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Before I make my opening statement I would also like to say that I had a call late yesterday afternoon from Congressman Kilburn, who represents this district, saying that it was impossible for him to be here this morning because of previous commitments. He expressed his regrets that he could not be with us, and also stated that he would like to have me say for him that he appreciated the fac hat our committee was taking the time to come up here to Camp Drum and have an open hearing so that the public would have all the information that we had gathered and all the information that we hope to get at this hearing.

Now, if you will permit me, I will go on with my statement.

The hearing today will concern itself primarily with recent sales of surplus property at Camp Drum. Proper disposal of property no longer needed is a most important and necessary duty of the military establishments, if they are to function efficiently and economically.

The great importance of an adequate disposal operation can be easily demonstrated merely by citing some figures which have been developed at recent hearings of this committee: The Army has on order, subject to receipt or already stored in its depots, posts, camps, and stations in the continental United States and overseas, goods valued at $52 billion. This compares with the Wall Street Journal's estimate of the present-day inventory of all manufacturers in the United States of $42 billion. It costs the Government approximately $1 billion a year just to care for the goods stored in the 73 central Army depots located in the United States. Only about one-half of this vast inventory is under cover.

Naturally, a certain percentage of the goods and equipment on hand is continually becoming obsolete for military use. Under Secretary of the Army Earl Johnson estimates the Army presently has at least $21/2 billion (measured by acquisition costs) in goods that are surplus. Mr. Johnson describes surplus property as property for which the military services have no foreseeable need and therefore can be disposed.

Our interest in the property sold at Camp Drum does not stem from the amount involved. This is the first step of an inspection trip which the committee is now making throughout the United States at Army, Navy, and Air Force installations. Most of these inspections will be at central storage depots where huge accumulations of excess and surplus property exist. However, since the Army is placing a number of its camps on a standby status which requires mothballing the equipment to be left in the camps, and shipping to depots or other installations excess property, and disposing of surplus, we desire to examine the housekeeping and disposal procedures at all levels of operation.

Also, in view of the adverse publicity received incident to recent sales made at Camp Drum, it is desired to review these sales briefly to determine the facts. This subcommittee is fully appreciative of the tremendous and difficult job which the military departments face in the orderly disposal of their surpluses. We are also deeply conscious of the vital necessity of finding the best way to clear out huge inventories of stocks for which the military services have no further use but which are taxing warehouse space and requiring additional space to be built, all at great additional Government cost. Above all, this subcommittee is most anxious in every way to encourage the military in this disposal job. While the committee has, at times in the past, been critical of certain military policies and operations, we will be as prompet to give praise where it is deserved.

And let me add this word: We recognize the tremendous job that faces every one of the services, and our objective will be a constructive criticism of their programs. We are not interested in stimying the the effort. We are interested in stimulating the effort by constructive criticism.

Accordingly, we will proceed with a review of the disposal activities of this camp by first hearing Colonel Bedell, the camp commander, who will give us an overall picture of the missions which the camp has had and the job entailed in placing it in a standby status.

With that opening statement, so that the gentlemen know exactly what our interest is as a committee, I would like to have you call as the first witness Col. John R. Bedell, the commanding officer of Camp Drum.

Mr. COTTER. I wonder if it might save time, Mr. Chairman, if we had all the witnesses sworn in so that as we move on from witness to witness, and we call them on the stand, we will have them on the record and have all their names.

Mr. RIEHLMAN. All right. Now, will all the personnel from Camp Drum and other military stations please stand, and my colleague, Mr. Frank Ikard, will administer the oath.

(Whereupon the oath was administered to all personnel who testified.)

Mr. RIEHLMAN. We will call as our first witness Colonel Bedell.



Colonel BEDELL. In this part of the testimony I would like to have it as sort of an orientation and background presentation of Camp Drum and its mission.

The Army and National Guard units have trained in this vicinity since 1908, occupying a small area of the camp. They have trained here since 1908 during summer periods.

In the 1930's when things started to get hot and interesting, the War Department, with prompting from the local chamber of commerce, acquired additional land so that the scope of training and the number of troops trained at Camp Drum, increased immeasurably. You probably remember the large maneuver that was staged by General Drum, when he was commanding general of the First Army in the late 1930's and the early 1940's here at the old Camp Pine area that so graphically demonstrated our lack of preparedness.

In 1940's-in 1941, the construction of the present cantonment area as it now exists started. The camp, I believe, was completed in 1941 and at the same time a huge tract of additional land was acquired. It extends and occupies parts of three counties, Jefferson, St. Lawrence, and Lewis.

The area now constitutes 107,000 acres. It is approximately 20 miles long and somewhere between 10 and 12 miles wide. It provides facilities for nearly every type of Army training, including training

by air units. This is the cantonment area where we are now. It is perhaps about 3 miles long.

There were 3 divisions that trained here during World War No. II, the 4th, the 5th, followed by the 45th Armored Division for a comparatively short period. The whole camp is divided into training areas which are assigned units when they report here to Camp Drum for training purposes.

The camp was put on inactive status in 1946 and has continued on an inactive status since that time, officially. However, this has been one of the most active “inactive” places that I have been in for the last 2 years. We had a great deal going on here.

When the camp went on a caretaker status in 1946, to me it seemed as though somebody locked the door and operations, in a sense, ceased. There was a very small caretaking group left here, similar to the group that will be left here during this next winter.

During the fall and winter of 1951-52 we had an exercise designated as Exercise Snowfall which was participated in by 33,000 troops. The 11th Airborne Division was the largest participating unit, and, as you know, it went on during the months of January and February and part of March 1952.

I arrived here just after Thanksgiving in 1951 to become the post engineer and to assist the preparation of the camp for this Exercise Snowfall.

Shortly after my arrival, the logistical support of troops participating in the exercise passed to the 306th Logistical Command which was here for training in rendering logistical support. In a sense, control of this support passed from the post proper to the commanding general of the exercise.

A great deal of equipment was shipped in for use by troops participating in the exercise. It came from posts, camps, and depots around the United States. Some of the equipment shipped in was good. Some of it wasn't. At any rate, after the exercise was over, the troops departed, including the troops comprising the 306th Logistical Command, so that all of this equipment that had been sent in was left for the post to dispose of.

We have an activity called Engineer troop supply. During the exercise this was operated solely and completely by an Engineer depot platoon. Before they had a chance to get organized and properly account for supplies that had been used during the exercise, and supplies that were left on hand, they were ordered overseas. This situation repeated itself several times.

In the spring of 1952 it was next to impossible to have any of our accounts ready for audit. Most of them were not ready for audit until late in 1952. Here we were buried with equipment, excess supplies and so on. During 1952 it was next to impossible to start their orderly disposition.

This disposition has been under way effectively during the summer and fall of 1953.

Following Exercise Snowfall we had a great turnover in civilian personnel. We next had to get ready for summer training when 5 National Guard divisions, 4 or 5 Reserve divisions and smaller units come here to Camp Drum for summer training.

The summer training period extends for 10 weeks. Every 2 weeks a new group of men come in for their training, every second week there

is a great exodus and new arrivals, where up to 25,000 or 30,000 people are involved.

Following the summer training period in 1952, we got ready for the Exercise Snowstorm which followed in 1952–53. This time there were more officers on the post who had had experience in handling winter exercises so that we were able to get organized and stay organized throughout the period of the exercise.

Again, special equipment was shipped in and stayed with us for our disposition during this spring and summer.

In the summer we trained somewhere in the neighborhood of 60,000 Reserve and National Guard troops. I understand that for the next 2 years the logistical support of these civilian component troops will constitute the mission of Camp Drum.

When I came here in the fall of 1951 I did not have a chance to do much more than get my feet on the ground as far as my own assignment was concerned, and to help carry it on as best I knew how. However, it became apparent that in the past there had been a crying need for warehouse space. Our warehouses were jammed with supplies and goods. One of the engineer warehouses was filled with materials that had been used in the construction of Camp Drum and had been left there. Other supplies and equipment had laid dormant for a period of years, and in the meantime had become obsolete. The same is true of much of the engineer equipment. This probably can be duplicated in any one of the other services.

So in the spring of 1952 I started trying to get rid of engineer excesses, and I was handicapped by lack of experienced personnel and time. I barely had time to get this program started when we had the summer training period on us again.

So this brings us up to this next year, the spring and summer of 1953, when we were able to get a property disposal program pretty well underway, engineerwise.

Along in July of 1953 there was a great awareness on the part of people here at Camp Drum and the First Army Headquarters who, in turn, were urged by the Department of the Army to hasten the closedown of Camp Drum.

Colonel Scott, who was then the First Army G-4, said that he had been directed by the Department of the Army to have Camp Drum closed by the 1st of September. Colonel Scott very properly said that was impossible because we would still have troops training here until the 5th of September, and it would take at least a month to return property that had been brought in from armories and other supply places, to return property that had been used by the troops during the summer.

Finally, October 1, 1953, was decided upon as the target date. Everybody was urged to see that that target date was met, if possible, the i5th of October to be the extreme date. I presume that the urgency for all this stemmed from the fact that the situation was going to get tight so far as money is concerned.

The directive we received from Headquarters, First Army, Governors Island, New York, N. Y., is dated August 10, 1953.

It states that: 1. The Department of the Army has directed the closing of Camp Drum. The target date for the inactivation has been set for October 1, 1953, and under no

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condition later than October 15, 1953. Aggressive action is enjoined on all concerned to assure the inactivation by the target date.

We had a conference here late in July or early in August which was participated in by representatives of the post and the First Army, and we talked about this thing. Finally this directive which I have just quoted was published on the 10th of August, although in the meantime we here at Camp Drum had proceeded to close camp.

One of the items mentioned was that wherever possible accounts would be zeroed up. There would be appointed a consolidated property officer who would handle all the closed accounts of the Technical Services having to do with the supply of troops.

There would be another account, that held by the engineer, repairs, and utilities officer. You understand that this action has to do with the maintenance, the maintenance of real estate, not the supply of troops.

The directive to which I have just referred, and from which I quoted, had this to say with regard to property accounts:

(a) Timely notice (minimum 10 days) should be given the Army Audit Agency, 180 Varick Street, New York 14, N. Y., in order that proper arrangements can be made to audit all accounts prior to inactivation date. Zero balance must be acquired prior to notice.

That was our directive. It was the intention at that time to make sure that before any of our regular accountability officers transferred the account to the property officer, his action would have been audited, and then there would be zero balances in the account.

Then the second paragraph with respect to property accounts in this directive is as follows:

(0) Any property which remains at Camp Drum after inactivation date must be transferred to a single accountable officer. Repairs and utilities accountable records will be maintained in a separate account from other accountable records.

(c) The commanding officer, Camp Drum, will appoint a consolidated prop erty officer, by name, and request Headquarters First Army to issue consolidated property numbers for the accounts desired, naming the officer and stating that he is bonded.

So much for that. That was very important to all of us here. This order contained annexes. I am most familiar with the engineer annex. Others are familiar with their own particular annexes, quite similar to this one. But our annex, the engineer annex, had this to say in the first paragraph:

(a) Repairs and utilities supplies will be disposed of, starting immediately, by appropriate action, retaining only those items estimated as required to maintain the camp in an active status up to October 1, 1953, and to perform an absolute minimum of repairs and utilities activities between October 1, 1953, and April 1, 1954.

That is a very comprehensive report.

Mr. RIEHLMAN. Let me get the meaning of that. The only equipment that is supposed to be left here is to maintain this post from October 1, 1953, to May 1, 1954?

Colonel BEDELL. To April 1, 1954.
Mr. COTTER. That is the maintenance equipment.

Colonel BEDELL. Yes, sir. That warehouse which you were last in is the one that will be active. That is the only warehouse activity that should be active during the winter months. They will have, I think, 4, not more than 4 employees there, 2 warehousemen and 2 clerks.

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