Tuesday, February 13, 2001
Quigley: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Just an update on Secretary Rumsfeld's travel.
As part of the president's "national security week," Secretary Rumsfeld went to Hampton Roads, specifically Norfolk, Virginia today with the president, where they visited U.S. Joint Forces Command and the headquarters of NATO's Allied Command Atlantic. And while he was there the president addressed military members and their families, received a briefing on transformation, and participated in a video teleconference battle exercise. Tomorrow Secretary Rumsfeld will again accompany the president to Charleston, West Virginia, where they will visit with the West Virginia National Guard, reservists and their employers.
With that, I'll take your questions. Charlie.
Q: Could you update us on the helicopter crashes in Hawaii? Did the two helicopters collide before they crashed?
Quigley: I'm sorry. I'm --
Q: Did the two helicopters before they went down?
Quigley: That's not clear. But it's my understanding that somehow or other they came in contact, Charlie. But specifically, the geometry of that I don't think is quite clear yet, and we're going to want to let the investigation continue to get clarity into that. But somehow the two helicopters came in contact. Between the two --
Q: Before they went down.
Quigley: I'm sorry?
Q: Before they went down. In the air.
Quigley: I'm not sure that both were in the air. I don't think so -- at the time. But that's one of the pieces that we need to get a clearer understanding of. Only two helicopters involved. A total of 17 soldiers on board the two helicopters: six on one helicopter and 11 on the other. All of the six that were killed were on one of the two helicopters. The 11 on the other helicopter were injured. Seven were treated and released very quickly. Four were hospitalized for a period of time. I don't have a real time update for you on their condition. I'm hearing that a couple of them may have been released already from the hospital. But I'm not absolutely sure on that. What we are sure of is the six dead, and that's a tragedy.
This was a routine training exercise that has been conducted for some number of years at this particular training range in Hawaii.
It's up towards the north end of Oahu. It's not right along the coast, but it's a little bit inland from the coast.
And this was an exercise that practices the ability to move soldiers around under battlefield conditions, in this case using helicopters. This was done at night, and again, that's something that we need to be able to do in combat, so we practice that skill in peacetime training as well. There were many other helicopters that were a part of this exercise, but the accident involved only these two.
Q: Do you have anything on the recent accident history of that particular type of aircraft?
Quigley: No, I don't.
Q: It sounds like you're suggesting --
Quigley: Let me go back to that one second. We have that somewhere; I don't have it with me.
Q: Did you say you don't think they were in the air?
Quigley: Again, that's a part that we need to have a little bit more clarity on. I've heard conflicting reports during the course of the morning to the point where I'm not confident that I have a complete understanding of the geometry involved.
Q: Do you know what -- it sounds like you're suggesting that one was on the ground and another one hit it, another flying chopper hit it.
Quigley: That's possible, Charlie, but I just -- again, I got conflicting stories during the course of the morning, and I just made the decision I'm just going to let that float for now until we have a better understanding.
Jamie, you started to say -- I'm sorry?
Q: I wanted to change the subject to the submarine accident.
Q: No, no, no.
Quigley: Any other questions on the Black Hawk accident?
Q: Do you have any information on weather conditions? And were the pilots wearing night-vision goggles?
Quigley: They were wearing night-vision goggles. The weather had a good ceiling, I understand about 3,500-foot ceiling. Light rain. So not ideal, but again, conditions that were flyable, certainly, well within the limits. And night-vision goggles were being used.
Anything else on that?
Q: Were the helicopters supposed to be flying some place in tandem? Were they working together? Is that --
Quigley: Well, there were a total of 23 helicopters in this exercise, so it's a fairly large-scale exercise. Not all were in the air at once at the time of the accident, but it's not clear to me how many were or what -- you know, where they were physically separated in space; were all in the air, were some in the air and some on the ground? And that's just not clear to me.
I haven't focused on that, to be honest with you. I was trying to get a good understanding of where these two were that were involved in the accident, and I couldn't even get that clarified during the course of the morning. So we've still got to work on that.
Q: Why not? I mean, what's --
Quigley: Because we're in Washington, D.C. and it happened in Hawaii and our knowledge is not perfect.
Q: On the submarine accident, has the government of Japan asked the United States to attempt to recover the wreckage from the sunken ship? Is that something that is technically possible, and is that under consideration now?
Quigley: You've seen, I've seen, a variety of media reports clearly expressing the desire of the government of Japan to have us take a look at the possibility of that. We have a ROV -- Remotely Operated Vehicle -- that should have arrived in Hawaii about an hour and a half ago, about noon our time. It's called the Scorpio, and I have a picture of it here, if we can show that, please. It's not a very good picture; it's not very large, but what this is is a box- shaped ROV. It is controlled from a surface ship. It goes down to a depth of up to, I think, 5,000 feet, so we're in plenty of operating room here for the 1,800 feet, give or take, that we're talking about at the accident site.
[Photos are on DefenseLINK at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Feb2001/g010213-D-6570C.html .]
This contains a sonar and two black-and-white video cameras. Now, in addition to this -- (to staff) -- could I have the other, please, Terry? This is a side-looking, or a side-scanning, sonar. This would be the device that would actually be used first to hopefully locate the ship on the bottom, and once this device -- which can sweep a larger area more quickly than the relatively short-range sonar on the Scorpio itself -- once we would be successful in locating the ship using this device, then that would allow you to localize the activities of the Scorpio and send that down. And it is remotely controlled from the surface, through the television cameras.
Through the sonar you have the ability to see what the Scorpio is seeing and, as you can see -- (to staff) -- back to the Scorpio, if you would, Terry, please? -- it's a fairly boxy device. This will not be able to go inside the ship. It's just too big. But it will, hopefully, further our understanding of the conditions of the ship itself, if there are any remains, we can certainly -- if there are any remains to be seen, either in the vicinity of the vessel or something close by, this will, hopefully, help us in that regard, and at least it's a starting point.
So this is the first step, Jamie, in assessing what the next steps might be.
Q: Is it possible, though, to retrieve, to bring up a ship from that depth of this size, from the bottom?
Quigley: It would depend on the condition of the vessel itself, and that we do not know. From the individuals that were picked up after the accident, we know that the ship sank very quickly -- some numbers of minutes, not very many -- but we don't know the extent of the damage to the hull until we can get down there and take a good look at that.
And then answering the question of whether or not it can be salvaged is really dependent on what we find. So we're going to have to take a good assessment of that.
Q: Why didn't the submarine do more to render assistance or to take on any of the survivors of the accident?
Quigley: Yeah, that's a question I've seen out there the last day or so. A submarine in the seas that we're talking about, that were present at the time of the accident, which is about 4 to 6 feet, is a lousy platform to recover people from the water or bring rafts alongside. As you all understand, the hull of a Los Angeles class submarine is basically round, and it's a cylindrical, and looking from an end-on view it is round. And so you have very poor sea-keeping abilities on the surface of a Los Angeles class submarine.
The danger to the survivors in the rafts would have been had the submarine come alongside and attempted to bring them on board, a couple of things could have happened. One, the rafts or individuals could have been slammed up against the hull in seas of that sort, and injured very seriously or even killed. And even had they been able to pull them on the deck of the submarine, there's only one small strip of non-skid material running right down the center of the submarine that allows you any sort of traction at all, and all the rest of the hull is completely smooth and slick, by design, in order to make it more efficient and quiet as it moves through the water.
So in this particular case, the submarine came to the surface, spotted the survivors in the rafts, radioed for help right away. With the full understanding that Coast Guard professional rescue personnel were literally on the way in minutes, they felt that the best course of action, so as to not put the survivors in any sort of a more dangerous situation than they were already in, was specifically to not go -- to get any closer to them and attempt to pull them on board the submarine.
Q: Was there any delay in radioing for the call for help?
Quigley: No, not that I'm aware of.
Q: Any idea of how much time elapsed between the actual contact and the radio call?
Quigley: No. I don't know. They may have that; the Coast Guard folks may have that out in Pearl Harbor. I have not heard that here.
Q: And one last question on this subject. Following an accident in 1989 involving the USS Houston, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that all U.S. submarines surfacing in U.S. commercial waters where there's a lot of traffic use active sonar to make sure that there were no vessels overhead. Any idea why the Navy rejected that recommendation, and is there any consideration of looking at that again?
Quigley: Well, you're talking about two very different events, for starters. The Houston -- I think the event you're talking about is when she snagged a tugboat, I believe it was. Now, she was running near the surface, but horizontal -- parallel to the surface, okay? And the situation we have here with Greeneville was when they were conducting an emergency blow from a depth greater than that. So you have very different geometries involved here. In the one, the submarine's coming to the surface very rapidly -- Greeneville -- and in the other, the submarine is not. It's basically a level course and speed somewhere near the surface.
The whole issue of active versus passive sonar is another one that's got a lot of play the last day or two. The best sensor that the submarine has at its disposal to understanding the surface ship picture is it's passive sonar. Now Greeneville, for instance, has an under-ice capability but it has a limited capability in a sonar that would look up, basically, to differentiate surface contacts. It's looking for the underside of an ice flow, or it's looking for the surface of the water to discern its depth and distance between the bottom of that ice flow or the surface of the water. So it gives you that and it performs that function very well. But that's really not something that would be of great use here.
When the submarine went down to start its emergency blow procedure, you also have a thermal layer, at least one, between the submarine and the surface. So any use of an active sonar at that -- with that geometry in place of a thermal layer would cause your active sonar to not give you the return. It would basically be blocked by that thermal layer. It would not give you the return that you would seek. So you have several things that say that the right one to use here is indeed the one that a standard submarine -- tactics and procedures, and that's the use of the passive system.
Q: Were any of the numerous guests on board at the controls of the submarine before it had the accident?
Quigley: I'm sure we'll find out that as part of the investigation.
Q: And what is the rationale for not releasing the names of the guests?
Quigley: I think that when take guests on board, they don't automatically surrender their rights to privacy. And they've asked their names not be released, and we're honoring that.
Q: This is a government vessel, and --
Quigley: They don't become public figures by walking on to a submarine.
Q: Well, the manifest is taxpayers' property, and these are guests on board. And when an airplane of the United States Air Force carries people, the manifest is released.
I could -- I'm authorized to say National Journal is going to challenge this withholding in the courts.
Q: Some of the reports said that Deep Drone and Scorpio were going out. Why was a decision made for Scorpio -- (inaudible) -- Deep Drone, or are they both on scene?
Quigley: I don't know. No, they're not both on scene. I don't know why one over the other -- it could have to do with which one was ready to go quicker. I'm not sure. Let me see if I can take that and find out the reason.
Q: The Navy owns Deep Drone, but is Scorpio contracted -- contractor-owned and operated --
Quigley: I believe Scorpio is owned by the Navy. It's with a deep submergence unit, I believe --
Quigley: -- in San Diego, I believe.
Q: This isn't out of Oceaneering here in Upper Marlboro, then?
Q: The people who responded are out of San Diego?
Quigley: Correct. Yes. Mm-hmm.
Q: Could you give us some measurements on the Scorpio? How big is it?
Quigley: Bryan, that was on that piece of paper. We'll get those for you.
[A fact sheet on Scorpio is on the Web at http://www.csp.navy.mil/csds5/dsu/umv.htm .]
Q: You have them --
Quigley: We have them -- exactly. We have the dimensions. We have the weight, depth capability, stuff like that, Charlie. But we cut up the slide that we had to make the pictures, and so we'll have that at the news desk.
Q: The side-scanning sonar is on what ship?
Quigley: Well, it's not anywhere yet. That is also being brought in with the Scorpio.
Q: But it will --
Quigley: One of the vessels that is on scene still conducting the search and rescue is the USS Salvor. Many of you are familiar with the name USS Grapple. That has been used on this coast, on the Atlantic Coast, in several instances of salvage and recovery in recent years. This is basically the same sort of ship, similar capabilities, similar size, things of that sort.
So I don't know as -- if the authorities out there have made the final decision on which platform, but this would be a high probability. It's just designed to do that very function.
Q: Have we seen any of this equipment before in, like, the EgyptAir search or anything like that?
Quigley: I don't know if this particular model of side-scan sonar was used before, but this is a technology that's constantly evolving. The principles of operation are the same. Whether that's the exact same model, I don't know.
Q: And this --
Quigley: Let me go back one second. The Deep Drone is on stand-by at Dover Air Force Base.
Go ahead, Pam. I'm sorry.
Q: The Scorpio, has that been used in any aircraft recovery missions or --
Quigley: Let me take that, too. We'll see if we can find a short history of its employment.
Q: Two questions. Understanding the difficulty of bringing survivors aboard the submarine, was any consideration given to putting boats in the water and at least going to try to find people bobbing in the water and helping them into life rafts, or administering to them in the life rafts until the Coast Guard arrived?
And then the second question, the passive sonar: would its effectiveness be limited by the fact that the submarine rising very quickly in a blow like this was making a lot of noise itself?
Quigley: Well, anytime you have lots of -- let me take the second one first. Anytime you have lots of onboard noise -- rapid motion and things like that -- you're not going to have an effective -- as effective a capability to detect things using your passive or active sensors. I think there's a perception that all I have to do is go active and my knowledge is perfect of the circumstances around me, and that's just not the case, either. And submarines are designed to be quiet. And there are systems on board, the active systems, as I've described, principally for under-ice use. But for most of the systems, the detection of surface contacts and subsurface contacts, the best sensor available is the passive system.
Now, to the first part of your question, a submarine doesn't have any lifeboats per se. There are a couple of life rafts on board for the crewmembers. But you'd have the same sorts of problems. To get them out of the submarine you have to pop open a hatch on the deck of the submarine that was awash in those four to six-foot seas. It is something of an effort to get these life rafts out. When the Greeneville was on the surface and saw that the 26 members of the crew and students and whatnot were in the life rafts, it assessed the situation and said "This is a dangerous evolution, they seem to be well in hand, I know that professional help is on the way," and the decision was made to not deploy those rafts. That would have been a dangerous evolution all by itself.
Q: Pop it out through the torpedo tube, for example --
Quigley: No. That cannot be done.
Q: -- while you're on the surface.
Quigley: No. Manually -- manually -- moved inside the submarine out a hatch on the surface on that very wet, slippery deck.
Q: In what might evolve into a related incident, do you have anything on a U.S. serviceperson in Okinawa being charged or arrested for arson?
Quigley: I read that in a wire report, and I got a quick brief on that from the Marines before I came in.
I guess the investigation itself by the Okinawan law enforcement authorities has been going on for a couple of months or so, or at least a month. That's a little unclear to me. But the issue is a crime of arson. And as the investigation continued, the suspect is indeed a Marine, who is currently in the brig at Camp Hansen at Okinawa. And General Hailston met with the governor to express his concern and willingness to cooperate in the investigation. We have the Marine currently, as I said, in the brig there at Camp Hansen on Okinawa, and we will strongly consider turning over the suspect to the Japanese authorities even before charges are filed; but most certainly if the authorities do press charges against the Marine for the crime, then we would turn over the suspect to the Japanese authorities from there.
Q: So you're saying that he's under arrest pending the outcome of the investigation by Japanese authorities?
Quigley: He is in the brig under U.S. authorities. He has not yet been charged, is my understanding, with the crime. But when --
Q: (Off mike.)
Quigley: At the request of the Japanese authorities, and we are doing just that.
Q: And can you identify him?
Quigley: I don't have his name here.
Q: Can we get his name?
Quigley: I will see what I can do. [He is Marine Lance Cpl. Kurt Billie.]
Q: Can you say whether or not this, plus what has happened with the fishing boat plus the already sort of seething tensions over the situation in Okinawa, in any way could have poor spin-off into policy towards Japan, which the new administration indicates it's going to make a priority?
Quigley: Well, I --
Q: The defense relationship.
Quigley: I don't see how -- the incidents that you describe here that have happened in quick succession here of late are certainly unfortunate timing. They have nothing to do one with the other. But we find ourselves in an awkward position here recently with the Japanese authorities. You just have to keep working. We have a very strong relationship with the Japanese government. We had had for many, many years. It is a foundation of our national security arrangements in the Pacific. We just have to keep doing the best we can and keep working closely with our counterparts in the Japanese government and Japanese military, and work through the rough spots in the road, such as these.
Q: Can we return for a moment to the NTSB recommendations of almost a decade ago? You seem to be saying that the NTSB does not know what they're talking about with the use of active sonar. I mean, you put it very delicately; I'm putting it more bluntly. Do they not know your business?
Quigley: Well, their understanding, as I have seen and heard explained on television, is not mine; it's different.
Q: Sonar, active sonar, in close to shore or in these conditions is not an effective tool?
Quigley: The sonar that would be helpful to you would be a system that would somehow be able to find surface targets at a considerable range from the submarine. We have passive systems that are very good at doing just that. Now, there are limitations. If you have a surface target that's not making any noise, or very much noise, that's obviously a limitation, John.
But in this particular case, you have a couple of things working against you. When you had Greeneville descend to the depth from which they started their emergency blow, not only do you have a thermal layer above you, but you also have the speed of the submarine itself moving through the water. You would not have good signal information on the return of any sort of an active sonar system. You also have a submarine that when it's doing one of these evolutions has an up angle on its bow plane so the bow is high as it proceeds to the surface. And the sonar that is principally for under-ice use looks up vertically from a level submarine. So if I have an up angle on my bow planes, my active sonar is now looking back here, which is of very little use to me.
Q: The NTSB seemed to be indicating that it was the Navy's penchant for wanting to keep the submarines silent and undetected that was part of the rationale for not using active sonar as a safety measure, even when you are close in to shore. Do you reject that argument by the NTSB?
Quigley: There's probably an element of that, John. I mean, that's just an inherent desire on our part to stay as quiet as we can and operate, train -- operate in all circumstances as you would under the most stressful circumstances. But I wouldn't put that first on the list.
Q: And finally, on a slightly different issue but same general subject.
Aren't all submarines equipped with professional swimmers that go out of the submarine under very difficult conditions and can perform life- saving sorts of tasks, even in very bad weather, in the water?
Quigley: I don't know. Let me see if I can find that out.
Q: Wouldn't the active sonar have been used, not when it was, you know, just before coming up, but when it was closer to the surface, checking to see whether there was nothing in the area, and wouldn't it have been effective in that -- at that point? In other words, before the dive, while it's checking out the area for other vessels or anything else that might be out there?
Quigley: I want to use the best sensor I have. That isn't active sonar. It is passive sonar.
Q: On the Houston incident, the NTSB report, in fact that report says that the routine practice on the Houston -- not the Greeneville -- was to use the under-ice sonar whenever they came up to periscope depth. The only reason they didn't do it in the case of hitting the towline was that it wasn't working, so they couldn't use it. There seem to be different rules about when the under-ice, high- resolution, short-range sonar will be used. Apparently on the Houston, that was the routine to do it. I'm told that in the case of the Greeneville, it is at the commander's discretion whether he uses it or not.
Quigley: We'll let the investigation figure that out.
Q: Have they videotaping what is on the periscope? Do they have any videotaping?
Quigley: I don't know. If they have that capability, I'm sure that the videotapes are in the hands of the investigators now.
Q: How often are emergency blows required for training? And is it a normal part of, say, an officer of the deck's PQS that they have to conduct these, or is it more nebulous? And is there a, you now, an operating procedure that is written down that says you will function in these -- even if it's in a classified manual, it's like an operating procedure that says you will do thus-and-such?
Quigley: There is a very specific procedure to be followed for doing this emergency blow.
Q: Is that a -- (inaudible word) -- instruction, or is it --
Quigley: I don't know what form it takes, but there is a very specific instruction and procedure to be followed. And I know that it is -- it is to be accomplished -- this is very much not so much an individual's development of their skills, but it's the entire crew, as a team, needs to practice this together so that the various responsibilities are carried out together as a team.
And it is a specific frequency, but I don't know what that frequency is.
Q: And I also understand that -- at least from talking to people, that once you set this into motion, it's really no turning back; this thing's going to the surface, period.
Quigley: That's correct. That's correct.
Q: Could you go through what the procedures are? How many --
Quigley: I don't know, Jim.
Q: (Off mike.)
Q: What's the current status of the Navy operating in doing emergency blows? Are they continuing to do them today? Have they put a moratorium on them until this investigation's finished?
Quigley: I'm not aware of any such moratorium, no.
Q: So they are continuing to do them?
Quigley: I don't know if any have been done in the last two days, but there is no moratorium in place to preclude them from being done.
Q: Is there any indication at this point that the skipper or any other officer broke any of the operating rules? I mean, was he far enough offshore; was he out of the congested area? Is there any indication there were any rules broken?
Quigley: Well, the submarine was in a routine submarine operating area. But as to the principal thrust of your question, we're going to have to wait for the investigation to find that out for us.
Quigley: Craig, just to be clear -- no matter what kind of systems it had on board, passive or active --
Quigley: It has both.
Q: -- once the blow started, it could not be stopped. That submarine was going to the surface.
Q: So even if it had seen something as it began to go up, it was too late.
Quigley: I don't want to put any absolutes on this until we see the findings of the investigation. It is my understanding that that submarine is going to go to the surface once you initiate an emergency blow. How much control you would have on the direction of movement right or left, the rate of ascent, I don't know that.
Q: And was there in any way a restriction on any civilian vessels being in this area?
Quigley: No, not that I'm aware of.
Q: I was surprised to hear that there were 15 civilians on board at the incident. Does such a thing happen very often, or was it a major operation?
Quigley: Routinely. Both submarines and surface vessels routinely take guests to sea.
Q: Well, with some guests -- the sudden going up to the surface -- is difficult --
Quigley: That is allowed under the policies and procedures in place, yes.
Q: Isn't it very dangerous for the guests?
Quigley: No, this is a procedure, going back to the question over here, that does need to be practiced. But with the training that the crewmembers go through, and their knowledge and understanding this process -- it is an emergency procedure, but you need to practice the emergency procedure to be able to do it when an emergency occurs.
Now, in this particular case there was no emergency. This was training.
Q: Craig, I'm trying to understand the authority or lack thereof of the NTSB over Naval operations. In the past they made this recommendation, and the Navy said, "Well, thank you very much for your input, we're not going to do that." Who decides whether the Navy shall heed the NTSB on something like this?
Quigley: I don't know. Good question. I'll see if I can find out.
Q: The Navy is doing its own investigation --
Q: -- or are they waiting -- or are they --
Quigley: No, no. Rear Admiral Charles Griffiths, the commander of Submarine Group Nine, which is the ballistic missile submarines on the West Coast out of -- up in the Pacific Northwest is conducting the investigation.
Q: Can you give a time line on the sub's activities that day?
Quigley: No, I can't.
Q: Could you ask whether there's ever been that many civilians on a Los Angeles class submarine? That's a lot --
Quigley: I know the answer is yes, without checking.
Q: That many?
Q: Not much space there.
Q: How frequently is this procedure performed, and is it the kind of thing that you might do as a demonstration with these VIPs on board?
Quigley: Well, that goes back to the same question. I know it's routinely scheduled, but I don't know its periodicity: is it quarterly, is it semiannually. And it's done to maintain crew proficiency. But other than being regularly scheduled, I don't know how often that's done.
Yes, sir. Right there, please.
Q: Do you think is there a high possibility that nine missing people were trapped in the sea?
Quigley: We continue to put forth a great effort to try to find the nine missing people. And that is going on as we speak, with both fixed wing aircraft, helicopters, surface ships. We're not ready to give up yet.
Q: I know you've got a lot of difficulty of the submarine rending any assistance to the victims of the sinking, but in retrospect isn't there anything that could have been done or should have been done to give some assistance to those people while they waited the hour to be rescued?
Quigley: I don't know the amount of time between the arrival on station. But I know the Greeneville immediately radioed for assistance. There was a Coast Guard aircraft that was already in the air. That was vectored over to the site.
Greeneville was communicating, they were spotting the individuals in the rafts to assist the first professional rescue forces on the scene, making sure they saw them. They were being as visible as they could be themselves by being on the surface.
I think with the interests of the survivors of the accident foremost in their mind, I think the submarine took all the actions that it could do without running the risk of further injury or even death to those individuals in the rafts.
Q: Just to follow George's question a minute ago, because of the number of civilians aboard, was the full crew aboard or were some of the crew left at the pier, since this was just to be a brief excursion?
Quigley: Ships, submarines often get under way, without 100 percent of their crew, for local operations for a variety of reasons. I don't know the circumstance here. I'm sure the investigation will ascertain whether or not any critical positions may not have been filled by crewmembers. But for local operations of short duration, you have crewmembers on leave, you have them at schools, and it's pretty common to not get under way with 100 percent. Then, when you deploy, that's a different circumstance. But for local operations, that's not unusual.
Q: You don't know if that was the case in this particular --
Quigley: No, we don't. No, we don't.
Q: You said earlier that these civilians on board, observers, had asked that their identities be withheld, or their names not be given to the media. Are you certain that that's the case, or is it perhaps the case that the Navy has asked them not to talk to the news media?
Quigley: The first one. They were --
Q: And you're certain about that?
Quigley: You haven't seen any on their own come forward and say, "I was one of the people on that submarine" --
Q: Well, they wouldn't do that --
Quigley: -- and I don't think anybody's about to do that.
Q: They might not do that if the Navy had asked them not to talk to the news media; they might be respecting that request.
Quigley: That's simply not the case. I'm sure they all understand that they are likely to be questioned by the Navy and NTSB investigation teams.
Q: So are they free to talk to the news media, if they wish?
Quigley: As far as I know, unless some other organization or their desires have changed.
Q: Is it your intention to never release the manifest of the guests?
Quigley: That's our current intention.
Q: (Off mike) -- made a promise to give all the information relating to accident. So -- but you are saying you can't release those names or what --
Quigley: I think we'll be willing to share all the information that we can that is relevant to the cause of the accident.
Q: Is Admiral Griffiths' investigation like a preliminary investigation, or is it a JAG Man, or --
Quigley: JAG Manual investigation.
Q: It is a JAG Manual investigation.
Q: Can you give a time line for the actual maneuver itself, like when it started --
Quigley: No, I can't. I'm sorry. That will be part of the investigation as well.
Q: Has anyone questioned the captain yet of the Greeneville?
Quigley: I don't know where they are in the process yet. I'm sure they will, both NTSB and Admiral Griffiths. I don't know if they've gotten to him yet.
Q: There have been questions already regarding the closeness of the submarine to the shore and the fact that the waters are very crowded there. Have there been any changes regarding the -- given the limitations that you cited of the sonar capability of the sub?
Quigley: No, there have not.
Q: I understand that you can't release the names of the civilians, but are they government employees? Are they members of industry? I mean, is there anything --
Quigley: They are private citizens.
Q: Thank you.
Quigley: Wait -- wait, we have have one more here. Go ahead.
Q: It was reported last Saturday in Washington Post that your government is already in the process to reduce the U.S. military involvement in the Balkans, and I was wondering if you have any comment on that or if you know anything?
Quigley: Yes. I was with Secretary Rumsfeld when he was over at the Wehrkunde Conference in Munich, Germany, two weekends ago, I guess. And that topic came up several times during the course of the day, in his bilateral discussions with his counterparts from several other countries. And he pledged that any discussions about a change in U.S. military presence in the Balkans would be done as part of the ongoing reviews that take place every six months amongst all of the allies that contribute forces to that region.
Q: One more question? From the same meeting, it was reported also that there is currently disagreement between the Department of State and the Department of Defense vis-a-vis to the European army of 60,000. Any disagreement appeared in that meeting in Munich?
Quigley: No. Not that I'm aware of, no.
Q: Thank you.
Quigley: John? (Laughter.)
Q: Admiral, this whole week the president is out visiting military bases, and he is floating dollar figures for pay raises and new initiatives that his administration is making, and calling this "new money."
Various people in the Defense Department are saying, "Not so fast. It's not new money. It's the same size budget request that President Clinton had made."
Can you unravel the "new money" versus "old money" confusion that is evolving?
Quigley: I think we should probably wait and let the president submit his budget to the Congress. Now I understand that's going to be done in late February or early March.
Q: But --
Quigley: In all fairness to him, I think we should start there.
Q: Do you acknowledge that there is some confusion about whether this is new money or money that was already proposed being spent by President Clinton?
Quigley: I think until we see a final president's budget, as it's submitted to the Congress, whoever says that they have knowledge of what's in there is guessing.
Q: Including the president? (Laughter.)
Quigley: No. I'm sure that he will put in a budget that he is perfectly comfortable with and believes in all of his heart that that is the right place for the Congress to start on fiscal year '02. But the final size and shape and assignment of those dollar amounts among the various Cabinet offices will be his decision and his alone.
Q: Wouldn't you agree, though, that under current law, under a law that was passed, the Defense Authorization Act passed in the year 2000, there are certain obligatory increases that must be made in various programs? They include pay, they include medical --
Quigley: Pay, yes.
Q: -- medical benefits, and they include housing. Would you not acknowledge that?
Quigley: I think pay is in there. I'm not sure of the other two. I'm sure pay is in there.
Q: Tricare, extending it fully to veterans --
Quigley: I think that was a part of the '01 law, actually.
Q: Okay. But you acknowledge that there was a -- there is a programmatic increase in pay.
Quigley: I think you have a formula that in the case of the medical care, the health care, was a part of the '01 authorization bill that stipulated not so much a dollar amount -- that's not the authorizer's charter -- as it is to describe an eligible population and the procedures in place for that population to gain access to health care. But I'm not sure -- comparing that, for instance, to the pay, where there was a commitment to go 0.5 above the ECI, that's more of a mathematical derivation. I'm not aware of any such arrangement on the health care side.
Q: (Off mike) -- the legal commitment that the president must increase pay through '06 by 0.5 above the ECI.
Quigley: And your question is?
Q: That's a legal commitment, right?
Quigley: It is --
Q: You didn't acknowledge that.
Quigley: It is the law. It is -- yes.
Q: So therefore this money could have been -- could be required money, not new money, and --
Quigley: We need to wait until the president has submitted his budget to the Congress. And before that, up until that time, I'll let his words from yesterday and today stand.
Q: On the budget, you've been talking about this review and Andy Marshall's conducting the review, but that's a big picture review, right? And we --
Quigley: For starters, your characterization is incorrect. But I'll let you finish your question.
Q: So review underway, is it going to review the supplemental requests from the three services? I mean, here's the Army saying we've got to have $2.89 billion in fiscal '01, including $511 million for spare parts here.
Quigley: Were these the ones in January 10th, I think, George -- something like that?
Q: Are they part of this review that you've got underway? Or is the review more strategic?
Quigley: I believe that the documents that you hold there -- the presentations on the 10th of January were relevant to fiscal year '01 --
Quigley: -- I believe.
Q: So I'm asking --
Quigley: The review --
Q: I'm asking whether the review is going to include that, and if not, when are you going to make a judgment on these requests for '01?
Quigley: Two issues: '01 supplemental, '02 budget; strategic review that's ongoing now. For starters, let me go back to the way you asked your question. Andy Marshall is not in charge of the review. Don Rumsfeld is in charge of the review, period. Now, there are a variety of task forces that have been designed to take a look at several slices of the overall effort. Will Andy Marshall be a part of that effort? You bet. But let me be very clear that Secretary Rumsfeld has not delegated in any way to Andy Marshall the control of the overall review. He will retain that personally.
Now, going back to your question: '01 supplemental, as the secretary has said, he's going to watch that very carefully in concert with the chairman, the service chiefs, and really keep a close watch on the need for additional funding this fiscal year. If he feels that there is an urgent need for money in this fiscal year, he will discuss that with the president and will go from there.
The review that he has put in place at the request of the president will have its principal impact felt on the '02 and '03 budgets, although if a piece is done early enough to have an impact on the '01 picture, and he feels strongly enough on that topic -- of the need -- of the urgent need to do that, he will not hesitate to address that with the president as well.
But I would have to say that the thrust of the review will have a greater impact on the '02 and out process.
Q: Two years ago, well before the president's budget came out, the chiefs made it clear that their top priority was a substantial increase in pay. Last year, I think before the budget came out, they made it clear that health care was their top priority. General Shelton spoke of that repeatedly. I haven't heard anything like that out of them before this budget, and it's clear that the president's top priority is once again military pay. Can you tell us if the chiefs -- I'm sure the chiefs would like to see service members paid more, but do the chiefs have any priority higher than that this year?
Quigley: No, not that I'm aware of. Not that I'm aware of.
Q: General, quickly, a V-22 question? Is there any information on the latest accident, any new information, update on it?
Quigley: No, I'm afraid there's not.
Q: On the nuclear review that's going on, is the Pentagon playing a role in that? And have the Joint Chiefs expressed any concern about going to such low levels of -- (off mike)?
Quigley: Well, taking a look at our strategic forces will be a portion of the overall review that Secretary Rumsfeld has put in place. So the answer to the first part is yes. And the role -- I've gotten several questions over the last couple of days about the role of the existing DoD or Joint Staff. Absolutely there will be a role in that. You just have way too many functions and not enough time to do them in without using all the assets at your disposal. And that would be the existing staff structure that's here in place in the Pentagon.
Q: One small question on your definition of private citizens. If senators and/or congressmen were on the submarine, would you consider them private citizens and therefore you wouldn't release their names as being guests on the submarine?
Quigley: Again, I'd probably have to consult with them and ascertain their wishes. I don't think that's the category of person that we're talking about here.
Q: Craig, on that V-22 accident report, do you not expect that to be released this week?
Quigley: No, I do not expect it to be released this week.
Q: General Jones said that he's waiting until the IG determines whether or not there's a connection with the maintenance scandal. Do you have no idea at all when that's going to --
Quigley: I don't get any sense that it's that near term, Rick, not three days left in this week. I don't -- I can't put a time frame on it, but I don't sense that it's a near-term thing. I mean, General Jones did indeed say that, that he's going to wait for this before this comes out completely. But I know the IG is still hard at work on that, but I don't understand that it's a near-term intention for release.
Q: Thank you.
Q: Craig, I have one more question on the review.
Quigley: Yes, sir?
Q: You were just mentioning that the Joint Staff might be participating in parts about the nuclear strategy part, or whatever --
Quigley: Of all the parts.
Q: So it is not true that no active-duty military officers have been named to any of the panels for the review? That is not a true statement?
Quigley: I don't think any have been named yet. But you're just not going to be able to accomplish this without an active role of some element of the uniform military. Way too much specialized knowledge and skills needed to do this without using the full range of talents at his disposal.
Q: So there will be active-duty military on these panels?
Quigley: I won't promise that either. I just don't think there are any at this point. But I know Secretary Rumsfeld said a couple of days ago he intends to use all the talents of this building during the course of this review.
Q: How many of the panels have been put together?
Quigley: Not all that much so far. Work has already started in several of them, but not even all of them. And he just wants to be very careful that he gets the right people in place that can bring to the table the talents that he's looking for. But on the same token, he doesn't want to wait too long because there's work to be done.
Q: Craig, I've gotten a little confused about where that blue ribbon panel on the V-22 is based. Do they have an office here in the building? Or how are they working --
Quigley: No, I believe they're in Crystal City somewhere. I don't think they're in the building on a regular basis.
Q: Is it set up with a full-time staff and --
Quigley: Yeah. It's pretty small -- a dozen maybe total. But they have access to many -- all relevant offices in order to gather information to conduct the review they need.
Q: Thank you.
Q: That's all!
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