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STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. ROBERT H. CURTIN, DIRECTOR, CIVIL ENGINEERING, U.S. AIR FORCE
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, we are here to present the Air Force military construction authorization request for fiscal year 1966. Secretary Zuckert, General McConnell and other Air Force witnesses have Outlined to you the Air Force accomplishments in the past year and our objectives for the future in support of national policies. The task of providing an Air Force responsive to the broad spectrum of demands that may be placed upon it by nuclear war, conventional war, or guerrilla conflict is manifestly evident in the content of this year's construction program. This program ranges from such extremes as construction in support of exotic space launch booster facilities and over the horizon radar systems to the most commonplace but essential facilities such as dormitories and Warehouses. There is a direct and solid relationship between each and mission accomplishment, which exists in all cases, but is more evident in some. The objectives of this year's program are basically two : (1) To provide facilities at our bases necessary to exploit the full operational capabilities of new and continuing weapon systems; and, (2) To provide some improvements in housing, personnel and related community facilities for our people. At this point I will touch on several topics relative to the program as a whole.
For the first time since the fiscal year 1957 program, there is no authorization requested for additional operational strategic, defense, or tactical missile units in the Air Force construction program. Last year's program provided the construction authorization necessary to reach the level of the 1,000 missile MINUTEMAN force. There is a request for $10 million authorization for certain modification and improvements to the presently authorized MINUTEMAN and TITAN II facilities.
CONDITION OF FACILITIES
The retirement of some of our missiles and aircraft has been previously covered with you. The imminent departure of the first family of missiles and the B-47 from our forces are recent examples. Not so clear cut, so readily identifiable or well understood, are these same forces of obsolescence which work on our base facilities. The need for major modification or outright replacement to meet the newer and more sophisticated weapon system or other demands must be faced squarely.
We have been long concerned about the fact that for the past 15 years our construction programs, although large in dollar value, have been basically oriented to the establishment and support of new and expanding systems and worldwide deployments. Upgrading of existing facilities was extremely limited. We have looked at the condition of our present facilities, and of their capabilities for expansion. We have identified facilities which, with a reasonable expenditure of funds would be suitable for retention, and those which should be replaced at the earliest possible time. Our long range objective is to evolve a hard core of facilities that are both economical to maintain, and functionally efficient. These facilities must be there to provide an operating base for the Air Force that is responsive to the needs of the current program period and adaptable to the maximum extent to the needs of the future.
The projects in the authorization request we are presenting to you today have been selected through a review process that includes on site surveys, design and technical reviews, requirements analysis, full evaluation of existing facilities, and long range utilization potential. They comprise a reasonable and necessary annual increment of construction which will provide our forces with more effective facility support.
Our objective to provide better facilities has not, in any way, diluted our continuing firm insistence on full and efficient utilization of existing facilities. New construction, or replacement of existing facilities has been requested only when alteration or adaptation of existing facilities is not considered in the best interest of the Air Force. This policy is reflected by the large number of alteration and addition type projects included in our program. These have been general aspects of the program and I would now move to some of the details. PROGRAM SUMIMARY
Construction authorizations requested in this bill consist of the following:
Million Title III—Active Forces___ ---- - - ---- $383.3 Title V-Family housing--------------------------------------------- 99.7 Title VII—Air National Guard ------------------------ 9. 0 Title VII-Air Force Reserve---------------------------------------- 3.4
The following comments are limited to title III of the bill for the active forces, since separate presentations are planned for the Family Housing and Reserve Forces Titles. TITLE III—ACTIVE FORCES
The Air Force fiscal year 1966 military construction authorization request for the active forces is summarized in the following table:
Summary of Air Force fiscal year 1966 military construction authorization
Inside the United States (sec. 301) ----------------------------- $218, 760, 000
Of the above amount of new authorization requested, all but $10 million is proposed for inclusion in our appropriation request. This $10 million is the emergency authorization, section 303.
New construction is requested for the Active Forces at 142 of our major installations worldwide. Of these, 101 are in the United States. The program also provides facilities at a number of other locations and minor sites including those of the A.C. & W. network, communications sites, missile range stations, and Smaller sites of classified activities.
Table I, which is attached to this printed statement, summarizes the new authorization requested for the bases assigned to each of the major Air Force commands. In using this table it is pointed out that most of our installations are utilized by more than one command and support more than one weapon system. The total of the authorization shown as being requested for a given command includes that for all tenants on bases assigned that command. To better get at figures solely for One command we can examine the authorization requested in terms of the mission supported or by the program package management techniques now used throughout the Department of Defense. Table II, also attached, summarizes the authorization request by program package. To provide further detail I will now discuss each package, or mission area.
This “package analysis” will be followed by a brief discussion of this authorization request broken out by construction “category.” This latter technique will pull together and summarize for you all the projects of a like type in the program, such as all aircraft shops, all schools, all officers' quarters and SO OI1.
Construction authorization requested in support of strategic forces amounts to $36.7 million. We are asking for $10 million for use at existing MINUTEMAN and TITAN II installations. These funds are necessary to make adjustments and modifications to the silos and launch complexes to adapt them for new and improved equipment and techniques of operation. Some $2.3 million is required in support of the B-58 weapon system by stabilizing the shoulders of the runways at Bunker Hill Air Force Base, Ind., and Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. Operational facilities for the B-52 and KC-135 forces in their fully dispersed deployment were essentially completed by previous construction authorizations. Under recent base and force consolidations the number of aircraft on Certain bases is being increased. At the same time, like models of aircraft are being collocated. This will allow greater efficiency in the stocking of parts and in the utilization of skilled maintenance personnel. Accomplishment of these very desirable goals will require construction of additional blast deflectors and ready crew facilities for the alert aircraft as well as maintenance docks and additional troop housing. Our authorization request includes $5.2 million for these facilities.
The basic Operational facilities to support our newest strategic reconnaissance aircraft, the SR-71, amounting to $8.4 million were previously provided. The home base of the first operational SR-71 aircraft is Beale Air Force Base, Calif. This request contains $1.8 million for personnel support facilities at that installation for the people manning this new system as well as those of other assigned missions.
Some additional facilities and improvements are necessary to sustain the high level of capabilities and the effectiveness of the currently programed SAC bomber and tanker forces not affected by the previously mentioned consolidation. For these needed improvements, projects amounting to $18.4 million are included. Among the major items are— (a) Construction of, and improvement to existing dormitories, dining halls, and officers' quarters for SAC personnel—$4.3 million. (b) Improvement of the community and recreation facilities at our SAC bases by the alteration and construction of additions to existing facilities as well as by new construction at certain locations—$7.2 million. (c) A project to provide for a significant increase in the water supply to Grand Forks Air Force Base, N. Dak.-$2.5 million.
CONTINENTAL AIR AND MISSILE DEFENSE
Hand in hand with the need to maintain and improve our strategic posture is the necessity of keeping our aerospace defense systems at a high degree of of effectiveness. This objective is reflected in Our construction authorization request by projects for implementation of new warning and control systems as well as improvements to, and facilities for our established aerospace defense forces.
Operational facilities in direct support of our manned interceptor aircraft total only $0.6 million for a modest amount of paving and shoulder stabilization.
Control and warming
A total of $12 million is requested for the establishment, improvement, and continuation of our control and warning systems. Most significant among these is a $1.1 million increment of the “over the horizon” radar network. This system, which will provide a wider margin of warning time against possible hostile ICBM launchings is a significant extension of our defensive capabilities. The earlier warning not only provides more reaction time for our Strategic and Defense Forces, but also allows a more careful evaluation of the launch event observed.
Also included is a third increment of $2.1 million for the installation of backup interceptor control equipment for SAGE. This program called BUIC (backup interceptor control) involves a number of sites in the United States. It provides a capability for continued control of the air defense system after a missile attack if the primary System is damaged.
Authorization in the amount of $4.6 million is requested to build a composite structure housing both the working and living spaces of the aircraft control and warning system radar station at Tin City Air Station, Alaska. The presently existing station was built in 1950–51 in haste and as a “lash up” facility. It consists of separate living and working quarters and has, because of the extremes of climate and use beyond its originally anticipated life span, deteriorated to the point that complete replacement is essential to insure an uninterrupted operational capability.
The remaining $4.2 million for control and warning is comprised of a number of Smaller projects at A.C. & W. sites scattered over the North American Contiment. They provide the specialized maintenance, recreation, and utilities improvements that are critical requirements at these remote and frequently completely isolated defense stations.
Included in our defense support projects are two which justify special comment. The first is $1.8 million for construction of a warehouse at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. This replaces a similar facility which was damaged beyond repair in the earthquake of March 27, 1964. The second, provides for the Conversion of a heating plant also at Elmendorf Air Force Base so that it will be fired by natural gas instead of coal. This project, which also provides for oil “standby,” is justified by the savings to be realized.
Facilities not directly related to a specific defense system, but equally necesSary for Smooth functioning and support of these systems, are requested in the amount of $7.6 million. These projects consist mainly of troop housing and dining facilities, $2.6 million; community and recreation facilities, $1.6 million; and, utility systems improvements, $1.5 million.
GENERAL PURPOSE FORCES
One quarter of the authorization requested in this program is in direct support of our versatile and farflung General Purpose Forces. This fact, is particularly Striking. Especially when it is compared to prior construction programs which were predominately in support of strategic systems. This fact graphically portrays the shifts in emphasis that are necessary to meet our Nation's changing needs and responsibilities. Construction amounting to $92.5 million for this force Will give it a greater degree of Operational capability and survivability.
Survivability of our tactical aircraft in oversea areas where they could be targets of a Surprise attack by conventional weapons is a matter of growing concern. Destruction on the ground of valuable B–57 aircraft in South Vietnam last year is indicative of the risks involved. This year we are again requesting an initial increment of $22.4 million to construct protective shelters at oversea bases. These shelters will protect aircraft from nonnuclear weapon attack thus providing a significant increase in the survivability of our tactical forces.
Projects directly related to tactical aircraft, and construction at bases which Support Only these aircraft total $14.3 million.
Another $4 million is included for support of combat crew training for tactical units.
Tactical command and support
The Air Force, as host for the Unified Strike Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., has included in this program an authorization request for $4 million to properly and effectively house the headquarters of this command which has overall control of our Nation's Tactical Forces. Related is a replacement for the headquarters of the Tactical Air Command at Langley Air Force Base, Va., at $2.6 million.
Other projects essential to maintenance, operation, and housing of the tactical force in the United States amount to $9.4 million. Troop housing and community facilities make up approximately 60 percent of that figure.
Oversea. Theater Support
The General Purpose Forces also include our major air units in the European and Pacific areas of the world. Construction in these areas is required in the amount of $32.8 million. Of this, $19.6 million is in the Pacific area and $13.2 million in the European area.
Major items in the Pacific area are:
(a) For bulk fuel storage at two locations, $7.2 million,
(b) To provide storage space for conventional munitions, $2.7 million.
Two earlier increments of munitions storage facilities were provided by the Congress in prior legislation.
(c) For additional facilities at Clark Air Base in the Philippines, $6.8 million. This most vital base, a major staging and enroute stop to southeast Asia, is presently taxed beyond its capabilities. Additional facilities here are sorely needed.
The significant project in the European area is the construction of a complex of facilities at Ankara, Turkey. This is needed to allow consolidation of all Air Force activities in this area. There are many factors, political, social, and economic, that make early availability of this complex extremely desirable. The land for this complex was especially provided for this purpose by the Turkish Government. A modest amount of construction, approved in prior years' programs, is now nearing completion at this site. Authorization requested for this complex is $11.2 million.
In addition to the above projects, $2.1 million of construction is related to a classified command and control function with is split between one site in Europe and One site in the Pacific.
The Airlift Forces, like the Tactical Forces, are fulfilling worldwide commitments in a variety of trying situations. Simultaneously these forces are undergoing a significant period of adapting to new equipments and techniques. Rapidity of the evolution of the Airlift Force is evidenced by the fact that within months of the successful first flight of the C–141, Starlifter aircraft, we now have the first details of a follow-on and complimentary aircraft with even greater capabilities, the C–5.
The C-141, although designed to operate from our presently existing bases, requires some alteration, and expansion of facilities to meet the demands of its physical characteristics and cargo handling capabilities. Out of our total airlift authorization request of $20.3 million, some $9.7 million is for operational and maintenance facilities at C–141 bases. These are all within the United States. The balance of the airlift program provides improved aerial port and terminal faciilties at three U.S. and four oversea bases for $2.4 million, $1 million for a major fuel storage project on a U.S. territory in the Pacific, and various other projects supporting the operations of MATS at seven bases in the United States and its territories.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
The research and development efforts of the Air Force depend, to a great extent, on providing our scientists and engineers with the physical facilities essential to their task. We recognize the primary contribution that research and development has made to our present position of world leadership as well as its importance to future attainments.
To insure adequate support of the variety of research and development programs conducted by, and for the Air Force, $64.3 million in new authorization is requested.
Range facilities on both the Eastern and the Western Test Ranges represent $37.8 million of the research and development request. The proposed authorization at the Western Range totals $35.8 million. This amount provides the first unit of a TITAN III space launch booster complex for $18 million, for the acquisition of related land at $4 million and construction of a technical management control center for $2.4 million. Other range facilities, launch complex modifications, and technical support items comprise the balance of $11.3 million.
The Eastern Test Range request includes $1.5 million for modification of launch complexes and $0.5 million for improvement of facilities at Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Kennedy, Fla.
Authorizations of $26.5 million are being requested for support of research and development projects and for necessary support of our R. & D. centers.