U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, questioned General James C. McConville, nominee for Chief of Staff of the United States Army, yesterday at a SASC hearing.
Inhofe: First of all, the Army’s stated objective for the sustainable readiness model is to maintain 66 percent of the BCTs ready to “fight tonight.” I think we’re all aware that at the end of the last administration, we were down to 33 percent. So, I would say, is the Army making significant progress toward 66 percent, and, if so, what’s the timeline?
Gen. McConville: Yes, Senator, over the last two and half years, we have made significant progress improving the readiness of the United States Army. The timely, adequate, predictable, sustainable funding that we’ve had has made a difference, and we’re well on the way to reaching that goal by 2022.
Inhofe: That’s good, that’s good. The last thing I want to mention is the surface-to-surface fires. We were all distressed when it wasn’t too long ago that it was stated that we are outgunned and outranged. We don’t want to be outgunned and outranged in the area of the Precision Fire Missile and Extended Range (or ERCA) Cannon. Where are we now, and how are we going to resolve that and get out of that posture so no one’s ever going to be able to say that we’re outranged and outgunned?
Gen. McConville: Yes, Senator, the number-one priority for the United States Army is long-range precision fires. We’re developing the Extended Range Cannon that’s going to shoot 70 kilometers and much further than that. Also at the operational level, we’re developing a Precision Strike Missile System, and at the strategic level, we’re developing a Strategic Long-range Cannon and hypersonic missiles. Future chiefs will no longer have to say that they are outgunned or outranged as we go in the future.
Inhofe: That’s great.