WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness, made the following remarks, as prepared for delivery, on the Subcommittee's hearing titled “United States Army and United States Marine Corps Depot Policy Issues and Infrastructure Concerns.” For testimony and to watch the hearing click here.
"Good morning. I call to order the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness. I want to welcome you to this morning's hearing, and I would like to thank our witnesses for being here today to discuss the defense organic industrial base and the significant role it has in maintaining and restoring readiness back to our armed services. This hearing will specifically focus on the current state of 'United States Army and United States Marine Corps Depot Policy Issues and Infrastructure Concerns.'
Our depots, arsenals, and ammunition production facilities are critical to this country's ability to project power and to properly train and equip our warfighters. The sustainment industrial base provides the backbone for the military to respond to a variety of contingencies, surge capacity, and provide unique solutions to requirements.
Our readiness recovery is fragile and it is important to understand exactly what is in jeopardy. During this hearing, I would like you to help us answer this basic question:
In terms of risk, what does it mean to our national security, particularly our sustainment industrial base to have failing depot infrastructure, lagging technology to properly repair and refurbish our equipment, combat vehicles waiting for depot maintenance, and a workforce that it often takes in excess of 180 days to recruit and hire?
The depots saw diminished workloads when major combat operations ended in Iraq and Afghanistan. This decreased workload coupled with unpredictable budgets and continuing resolutions forced the services to divest a portion of the technically skilled workforce, and limit re-investment into depot facilities. We know these variables have significant effects on people, depot rates, and long-term organic industrial base viability. We are particularly interested in your proposed solutions related to carryover, infrastructure strategic planning, and civilian hiring. We want to hear what the issues are from your perspective and how they are impacting your mission.
It is our responsibility as members of this subcommittee to understand the readiness challenges of our armed services and how the resources and authorities provided impact capabilities this nation needs.
I am pleased to recognize our witnesses today. I thank them for taking the time to be with us. We have:
LTG Aundre F. Piggee
Deputy Chief of Staff G-4
United States Army
Brigadier General Joseph F. Shrader
Marine Corps Logistics Command
I would like to welcome Lieutenant General Piggee back to the Readiness subcommittee and thank you for your continued service to the Army and our nation.
I would like to congratulate Brigadier General Shrader on his recent assumption of command in Albany, Georgia of the Marine Corps Logistics Command and his first opportunity to testify in front of our subcommittee."