets hit overnight, we've seen reports on the wires -- I'm sure you did too -- of attacks in Montenegro at Podgorica airfield, among others. There were no targets listed in Montenegro. Were there any attacks overnight?

Major General Wald: There were some attacks on Podgorica airfield against their air defense and integrated air defense which is both their aircraft, their SAMs and their radars. And yes, that has been hit before. When they threaten NATO crews, they'll be attacked.

Q: There was also some anti-aircraft fire reported from the harbor and Bar. Can you discuss whether there was any suppression of that anti-aircraft fire?

Major General Wald: There wasn't any suppression because we haven't heard any reports from pilots, MIS[sion] REP[ort]s or from NATO of any AAA or any fire from that harbor. Now there are press reports, but we haven't seen any of that. So once again, if that happens, we'll take the action necessary and defend ourselves.

Q: General, my stock question, what are the refugees that have come in in the last 24 or 48 hours saying about the plight of the refugees? Are they still internally displaced in Kosovo? Any news?

Major General Wald: Just what I read, because the reports from UNHCR, etc. -- I mean their plight is awful. I mean they do have water, some of them, in some of the areas. They're not being fed. They're out of their homes. You can see that he's traipsing them back and forth. He has no compulsion about using humans for leverage. So the immorality of Milosevic should speak for itself. But the fact of the matter, the refugees that are coming out are at least glad to be in a place where they have shelter and food.

Q: Would you say that Milosevic's strategy with regard to the refugees is to tire them out? Just physically wear them? And...

Major General Wald: I think his strategy is to punish them. I don't think he has a strategy. I wouldn't even give him credit for a strategy.

Q: General, are we replacing the Apache that went down? And what is the status of the investigation on that accident?

Major General Wald: The investigation is ongoing. From what I understand they've got plenty of assets there, and they haven't requested a replacement.

Q: General, I understand that the Air Force may be entertaining a request to send over ten additional B-52s armed with 500-pound dumb bombs, the purpose -- to take on concentrations of troops in Kosovo. We've heard in the past that there haven't been many concentrations. Why the thinking to do that, and why use dumb bombs in sort of a carpet type of bombing, which is not very accurate? Is it to try and get the troops to panic and to leave, disaffect, what have you?

Major General Wald: First of all, there are B-52s already there, and they all have the capability to do all missions. But as far as any future type of deployments, I'd wait for the Secretary of Defense or the Chairman and the CINC to talk about that. I haven't heard of any specificity on that.

Q: The President about an hour ago in his speech talked about the ability now for NATO to attack from all altitudes, all directions. What's the military basis for him being able to say now that NATO aircraft can now attack at all altitudes?

Major General Wald: First of all, we've always been able to attack at all altitudes, and all directions. It's depending upon the tactic and what we want to use, so we're selecting the altitude and tactics, and I don't think anybody from outside the area has told our folks where to fly, at what altitude.

So the altitudes are really dependent upon what the field commander and the actual air crew when they plan their mission, decide they want to fly on based on the scenario, the environment, etc.

So the altitude, I won't even talk about, but I'll guarantee you any altitude we think is the best altitude to attack from, we'll take it.

Q: Doesn't it imply, though, that you've made substantial in-roads in attacking the Integrated Air Defense System, though? Better than you have had in the last month actually?

Major General Wald: Well, we're making progress. You saw on the film we've taken out more of their SA-6s; we're continuing to take down his IADS, and as the air crew who are the experts decide they can fly a tactic at a different place and a different time, they will do that. But I'm not going to give Milosevic any more help than he has.

Q: General, we see the F-16 as of late having some problems, mostly here in the U.S., a series of crashes. One earlier this week. How much of a concern is that to you given that the F-16 is playing a large role in this operation? Are there additional steps that can be taken to increase the safety of the fleet in general?

Major General Wald: First of all, I mean I flew the F-16 for a long time, and it's as safe as you're going to get. It's the safest single engine aircraft in the history of aviation.

The record in combat has been outstanding. There have been some crashes during training, but once again, that's not unusual. The safety record of the Air Force as well as the other services has been outstanding over the last ten years. It continues to be that way. We've had one aircraft loss in this operation out of over 11,000 sorties actually flown. So I think the safety record is pretty outstanding.

Now you'd have to ask Milosevic what he thinks of his safety record, I think, to get a comparison. But to answer your question, would I feel concerned about flying an F-16 over Kosovo or FRY from a malfunction problem? Not a bit.

Q: There's a lot of sound and fury from both sides of the lectern on cutting off the oil to Milosevic. But what effect do you guys really expect? If you can get him down to very little oil in the military, what effect do you think it will have? Is that what's going to stop him? They're not a real mechanized force; they're not really going anywhere. I understand they're hunkered down right now. But it's not like they go in great big armadas somewhere else. They don't need a lot of oil. They can sit there and torch villages all day long and really never have to move. So what effect does the oil -- is that the panacea or...

Major General Wald: Well it's one of the parts. We've talked about this a lot, and the strategy, as I said earlier, we have a strategy, and General Clark has a strategy, and that is to take down not just his fuel but his ammunition; his weapons, when we can get them; his integrated air defense; his command and control -- all of those combined will have an effect on his army. At some point they're going to be non-effective. That's going to have to be determined by Milosevic.

I think there are indications from a lot of sources that they're becoming ineffective in some cases. They're going to have to decide when that is, and it's up to him, but as far as I'm concerned, they're becoming ineffective now in some cases.

Q: General, you gave us a pretty concrete figure earlier in the week on the number of planes that we have there now. Can you give us the number of planes we have and break them down into support and others.

Major General Wald: The number is, right now, the official number because some come and go, is around 575 U.S. aircraft. There's another couple of hundred allied. We transfer aircraft back and forth to do maintenance, so that changes a little bit. There are over, I think it's over 400-some attack-type, strike-type aircraft. But there's various types. Even on a mission, for example when you go into the Kosovo engagement zone -- last night one of the missions had 80 aircraft attached to it. There's ISR; the intelligence (inaudible) reconnaissance; there's AWACS; there's refueling; there's ABCCC airborne command and control; and there's suppression of enemy air defense aircraft; there's the actual bombing aircraft; there's jamming aircraft. So you have all types. But that, of course, is part of the reason that we're doing so well.

Q: Will this be around 600 when all of the tankers get there, the 30 extra? Or are they already there?

Major General Wald: When the other 30 tankers arrive, that should be around 600, but that could change a little bit here and there on a daily basis.

Q: Thanks.

Q: Oil, again. To explain what you briefed us on yesterday or the day before, the port of Bar has a pipeline that runs and carries petroleum products, runs to the border of Serbia where it stops and then there's offloading into railroad transportation, is that correct?

Major General Wald: No. There is no pipeline that I understand. There's a rail line.

Q: Oh, rail line.

Major General Wald: That's right.

Q: Rail line from Montenegro.

Major General Wald: Right.

Q: And that connects, and it's an international rail line?

Major General Wald: It's used to connect to Kosovo or Serbia. The bridge is gone.

Q: The bridge is gone...

Major General Wald: So it doesn't connect anymore. So he has to use work-arounds to try to move the fuel if it is moved.

Q: So basically they can't easily get petroleum products in that way.

Major General Wald: Well, not as easy as they could before, that's for certain. And I think it will continue to be harder.

Press: Thank you.

Major General Wald: Thank you.

Mr. Bacon: An instant answer, you asked about the cost per day. We don't keep figures on costs per day, however on April 19th Jack Lew, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, said that [in] the first 26 days of the campaign the Pentagon had spent $287 million for operations, which translates to around $11 million a day, if you do the division -- 26 days into 287. And that we had spent $698 million for munitions as of April 19th. And as I recall, 25 squared is 625, so this is approximately $26 million a day for munitions.

Q: You said, Ken, that some money was already being taken from other funds. Do you know where that money has come from or how much has...

Mr. Bacon: I don't. I don't have the answer to that. I can only provide instant answers to half the questions. (Laughter)

Q: Ken, is there a search and visit plan put together which is ready for, ready to be submitted politically for approval?

Mr. Bacon: General Clark talked about that yesterday. The Military Committee is working on the plan. I don't know whether it's gone to the North Atlantic Council yet, but I can try to find that out. But the idea is to get something through as soon as possible, maybe by the end of the week, when the European Union embargo goes into effect.

Q: What's the hang-up on that?

Mr. Bacon: It involves a number of complex legal issues. Only the press believes that complex problems can be solved instantly. Usually, it takes some time to resolve something this complicated.

Q: Off the subject of Kosovo for a second, on U.S./Taiwan arms purchases, I'm wondering if you can tell us what kind of arms purchase has been agreed to, and (inaudible)?

Mr. Bacon: By common agreement I can tell you that the sides met yesterday and had a discussion, but we have nothing to announce until or unless proposals are actually sent to Congress. So we can't discuss specific details of this process at this time.

Q: (inaudible), one of those notices to Congress?

Mr. Bacon: In due time.

Q: You talked about the three Americans. Have they been seen by a doctor? And if so, have you gotten the results of that examination?

Mr. Bacon: They were seen by a doctor yesterday. My understanding is it was not a full-fledged medical examination. He didn't go in there with EKG machines and things like that. But he was able to check them out, and I don't know what the results of those checks were. What I've read in the press from the soldiers themselves suggests that they're in -- they report being in pretty good shape, the two reports that I've seen from two of the soldiers.

Press: Thank you.

Mr. Bacon: You're welcome.

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