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Overall mission support flying requirements will not decrease because of a decrease in the manned force structure. The increase in dispersed missile sites alone has already added to our mission support flying hour requirements and will generate additional requirements with the continued rapid expansion of our missile capability. During this fiscal year, the commander in chief of the Strategic Air Command has expressed concern at the lack of adequate mission support aircraft and flying hours to support his tactical units. In the first quarter SAC requested 43 additional mission support aircraft and 58,000 additional hours to accommodate increased requirements generated by unit dispersal and airlift support for missile site location, activation, and operation. We know that these requirements will increase in the future.
The Air Force is required to administer and support some 230 major installations, worldwide, plus an additional 3,600 minor installations and facilities such as missile sites, radar sites, relay stations, test sites, air attachés, and overseas MAAG's and missions. Many of these facilities are in remote areas and locations. All remote installations and facilities require supervision; troops stationed there must be paid; emergency logistics support and medical attention are required along with inspection trips and rotation of personnel. In brief, our base structure is large, complex, and dispersed. The administration, supervision, control, and support of this kind of complex are major reasons for maintaining the mission support flying hour program at the fiscal year 1961 level. We are making the maximum use practicable of all mission support aircraft and flying hours, including those allocated for proficiency flying, to meet these requirements. I should emphasize that none of the 3,600 minor installations I have mentioned are co located with major installations. They are all separate facilities.
The MINUTEMAN missile complex at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., now under construction, is a good example of increasing current and future requirements. The missile wing commander at Malmstrom will be responsible for the 24-hour-a-day peak readiness status of a ballistics missile wing. His communications, administration, and supply problems will be difficult under the best conditions. He will rely on surface transportation to the maximum extent. But in order to avoid unacceptable delays in reaction time, he will have to have mission support aircraft and flying hours. It is imperative that he, or his staff, or his launch control center commanders, be able to get to the individual sites on short notice. The problems associated with nuclear safety, missile component malfunction, missile site security, rotation of personnel, emergency medical treatment, and emergency supply support will require the frequent unscheduled movement of people and things to and from the headquarters, launch control centers, and sites.
CRITICISM OF THE MISSION SUPPORT PROGRAM
Past criticism of the mission support program has been directed primarily toward the management and control of mission support flying and the number of pilots required to maintain flying proficiency. It has been said, for example, that flight records did not clearly specify the purpose of each flight; that management at base level did not insure economy and efficiency in the utilization of mission support aircraft; that on some occasions these aircraft were used
for what appeared to be personal convenience as opposed to valid mission support; and that many pilots are required to continue on flying status after their usefulness in rated skills apparently has passed.
I assure you and the members of this committee that the Air Force continues to take these criticisms to heart. The reduction in our inventory of rated personnel, without unacceptable adverse effects, has been, and is, one of our major problems. It has been frankly and openly discussed in past years by key Air Force officers before committees and subcommittees of the Congress. Let me tell you what is being done to improve the management and control of mission support aircraft and to reduce the rated personnel inventory.
IMPROVED MANAGEMENT OF MISSION SUPPORT ACTIVITIES
As you know, the Air Force has been steadily reducing the mission support aircraft inventory for the past several years. At the end of fiscal year 1958 for example, we had more than 3,800 mission support aircraft. By end fiscal year 1959 this had been reduced to 3,576 aircraft. In January 1960, at the direction of the Chief of Staff, a board of nine general officers was appointed for the specific purpose of reviewing each major command's stated minimum requirements for mission support aircraft and recommending further reductions. As a result of the board's recommendations the reduction of mission support aircraft was further accelerated. For example, in late calendar year 1959, when members of your staff looked closely at our mission support activities, we had 3,312 aircraft assigned to this activity. As you saw on an earlier table, this figure will be reduced by some 520 additional aircraft by the end of fiscal year 1962. These figures represent a reduction of nearly 1,000 mission support aircraft in a 4-year period. In fiscal year 1961, we began operating under a self-imposed ceiling of 1.6 million flying hours for mission support. This voluntary reduction in flying hours and aircraft was achieved through improved management and better utilization of the remaining aircraft assigned to these activities.
In the past 2 years we have fully implemented the single manager system at base level for virtually all mission support flying activities. This means that all mission support aircraft at any one base, regardless of the command to be supported, are pooled, scheduled, and dispatched by the host base. Tenant organizations of other commands no longer control mission support aircraft provided for their support. They must submit and justify their requirements to the single manager. The base commander, as the single manager, is charged with preventing abuses and assuring the most economical and efficient utilization of the aircraft. We are continuing inspection of flying installations to assure that current directives are being complied with and that good management practices are in effect.
New reporting procedures have been instituted which provide greater detail as to the exact use and primary purpose of each mission support flight. For instance, we formerly recorded only three broad categories of mission suport flying. Under our new procedures, we have broken these down into eight specific mission classifications. Each classification has been assigned a reporting code permitting us to determine the primary purpose of each mission support flight.
Over a period of time they will provide data for accurately assessing our overall mission support activities. We will be able to monitor the program more closely and to evaluate new requirements and allocate mission support aircraft and flying hours with greater certainty than in the past.
The final point I want to discuss in this area of mission support is proficiency flying.
You have already heard from General Ligon's testimony the actions taken by the Air Force to bring the rated inventory in alinement with changing requirements. He has discussed with you the Air Force intent to reduce the rated inventory further through existing authority and procedures and he has asked your support for leg; islation to provide appropriate financial relief for those removed from flying status. Assuming a reduction in the rated inventory, through some type of requital pay legislation, the skills of those remaining on full flight status must still be preserved.
As rated personnel rotate from cockpit jobs they will be capable of effectively monitoring, supervising, and controlling flying activities. Under these circumstances, they must be thoroughly familiar with the activities in which they are required to make decisions and plans. In general, they will provide us with a most valuable asset : strength in depth in our inventory of skilled rated personnel. The maintenance of such a reserve will continue to require the allocation of proficiency aircraft and flying hours.
It is my opinion that a further reduction in our overall mission support capability cannot be effected without denying essential support to our combined missile and aircraft combat units and to an essential reserve of rated personnel. The savings we achieve in fiscal year 1962 through the currently programed reduction in the rated inventory have been applied to the increasing hard core mission support requirements. It is for this reason that we are holding to the fiscal year 1961 level of 1.6 million mission support flying hours.
In summary, then, I feel that the Air Force has been responsive to past criticisms of our mission support activities. We have effected sizable reductions in both aircraft and flying hours. Management of the mission support fleet has been tightened and improved. A revised reporting system assures us of more timely and detailed information on the utilization of these aircraft. The number of active rated personnel is being reduced. Approval of the requital pay legislation sponsored by the Department of Defense will allow us to make any required reductions in an orderly manner while minimizing the serious adverse effects of such action.
I will turn now to the tactical portion of the flying hour program which provides for the flying activities of our combat or strike forces, and for the units providing direct support of these forces, such as troop carrier and tanker aircraft. These forces are employed in three primary mission areas: air defense, tactical, and stategic. I am happy to report that their overall progress has been most satisfactory. It
is essential that the personnel who man these tactical forces continue to maintain the highest possible state of readiness.
During calendar year 1960, despite overall force structure reductions, the readiness status of our fighter-interceptor units has continued to improve. The number of aircraft in the Zone of Interior on 5- and 15-minute alert status has increased by 18 percent. Increased capability to generate flying hours in our F-101B and F-102 aircraft has resulted in overall increased crew readiness and a 6 percent increase in the number of combat ready crews. Modernization of the manned air defense force is continuing. The number of F-101B squadrons has been increased by 112 percent and the number of F-106 squadrons by 180 percent. During the same period we phased out all F-86 and F-104 squadrons. There has also been a net reduction of two F-102 squadrons and the F-89 inventory has been reduced to a single squadron.
TACTICAL AIR FORCES
I will now discuss the area of our tactical flying requirements involving the combat and troop carrier units of the Tactical Air Command and our theater Air Forces in Europe and the Pacific.
Substantial progress has been made in tactical forces worldwide in the past year. We have begun conversion to the new F-105D aircraft. Individual units will be temporarily degraded for a short period of time, but the overall effectiveness of the tactical forces will be increased by the introduction of this aircraft. It will give the tactical fighter units an increase in speed and range over the aircraft they are replacing
In addition to the increased capability of tactical fighter units, the introduction of the GAM–83 tactical air-to-ground missile will 'further increase the effectiveness of these units. This is a remarkably accurate weapon particularly suited to support of ground forces. In addition to this new weapon, we have developed new delivery techniques for nuclear weapons which will assure greater accuracy and increased effectiveness for a given yield. I am sure you realize that all our tactical fighters and bombers are capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear weapons. All are suitable for any
size war. The flexibility of these forces is enhanced by increased mobility. All of our tactical fighter and support units are capable of rapid deployment to oversea areas. Intercontinental flights by fighter aircraft have become commonplace. Each month there is a rotation of one TAC Fighter Squadron to Europe. In addition, mobility exercises assure us of the capability for rapid oversea deployment of composite air strike forces (CASF). Last September, for example, TAC deployed 67 combat and support aircraft to USAFE to participate in a joint NATO exercise. In November, a 120 aircraft task force deployed to USAFE in exercise “Jack High.”
Flying time for exercise and mobility training of this type is included in our fiscal year 1962 program. A number of oversea deployment exercises are planned including "no notice" exercises. These will be in addition to the monthly rotation of a tactical squadron to Europe.
AIR FORCE RESERVE
The Air Force Reserve is primarily a troop carrier force. Its total airlift capability, represented by nearly 700 cargo aircraft, is committed to support the U.S. Army. At present the bulk of the Air Force Reserve fleet consists of C-119 and C-123 aircraft. M rnization of this fleet is continuing. Three C-124 squadrons will replace three C-119 squadrons during the fourth quarter of this fiscal year.
STRATEGIC Finally, I should like to discuss the strategic mission area. The SAC flying-hour program for fiscal year 1962 accounts for 65 percent of all tactical funds in the P-410 area and 48 percent of the tactical hours.
The programed decrease in our bomber forces during the next year will be largely offset by an increase in strategic missile squadrons. The nuclear-weapon-equipped manned bomber force continues to constitute the primary counterforce capability available to the United States. The manned bomber continues to be a major force during the next decade and will remain so indefinitely. For these reasons it is essential that our manned bomber units remain at peak readiness.
During the past year, SAC's bomber readiness posture and striking power have increased significantly. This improvement has been effected in four ways: Through continued modernization of the SAC bomber/tanker fleet; through an increase in the number of aircraft on 15-minute ground alert; by an increase in the number of B-52 squadrons equipped with the GAM-77 strategic air-to-ground missile; and by increasing the airborne alert capability.
Before concluding the discussion of the tactical portion of the flying-hour program, I would like to summarize the progress made in flying safety. Air Force-wide, the accident rate has declined from 8.2 per 100,000 hours in calendar year 1959 to 5.8 in 1960. Reduced rates have been achieved in all the combat commands. The rate for fighter interceptors is down from 21.1 to 16.2. Regarding tactical fighters, the F-100 rate declined from 29.3 to 23.2; the F-101 rate from 34.8 to 23.1; and the F-104 rate from 61 to 39.8. Reduced rates for the B-47, B-52 and KC-135 have lowered SAC's overall rate from 3.0 to 2.2: lowest in SAC's history and lowest for any combat command in the history of the Air Force. I think you will agree that the continued vigorous prosecution of our flying safety program has resulted in very real savings in dollars and combat potential.
I can best summarize my remarks concerning our tactical forces, by assuring you that the past year has been one of significant progress in increasing the combat potential of the Nation's air arm. We have reached a new peak of combat readiness and effectiveness.
Turning now to my last table, I show you the proposed flying-hour program for our tactical forces in fiscal year 1962 as it relates to the force structure and expressed in dollars.