ADVANCE QUESTIONS FOR MR. JONES’ CONFIRMATION HEARING
More than ten years have passed since the enactment of the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 and the Special Operations reforms.
Do you support full implementation of these defense reforms?
What is your view of the extent to which these defense reforms have been implemented?
Considerable effort has been made to implement these reforms and establish the enabling mechanisms. They are in place and working.
What do you consider to be the most important aspects of these defense reforms?
Clarification of the relationship amongst the combatant commanders, the Services, the Chairman of the JCS, and the NCA. That clarification has allowed appropriate military advice to reach the NCA while solidifying operational command and control from the NCA to the CINCs and from the CINCs to Service components for joint operations.
The goals of the Congress in enacting these defense reforms, as reflected in section 3 of the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act, can be summarized as strengthening civilian control; improving military advice; placing clear responsibility on the combatant commanders for the accomplishment of their missions; ensuring the authority of the combatant commanders is commensurate with their responsibility; increasing attention to the formulation of strategy and to contingency planning; providing for more efficient use of defense resources; and enhancing the effectiveness of military operations and improving the management and administration of the Department of Defense.
Do you agree with these goals?
Recently, there have been articles which indicate an interest within the Department of Defense in modifying Goldwater-Nichols in light of the changing environment and possible revisions to the national strategy.
Do you anticipate that legislative proposals to amend Goldwater-Nichols may be appropriate? If so what areas do you believe it might be appropriate to address in these proposals?
Goldwater-Nichols has served the Defense Department well since 1986. I do not anticipate any Air Force sponsored legislative proposals in the foreseeable future.
Section 8013 of title 10, United States Code, outlines the duties of the Secretary of the Air Force, subject to the authority, direction and control of the Secretary of Defense.
Assuming you are confirmed, what duties do you expect that the Secretary of Defense will prescribe for you?
Subject to the authority, direction and control of the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Air Force, pursuant to 10 U.S.C. Section 8013, is responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force. This authority extends not only to actions within the Department of the Air Force, but also to relationships and transactions with the Congress and other governmental and non-governmental organizations and individuals. The Secretary is also responsible under Chapter 6 of Title 10 for the administration and support of combatant forces as directed by the Secretary of Defense. If confirmed as Secretary of the Air Force, I would look forward to serving the Secretary of Defense by fulfilling these responsibilities and any others the Secretary might assign, to the best of my ability.
What duties and responsibilities do you plan to assign to the Under Secretary of the Air Force?
Pursuant to 10 U.S.C. Section 8015, the duties of the Under Secretary of the Air Force are prescribed by the Secretary. Historically and under Secretary of the Air Force Order 100.1, the Under Secretary has been authorized to act for and with the authority of the Secretary of the Air Force on all matters for which the Secretary is responsible. In essence, the Under Secretary has been a deputy and principal assistant in the general management and in the completion of the numerous missions assigned the Department of the Air Force. Consistent with these authorities and precedent, I would expect to prescribe a wide range of duties and responsibilities for the Under Secretary.
In carrying out your duties, how will you work with the Assistant Secretary of Air Force for Manpower, Reserve Affairs, Installations and Environment, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space, the General Counsel, the Chief of Staff, Air Force, and the Vice Chief of Staff, Air Force?
In addition to the duties prescribed by 10 U.S.C. Sections 8016 and 8019, the Assistant Secretaries and the General Counsel perform such duties as the Secretary may prescribe. Secretary of the Air Force Orders have delegated responsibility for providing guidance, direction, and oversight of all matters within their areas of responsibility. The General Counsel is the chief legal officer of the Department and provides oversight, guidance and direction for legal advice throughout the Air Force. If confirmed as Secretary of the Air Force, I would oversee and manage the work of the Assistant Secretaries and the General Counsel in these capacities to ensure effective and efficient operations.
The Chief of Staff, subject to the authority, direction, and control of the Secretary, presides over the Air Staff. He is a principal advisor to the Secretary. The Chief of Staff is responsible for transmitting to the Secretary the plans and recommendations of the Air Staff and, upon approval by the Secretary, ensuring that they are implemented. To the extent his independence as a member of the Joint Chiefs is not impaired, the Chief of Staff also keeps the Secretary informed of military advice and operations affecting the Department of the Air Force. Pursuant to 10 U.S.C. Section 8034, the Vice Chief has such authorities and duties as the Chief, with the approval of the Secretary, may delegate. If confirmed as Secretary of the Air Force, I would not expect these roles of the Chief and Vice Chief to change.
What will be your relationship to the Deputy Secretary of Defense?
The Deputy Secretary of Defense has been delegated full authority to act for the Secretary of Defense. If confirmed as the Secretary of the Air Force, I will keep the Deputy Secretary informed of all significant Air Force matters.
What will be your relationship with the Under Secretaries of Defense?
If confirmed as the Secretary of the Air Force, I will work to foster a close working relationship with the Under Secretaries of Defense, and will consult with them on matters within their areas of responsibility.
What will be your relationship with the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of the Navy?
If confirmed as the Secretary of the Air Force, I will work to foster a close working relationship with the Secretaries of the Army and Navy. I look forward to sharing experience and expertise, and coordination with the other services on matters of mutual interest.
Quadrennial Defense Review
Last year, the Congress required the Department of Defense to conduct the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) to include a comprehensive examination of the defense strategy, force structure, force modernization plans, infrastructure, budget plan, and other elements of the defense program and policies with a view toward preparing the armed forces of the United States for the security environment of the 21st Century. There has been some concern expressed regarding the report that was received. Some believe that it is simply a new version of the Bottom-Up-Review in that it tries to fit a strategy and force structure within an artificially constrained budget.
Would you outline your views on the most pressing matters facing the Air Force?
First of all, the Air Force must continue to attract and retain high quality people to join our ranks. Maintaining a competitive package of pay and benefits will help guarantee our Air Force remains the most capable in the world. Additionally, we must find ways to maintain a reasonable PERSTEMPO if we are going to be successful in maintaining a quality force.
Another important matter is to provide our fighting forces with modern aircraft and weapons which are operationally superior to those of our potential adversaries. A central element in the Air Force's modernization plans is the continued acquisition of a mix of precision weapons with all weather, day and night capabilities. These new weapons enable us to project power and influence without projecting vulnerability.
We must also pursue modern business practices, and take advantage of commercially available technology wherever possible, to ensure we acquire systems with improved performance, at lower per unit cost. This will enable us to maximize the return on investment for our ultimate customer-the American people.
Force protection is an equally important consideration. This area will be a continuing item of focus.
Do you believe that the QDR recommendations will adequately posture the Air Force for the requirements of the 21st Century?
Yes. It is my view that the Air Force will be well positioned for 21st Century challenges if we remain firm in our commitment to make responsible reductions to our overhead and infrastructure, continue to support technological innovation, and integrate new technology with our doctrine, strategy, and war plans.
Do you believe that the personnel reductions advocated by the QDR can be accomplished without hindering the capability of the Combatant CINCs to accomplish the mission of the U.S. military?
Yes. It is my understanding that the personnel reductions produced by the QDR will not significantly impact the Air Force's ability to carry out its mission, provided we pursue a prudent, sustained modernization program. We make those people remaining in the Air Force more effective by giving them better weapon systems and tools to work with, better training, and improved interoperability.
Do you believe the force levels recommended by the Quadrennial Defense Review are sufficient to support the strategy upon which the review was based?
Yes. I fully support the strategy laid out in the QDR requiring the U.S. military to rapidly halt aggression in two theaters, one followed almost immediately by another. America's air and space forces are well suited to the task of responding on short notice to far off threats and applying a tailored force package sized to the situation and American objectives.
Some in the Air Force have asserted the primacy of air power in future conflicts. They describe a doctrine that air power alone can dishearten, disrupt and destroy enemy ground forces to the extent that only minimal "mopping-up" by ground forces would be necessary.
To what extent do you subscribe to such a doctrine?
I do not personally subscribe to a doctrine that air power can independently defeat any adversary, nor does the Air Force. In fact, everything the Air Force does is joint, and Air Force doctrine is structured around the concept of seamless land, sea and air warfighting capabilities. I do believe, however, that air power brings distinctive and often decisive capabilities to certain scenarios, just as land and sea forces do in other scenarios. When faced with a large scale armored invasion, for example, modern air power – from all services – can critically weaken an enemy by destroying large numbers of high-value assets such as tanks and armored personnel carriers while our surface forces are massing and positioning for the ground campaign. This is not air power winning the war alone, nor is it assuming that the ground war will be a "cake walk," but it is maximizing our warfighting capabilities by employing the right forces at the right time and by hurting the enemy as much as possible before launching the land campaign.
If such a doctrine could be successful, why do you believe it has not been employed in Bosnia?
When considering the situation in Bosnia, once again we see the optimum use of defense forces. Air power cannot independently resolve the situation as it now exists, nor could it single-handedly cover any situation likely to arise. Air power contributed crucial surveillance assets and large doses of precision firepower that helped convince recalcitrant parties to sign or comply with the Dayton Accords, and now it patrols over the region monitoring movements in the air and on the ground. This work would be meaningless, though, without ground forces keeping the peace in the streets and countryside. However, when we pull our ground forces out of the region our air assets will continue to patrol overhead.
Maintaining a Ready Force
In recent months, senior officials within the Department of Defense have expressed concern that the high operating tempo of recent years may begin to impact readiness.
What indicators or early warning signs have been established to permit the Air Force to monitor unit readiness?
The Air Force views readiness as the capability of a unit, weapon system, or piece of equipment to perform the missions or functions for which it was organized, trained and equipped.
The Air Force uses five primary assessment mechanisms to gauge unit readiness: Status of Resources and Training System (SORTS), selected statistical indicators, analytical models, exercises and inspections, anecdotal information.
Are the existing procedures and practices sufficient to provide the Air Force leadership meaningful and timely information which will permit identification and corrective action to prevent an impending readiness problem?
Yes. We evaluate unit readiness on a continual basis and use the previously mentioned mechanisms to collectively formulate an assessment of our current readiness status.
In your view, what steps does the Air Force need to take to reduce excess infrastructure?
To reduce excess infrastructure the Air Force needs to (1) optimize use of its existing infrastructure, including consolidating operations and promoting joint use where appropriate; (2) close installations, subject to congressional authorization; and (3) remove unneeded infrastructure at remaining installations.
Do you believe the Air Force needs to close additional bases?
Yes. Savings obtained through those closures are necessary to sustain our readiness and modernization.
Sexual Harassment and Relationships
The Administration and the Congress are both reviewing the issues related to sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, gender-integrated training and personal relationships between military personnel and between military personnel and non-military personnel.
In your view, what are the primary issues that must be addressed in terms of policy changes and the impact such changes may have on force management and military readiness?
First, I believe the Air Force is a leader in the field in combating sexual harassment. Air Force policy regarding sexual harassment is very clear: zero tolerance. Also, the Air Force Equal Opportunity 2000 Awareness program was recently lauded by the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS). We must stay the course on this issue.
Secondly, as you know, the Secretary of Defense has created three task forces to study issues related to gender-integrated training, good order and discipline, and personal relationships. If confirmed, I look forward to working with this committee to consider any policy changes which may be recommended.
Finally, the Air Force has conducted gender-integrated training for more than 20 years, and has a proven record of team work, mutual respect, and esprit de corps, which directly impacts combat readiness. Over ninety-nine percent of Air Force jobs are open to women, including the cockpits of fighter aircraft. The Air Force trains the way they fight – as a gender-integrated force. I believe the Kassebaum-Baker Commission will recognize the Air Force’s record of success on this issue.
In your view, is the Air Force capable of reviewing the existing policies and practices and recommending policies which will be credible to, and enjoy the confidence of, the Congress and the American people?
I believe that the Air Force, in conjunction with Secretary Cohen’s ongoing efforts, is capable of reviewing its policies on gender-integrated training, good order and discipline, and personal relationships.
In your personal opinion, should the Department of Defense have a uniform policy among the services with regard to fraternization? Please explain.
This issue is currently being addressed by the Secretary of Defense’s Task Force on Good Order and Discipline. The Task Force is chaired by the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) and includes senior military and civilian representatives from all the services and from the Office of the Secretary of Defense. I believe it is essential that the policy is clear and well understood, fairly administered, and directly related to maintaining good order and discipline.
Officer Promotion Procedures
The Senate Armed Services Committee has been concerned about the integrity of the officer promotion process within the Air Force. The Committee’s concerns have been raised by incidents in which there were allegations that officers not on a selection board attempted to influence the outcome of the selection board, by a number of substantiated allegations involving improper procedures related to completing the Promotion Recommendation Form, and a large number of Board for the Correction of Military Record claims involving Air Force officer promotion irregularities. As an Air Force Reserve officer, you have some experience with the Air Force officer promotion system.
Do you personally have confidence that the Air Force officer promotion system is fair and has integrity?
If confirmed as Secretary of the Air Force, will you carry out the spirit as well as the letter of the law to ensure that officer promotion procedures in the Department of the Air Force are administered in a fair and objective manner, consistent with the law and all relevant Department of Defense and Air Force rules, regulations, and directives:
Civilian Personnel Management
Although the Air Force has yet to complete the initial drawdown of its civilian workforce, the QDR has recommended an additional reduction of 80,000 personnel. According to the QDR report, the Air Force portion of this reduction is 18,300.
Do you believe such additional reductions are necessary? Prudent? Please elaborate.
Yes. I agree with the Air Force position that a further cut is reasonable based on past experience, necessary to generate funds for modernization, and prudent in that such cuts are the by-product of creating a more efficient workforce.
In the event that you believe additional reductions are necessary, do you believe that existing statutory authorities and separation incentives are adequate to achieve reduction targets?
If not, what additional authorities would you believe to be necessary?
The current authority for Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay (VSIP) terminates after FY99. It is essential that this authority be extended, and legislation to do so has been sent to Congress by the Department of Defense. The Department will need Congressional support to continue this program.
Please provide your personal views on the extent to which the Department of the Air Force has been able to incorporate substantive factors such as the civilian contribution to military readiness, force structure changes, and workload changes in determining the timing and manner in which the workforce reductions have been implemented.
I understand the Air Force establishes its personnel needs through a requirements-based process linked to the National Military Strategy. I endorse this approach.
Please provide your personal views on the near-term and long-term effects of the planned civilian workforce reductions – and the manner in which they are being implemented – on the viability of the Department of the Air Force civilian workforce and its contribution to military readiness.
I have been briefed generally on the Air Force’s personnel drawdown plans, which reduce civilian positions in line with the military reductions already taken. The Air Force remains committed to maximizing the effectiveness and efficiency of its military/civilian workforce mix. Planned reductions are carefully programmed over the next six years, ensuring there will be no impact on military readiness.
Full Time Equivalents
Section 129 of title 10, United States Code, provides that the management of civilian employees in the Department of Defense shall not be the subject of any constraint or limitation in terms of manyears, full-time equivalent positions, or maximum number of employees. Additionally, the Administration has indicated that agencies should not be managing by full-time equivalents.
What are your personal views on the Department of Defense’s continuing reliance on full-time equivalents as a management practice?
At the direction of the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Defense justifies and accounts for civilian resource requirements using full-time equivalents (FTEs). Office of Management and Budget’s federal-wide guidance states that full-time equivalent is the most appropriate measure of human effort. I support the Department of Defense’s direction to translate the end result of our civilian requirements determination process (that uses workload to substantiate the requirement) into FTEs to account for civilian resources.
Modernization and Regionalization of Civilian Personnel Management
The Department of Defense has undertaken a multi-year effort to modernize and regionalize civilian personnel management in each of the military departments and in the defense agencies.
What are your views on the manner in which this is being accomplished in the Department of the Air Force?
I understand the Air Force regionalization approach calls for the establishment of one Regional Service Center (RSC) with ownership of the civilian personnel program to remain with local commanders at installation level. If confirmed, I will review this approach to ensure that it is effective.
Senior Executive Service Development and Training
What are your personal views on the adequacy of training programs for members of the Senior Executive Service in the Department of the Air Force?
I understand that the Air Force has an excellent process in place to ensure new SES members are properly oriented to the Air Force, the Department of Defense, and to service as a federal executive. Given their critical roles and the impact of their decisions, it is of particular importance to me that SES members in the Air Force, regardless of their area of expertise, possess an understanding of military doctrine and the important role of air and space dominance.
What initiatives would you propose to enhance this training?
If confirmed, I will continue to improve civilian leadership development by ensuring future leaders have a corporate view with functional (e.g., acquisition, finance, engineering) expertise, proven leadership in demanding jobs, and high-level staff experience.
Priorities for the Department of the Air Force
With declining fiscal resources, a balanced budget agreement with the defense topline determined for five years, the decisions regarding how to balance the available resources between personnel, quality of life, near-term readiness and modernization programs are more important than ever.
What priorities would you recommend for the Air Force?
A recent letter from the Secretary of Defense asserts that the Air Force underfunded its Fiscal Year 1998 budget for flight operations by several hundred million dollars. That is disturbing in light of testimony provided to this committee earlier in the year indicating that the budget request fully supported the Air Force’s requirements.
If confirmed, what actions will you take to ensure that the budget request that is provided to the Congress accurately reflects all of the readiness funding requirements of the Department of the Air Force?
I understand the Air Force has taken aggressive actions to ensure that all flying hour requirements are recognized and adequate funding is requested from the Congress. I am also told that in FY99 they accelerated the process to be completed in time for congressional review. If confirmed, I will work to ensure that adequate readiness funding is reflected in the Air Force’s budget submission.
Response to Congressional Request for Information
In order for the Congress to perform its oversight responsibility, it needs to have access to individuals and documents within the Federal Government, including the Department of Defense. Unfortunately, the Air Force has recently refused to provide this Committee with documents pertaining to the competition for the C-5 depot maintenance workload that was awarded to Warner Robins.
If confirmed, will you ensure that the Air Force provides the Congress with the information and documents it needs to perform its oversight responsibility?
If confirmed, I will work with the Committee to ensure that it receives the information and documents it needs to properly perform its oversight responsibilities.
The Air Force is currently conducting competitions to determine what entity should perform the depot maintenance workloads that are being performed at the closing Air Logistics Centers. The recent competition for the C-5 workload has come under criticism for favoring the public depots by allowing the inclusion of overhead savings to be applied to the Warner-Robins proposal. This criticism has led some to speculate that the two remaining competitions will be structured differently than the C-5 competition.
Do you believe that the remaining competitions should use the same evaluation criteria as the C-5 competition, or should they be structured differently?
I understand that the Department of Defense and the Congress have been considering extensively issues concerning public/private competitions. If confirmed, I will work with the parties to help to ensure open and fair competitions on a level playing field to achieve savings and protect readiness.
Two reports were required on the F-22 program last year, but only the report that had a penalty attached to it for non-compliance was received on time.
If confirmed, will you ensure that the Air Force provided the required report to Congress?
Yes. If confirmed, I will work closely with Congress and its staff to respond in a timely and accurate fashion to all requests for program information.
The F-22 program procurement has been cut in half in the future years defense program (FYDP) by its cost overruns.
What are the Air Force plans to maintain force structure within its budget as F-15’s are retired to make way for the F-22?
The total F-22 production requirement has been reduced by three separate force structure reviews, the most recent being the QDR. In each review, the basis for reduction was external to the F-22 program, versus internal cost/schedule performance. Over the next 15 years, the Air Force plans to replace its active duty F-15C/D models with the technologically advanced F-22. These F-15 aircraft will in turn replace older ANG F-15s. During this transition phase, a sufficient force structure will be maintained to meet National Military Objectives. Beyond the year 2015, the Air Force is considering a number of air superiority force structure alternatives.
The Committee included a provision in the National Defense Authorization Bill for Fiscal Year 1998 that ensures visibility in the F-22 program and cost caps on its development and procurement.
Considering the tight budgets to come, large bills for tactical air in the Department of Defense, and the more than $2.0 billion dollar overrun in F-22 development, do you agree that visibility into the program and discipline in spending are crucial now to ensure tactical aviation modernization?
Yes. The Air Force has integrated a multi-tiered management philosophy into the F-22 program that allows a great deal of visibility into the program. The Air Force intends to share our observations and insights with Congress and its staff on both a regular and as needed basis.
Special Access Programs
The Air Force oversees a large portion of the special access program budget. Due to the necessary restricted nature of classified programs, the committee cannot obtain information except through the Department.
Will you ensure the committee is promptly informed of program changes, realignments or difficulties promptly?
Yes. Openness and cooperation with the committee is essential to program success. I intend to make sure the right committees and committee members know the status of Air Force special access programs.
The Air Force included on its unfunded priority list a number of safety of flight issues under the heading of Global Air Traffic Management (GATM) and Nav Safety Phase II, for a total of $194.0 million. Items included traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS), ground proximity warning system (GPWS), and the beginning of phase II of SECDEF directed safety upgrades to all passenger carrying aircraft. It would seem that such items as safety of flight and passenger safety should be at the top of the Air Force budget request, not left off as unfunded priorities.
If confirmed, will you ensure these programs are included in the Air Force budget in Fiscal Year 1999 and beyond?
The safety of our flight crews and the people that fly on our aircraft are vitally important to me. While funding for such programs remains a constant challenge in today’s fiscally constrained environment, you have my assurance that if confirmed, I will support these critical programs.
Flight safety will remain a top Air Force priority as we develop future budgets. We will continue to upgrade our fleet with appropriate equipment to further enhance safe flight operations, and adhere to the increasingly stringent national and international air traffic management system requirements.
During his confirmation hearing, General Ryan was asked about the impact on the Air Force of procuring additional B-2 bombers. In a written response on September 17, he listed a number of negative consequences and concluded that the tradeoff of existing force structure and modernization does not warrant acquisition of additional B-2’s.
Do you agree with his assessment?
Yes. I have discussed the issue of additional B-2 acquisition with General Ryan and believe the diversion of resources required to procure additional B-2 aircraft would significantly degrade the balanced air and space capabilities the CINCs need in their warfighting role. Additionally, this would raise already high OPTEMPO, place near-term readiness at risk, and require even more infrastructure reductions to include additional base closures.
There have been a number of stories in magazines and newspapers concerning allegations about you and some of your past activities. The Washington Post, in an article on October 2, 1997, alleges that you were compelled to stop flying fighter aircraft in 1991 after your commander expressed concern that you were compromising safety. The article goes on to allege that you reluctantly stepped down rather than face a formal move to ground you.
What were the circumstances surrounding your removal from status as a fighter pilot? Did you agree to voluntarily give up flying status?
I was an F-16 pilot in the 482 FW from approximately July 1989 to the fall of 1991. In the fall of 1990 I was elected to the Florida House of Representatives, and joined a private sector law firm as an associate attorney. In addition, I was married and the father of three children. As a reserve pilot, I spent eight to ten days each month at Homestead AFB to complete my flying and ground training requirements. As an attorney and state legislator, my work week usually exceeded 60-70 hours, and required that I spend more than 120 days per year away from home. Quite simply, there were a lot of competing demands on my time.
Even though I love flying, remaining proficient and safe in a high performance aircraft, such as the F-16, required more time than I could devote. After much introspection, and several discussions with my commander, I decided to stop flying, and instead, to serve my country in a different role in the Reserve. It was not an easy decision, but it was the right one.
Were you faced with the possibility of a formal process that would have involuntarily removed you from flying status?
No, there was no formal process pending to remove me from flying status. However, every day a pilot flies, he or she is faced with the possibility that something could occur that would result in an involuntary removal from flying status. My commander was concerned that the demands on my time were degrading my flying skills, thus enhancing such a possibility.
The October 2, 1997 Washington Post article also alleges that on October 2, 1997 your resume still described you as an "F-16 Falcon pilot (Reserves), Homestead Air Force Base, Florida from 1989 to the present."
Did you describe yourself as an F-16 pilot as the article alleges? If so, why?
My resume as a Florida State Senator contained the description mentioned in the newspaper. This was my error. I am still a rated pilot, and the F-16 was the last plane I flew, but I have not flown it since 1991. It may be instructive however, to note that this was not a point of confusion in Florida. I am frequently referred to by the Florida media as a "former F-16 pilot", and generally, my constituents are aware that I am no longer flying, but a part of me will always be a fighter pilot. In the broader context however, the wording of my resume should have been changed.
The Washington Post article alleges that you remarked that your staff was responsible for updating your resume.
Is this attribution accurate? Was it your staff’s responsibility to update your resume? What steps have you taken, if any, to correct the error?
It is clearly my responsibility to ensure that information that leaves my office leaves no room for misunderstanding. I did not intend by my remarks to disclaim responsibility. I have corrected my professional resume.
An October 24, 1997, Washington Times article included an allegation that, while a pilot at Homestead Air Force Base in 1982, you urged enlisted personnel to purchase Amway’s line of household and personal care products.
Were you ever engaged in selling Amway products while a member of the Air National Guard?
I have been a registered Amway distributor since 1979. If confirmed, I will resign my involvement with the company.
Did you ever sell such products while in uniform? While on active duty for training? While on active duty in any federal status? If yes, please elaborate.
To the best of my recollection, I have never sold Amway products while in uniform or while performing official duties. I focused on my primary job—the Air Force.
Did you ever attempt to sell Amway products or dealerships to enlisted members of the Air Force or Air National Guard? If yes, please elaborate.
To the best of my recollection, I have not knowingly sold Amway products or dealerships to an enlisted person.
I do recall that on one occasion at a church function in the early 1980s, I met an NCO who later expressed to me his worry about financial obligations. I asked him if he had heard about the Amway business. He appeared upset at the mention of the name and ended the conversation. I believe he complained to the IG and I told the IG what had happened. I heard no more about it.
A recent NEWSWEEK article alleges that members of your reserve unit regarded you as unsafe and as having an attitude problem. One officer, Major Alan Estis, told NEWSWEEK that he resigned from the Air Force Reserve because he did not want to work with you.
How do you respond to these allegations? Were you aware that some of your colleagues were reluctant to fly with you, regarded you as unsafe or believed that you had an attitude problem?
I have put a lot of thought into this issue since these allegations were raised, and I am at a loss for an explanation. I do not recall anyone ever indicating to me a reluctance to fly with me. In fact, the opposite is true. My record speaks for itself; it contains many commendable remarks concerning my leadership ability and flying skills. My records are available should you desire to see them.
In the NEWSWEEK article, you were quoted as saying that you were held to a higher standard. You were also quoted as saying that this higher standard had nothing to do with race. According to the article, your Squadron mates disagreed, believing that you were really talking about racial discrimination.
Is the higher standard to which you referred attributable to race?
If not, who or what office held you to a higher standard? What were the higher standards? Please explain your statement with regard to being held to a higher standard with specific examples of where you were held to different, more strict, standards than others in the squadron. Why do you believe you might have been held to a higher standard?
We each set our own standard for achievement. Personally, I have high expectations of myself. In grade school, high school, at the Academy and later in law school I strove to do my best. That remains my goal. I believe my commander at the time, who was an outstanding officer, properly held me to a high standard.
Why, in your opinion, would your colleagues believe that you were talking about race as a factor in your reserve squadron?
I cannot speak to the thinking of others, but my experience in the Air Force is that it is a hallmark of opportunity with even playing fields for all to succeed.
The Key West newspaper, Key West The Newspaper, in a June 27, 1997 article that your brokered a deal, and received a "finders fee" for using your influence to obtain the City of Key West as a client for the Miami law firm Fowler, White, Burnette, Hurley Banick and Strickroot.
Did you use influence to obtain the City of Key West as an account for the Fowler, White firm?
My responsibilities at the firm involved business development. At the request of the firm, I talked with members of the city council in open forum and individually. I made it clear that I was functioning in the capacity as a member of the firm and not as a legislator. I do believe, however, that my reputation as an attorney, and the reputation of the Fowler White law firm, particularly in the relevant areas of law, contributed substantially to the firm’s selection as the City Attorney for the City of Key West.
Were there any charges made against you as a result of your activities on behalf of Fowler, White?
Would the activities such as those described in the Key West The Newspaper article be inappropriate or unethical if a member of the Florida Senate were to have engaged in those activities?
No. I have attached a legal opinion from Mr. Steve Kahn, the General Counsel of the Florida State Senate, regarding this matter.
The Sierra Club Miami Group provided the Committee a newsletter in which an article alleges that, in the wake of Hurricane Andrew, you worked for a group of Cuban exile businessmen to save Homestead Air Force Base from closing. The article alleges that, as a result of your efforts, Homestead Airbase Development Inc. received a $12 billion contract. The article also claims that the leadership of Homestead Airbase Development Inc. subsequently donated $100,000 to President Clinton. The article goes on to allege that, faced with opposition from the Sierra Club, you pursued an effort in the Florida legislature to facilitate the expedited re-use of former military bases permitting the developer to sidestep existing environmental regulations.
I was approached by people on both sides of the issue, but I remained neutral until the Dade County Commission made its decision as to which entity would have primary responsibility for redeveloping Homestead Air Force Base. As for the alleged campaign contributions, I have no knowledge of that.
Did you assist in facilitating the transfer of Homestead Air Base to Dade County? If so, what exactly was your role in this process?
In my job as a state senator it is my responsibility to represent the interests of my constituents. In that role, I attempted to facilitate the transfer of Homestead, articulating the concerns of the community.
Did you sponsor legislation or amendments aimed at expediting the re-use of former military bases in Florida?
Yes. During the 1994 Legislative Session, I sponsored Senate Bill 2372, and accompanying amendments which proposed statutory codification of the Florida Defense Conversion and Transition Commission. My bill did not pass, but I did support similar legislation sponsored by the State Representative from Orlando, Alzo Reddick, which eventually became law.
If so, would your legislation permit the county or developers to circumvent then existing environmental regulations?
No. My 1994 legislation addressed the comprehensive planning process, not the environmental permitting process.
Would the activities such as those described in the newsletter article be inappropriate or unethical if a member of the Florida Senate were to have engaged in those activities?
No. I have attached a legal opinion from Mr. Steve Kahn, the General Counsel of the Florida State Senate, regarding this matter.
In your view, what are the major challenges confronting the next Secretary of the Air Force?
The Secretary of the Air Force must form and lead a strong team to maintain our status as the world’s premier air and space force. To do this we must:
If confirmed, what plans do you have for addressing these challenges?
If confirmed, I intend to work closely with the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, the other service secretaries, the Chairman, the Secretary of Defense, and Congress to address these challenges. Specific objectives I have are:
Most Serious Problems
What do you consider to be the most serious problems in the performance of the functions of the Secretary of the Air Force?
I am not aware of any serious problems in this area. However, if confirmed, I will continuously look for ways to improve organizational processes within the Service, and forge the necessary relationships with the Congress, OSD, and the American people to effectively represent the Air Force.
What management actions and timelines would you establish to address these problems?
If confirmed, I will move quickly to work with the Under Secretary of the Air Force, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, the General Counsel, the Assistant Secretaries, and the Air Staff to ensure the efficient and effective functioning of the Service.
If confirmed, you will be entering this important position at a time of concern about force levels and readiness of our forces.
What background and experience do you have that you believe qualifies you for this position?
I believe I would bring several assets to the job of Secretary of the Air Force. My public, civilian professional, military professional, and personal life provide experience and perspective for what it takes to be the leader of a large governmental organization. First, having been a member of the active and guard components of the Air Force and currently serving in the Air Force Reserve, my understanding of the Air Force mission and lifestyle is extensive. In addition, my experience and work in the field of investment banking will be valuable in addressing issues of fiscal management. As a lawyer, I am acutely aware of the across-the-board legal issues that face a large governmental organization. Finally, as a state senator I have acquired an understanding of political issues and processes—from the international to the national and from the regional and state to the local levels of government. Let me also state that my family and I have lived as a part of the Air Force family. We understand military service—its demands and sacrifices, and its rewards. I have a clear vision of where the Air Force is and where we need to put the emphasis to lead it into the future.
Do you believe that there are any steps that you need to take to enhance your expertise to perform the duties of the Secretary of the Air Force?
I believe I am fully prepared for the office of Secretary of the Air Force. In addition, I look forward to working with its many talented men and women, and continuing to learn about the Air Force and its many challenges.
In your opinion, is it necessary, desirable, or helpful for the Secretary of the Air Force to be a qualified military pilot? Please explain your answer.
While, I do not think it is necessary, I believe my experience as a military pilot provides me a valuable perspective. I believe my other qualifications that I have already mentioned, will be even more helpful in the execution of Secretarial duties.
In order to exercise its legislative and oversight responsibilities, it is important that this Committee and other appropriate committees of the Congress are able to receive testimony, briefings, and other communications of information.
Do you agree, if confirmed for this high position, to appear before this Committee and other appropriate committees of the Congress?
Do you agree, when asked, to give your personal views, even if those views differ from the Administration in power?
Do you agree, if confirmed, to appear before this Committee, or designated members of this Committee, and provide information, subject to appropriate and necessary security protection, with respect to your responsibilities as the Secretary of the Air Force?
Do you agree to ensure that testimony, briefings and other communications of information are provided to this Committee and its staff and other appropriate Committees?