Department of Defense Off-Camera Press Briefing by Comptroller Roth and Gen. Ierardi on the Fiscal Year 2017 Request for Additional Appropriations
John P. Roth, performing the duties of undersecretary of defense comptroller; Army Lt. Gen. Anthony R. Ierardi, director, force structure, resources and assessment (J8), Joint Staff
STAFF: All right. Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. Happy March Madness Day and St. Patrick’s Day eve.
We're pleased to have with us today two great budget veterans who are certainly no strangers to this room. Mr. John Roth, performing the duties of the undersecretary of defense comptroller. And Lieutenant General Anthony Ierardi, director, force structure, resources and assessment, Joint Staff. So to reiterate, this brief is on the record with a 30-minute time limit. I always wanted to say that.
So, we'll start off with opening comments and then open the floor to questions after that. Once we get there, if you would -- but I know most of you, but not all of you -- when you're called on and give your name and media affiliation, that'd be great.
So, with that, sir? Mr. Roth, over to you.
COMPTROLLER JOHN P. ROTH: OK. Thank you for the introduction. And thank you all for being here, even though there's the March Madness stuff going on.
Actually, my alma mater was playing here about an hour ago. I don't want to know, I don’t want to know. (Laughter.)
So, what we’ll attempt to do, the general and myself, is provide you with a summary. I think obviously, I think you all know that the administration released this morning a request for additional appropriation in fiscal year 2017, a request of $33 billion of which $30 billion was for the Department of Defense.
The way that the request breaks out is that $24.9 billion is in the base budget, largely to address readiness concerns. And we'll get to that here in a second.
And $5.1 billion was for the overseas contingency operations budgetary request to reflect some changes in current operations and some forecasted changes in current operations.
Our ask of Congress -- our request to Congress is that they pass a full-year defense appropriations bill and that bill include these additional appropriations. The one thing I really do want to foot-stomp that we are very concerned about here as a department the -- the issue about passing a full-up defense appropriations bill.
For us, we are now in our -- you know, approaching the end of our sixth month under a continuing resolution. This is one of the longest periods that we have ever been under continuing a resolution.
And want contingents to hear some chatter on the Hill about, this doing a full-year continuing resolution, and calling it a day and going home. We would find that extremely harmful to the defense program to have to live under a full year of continuing resolution.
We are essentially kind of muddling along right now in terms of playing a bit of a financial shell game in terms of borrowing resources against later your fourth-quarter and third-quarter kinds of finances in order to keep things going. But that game gets to be increasingly difficult as we go deeper into the fiscal year.
They key problem is there's an enormous mismatch between our operations funds and our procurement funds. We are approximately -- I mean, under our continuing resolution, I think most of you are familiar. You basically operate under a fiscal year 2016 mandate.
And that's not only at the macro level, but that's by appropriation as well. And that's where the mismatch comes.
Because in fiscal year 2017, we had requested a significant increase in operation and maintenance funding. And we have a commensurate slightly smaller request in the procurement.
So, we have that mismatch now where we can't spend a lot of the procurement dollars because of the restriction on new starts and the restrictions on increasing production and the like.
But we have crying needs in terms of training, readiness, maintenance and all and the operation or maintenance account. So, if we have to operate under a full-year continuing resolution, bad things start happening out in the operating world amongst the military departments in terms of our basic train and equip and organize mandate.
And so, come April and May there are training events that'll have to be canceled. There are depot maintenance things that'll have to be canceled. There's ship availabilities that'll have to be deferred to the future and this type of thing.
So, we are very, very concerned about the ongoing continuing resolution that I think many of you are aware, it expires on 28 April. And so, before 28 April, we would want a full appropriation and of course a full appropriation with this additional $30 billion.
So, let me move to the next slide. The next slide just provides you basically the overall philosophy in the overall mandate we had from the leadership here in terms of building this amendment. The focus was again largely on readiness.
There was an executive order early in this administration that mandated a 30-day readiness review. This request for additional appropriations is essentially the response to that executive order for a 30-day readiness review.
And so, the kinds of resources we have tried to focus have been targeted at a various (inaudible) readiness accounts, programs and all. And I'll have a slide here in -- in a second that'll -- that'll walk you through some of the military departments.
And then the $5 billion, as I eluded to, is intended to -- to fund developing a plan to accelerate the campaign to defeat ISIS and other violent extremist organizations.
Much of the money in this -- in this request is kind of what I call blue collar, kind of boring O&M, operation and maintenance kind of money. We're asking for additional equipment maintenance funding, additional facilities maintenance, spare parts, additional training events, peacetime and flying hours, ship operations, munitions, and those kinds of things.
So, these are -- this is the essence of what keeps this department running on a day-to-day basis and keeps us up and allows us to get ready for whatever the next challenge is. We're also using this request for additional resources to cover some, what we call, must-pay bills. And particular, coming out of the Fiscal Year '17 Authorization Act, there were a number of things that we hadn't asked for but they authorized.
And for example, the poster child for that is the additional end strength, the National Defense Authorization Act authorized 36,000 more end strength than what we had originally budgeted so that's a bill to us that we need to cover. The Congress was generous enough to give the military members a 2.1 percent pay raise, and the civilians, a 2.1 percent pay raise.
We had only budgeted 1.6 percent so there's a 200, $300 million bill that goes along with that. They had denied some of the healthcare reforms and there's a couple hundred million dollars of savings that we had anticipated in fiscal year '17 that won't happen now because of those denied reforms. And then there's some things that have popped up during -- as would pop up during a normal fiscal year including storm damage and other bills that absent a request for additional appropriations that we would normally have to reprogram money to cover.
And so the hope is that this request for additional resources will obviate the need to do large reprogramming actions here in the remainder of the year. What happens with reprogramming actions in a typical year is you end up basically robbing and borrowing money from your readiness account in order to pay so many emergent bills and that would be sort of counterproductive to be asking for more money in readiness and then going a month or two later and reprogramming money out of those very same accounts.
So hopefully this request would obviate the need to do that. And we're looking not just at today's readiness but we're looking longer term and midterm and in particular you'll see here a number of items here in terms of procurement of new equipment, aircraft, ground equipment, helicopters and the like that look longer term and filling some of the holes we have in our current inventory here for some of that and end-state equipment.
So a couple of charts, any good comptroller always has to put up a couple of boring charts and graphs in here so the next slide here shows you our standard bar chart and I just draw your attention then to the right side of it and inside the dotted red line, that just shows you the difference and in terms-- I'm going to show you here two or three different looks which you can use as you see fit here in terms of how to characterize these -- this additional request.
And so our request that we had on the Hill for the base budget was -- in fiscal year 2017 was $524 billion. This additional request would bring us up to a level of $549 billion in the base budget. And our request on the hill, our standing request that we have for the overseas contingency operations was $65 billion. This additional request would bring that level up to $70 billion.
So for a total in fiscal year 2017 of $619 billion. I put the '18 graph up there; this request for additional resources that I'm talking to today has nothing to do per se with fiscal year 2018 but obviously the blueprint budget was released this morning as well and I just wanted to show you what the math is as we march from 2017 to 2018. So right now, our top line for fiscal year 2018 would be at -- the base budget would be $574 billion under the blueprint budget.
And the $65 billion you see there on the '18 bar chart is, for the time being, just a placeholder. We haven't completed the FY '18 OCO budget yet, overseas contingency operation budget, so it's likely to be in the neighborhood of $65, $70 billion so that just gives you a quick snapshot of 2018. Next slide please. This is just a line graph and the only message in this graph is that the black line shows you where the defense program was planned for before the Budget and Control Act went into place.
And the red line shows you what the Budget and Control Act would require for -- in terms of the defense program. And our concern and why you've heard so much in the last two or three or four years here in terms of the concerns and complaints from the military commanders about readiness is that gap between the black line and the red line. OK, in terms that we're being asked here to some extent to live at that red line whereas in terms of the things we're being asked to do and the strategy we have was geared toward, more toward the black line.
So you'll see the two arrows there in kind of the middle of the graph that shows you the $25 billion in the base budget that we're being asked for and this request for additional appropriation shows you where that ends up and it also then shows you the $52 billion that's been -- that is alluded to in the blueprint budget for FY '18 and shows you where you end up with that $52 billion.
So the $52 billion in '18 represents the growth from where the current budget and control act for 2018 would leave you absent some legislative action to relieve those gaps. And so the administration when they do the fiscal year 2018 budget will in fact be requesting that the Hill increase the defense cap by that amount of money. The next chart, please. So the pie chart just shows you by -- what we call by title, shows you the kinds of money again, just another picture for you to use as you see fit.
Shows you the -- again, from 524 to the 549. 13 1/2 is in the procurement accounts and I have a slide here in about two or three slides that will show you some of the major end items that we're requesting there. The dark blue sliver there of the pie chart is your O&M account. And the big governor on the O&M account really in terms of what we might have asked for and haven't asked for is by the time we get this money, as you well know, we are almost halfway through this fiscal year.
In about a week or so, we will be exactly halfway through this fiscal year. Our anticipation is by the time we get this money would be April at the earliest, perhaps more likely by the time we get this money it'll be May. And so we took a hard look, the operation and maintenance accounts are one-year accounts and so you have to spend them by 30 September.
And so we work very closely with the military departments to determine what could we actually spend for the remainder of this year. And so when you've heard of differences between what the original unfunded request list had, that they provided to Congress here months ago and what we finally asked for, the major driver in that difference was what could we actually execute for the remainder of this fiscal year?
And at the end of the day, after a fulsome discussion back and forth with the military departments, we reached a consensus that this is the request that made most sense and could actually be executed this year. It didn't look like it was going to happen this year, we then deferred that to next year and it will be part of the FY '18 budget that you'll see here in a month or two.
So that's the magic there in terms of by-title. The next -- we're not going to go through each and every one of those bullets, but it gives you kind of a summary of high points in the readiness story by military departments so let me pause and I'll let the general here walk through and he can tell you a little bit of what the common thread is that's through this.
LT. GEN. ANTHONY R. IERARDI: Yeah, and I won't go through each of these individually and Mr. Roth had referred -- alluded earlier, the -- in the context of the Budget Control Act and the resources that we've been operating under, negotiated top lines, demand for the joint forces remain -- is persistent. And in that respect, the decisions that the services have made and indeed the department has made has always been to ensure that we prioritize investments in current readiness and, where appropriate, advance capability.
This has come at the expense of modernization in the services, by and large, equipping the force on a sustained basis, and indeed, a smaller force that we would contend could be addressed in this -- is addressed in this supplemental to enhance the level of manning and in critical specialties. So having the opportunity now to address some of those, the immediate concerns that the secretary had asked us to address are included in here.
It's additional training. It's additional personnel to fill out units and to address specialty requirements. And it's equipping the force as a result of the deferred modernization that I just referred to.
MR. ROTH: Okay, next slide.
This again just gives you some of the math I had alluded to that part of our request was to cover the bill for the additional end-strength. It's a busy chart with a lot of numbers on it, but this lays out the numbers, where the plus-36,000 in end-strength are, between what we asked for and what was authorized in the National Defense Authorization Act.
So again, this request includes the money to cover that 36,000.
Next slide, please.
This is the procurement program. The previous slide had alluded to about $13.5 billion. These are the major end items. There's a lot of smaller items behind this as well. You'll see there, just to draw your attention, in the middle of the slide there we're requesting 24 F-18s. We're requesting five F-35s for the Army. We're requesting additional A-64 Apaches and UH-60s.
Also strewn in the middle of the graph there you'll see our emphasis on munitions in particular; a great deal of concern about replenishing some inventories in munitions. So you'll see Javelins in there for both the Marine Corps and for the Army. You'll see Patriot. You'll see ammunition. You'll see standard missile and Tomahawks. And on the far right, you'll see we're buying 12 THAAD interceptors as well.
So again, the theme there, these are all again -- now you're looking more mid-term, long-term sort of readiness to get a leg-up on trying to fill some of the holes in the inventory and some of the gaps we have in, for example, tactical air and some ground equipment and this kind of thing.
So that just gives you a menu of some of the things that ultimately add up to the $13.5 billion.
Next slide, please.
So as I mentioned at the onset, $5.1 billion of this request is in the overseas contingency operation budget, and I'll let the general talk to a little bit what informed that request.
GEN. IERARDI: Yes, principal categories here. First, the acceleration of the defeat of ISIS. We considered on the joint staff, worked with the comptroller, to include in this request a funding level that we believe would establish a baseline for subsequent decisions to follow about the strategy.
So decisions by the secretary and, indeed, by the president about the strategy to accelerate the defeat of ISIS have not been finalized, have not been taken.
We wanted to put a prudent number in the request here that allows us to have the baseline in capability such as command and control, logistics, sustainment in the respective regions where it would be appropriate to have a basis from which to adjust. So this is a -- it is a marker of sorts, which we'll adjust from once the decisions are taken about the strategy itself.
The additional resources shown here in Operation Freedom Sentinel in Afghanistan, and Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria, are a result of the emerging and evolving nature of the fight itself. The kinds of requirements here are those which are being experienced by the commands and that we need to respond to above and beyond what we've already requested.
And then finally, the counter-ISIS train and equip fund is an enhancement of that fund to enable the work that we're doing with our partners in Iraq and Syria.
MR. ROTH: So, next chart.
So just to summarize, okay, quickly again, to emphasize, I put it on two different slides because it's really, really important to us, to get out from under this continuing resolution. And that's one of my major messages here, that we really want a full appropriations bill. We want the additional funding, to be sure, but particularly harmful would be to continue beyond 28 April under a continuing resolution would be very problematic for us.
So we do need the full appropriation. We would like it to include the $30 billion so that we can start rebuilding the joint force, and also deal with the new campaign to defeat ISIS. And so we're asking Congress to support -- to provide the funds so we can begin the path.
I need to emphasize this. The readiness issue isn't going to be a one-year thing. This additional $25 billion in the base budget isn't going to solve the readiness problem then we're done, and then we're home free. It's a multi-year effort. We didn't get into this hole in one year. You're not going to get out of the hole in one year.
So, the FY '18 budget will build on these additional resources that we have here, that we are requesting here in FY '17. And ultimately as we look to FY '19 and beyond, as we build that budget later on this calendar year, we will be looking to build on the '17 and '18 pieces as well.
So this is going to take some time to get out of the kinds of holes that we built for ourselves in readiness. But we need to start somewhere and we feel that this request here in F.Y. '17 is a good place to start.
There's a couple more slides here that give you, for those that want it and need it, that give you the break by title and give you a break by military department so you have the facts before you there in terms of how the additional request breaks by those subject areas.
So, going to the last slide. So if you want additional information, okay, we have posted all of this on our website. We have a little bit of a brochure, an overview brochure that we've posted to our website, and some additional details are on there as well for those of you that are interested in that.
So, that's my basic overview and we can go from there.
STAFF: We've got about 10 or 12 minutes. Please, give us your name and your media affiliation when you're called on.
Q: Phil Stewart from Reuters.
So, could you give us a sense, then, what is the total amount of funding that you would have had for FY '17, the counter-ISIL fight? And how does that compare to previous years since the start of the campaign?
MR. ROTH: This fiscal year '17 request is probably the largest request we've had here in terms of the purely counter-ISIS fight. I mean, obviously, as you well know, we've been fighting the counterterrorism fight in both Afghanistan and Iraq here for approximately 15 or 16 years. But in terms of strictly to counter ISIS's fight, this will likely be our largest request.
I think we're -- I'll have to get back to you. I don't have the numbers in '16 and '15 in my head, but we can provide that to you.
Q: Lara Seligman, Aviation Week, I notice that most of the money is in the base budget, not in OCO, so Congress would have to lift the budget caps for '17.
MR. ROTH: Yes.
Q: What -- can you just describe your level of confidence in getting Congress to actually do that? Or is this more of a starting-off point for -- (inaudible)?
MR. ROTH: I can't speak to that. I mean, this is obviously something the administration will have to work with Congress. Yes, absolutely. I mean, you're spot-on in terms of the technicality. It requires an increase in the defense cap in fiscal year '17.
There's a number of different ways that Congress could do that, okay, but I think ultimately what will happen is the administration will have to work with the congressional leadership on what's the best mechanism -- (inaudible).
Q: What was the reason behind putting it in the base budget instead of OCO? Is the idea to get -- eventually eliminate the OCO fund?
MR. ROTH: No, it's not -- I mean, -- (inaudible) -- people have accused us of a lot of malice and all with the overseas contingency operations budget. The answer is we put the money where it belonged, okay, to be quite honest with you. Okay, the $25 billion is legitimately base budget kinds of things. Again, training, maintenance, and those kinds of things. And the money -- the $5.1 billion is purely in support of the overseas contingency operations.
OK, and so we've tried, at least from the get-go here, we've tried to play that exactly the way it is. So, does it create a legislative challenge? The answer is yes it does. And -- and we're prepared to work with Congress any way we can to kind of help do that.
Q: Tony Bertuca, Inside Defense. Because so much is procurement, it might make some in Congress ask well how much of this money is really an emergency? How much do you really need in '17 from this package? Especially if it could risk something like the year-long CR they can't come to an agreement about how much to give you.
How much do you really need of this supplemental money?
MR. ROTH: Well, again, our argument is -- and I'll have the General perhaps help me flesh this out. Our argument is that each one of those things we're asking for, we think there's some serious short falls. There's some current inventory shortfalls.
For example, just to pick one out -- just to go by the most expensive one in there, the Navy has a serious shortage of tactical aircraft, OK. They are simply -- they're flying the wings off of the airplanes they have today. They don't have enough airplanes available now to meet all their readiness requirements and this type of thing.
So, at some point, you have to make a commitment to buy more. And usually these airplanes won't deliver for two or three years or so.
But, you need budget their money now in order to do so.
In terms of the F-35, I mean we're behind the procurement. We have -- that's one of the areas in trying to live with some of the controls under the Budget and Control Act as it was amended by the Bipartisan Budget Agreement. We have used the F-35 as a bit of a bill payer, reduce some of the annual procurement of the F-35 in order to live within those constraints.
So again, these five aircraft get us back toward more where we would like to be in terms of buying (inaudible) of things.
The Air Force would like to modernize some of their current fourth-generation aircraft. The Army would like to upgrade their -- their Bradleys and their -- and their M-1 tanks.
So, these are all readiness-related kinds of things. And so, we think they wouldn't be on this list if we didn't think they were important.
Most of these things you've seen before in the service unfunded requirement list. They've been talking about these things for two or three years.
So, there's very little here that the service chiefs and the combat and commanders haven't talked to in the past.
GEN. IERARDI: It's just a balance of capabilities that the joint force requires. And so, well, as I pointed out earlier, the deferral of modernization and equipping the force on an annual basis to the levels that we needed to has accrued to such a point we need to get started.
And so, this year and then again in next year, we would look to, as the secretary has described, establish balance in the program, including buying down some of this risk in the equipment, the equipping of the force, and modernization of the force.
Q: Thank you. Sandra Erwin with National Defense. You were very emphatic about CRs and their problem and that that one of the reasons that you have readiness (inaudible).
So, it doesn't look like that's going away. I mean, right now you want appropriations for '17. But now, looking forward to the '18 budget, it's likely they're going to start with a CR.
So, you're gonna continue in this pattern. So, what can you do about that? And how do you start finding programs, even if you were to stay with CR for '18?
MR. ROTH: Yeah, I mean, that's a good question. For some reason, I mean, we're now under the seventh or eighth year in a row that we've been operating in our continuing resolution.
So, clearly your point's well taken. I accept your point.
I mean, we have for better or worse learned how to sort of manage through continuing resolutions as best we can. The way we've done that in the past is they've been relatively short in the past years.
Although we have a long string of years under continuing resolution. Usually they're a matter of weeks rather than months.
And this year is particularly problematic as we're now in the sixth month of a continuing resolution, which I think is about the longest we've been in, in recent memory. So, that's the problem.
The answer is, no, we would like an appropriations (inaudible). We're the eternal optimists here, OK?
I heard a laugh. OK, that's fine. (Laughter.)
OK, but we -- you know, we would like a bill by 1 October. I mean, one of the reasons we'd like to finish up our FY18 budget as best we can by May is to give -- and admittedly, that's later than normal. So, we're already behind the power curve.
But we'd like Congress and fundamentally to get a bill done by 1 October. That's the ultimate solution to your question.
Unfortunately, we have a lot of practice about managing through continuing resolutions. And we can try to make it as transparent to folks as we possibly can.
But with each passing week, that gets harder to do.
Q: Aaron Mehta with Defense News. You mentioned there're a couple of things that you might want to put in here. But because (inaudible), you’ve got pushed to '18. Can you give us an example of some of those things?
MR. ROTH: Well, mostly O&M, OK, operation and maintenance funding. There was -- the original request had some more money in it.
We looked at it, services went back and looked at it, took a look at what the capacity was in terms of the acquisition system and absorbing it and getting actually something on contract by 30 September.
And, you know, you’ve got to remember these unfunded requirement lists were generally developed with the thought an annual appropriation in mind. And so, when they were provided to Congress, they're normally provided to Congress along with the rest of the budget.
It's normally within a couple of weeks after we send the full budget to it. The -- the service chiefs are normally asked to provide unfunded lists, you know, particularly to the Armed Services Committee.
And so the thought is normally what the kinds of things that are on lists like that assume that they have 10 to 12 months to execute them.
And so, we looked at it. And when all is said and done, that's why I say we have a basically a consensus from the services when they looked at it again, saying OK, I get it. I think, you know, about for each service, it came down to about $2 billion, $3 billion or so, give or take for the service to say can you actually put this on contract between now and 30 September.
Other than that, we took a look at the procurement list. And if we didn't think it really made an explicit sort of contribution to improving the readiness posture, you know, we -- we either deferred it FY18 to look at maybe that's more long-term modernization rather than readiness and these kinds of things. But for the most part, it was the operation and maintenance.
GEN. IERARDI: And in that account, with respect to training, there's physics involved in, you know, unit plans can be trained -- training plans can be bent to accommodate -- focus on increased war fighting readiness. But it's only a six-month period that we'd be able to execute that. So, that can't be (inaudible).
Q: Given that, we're also talking about massive plus-up in personnel, are you guys at all concerned about kind of the long tail of adding a bunch of people to the military, training, health care, et cetera, and -- and...
MR. ROTH: The answer is ultimately, we're looking for a commitment, particularly from Congress and from the administration, for a long-term growth in defense spending.
So, '17's the down payment. FY18, the top-line as you saw on, you know, that one bar chart is something above FY17.
So, the trend is good. And so, we would look toward FY19, we haven't even begun the first discussion on FY19 yet with anybody outside the building. So, we would look at a pattern of -- of some sustained growth in order to pay for the force structure kinds of things that we're looking for, certainly.
MR. ROTH: I'd just like to add to that, growth in terms of capacity of the joint force must be accompanied with the resources to ensure that it's trained, equipped, and is ready to (inaudible).
Growth for growth's sake without the accompanying resources to ensure that it can accomplish a mission assigned is not as good as having a rounded set of resources to be able to ensure that it can accomplish the tasks that it's given.
Q: Hi, I’m Paul Shinkman with U.S. News and World Report. Two questions. On Monday, the president released a memo saying that he was calling on all government agencies to identify sources of waste and redundancy. What new things are DOD undertaking to find those? And then separately, what do you say to criticisms that the Department of Defense doesn't have a very good track record of finding places of waste during times of large budget increases?
MR. ROTH: We have had a sustained - the answer is we're aware of that guidance from the president, we plan to look internally as well. Secretary Mattis has come in with what he calls a rebuild and reform agenda in terms of one of the things he'd like to do while secretary of defense. And so he has in fact ideas in his head in terms of looking at the enterprise and looking for areas of reform.
There wasn't enough time, I mean the secretary's only been in place here a little more than a month or so, so this request in FY '17 per se doesn't reflect anything particularly new in that area. But we would expect in FY '18 and certainly in FY '19 that we will look at the enterprise and look for opportunities for whatever deficiencies and those kinds of things that we could implement.
We haven't just begun that. If you recall, Secretary Gates had a fairly fulsome agenda of reforms, Secretary Panetta did as well. So we have, in fact, been down this road. We're not starting from ground zero but any enterprise this large, you know, it bears to look at it again and take a look at in terms of the infrastructure, take a look at the nature of the bureaucracy, the back office costs, all those kinds of things.
Clearly there is probably a lot of opportunities there we will look for. The secretary has mentioned on more than one occasion he plans to go there and he plans to look at it and make sure that we are good stewards of the funding that we do get.
Q: You talked about the 1.6 percent pay increase you proposed and it got bumped up to 2.1. If you don't get all of this 30 billion, is that 2.1 affected, the pay increase? Will that be affected...
MR. ROTH: ...No. That is law so the 2.1 is fact of law and the answer is we'll have to eat it, is the short answer to your question.
Q: The 2 billion that - the supplemental for the expansion of the campaign against ISIS, you said that was basically a placeholder as the administration weighs the different options against ISIS so how was that cost estimate created? What assumptions are underneath it?
GEN. IERARDI: We had a discussion with the combatant command about what might be in the art of the possible and use that and refined that down to the areas that I - that I talked about. The areas in command and control, logistics, sustainment -- fundamental and foundational capabilities that you would envision being a part of a range of strategies, a range of options, from which we could then have resources associated within this request.
What we didn't want to do is to wait until the next cycle to make the request. We thought it'd be important for us to have that request as a part of this package.
Q: Were potential troop increases factored into that 2 billion cost?
GEN. IERARDI: Only to the extent that it is associated with those areas that I talked about. Nothing beyond that and only associated in a reasonable calculation about how many personnel might be associated with those activities.
Q: Marcus Weisgerber, Defense One. This is a little in the weeds but (inaudible) the Air Force needs vehicles? What’s that? Is that space vehicles? (Laughter.)
MR. ROTH: No, it’s not space vehicles. It's ground vehicles, I would assume. I mean, the Air Force buys trucks and buses and Humvees and things like that.
GEN. IERARDI: You probably would know, I mean the Air Force has a range of missions that goes beyond just...
MR. ROTH: ...Yes.
GEN. IERARDI: And they're important missions and they require ground vehicles in some cases.
Q: Thank you. Nancy Youssef, Buzz Feed News. In the White House web page, when I go to the summary on the budget, they list part of the 1.1 billion in OCO for Guantanamo Bay and my question is, what's the portion of that 1.1 billion that's towards Guantanamo Bay and to what costs? Is part of that rebuilding a new camp seven?
MR. ROTH: No, it's not a rebuilding a new camp seven, there is - first of all, there are some facility requirements at Guantanamo Bay that we have been underfunding here for - as you recall in the previous administration, the premise was we were going to try to close Guantanamo Bay. And so what you see is the request for funding in our request here is a reflection of it doesn't seem like we're going to close it any time soon.
And so there is particularly, I think there's some funding in there to do some quality of life improvements to facilities for some barracks and then look longer term in terms of what it would take to sustain the facility.
Q: And what percentage of that 1.1 billion is allotted to that?
MR. ROTH: I'd have to get back on that. I don't have it at the top of my head.
STAFF: Alright folks, that’s all we’ve got time for. Thank you very much.