tv U.S.- China Economic Security Review Commission CSPAN February 26, 2020 8:32am-10:01am EST
where we expect to do better and i think that is a good place for military leaders to be. i have had the opportunity to visit with many u.s. national entities that represent old government -- whole of government and whole of nation activity to provide more information and i am pleased with the process. me yourou give assessment of the current state of alliance cohesion with nato? i would assume at a military level there is one sort of analysis and out a political level, another. can you touch on both? tosenator reid, the mill mill alignment i see united states and nato with the north atlantic extension through the euro atlantic is the strongest i have ever witnessed. i have had the opportunity to serve in nato since 1983. i am pleased to report at the
political level, as a result of recent documents that were approved at the political level, we are seeing greater cohesion. for the first time in over six decades, we at nato approved the first nato military strategy. it is a document that is classified, nato secret, that codifies the threat and codifies the activity we need to embrace to more comprehensively defend all 29 nations agreeing to the nato military strategy. >> i think that is a reflection at the political level, the military level, of improving cohesion. we talked about the shipbuilding program, can you give us a quick summary of where we are at and where we have to go? gen. lyons: yes, senator. on -- toow, we depend carry 90% of our cargo capacity in a wartime scenario. our readiness of the fleet is below where we needed to be.
it is rapidly reaching the end of useful life. we are working closely with the nato -- the navy. i anticipate we will purchase two in 2021 working closely with the navy. my view is we should have the first vessel in the first quarter of fy 21. >> we are far below what we would need for a surge of a significant military operation at this point, correct? is correct.that we need a much longer plan. >> the chairman touched on air refueling. one of the areas that is ubiquitous everywhere is cyber. you are in a position where you not only have to have a military organization you have to keep ahead of the curve, but you have literally hundreds of private companies, some large, some small. can you give us an idea of the cyber challenges you are facing?
do we have significant vulnerability there? characterizewould cyber vulnerability is the most consequential to the enterprise. time lookingt of at resiliency, looking at other issues too harden our defenses, particularly with regard to commercial carriers. we have included contract link which in all of our contracts. we check compliance. we have a self reporting mechanism. as the level of cyber hygiene has increased from this level of effort. i would not come here to tell you they could survive a threat from a persistent threat after until we have sufficient resiliency in our contracts as well. sen. reed: do you have the in noy to send in teams notice inspections? the unit only those with the commander checks. you can have everything you want in the contract and get nothing.
gen. lyons: we do not have the authority you are describing. sen. reed: do you need that? gen. lyons: there are second and third applications on those activities. --. reed: i'm not surprised standing operation. thank you. >> gentlemen, thank you for your great service to the united states. to me you, general wolters. in the proposed fiscal year 21 budget, there is a request for $700.5 billion for dod. this represents 3/10 of 1% over the current fiscal year. , the proposed budget provides us less resources than the current year considering inflation. am i correct there?
gen. wolters: yes, senator. sen. wickers: let me ask you this. do we need less security resources in the european command next year than we did this year? gen. wolters: senator, we need more. sen. wickers: in addition to that, the secretary of defense, the joint chiefs of staff, and the national defense strategy commission have all endorsed 3.5% real growth. is that also your opinion, general? gen. wolters: yes, senator. sen. wickers: general lyons? gen. lyons: yes, senator. sen. wickers: i appreciate the distinguished chairman mentioning early on in this questioning, and i'm glad he and his team visited. a bipartisan delegation visited there just the other day.
the de cheese are the workhorses of the navy. -- how does command a mere 0.3% increase over the current fiscal year affect what we are going to be able to do with the ddg's? senator, every cent counts. those additional ddg is what allow us to continue to improve our ability to get indications and warnings in the potential battle space and also dramatically improve our ability to command and control. because of the flexibility of those resources, they can comprehensively defend in all geographical areas in support of europe. sen. wickers: so those destroyers are critical to the campaign to deliver peace in the areas of command-and-control? thank you. thank you for that. we are going to certainly try to help you.
on the resources that we need to defend america and americans. it is interesting that the eucom would mention in the first few seconds of his statement not only russia, but china. could you enlighten us about where you are seeing increased problems with china and increased influence in the european theater? senator, two areas. the first is seaport equities and the second is 5g huawei. what we have seen in several critical nations on the periphery of europe is a economic majority on behalf of investment for seaports in critical nations like belgium, italy, france, and greece. that is a large concern to all the nato nations. when you start to do the
collective math, you discover china has access to 10% of the shipping rights into and out of europe. those are daunting figures that should lead one to believe that we need to continue to be vigilant with respect to seaport equities on the economic side. the second issue happens to be huawei and 5g. severalmly aware of european nations who have a tendency to lean toward huawei and 5g. my concern goes back to the soldiers. without the appropriate network protection, there is potential compromise of data and that is not to the good order and discipline of our u.s. soldiers and nato soldiers. finally, a number obviously have been involved on a member to member basis with our parliamentary brothers and sisters in the parliamentary simile. we have a great new ambassador to the osc, ambassador jim
gilmore. oschat extent is the organization important to you and to providing you information you need? >> very important, senator, and it tilts incredible trust -- builds incredible trust. a huge boost in trust not only between the u.s. and poland, but all of nato. sen. wickers: thank you. thank you mr. chairman. >> senator blumenthal. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you both for your service and thank you for being here. many of my colleague and i have test ments and agencies in the administration about the coordinated response to the coronavirus. i am also concerned about the department of defense response to protect service members and
family members stationed at military installations abroad, the rapid spread of virus as well as the number of diagnoses and deaths in countries where americans are stationed. a lot of americans are stationed in south korea. it is very concerning. ensuring theon department is reevaluating and updating procedures and actions necessary to keep our service members and their families safe. general lyons,-- your command manages movement and and out of areas impacted by coronavirus, making you uniquely positioned to address these issues. what action is your command taken to mitigate the spread of covid-19 and ensure the
well-being of our service members and their families? do you need additional resources? is there more we can do to help you? what more do you think should be done? i agree with your concern. and the secretary of defense has indicated that protection of the force is his number one priority regarding coronavirus. northern command is the department working in support of health and human services, connected with them on a daily basis. a frequent number of times per day. we are watching very closely for the implications on mobility. what specificl: actions are you taking? gen. lyons: inside the transportation enterprise locations like travis air force base has become a receiver for potential folks coming out of
the pacific. we are not taking particular health protection measures inside the command other than to protect the force, but in a more broad sense, support of health and human services through the lead of usnorthcom. sen. blumenthal: general wolters, do you feel you have been given the necessary tools to protect servicemen and women and their families in europe? gen. wolters: yes, and the appropriate authorities as we speak in europe today we have over 300 cases in the nation that is most concerned is italy with six reported deaths. we have restricted travel to certain zones and we require all mil air arrival flights to be screened for the virus. sen. blumenthal: are you taking any additional steps to constrain travel by servicemen and women or their families on
their -- on leave and so forth? gen. wolters: we have in the affected areas, two states in italy. sen. blumenthal: do you have plans to restrict travel in any other states? gen. wolters: we anticipate the need might arise in germany but that is still to be determined. sen. blumenthal: in your statement, you highlight american service members on the ground in the joint military training group ukraine work and serve withey ukrainian forces. can you expand on the efforts to deter russian investment there? gen. wolters: the joint military training group initiated military training team activity on a rotational basis starting in 2016. they also began about six months later to rotate military training teams in the special
operations category. there are several phases of the long-range plan. here we are three and a half years later into phase three, which put those teams that represent the joint military training group, canada and u.k. are the participants. those teams are now in observer status because of the demonstrated expertise of the ukrainian armed forces and the conventional force in the soft side of the house. ukraineleased with the armed forces and the stronger they are and the more they embrace democratic values, the greater the alignment with the west, exactly where we need to head. sen. blumenthal: my time has expired. thank you for your service. >> thank you mr. chairman, and i would like to thank both of you gentlemen for your service and also to thank the men and women who serve under you. would youlters, how assess the progress in implementing the mbs and its influence on prioritizing
strategic competition with russia? gen. wolters: i am very pleased, as i mentioned earlier on one of the questions from your colleagues, the first time in many decades, we approve the nato military strategy and it looks very similar to the united states national defense strategy. i believe this is one area that reflects the powerful alignment and willingness on behalf of nato to lean forward with respect to what we do across the full spectrum from competition to crisis to conflict, which is exactly what we called for. pleased with the ever improving alignment. sen. fischer: what do you think is the biggest challenge that you have in fulfilling the goals in europe? it is to do what we can to cure the malign influence on behalf of russia. a morequires
concentrated effort in the competition phase of embracing a potential foe and what we have heard throughout many of the questions today are the activities we have to embrace in 21st century military below the actual activities of kinetic conflict and understanding what we are doing and what the return on investment is. we are making rapid improvement in those areas sen. fischer: in order to improve, basically you need to work together more in your training? gen. wolters: yes, ma'am. sen. fischer: do you feel you have come together or are coming together with other nato facing what the threats are? gen. wolters: the reflection of that is the improvement of nato military strategy that codifies those threats in agreement by the 29 nations to identify those threats. sen. fischer: you and i discussed the growing recognition there is, among the nato partners on the important
role of our nuclear deterrence and keeping the peace. understandwe all that our deterrence, the triad is the bedrock of the security of this country. can you tell us a little bit about what you are hearing from our nato partners when it comes to the deterrent in private conversations, if you can share that, but also in public, the support that you see? gen. wolters: senator, there is a greater degree of awareness of the importance of deterrence. as we look at the success nato has had the last seven decades to deliver peace, one of the elements has to be the triad that exists from the united states and its representation to nuclear deterrence on the european continent. it has been very effective and the nations understand more and more about that with each
passing day as a result of embracing deterrence to a greater degree than we have in the past. sen. fischer: would you say that our partners in their embracing of this deterrence are also becoming better messengers within their own countries about the importance of not just a strong nato, but of having that strong nuclear deterrence, that umbrella that is so vital in their freedom as well? gen. wolters: absolutely, senator. it has to do with the represent -- the responsibility we feel in native to generate peace, not just within the boundaries of europe, but on the periphery as we embrace missions for iraq and operation resolute support in afghanistan, we see how important it is to proliferate deterrence to the maximum extent practical to achieve greater peace. sen. fischer: what are your
views on adopting a so-called no first use policy? do you believe that would strengthen deterrence? senator, i am a fan of flexible first use policy. sen. fischer: do you believe developing ground launch conventionally armed intermediate range weapons will enhance your ability to deter russia? gen. wolters: it will. andramatically complicates enemy's task. sen. fischer: thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman, thank you to the witnesses. i appreciated the opportunity to visit with you each before the hearing. in yourwolters, testimony, with senator reed you talked about increased russian sub activity in the atlantic. the president's budget plans to subproject anda on february 13, the dod used its toeral transfer authority
move pentagon money to the general drug account use on the southern border. part of those funds that were moved was a reduction of $180 million from the pa poseidon aircraft program. that airplane is a modified boeing 737 used as a sub hunter. it usually operates from iceland or elsewhere in europe to work attack subs like the virginia class to track russian sub activity from the greenland-iceland u.k. gap. without commenting on the budget , i would like you to talk about the importance of the virginia class sub and the pa poseidon in countering russian sub activity. vital iners: they are what they contribute to maritime subjectivity, proven to be very successful. we lean on our brothers and sisters from a national perspective to ask them to take a look at the resources they can contribute when we are in
situations with respect to detriments in maritime patrol area. norway has been a great contributor and we see the effect -- the effectiveness of that system. they are vital resources and very much needed. sen. kaine: both platforms, the virginia class and the poseidon? gen. wolters: yes. sen. kaine: on pages five and six of your written testimony, you talk about military issues, and senator reed asked you about it. there was an ig report about readiness reporting. one of the areas they focused on was that the readiness reporting was coming from the ship captains and they were sort of doing a self report about readiness. these are our assets, but the operation to shift the contract, there was a question about whether there was an incentive for captains to report readiness. what is their incentive to say we are not ready?
trains, theut in current readiness measurement. what are you doing to make sure the reporting of readiness is as accurate as it can be? i concur with that assessment. we have made a lot of improvements to elucidate the readiness. part of that is the reason we are seeing such low readiness in the 50th and 60th percentile about our reserved fleet. readiness we generate as we discovered in september. about three say is years ago in 2017, the military sealift commander started to take this seriously, deep diving, he has come up with a comprehensive plan. the dod ig reflected his findings in 2017, 2018 report you are referring to. there is a lot of work still to be done. sen. kaine: to your written
testimony, there is a goal of 85% readiness, but the current measurement is 59%. vessel material condition and age are the primary factors. those continue to degrade readiness. you have some additional testimony about the sealift, which will lose capacity each year as the ships reach the end of their useful life. tell the committee in my remaining minute about, what are the plans to restore that readiness and hopefully get more near the 85% goal? it is a significant issue. it is a top priority for transcom. we are going to work with the navy on this. we have a fleet that is about 43 years old average. if you compare that to the ships 15 toustry, 25 depending on the business case. when you maintain a facility
like our largest sealift platforms, it becomes more expensive. what we would like to see is less in terms of service life extension, extending these ships beyond 50 to 60 years. that is not returning the investment we thought it would. we are a strong advocate of the acquired use strategy. you have allowed us the authorization to do seven. we need to execute what you have given us the authority to do and come back with a long-term plan to recap over the next 16 to 20 years. sen. kaine: thank you, mr. chair. let's talkwolters, about coronavirus and the european theater. i am leaving here the stars & stripes report on sunday saying there had been a temporary closing monday through wednesday of schools, activity centers, fitness centers, chapels. is that record accurate?
gen. wolters: yes. >> are there any other things from that report? gen. wolters: those facilities remain closed and travel to the states are still prohibited in italy. >> do you expect those facilities will reopen thursday as initially planned or do you think that might have to be extended? give it ars: i would 50-50 right now. sen. cotton: how many u.s. troops do we have there, roughly speaking? gen. wolters: 6000 or 7000. sen. cotton: how many have accompanied spouses or children? gen. wolters: 70% to 80%. sen. cotton: 4000 to 4500 husbands and wives and then some larger number of children probably? absolutely, over 35,000 u.s. military members in italy. sen. cotton: they are mostly just sitting at home right now trying to avoid the coronavirus? gen. wolters: not mostly, but
there is a fair amount. sen. cotton: coronavirus has been present in germany as well. that was one of the first european nations in which it has appeared. it has exploded in italy in the past few days. first off, has there been any such closures at our military bases in germany? we. wolters: not yet, but are anticipating an increase in the number of cases reported in germany and we are prepared to execute. sen. cotton: a troubling situation. speaking of another troubling situation, what you have spoken about briefly as well, huawei, the chinese telecom company. you state in your written bytimony that 5g networks huawei will place intellectual ,roperty, sensitive technology and private personal information at heightened risk of acquisition and exploitation by the chinese government.
say this ongoing initiative coupled with china's growing interest in european infrastructure complicates steady-state dependency operations. which sounds like you consider the use of huawei in 5g networks in europe to be a threat to our national security. is that correct? gen. wolters: certainly a threat to the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines. sen. cotton: unfortunately, some european nations are moving forward with huawei technology in their networks. most notably the united kingdom and germany. that?re we to do about how can we guarantee the as well of our troopers as our nato command and control systems? vigilance,s: education, and going back to the basics with respect to network protection of the critical data on the technical side of the
house and the personal side of the house for soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, not just in the u.s., but nato forces. sen. cotton: do your military counterparts understand the threat huawei poses? gen. wolters: yes, senator. gen. wolters: yes, senator. sen. cotton: captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2008 a statement, not a question. the problem may be at the political leadership level. statement, not a question. finally, i want to conclude on a somewhat related matter. we discussed this yesterday in our meeting. i want to bring everyone's attention to an alarming poll by the pew research center among 16 nato countries. happily it shows that nato's favorability rating is pretty strong, two to one, in fact, 53 to 27 of the peoples of this 16 countries have a favorable impression of nato. not surprisingly, nato scored
pretty low in russia. somewhat disappointingly, though, when asked who should fight russia if there were a conflict between a nato ally and russia, only 38% of peoples in these nations said my nation should fight russia, whereas 50% said the united states should fight russia. and in some of the biggest nato allies it was more alarming, italy said 25% said we'll fight them, 75% americans go fight. in germany, 64 to 33. that was a little better, i guess, but not too much. general wolters, can europeans expect americans to care more about their security and their kids than they care about their security? >> senator, my consultations at
the level of chiefs of defense and ministers of defense, i see a very, very eager desire and willingness to fight the russians and those nations that i continually communicate with show that desire if required to protect themselves. >> and i hear the same thing when i consult with european defense leaders, not surprisingly, these are men and women who have dedicated their lives to the service of their country and the defense of their country, so it's really a political problem at the level of political leadership in europe, both in the leaders and the leadership they show to their peoples to demonstrate that they have to be willing to fight as had for their future and security as they expect americans to fight for them. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentleman, thank you for your testimony today and for your service as well. general wolters, i would like to focus on the baltics. in 2017 i visited latvia and lithuania to observe the u.s.
army's europe operations saber strike exercise. the michigan national guard regularly participates in this exercise as latvia's counterpart as you know. similarly, latvia and forces participate in the michigan national guard northern strike exercise which is a joint multinational exercise hosted in michigan. the latvian military particularly benefits from this training in michigan because it offers an opportunity for them to certify as jtax and latvia is one of only eight allied countries certified to call in close united states air support in combat. the latvian military is built around integrating reserve and irregular forces as a major component of their national defense strategy. my question to you, sir, could
you discuss how you tailor these reserve forces and specifically the state partnership with our national guard and how integral that is to all of this? >> senator, i can. first of all, for the baltics writ large, the insertion of the four battalion size battle groups into estonia, latvia, lithuania and poland in 2016 has dramatically improved our all-domain security awareness and in particular as you well know, with the participation of your michigan air national guardsmen who have been integral in the air/land integration piece the lead nation in latvia at that battalion sized battle group happens to be canada and we have many force elements that are intermixed amongst the other nations. the overall improvement day in and day out of those battle groups to be able to see the battle space and defend their sovereign territory is it palpable and they're doing so in all domains and functions and
our next step is to make sure those battalion-sized battle groups that represent generating peace in the ball tacks are aware of all as well as the western portion of europe. we're very, very pleased with the continued transparency and alignment and very, very pleased with the air/land integration we've seen improving in latvia for the last two years. >> thank you. my next question is related to the development of the next generation combat vehicle taking place in michigan with a cross-functional team. the first platform was intended to replace the bradley fighting vehicle, but the army has recently restarted that program. much has focused on the tradeoff of armor and mobility and how readily the vehicle can be positioned in a crisis zone. however in the european theater the size and weight of the vehicle could be equally problematic through european terrain and civilian
infrastructure. you seem to address this where you mention the eu in consultation with nato is investing $6.5 billion our ross in the improvement of civilian and military dual use however i'm concerned this approach will -- may not address the core issue that i just mentioned. my question to you is, what is more realistic? should the next generation be built to accommodate european infrastructure limits particularly in poland and the baltics or the solution to reinforce transportation infrastructure throughout eastern europe? >> senator, i hate to give you this answer, but i think it's a little bit of both. i know that the general leading our united states army has his experts taking a piqeek at that and gets into a discussion about armor versus mobility and from a global perspective there are tradeoffs and regional perspective there are tradeoffs and it has to do with the capability of the nations in europe as well as other regions. i know that we're taking a very
serious look at that. >> my question, follow-up question, how do our western european allies who also produce heavy military equipment, how do they accommodate limitations in poland and the ball ticks? >> a greater degree of education on the challenges that we face from a bridging perspective in eastern europe versus western europe. it was an issue all of europe was aware of in the mid 80s getting themselves reacquainted with it today and they understand the imperative of making sure that we have bridging programs in the regions in the northeast and the southeast of europe to ensure that we can shoot, move and communicate fast. >> thank you so much. appreciate it. >> thank you, mr. chair. gentlemen, thank you very much. general lyons, we've already discussed a little bit of the case 46 so i won't dive into that. just for note, our iowa air national guard does have the 185th air refueling wing that
operates kc-135s and we want to make sure that this incredible unit is able to sustain operations ongoing, so something we'll definitely want to discuss with the air force during their posture review. general wolters, i'm going to pick up where my colleague, senator peters, left off. he was talking about the state partnership his michigan national guard has with the state members while iowa, our national guard has a partnership with kosovo and i'm just always very excited about that and have relationships that i've carried on for about the decade of time that the iowa army national guard has been involved with those partners. as the only force that both the kosovos and serbians trust, how can k-4 best posture itself to ensure that there is enduring
stability between the two sides? kosovo and serbia? >> thanks, senator. i can't thank you enough for the contributions of your state to kosovo. >> thank you. >> as we sit today, k-4 is very, very active and engaged, more so than they were one year ago as a result of the continued involvement of u.s. operations activities and investments in kosovo and serbia as well as the nato investments of operations activities. we typically rotate in nato military teams, but when they land at those locations to have a soft landing with the force element from your national guard state partnership program, affords us the opportunity to reintegrate at a much faster pace. we're very, very concerned about the security disposition in the balkans and very pleased with the efforts of k-4 and k-4 is far more capable today as a result of learning from the experiences of the state
partnership program like yours as they reveal themselves in kosovo. >> thank you. obviously a number of us here do support those state partnership programs, and what is nato's role for peace keeping as the ksf transitions into a full army? will it be able to guarantee kosovo's territorial integrity? do you see that in their future? >> that is certainly the goal, for, and again it's by, with and through in a very, very tough neighborhood and as you probably know better than i, there are some very, very serious tendencies that exist between serbia and kosovo that we're seeing improve over the course of the last several weeks and the ambassador has been aggressive if getting those security apparatus to communicate with each other. we hope for continued good news in that area with respect to the kosovo/serbia relationship with respect to taxation. >> absolutely.
i think there is undue pressure obviously coming from russia in that region as well. general lyons, if we can talk a little bit about autonomous vehicles and how that impacts logistics and delivery. i am really excited, i chair the subcommittee on emerging threats and capabilities and we've talked extensively about autonomous systems and how that can help our operators, those, you know, like i had wonderful truck drivers that were out on the roads and how it would reduce their risk. can you describe a little bit how you're leveraging and integrating these emerging technologies into some of the modernization efforts? >> senator, i agree with you, there's enormous potential for autonomous and it can be a combination of manned, unmanned. each of the services are working development kinds of initiatives you mentioned the one in the army a combination teaming.
i think there's potential to expand what we're doing in the air domain and then even potentially space domain in the future. >> absolutely. and what is the best way to speed delivery of those types of systems into operations today? we oftentimes see large defense contractors, they're very slow moving, but this is a great emerging technology. how can we deliver that quicker? >> ma'am, it's a great question and as ind cated each of the services are working these in the programmatic sense. as a combat commanders, i have the services but they present capability so i can't speak to the tlooins. >> if you come up to the answer to that let us know. i think we need to be much more nimble on delivering emerging technologies to our men and women in uniform. >> i agree. >> thank you very much.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you both for your service. we really appreciate you being here today. general wolters, we've taken the first steps to begin the defender europe 20 military exercise large of its kind in 25 years, i think there are 18 countries participating across ten countries. what are the biggest challenges you see in executes the program and key takeaways you hope to see coming out of the exercise? >> senator, on the logistics side of the house, the environment in europe has to be mature enough to be able to absorb 20,000 soldiers and get those soldiers to the right prepositioned locations to be able to grab the appropriate gear that they're supposed to get and get to their fox-hole and be able to execute and what we want to do is count every second that it takes to get the soldier from the first point of entry all the way to his or her foxhole to be successful to
adequately defend. we anticipate that there will be some snags. i want to applaud this committee on the fact that two years ago we couldn't exercise defender year 20. we weren't mature enough with respect to the prepositioned stockpiles to have a soldier show up at location x and be able to grab resources. today we can do that. we know the fitness of the resources and now we'll be able to examine their speed with which they can get to the foxhole and be able to execute. >> is turkey participating? >> senator, they are as observers and in certain areas with respect to activity on the periphery of georgia. >> just a follow-up real quick, what if any response or reaction are you seeing from russia or do you expect from the russians or any of our other adversaries? >> senator, we've seen a fair amount of response from russia. they're not overly pleased with defender europe 20. we're concerned about the readiness of our forces and we're doing all that in
accordance with international law and sovereign space and sovereign sea and sovereign land. >> thank you. >> general lyons, we've got an air refueling wing in alabama, 117th. in your remarks to the atlantic council you were quoted as saying across transcom the aerial refueling force element is the most stressed and probably the one that's pushing or exceeding the red line. were you speaking strictly about the number of available aircraft there or also about the demands or need for more crew? >> senator, it's a combination of both, and i spoke earlier about the iron, the tails that we have to retain legacy tails during the conversion before the kc-46 becomes available to the joint force. i would also comment that -- and this is true across all components reserve and the guard, the high tempo of our airmen that are running these
missions and particularly in the guard i would say we do come very, very close, in some cases we penetrate that particular force element. i would highlight, senator, the contributions at the arc, the army, force reserve makes is extraordinary between volunteerism that exists in the centcom aor and long-term mpa pilots that we have flying every day. >> i take it you could use more crew? is that fair? >> senator, crew is a friction point. there's no question about that. >> what can we do to try to get more crew to the air refueling and the guard or wherever it might be? >> senator, we're doing that today. the air force is working -- some of this is a combination of what the kc-46 will bring of course some of this is a function of what we must retain, and there's a certain level of friction between what systems -- how many
systems you can accrue and the associated output to the joint force. >> thank you. >> yes, sir into i think that's all i have. i yield the remainder. >> thank you, mr. chairman. gentlemen, thank you for your years of service. general lyons, i want to start with you on the hhg program. i've got a -- it's not in your lanes but i've got a little history with military housing and trying to fix that problem and improve accountability and really put the family at the tip of the spear in terms of our focus. i like the idea you're moving forward with a program that should reduce cost and improve service. that's really what we set out to do with military housing and we did it for a while. with this program, can you tell me about how it's going to execute? what your expectations are for performance in the upcoming pcs season and more importantly, i would like to know the
mechanics. how does that family member who is coordinating the move, the spouse may be deployed somewhere, to what extent will they have power over the successfulness and satisfaction of the move? >> senator, all great questions and you brought up the housing issue and part of what got us into the housing issue was a lack of clear accountability with the private sector and the appropriate government structure to manage that large contract, and that's exactly what's driving us here in the household goods industry to restructure our relationship so that we do have defined levels of accountability, key performance parameters, if you would, and that's the design of the global household good contract. it does not -- it is not designed to put providers out of business. it is designed to gain accountability, clarify responsibility inside the department and through a longer range relationship with industry, incentivize the growth of capacity to meet the peak
season. i think for family members, we owe them that. now we won't in 2020 peak season see this come to fruition. we intend to award in 2020 and prepare for the 2021 and then there will be a rather long transition to grow this capacity over time. the key will be accountability and transparency for family members. >> i think that's important because we hear -- a lot of housing town halls down in ft. bragg and camp lejeune and i've heard some rumblings. i think you're right and i appreciate you taking the lead trying to get it right and have a consistent experience across the globe. i appreciate the work on that. i am interested, we'll do it maybe with a meeting in my office if i can get with some of the people working on it, those sort of things built into it. we're trying to retrofit that into the housing program.
looks like you're going to be head of it so i thank you for your work there. general wolters, tell me a little bit about how well your area of responsibility or partners are closing the gap on their cyber capabilities, how well we're actually coordinating and your assessment of our -- if you look at russia they're all over the place. any time i travel to that part of the world you're talking about russia, information campaigns, and their malign activity. give me hope on how we're either creating a gap or filling holes that we have right now? >> senator, we're improving our strategic transparency and alignment in the cyber domain. i would say over the course of the last two years, the nato nations have done a much better job of understanding the challenges that they face on the defensive side of the house from a hiygiene perspective. once they have their backyard in
order now they're in position to understand where they start with respect to network protection. that truly has come about as a result of ours u.s. cybercom's willingness to lead from the front. >> actually, as you move into that answer, i would also like for you to talk about huawei's ete and whether or not we've gotten to a good place where clearly they're going to lallow that infrastructure to be present. in terms of critical infrastructure, are we getting to a good place? >> senator, that's a great point and exactly where i was headed. the hygiene piece, the defensive cyber piece, has to be applied with respect to what is about to become an issue in europe with respect to proliferation of 5g activity and huawei, network protection is going to be job one. we're right back to the basics. as you know with your time with the general, he's keen on that and we've seen a market improvement in the manning for defensive cyber ops on the u.s. side in europe and we've seen an increase in manning on the
defensive cyber ops side of the house for the nato nations in europe. >> thank you both. i have a lot of questions, but general lyons, we will be in touch so i can get a little bit more insight into the direction of hhg. thank you both for your time. >> yes, sir. happy to do so. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general lyons waevgs touched several times on the transition of the kc-46. i want to put a finer point on it. in your testimony you say this is your number one shortfall and you go on to say it will create a critical and deepening gap in taskble air refueling in air crews for the next five to seven years. you do a good job of outlining the prab but at the end of your prepared remarks you say we recommend reevaluating aerial refueling for structure plans annually. frankly that doesn't reassure me. i want to know what's the plan? you have identified a serious problem here. we can't project force if we can't refuel those airplanes. you've identified a five to
seven-year deepening gap. what do we do? perhaps you don't need to give me a full answer here, but for the record i would like to see an action plan, not just reevaluation? >> senator, we'll be happy to work with the air force and come back to you on that with a joint plan. the -- in the near term, we had agreed with the air force to retain 28 legacy aircraft to mitigate the conversion for the kc-46. the kc-46, as we receive that aircraft, as the air force receives that aircraft, we'll take some time to work through the technical, cat 1 deficiencies and convert crews. you can appreciate there's going to be tension between crews and so in some scenarios we're tail limited and some scenarios we're crew limited. it's a complex program for the air force to work. they're pushing as hard as they can with boeing. >> if you can give to the
committee a detailed analysis of what you identify as the gap, how many tails, how many crews and what solution is? we have a crisis and need that capacity saying, well, we were -- you know, it was a complicated problem isn't going to cut it. >> i agree. the issue isn't when there's conflict. it's actually in day-to-day competition. to be clear in today's day-to-day competition is where we're taking the reduction. >> we're stressed right now. >> we're stressed right now and that's where the 10 and 13 in the current fy 21 reduction we're working with the air force and department to bring those back. >> look forward to working with you on that. >> yes, sir. >> general wolters, quick question, do we have sufficient visibility of russian submarines in the atlantic? do we know where they are? >> we do, but not for 100% of the time. >> i don't want that -- whatever the missing percent is to be off the coast of maine.
>> i agree, senator. >> or new york. >> absolutely. >> not to be too parochial about it. what's the risk of a -- i think it's unhike likely -- i hope i'm right -- russian tanks will roll across the border into the baltics but what is our thinking and strategic thinking about a hybrid kind of activity involving russian language, a kind of crimea model? is that a concern and do we have a strategic response? >> it is very much a concern, senator, and it has to do with the posture of our forces as we sit today in competition and attempt to effectively deter. we are improving in our ability to do so and we have to do so to a point to where we compel any potential enemy of us to not take those first steps against us. nato agreed in the nato military strategy to also recognize a whole of government, whole of
nation approach and that will allow us to dramatically improve our posture so we can better see the battle space from an indication standpoint and proactively deploy to defend. >> and be prepared for a different kind -- for not a traditional tanks rolling over the border invasion? >> absolutely. >> it's a whole -- i mean i think we should -- i'm sure you are -- a lot of study on crimea how that played out and what the response could have been or might have been. >> yes, senator. >> final question. the attacks on the saudi tanker field and also the missile, the iranian missile in iraq after soleimani's death, to me raised concerns about our ability to defend against -- i don't know what you want to call them -- cruise missiles, low-level missiles, intermediate range and i believe the missile -- the iranian missile was an icbm, are
we -- what is our capability to defend against those kinds of attacks? it didn't work in iraq and it didn't work in saudi arabia? >> senator, it's improving, but it has to get better. we have a plan that prefers the integrated air and missile defense that takes into account what happens at long range and long altitudes and short ranges and lower altitudes and has to be nested together from an indication and warning standpoint and command and control standpoint. >> so you would agree this is a significant gap in our defense that we really need to get to work on in a hurry? >> it's a shortfall, senator, and we need to continue to work on it. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for your service. with the european or nato members picking up the -- spending the money they were
supposed to spend in the past does it give us any opportunity to reduce our funding or any opportunity to reduce our troop deployment in europe? >> senator, it could in the future. >> so -- and does it concern you that countries like germany still don't want to pay their fair share and does it impact our ability to defend and our ability -- and should we -- and does it give us a need to start thinking about where else -- where we should have troops and shouldn't have troops and are we thinking about should we be in poland more than in germany? >> senator, i believe all those are a concern and in my mill to mill consultations with my german counterparts they are just as concerned about meeting the 2% as we are. >> but there's no action that we need to be taking? >> i think the vigilance that we continue to show with respect to requirements co-located with defense spending needs to
continue today. what we've observed between fy 16 and fy 20 is an actual increase across nato of an additional $130 billion of funds for defense. that's positive. we need to continue on that track. >> with turkey buying the s-400 and seems like cozying up to moscow, does it impact your ability to rely on them as a partner? >> senator, it hasn't to this point. turkey remains a very reliable nato ally. >> and with huawei, has it -- have you had to make changes on the types of information you're willing to share as a result of knowing that these countries are going to continue to use huawei 5g but also even in their existing infrastructure? >> senator, we haven't at this point because of the current posture with respect to 5g and huawei and in particular uk, but
my guess would be in the near future we have to be more vigilant with respect to network protection and huawei and 5g. >> the investment that communist china is making in europe and all around the world, is that impacting our ability to -- not just the united states, but other members, to be able to defend against russia invasion, but even with what china is doing? >> senator, not an impact today, but it could be in the future if we continue to see that economic increase with respect to seaports on behalf of china in europe. >> for them it's mostly the seaports that's impacting europe? >> today, that's the biggest issue, senator. >> how about the supply chain? how dependent the world with is on china as a member of the supply chain does it cause concern? >> it does cause a concern, senator. i haven't seen those reflexes
yet in europe but i anticipate that we could. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you mr. chairman. gentlemen, i want to thank you for your service and testimony. general lyons, i think, you know, you mentioned at the outset your combat and command does so much great work. i think in alaska we have more understanding of that than most places, but -- and how you do it professionally, quietly, but critical tot whole military. i also thought the anecdote that you mentioned in your testimony about the saving the life of one soldier was very powerful, so please tell the whole transcom civilian and military members we respect and appreciate all that you're doing. i'm glad you mentioned the personal property program in
your opening statement. i'm going to have a number of questions for the record that if you and your team can get back to me on relatively soon i would appreciate that a lot. you know, you talk about also the most stressed capability and number one readiness concern is on the aerial refueling fleet and the tankers. i've mentioned this a number of times in this committee, billy mitchell, when he was testifying in front of this committee in the 1930s, the father of the u.s. air force, mentioned alaska was the most strategic place in the world because of our location to asia, to europe, to other places. secretary esper, when he was testifying here several months ago, said that we're going to have over a generation fighters located in alaska starting in april with the f-35s coming to
the air force base. to co-locate kc-46s with 105th gen fighters the secretary of defense said that would provide the warning to our adversaries, particularly china and russia, that we have extreme strategic reach. right now the air force is looking at their decision on where to put the kc-46 fleet. almost everything is focused in paycom which the exception of alaska which as you know could be paycom, ucom, any com because of where we are on the top of the world. this seems like a no-brainer, but i think it would help you with your most stressed capability and number one readiness concern if you put tankers in a place that can service ucom, paycom, stratcom, northcom, versus placing them in
guam which is kind of of a conventional wisdom but in my view doesn't make any sense. >> senator, thanks. there's no question about the strategic significance of the location of the stakehold of alaska. as you and i have discussed before, the air force does have a basing methodology and a basing plan for the kc-46 as it comes on-line. i will defer to them on those particular discussions. i know that -- >> i'm not telling you to make it, but do you have a view on that? does it help to have -- you call it the most stressed capability aerial refueling, does it help to have capability in a place that can help transcom reach other co-comes other than just paycom? >> senator, i would have to look at the an lytics. >> i think the answer is yes, but maybe you can get back to me on that. seems to me pretty clear. >> i'll come back to you. >> we want to help you with your most stressed capability and number one readiness concern. i think there is a way to do
that which is to make this decision which to me seems like a no-brainer. general wolters, let me mention, i appreciated your reference on arctic issues in your testimony, even though that's not necessarily alaska, we're kind of in the seams. we have paycom forces, the threat from russia, we got stratcom, we have transcom, northcom, everybody. let me just mention, this committee's been very focused on arctic issues that chairman mentions great power competition. there's an important arctic focus. the problem is the pentagon's been pretty slow to address some of these challenges and recognize it. we have two ice breakers right now, one is broken, that's the american capability. russia has 54 and this article for the record, they recently announced they have a nuclear
icebreaker and a russian shipyard launches a missile -- cruise missile capable icebreaker. can you talk to the challenges of the arctic with regard to russia and how you're addressing it? >> senator, it is of great concern and as we crafted the nato military strategy its title is comprehensive defense and shared response and one of the realizations was the fact that we need to be as focused in the arctic as we are in the baltics as we are in the black sea and mediterranean as we are in the central portion of the atlantic and the arctic needs to ensure that it gets the appropriate scrutiny and the appropriate resourcing. we're excited about the fact of northcom serving as the executive agent for capability development in the arctic. we're also pleased that in the summer of '19, d.o.d. delivered their ac tick strategy and you drove that and we appreciate that. it's vital.
we see a lot of activity on behalf of russia in the arctic and we also see activity on behalf of china in the arctic and we think most of that has to do with money and commercial fishing activity. it is of great concern and security exists on the periphery in europe and the arctic is a big reason why we have to make sure that we maintain our vigilance. >> thank you, mr. chairman. generals, thank you for your service. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to both you general wolters and you general lyons for your service and being here this morning. i want to begin, general wolters, with a continuation of the discussion we had yesterday and i appreciated your taking time to meet with me. but earlier this month the president informed congress that he was going to divert another $3.8 billion from the pentagon to the border wall on top of the $3.6 billion that he took from military construction projects last year and these programs
would eliminate, among other things, the military weapon systems. i know senator kaine referred to one of those. that includes eight mq-9 reapers, an isr asset, and my recollection of previous conversations isr assets are at a premium within the european theater and other areas, so can you discuss how the elimination of these weapon systems and projects are going to affect your campaign momentum? >> he. >> i would like to address the fact that we had 44 projects that were related that were deferred because we couldn't get projects on contract by september of '19 and the total value of the 44 projects was approximately $1.3 billion. they came in two buckets. one was a set of projects 25
that were european deterrence initiative projects and the other projects were baseline '19. the e.d.i. was about 771 million and the base was about $550 million. when you take a look at all 44 of those deferred projects, which we hope will reappear one day, what you see is three major areas of reduction of campaign momentum. the first has to do with advanced airfield infrastructure on some of the nato airfields in the farther eastern side of europe. the second has to do with the infrastructure that supports prepositioned stockpiles for fuel and for ammunition. the final area of impact for campaign momentum is the modernization of infrastructure that supports a couple of military headquarters and schools. all those are important to campaign momentum. it slows the campaign momentum.
despite all that, senator, we still maintain positive campaign momentum in the critical areas of indications and warnings as you aloouded to isr, command and control, and mission command. it slows down the progress. >> so as you read the national defense strategy, what's a bigger threat to our national security? is it a threat from russia and china and the great power competition or is it a threat from immigrants coming across our southern border? >> senator, both are threats. as the commander of u.s. ucom i'm concerned -- >> that was a diplomatic answer. thank you. i'm sorry, i should not have put you in that position. but i think it's an important point to make that threat that you're dealing with is one that has significant implications for our future when we look at russian aggression and its potential to impact the united states. i want to go back, general
lyons, to i know there have been a number of questions around the kc-46 and delays in the aircraft and what that challenge means for us and it's an issue for our national guard 157th air refueling wing which lost its last kc-135 because we thought the 46 aircraft would be arriving this year and obviously due to problems it's been delayed. last month, general goldfeign sent a letter to boeing asking them to review the remote vision system, which is the -- probably the most prominent problem at this point, to give a design review by march 2020 and a flight demonstration by 2020. can you tell us whether we've heard from boeing at this point and what they've said with respect to that review of the remote vision system? >> senator, i really appreciate the chief's focus on this particular area. i've relayed that to him as well. i know there's been many
contacts between boeing and the air force and i don't want to get into the programatics. there's design issues they're working through. i don't have a complete answer yet and i will defer to the air force on the particulars of the program. >> do we expect an answer from boeing by the end of march? >> yes, ma'am, i believe the chief expects an answer. he said that explicitly and i believe that will come to fruition. >> okay. thank you. general wolters, i want to go back to nato because with senator tillis, he and i chair the senate nato observer group, which is an effort to try to make sure that the senate is aware of what's happening with nato and what we need to do. i wonder if you could give us an update on the new cyber operations center that nato is planning to be fully functional by 2023? >> we're very pleased, senator. as you know it all originated in estonia and it started with the involvement of the u.s. and the declaration by the united states/u.s. cyber com to have
one u.s. single military commander responsible in the military for the domain of cyber and the europeans have embraced that. we're excited about the future. nato headquarters on the political side is also very excited. >> and so i'm out of time -- >> yeah. >> but i will do a follow-up question for the record on this. >> general wolters, let's talk a little bit if we could about the european deterrence initiative. i assume that you would characterize this as a success, is that fair to say? >> yes, senator, i would. >> can you give us some specific examples of things that ucom would not have been able to do without e.d.i.? >> for, the first largest example is we have started defender europe 20, an exercise that brings over division size force. we couldn't do that a year ago. we couldn't do it two years ago. we can do this exercise as a result of the benefit of e.d.i. funds. >> why would ucom have struggled
to do some of these things without e.d.i.? >> first of all, it's funded the rotational brigade combat teams that go to poland that teaches all of our soldiers, sailors, air men, marines, how to lift and shift larger quantities of forces across the atlantic and do so without any harm and that in itself is very important. we've also been able to fund our army preposition stockpiles, our emergency contingency air operation sets for the air force and our deployable air base systems for the air force. we've also been able to dramatically improve the airfield infrastructure and the reception infrastructure in the eastern part of europe to where it is equipped today to safely receive those resources and effectively get those resources where they need to go for our soldiers and sailors and airmen and coast guard and marines to be effective. >> that's an impressive record of success and that's one of the reasons i think we need something similar in our
theaters, paycom in particular as i've long advocated for. general, staying with you, whiteman air force base, my home state of missouri, proud home of the b-2 and proud future home of the b-21. can you speak to the role that you see the b-2 and one day the b-21 playing in deterring russia from using nuclear weapons as part of any attempt in the baltics? >> those are part of the critical triad and i'm firmly convinced the nuclear deterrence that sits over europe is part of the great success we've had for the last seven decades in nato to be able to generate peace, and i'm excited about the future of the b-21 because i think it will do more of the same with even a greater impact. >> very good. let me shift to china if i could. in your written testimony, general wolters, you say china's efforts to build 5g in europe coupled with its investments in ports and infrastructure complicates steady state and
contingency operations. can you stay more about that? how specifically do these activities complicate steady state and contingency operations? >> the equities that they have on the shipping capacity inside and outside of europe is very alarming and when you control the ability to take in and regulate resources you have a large impact on what exists on continent with regard to its ability to affect peace and stability, that's the concern. >> how do our european allies respond when you raise these concerns with them, as i'm sure you do? >> with vigilance. some in cases they're surprised to the degree of equities that china has with respect to seaports, but in most cases very concerned and vigilance increases once we get past the education stage. >> you also wrote that you're seeing encouraging signs, your words, from european nations as
they become wary of the strings attached to chinese capital investments. can you give us a sense of what those encouraging signs are? >> several nations not willing to accept 5g huawei and we've had reports of that and other nations being a lot more stingy and scratchy with respect to their willingness to engage in deliberations on port equities. >> let me ask you for a second about our allies' contribution to nato, something that has come up and rightly so a number of times already this morning. i think that the progress towards the 2% mark is very important, but only just a first step because the division within the -- the division of labor within nato has to fundamentally change as this committee has been saying now for some time. what is your assessment about what would need to happen for our european allies to get to the point where they're able to assume primary responsibility for their security in your theater? >> senator, i think we need to continue on the current campaign that we're on. as you know, from 2016 to 2020,
in the cache portion of contributions for burden sharing we've had a net increase of $130 billion. there's also the examination of contributions and capabilities and in nato we've been very, very vigilant with respect to our focus on improving our readiness, the ability of force elements to be more resilient, more responsive, and more lethal. that is all part of the equation with respect to european contributions to adequately defend and we're improving. >> great. thank you very much. i look forward to seeing you both this afternoon. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general lyons, thank you for making the time to sit down with me earlier this month to talk about transcom and logistics more broadly. i want to touch again on the state of the sea lift fleet in the u.s. and i know that ranking member reed asked about the state of sea lift in his question line. i want to go a little further into this.
we recommend, you know -- you said that our current readiness is lower than where we need to be but you're working to reca t recapitalize our sea lift capability. when they're always balancing other higher cost programs and initiatives, i feel like this is sort of the, you know, the sister and needs a little more attention. how do you make sure that priority plays on this -- your particular recapitalization plan? >> senator, first, let me just publicly thank you for your leadership on the leading our logistics efforts across the department. i appreciate your particular interests here. i think this is a hard decision for the navy. they have a lot of competing requirements. sea lift is one of many. my own view on this, if you go back to the original recapization of sea lift, we had something which we have today, but we don't use, the national
defense sea lift fund. i think the way that we're going to move in a positive direction is we're going to have to have an appropriation that feeds a national defense sea lift fund that allows flexibility to take capitalize on opportunities in the open market to continue the acquired use strategy. that's what we need to do over the next 15 plus years while we have 46 vessels aging out. >> thank you. >> another category concern that i have in the logistics space surrounds fuel. we've talked in the past about solutions for alleviating stress on the air force's tanker fleet. i'd like to focus on bulk fuel capacity for distribution and storage. how would you work with the services logistics arms to properly identify each of their needs and how to meet the needs as they come around and reframe to face near competitors under the nds? i feel like there's not a lot of
really good communications between the services on what the bulk fuel needs and capacities and what do you need to do to push it out forward into theater? >> well, yes, ma'am. i mean, you're alluding to something that's very important across the department, and that's fuel is liquid gold, essentially. it would require for everything that we do in every single domain. we're looking to -- we've got a study directed by congress that we'll complete this year in terms of assessing our ability to access maritime tankers, for example, and value chain to look also at the nodes, the way we look at it today in terms of global posture is very large fix based facilities. we need to see if that's the applicable way to go for contested environments and then assess where we need to go for the future for global posture and maritime transportation as well as fuel we talked about. >> i feel like this sort of
reflects the struggle we had just a couple years ago when i was in the house about ammunition, cross living ammo against -- across the services and that we weren't talking to each other well enough before we did a whole audit. i feel like we're getting to the same issue with fuel. you can't fight and win without class 3 and class 5. how do you -- i feel like we're sort of in the same problem with fuel. am i correct in this sense? that we have to do better with communicating among the services? >> senator, i think -- i think you're correct. i think we need what i would characterize as a global innovative view to make sure we have sufficient not just supply and posture but resiliency to continue to operate under a contested environment. i agree with you wholeheartedly. >> general walters, i'd like to bring you into the discussion. we've been hearing about defender europe and what we look forward to learning. i'm looking forward to hearing
about the challenges the exercise helps identify. how would you classify your level of concern due to factors inside and outside our control and how are you going to leverage that into lessons learned going forward? >> senator, great question, and i'd like to extend a personal thanks to you for your support in the logistics area. as we speak, there are soldiers downloading for defender europe 20 at this very moment. i'm concerned about the bandwidth to be able to accept this large force and i'm concerned about road and rail from the center portion of germany to the east all the way to the eastern border. and because we have the appropriate resources, we now possess a white team capability to examine our speed of move from east to west. correction from west to east. and we're also having enough individuals to assess how safely we get things to the next point.
bandwidth with respect to size and speed are my greatest concerns. >> thank you. i'm over time, chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i know y'all are so happy to see me, because i'm the last one. and you'll get to finish up and head off. i want to go back, general walters. you told senator reid that the chinese controlled 10% of the shipping rights in and out of europe. and i'd like for you to expand on that just a little bit, talk about do you think it's pretty much going to stay at that level, if it's going to increase the rate of increase. a little bit more insight into what you think this means. >> the chinese investment covers 10% of european shipping capacity. and i would cob tend that's a whole of government, whole of nation concern to make sure that
your has the appropriate equities with respect to shipping capacity. >> so you see that as a floor or a ceiling? >> i see that as the conditions that exist on the ground today. >> okay. >> and i think the nations need to understand what that means with respect to their ability to effectively ship what their nation needs for their national interest, and an education process needs to follow fast. >> well, i think we see the need for that education process not only when it comes to infrastructure but the belt and road initiative, the implications that that may have as we look at 5g, and the roll out there. the implications that it has. so what is nato going to do to address this? because it doesn't matter ifs the shipping and that
infrastructure or building roads and connecters, or 5g with that infrastructure. there is an issue. and being able to communicate with our allies over a huawei network is a very difficult thing to do, so what is -- give me kind of a timeline and the steps that you all are taking to implement an education process. >> in the nato political paradigm, there is a growing realization that this is an issue. and there will have to be a common understanding at the political level at nato that this is an issue that nato should embrace, and i think that's the start of success to ensure that the national interest of the 29 nations in nato are protected with respect to china proliferation, and we are at that phase. and as a military member supporting nato, it's my job to report the facts.
and that's what we're doing. >> okay. so who is receptive to this message? the first part of solving a problem is defining a problem. so you say there is awareness in defining this problem. correct? >> correct. >> okay. >> in the first task is to ensure of the 29 nations which ones have concern and which ones still need more of a dialogue done. >> and out of those 29 nations, who is receptive to this and who are you getting pushback from? are you at 50/50 on this? what is the standing there? >> senator, i can only speak at the mill to mill level, not the political level for the 29 nations. i would say the majority of the nations are incredibly concerned about china proliferation. >> okay. i hope we can talk a little bit more about that this afternoon. if that would be okay, general lions, let me move to a couple
of things with you the nds and cyber and space. they've been identified as contested war fighting domains. so talk to me a little bit about how transcom is working with the private sector partners to improve their cyber security, their ability to defend, because when senator ernst asked you about autonomous vehicles and as we look at building out space command and artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles, we know the cyber component is going to be more relevant in those discussions. talk to me for a couple seconds about that. >> yes, ma'am, for u.s. tra transcom, cyber is a priority. you asked about the commercial
providers. we've worked over the last several years to instill contract language that i would characterize that brings our commercial providers up to a basic level of minimum cyber hygiene. i think we've been successful in that and gaining the intention and focus of the c suite. this is an issue they have to contend with for national defense or for their private equities. and so we're making progress, but as i said earlier, i would also say that when confronted with an advanced per sis at the present time threat actor, i don't think any of your commercial providers are in a position to protect themselves in that particular scenario. and we very intentionally have multiple providers in each of the commodity areas so if we lose one, we can count on others. >> are you increasing the standards of compliance for them? >> yes, senator, we are, and as you may have seen the department's cyber maturity
model they just rolled out, we'll do good in that area. >> thank you. yield back. >> we're live on capitol hill where defense secretary mark esper and joint chiefs of staff chair mark milley are getting ready to testify on the budget. earlier this month president trump announced the 4 .8 billion dollar budget for 2021. this is live coverage on c-span3. >> dr. mark esper and general milley to hear about the president's fy21 budget proposal for the department of defense, and i will start with some good news. first, i'll start by thanking