This post is the fifth edition of my Defense Reform Proposals Package.
I’ve already suggested many reforms (like radically reducing the number of generals and selling old aircraft carriers to India) in my article titled, “Military Procurement Investments Should Grow”. Besides the reform proposals stated in it, there are also dozens of other savings that could be made in non-procurement areas in order to decrease DOD costs, which in turn would enable the US military to order more weapons (Arleigh Burke class warships, F-35 and C-17 planes, etc.). Also, the DOD needs to implement reform policies on many other military issues.
In this article, I’m presenting all the reform proposals that I have devised to date:
A) Healthcare cost reforms and benefits reforms
1) American troops should be immediately withdrawn from Iraq.
2) The DOD should stop sending ordinary MRAP vehicles and conventional armored vehicles (tanks, IFVs, APCs, Humvees) to Afghanistan and start using small MRAP vehicles there instead (because ordinary MRAP vehicles, AKA big MRAP vehicles, often roll over). This will radically reduce healthcare costs for the DOD and the DVA, and reduce the costs of replacing vehicles that have been written off.
3) As for other IED-intensive theaters, the only vehicles sent by the US military to those theaters should be mine resistant vehicles such as RG-32s, RG-33s, Stryker-based ambulances, Cougars, Casspirs, etc. (but not RG-31s).
4) M113s, including M113-based ambulances, must be immediately withdrawn from all theaters and retired, and replaced with Strykers and Stryker-based ambulances. These four reforms would protect American soldiers from mines, thus reducing healthcare and vehicle costs.
5) Military housing projects should be built, whenever possible, on lands already owned by the Federal Government.
6) The bureaucratic labyrinth that harms many wounded soldiers should be radically reduced; the budget of the DVA (Department of Veterans’ Affairs) should be reduced (if possible) – DVA should provide good services to American vets at a low cost.
7) Backlogs of claims of DVA benefits must be eliminated and so should be the bureaucracy that created them.
8) The bureaucratic hurdles and long waits that American vets complain about should be eliminated; the waits should be short.
9) The DOD and the DVA should have a unified benefits-for-vets system.
10) VA hospitals should be privatized if this would reduce VA healthcare costs.
11) Only military personnel, their relatives, veterans, DOD officials and the President should be allowed to use DVA and DOD hospitals. (Currently, Members of the Congress are also allowed to use these hospitals, with the DVA or the DOD paying the costs.)
12) All DVA and DOD hospitals must adopt electronic health records to reduce costs.
13) VA policies and VA disability regulations must be made simple, and their numbers must be reduced. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/13/AR2007101301426.html)
14) Religious workers (priests, pastors, pops, rabbis, imams, et al.) should always be available to all veterans.
15) The Martinsburg VA hospital PTSD program should be expanded by 25 beds. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/13/AR2007101301426_4.html?sid=ST2007101902742)
16) DOD hospital staff and DVA hospital staff should be legally obliged to ensure that their patients will not overuse prescription drugs and will not drink alcohol. Alcohol drinks must be banned from DOD installations, DOD hospitals and DVA hospitals. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/17/AR2007021701172_2.html)
17) Spanish-speaking personnel of DOD hospitals must always be called upon to help Spanish-speaking troopers and vets. All recruits who don’t speak English must be taught this language after they join the military.
18) Because 88% of American troopers believe that current Army literature for DODH patients is useless, the Army must prepare a handbook called “the handbook no one gets”, which would explain how outpatients live.
19) The complex disability benefit process must be simplified and its costs curtailed.
20) The number of documents a soldier is required to file with the DOD must be reduced from the current level (22); the 8 commands he must file them to must be merged with each other (thus creating a single command); a single information system should be used to process all forms (rather than 16 different inf. systems); the Army’s 3 personnel databses must be merged; the new single Army personnel database must be able to interact with the separate pay system and the medical recordkeeping databases. The Army should consider merging these MR databases. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/17/AR2007021701172_4.html)
21) Forms and records must always be kept on the military’s databases and at DOD hospitals, and must never disappear (the disappearance of forms and records is the most common reason why troopers languish at WRAMC); the name and photo of every trooper who ever served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam and other warzones must be entered to the apropriate databases and sent to all DOD and DVA hospitals.
22) “Civilian care coordinators” and case managers must be well-trained by the DOD or the DVA and and must understand the DOD medical system. When hiring them, the DOD and the DVA should always choose experienced DVA or DOD employees and experienced vets who have used the DOD system or the DVA system. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/17/AR2007021701172_4.html)
23) Every hospital platoon sergeant and every case manager must keep a written list of all patients assigned to him, the wars during which they fought, and their sigs, and must always have a copy of that list in his pocket.
24) Troopers should be allowed to use umbrellas at military hospitals. They should also be given winter clothes. Amputees and troopers whose legs or arms are broken shouldn’t be required to wear uniforms. DOD hospitals should try to devise a way other than a formation (which soldiers hate) to “keep track of their patients”. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/17/AR2007021701172_5.html)
25) The staff and the platoon sergeants of DOD hospitals should eliminate all rodents at DOD hospitals.
26) Hospital cafeterias must be located close to hospital rooms.
27) Injured soldiers (except lightly injured soldiers) shouldn’t be obliged to guard military hospitals – healthy soldiers should serve as their guards.
28) The streets and boroughs surrounding military hospitals must be purged of drug dealers by municipal PDs, state PDs and the FBI.
29) Paperwork for new uniforms must always be kept at appropriate desks, and must never disappear. Troopers who lack new uniforms must be provided with civilian business attire as interim solutions (they need appropriate attire for their Purple Heart ceremonies). (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/17/AR2007021701172_4.html)
30) DOD hospital staff must fight all kinds of stachybotrys, including black mold, and must fight cockroaches and any other insects that invade DOD hospitals. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_mold)
31) Every DODH platoon sergeant and every DODH employee must study all of his patients.
32) A CH system and water must be available at all DOD hospitals. Their elevators and garage doors, if broken, must be reparied. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/17/AR2007021701172_5.html)
33) The Service Secretaries should review all military hospitals and, if they can, merge them with each other to reduce installation costs (just like Walter Reed is scheduled to merge with Bethesda Naval Medical Center). Hospitals should be merged with the BNMC, Fort Detrick, the Dewitt Army Hospital, or other hospitals. The medical unit based at Bolling AFB should be relocated to Andrews AFB. Other hospital mergers and unit mergers should be decided by Service Secretaries. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Detrick; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeWitt_Army_Community_Hospital http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Reed_National_Military_Medical_Center; http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=31660)
Aside from these reforms (including 15 cost-controlling methods), the DOD and the DVA could certainly devise additional ways of healthcare cost reduction if they wanted to.
1) American soldiers shall be allowed to wear all of the medals awarded by NATO countries.
2) A Cold War Victory Medal should be authorized. However, several other medals (including the Air Medal and the DSSM) should be abolished.
3) The eligibility for the National Defense Service Medal should be extended (in terms of the Vietnamese War period) from 1974 to the end of the SS Mayaguez incident. People who served with the US military during the Iranian hostage crisis (4th November 1979 – 20th January 1981), and people who served during the Berlin crisis of 1948 should also be eligible for the NDSM.
B) Procurement methods
1) Economies of scale should be implemented. Large quantities of ships and planes (e.g. Virginia class submarines and F-35 jets) should be ordered to bring prices down.
2) The DOD (and all other governmental departments) should _always_ sign fixed-price contracts (they don’t do that now, the grim result being that contractors hike prices after contracts are signed).
3) Whenever a contractor of any governmental department (e.g. the DOD) allows a large-cost overrun to happen, the guilty contractor should be punished (the US government does not do that at present even though it legally could).
4) The US government should sign free trade agreements with raw material supplier countries (including titanium producing countries) to bring the prices of raw materials (including titanium, which is used to produce F-22s among other things) down.
5) The Defense Business Board (a subversive, traiterous organization) and the Office of Net Assessment should be abolished.
6) The procedure for the acquisition of military equipment by the DOD should be as follows: when the DOD decides to order a new weapon type, it should first send RFPs and tell candidates what the exact requirements of the DOD are. After candidate corporations submit their proposals, the DOD should objectively evaluate them according to the requirements earlier stated to these candidates, and choose the best offer, regardless of local politics. For example, in the KC-X program, the DOD should choose whichever tanker type is the best one, regardless of the protests of trade unions and certain regionalist members of the Congress.
7) Program requirements should never change (except for exceptional circumstances) after the deadline for candidate corporations to submit bids. Poland committed this mistake several times.
8) The US government must stop printing money, and must adopt the gold standard.
9) To further drive weapon costs down, the DOD, the DOS and the White House should permanently conduct a huge campaign of promoting American weapons abroad in order to receive foreign contracts for American weaponry. Currently, foreign orders are small. For example, in Poland, which has thousands of various obsolete Soviet weapons (e.g. An-2 and An-28 utility planes, Su-22 and MiG-29 fighterplanes, Mi-2 and Mi-8 transport helicopters, Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters, and BMP-1 IFVs), the US government should offer Poland replacements for those weapons (e.g. M1 tanks, F-35 jets, M2 IFVs, M1 tanks and AH-64 helicopters). All other Eastern European NATO countries, as well as Georgia and Ukraine, should also be offered American weapons as replacements for their Soviet weapons. For Britain, the UK MOD should be invited to participate in the SSGN-X program, allowed to buy new SLBMs in America, asked to order additional F-35s, and given a complete TOT of F-35 technology. In France, America should offer KC-767 tankers as replacements for France’s obsolete B707-derived tankers. Finland and Spain should be offered F-35s. As for Taiwan, it should be allowed to buy whatever conventional weapons it wants to buy (incl. F-35s), and required to buy large quantities of American weaponry. The US government should lobby heavily on behalf of American corporations bidding for Indian military contracts. In Israel, the Israeli MOD should be asked to buy hundreds of American jets, and American armored vehicles as replacements for Soviet vehicles. Japan should be asked to significantly increase its military spending and order dozens of new ships and aircraft. America should offer to sell Brazil aircraft to replace obsolete Brazilian AF training gliders, tankers, Hercules transport planes, fighterplanes and helicopters. Italy should be asked to enlarge its carrier fleet and its orders for F-35s. Super Hercules planes should be offered to the Saudis and the Israelis so that they would be able to replace their Hercules-E and Hercules-H planes; their old Hercules planes should be sold to the US military for reclamation. The RSAF should also be offered replacements for its other obsolete aircraft. At all times, unless otherwise stated here, America should export newly-made equipment, not used military gear. Equipment should never be given as FMF aid – only money should be.
10) The US military must never decrease the number of weapons it has and must never trade quantity for quality.
11) The US military should have a two-service CSAR helicopter program (instead of a single-service CSARH program) and should conduct it together with the Polish AF in order to 1) reduce unit costs (and total program costs) and 2) ensure the commonality of Polish and American CSAR helicopters.
12) America should ratify DTCTs with the UK and Australia; and negotiate, sign and ratify DTCTs with Denmark, Holland, Poland, the Czech Republic, Chile, Panama, Norway, the Philippines, Ukraine, Georgia, Colombia, South Korea, Taiwan, Canada, and Eritrea, and possibly other countries as well.
13) No-bid contracts should be banned.
14) The Congress should repeal “Buy American laws” across the board (not just the Buy American laws related to defense).
15) America should sign titanium purchase agreements with the Russian state-owned titatium producing corporation and establish a vertical supply chain for titanium.
16) Ramp up the production rates of F-35s, and order hundreds of additional F-35s to reduce the price per plane (i.e. to implement economics of scale).
17) If the LCS program is ended (Obama plans to reduce the order for LCSes by 50%), the remaining X vessels of the planned 55 LCSes should be Holland class ships (which are cheaper than LCSes) or French-produced avisos (e.g. D’Estienne D’Orves) or British-produced offshore patrol vessels. A competition should be held between the producers of these 3 vessel types. Anyway, the DOD needs some kind of an LCS program.
18) With few exceptions made on a case-by-case basis, the DOD should rely exclusively on governmental employees rather than contractors. DOD contracts must be managed only by DOD employees, not by contractors.
These reforms would truly reform the procurement division of the DOD, unlike the McCain-Levin legislation, which would not reform, but sabotage, DOD procurement (http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/24/congress.pentagon/index.html). Levin is the same anti-military liberal who, during the Clinton era (and during other times), argued against military procurement and against increases in military spending.
There are only a few “military” procurement programs which should be closed. Here are those programs:
C) PROGRAM CLOSURES
1) The presidential helicopter fleet modernization program (which replaced the VH-71 program) should be closed.
2) The Humvee program should be ended and replaced with the two military truck programs the DOD plans to replace it with (one being the JLTV program).
3) The Alternative Jet Engine Program (the F136 jet engine program) should be closed. It deprived the F-35 program of money that could’ve been spent on additional F-35 planes. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-35_Lightning_II#Engines; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Electric/Rolls-Royce_F136)
D) BUREAUCRACY REDUCTION
1) The US military should transport only the necessary WH staff (e.g. the Secret Service), medical staff and military staff during official tours; only such staff should be allowed to make tours on any DOD-owned aircraft; all in all, an American delegation for a summit should number no more than 250 people.
2) All public affairs and PR officials at the Pentagon (including the USD for Public Affairs) should be sacked and their posts abolished. The DOD does not need such officials.
3) Reduce the staff of the Office of the SECDEF by 75%, and the budget of the OSD by 75%.
4) The DOD Police should be merged with the Pentagon Police, and should become responsible for the Pentagon in Arlington (VA). It should also be merged with the PFPA, and inherit all of their rights and duties. (http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/510568p.pdf)
5) The Office of the Under SECDEF for Policy should be abolished. The “Defense Prisoner of War/MIA Office” should report to the USD for Personnel; the Offices of “the ASD for Intl Security” and “the ASD for Global Security” should be merged and should report directly to the SECDEF and the Deputy SECDEF, as should the other 3 ASDs currently reporting to the USDP (the ASD for Homeland Defense, the ASD for Asian Affairs and the ASD for Special Operations). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Under_Secretary_of_Defense_for_Policy; http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/33/DoD_Structure_Jan2008.png)
6) The number of Naval Districts should be reduced from 10 to 7 by: a) merging the DC Naval District with the 5th Naval District; b) merging the 13th Naval District with the 17th Naval District (and the HQ should be in Juneau); c) merging the 8th Naval District with the 7th Naval District. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_district)
E) FUEL COST REDUCTION
1) By 2060 every aircraft bought by the DOD must be able to use not only kerosene, but also: a 50/50 blend of kerosene and Fischer-Tropsch fuel, 100% Fischer-Tropsch fuel, B100 biodiesel (100% biodiesel) and a 50/50 blend of kerosene and biodiesel; by 2080, every vehicle in the US military’s arsenal (i.e. every conventional ship, plane, helicopter and ground vehicle) must be able to use such fuel (every time the price of oil goes up, so does the price of fuels).
2) Require that all American military installations be powered by nuclear reactors or coal EPs.
3) The DOD should begin research on solar-powered planes.
4) The US military should encourage the construction of synthethic fuel factories around the country, ignore environmentalists’ protests, and deny that global warming is happening.
5) All BMD cruisers of the US Navy should be propelled by nuclear reactors rather than diesel engines.
6) The US military should start recycling nuclear fuel.
7) All civilian employees of the DOD should use laptops rather than stationary PCs (laptops are 11 times more electricity-efficient than stationary computers).
8) The DOD should stop buying solar panels and stop building solar electric plants. The Army’s solar electric plant project should be cancelled.
9) The DOD should stop trying to “green” the US military.
10) No flyovers.
11) The Vice President should fly commercial airliners, not military jets.
12) Military VIP jets should be reserved exclusively for members of the Executive Branch.
F) PERSONNEL REDUCTION
1) Reduce the number of civilian employees of the three service departments by 50%;
2) Radically reduce the number of generals (Russia plans to reduce the number of serving Russian generals from 1100 to 900);
3) Withdraw America from the useless NATO alliance and from the Rio Pact (and discharge all American personnel currently serving at NATO HQ);
4) Dual-hat some commands and merge others (e.g. the US Army’s FORSCOM should be merged with the Army’s SDDC, and the Army’s Materiel Command should be merged with the Army’s AASC);
4) Replace all C-5s with C-17s (the crew of a C-17 consists of 3 people; the crew of a C-5 jet consists of 9 folks);
5) Replace the 3 Seawolf-class SSNs with 3 Virginia-class submarines when the Seawolf-class retires;
6) Cap the salaries of all civilian employees of the DOD;
7) Require that every new ship program reduce the number of personnel required for 1 ship in comparison to the ship program it is replacing (the Gerald R Ford class is supposed to require 25% fewer crewmen than the Nimitz class); and
8) Replace M1 Abrams tanks with AMX-56 Leclerc tanks (thus reducing the number of tankmen in the US military by 25%).
9) The posts of the Vice Chairman of the JCS, and the Administrative Advisor of the SECAF should be abolished as should be the entire Environmental Division of the CNO’s Office, the AFIS and the AFPS; the military bands of the USAF, of the USMC, of the USN and of the US Army (except their central bands) should be dissolved.
10) The Honor Guards of the four services of the DOD should be reduced by 50%. The 3rd Infantry Regiment should be reduced to 2 battalions.
11) The presidential helicopter fleet should be reduced to 2 helicopters.
12) The aggregate number of soldiers and marines should be initially capped at the 2009 treshold.
13) The US Army’s NASCAR team should be abolished. (http://www.army.mil/-images/2009/07/13/44751/army.mil-44751-2009-07-14-070737.jpg)
14) The US government should abolish the CIA and assign its functions to other intel agencies. It should also create a dedicated counterintel agency at the DOD.
15) Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Asian part of Russia should be added to the AO responsibility of the USPACOM; afterwards, the USEUCOM should be merged with the USCENTCOM; consequently, the Naval Forces Europe command and the European commands of the US Army, the USMC and the USAF should be abolished.
16) The presidential helicopter fleet should be replaced with 2 VH-60 helicopters. No separate program for that purpose is needed, these 2 VH-60s should be derivates of H-60s.
17) The Naval Historical Center and the Army Historical Center shall be abolished, and all historians employed by the DOD except the historians at military universities shall be retired and not replaced. The DOD needs weapons and soldiers, not historians.
18) The Joint Staff’s personnel should be reduced by at least 25%; the Air Staff’s personnel and the Naval Staff’s personnel should both be reduced by 10%. The personnel of the Directorate for Strategic Plans and Policy of the JCS should be reduced by at least 25%. (http://www.af.mil/information/bios/bio.asp?bioID=6545)
19) The US Strategic Command’s Center for Combating WMDs should be abolished.
20) The staff of every Marine and Army division should be reduced by at least 10%, as should be the number of personnel at each geographic AF command and at each Numbered Air Force except the 18th AF.
21) The staff of each task force should be reduced by at least 10%. The staff of the Joint Command should be reduced by 25% (including a 25% reduction of the Strategy and Policy Directorate).
22) The number of officers should be reduced if it can be done in a way that would ensure that this policy doesn’t weaken the US military. The current number of American military officers who are not generals or warrant officers is 209,878. The total current number of American military officers is 226,565. (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/intro/ranks.htm)
23) Replace all C-130E-Hs with Super Hercules planes, because according to the USAF’s website, “The C-130J is the latest addition to the C-130 fleet and will replace aging C-130E’s. The C-130J incorporates state-of-the-art technology to reduce manpower requirements, lower operating and support costs, and provides life-cycle cost savings over earlier C-130 models. Compared to older C-130s, the J model climbs faster and higher, flies farther at a higher cruise speed, and takes off and lands in a shorter distance. The C-130J-30 is a stretch version, adding 15 feet to fuselage, increasing usable space in the cargo compartment. C-130J/J-30 major system improvements include: advanced two-pilot flight station with fully integrated digital avionics; color multifunctional liquid crystal displays and head-up displays; state-of-the-art navigation systems with dual inertial navigation system and global positioning system; fully integrated defensive systems; low-power color radar; digital moving map display; new turboprop engines with six-bladed, all-composite propellers; digital auto pilot; improved fuel, environmental and ice-protection systems; and an enhanced cargo-handling system.” – http://www.af.mil/information/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=92
24) On top of the above reductions, the DOD should retire the 14,650 Airmen and 2,477 Navy sailors hired in 2009 (under the FY2010 budget), and reverse the Bush expansion of the military by 100,000 men. (During the year 2009, after the budget was signed, the USAF jettisonned 4000 Airmen.)
25) On top of the above reductions, the increase of the number of military personnel proposed by Sen. Joe Lieberman in 2009 should be reversed.
26) On the whole, the number of military personnel (counting Guardsmen, Reservists and AC personnel together) should not exceed 2.2 million.
G) SHIP AND PLANE RETIREMENTS
1) Retire all obsolete aircraft as soon as their replacements arrive. By “obsolete aircraft” I mean aircraft that can neither fly nor fight. For example, the USAF’s entire Hercules fleet of the non-Super-Hercules variants should be replaced by Super Hercules planes (as should be the Hercules planes of the non-Super-Hercules variants owned by foreign AFs); the USMC’s KC-130 tanker fleet should be replaced by tankers derived from Super Hercules planes. The USAF’s obsolete CSAR helicopters should be replaced with new MH-53 or new MH-60 helicopters, or other CSAR or multi-purpose helicopters, but these must be new. All E-3 AWACSes should be replaced with E-10 jets. The Army should reclaim all H-57 helicopters parked at AMARC for spare parts.
2) Offer the aircraft carriers Forrestal, Saratoga, Independence, Constellation and John F Kennedy to India (or any other country) if India (or any other country) pays for these ships and refits them.
3) Strip the two remaining reserve battleships of the USN, the USS Iowa and the USS Wisconsin (and two decommissioned battleships, USS Alabama and USS Massachusetts) of their guns, then sell the 2 reserve battleships (Iowa and Wisconsin) to scrappers.
4) All KA-planes, A-4 jets and F-4 planes parked at AMARC should be sold to the IAF. All SH-2 helicopters parked at AMARC should be sold to the RNZAF. All C-9 and DC-9 planes parked at AMARC should be sold to Third World airlines.
5) The Spruance class vessel still moored in a reserve fleet should be sold, not sunk; CG-47-49 and CG-51 should be sold or scrapped rather than sunk; no American ships should be sunk by the USN; the USN must not donate any ships to museums.
6) All obsolete ships in American reserve fleets (i.e. all ships in those fleets except modern ones like those of the Ticonderoga class and submarines) should be sold or scrapped to earn money for new weapons. The USN’s reserve fleets (mothballed fleets) currently number 251 ships.
7) As many of the F-16s parked at AMARC as possible (but not too many, so as not to deprive the USAF of spare parts) should be offered and sold to foreign countries in order to raise money for the purchase of new weapons.
8) All S-2s parked at AMARC should be sold to Taiwan, as should be some S-3s parked at AMARC. All T-2s parked at AMARC should be sold to Greece.
9) The USS Tarawa (LHA-1) should be sold, not sunk. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Tarawa_(LHA-1) )
10) All S-2 planes should be sold to the Government of California. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X721NfyQTQo)
11) The Pentagon should give 12 of the Hercules planes parked at AMARC to the RAF; it should then reclaim (i.e. use for spare parts) all other aircraft (incl. B-1s, B-52s, C-5s, F-16s and A-10s) parked at AMARC (except F-15s and A-6s, which should be recommissioned and kept in service as interim aircraft until additional F-35s are ordered, if they are ever ordered) to keep the US military’s aircraft flyable. (Note: the currently planned Pentagon figure of 2443 F-35s for the entire military is woefully inadequate, as was the previous DOD figure of 2543 F-35s.) At the same time, the DOD should continually buy spare parts and upgrades for F-16s, taking advantage of the still-open F-16 production line.
H) BRAC POLICY
1) A new BRAC round should be implemented (Heslar Naval Armory, NSA New Orleans, NASJRB New Orleans, Henderson Hall, Camp Kilmer, NB Point Loma, NSF Anacostia, the DC Naval Observatory, NSY Portsmouth, the 70th Regional RC, the the 96th Regional RC, the 77th RRC, Fort Chaffee, Fort Myer, NIMSF Philadelphia, Pitt US Army Reserve Center, Fort Totten (with the USAFRC), Fort Hamilton, Fort Lawton, Fort McPherson, Fort Gillem, Fort Shafter, Gunter Annex and Fort Hamilton should be closed during that round and sold). Fort Gillem was recommended for closure as early as 2005, and Fort Chaffee no longer houses any military units. Units stationed at Fort Lawton should be assigned to other military installations. This article recommends the closure of 1 USAF, 14 Army and 8 Navy big installations, a total of 23 big military installations, plus 1 small USMC installation (Henderson Hall) and 1 small USAF installation (Bellows AFS), on the condition that these bases would not be occupied by American troopers returning from abroad.
2) The US Army, Pacific command (and all other units based at Fort Shafter) should be relocated to Schofield Barracks; subsequently, the DOD should close Fort Shafter.
3) All retired ships mothballed at NIMSF Philadelphia should be moved to other NIMSFs.
4) All units and persons based at Fort Myer should be moved to Fort Belvoir or Fort Meade. Afterwards, Fort Myer should be closed and sold during a BRAC round. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Myer)
5) The US Army’s Reserve Command, Forces Command and Central Command, and the IMC for the Southeast should be moved to other Forts. Afterwards, Fort McPherson shall be closed during a BRAC round and sold.
6) All units stationed at Cannon AFB should be moved to the Hurlburt base (FL), which should be renamed Hurlburt-Johnson AFB (after Donald Hurlburt and Clarence Johnson). Subsequently, Cannon AFB should be reserved for the USAF wings that will come back from Europe. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannon_Air_Force_Base#BRAC_2005)
7) The unit stationed at Henderson Hall should be moved to Quantico (VA). Afterwards, Henderson Hall should be closed.
8) All units and equipment based at Cheyenne Mountain Station should be moved to Peterson AFB. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheyenne_Mountain_Air_Force_Station)
9) The DOD should close the Naval Shipyard Portsmouth, Kittery, ME; Relocate the ship depot repair function to Naval Shipyard Norfolk, VA, Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility Pearl Harbor, HI and Naval Shipyard Puget Sound, WA; Relocate the Submarine Maintenance, Engineering, Planning and Procurement Command to Naval Shipyard Norfolk. DOD recommended to close NSY Portsmouth as early as 2005, but the BRAC Commission removed the NSY from the list. The DOD doesn’t need NSY Portsmouth because it has 2 in the Pacific area (Puget Sound and Pearl Harbor) and 1 on the East Coast (NSY Norfolk).
10) The entire 42nd Airbase wing should be based at Maxwell AFB. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/42d_Air_Base_Wing)
11) The wings which would come back to the US under this plan (including 1 tanker wing from Britain, 1 F-15 wing wing Britain, 1 F-16 wing from Germany, and 1 fighterplane wing from Japan) should be based at Jacksonville AGS (FL), Otis AFB (MA) and Cannon AFB (NM) (which should remain open).
12) The DOD should distribute the eight C-130H aircraft of the 914th Airlift Wing (AFR) to the 314th Airlift Wing, Little Rock Air Force Base, AR. The 914th’s headquarters moves to Langley Air Force Base, VA, the Expeditionary Combat Support (ECS) realigns to the 310th Space Group (AFR) at Schriever Air Force Base, CO, and the Civil Engineering Squadron moves to Lackland Air Force Base, TX. Also at Niagara, distribute the eight KC-135R aircraft of the 107th Air Refueling Wing (ANG) to the 101st Air Refueling Wing (ANG), Bangor International Airport Air Guard Station, ME. The 101st will subsequently distribute the remaining 8 tankers to Bangor AGS, and 16-17 new C-130Js should be ordered and parked at Niagara, and a new Airlift Wing should be established at that base.
13) The 77th Brigade of the US Army and the AFRC (Reserve Center) should be relocated from Fort Totten to Fort Dix. Subsequently, Fort Totten should be closed.
14) The 2nd Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment, of the 244th Aviation Brigade of the US Army should be relocated from Horsham (PA) to Fort Eustis (VA).
15) The Pitt US Army Reserve Center should be relocated to Fort Dix (NJ).
16) The 416th Theater Engineer Command should be relocated from Illinois to Vicksburg (MS). (http://www.usar.army.mil/arweb/organization/commandstructure/USARC/OPS/Pages/default.aspx)
17) The 80th Training Command (TASS) should be relocated from Richmond (VA) to Fort Lee or Fort Pickett. (http://www.usar.army.mil/arweb/organization/commandstructure/USARC/TNG/Pages/default.aspx)
18) The 70th Regional RC (based in Seattle, WA) and the 96th Regional RC (based in SLC, UT) should be relocated to Los Alamitos (CA) and merged with the 63rd Regional RC based in Los Alamitos. The 77th RRC should be relocated to Moon Township (PA) and merged with the 99th RRC based there. The 88th RRC should be relocated from Fort Snelling (MN) to Fort McCoy (WI). (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Army_Reserve_Regional_Readiness_Commands)
19) All 7 subs and all 3 Torpedo ships from Naval Base Point Loma (CA), and all commands based there, should be relocated to Naval Base Kitsap (WA) and/or Naval Submarine Base New London (CT) (the 3rd Fleet must be based at NB Kitsap). Subsequently, the DOD should close NB Point Loma. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Base_Point_Loma; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Base_Kitsap)
20) The tenants of NSF Anacostia should be relocated as follows:
a) Commander, Naval Installations; the Naval OSC; the Naval Media Center; and the Naval Research Laboratory – to the DC Navy Yard;
b) the DOD Inspector General and the Office of Chief of Information – to the Pentagon;
c) the Marine Helicopter Squadron (HMX-1) and the Marine FRC – to USMC base Quantico;
d) the DC Army National Guard – to Fort McNair (DC);
e) the WH Communications Agency – to the WH, Fort Meade or Andrews AFB;
f) Construction Battalion Unit 422 of the Navy – to the closest naval base or USMC base (preferrably USMC Base Quantico).
Subsequently, NSF Anacostia should be closed.
21) The White House should house the Vice President of the US as well as the President of the US. The DC Naval Observatory should be closed during a BRAC round.
22) The former Fort Missoula and the former Camp Lockett should be sold.
23) Bellows AFS should be closed, and instead, NAS Key West should become the military’s holiday resort.
24) The HQ of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing should be relocated to NAS Key West (the wing’s units are scattered throghout the US). The Commander of the NF Reserve Command and the Commander of the NAF Reserve should also relocate to NAS Key West. The USMC Reserve should relocate to Camp Pendleton, as should the HQ of the 4th Marine Division (whose units, like the units of the 4th MAW, are scattered throughout the US). Subsequently, NSA New Orleans should be closed. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Pendleton; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSA_New_Orleans)
25) All units based at NASJRB New Orleans should relocate to NAS Pensacola, NAS CC, NAS Mayport or NAS Corpus Christi. Subsequently, NASJRB New Orleans should be closed. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Air_Station_Joint_Reserve_Base_New_Orleans
26) The US Army Installation Management Command for the Northeastern Region should be relocated from Fort Hamilton (an administrative installation) to Fort Drum (also located in NY state). Subsequently, Fort Hamilton should be closed. (http://www.hamilton.army.mil/)
27) The Naval Operations Support Center Indianapolis, Marine Corps Reserve Center Indianapolis, and Naval Recruiting Station Indianapolis, as well as the United States Naval Sea Cadet Corps Cruiser Indianapolis (CA 35) and all the equipment stored at HNA, should be relocated from Heslar Naval Armory to the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane (70 miles south of Indianapolis). Subsequently, the Heslar Naval Armory should be closed. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heslar_Naval_Armory; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Surface_Warfare_Center_Crane_Division)
I) POLICY ON VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULTS
1) All reported perpetrators should be tried by a court-martial, even if there’s insufficient evidence. “According to DoD statistics, only 181 out of 2,212 subjects investigated for sexual assault in 2007, including 1,259 reports of rape, were referred to courts-martial.” – http://harman.house.gov/2008/09/9-30Hill.shtml
2) The superiors of the alleged perpetrators may use “nonjudicial punishment”, but must always refer these alleged perpetrators to courts-martial.
3) Every sexually-assaulted servicewoman shall have the right to relocate to another base.
4) Sexual assault victims should never be subjected to “investigations for disciplinary violations”, nor to restrictions. (http://www.defense.gov/news/Sep2003/d20030922usafareport.pdf, page #33)
5) Every victim who reports her sexual predator to the appropriate authorities should be rewarded with an amnesty. (http://www.defense.gov/news/Sep2003/d20030922usafareport.pdf, page #33)
6) Besides any punishment that a court-martial orders, all convicted sexual assault perpetrators should also be deprived of their entire salaries and demoted to the lowest officer rank or the lowest enlisted rank, depending on whether the perpetrator is an officer or an enlisted trooper. (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/03/17/eveningnews/main4872713.shtml)
J) VARIOUS OTHER REFORMS
1) The Secretary of Defense should rank in the American order of precedence ahead of all other Cabinet secretaries.
2) The 11th Wing of the USAF and all ceremonial units should be assigned to Andrews AFB and leave Bolling AFB (as should all other agencies based at Bolling AFB except the DIA). Bolling AFB should be separated from Naval Facility Anacostia. Eventually, a new DIIAC should be built somewhere else and Bolling AFB should be closed and sold. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bolling_AFB)
3) The exploration of Outer Space should be conducted jointly by the US, Britain, Canada, India, France (an EU member) and the EU. The US should work on its Moon program together with these countries.
4) The Army gun ban shall be abolished. All members of the US military should be allowed to bring weapons (including their personal weapons) on DOD land and at US military bases, and everywhere else.
5) The USMC’s III MEF (incl. its 31st MEU and its 3rd Marine Division), as well as the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, should be brought back from Okinawa to the US together with all other Marines stationed in Japan (rather than just 8000 Marines). (Currently, theere are 20,000 Marines stationed in Okinawa.) All Marines stationed in Korea, and all American troopers stationed in Australia, should be brought back to the US. The 35th Fighterplane Wing should be brought back to the US (preferrably to Hawaii or Alaska). The 8th United States Army must return to the US. The two AF wings (a fighterplane wing and a tanker wing) currently stationed in Britain, and the fighterplane wing stationed at Spangdahlem AFB (Germany), should be brought back to the US (to Otis ANGB and Cannon AFB). (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/usmc/iii-mef.htm; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_Expeditionary_Unit#Japan_MEU; http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/usmc/3mardiv.htm; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okinawa_Prefecture; http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/usmc/1maw.htm; http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/usmc/usmarfork.htm; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/35th_Fighter_Wing; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V_Corps_(United_States); http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2nd_Infantry_Division_(United_States); http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eighth_United_States_Army#Current_Composition; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Corps_(United_States)#Organization; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USFK ) These troop withdrawals, as well as the withdrawal of most other American troopers from Europe (including all Army soldiers (incl. members of the V Corps) and all Marines) and ALL American troopers from the Persian Gulf (except the 5th Fleet), will significantly reduce the stress on the military, prevent the lengthening of tours, and increase “dwell time” even as the US military’s personnel would be reduced by 600,000 troopers.
6) The DOD should assess whether any of the troopers currently working at the Defense Logistics Agency could be replaced by civilians (thus freeing troopers for military tasks). If so, they should be replaced by civilians. The DLA currently numbers 21,000 employees.
7) The DOD and the US military must adopt the metric system.
8) The requirements of the budget calendar should never marginalize the defense policy-making process.
9) No F-22s should serve with the ANG of any leftist state (including Hawaii).
10) Any savings in the DOD must be invested in the DOD.
11) Every USS Arizona veteran should have the right to be buried in the wreck of that ship if he wants to be; his family members should have such a right, too, if they want; but the spill of oil from Arizona’s tank must be stopped and the oil must eventually be pumped out of the tank of the USS Arizona.
12) Other than classified projects, budget gag rules should be banned.
13) The DOD should withdraw all American troops from Iraq and all other Persian Gulf countries, and bring 50% of American troopers in Afghanistan home.
14) The war on drugs should be ended.
15) All members of the JCS should become members of the NSC.
16) All RIMPAC exercises should exclude Russia and China.
17) The USAF should establish an Air Force Cyber Command to fight hackers.
18) B-1 bombers should be subordinated to the USAF’s Global Strike command (just like B-2s, B-52s and ICBMs are).
19) American nuclear weapons, and the funding for them, and the role of the caretaker of nukes, should be given to the DOD.
20) The DOD should never pay the Taleban to escort American convoys or protect American supply lines; instead, it should hire private contractors or local militias (or ask NATO allies) to provide escorting troops. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/nov/13/us-trucks-security-taliban)
21) Japan must increase its funding for the American troops stationed in Japan. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Forces_Japan)
22) Deploy an F-16 wing stationed in Europe (the one currently stationed at Aviano AFB) to Poland, as per the recommendation of LTCOL Chris Sage.
23) The four-star rank should be reserved only for the Chairman of the JCS, Service Chiefs (and their deputies), commanders of Combatant Commands, commanders of geographic fleets/armies/marine corps groups/fleets (e.g. the US Pacific Fleet), the commander of American troops in Afghanistan and the commanders of American troopers in whatever country America might invade in the future.
24) It must be made certain that all American troopers will be able to vote.
25) Arms reduction treaties should be rejected; the START-1, START-2, SALT-1, SALT-2, SORT, CFE-1, CFE-2 and CTBT treaties should be repealed.
26) The military retirement age should be increased to 75 years of age.
27) The USAF’s crucial CSAR-X program (which was supposed to yield replacements for the USAF’s Combat Search And Rescue Helicopter Fleet) was cancelled in April 2009 by Bob Gates. I have developed an alternative way to replace the USAF’s vintage CSARH fleet: buy 141 (or more) MH-60 Pave Hawk CSAR helicopters or buy H-60 Black Hawk helicopters and modify them for the CSAR role (as was done with the USAF’s first MH-60 helicopters – they weren’t purpose-built CSAR aircraft, but rather modified H-60 helicopters). Black Hawks (not CSAR helicopters) are currently being procured by the US Army anyway, and have been procured for many years. As interim helicopters, the 27 H-1 Iroquis helicopters currently parked at AMARC, all H-34 helicopters currently parked at AMARC, all H-46 helicopters parked at AMARC, and all H-53 helicopters currently parked at AMARC, should be recommissioned and modified for the CSARH role. These helos should also become available to the governors of Gulf Coast states.
28) Globalsecurity.org complains that the Navy has no ship naming regulations and that this is bad for the Navy; I agree on that issue. Therefore, I recommend the adoption of the following ship naming standards: 1) Ship names should not (with exceptions granted by the SECNAV) repeat themselves, so if a ship name has already been used once, it should never be used again. 2) Ships should, with few exceptions, be named only after American figures and American cities. 3) Ships should receive the names of American figures or American cities regardless of what ship category they represent.
29) The USS Utah (BB-31), sunk by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, should be raised and scrapped. The dead sailors who are still aboard that ship should be transported from that ship to a military cemetery and buried there with military honors.
30) All DOD and USCG aircraft shall be banned from participating in air shows.
31) All B-52s parked at AMARC should be reclaimed to provide spare parts for the rest of the B-52 fleet before B-3 replacements arrive. The same applies to B-1s parked at AMARC. Enlarging the bomber fleet should be done solely by buying new bombers (e.g. B-3s).
32) Cannibalising any aircraft not retired by the DOD shall be banned. There is an abundant supply of spare parts at AMARC – use that supply.
33) Denying spare-parts from AMARC to in-service planes when in-service planes need spare parts can result in either the grounding and mothballing of those in-service planes which need spare parts but lack them, or the cannibalizing of some in-service planes for spare parts, both of which is unacceptable.
34) The only solution to prevent the disasters spoken of in #33 from happening is to maintain an adequate supply of spare parts at AMARC or other aircraft maintenance centers.
35) America should guarantee TOT whenever bidding for Indian and British contracts.
36) As many scientists as possible should be allowed to immigrate to the US and recruited to work in American governmental laboratories – a total mobilization of the global scientific workforce should be conducted.
37) The DOD should not employ any unionized workers.
38) All exquisite pictures on the Pentagon’s walls, all luxury furniture items, all luxury lamps, all sculptures and all luxury carpets at the Pentagon should be sold and replaced with non-luxury, cheap items (http://www.defenselink.mil/dodcmsshare/photoessay/2006-12/hires_061215-D-7203T-041.JPG).
39) The NSA and the Defense Logistics Agency should, like agencies of the USDOD, sell their exquisite equipment, including exquisite cars. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fort_Belvoir_DLA_building.jpg)
40) Like the Schwarzenegger Administration of California, the DOD should organize a garage sale of all of its exquisite equipment (e.g. furniture, cars and lamps).
41) All contracts – even small contracts – must be competitive, that is, contractors must compete for it. (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2009807689_apusstimulusfactcheck.html)
42) Supervising America’s participation in conventional arms control treaties (which treaties should be repealed) shall be removed from the DTRA’s list of responsibilities.
43) No military parades involving any military vehicles should be organized.
44) Except the two fighterplane wings mentioned above, and the personnel of the Landstuhl hospital and Ramstein AFB, all American units stationed in Europe should be brought back to America and stationed at American bases (new bases should be built or leased for them if need be). Their bases in Europe should be given to host countries.
45) The DOD should stop writing and conducting Nuclear Posture Reviews, and should start issuing annual reports on the North Korean, Iranian, Russian and Venezuelan militaries.
46) A new National Defense Strategy – one that will treat conventional and irregular warfare equally and reject the numerous ridiculous notions (such as the claim that there will never again be a conventional war involving America) that the Pentagon subscribes to today – should be issued. The Joint Doctrine For Operations (which wrongly says that “that irregular warfare in the later phases of a campaign could require a level of military effort as great as—and perhaps greater than—what is needed for so-called major combat operations”) should be amended accordingly.
47) The National Security Council shall be stripped of its right to issue directives binding on the DOD.
48) M9 pistols should be retired and replaced with M1911 pistols; M16s should be replaced with M14s; M240 SAWs should be replaced with Ma Deuce machineguns.
49) America should withdraw from the UN and the UN Disarmament Conference and refuse to send its representatives to any disarmament conferences.
50) The 3 American airmen (Edmund Graves of Boston (MA), Arthur H Kelly of Richmond (VA) and G. MacCallum of Detroit (MI)) buried in the Eagles Cemetery in the Lychakovski Cemetery must be exhumated and buried in the Arlington National Cemetery. (http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cmentarz_Orląt#Pomnik_lotnik.C3.B3w_ameryka.C5.84skich)
51) The 3 unknown American soldiers buried in France should be exhumated and buried alongside the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_of_the_Unknowns#The_Unknown_of_World_War_I)
How the numbers add up
It is impossible for me to estimate the total savings that my reforms would yield, but some reforms would certainly yield large financial savings for the DOD. The table below outlines those savings.
|Item||Annual saving ($ bn) (in 2009 dollars)|
|Dept. Of the Air Force admin halving||3.479|
|Dept. Of the Navy admin halving||1.996|
|Dept. Of the Army admin reduction by 50%||3.6445|
|Discharging 400,000 military personnel||40|
|Abolition of the CIA||5|
|The new BRAC round||3|
|Reduction of the OSD budget by 75%||3.6|
|Total known annual savings||60.7195|