Hearing of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee - Opening Statement of Rep. Rogers, Hearing on "The Missile Defeat Posture and Strategy of the United States--the FY17 President's Budget Request."


Date: April 14, 2016
Location: Washington, DC

"We are here today for our oversight hearing on 'The Missile Defeat Posture and Strategy of the United States--the FY17 President's Budget Request.'

This is a different hearing than we've conducted before and it's a different group of witnesses as a result.

This year, we are focusing on the integration and inter-relationship of U.S. missile defeat programs. This is different than just ballistic missile defense; we are looking at left- and right-of-launch capabilities and programs; we are looking at Army and MDA missile defense; cruise missile defense of the homeland; and, how offense and defense are integrated in our missile defeat enterprise.

This is not a new thought, though. This is the vision of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that he laid out for an integrated air and missile defense in 2020.

So, we have today an outstanding panel of witnesses to help us assess the progress we're making in implementing this vision and to inform this subcommittee as it drafts the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.

The witnesses are:
· The Honorable Brian McKeon
Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
Department of Defense

· Admiral Bill Gortney, USN
North American Aerospace Defense Command, U.S. Northern Command

· Vice Admiral James Syring, USN
Director, Missile Defense Agency

· Mr. Barry Pike
Principal Executive Officer, Missiles and Space
U.S. Army

· Rear Admiral Edward Cashman, USN
Director, Joint Integrated Air and Missile Defense Organization (JIAMDO)

And Lt. Gen. Mann, I appreciate you attending today in your capacity as the Joint Functional Component Command Commander for Integrated Missile Defense from U.S. Strategic Command. I look forward to your contributions in our closed session after this hearing.

Before I turn it over to Mr. Cooper and we get started with opening statements and questions, a few observations about where we are today.

In calendar year 2015, there were over 300 foreign ballistic missile launches and almost 70 foreign space launches.

We have unprecedented activity from the North Koreans -- if we have a policy to deal with the nut job in charge of that country, it can't be considered anything but a failure.

Admiral Gortney, I'll just say you scared the Hell out of me in our conversation yesterday. The North Koreans now have, what, three different ICBMs, and two of them are road-mobile?

President Obama's deal with Iran is living up to all the worst predictions about what it would mean for Iran's funding of terrorism, instability in the Middle East, and it's ballistic missile program--even now, we have a Simorgh ICBM--what the Iranians like to refer to as a space launch vehicle-- sitting on the launch pad.

If you believe the mullahs plan to go to the moon, please raise your hand. I didn't think so.

And yet, at the start of this Administration, we had a budget request for MDA of approximately $10 billion. This year, we have a budget request of about $7.5 billion.

And Mr. Pike, you have a radar system where no component of it is younger than the soldiers who man it. If you assume that your average Army E-4 is about 21 or 22, his daddy may not have been born when the Army bought its Patriot radars. And we may not replace the radar until that E-4's son puts on the uniform in 2028?

We need to be doing better. And we need to hear from you all not whether you can make this budget request work, but, what do you really need. Of course you'll make it work.

The U.S. military doesn't say no. It doesn't say it's too hard or too cold or too far.

But how many casualties will you suffer because you didn't have what you needed and we didn't know to provide it to you?

If OMB gives you any trouble about that, tell them to give me a call. That's what I expect to hear from you today."