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Below is a transcript of the hearing:
[Begins in progress] this committee to order. Let me begin by welcoming our witnesses: Secretary Del Toro, this is your first appearance before a subcommittee and I look forward to working with you. Admiral Gilday and General Berger, you were both here last year, so welcome back to you both. We appreciate your leadership of our nation's Navy and Marine Corps, and look forward to discussing your fiscal 2023 budget priorities with you.
Let's be clear, despite Russia's ongoing war with Ukraine, China remains a pacing threat. And that pace is a run, if not a full-out sprint. So, the question we're asking as we work on next year's budget is, how do we increase our pace of modernization to keep up with this threat? For the Marine Corps, reshaping the force for the future is absolutely the key.
General Berger, we look forward to getting an update from you about the implementation of Force Design 2030, and any challenges or opportunities you're finding as you modernize today's Marine Corps. For the Navy, Secretary Del Toro and Admiral Gilday, you are faced with a balancing act between substantial costs of building and maintaining a fleet of nearly 300 ships, and the additional costs of modernizing Navy capabilities across the board to meet the threats of the future.
To be frank, despite record-high investments, Navy's planned future force structure is not clear, and I understand there are ongoing studies to determine the size and makeup of the fleet of tomorrow. We urge you to communicate those plans with us sooner rather than later. I would add that no matter the desired outcome, holding people accountable, whether it be government or civilian, for delays in ship construction or cost growth on our modernization programs has to be a part of the modernization strategy.
Accepting cost overruns and schedule delays, as a matter of course, simply is not acceptable. The committee is eager to work with you on solutions that enable us to find the right balance between modernizing and maintaining the force we have, and -- and look forward to hearing from you where we've made progress and the challenges that still remain.
Once again, it is a pleasure to have all three of you in front of the committee today, and we look forward to your testimony. Senator Shelby.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Secretary Del Toro, Admiral Gilday, General Berger, again, welcome to the committee. I, too, look forward to hearing more about the budget request for the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps for 2023. The Department of the Navy has played and will continue to play a critical role in the defense of our nation.
The capabilities that it has and the future capabilities that it pursues communicates our resolve to both our adversaries and to our allies. While it's important that the Navy continue to man, train, and equip a ready force, we must also prioritize, as we've talked, key modernization priorities. These priorities include hypersonic weapons and recapitalization of the Navy's nuclear arsenal, all while keeping a sharp watch on our adversaries today.
China and Russia, as the chairman said, continue to make unprecedented expenditures in advanced weapons, demonstrating new capabilities and their commitment to increase capacity. And while the US seeks to maintain military superiority, it's concerning to all of us that the total funding requested for the Department of the Navy and Marine Corps does not even keep pace with inflation.
I'm concerned about this -- that -- what this communicates to both our allies and our adversaries. Therefore, I look forward to hearing how the fiscal '23 budget request proposes to meet the needs of the Navy and the Marine Corps, while preserving our current and our future advantages. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, Senator Shelby. Secretary Del Toro, the floor is yours.
CARLOS DEL TORO:
Good morning. Chairman Tester, Vice Chairman Shelby, distinguished members, it's an honor to be here alongside General Berger and Admiral Gilday to discuss the posture of the Department of the Navy. I look forward to working with you to ensure that our sailors and our Marines are equipped, trained, and prepared to the best of our abilities so that they can fulfill our vital role to provide combat-ready forces in support of the joint force.
The United States requires a strong Navy and a strong Marine Corps. Our global economy and the self-determination of free nations everywhere depends on sea power. Our national security depends on sea power. That's particularly true in the Indo-Pacific, where Beijing's aggression threatens the rules-based international order that protects us all.
To answer that challenge, your Navy and Marine Corps must have the power to maintain credible integrated deterrence by campaigning forward, forward from the sea, on the shore, and in the air. Thanks to the leadership of President Biden and Secretary Austin, this budget does provide the right balance of capacity lethality, modernization, and readiness we need to execute the national defense strategy.
We will invest these resources through the execution of a concise, clear, and transparent strategy rooted in three guiding principles. First, maintain and strengthen our maritime dominance so that we can deter potential adversaries, and fight and win decisively. Second, empower our sailors and Marines by fostering a culture of warfighting excellence founded on strong leadership, dignity, and respect for each other.
And third, strengthen our strategic partnerships across the joint force, industry, and our international partners around the globe. We are executing this strategy through the integrated visions of the Marine Corps Force Design 2030 and the Navy Navigation Plan. I strongly support these visions and committed to fielding the ready, capable, and modernized force required to ensure their success.
To maintain and strengthen maritime dominance, we have to be serious about fielding and maintaining the right capabilities to win wars. That's why our budget strongly invests in a nimble network and survivable [ph] navy, with platforms like Columbia, DDG Flight III, and enhanced cyber and autonomous capabilities that enable our fleet to campaign forward in a distributed manner.
This budget invests in a truly expeditionary and persistent Marine Corps with the mobility and the readiness to respond in-force wherever and -- and whenever needed. We're advancing cybersecurity and resilience efforts across the department with investments to expand cyber mission force teams, harden networks, and leverage artificial intelligence and machine learning to defend the information infrastructure.
To ensure the combat readiness of our platforms, we are more than doubling PSYOP investments over the previous budget. This budget invests in the climate resiliency of our force and facilities for our continuing efforts to substantially reduce our impact on climate change. We're investing in facilities that promote the quality of life of our personnel and their families.
As I discussed on my recent visit to the USS George Washington last week, we are prioritizing access to mental health and eliminating barriers to seeking that help. We owe it to our military families to ensure their safety and well-being. And when we do fall short, we will look our problems square in the eye, and we will take the necessary action to correct them.
We're investing in our efforts to recruit, retain, train, and promote the best from all of America. And we are increasing funding for naval and cyber education and enhanced shipboard training so our sailors and Marines can build their careers wherever the service takes them. We appreciate this committee's interest in ensuring our forces have the right facilities to train, fight, and win, including the potential expansion of the Fallon [Range Training] Complex.
We also appreciate the committee's efforts to include new tools within the NDAA to deter destructive behavior and prosecute sexual assault, domestic violence, and other offenses. At every level of leadership, we are determined to prevent sexual assault and sexual harassment, hold offenders accountable, and create a safer, stronger, more inclusive Navy-Marine Corps team.
I want to close by noting the importance of strategic partnerships for the joint force and our industrial base to our allies and partners around the world. I have personally seen our partnerships and alliances in action from F-35B operations in the Indo-Pacific to NATO exercises in Norway and the Mediterranean.
But our most important partnership is, indeed, with the American people. And that's why I am grateful for the oversight and interest of this committee, and I look forward to continuing with you in the years ahead.
Thank you, Secretary Del Toro. Admiral Gilday.
Chairman Tester, Vice Chairman Shelby, distinguished members of the committee, good morning, and thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today with Secretary Del Toro and General Berger. Senator Shelby, I'd just like to thank you upfront for your service in the United States Senate and for your Herculean efforts, much of it behind the scenes, to support the United States military and, specifically, our Navy and Marine Corps.
For nearly eight decades, America's maritime superiority has guaranteed peace and prosperity across the world's oceans, and it has played a unique and predominant role in protecting our nation's most vital national interests. Maintaining maritime superiority is fundamental in implementing our national defense strategy.
Global competition is heating up, the pace of innovation is accelerating, and the environment that our naval forces are operating in every day is growing more transparent, more lethal, and more contested. Everybody in this room understands those trends, particularly China's massive investment in highly capable forces designed to deny our access to the seas.
Our Navy's role has never been more consequential or more expansive. Right now, today, naval forces are postured forward, defending against simultaneous threats in every theater. As the Russian invasion of Ukraine tragically rages on, the Truman Strike Group and Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group are sailing alongside our NATO forces on point, demonstrating resolve and deterring escalation.
Meanwhile, in the other side of the world, the USS Tripoli is on her maiden deployment, testing assault carrier concepts with her embarked F-35s and patrolling the Western Pacific alongside the USS Abraham Lincoln and the Reagan -- and the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group. These flexible and resilient options enabled by our Navy-Marine Corps team are undoubtedly the first line of deterrence against Chinese and Russian forces, and can provide quick response options against any threats against our national interests.
The global consistent demand for naval assets serves as an unmistakable message; America needs a combat-credible naval force that can protect our interests in peace and prevail in war, not just today, but tomorrow, and for the long-term competition that lies ahead. Our budget submission reflects that imperative.
It fully funds the Columbia-class submarine to ensure continuity for our nation's most survivable strategic deterrent. It keeps our fighting -- it keeps our fleet ready to fight tonight. It funds maintenance accounts. It fills magazines with weapons. It puts spare parts in storerooms, and it gives our sailors the steamy days and the flying hours that they need to hone their skills.
It modernizes our fleet by investing in weapons with increased range and speed, as the chairman indicated is an imperative. And it integrates systems to improve fleet survivability with a resilient and cybersecure network infrastructure. And it invests in affordable, capable capacity, building towards the goal of a larger distributed hybrid fleet of manned and unmanned, and taking into account, the insights that we are gaining on a monthly basis from our fleet battle problems and exercises like Large-Scale Exercise 2021 and the International Maritime Exercise that we recently completed in the Middle East.
These exercises and many others are helping us refine our warfighting concepts. They're helping us experiment with unmanned and cutting-edge systems at the speed of innovation, and grow the fighting power of our Navy-Marine Corps team across all domains. The need to field a ready fleet today as we simultaneously modernize for the future has forced us to make difficult decisions, including the decommissioning of platforms that do not bring the needed lethality to a high-end fight in contested areas.
While we build capacity at the -- while building capacity at the expense of readiness and modernization can sound like an attractive option, it is not one that I endorse. We have -- we have been there before, and we have seen the tragic results. I refuse to repeat it again. We cannot field a fleet larger than one that we can sustain.
And at today's fiscal levels, quantity simply cannot substitute for quality, especially as our adversaries are building more advanced warfighting systems. Failing to modernize to meet those threats would erode America's maritime superiority at a time when command of the seas will decide the global strategic balance of power for the rest of this century.
The stakes in this competition are extremely high and serious, which is why your sailors, active and reserve, uniformed and civilian, are committed to strengthening our naval power every single day. Thank you, again, for inviting me to testify, and I'm grateful for the committee's support for our Navy and Marine Corps team.
I look forward to answering your questions.
Thank you, Admiral. General Berger, you're next up.
Chair Tester, Ranking Member Shelby, and distinguished members of the committee, as we sit here this morning with the backdrop of a war ongoing in Ukraine and malign activities in the Indo-Pacific, it's a good reminder that we don't have the luxury of developing a joint force, a military for one region, or one theater, one type of conflict.
That's why it is so important for your Marine Corps to be ready to respond to crisis in any clime and place. That's part of our national security. Three years ago, we embarked, as the chair mentioned, on a ambitious program to modernize the Marine Corps to ensure that your Corps was ready, not just for the crisis today, but for the future as well.
With the bipartisan support of the members of this subcommittee, I can tell you that our modernization effort is on track and building momentum. There were some skeptics outside of Congress on our approach to divest and reinvest those resources over the past three years. But I would tell you this morning that we have done that and we have self-funded $17 billion worth of modernization, and that approach has not been easy.
We've made hard enterprise-wide decisions to get rid of things that we weren't going to need for the future and reduced the number of things we weren't going to need so much of. We have refined, we have economized, we've optimized across the Marine Corps. And today, I'd offer you a brief update on three areas where I think we've seen significant progress over the past year.
First, over the past year-and-a-half, we've conducted nine training force-on-force exercises out in California, which is where we do combine arms live training. Here's what we've learned during those exercise. Smaller, more mobile, more distributed forces, if they can employ 21st century combined arms, and if they have loitering munitions and organic surveillance ISR means, they are more lethal than larger formations using traditional kind of structures and traditional tactics.
And those findings, I would say, are entirely consistent with what we're seeing in Ukraine right now. In less than two years, we formalized a concept for stand-in forces, built a capability that dramatically expanded what we can achieve in support of both land and maritime operations. The forces that we have deployed in Europe today, they're exercising those stand-in concepts; advanced sensing networking, distribution, all in support of the EUCOM commander as we -- as we sit here this morning.
And the EUCOM commander, when he was back here in Washington, DC to testify, was asked about those Marine forces. His words, "they are precious for effective deterrence." Second, some important operational milestones for us. We have retired the aging amphibious assault vehicle ahead of schedule. And we will deploy its replacement, the amphibious combat vehicle, this year onboard ship with MEU for the first time.
This year, we had a first deployment of our F-35B sea squadron onboard a US Navy aircraft carrier. And working with the British allies, we deployed a full squadron of F-35Bs onboard the Royal Navy carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth. The MEU, Marine Expeditionary Unit, enabled by amphibious ships, remains the crown jewel of our naval expeditionary forces.
No naval vessel in our inventory is capable of supporting a more diverse set of missions than the amphibious warship. The CNO and I agree, the minimum number of L-class amphibious ships that the nation needs, the minimum is 31. And your support for sustaining that minimum capacity is essential to national security.
Finally, this past year, we published our plan to modernize our personnel system that will allow us to better recruit, to develop, to retain, and align the talents of individual Marines with the needs of the Marine Corps. And with all that said, what the Marine Corps does for this nation won't change. We remain America's force in readiness, capable of diverse missions across the operational spectrum.
But how we accomplish those missions is changing. And with this committee's support, we've programmed our divested dollars back into new capabilities. And we're putting them in the hands of combatant commanders now, this year, not in 2030. Despite self-resourcing our modernization, most of our Marine Corps programs remain on track, on time, on budget.
And in those limited cases where they have not, I promise you, we'll continue to work with this subcommittee to make the necessary adjustments. In closing, I'd add my -- my thoughts, just like the CNO, for Ranking Member Shelby, I looked up his 60 years of public service: city prosecutor, I wasn't aware of that, sir; a US magistrate; a state senator; a US representative; and a US senator.
Among Marines, we talk a lot about servant leadership. I think that's a pretty good example of that. So, on behalf of all the Marines, thank you, sir, for your service to our nation. And to that end, I welcome the opportunity to continue working with the members of this committee -- this subcommittee. And I look forward to your questions, sir.
Thank you, General. And we all feel the same way about the great senator from Alabama.
We're going to miss him. And we're going to celebrate him while he's here, too.
So, look, we appreciate all your testimonies very, very much. I'm going to start with you, General Berger. You went over Force Design 2030 pretty well in your opening statement. I guess my question would be, are there opportunities that you're evaluating in coordination and collaboration with the other services, Army, and others, all of them, to develop capabilities to address China specifically, but others also?
And -- and when you're doing that, if you're doing that, which I anticipate you are, are there any -- how do you avoid duplication?
Sir, thanks. I would offer you, perhaps, three examples. First, with the Army's long-range precision fires, here, I would say, we -- we know where there's a degree of overlap, that's good. But the ranges and the size of the weapons that we're both developing are complementary, not -- not overly duplicative.
They have much longer-range, long-range precision fires that are ground-based. We need them. For the Marine Corps, they're lighter, more mobile, more expeditionary on the back of like a joint light tactical vehicle. We need both. So, in that respect, we're working together to make sure that we can stitch together, the whole fires team.
Future vertical lift, also with the Army. We have MV-22s right now and helicopters, and together, for the past two years, we're developing the future of vertical lift, what that might look like. Lastly, I would say -- not lastly, but third, I would say sensing. We are doubling, perhaps tripling, the volume, the quantity, the capacity of ISR in the Marine Corps organic.
And the way to do that at speed and efficiently was to -- with -- with the help of the Congress. Ten MQ-9s that the Air Force was going to buy are -- we are now going to procure. So, it speeds them going in the direction they needed to go. It gets us what we need at cost. So, in those three areas and others, sir, we're absolutely coordinating across the services.
Thank you. And I -- and I appreciate your leadership. I think it's -- it's important and it's valued. So, thank you. The China threat requires our military to modernize with an emphasis on nimble and distributed operations. Most of the other services are choosing to adapt the proliferated agile approach to solve these problems.
However, the Navy's shipbuilding plan continues to include fewer, more exquisite platforms to meet the Chinese maritime threat. So, Admiral, why does the Navy's current modernization plan offer the best capability to meet the challenges in the Indo-Pacific?
Sir, in terms of modernizing the fleet that we have, so we're beginning within this budget cycle to begin our DDG modernization. So, our frontline Greyhound ships will -- will undergo advancements with respect to the radar and sensing systems, as well as new missiles that we're investing in. That would include hypersonics.
That would include the SM-6. We're trying to actually maximize the domestic production lines for all of our weapons with range and speed so that the ships that we do have out at sea are highly capable. With respect to the ships that we're building, if I -- if we think about the submarine force, the -- the force under the sea with Virginia Block IVs and Block Vs, within this budget cycle, at mid-decade, you'll have a strong force of Block IVs and Block Vs with increased magazine capacity will be entering the fleet.
The third Block V Virginia class will have a hypersonics capability in -- in 2028. The -- the Navy SEALs have pivoted from a -- from a primary focus on counterterrorism back to their frogman roots. So, we're working very closely with the submarine community and highly classified operations to give us a leg up against -- against the adversary, not -- not only today, but in the -- in the future.
Also, the unmanned work we're doing under the sea as -- with respect to a mining capability is showing really solid progress. With respect to the surface force, the new frigates that we're building up in Wisconsin are going to be a game changer for us. The destroyers or Flight III destroyers that are now delivering out of both Pascagoula, Mississippi and Bath, Maine, game changers for us. And actually, the bridge to DDG(X) in the -- in the early 2030s, putting hypersonics on the Zumwalt-class destroyers is another modernization leap ahead for us. With respect to the Air Wing of the Future, right now, we are integrating fourth and fifth-generation aircraft together on our -- in our air wings.
By mid-decade, half of our air wings will be integrated with F-35s and F/A-18s. Our F/A-18s are up going -- are undergoing upgrades right now to give them increased flying hours to take them from 6,000 to 10,000, as well as an advanced combat system. For the weapons that those aircraft will carry, again, we're maximizing domestic production lines.
So, the magazines on those carriers are full with -- filled with the best weapons that we have. And as you're aware, sir, we are integrating MQ-25 unmanned into the fleet on our carriers right now. We'll go IOC it in 2025. That -- that will take the refueling role away from a strike fighter, enabling us to keep more strike fighters in the air, extend the range of the wing while they're in the air with longer-range weapons.
And -- and that MQ-25 is absolutely the trailblazer for us into the next generation of unmanned that we're working very closely with the Air Force on. Sir, I apologize for the -- for the -- a bit of a long answer to your statement, but I -- but -- but this budget proposes some significant enhancements for us in terms of modernizing the force.
I appreciate -- appreciate your leadership. I appreciate your obvious knowledge of the situation, so I want to thank you for that. Secretary Del Toro, I'll catch you in the next round. Senator Shelby.
Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, all of you, for your nice comments, you know, earlier. The Guam defense system, this committee has strongly supported the department's shift in focus to near-peer competition, which places an emphasis on the Pacific theater MO. [ph] And I will -- I will direct my question to General Berger here.
With the relocation of US Marines to Guam and the committed US investment in Guam, can you provide your perspective, if you can here in this open hearing, on the importance of providing air defense against current and future missile threats in that area?
The point you highlight about the growing significance of Guam and the role it plays for national security, I think, from Admiral Aquilino to all the service chiefs, we would agree a hundred percent. It's going to become a major hub. I think that's -- there's no question. That's why Admiral Aquilino is prioritizing the air defense picture on top of Guam and Hawaii, because the range of weapon systems, as you're alluding to, is growing.
Both from missile defense and air defense, we're going to have to ensure that Guam is protected, not just point defense from Guam, but forward as well. And here, I think this is probably lesser known to most, but well known to you, members of this committee, this is where the forward Marine Corps-Navy, you know, forces that are all the way forward, they -- they contribute to that defense in depth.
You just -- you don't want to just engage them at the last minute, right before Guam. So, having the Navy and Marine Corps far forward where we can pick that up, where we can sense it, where we can target their shooters, that's where you want to be.
Thank you. Hypersonic weapons, we talk about them. It's very important to all of us. This committee recognizes that the US commitment to deterrence is aimed at both preventing war and avoiding escalation of conflict should war begin, all of it. Deterrence requires spending our limited resources on both offensive and defensive weapons.
Admiral Gilday, as much as you can in open hearing, would you provide an update on the Navy's conventional prompt strike weapon, as well as the context on the need for hypersonic missiles on both submarines and surface ships, and why you -- and -- and why meeting your current timelines are strategically important to us?
Yes, sir. In terms of offensive --
In terms of offensive capability, they'll be a game changer not only for the Navy, but for the nation. As you know, sir, for -- for way too long, the Navy has invested in defensive systems. And so, the past few years with the help of this subcommittee, we made a significant transition to offensive capabilities, hypersonics leading the way.
That effort, and I've been down in Huntsville with the Army leadership to -- to see the work ongoing there, our hypersonics program, in conjunction with the Army, has met every bench stone and -- benchmark and milestone, sir. You were a significant supporter for our -- doubling our -- our budget in '22 from 0.7 billion to 1.4 billion investment to keep us on track so that the Army could feel that capability in 2023 in a mobile system, and the Navy to feel that same capability on a destroyer in 2025. So, sir, to -- to -- I guess to get to the point, it is -- it has been our primary R and D effort in terms of delivering this capability on time, not without a significant amount of work from scientists across the country.
And so, we're -- it remains a priority for us, sir, as we work closely with the Army to deliver this in '23.
Admiral, the '22 budget included funds for the development of a nuclear-armed sea launch cruise missile. To the extent you can, we know this is an open hearing, can -- can you provide an update on the investments that China and Russia are making in their tactical nuclear weapons arsenal and how your budget seeks to meet that challenge?
Yes, sir. The unclassified --
And how -- how important is that?
Yes, sir. The unclassified level, I would say that the Chinese and Russian investments in those tactical systems are -- are a significant concern. The Nuclear Posture Review speaks to those concerns. As the committee is well aware, as you're well aware, sir, the Navy has made investments in low-yield nuclear weapons capability based on the previous Nuke Posture Review in 2018. That program remains on track, and we're fielding that capability at this time.
But again, the Chinese and -- and Russian, the -- the path that they're on right now is -- is concerning in terms of --
But that's a battle we cannot lose, isn't it?
Sir, we need to be able to deter that -- that capability, absolutely.
But, Mr. Secretary, my last question to you has to do with the budget, overall budget. A lot of people, including this senator, believe that the request is -- is not enough considering the problems in the world. We understand that you're a part of this administration. Inflation is eroding, even today, eroding what you're asking for.
We'll have to make that determination in working with the House for the years out, but we've got to get our arms wound [ph] around inflation first and then try to boost our defense capabilities in a dangerous world. I know you have to be restrained by some things in the administration, but we don't, you know, here, and we're going to continue to try to make you funded and not underfunded, you know, in defense.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you. Mr. Secretary, in response to President Biden's January 2021 executive order, the Navy is working towards a 75 percent domestic content standard for all Navy ships. As you know, the frigate is going to exceed that minimum and will be 100 percent domestic content because Congress required it, and the Navy and industry really stepped up. Provided with similar timelines and flexibilities and necessary waivers, would you support getting all Navy ships closer to 100 percent domestic content?
Well, first, Senator, thank you for your support of our Navy-Marine Corps team, and thank you for your support of this issue, Buy America. And as you know, the Department of Navy does support Buy America. In fact, on our first frigate, we're close to 100 percent on -- on the HM and E side of the house, for example, and about 96 percent on the rest of the ship.
So, we are committed to continuing to Buy America as much as possible.
Great. Thank you. This year, I'm requesting additional funding for developing the frigate industrial base and workforce to help ensure a stable and robust foundation as this program ramps up. This is envisioned as being similar to what we have done in other programs. Would you be supportive of this additional funding?
And do you agree that such an investment would greatly benefit the program?
Senator, I often say that it takes a team to build a ship or any capability in the Department of Defense. And it takes close cooperation amongst industry, amongst the -- the Navy, amongst the American people to bring it to fruition. In similar fashion to the DDG program and Columbia, and others, proper investments in the frigate industrial base will be important to the successful completion of that ship.
At the same time, it's also important to hold the shipyards accountable for delivering these ships and platforms on time, on cost, on schedule as well.
Great. I support getting the frigate program up to three or maybe three or maybe even four ships per year as a procurement plan, which would require a second yard to build the same design. However, do you agree that we need to get through certain first-in-class production issues before adding a second yard?
I think that is correct, Senator. I mean I would be all in favor of adding a second shipyard at the right moment in time. But I think before we make that decision, it's very important to ensure that the technologies that we put on the frigate and our investment of this committee, for example, to the [inaudible] of the land-based engineering support structure in Philadelphia is critically important to the success of that ship.
And so, we have to make sure that ship stays on schedule, on cost, on time. And those investments should be -- come first before we actually consider a second shipyard for that.
And you also agree that at only two ships per year, there's simply not enough demand to introduce a second yard?
That's likely the case, Senator.
OK. And General Berger, you've testified that 31 is the minimum number of large amphibious ships you need to execute your missions. However, all signs point to decommissioning more amphibious and bringing that number down to 24. I know more funding for the LPDs is your top unfunded request, which I support.
But can you please share any concerns you have about what a reduction will mean to the shipbuilding supplier base?
Make sure I understand, the impact to the shipbuilding industrial base. I would say two parts there, ma'am, and you're going to know these with your background. First would be the shipbuilding -- the shipyard itself, certainly. When you reduce the -- the centers or extend the centers on shipbuilding, the labor force really difficult to keep them on-site because they need work, the families need incomes, and you go beyond a certain center and it's just they can't stay.
They got to go find work somewhere else. So, the impact to the -- the quality of the workforce in HII or anywhere else is absolutely key. The second part which you mentioned, the whole supply chain. Here, this is where the education of the CNO for me, over the past few years, has paid off because what I've learned on it, like in LPD, the components for that ship are made in 39 different states.
So, the -- the supply line -- the supply chain for ship construction and ship maintenance is deep in this country. If you -- if you -- as the CNO says, if you don't give industry the headlights that they need, then their supply chains become very fragile. We can't -- this nation can't afford for that to happen.
Chairman Tester, thank you very much. Mr. Secretary, I'm pleased to get acquainted with you and I thank you for your service, and I look forward to working with you as we care for the needs of the Navy and the Marine Corps as we take care of our nation's defense requirements. I've discussed with your predecessor the talent that exists in Kansas at our universities to conduct cutting-edge research on Department of Navy programs.
We also, as you would know, have a vibrant defense industrial base that supports both the Navy and Marine Corps requirements. I appreciate the conversation I had with Admiral Gilday as -- before the meeting started in which he was complimentary of things going on at a couple of our universities in our state.
How does the Department of Navy, under your leadership, see using partnerships with academia and industry to stay ahead of our adversaries and in the development of new technologies?
Senator, I think the partnership with academia is critical to our success. And I have had numerous sessions now with the Office of Naval Research and -- as well as the Naval Sea Systems Command and my assistant secretary of the Navy for RD and A. Across the entire department, in fact, about building stronger ties to academia, so critically important.
And you may mention the university at Wichita, for example, the program institute for aviation that you have there is critical to the research that we do on our aircraft across the Department of Navy. So, we're looking for opportunities to actually increase that. One thing that Secretary Austin and Deputy Secretary of Defense Hicks are committed to these larger investments in research, development, and engineering.
And the partnership with academia is just critical to that relationship and there have been actually quite significant increases in this presidential budget that I think would enforce that.
Mr. Secretary, if you or your team see opportunities, if you can provide me with suggestions of places for cooperation, I'd be glad to try to join the two together.
I appreciate that. General Berger, it's my understanding that the [CH-53K] King Stallion is one of the best heavy-lift helicopters in the world and it provides incredible capacity capabilities for our Marines. But I also understand that programs like this, there's always cost concerns and this program is no exception since the cost of one King Stallion has been above -- at or above the level of the F-35, for example, for the last fiscal year.
How do you anticipate the cost of the 53K changing in coming years? And what is the Marine Corps doing to ensure sustainment -- sustainment of costs for this aircraft or controlled?
I've had the fortune to fly on that aircraft. And I would never correct the senator, but I would tell you having flown on that thing, it's not one of the best. There is no other heavy-lift aircraft like that in the world.
I was just giving you the opportunity.
I know, sir, and I'm going to take it. I mean, speed, lift capacity. As an example, there was a H-60 that crashed in the mountains of California a month or two ago. To recover, there was no -- we didn't have anything in the commercial or private sector that can lift an H-60 out of a 12,000 feet altitude mountain, nothing except for that aircraft.
They went up to 12,000 feet, picked up a 14,000-pound H-60 crashed helicopter, and lifted it down to sea level. There's nothing in the world that can do that. Translate that into warfighting, in other words. To your question on cost, IOC, initial operating capability, for us is for aircraft, the crews trained, maintainers.
That's where we are right now. And we're in the very early stages of procurement. And the cost per aircraft is going down, it will continue to go down just like the F-35 and every other major program. The more they build, the more they learn cost will go down. Add to that FMS sales to overseas customers, that's going to drive the unit costs down, too.
All that said, sir, just like the CNO and the secretary alluded to, in both the manufacturing and the long-term sustainment costs, we have to work with the manufacturer to make sure that it's affordable. And we're doing that.
Thank you for your answer. Mr. Chairman, I have other questions and I don't know what the intention is of the chair in regard to a second round.
We're going to do a second round.
Especially if you're willing to stick around. So, it's good. Secretary Del Toro, we've talked about the threats that are being posed, China in the Pacific theater. You've got a shipbuilding plan. Is it achievable, that shipbuilding plan?
I believe the shipbuilding plan is very achievable, Senator, Mr. Chairman. The shipbuilding plan actually provides stability over the next 10 years. When you look at the fit-up and then you look at the five years beyond that, and you look at the three ranges that we've provided in the shipbuilding plan, there's consistency over the course of the next 10 years.
And I think that's the consistency that the industrial base needs to be able to project its workload in -- in its planning ahead of time. Beyond that, it becomes really difficult to predict exactly the nature of the threat, but -- and what -- you know, what the threat may actually be. And so, there are three ranges that allows future national security leaders to take a look at that and determine exactly which path they need to proceed on. Also, impacted by the fiscal realities of -- of what's going on at that moment in time and inflation and all the other factors that weigh in to investments in our national security program.
Appreciate that. Senator Graham.
Thank you. You made a comment about you're OK with the next 10 years in terms of funding for the Navy. Well, I'm not. So, what percentage of GDP are we spending in this budget?
I'd have to get back to you on the exact --
Well, no, you shouldn't have to get back to me. You should know that. It's 3.1 percent of GDP. The last time we spent three percent below was in 1940, 1998, 1999, and 2000. In the next five years, according to the budget proposals of this administration, how many ships will be -- will there be in the Navy?
There'll be 52 ships that get built over the next fit-up.
How many will there be in the Navy?
In the Navy, there'll be approximately 280 ships.
OK. How many are there now?
There are -- There are three -- approximately 300. Very high need in terms of --
So, we're going to go down in terms of ships over the next five years. How many will there be in China?
That's correct, sir. Over the last 20 years, there is also a reduction of 20 ships. And in China, there will be a greater number of those. But what I would argue, it's just not the number of ships that matter, it's the modernization of those ships and the capabilities --
Here's what I would argue to you --
Those ships bring to the fight.
Here's what I would argue to you. In the next five years, our defense spending, particularly for the Navy, will below -- will be below three percent GDP, the lowest in modern history. So, tell me why the world as it is would justify, in the next five years, reducing the number of ships and having the lowest percentage of GDP spent on defense in modern history?
Start with you, General, does that make sense to you, Berger?
Sir, I can't answer the second question about percentage of GDP, but I can answer the first part. Absolutely, we have to be able to do three things. We got to deter, got to be able to respond to a crisis, and if deterrence doesn't work, we've got to be able to fight and [inaudible]
So, how are you -- are you OK with going to 280 ships in the Navy?
We have to have -- I know the number of amphibious ships we have to have to do the national defense strategy, and that's 31.
OK. All I can say is I'm just astounded that China is going to be at 480 and we're going to be at 280. We're going backwards in terms of the size of the Navy. I just got back from -- from Asia. Do you think we should have a bigger footprint west of the international date line, Admiral?
Absolutely sir. Navy and Marine Corps team's your best deterrent forward. That's --
I couldn't agree with you more. When it comes to age, maybe Navy-Marine Corps. The Air Force plays an important role but, Mr. Chairman, this budget that's being proposed for this year in the next five years is incredibly dangerous. There's no way you'll ever convince me that going to about 2.5 to 2.6 percent of GDP on defense makes sense given the threats we face.
So, you can say anything you want to about the magic ships of 280, we need more -- we need a bigger Navy, not a smaller Navy. We need a robust military that can deter war. And if we get in one, win it. So, all I can say to our friends in the Navy and the Marine Corps, this budget represents irresponsibility, in my view, in terms of what the threats are facing this nation and the ability of the Navy and Marine Corps over time to effectively manage these threats, deter, and -- and win the war.
I just don't understand what about this world in the next five years would justify going to the lowest percentage of GDP in modern history. Mr. Secretary, answer that question if you can.
Senator, first and foremost, thank you for your support to our Navy-Marine Corps team. It really does mean a lot to us and many different --
And you all mean a lot to me.
Yes, sir. Again, I go back to what capability -- I believe that we need the right capacity plus the right capability to deliver the right lethality to ensure our threat --
Do we have enough ships -- do we have enough ships west of the international date line to deter China?
I think we do have enough ships west of the international date line today to deter China and the threat that presents to --
I just literally got back and the footprint I saw was just unbelievably shallow compared to the threats we face. So, you're OK with this five-year plan to go to 280 ship Navy. You find that's OK?
I do support and actually, our engagement, as I said in my opening statement --
Strengthening our -- our partnerships with our allies and partners is increasingly important. Actually, we have --
So, what -- what other navies or what other navies -- are they going up? Is -- is the European's navies getting bigger? How many European ships do we have west of the international date line?
Last year, we had four modern aircraft carriers operating together for the first time in history. China has never been able to replicate that ever.
So, who were they? Who were they?
I'm sorry, sir?
Who were the aircraft carriers?
It was the Harry -- excuse me, it was the Carl Vinson. We had the Izumo from Japan. And we had the Queen Elizabeth as well, too. And there was a second aircraft carrier, the Abraham Lincoln [inaudible] Ronald Reagan.
OK. So, where -- what's the trajectory of the Chinese navy, Admiral?
Pretty steep, sir. So, right now there are three --
Would you say they're doing more than they've ever done to build a blue-water navy?
Would you say they're all in and building a blue-water navy?
MICHAEL M. GILDAY:
Their aspiration is to go well beyond the region. Yes, sir.
General, they're all in and trying to dominate Asia in terms of the military presence.
OK. Thank you. Well, we're not all in and we need to be. To those who serve, it's not your fight. I'll wrap up here, Mr. Chairman. I just -- number one job of this Congress, every Congress, is defend the nation and these budgets are woefully inadequate to the task. Our enemies are building up and we're going down, and that is a formula for more war, not less.
Senator Moran, if you're ready, you can go. Otherwise, I'll continue.
Your choice. Go ahead.
Thank you, Chairman. General, the Marine Corps' unfunded priority list in this year's budget includes the procurement of three UC-12 aircraft to complete the operational support aircraft program of record. Can you explain why the procurement of this aircraft has been important to the Marine Corps' modernization efforts?
We've been flying the UC-12 as have the other services for a long time. Earlier models. These are whiskey models. UC-12Ws specifically, and that model that were, to your point, these will be the last three in our program record. These have self-defense systems onboard that the previous versions did not. So, why are they so important to your question, Senator?
They're important because if you don't have enough of that type aircraft, you're going to use tactical aircraft to shuttle around people and parts and cargo. We don't want to do that. So, we don't want to use the tactical aircraft, the KC-130s, our tactical helicopters in place of UC-12. The UC-12s allow us to drive that down and use the tactical aircraft for tactical purposes.
I appreciate you -- you answered my follow-on question, what would -- what's the difference with them and without them. Thank you, General. Admiral, let me turn to you. One of the highlights -- and I was telling the secretary this before the hearing began, one of the highlights of my tenure in the United States Senate was to attend the christening of a Navy ship, the USS Wichita.
And it was -- it was great to see the sailors. It was good to be there with the secretary. It was great to see the community in Florida respond to a new ship. And it was great to have Kansans on the water celebrating that moment. My understanding is that that ship, littoral ship, is going to be decommissioned, or at least that is contemplated.
And I also understand it applies to nine Freedom-class littoral combat ships presumably due to mechanical issues. I think the christening was just a few years ago, maybe three or so. So, the fact that we christen a ship one year and a few years later, we're decommissioning troubles, me. Does the Navy plan to retire these nine ships and how -- and is there a priority order in which the ships would be decommissioned?
One of the nine Freedom-class littoral combat ships was involved in joint exercises with the Dominican Republican -- Republic Navy and those exercises I understand and have read were successful. They interdicted drug smugglers. Are there not other uses, if there's something missing from this class of ships, that we would avoid decommissioning?
Sir, given our topline, what we did was we prioritize or stratified our platforms under the sea, on the sea, and in the air based on their warfighting value. So, what they bring against a fight consistent -- in a fight against China, consistent with the National Defense Strategy given our -- and a priority for us has been to have a navy that we can sustain.
So, in other words, we need a capable lethal-ready navy more than we need a larger Navy that's less capable, less lethal, and less ready. And so, unfortunately, the littoral combat ships that we have, while the mechanical issues were a factor, a bigger factor was -- was the lack of sufficient warfighting capability against -- against a peer competitor in China.
And a key factor in the determination was the anti-submarine warfare package that was being developed for those -- for the Freedom-class hull that just were ineffective. And so, we refused to put an additional dollar against that system that wouldn't match the Chinese undersea threat. That was a primary driver, sir, in leading us to determine that those ships, relative to others, just didn't bring the warfighting value to the fight.
Now, in terms of -- you know, in terms of what are the options going forward with these ships, I would offer to the subcommittee that we should consider offering these ships to other countries that would be able to use them effectively. There are countries in the southern -- in -- in South America, as an example, as you pointed out that would be able to use these ships that have small crews.
And so, instead of just considering scrapping as the single -- as the is a single option, I think there are others that we can look at, sir.
Admiral, I understand the importance of prioritizing. Let me ask, what were those ships doing that will not be done by the US Navy?
So, the new class of frigate that we're building will bring an enhanced anti-submarine warfare capability. The destroyers that we have right now have very capable anti-submarine warfare capability. So, while those were a -- an additional capacity, if you will, in terms of anti-submarine warfare, we do have other capable systems in the fleet, not just on the sea, but also, I mentioned the submarines, the quietest submarines in the world, most effective submarines in the world that we're fielding, as well as our P-8 aircraft for a large -- large area ASW surveillance.
Admiral, thank you. And if -- if your team would be interested in having a conversation with me or my team about the suggestion that you made, please pursue.
Absolutely. Yes, sir. Thank you.
Gentlemen, I want to talk about ship maintenance for -- for a second here. Ship maintenance in the private shipyards is over cost, behind schedule. I'll give you a couple of data points. The USS Columbus was $333 million. To date, Congress has appropriated $625 million and still not back in the fleet. In fact, the projected return two and a half later -- two and a half years later than originally projected.
Another one is the USS Boise, a sub that's been idle since 2016. Our regional overhaul estimate was $389 million. To date, Congress' appropriated $1.1 billion. It's now over seven years delayed. So, Admiral, I can't imagine that you find this acceptable at all. You have stated that you're going to try to work with shipyards to get this fixed.
I mean, we can talk about money and it's always good to talk about money because there is a cost. But the truth is if things aren't coming out on time and they're coming out over budget and it's repeated over and over again, that's not -- that's not a good business model. And so, my question to you is -- is if you had the conversation with the industry partners, private -- the private sector folks, what has been their response?
Have they made any commitment to clean up the overbudget, overtime experiences that we've been having that you've been having?
Yes, sir. So, we've had very pointed discussions with those vendors. We are not satisfied with either cost or schedule. Very dissatisfied, to be honest with you. We have reduced our delay days out of private shipyards from almost 8,000 in late 2019 to just over 3,000 today. Not satisfied with where we are, but that's what we're trying to go is to drive those delayed days down to zero, which will keep these ships on budget and within schedule.
With respect to the submarine availability -- maintenance availabilities that you mentioned specifically, it's been years since we've done that work in those two shipyards, one being Huntington Ingalls in Newport News and the other electric boat up in Groton. So, they are slowly restarting that capability.
We are not in a good place in term -- as you pointed out, sir, in terms -- in terms of being on glide slope. In terms of what levers do we have to use against industry, one most effective one is withholding payments when they don't meet schedule. Another, if I could point -- if I could go back to the littoral combat ship, when we had problems with the combining gear on that ship, refused to accept delivery of any additional ships until it was fixed.
So, we are trying to do -- trying to do a better job up front and working in our contracts levers to pull so that we can hold industry accountable.
The only thing I would add is if you need additional levers, then we can help.
Yes, sir, thanks. I'd like to work with that. We'd like to work with the committee on other options.
I mean, I think the bottom line is this is a team effort.
Everybody has to work together. Congress has to be a part of that team to deliver a budget on time too, I might add.
But the bottom line is, if anybody is not pulling their weight, it puts everything at risk. Thank you for your --
Sir, could I mention one thing --
The committee has done among others to help us. So, you've actually given us the ability to use three-year money for maintenance availabilities. We started a pilot in 2020 in the Pacific Fleet. We've expanded that to the Atlantic fleet. We've done 55 availabilities now using this three-year money. Why is that important?
Because it allows us to begin contracts across fiscal years. So, the Navy's been in a cadence where we've been -- we've been closing contracts within 30 days of repairs. Imagine trying to do that in your house when you can't get the right -- right parts, you know, lumber, etc. So, our goal now is at least 120 days.
We'd like to stretch that to a year. Using that three-year money to do that gives those repair yards the ability to get long-lead parts in time. It gives them the ability to plan. They have the right workforce at the right time to conduct that work. So, I think that's an example of how the committee has helped us and I would appreciate that continued examination of that pilot with your staff so that we can further examine other options.
We will continue to exchange information on that. So, thank you. Senator Hoeven.
Thanks -- thanks, Mr. Chairman. General Berger, the Marine Corps is getting into the MQ-9 business for its, I guess what you would call, medium altitude long endurance unmanned capabilities. Can you talk to me about what your plan is there for MQ-9?
Sir, thanks. We've been flying the MQ-9 -- not -- initially as a contractor-owned contractor-operated learning phase for us for the last two years in the Middle East. Great learning from the Air Force. It sped up our learning curve and our training of our operators. The next phase for us will be to expand the number of squadrons that were flying in a number of vehicles that we're buying and the number of people that need to be trained.
First priority is push them out into the Pacific. So, we need to establish an MQ-9 squadron in Hawaii that can then push the -- that that ISR coverage, that surveillance coverage more towards China. And the way to get there at -- at cost which I mentioned earlier is the coordination between us and the Air Force and with the help of this committee to procure 10 aircraft that the Air Force was going to procure, we are now going to purchase.
So, it's a win all around for us,
But that's interesting. So, Air Force is not procuring as many -- you're moving more into how -- how come the disparity there? What's your assessment of that?
Sir, different missions, different roles, different flight envelopes; whereas you need a certain kind of capability to penetrate airspace in a very high threat environment. You need a different capability in a -- in a more medium threat environment. In a persistent day to day, that's what we need.
Yeah. Mr. Secretary, status of Columbia-class submarine, obviously. We're very committed to the nuclear triad. In my state, we have two legs, the bombers, and the ICBMs. And so, you know, we're very committed to it, but obviously the submarine's very important part. What's the status on the Columbia?
Yes, sir, Columbia is on track. It's our No. 1 acquisition program. There have been additional expenses that we're assessing now. We have to ensure that it stays on track. To the chairman's point, we have to make sure that the cost of completion and the scheduled completion stays on track as a result of that.
We're also looking at potential delays to the Ohio program in terms of life extension --
To make sure that there are no gaps between Ohio and Columbia as well. There are major investments that have been made at Electric Boat. We're working very, very closely with Electric Boat on that and also monitoring the impact that Columbia has on the construction of Virginia as well too. So, it's complicated.
We're heavily engaged in that.
Do you know when Columbia will conduct its first patrol? Has that been scheduled?
First patrol is around 2028, right?
It'll deliver in 2028. First patrol in 2031.
So, there will have to be some extensions on Ohio class then?
We're looking at potential boat by boat to see what additional extensions are possible in order to provide, you know, minimum risk to any gap between Ohio and Columbia.
Right. Admiral Gilday, back to the unmanned, what are -- what are your unmanned prior -- for unmanned technologies, what -- we do a lot in our state in unmanned, particularly with -- with Air Force, but what are your priorities in the unmanned?
Sir, I would tell you that we're --
Not the submersibles [inaudible]
We're pursuing options in the air, on the sea, and under the sea. And so, we did the largest unmanned exercise in the world two months ago in the Middle East. We had 10 different countries, dozens of vendors from across the world, from across the United States, 100 hundred different platforms integrated with AI and software vendors.
We're doing a similar big exercise right now based out of Australia. We're aggressively pursuing how we can put unmanned capabilities in the hands of sailors and marines today in this five-year fit-up. At the same time, examining longer-term problems for larger unmanned platforms. Let's say like missile trucks, barge, unmanned or minimally manned ships that carry a ton of missiles, right?
And so, we're looking at land-based prototyping. So, we have a reliable engineering plan in those -- in those platforms. We have a significant effort ongoing with the other services, specifically the Marine Corps in command and control infrastructure. So, think about the infrastructure of things. We're now talking about the ocean of things and how we plug all that into a system of systems architecture that can actually handle it.
Well, you know, it's interesting in that you have unmanned in the aviation sphere, in the surface sphere, and in the underwater sphere. Unique in that regard.
So, that's interesting. One of the programs we're working with just-- mentioned briefly is the Sky Range program so then steady all line in Navy ships to test hypersonics. We want to do that actually with some of the -- the Global Hawks Block 20, Block 30s. I don't know -- have you interfaced with that at all?
We're doing a lot of work with -- a ton of work with the Army right now in terms of our first hypersonics weapons. And they'll actually feel one in '23. We'll feel that in '25, sir. But also, we're working closely with the Air Force as well on an air-launch weapon, both in this budget and in my -- in my [inaudible] has a request for additional money for -- for an air launch hypersonics capability that we can deliver in this fit-up.
OK. Thanks to all three of you for all you do.
Thanks, Mr. Chair.
You bet. Last summer, there were five sailors who tragically died when their helicopter plunged off the side of the aircraft carrier, USS Abraham Lincoln. Media reports indicate the cause of the crash was a damaged hose in the rotor head of the aircraft, which is about $100,000 item. I think this committee wants to make sure we're providing our war fighters with the necessary funding to ensure that the equipment they're using is adequately maintained.
That's pretty basic. That means getting the necessary spare parts and safety equipment upfront, not after something like this happens. For the Navy and the Marine Corps, both of your budgets have included spare parts in their unfunded requirements for FY '23. Just -- just curious but -- but why in the unfunded thing when this seems pretty basic, at least to my perspective, as to making sure that we're keeping folks safe and effective in the field?
Sir, I'll tell you that with respect to those spares accounts, and there's a GAO report that actually lays this out in a lot of detail. It was delivered within the last six months. The Navy has underinvested in our spares at sea in order to save money. And so, again, our first priority after Columbia is readiness.
Spare parts are part of that. And so, that's why in both our budget, with the secretary's help and also in my unfunded list, we're trying to get back to where we need to be. You can't -- sir, you can't fool the fleet. You can't fool sailors. They know when they don't have the stuff that they need. And so, in our trips out to the fleet, we've heard loud and clear that supply parts have been a problem.
The GAO report confirmed that for us. And so, we're trying to make things right with respect to spares.
So, I'm not -- I'm not going to beat you up because you guys got a tough job, but -- but what you just said indicates to me that it shouldn't have been on the unfunded list.
Sir, that's a valid point.
OK. General Berger, would you like to approach this from a Marines' perspective?
I think it would be -- my -- my approach would be to some of the spares that are listed on our unfunded match the aircraft that are on the unfunded. So, they're part of buying the aircraft to buying the spares to go along with them. The second part, I would say, is a clear recognition over the past year, year and a half of the fragility of our supply chain system.
In other words, not that we can't get the parts today, but it's taking longer and longer and the sources are getting fewer and fewer. So, buying them ahead, as the CNO said, seems prudent going forward.
Thank you all three for being here. I appreciate your testimony. I appreciate the job you guys do. I appreciate the leadership you provide. I appreciate the answers you give to the questions, too, by the way. Straight up and I like that. Senators may submit additional questions. We would ask if you get them to respond to them in a reasonable amount of time.
This Defense Subcommittee will reconvene on Tuesday, June 7th at 10 a.m. for a hearing with the National Guard and Reserve components. As of now, we stand a recess.
List of Panel Members
SEN. JON TESTER (D-MONT.), CHAIRMAN
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-ILL.)
SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D-VT.)
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CALIF.)
SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D-WASH.)
SEN. JACK REED (D-R.I.)
SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ (D-HAWAII)
SEN. TAMMY BALDWIN (D-WIS.)
SEN. JEANNE SHAHEEN (D-N.H.)
SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D-VT.), EX-OFFICIO
SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R-ALA.), RANKING MEMBER
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY.)
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-MAINE)
SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R-ALASKA)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-S.C.)
SEN. ROY BLUNT (R-MO.)
SEN. JERRY MORAN (R-KAN.)
SEN. JOHN HOEVEN (R-N.D.)
SEN. JOHN BOOZMAN (R-ARK.)
SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R-ALA.), EX-OFFICIO
SECRETARY OF THE NAVY CARLOS DEL TORO
CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS MICHAEL GILDAY
COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS DAVID BERGER
Carlos Del Toro, Mike Gilday, David Berger
26 May 2022
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