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US House Armed Services Committee





June 28, 2001

Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the committee. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today and discuss force protection measures taken at Travis Air Force Base to protect our people, our equipment, and the infrastructure of our base.   Let me also thank the Congress, and especially the members of this committee, for your support of the members of Travis Air Force Base, and your concern for the safety of our men and women in uniform.

              I am currently commander of the 60th Air Mobility Wing (AMW), located at Travis Air Force Base, which is the largest Air Mobility Wing in the United States Air Force.   Situated just north of the San Francisco Bay, Travis occupies 7,000 acres and is strategically located to project Rapid Global Mobility throughout the Pacific and Fifteenth Air Force (15 AF) areas of responsibility. The 60th, host to 29 tenant units, to include 15 AF, proudly refers to itself as Team Travis.   With our total force partner, the 349 AMW-the Air Force's largest Reserve Associate Wing, the 60th flew over 43,000 accident-free flying hours last year and lived up to its motto "America's First Choice." The 60 AMW provides essential services for over 25,000 active duty, civilian employees, and dependents, managing more than $11 billion of Air Force assets. The 60th is responsible for running the Air Force's second-largest hospital and coordinating regional health care for over 325,000 DoD beneficiaries.   Home to a unique combination of 37 C-5 Galaxies and 27 KC-10 Extenders, the 60th provides world-class Global Reach whenever crisis calls.

As a lead-in to this subject, I want to emphasize there are no impenetrable force fields that will guarantee 100 percent success against terrorists who wish us harm. As you may know, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) recently visited Travis AFB to follow up on the 1998 Joint Staff Integrated Vulnerability Assessment (JSIVA) inspection.    Additionally, in October 1999, the Headquarters Air Mobility Command (AMC) Security Forces Directorate conducted a top-to-bottom review of my Security Forces Squadron for compliance with existing air force and command instructions.   Finally, AMC's Vulnerability Assessment Team (VAT) performed a vulnerabilities assessment visit in December 2000. These studies were extremely valuable and helped focus my wing on near/mid/long-term antiterrorism/force protection (AT/FP) strategies and solutions.   While force protection is everyone's responsibility, ultimately the buck stops with the commander; as the installation commander, I take that responsibility seriously.

As the commander of the 60th Air Mobility Wing, Travis Air Force Base, California, I have aggressively implemented force protection training at all levels, from my commanders, down to every airman and civilian employee on the base.   We take force protection very seriously, and I can assure you my staff is actively engaged in our AT/FP programs.

Incorporating the findings of both JSIVA and VAT reports, my staff and I have focused our effort on improving individual awareness of the AT/FP threat, resourcing the requisite items required to train, and exercising not only the command staff and leadership structure, but my entire base as well. Based on the results of the JSIVA and the VAT, and the results of a recent AT/FP exercise, I assess my command/base to be ready to counter and cope with any AT/FP scenario today.   A core feature of our program is emphasis on individual responsibility and vigilance.   The challenge is to continue to make our people aware of potential threats and possible AT/FP scenarios. We employ analytical processes taught at our professional military education schools and used by the intelligence community to prepare and train the wing to counter asymmetric threats.

Our analysis looks at three facets:    (l) people; (2) infrastructure; and (3) equipment. By using this process, we validate current capability, identify shortfalls, and develop options to address our near/mid/long-term strategies.

Let me address our people first.   The all-volunteer force continues to supply us with an outstanding cross-section of young men and women who receive the best training in the world.   However, in the post-cold war era, it's a constant challenge to convince these young men and women that real threats continue to exist both at home and abroad, and that our friends and adversaries continue to study and observe our operations and employments.    As a commander, I am fully accountable for training and equipping the airmen who perform our global mission and in-garrison mission.   My staff and I try to instill a belief that all 7,500 active duty personnel, 3,500 reservists, and 1,800 civilians at Travis Air Force Base are responsible for personal and organizational force protection at home and abroad.   However, in any given year, nearly one-third of that force changes over, creating a continuous training challenge/requirement.   An additional concern involves obtaining security clearances for the sheer number of individuals who require one; this is difficult today and affects my ability to do the mission.   DoD, the Services, and the Defense Security Service are working this issue hard; however, we still have a backlog of people waiting clearances.

Another part of the people formula that causes me concern involves the number of nonassigned individuals with access to our base (inside the wire) due to downsizing and outsourcing many of our base support functions.   Today, contractors provide an increasing share of my workforce.   Except for a few areas required by law, background checks on contract employees are cursory at best.

The second area is the analysis of our infrastructure, both physical infrastructure, and our organization/chain of command.   Besides a physical barrier that protects the base perimeter, Travis has 48 miles of internal security fencing providing redundant intrusion deterrence. Inside the wire, a highly trained force of 205 security forces airmen provides day-to-day security.   In addition, the Air Force Office of Special Investigation (OSI) Detachment 303 assigned, comprised of 54 personnel, liaisons with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to keep track of local, national, and international threats.   I also have a highly trained intelligence staff, which forms the key analytical cell of my threat-working group.   Travis, like every Air Force base, has a threat-working group that analyzes real-time threats and proactively advises me on actions to protect our resources. Immediately upon a threat condition change, but at least weekly, my staff and I receive intelligence and threat updates. I have found these briefings ideal opportunities to discuss real threats and scenarios with wing leadership. Both the JSIVA and the VAT teams pointed out the effectiveness of this approach in keeping squadron commanders and staff informed and engaged in AT/FP. We are currently aware of internationally affiliated and domestic terrorist groups in the area surrounding Travis. Excellent coordination with local, state, and federal agencies helps us stay in tune with their activities, which are low at this time.

Organizationally, the threat-working group, comprised of the OSI, Intelligence and Security Forces, provides excellent analysis of local, national and international threats.   Additionally, because of our global mission, we are vigilant of global threats and leverage the resources of Air Mobility Command (TRANSCOM) and the United States Transportation Command to provide a comprehensive threat analysis.   My commander, General Charles T. Robertson, recently testified with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff before the Senate Armed Services Committee where he explained how our global Command, Control, Communication, Computer Intelligence (C4I) system supports deployed AMC and Travis assets 24-7.  After the USS Cole incident, HQ AMC directed its units to increase their threatcon.   Since that time, on the recommendation of my threat-working group, Travis Air Force Base has continued to perform random antiterrorism measures (RAMs) on a daily basis keeping squadrons proficient and knowledgeable of effective force protection/antiterrorism techniques and resources.

The last area I would like to address is the area of equipment and resources.   Travis Air Force Base has 37 C-5s, 27 KC-10s, 2 stationed Navy E-6 airborne nuclear command and control aircraft (TACAMOs), and many transient aircraft that perform missions in and out of Travis daily. Today well-trained security forces and a flight line video surveillance system protect them.   Last year, we had 43 responses on the flightline challenging people who did not have the proper authority to be near our priority resources, or who failed to properly display restricted access badges. In addition, we strictly control access to the base and prevented several individuals with outstanding warrants from gaining access to the base.   I have high confidence in our processes and our people to meet and deter today's existing threats.   Last year alone, we denied access to 1,460 people. Of the 1,460, 25 had fraudulent ID cards and 750 had expired/suspended driver's licenses or no license at all!

While I am confident in our AT/FP abilities, we attentively watch for new and emerging challenges to include asymmetric threats and cyber terrorism.   Based on recent Chinese hacker threats, we recently raised our information condition (INFOCON) to INFOCON Alpha, bolstering our protective measures.   This is an area where we focus a lot of training. We receive weekly update briefings on the ability of our C4I systems to defend against cyber attacks.   I am pleased to report Travis has been extremely successful in deterring these attacks primarily because of a robust firewall protection system. When addressing the asymmetrical threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), we've conducted joint training with another member of Team Travis, the 3d Brigade, 91st Division (which has Directorate of Military Support (DOMS) responsibilities) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).   We continue to interact and seek better ways to work together in an effort to synergize our capabilities.

As I look to the future, I believe the process used to allocate force protection resources could be better defined. Today, scarce resources result in tough resource allocation decisions/tradeoffs at all levels of command.   Terrorists have known capabilities and the current DoD/JCS THREATCON system adequately alerts field commands of these known threats.   Travis Air Force Base has incorporated AT/FP analysis into our battle rhythm.   The part of the process that could be improved, in my opinion, is a system that formally defines the requirements and establishes priorities.   Today, most overseas bases receive the "lion's share" of the Air Force's AT budget because the threat is more specific and well known in these locations.   Some perceive the stateside threat to be lower, and perhaps more predictable, when, in fact, it is less easy to define.   In the battle for AT dollars, it is difficult for stateside bases to compete with overseas locations that are combating more recognizable and well-known threats. Today, most bases perform this process independently and fail to benefit from the crosstell/shared knowledge of the Services/DoD. I understand overseas commands have formalized this process and may have a more refined way of identifying requirements and allocating resources.   Stateside, the services manage the AT resource allocation through major commands and functional agents. This results in functional specialists having more say over the AT resource allocations/decisions.   On the FP side, there is no dedicated Program Element Code (PEC) originating from the Services.   Consequently, the MAJCOM commander is left to source FP issues from within his existing funding. In my opinion, the competition for available resources (both AT and FP) is too great to do everything we'd like to do. We must have a process that addresses the threat and prioritizes resource allocation for all DoD bases.

In the people category, we must continue to provide better real time intelligence and threat analysis into the hands of those that must recommend courses of action to commanders; i.e., the threat working groups.   I believe interagency cooperation and sharing of information is crucial to combating terrorism in the future. Having just completed my CAPSTONE Course, I believe the Intelligence community, headed by the DCI, is doing a very good job disseminating information to the field.   I believe it is wise to provide more resources and support for the intelligence community, thereby enhancing their ability to disseminate more/useful information to the field.   In addition, Levels I -IV training is absolutely crucial to informing our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guardsmen about the realities of the emerging threat. People and their awareness are without question the greatest force multiplier.

            I don't believe putting 100 more security forces personnel at each base is a feasible solution.   I do believe commanders need an authorized and funded full time force protection specialist (preferably a civilian) who works for and reports to my Security Force commander, my AT/FP chief advisor--today we take a military NCO out of hide.

            From an infrastructure view, I believe we need to invest more and train in ways to protect our C4I systems.   Cyber war is a reality today and will/can have devastating effects if we do not prepare ourselves and our society against cyber terrorists. DoD and the Services are doing a very good job preparing for this threat. We must continue to do and invest more.   From a physical security perspective, I believe we can/must leverage modern technology to enhance the capabilities of our force protectors.   At Travis Air Force Base, we have identified a basewide video-surveillance camera and giant voice capability to more quickly assess and respond to intrusions from those who wish us harm. In addition, video surveillance can reduce the possibility of direct confrontation and provide law enforcement response that protects lives and resources.   It can also provide valuable evidence should a terrorist act occur.

Finally, resources allocated for force protection must be balanced with other competing requirements. While the process for identifying and allocating these resources is still maturing, I believe we can and should do more. The best defense against future threats and our ability to adequately counter them begins with world-class intelligence, indications, and warning. Though these threats continue to evolve, I believe Air Mobility Command and the United States Air Force have done an excellent job at addressing these emerging threats and providing resources, manpower, and guidance to our warriors in the field.   Continued oversight from Congress and focus on the threat from the DoD and the Services created a system that, by and large, stays ahead of the threat today. The most important and potentially decisive variable in the formula is our people.   If our people understand their vital role in force protection, have a working knowledge and understanding of the threat, and are periodically tested/exercised.potential terrorists will have to think twice before choosing a DoD installation as a target. Commanders will continue to make assessments and allocate resources based on available information and competing requirements. More resources allocated against a prioritized list of defined requirements resulting from a disciplined process with service, DoD, and congressional oversight should insure we get the most for the taxpayer's dollar. In the meantime, our most potent and cost-effective resource is threat awareness and vigilance on the part of our people. The AT/FP courses teach that terrorists rely on careful planning and a period of surveillance.    We must get inside the terrorist's "decision loop" and disrupt his timing and planning. Deterrence begins with the awareness that we are all potential targets. The Director of the FBI Antiterrorism Task Force said, "One thing is clear . we have long memories when it comes to terrorist acts against us."   This is a powerful promise, but we need a resource allocation process that addresses future threats.

Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the opportunity to meet with the committee today and to share my views with you.   I look forward to amplifying on my comments and more fully addressing your concerns, either here or in a closed session, as appropriate.

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