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Dr. Hamre's Briefing on Year 2000 issues

Presenter: Deputy Secretary of Defense Dr. John J. Hamre
January 15, 1999 1:30 PM EDT

Dr. Hamre's Briefing on Year 2000 issues.

(View/download accompanying slides)

Also participating were: Arthur L. Money, Senior Civilian Official for the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence); Dr. Marvin Langston, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for CIO Policy and Implementation in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (C3I); William Curtis, Principal Director, Year 2000 Office, OASD (C3I); Lt. Col. Warren Patterson, U. S. Army, Member, Y2K Joint Task Force, the Joint Staff)

Capt. Doubleday: Welcome to the briefing. This is a special briefing this afternoon. Before we get started, I just want to point out that we'll go through the first part of the briefing and then I will be here in the aftermath of that to answer any additional questions on other subjects.

With us this afternoon is the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Dr. John Hamre. With him are a small fraction of the people in the department who are focusing their attention on the subject that Dr. Hamre is going to be talking about, which is the Y2K problem and the various programs that we have underway to address that problem.

The department's chief information officer, Art Money, is here. His deputy, Marv Langston, is here. And then Bill Curtis, who is the department's principal director of the Y2K office, is also among those sitting over here to the side. Also, there is Army Lt. Col. Warren Patterson, who is a part of the joint staff, who has been working on this issue. With that, I'll turn over the podium to Dr. Hamre.

Dr. Hamre: Art and I were laughing when Mike said there's a small fraction. I want to know that's on a numbers basis, not a weight basis. (Laughter)

Art gave me this yesterday. [Points to Year 2000 clock.] I just want to report there are 351 days, 10 hours and 26 minutes until the millennium occurs, at least here in Washington. I think this is on Eastern Standard Time. I would like, if I could, to put the bottom line message up front for everyone, which is the Department of Defense will be able to protect the United States of America and its allies in 351 days and 12 hours. There's not a question about that. And I hope to go through that with you today.

Let me go to the first chart if I could.

What I would like to do is review where we are. We just had a day-long session on Saturday. About 200 people that we met with, all of the senior leadership of the department, the military departments, the defense agencies, to look at where we are for the Year 2000. And I must confess this was for me, a crucial session. Because when we set this time, it was about six weeks ago when frankly, I didn't think we were going to nearly as well. And so we put a very firm marker down that on the, I think, it was the 9th of January when we did get together, that would be the test as to whether we would continue to let the individual departments run the programs or whether we would take them over and to try to accelerate things. And I'd like to basically give you the results of what we found out at the -- at our review last Saturday.

Back in the summer when we were tracking, and this I can tell you, mission critical systems. This means that if any one of these systems is not functioning, that some critical element of the department's activities we couldn't execute. We would fail. And so, this is anything from nuclear command and control down to individual weapons systems that we are tracking. And we're tracking, as you can see, 2,300 systems that fall in this category. What alarmed us was back in September and August when we were in this category and we had 2,300 to go, the line, the progress line was moving like that. And so, we went into hyperdrive here in the last two months. And as of the end of December, 1st of January, we have 1,673 of our systems that are fixed.

Let me just say, this isn't just that we're telling you they're fixed. This is an independent corroboration and certification that they're fixed. Now, we're going through another test program in addition to that. This is what 1999 is dedicated to: realistic testing. And we will go through a bit of this. Col. Patterson is going to show you one example of some of the testing. But as of right now, we are 1,673 and I'll show you some bar charts shortly. This is the target date that has specified for us by the President to have things ready. And we will have about 94% of our systems fixed as of the end of March. And we absolutely will have 100% done by the end of the year.

Let's go to the next chart if we could.

This is where we stand today. 84% of our systems are Y2K compliant today. Now, I will tell you that of the 81%, 8% of them involve fielding. So, for example, we have a proven fix for a ship, a destroyer, but not all destroyers have been outfitted with the fix. And that's what this little shaded area represents is: it's a fix, the system works, we've proven it works, but it isn't completely fielded yet in the service. Truth in advertising. As you can see, that gets smaller because as we have less than 1%, it actually turns out there are six systems that will not be fully deployed by the end of the year. But I'll give you an example. One of them is THAAD, Theater High Altitude Air Defense system and it's IOC, it's initial operational capability is 2006. So it isn't a problem. We will be 100% ready by the end of the year.

Okay. Next chart please.

We are going to be spending much of this year in very, very detailed testing. First let me help you read the chart. This is, of course, the month of 1999. These are the various commands. And let me say the Secretary really motivated a solution to Year 2000 around here when he turned to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the Vice Chairman and to the CINCs. He said this is a warfighting issue. Rarely do you know the time and the place and the date precisely when the enemy will attack. But we do know in this case. It's midnight on the 31st of December. He said this is warfighting issue. This isn't just a computer geek issue, this is a warfighting issue and I'm holding you responsible for it. So he put the CINCs in charge of testing to say I've been given a system, it reportedly has been fixed, but it's going to be the CINCs who are going to test it end to end to find out if it really works. This is the test schedule. Each one of the CINCs has test windows and we will go through one. Col. Patterson is going to go through one that we have already conducted out at SPACECOM where we are doing detailed testing, end to end testing for each of the systems. Now, this captures not 100% of the functionality, but enough to confirm that the fixes are in place. We will go through that in just a second.

Let's go to the next chart please.

I'd like to point out that there are broad phases for our efforts here. The remediation phase is that first chart. All of the systems are getting corrected. Identify what needs to be fixed, fixing them, testing them to make sure they're fixed. And that phase is going on and it will largely end here by the end of the year. It phases out. We are now going to track each individual system that's left because we've now accomplished so much. By the end of March, we will largely have -- we'll be down to 100, 150 or so. At the same time, we're doing contingency planning so if something were to go awry, what would we do. So if all of a sudden, we don't have, for example, a mission planning system for an aircraft, how we will work around that problem. And that's also going to be done during the testing phase that you saw for each of the unified commanders when they're doing that work.

Operational testing is underway as I showed you in the previous chart throughout this period. And this is where we'll do the end to end testing. I'm going to turn to Col. Patterson very shortly to give you a sense of that.

Let me point out there's something new that we'll shifting our emphasis to now and that is consequence support planning. We don't know what problems might occur. We think they're actually going to be very modest because we think the bulk of the country is really doing what we're doing: getting on top of this problem. But not knowing that, we're going to go through a series of exercises to determine where would we be called to do supplementary support activities and how would we do that. And we'll be doing that over the next couple of months. This is a coordinated effort for the federal government. We are obviously the only part of the federal government that is not optimized for peacetime, day-to-day operations. We mobilize. So we can bring assets to the table that are qualitatively different the day before and the day after. We're the only part of the federal government that can do that. And so, we have things like power generation capabilities and air traffic control capabilities, water purification, things of this nature. And we'll be doing some tabletop exercises to find out what do we need to do and how will we command and control those activities.

Let me again emphasize, we have a lot of insight into what's going on in the private sector. And we are really very confident that we're not going to have the wide scale disruption that some people have been forecasting. We think it's not going to be nearly so significant, but we are prepared to do the detailed planning to be supportive where we have to.

And then finally, we will participate in the Year 2000 operations center that's going to be set up. We will probably provide a lot of the communications and things of that nature. And that will be starting up this fall.

I'd like to turn very quickly if I could to Col. Patterson. I will come back. I've got a wrap up chart and we'll come back to that. But if I could ask Col. Patterson to come up and to give you a run down on an operational evaluation we actually undertook to part of this testing that's underway.

Col. Patterson.

Col. Patterson: Good afternoon. I am Lt. Col. Warren Patterson and I am currently assigned to the Joint Staff Year 2000 task force. And I am specifically the branch chief for the operational evaluations branch. We were stood up about five months ago and tasked or charted to design the process and the methodology that the individual CINCs would use in conducting their individual Op-Evals, operational evaluations.

Let me clarify something up front so we have the terminology down. There is a major difference between a systems test and an operational evaluation. The systems have already undergone tests through the owning services and agencies before they are brought into the operational environment. When the CINC comes on-line to conduct an operational evaluation, one of the ground rules is that he has to bring with him systems that are already Y2K compliant or a contingency plan is in place for that system that may not be Y2K compliant. So that's one of the basic ground rules.

Back in December of 1998, specifically from the 2nd through the 4th of December, CINC NORAD [North American Aerospace Defense Command] conducted the first in a series of operational evaluations. In fact, it was the first in what will be a series of roughly 27 operational evaluations between now and September '99. It was the first in a series of operational evaluations that CINC NORAD will, in fact, do over the next few months.

Next slide.

The first mission, and once again, let me clear something else up about the operational evaluations. The purpose, again, is not to test the system but to evaluate a CINC's ability to do a mission, the process that the CINC has to undertake. That's the purpose of the operational evaluation. The first mission that CINC NORAD elected to do was his ability to perform the strategic, early warning mission or ITWAA, Integrated Tactical Warning Attack Assessment. He did this successfully. Bottom line, up front, very successfully. That is a logical first mission to start with. CINC NORAD is charged with a three piece mission. The first piece being early warning and detection, the second piece being execution, the third piece being post execution. So logically, the early warning piece was the first piece that the CINC needed to do.

I want to tell you up front it was a great effort. It was a team effort all the way. It was a collaborative effort with CINC NORAD leading the way, supported with personnel, facilities and equipment by CINC SPACE and CINC STRAT.

Next slide.

Let's talk a little bit about what it all entailed to get there. It was a three-day exercise from the 2nd to the 4th of December. It entailed going through five, what we call midnight crossings. DoD and the Joint Staff had mandated that each CINC as a minimum go through four midnight crossings or four dates. These are the dates that we find or we think will be most vulnerable in the Year 2000. CINC NORAD, I want to point out, not only did the four dates that we mandated, but he took it one step further. He did a fifth date, 31 December 2000 through 1 January 2001. Five critical dates, all successfully crossed over a three day test period. He did it at 12 hour intervals each day. The reason he kept it at 12 hours, it allowed him time to come out of the virtual 2000 environment to roll back into 1998 to check his equipment, his software and his hardware out and prepare to go back into 2000 the next day. During that three days, it was a very intense op tempo. He injected 30 plus, well over 30 missile events into his sensors. So it was a very robust, very high op tempo three day exercise. Again, success from beginning to end. Very well thought out, very well planned.

Next slide.

I put this up not to tell you that I'm a technical whiz because I'm not. I'm an operator, a warfighter. But this chart shows the complexity of what they had to do in a three day period. Very complex exercise. The first thing that I want to point out is it was a three tier approach. His process to conduct that early warning mission was three tier, starting with a sensor level, the early warning sensors out there, correlation centers and the decision makers. Sensors sight information. They detect the warning launch. Information is fed through communications systems into a correlation center where the information is received, it's cleaned up. It's analyzed and it's re-disseminated back out down to the decision makers located at three separate sites, STRATCOM headquarters, the National Military Command Center here, as well as Site R. So you see, this was a very complex operation that they had to undergo.

I also want to point out to you that there are 24 systems involved in his architecture that he designed. Twenty-four systems spread out over seven locations on a very large geographically dispersed area. Of the 24 systems, I want to point out in the lighter blue here. These systems all had clocks in them that had to synchronized and rolled forward and rolled back through the critical dates. So that was 19 systems out of 24 that the operators and technicians had to synchronize to go into the virtual Year 2000 environment and come back out of. He was able to do all of that using in-house, assigned personnel, operators and technicians. It did require, because of complexity, to bring in roughly 18 technicians from outside the organization to help with this. And that's part of what we do in the operational evaluations branch to line up these things, schedule them and help with any technical assistance that they may need.

Next slide.

This is my final slide. I just want to point out, number one, bottom line up front. Three day, very complex exercise. Highly successful. My hat's off to CINC NORAD, CINC SPACE and CINC STRAT. Very well done, very well planned, very well executed. They found that there was no degradation in any of the systems, whether they were in the Year 2000 environment, the virtual Year 2000 environment or whether they were in the real world, 1998 environment. Systems operated as they should as far as the data going into one end and coming out the other end within the prescribed timeframe, accurate, unambiguous, clean data. They did a great job and we are highly confident now at this point that CINC NORAD can do his early warning mission.

Any questions?

Q: How did you -- you had like 30 incoming missiles or was this done on the computer or how exactly did you did that?

A: (Patterson): I can't tell you the technical aspects behind it, but they were able to inject simulated --

A: (Hamre): I asked exactly this question on Saturday when we had the briefing. This was data that was injected as though it was being sensed for the first time by a radar site. We ran 30 different scenarios. It wasn't just 30 different warheads coming in. So it was 30 different scenarios that were run over this three day period of time. So it was a very robust test environment.

Q: (Inaudible) involving one incoming missile?

A: (Hamre): No. They were different configurations. Some were large configurations and some were small. Different azimuths, different directions.

Q: There were 30 different simulations, some of them being mass attacks, some of them being single missiles.

A: (Hamre): Yes. And in every case, the systems worked as designed.

Q: How much work or reconfiguring or rewriting of code did NORAD have to do to become compliant?

A: (Hamre) I don't know the answer to that? Do you know the answer?

A: (Patterson): We don't know the answer. We're now analyzing the data that's coming in and we can pull that information out.

A: (Hamre): We'll get an answer for you. I don't know. Let me go to the last slide and then I'll open up to questions.

Let me again get back to where we started. We now have 31 days, 10 hours and 9 minutes. But I don't think --

Q: (Inaudible)

A: (Hamre): It may. I don't know.

A: (Hamre): I don't think we're going to be having any difficulties. I mean, and I feel that way now after having had a very extensive review. Hats off to Art Money, to Marv Langston, to Bill Curtis for having done some heroic work. I should also say Jerry Halton Under Secretary of the Navy is here. And Jerry has been doing just yeoman work making sure the very complex problem is [being handled] inside a very complex service. Because remember, so much of the Navy is deployed all the time to try to integrate this into a coherent program.

As I said, our warfighters are doing the testing. This is independent testing. This isn't just a case where somebody says I'm fixed and trust me. We have independent checking to make sure this is going to occur. There are detailed contingency plans that are being developed. They're mostly in place now for individuals systems. We're doing mission wide contingency planning as well during these next couple of months. We have, as you would expect, placed special attention on our nuclear systems. And by that, I mean the nuclear systems big picture, early warning, custody issues, safety control issues, the whole works to make sure it's totally under positive control.

We are fully prepared to participate with the President's wider efforts to make sure that the federal government is going to be able to function successfully in Year 2000 and that we can support any disruptions that may occur in the American public.

Okay. Let's turn off the slides and let me turn to you for the first question.

Q: On any given day, a certain number of computers are probably on the fritz, blowing smoke and causing their operators to curse and kick. Is Y2K likely to be any worse than that?

A: (Hamre): It's -- you're obviously going to have individual, you know, my computer in my office the other day went kaflewy and we had to straighten it out. You're going to have that sort of thing. But it isn't going to be -- the bigger problem isn't that a computer is going to all of sudden go blank. It's that it's going to calculate unreliably. And so, that becomes the critical test. And we do not believe that's going to be a key problem. And we think it's going to be easy to differentiate between the system working and an individual computer having a problem or hiccup.

Q: Just one perspective question. It is you have 1.4 million active duty troops and you have something like more than 2 million computers? Do I have those numbers about right?

A: (Hamre): I don't know the numbers, but that wouldn't surprise me a bit. I mean, just because you go to any command center and you're going to see dozens of computer systems, not just computers. No, that wouldn't surprise me a bit.

Q: When I talk to service members, they got two big questions. The first one usually is in regard to the Y2K, are we going to get paid. And the second question is should we be doing something special about our health records and personnel records with Y2K coming up?

A: (Hamre): There's no question they're going to get paid. The systems, the pay systems, are already Year 2000 compliant. And they will be going through testing to make sure that they function on the expected host platform, that is the new computer systems, the underlying computers that will be running them. That will be happening here in March and April. So I don't think there's any question. Now, it's more complicated than just will our computers properly calculate pay. We have to get the electrons over to the Treasury Department. The Treasury Department has to pass on those electrons to the banks. The banks have to spread it out all over. We have, I think, something like 800 banks that we do business with on a day-to-day basis. And each one of those banks has to go through a detailed process. We've got to make sure the allotments are properly distributed, etc. The Treasury and the Comptroller of the Currency are working very intensively with the banking environment. I know this because my brother is a banker in a little bank in Iowa and he complains all the time about how intrusive we are in making sure his systems work. I feel pretty good about that.

On the personnel records, those were also part of the system. Every single personnel record, the DEERS systems, etc., is going to be Y2K compliant. Most of them are already fixed today.

Q: Back in October, you said that you anticipated the Y2K to be a nuisance, not a crisis. Do you still agree with that characterization?

A: (Hamre): We don't know where we're going to have some failures. Undoubtedly, we'll have some little things. I think it's going to be clearly in the category of nuisance. I'm very confident we don't have major problems now.

Q: You said by December 31st, there would be six systems including THAAD that won't be ready. What are the other five?

A: (Hamre): Oh boy. I was afraid you'd ask that. We'll give you for the record, but they're all new developments, things that are not going to be operational. But we've been keeping track of them because it's a major system currently under development. It's all the same category.

Q: You addressed this in one of your bullet points in the summary graph. But I wonder if you could address for us here in a little more detail what type of coordination the Department of Defense has made with other countries, particularly ones with strategic arms to make sure that a mistake on their side won't affect us?

A: (Hamre): Why don't you talk about what we've been doing with our allies and then I'll say something about Russia. Art Money. He's in charge of this whole area.

A: (Money): There's been heavy interaction with several nations. Bill Curtis has held what we call workshops with allies. We've had several in the NATO area. We've had interactions with the Soviets or the Russians that Dr. Hamre will talk to. I don't know, 30 or 40, help me, Bill, on the number of interactions with various countries. Another hat I wear is in the C3I area is the representative to NATO. So there, we've discussed with the 16 sitting NATO members, plus the three about to be new members, how the Y2K problem might or might not hamper operations from the alliance. So there have been fairly extensive discussions. But I will point out we have not had interaction with every country in the world by any means. It's been more with the folks that we're more closely aligned with. We've had outreach to others, but in some cases, that hasn't been picked up as much as we would like. The Russian area in particular.

A: (Hamre): If I could also say what Mr. Money has outlined is the relations that we have had, the Department of Defense to our counterparts in these other countries. Of course, each of the cabinet officers has been asked and charged for working with their counterparts in other countries. So there's much wider activity than just [the Department of Defense's]. We're talking about how we have been dealing with military establishments in other countries.

As it relates to Russia, I think everyone's primary concern revolves around early warning systems. We have had discussions and as you know, President Clinton and President Yeltsin in September agreed on a program to get shared early warning. We have a delegation that's going over next week to further work out the details of that. We will be able to have that operational if we can make progress with our counterparts in Russia over the next couple of weeks.

Q: So when you say you're talking to the other countries, are you providing them the technology or saying this is how we're doing it. This...

A: (Money): In some cases, but in others, it's sharing lessons learned on both sides, how to best approach areas. I think probably our biggest contribution to some of these other countries has been the extensiveness of testing, not only the individual system, but then the functional, cross functional, ultimately as you heard here from Col. Patterson, in a CINC Op-Eval. I think what comes to mind is a lot of countries thought just testing the individual system was maybe enough. I think that's maybe where our contribution's been the most extensive.

Just to add on to the -- where we interface and we do have dependencies, not only in the civil sector, but with other parts of the U.S. government, there's an interface [agreement], what we'll call an interface document that's written and discussed and signed. So any interaction as systems meet each other like what Dr. Hamre mentioned in passing data to the Treasury Department, so forth, those interfaces meet -- how they meet has been well known and an interface document has been signed, so in fact, the electrons can pass. That will also be tested, however.

Q: Do you have any costs estimates data (inaudible) compliant? And are you within your budget projections?

A: (Hamre): It's expensive. I think it's probably going to be $2.5 billion by the time this is all done. The last billion dollars was appropriated by Congress in the supplemental. We're in the final stages of getting that released. It's a very extensive effort. And if I might reference back to the previous question. There isn't a magic technology key that unlocks this problem for all systems. It's just an awful lot of pick and shovel work, going through lines of code. And so, it does take time and lots of testing to make sure you've uncovered things.

One of the things we found out in our discussions over the weekend were that there were a number of systems that came to us where the contractor said it's fixed, it's ready to go. We submitted it to detailed testing and found out there were still problems. But we had enough time to turn it back and turn it around.

Q: We're glad to hear that NORAD and STRATCOM and so on are prepared, but if I could return to the Russia issue for a minute, the same concerns exist when it comes to the Russian nuclear arsenal, certainly, and you mentioned their early warning systems. What's your sense of Russia's Y2K preparedness at this point and what is the DoD doing in working with the Russian military in terms of trying to make sure that that situation is also under control? Is there any concern, do they have the equivalent of our, I guess now retired, football, the mobile launch capability? How concerned are you about all that and what is DoD doing in terms of working with the Russians to try to address that?

A: (Hamre): Secretary Cohen has discussed this on three separate occasions with Minister Sergeyev. Minister Sergeyev has been appreciative of those discussions and as we indicated, all of that preceded the meeting that the President had with President Yeltsin that led to the shared early warning. My sense is that Russia is not as fully aware of the extent that this is a problem. And so, they are not -- they don't seem to have the same level of urgency that we have had over it. Having said that, I think we feel very comfortable that they will be able to retain positive control over their nuclear inventory. They have had -- invested extensively in positive control over their infrastructure. The default for failure is not to launch. The default is to freeze things up. So we're not anxious that there are going to be accidental occurrences as a result of Y2K for nuclear command and control systems. Having said that, we want to have the least amount of uncertainty in anyone's minds as to the implications, which is why we have entered into the discussion, why we're sending yet another team, why we hope that we can enter into the shared early warning environment this year.

Q: Do you have any concern about the early warning and are you planning on deploying troops differently, standing troops down here? Are you going to exchange troops for the event? Are you going to have a Russian at NORAD and an American at their equivalent facility?

A: (Hamre): Again, our concept of operations is that there will be a shared early warning center where both Americans and Russians will be side-by-side, participating in early warning, much as we did for air traffic control in Berlin when Berlin was still an isolated city. We had Americans, French, British and Russian technicians sitting side by side for 25 years. That's very much the image that we have of this.

Q: Is this something that will be built? Do you have a good grasp on where that will be and how it will function?

A: (Hamre): That is exactly the purpose of the delegation that we are sending over next week. Its part is to further that discussion.

Q: Do you envision a European based facility?

A: (Hamre): We are prepared to do it in Europe. We're prepared to do it here in the United States. And it's part of the follow up. I really have to wait until those meetings take place and the discussion occurs.

Q: Along the same lines, is that primarily been initiated because of concern about Y2K or is that something that was in the works before?

A: (Hamre): It had been in the works before, although the Year 2000 has brought a new sense of urgency, as it were, to trying to get that part of it going. We see it as a backdrop to a general environment of trying to lower tensions and uncertainty as it relates to missile launches around the world. And so, this is a key part of it. But that we are prepared to move faster and have made arrangements to be able to do that if we can before 2000 if we can.

Q: Where is the Y2K command post going to be domestically and who is going to operate it?

A: (Hamre): I'm sorry?

Q: You talked about a Y2K command center.

A: (Hamre): John Koskinen, who is the designated focal point for the President for Year 2000, is in the process of deciding how to set that up and what kind of a clearinghouse mechanism that will be. We're going to have a series of table top exercises to design that over the next couple of weeks.

Q: Is it going to be a DoD facility? Are you going to provide most of the computers and comm? Is it going to be run by FEMA? Is it going to be run by OMB?

A: (Hamre): Art, you may know better or Bill may know.

A: (Money): I think that's also part of the TBD [to be determined]. But DoD will in fact, have its own anyway. It plugs into the overall government, that's part of what Dr. Hamre just referred to. But DoD will have another one.

A: (Hamre): I think the center piece of it will largely revolve around FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] and the emergency response plans in each of the states. But again, let me just emphasize again, everything we see is that American industry is really getting on top of this problem. We have very close ties, again, Mr. Money is responsible for this, with the telecommunications industry because we run the emergency telecommunications network for the United States and we have extensive contacts with the major tel-cos. They are going to be ready. We do not envision problems in telecommunications. We are hearing very reassuring things about the energy networks. And just yesterday, because the Secretary is out of town, I went to a cabinet meeting, and John Koskinen gave a report to the President that we feel the electric distribution, the power distribution system, is going to be fine. But we still need to do responsible planning. And we will be doing that. The best way to do that is through a series of exercises, to what if questions, as it were.

Q: You mentioned THAAD and some other new systems that aren't yet compliant. I thought this whole Y2K problem was because of computers that dated back to the '70s and early '80s. How is it that systems that are now being built or not yet built are not compliant?

A: (Hamre): It's not that they're not compliant, it's that the code is being written and it hasn't gone through the certification process. Frankly, the things that weren't going to become operational until the next century, we just didn't worry about them, although we're keeping track of them. So don't be anxious about that.

Q: Just a system question. Could you speak to the capability and the projection for the ability of the Trident submarine command and control in the context of the larger Y2K issue here specifically?

A: (Hamre): As a matter of fact, we did talk about that on Saturday. And the Trident system right today is compliant.

Q: At least two states are going to have their National Guard standing by I guess the last two weeks of this year. Can American service members in other places or active duty people find that their Christmases are going to be ruined?

A: (Hamre): I'm glad you asked that because I have seen these reports. What I think has been mischaracterized is the sort of planning that's going on both at the state level and at the federal level that is in this category of consequence support. There is no mobilization plan right now for bringing the National Guard out or active duty military. We're not going to know the extent to which and how we should best support the civil sector until we go through some of this planning. People shouldn't be anxious about that. We will be ready to support whatever has to happen. But we're not going to know the dimension of that yet for another couple of weeks. Nobody's going to lose their Christmas, I don't believe, worrying about that problem.

Q: Can I go back to the money, the $2.5 billion. Is that what you project -

A: (Hamre): Money will handle money. (Laughter).

Q: (Money): Is the $2.5 billion about on target -- what's it's going to cost to project and does that include -- have you already factored in the testing through the end of the year?

A: (Money): Yes, as to the latter question. The former is very tough to estimate. The going-in estimates were for each line of code that was in a more or less stand alone system, maybe it was $1 per change. If it was an embedded line of code, it might be as much as $8 per change. Those are gross and average numbers. What we know, is it's costing us roughly $2.5 billion to do the remediation and also then go through all the testing.

Q: What was you last projection on what it would cost? You had one OMB report for $1.9 billion and then the next OMB report...

A: (Money): We have monthly OMB reports. And up until recently, it was about $1.9 billion. But then we laid in the extensiveness of this testing that we wanted then to go through. That added another $600 million to get you to the $2.5 [billion] rough numbers.

Q: Are you going to ask for more money?

A: (Money): We'll see how these tests go. If you recall that slide that Dr. Hamre showed, there's a first test and then there's a back up for every one of those in case something goes awry. If that's the case, we're likely to need some more, but that will be TBD after we see what the existence of the first test.

A: (Hamre): I put on my old comptroller hat. No, Art doesn't get any more money. He's got to make it work with this.

Q: On the delegation going to Russia, is that DoD people or who's going?

A: (Hamre): I think it's largely DoD. We may have some representatives from the National Security Council and from the State Department. We usually go on issues like this with the State Department as well.

Q: (Inaudible)

A: (Hamre): Ted Warner's shop, but I'm not sure if he's going himself personally or if he has someone else going. We'll find the answer.

Q: When is it that they're going?

A: (Hamre): I think it's next week. I think that was what I heard from Ted. We'll find that out.

  • Q: You said Russia's not taking it quite as seriously at this point as perhaps they could. That's not necessarily confidence inspiring.
  • A: (Hamre): What I need to say is they may be taking it seriously. But they've got a lot of other pretty serious problems. So I think therein lies the -- our nervousness about it. We would love to see in Russia the same degree of passion about this that we have. We have to understand that they are a very different situation. They have come to this much later. They haven't had, you know, the country is going through some fairly profound changes. And so, they haven't had the central focus. It's only been about a year that they've had an office that was really trying to work this problem. And with astounding changes that have been going on. So we would like to see more, but we're grateful that they have positively responded when we've raised the issue. As I say, things that we're most concerned about they are engaging with us on it. I don't know what more I can say. I think we feel good about what we have right now.

Q: But given their intercontinental nuclear capability and hopefully, a lot of this is media hysteria, but we have seen a lot of reports about how things are going to go haywire and power grids will go down and communications will fail and who knows how computers are going to react or how people will react when their computers fail.

A: (Hamre): I think those are the same people trying to sell gold bouillon. (Laughter)

Q: How confident are you at this point that that's not going to be a serious issue? You can speak authoritatively about our Department of Defense, but...

A: (Hamre): And it took us a lot to be able to get to this level of confidence for us.

Q: How sure can you be that the Russian military will be up to speed when the moment comes?

A: (Hamre): Undoubtedly, they're going to have difficulties and undoubtedly, they're going to have problems that they don't anticipate right now. But as a military entity, they have been far more conservative for human intervention for control and have had far less of a dependence on strict automatic, automated command and control systems. So they will have back up and redundancy that we frankly have never engineered into our systems. Again, we're not forecasting that they won't have difficulties. But I think we should also not try to create frightening hypothetical scenarios that I don't think are in scale with the way we understood that they've organized themselves for 35 years.

Q: But there's still a lot of work to be done.

A: (Hamre): There's a lot of work to be done, absolutely. And we do, too. I don't want to overstate it. We're not finished yet here. We've got an awful lot of work ourselves.

Q: Any area that does greatly concern you, any country or any area in this country that bothers you...

A: (Hamre): I think as I said, we have a good deal of insight into the telecommunications industry. And we feel fairly confident about the telecommunications industry. We don't have, because we, DoD, don't have an oversight or a liaison roll into the energy industry in America. And so, we are dependent on what we're being told by other organizations. We're hearing encouraging things, but we know less about that. And so, I think, therein lies -- as a matter of fact, on Saturday, almost invariably, one of the questions was, we still don't know about installation X. The power grid may be fine across the country, but what may happen in an individual locality. We have some uncertainties there and that's what we've got this year to work through.

We think the banking structure is going to be fine. Banking and finance structure is going to be fine. So we're not as anxious there. I'm talking largely of the United States.

Overseas, obviously, we look to see where people have been spending the greatest amount of attention. It has been almost to our level, I think, but based on Mr. Money's reports, you see comparable level of energy in Canada and in the United Kingdom and in Australia and in Germany and places like that. You will see very intensive activity. You see less intensive activity in Asia, but I don't know that that means that they aren't doing it. It may mean that we just don't have insights. But again, we need to separate our lack of knowledge from our fear that the worse case is going to occur. I think that's -- reassure people it's a very different situation, I think. But it took a lot of work for us to get to that phase.

Q: Have you got a handle on how the Chinese are doing?

A: (Hamre): No. I don't think we have too much insight [there]. Remember, the basic military posture doesn't cause us to be worried that they are going to be unacceptable, catastrophic consequences. We don't think that's going to be the case at all.

Q: Will Congressman Horn have the same confidence in your Y2K efforts?

A: (Hamre): I don't know, but his chief of staff sat through our entire session on Saturday. I know he intends to have some hearings. We gave him every bit of the material that we were using ourselves. He sat through the entire session. So I hope that we have helped to build some confidence in Congressman Horn, too.

We also had representatives from the Senate oversight committee, Senator's Bennett's committee. The chief of staff was there from his committee all through Saturday. We had representatives from our Defense oversight committees as well.

Q: In October when you met with a group of reporters, Dr. Hamre, you predicted that 95% of mission critical systems would be ready by, actually by this date, the 1st of the year. You're 81%. You're going to be 93% in March '99. It says you have to be 100%. Why should we have confidence that you will be 100% by the Year 2000?

A: (Hamre): Well, we now know with every single system where it is, where it stands, by independent looks at it. I didn't have that kind of knowledge back in October when I met with all of you. It was our forecast: what we were hoping to be the case. We fell short of where we wanted to be. But I know now we will be able to make it based on what we've seen. Believe me, we've drilled everybody. It's because the people that have to go to war are the ones that are now checking to make sure that it's going to be there to support them. So I feel pretty good about it now.

Q: Defense Secretary Cohen had threatened to impose a moratorium on the development of new software and to modify what you already have. With the progress you've made, is that still necessary?

A: (Hamre): My feeling is, and I haven't yet reported this to the Secretary because he's been on travel, but I don't believe that we're going to need to do that now. I believe that there's sufficient energy and discipline in the system that we don't have to do that at this stage.

Q: My final point here is that the number of mission critical systems appears to be growing since the OMB report in November. I could be wrong about this. Is there a fluctuation in the number identified?

A: (Hamre): It moves up and it moves down as you study a case. And you find out that one system is really a subroutine in another system or you'll find something that you thought was one system, turns out there are three variants. So the number does bubble around a little bit. But it isn't a dramatically different picture.

A: (Money): Let me just add that as time has gone along, back to your previous question, we know a lot more now then we did in the plan for October. Consequently, our confidence is heightened. So we -- I strongly believe this plan greater than I believed the October plan. So back to your first question. The number of mission critical systems is, in fact, declining because as you work through this, something that was once deemed to be mission critical, people say that's no longer necessary, especially since the CINC's involvement started to happen. And also, probably that other number you're referring to is 1,900 or whatever. This [figure] combined the intelligence programs that were needed in addition to all the others where we had kept that separate in a lot of the previous reporting. So this is total DoD. Roughly 500 intelligence systems are imbedded in those numbers.

Q: Is there a problem in that there's not a standard definition of what is mission critical system? Is that changing as you go along?

A: (Hamre): Part of it is what mission critical is in the eye of the beholder. If you had a program manager that came forward and said my system isn't mission critical, you'd probably fire them. You want them to believe that what they're working on is critical. And so a lot of it was definitional. In the earlier phases, we were letting other people define for themselves whether what they were working on was critical or not. That led to overpopulation of the list of mission critical systems. We feel very confident that these systems have to work on the 1st of January if we're going to be able to carry out our composite mission here in the department.

Q: Do you know how many systems were considered mission critical at the beginning of this process that are no longer considered mission critical?

A: (Hamre): I don't remember how many scrubbed out. A couple hundred, I suppose. Or more.

  • Q: It's more than just weapons transportation, communications --
  • A: (Hamre): The little thing that makes labels in the grocery stores and our commissaries. You know, it's all that kind of stuff. In our building, you don't say you're not mission critical. It's like people not saying they're not mission essential when we have government shutdowns. Everybody wants to be here. It has taken outsiders looking at it to say do we have to have this system or not? Does it have to function the way it currently functions or not on the 1st of January? That became the criteria.

Q: So hundreds of computer systems or computer networks shifted from the mission critical category to the non-mission critical category?

A: (Hamre): We're still working on them. Those are all being tracked as well. I'm just giving you the report on the ones that have to work.

Q: Dr. Hamre, what impact do you think that this is going to have -- the problem is going to have on U.S. military operations overseas? For example, would you envision aircraft not being able to fly into airports in some countries that we're not convinced are Y2K compliant?

A: (Hamre): I personally don't believe so. Because part of what the FAA is charged to do, Department of Transportation is charged to do, is to work through the international air transportation thing, ICAO, I think it's called, to make sure that those systems are going to be functioning. Everything we're hearing is that that's not going to be a problem. Now, we do, of course, have contingency capabilities that we can take if it's a military activity that needs to sustained. So I don't personally believe we're going to have problems when we get to that. But we have backup capabilities in the Department of Defense.

Q: Thank you.

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