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FORCE STRUCTURE AND TACTICAL FLYING-HOUR PROGRAMS (P-410)
You will notice that the figures reflect a continuation of the downward trend in manned combat units and the flying hours and dollars to support them.
Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee, the flying-hour program for fiscal year 1962 as I have outlined it today will require funds in the amount of $489.9 million. I hope that I have covered the points of greatest interest to you in your assessment of the program,
REVISIONS TO FISCAL YEAR 1962 BUDGET
Mr. Mahon. It is expected that late this month the President will send to the Congress some revisions of the fiscal 1962 budget. What is your best judgment as to how changes in the budget might affect the 0. & M. appropriation ?
General FRIEDMAN. As I understand the items that are generally approved—and until the thing is wrapped up I cannot be positivethere will be some increases in strength, there will be some increases in O. & M., and this will tie principally to an increase in alert status, both ground alert and air alert.
Mr. Mahon. I do not want to scoop the President. I just want to find out how firm this present estimate probably is.
General FRIEDMAN. I understand.
As I say, there will be a very clear program change so that it can be very readily
Mr. MAHON. We do not want to expend effort and time on the consideration of O. & M. and then find we have to reexamine the whole picture.
General FRIEDMAN. I hardly think that will be the case, sir.
ADEQUACY OF 0. & M. FISCAL YEAR 1962 BUDGET
Mr. Mahon. Every year representatives of the services complain they are cut short on O. & M. funds. They insist the budget request is not adequate in many instances, and they complain of the reductions the Congress may make.
I notice in your statement you refer to a minor percentage acrossthe-board type cut that was administered. Who administered that cut to the O. & M. budget, or request?
General FRIEDMAN. To go back a bit in terms of the history of the budget, we did sustain certain reductions in our discussions with the budget staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and some of those were reclaimed successfully, some not successfully, based on certain program determinations.
We then arrived at what I said in my statement, at a position which I felt, and I believe the OSD budget staff felt, represented a very hardcore type dollar requirement associated with the programs propounded. It was very late in the budget determinations that we were advised that we were to sustain a 134-percent reduction across the board. This amounted to $81 million in new obligating authority, and an additional $10 million presumably associated with a reduction in aircraft maintenance facilities, specifically at one of our major depots.
The statement given was that a general reduction of $81 million in NOA, and $60 million in expenditures, was to be accomplished without changing planned activity rates, deployments, or force structures.
This, as I say, left us in a position too late to revise the detailed distribution, and I indicated it was somewhat arbitrary. We will, after the hearings, as we have year after year, have to sit down and work out a financial plan to do the best with what we have got.
As I indicated, we intend to do this responsibly. We do not intend to affect the operational area, but something, in my opinion, has to give. What that will be I do not now know. I will not know until the new budget reappraisal is completed and the committee has completed its deliberations.
Mr. MAHON. Was this arbitrary cut imposed because of the feeling the estimates were too high?
General FRIEDMAN. I think on the part of higher level officials, that was the feeling. I say, however—and I think I can say this quite factually—it was not the feeling of the budget examiners who are of a nature to get it down as low as they can. I do my share of it, and so do the OSD examiners.
BUDGET EXPENDITURE CEILINGS
Mr. MAHON. Do you know whether or not we are going to have a continuation of the practice which has sprung up in recent years of having a budget expenditure ceiling?
General FRIEDMAN. This is very difficult to forecast. I have made my thoughts known on this. I think there is only one true budget, and that is at the point of the Treasury. If you are going to have any kind of fiscal responsibility, you certainly have to know what eventual impact the contracting authority and the appropriations will have on the Treasury balance.
I think, therefore, that we will always be concerned with expenditures.
Now, the question is how you treat with it. As I indicated in my portion of the detailed budget discussions, it cannot be treated in a manner similar to new obligating authority, or obligations. It is an entirely different phenomenon.
Mr. Mahon. Any one in charge of managing the executive branch of the Government must be concerned with the new obligational authority and must be concerned, of course, with expenditures. But it has seemed to me at times we have probably increased the cost of programs by the procedures through which we have controlled expenditures.
General FRIEDMAN. I have made that statement on the record several times.
Mr. MAHON. Are we going to continue that sort of thing, or is there some sentiment to try to treat this very difficult problem a little differently in the new administration ?
General FRIEDMAN. I would only say this I have had discussions with individuals in the Office of the Secretary of Defense regarding what I considered to be feasible type budget guidelines. At least on the basis of preliminary discussions, it would appear that some of my views will be expressed in the development of these guidelines. If they are, I would expect we will not go through these painful reappraisals that we have had to do in the past such as the changes we had to make in the 1960 programs in order to fit the 1961 expenditure estimate.
I would also hope on the basis of discussions, or statements which Mr. Hitch has made publicly, that more consideration will be given to the long-term cost and expenditure impact.
If all those things are done, barring something completely unforeseen, I cannot help but express the hope, and optimism, things will be more orderly in the future.
Mr. MAHON. I do not believe we can completely throw overboard the old procedures, but I do hope you are correct in assuming they can be substantially improved.
General FRIEDMAN. Yes. When I say “procedures," I am not talking to the details of the budget structure, I am talking with regard to the considerations that go into final decisions concerning programs and the financing that goes with those programs.
Mr. FORD. When you say "orderly,” you mean we will have no more cancellation of programs, no more revisions of programs over a period of years; in other words, once we initiate something the orderly thing to do will be to continue it as initially started ?
General FRIEDMAN. No, sir; I would never project a situation of that nature because that is not the kind of business we are in.
What I do mean to say is, where it is done, it is done on the basis of knowledge of what is being done rather than on the establishment of an arbitrary ceiling which, when worked backward, results in cancellations without calculation of what the guidelines will do in terms of actual effect. There will always be changes. There are bound to be changes.
We are playing chess with a man and we do not even know what his moves are. It is a pretty difficult game when you know what the other man is doing and are permitted to observe what he is doing on a current basis.
(Off the record.)
TIME MAGAZINE ARTICLE ON AIRBORNE ALERT
Mr. MAHON. We shall resume the hearing. I would like to ask some questions without interruption for a while. Then I will yield to other members.
I am not sure whether we were on the record before lunch, General, when reference was made to the airborne alert. I have before me the latest issue of Time magazine. Last night I scanned an article on page 19 which carries the following caption : "SAC's Deadly Daily Dozen. The Airborne Alert Provides a Sure Reply to the Russian's Missiles.”
This undertakes to give considerable information as to our airborne alert program. The date of this Time magazine is March 17, 1961.
Whether or not it is appropriate to give all of this information I do not know. Who would be the best one to interrogate in regard to information which has been presented, I assume, by the Air Force to the press?
General FRIEDMAN. I might respond initially, Mr. Chairman, and if I do not cover all the points of your query, we can proceed from there. Mr. MAHON. Let's go off the record for a minute.
iscussion off the record.) Mr. Mahon. Did the Air Force authorize anyone to look into its airborne alert activities?
General FRIEDMAN. The reporter from Time magazine requested permission to proceed to a Strategic Air Command base for the purpose of interviewing a crew upon completion of an airborne alert mission.
Mr. Mahon. Who was this reporter?
Mr. Mahon. Is he the same reporter who wrote the book propagandizing, more or less, the B-70?
General FRIEDMAN. Yes, sir.
Mr. Mahon. He wrote the story. Does the Air Force stand behind the story in every detail?
General FRIEDMAN. No, sir. We do not. This is in no way an Air Force release. This is Mr. Rees' idea of what is involved in indoctrination training, which we do conduct in SAC.
Mr. Mahon. I want to say that insofar as I know, no member of this committee is opposed to freedom of the press or freedom of information but we feel, as I believe undoubtedly you feel, General Friedman, that some discretion should be used in connection with what is printed and made available to the world and made available to our opponent. My question here relates to the question of whether or not this sort of information is helpful to our opponents. That is the only thing that concerns me.
General FRIEDMAN. Well, sir, if the article were factual in all regards, it would be of some benefit to a potential enemy. However. I think in this regard, and as it pertains to the accuracy of the article, specific instructions were given to the Commander of the Strategic Air Command, which, if followed—and incidentally we have checked and determined that they were followed implicitly-were of such nature to preclude Mr. Rees' attaining information of this sort during his visit.
Mr. Mahon. I would like for you to comment in regard to this article as much as you appropriately can without giving further information to the opponent, which might be against the best interests of the United States,
General FRIEDMAN. We will be happy to do so.
The fuel and spare parts required for operating the 12 planes around the clock for 1 year run to $65 million. The fuel for one B-52 alone runs to $7,000 per flight. SAC Chief Power has managed to get an additional budget of only $185 million. If he can get the money, Power would like to boost the alert to include at least 25 percent of his planes, which would cost $750 million a year above the $8 billion budget for all of SAC's operations.
Are those figures with respect to the $7,000 and the $65 million reasonably correct?
General FRIEDMAN. I would say they are partially correct, Mr. Chairman. Of course, I would have to discuss them with Mr. Reece to determine exactly what he included in his determination of expense.
Mr. Mahon. I am reading: In Power's plans the alert will continue through the years, estimated until 1965.
That would be interesting to the opponent, I assume, that we will continue the airborne alert according to our plans until 1965.
The United State is building a reliable missile warning system.
Some airmen think that the airborne alert will be a part of SAC's life as long as there are any nuclear bombers in the picture, estimated until 1965.
I should like to have further comment in regard to the article at this point in the record.
(The matter referred to follows:)
AIRBORNE ALERT ARTICLE IN TIME MAGAZINE As a result of the "Airborne Alert” article on page 9 of the March 17, 1961 edition of Time magazine, an informal inquiry was made into the source of the material used by Mr. Rees, the author,
Mr. Rees initially asked the Office of Information at Headquarters, USAF, for permission to visit several B-52 units for the purpose of writing an article based on an airborne alert training mission. He was told the request appeared feasible and was referred to Headquarters, SAC. Permission was granted by SAC and arrangements were made for him to visit several SAÇ units. The following written guidance was provided in advance to these units by SAC.
“Mr. Ed Rees and photographer, representing Time magazine arriving your station this date. Rees desires interview with crew upon completion of airborne alert training mission. (1) Care must be taken to brief crew on the following: (a) They will not divulge tail number or call sign of aircraft; (6) cannot confirm or deny carrying nuclear weapon; (c) cannot divulge routes or any other phase of mission, except that it was a normal 24-hour airborne alert training mission flown under the most realistie conditions; (d) in essence, all aspects of mission are classified except its duration ; (e) code name of training mission will not be revealed. (2) The following photographic policy will apply: (a) You may permit photos of landing and taking off B-52's without identification as airborne alert training sorties; (b) photograph crew near B-52 is authorized ; (c) interior shots of B-52 with crew is authorized. (3) Advise or consult this Headquarters, DXIML, on any problems that rise that indicate possible adverse information being used by Mr. Rees. “(4) The above guidelines should be followed closely in the interests of the country's security along with the fact that there will be no review of copy to be published.
(5) Basic guidance is provided in this headquarters classified message DXIP-1 0354, January 17, 1961 * * *."