« PreviousContinue »
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
DOD Nat'l Guard Reserve
Nat'l Guard Reserve
Senator STENNIS. You just proceed in your own way. You certainly will be given as much time as you need.
Senator CASE. Mr. Chairman, I note that the Secretary's statement refers to S. 3006.
Senator STENNIS. Yes.
Is it your intent that we shall work on the text of the House bill or on the text of the Senate bill?
Senator STENNIS. I think we ordinarily work on the Senate billi and then come down to the House bill, because the Department usually wants to present a reclama; that is your original budget; is that cor-rect, Mr. Secretary?
Mr. BRYANT. That is correct.
Mr. Chairman, I took the liberty of condensing my broader statement which you have admitted to the record in the interests of economy of time so with your permission I will read from this in the hope that it may suggest areas of discussion that you may wish to
Senator STENNIS. Do we have copies of your condensation.
Mr. BRYANT. I had intended to do this without a written statement but I thought I could perhaps save your time by doing it, so this was done very suddenly yesterday. Mr. Chairman and members of thecommittee, it is a privilege to appear before you on behalf of the Department of Defense in support of the military construction authorization bill for fiscal year 1961. During the course of the defense posture hearings which were conducted by your committee earlier this year, you obtained full details concerning present and future threats against our national security and the measures which are underway to further strengthen our military capabilities.
The construction authority requested in this bill is primarily devoted to the support of these measures.
Briefly, over $440 million or 41 percent of the authorization which is requested in this bill for the Active Forces is in support of our retaliatory capability, which includes the manned bomber units on instant alert at their dispersed bases, the growing strength of our intercontinental missiles now being emplaced at widely separated and protected sites, the POLARIS submarine with its invulnerability greatly increased by its concealment and mobility, and our intermediate-range ballistic missiles being deployed at forward locations in allied countries. We feel that possession of a powerful retaliatory capability is mandatory as a war deterrent and is essential to any negotiations with Communist governments.
Approximately $168 million or 17 percent is in support of air defense programs including the North American air defense radar network covering the air approaches to this hemisphere, the Army and Air Force missile and aircraft defenses, the Navy barrier patrol and other systems which incorporate more advanced techniques and countermeasures.
Great emphasis is being placed on our research and development effort, the application of new technology to additional weapons and to changes in forces and missions which improve and strengthen our overall capability.
Construction projects in this category amount to $152 million, or 15 percent. Included in this sum, under title IV of this bill, is $20 million of new authorization for the Advanced Research Projects
Agency, which is engaged in studies on special techniques from which we hope to attain great benefit.
Approximately $122 million or 12 percent is in support of the alert and powerful forces which are being maintained in order to respond promptly to any local or limited threats which might occur. These forces include the Army and Marine combat units with their greatly increased missile fire power, the Navy carrier air force, the Marine aircraft wings, the tactical air units of the Air Force and the MATS units which support these activities.
All of these airfighting forces are equipped with new weapons which vastly increase their air warfare and striking capability.
Also included in the bill are lesser amounts required for basic troop training and other items necessary to the operation and support of our worldwide Military Establishment including $42 million for the Reserve components.
I wish to assure the committee that each project in this bill was individually and specifically reviewed and screened in order to assure that the facilities being requested were strictly limited to only those definitely required to support properly the missions assigned to our military forces.
Projects which are merely desirable but not essential are not included. I am confident, Mr. Chairman, that in the formulation of this program many prudent economies have been achieved without causing any impairment to our defense activities.
Great care has been exercise in this respect, and the final decisions reached on the program content reflect the combined judgment of the numerous offices within the Department of Defense and the military departments which participate in this task.
My prepared statement, which has been placed in the record gives full details on the contents of the respective titles within this bill.
It provides the committee with information covering our various activities including construction and acquisition of family housing.
However, certain project deletions and substitutions are now necessary due to the recently announced changes in air defense plans.
Final details concerning the exact revisions which must be made in our construction program in order to accommodate these air defense plan changes are now being worked out and will be presented to your committee at an early date.
Also included in my prepared statement is information covering the Reserve Forces and the general provisions relating to titles I, II, III, and IV. In view of earlier House action on this bill, during which changes were made covering certain of these general provisions, I should like to refer briefly to section 508, which deals with the disposal of inadequate quarters; section 510 which pertains to the requirement for coming into agreement with the Armed Services Committees regarding real estate actions; and to a new section which has been inserted by the House Armed Services Committee covering the so-called section 810 housing.
During their consideration of this bill, the House Armed Services Committee decided greater emphasis should be given toward disposal of inadequate quarters, and that committee has therefore substituted new language in lieu of that now shown in section 508 of S. 3006. This new language is shown in H.R. 10777, and we feel that it is satisfactory except that we require a full year's extension in lieu of the 6 months extension provided in both H.R. 10777 and S. 3006.
Similarly, the House Armed Services Committee has substituted section 510, of H.R. 10777 for the language shown in section 510 of S. 3006. We do not believe that section 510 of H.R. 10777 is as desirable as the language contained in the original draft of an amendment proposed in the House Committee on Armed Services, a copy of which has been submitted for the record.
Our principal objection to the wording as now contained in H.R. 10777 is that real estate transactions over $50,000 come to a complete halt during adjournment sine die in those categories where it cannot be certified that the national defense would be imperiled.
Further details on this are contained in my prepared statement.
The House committee also inserted a new general provision in this legislation, section 507(b) which requires that section 810 housing must now be authorized as a line item project in our annual authorization bill. This requirement is of course consistent with our current practice on other types of family housing construction, and we therefore concur in this new language.
Mr. Chairman, it is as always a pleasure to meet with you here, and it is my wish, together with the departmental representatives who will also appear later before you, to provide this committee with any information it desires in connection with your consideration of this legislation.
Senator STENNIS. Mr. Secretary, thank you for your statement. Now we have certain questions here that have been prepared by Mr. Nease, our professional staff member, who happens to be away today, and without notice of this meeting.
I don't want to take all the time. I want to yield to the other members of the committee.
May we give these questions to you now for early return with the answers for the record ?
Mr. BRYANT. I will be very happy to, sir.
Question 1. According to statements attributed to you in the public press, your testimony before the House committee indicated that each unit of Capehart housing costs the Government $160 per month, which is over and above rental allowances forfeited by the occupants. Would you comment on this, please?
Answer. As indicated in my testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, there are two elements of cost to the Government in connection with Capehart housing. First, the construction cost is paid off by monthly amortization payments over a 25-year term; payments on a unit costing $16,000 are about $90 per month, which is approximately the average quarters allowance of the occupants. Second, there is the cost of managing, maintaining, and operating the Capehart housing; this cost cannot be determined precisely, because it is difficult to segregate costs attributable to housing from those for other post facilities, but as indicated to the House Armed Services Committee, it is estimated at about $50 to $60 or $65 per month. However, I should like to point out that these are estimates from which actual costs in individual cases may vary considerably.
As Congressman Hardy pointed out during the House committee's hearing, the sum of the highest quarters allowance for enlisted men ($96.90) and the operating cost ($65) is about $162. However, the sum of the monthly mortgage payment plus the operating cost at about $155 more accurately reflects the cost of the housing. We agree that either figure is a reasonable order of magnitude for aggregate cost of Capehart housing, but it should be noted that this cost includes acquisition of capital assets by „ne Government. Over a 25-year mortgagë term, the average monthly principal reduction on a $16,000 unit would be $53.33. Of course, this debt reduction is partially offset by depreciation, which on a straight line basis over 50 years amounts to $26.67 per month, so that the value of monthly capital acquisition is reduced to $26.66. Subtracting this amount from the monthly aggregate cost produces a net cost of about $125 to $135 per month.
We consider this a reasonable cost for providing acceptable quarters including all utilities, and compares rather favorably with the cost of comparable quarters on the private market. This fact was recognized by Congress in authorizing the program for leasing of private units at tactical sites, at a cost not to exceed $150 per unit per month.
Question 2. Do you not consider $50 to $60 per month to be excessive for the maintenance and operation of Capehart units?
Answer. The estimated cost of $50 to $60 per month for maintaining and operating a typical Capehart family housing unit is not considered excessive, since the costs inclụde many services not normally associated with maintenance and operation of housing in civilian economy. Maintenance and operation costs of Capehart housing include all costs associated with the housing such as (1) maintenance and repair of the building structure, its equipment and its utilities, such as plumbing, electrical, heating and air-conditioning systems; (2) provision of utilities, including electricity, gas, oil, water and sewage service; (3) maintenance of exterior utility systems, roads, walks and grounds; (4) the provision of services such as fire protection, refuse collection, pest control, and administration and furniture repair; and (5) painting and redecoration. In addition, military housing is subject to greater wear and tear than normally encountered in civilian economy because of the frequent change of occupancy; also, the military occupant is not expected or permitted to perform minor maintenance and repairs, adjustments to equipment and improvements which civilian occupants may normally be expected to perform.
Question 3. What are you doing to reduce these costs?
Answer. OASD (P. & I.) has taken the following actions to reduce maintenance and operation costs :
(a) A memorandum has been issued, dated March 7, 1960, containing the DOD policy, standards and criteria for maintenance and operation of family housing.
(6) In cooperation with the military departments, OASD (P. & I.) is conducting a comprehensive field study of military family housing which will encompass a survey and evaluation of management techniques and procedures for the operation and maintenance of family housing and the costs thereof. This study will provide the basis for further actions to obtain economies and effectiveness in the management and costs of maintenance and operation of military family housing.
Question 4. Why is Air Force building housing for upper-grade officers in some cases averaging 30 percent above MCA cost limitation?
Answer. Since the Capehart program contains no cost limitations for housing for specific ranks, the DOD considers the congressional area limitations as the governing criteria. All of the housing known to have been criticized by the GAO for excess cost conforms to the applicable area limitations, and this is considered desirable in order to provide living accommodations suitable to the rank of the occupant and comparable to housing which civilians of equal standing and responsibility command in the local economy.
The key to the problem lies in the conflict between the cost limitations and the size limitations, as the following table illustrates :
Rank or grade
Reasonable Cost based on
on cost limitation
19, 800 17,600 15, 400 13, 200
1, 570 1, 415 1, 300 1, 240 1,080
NOTE.-These costs are to the 5-foot line and do not include utilities or other improvements beyond this line.