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A Conversation with Gary Roughead, Admiral, United States Navy, Chief of Naval Operations

Speaker: Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, United States Navy
Presider: John F. Lehman, Chairman, J.F. Lehman & Co.
May 19, 2011, Washington D.C.
Council on Foreign Relations

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(Note: This event was fed in progress.)

JOHN F. LEHMAN: (In progress) -- council meeting with Admiral Gary Roughead. Before we go any further, let me admonish you to turn off your cellphone and iPhones and really turn them off, unlike the way you cheat on the shuttle -- (laughter) -- because it affects the recording system. So be sure and turn them off.

We are today on the record, and so our usual onerous rules do not apply. Everything is on the record.

And so I would normally say, with someone so well-known to the council as Admiral Roughead, that he needs no introduction, but as you know, as Henry Kissinger has reminded this house numerous times, those who need no introductions -- (imitating Kissinger's accent and voice) -- are the ones who crave it the most. (Laughter.)

So I will -- I -- (laughter) -- Admiral Roughead's bio is so long that -- you've got copies of it, so I won't recite it to you. But I just would like to say that he's a youngster, graduated from the Naval Academy in '73. And you will see that he's got a chest full of medals and decorations, which are not even all that he has, but they are different from most or many four-stars in the Pentagon in that nearly every one of them has been earned at sea and in operational command. He is a salty dog, and they are not commemorating bureaucratic wars in the Pentagon. He is -- I think he has a unique operational record. He's commanded a destroyer, a cruiser, a CRUDESGRU, a carrier battle group. He's commanded a numbered fleet, the 2nd Fleet, the Pacific Fleet, the Atlantic Fleet, the NATO Strike Fleet. And he, in his limited shore duty, was commandant at the Naval Academy and chief of legislative affairs for the Navy.

So we're really pleased to have you back, Admiral.

ADMIRAL GARY ROUGHEAD: Thank you.

LEHMAN: And we will -- I'd like to ask you to kick it off. The floor is yours. Then we'll go to questions.

ROUGHEAD: OK. Well, thank you very much, and thanks for the opportunity to talk a bit about the Navy and the environment that we're in and we'll possibly be in in the future.

I think the best way to capture the Navy today is to simply look back over the last two to three months. And I'm often asked: Is the strategy valid? Are we doing the right things?

And I was asked that question a couple of months ago, on the eve of operations in Libya, when I knew what we were going to be doing, and it was not out in the public domain. And I -- when I received the question, I thought about it a bit and thought that at that moment in time, we had our ballistic missile force on control, as it has been for decades. I consider it to be -- and I think many would agree -- that it's most survivable leg of our nuclear triad.

We had two aircraft carriers in the North Arabian Sea as the changes were and are sweeping through the Middle East. We had forces down in the Somali Basin conducting coalition counterpiracy operations.

We had 14,000 sailors on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is somewhat unusual, for a Navy to have that.

And then going a bit further to the east, we had an aircraft carrier strike group on its way to combat operations in the Middle East, but within 24 hours it diverted and was providing humanitarian assistance to Japan.

And so when you look at our strategy that called for the Navy to be a deterrent force; being forward and global; being able to exercise power projection, as we did in Libya; sea control, as we did in Libya; being able to conduct maritime security, as we were doing off the coast of Somalia; and then being able to perform humanitarian and disaster response, as we were doing in Japan, that one moment in time, what we stated we believed the Navy must be, must be able to do, was happening.

We are about ready to begin another review of the Defense Department and where we will go with the Defense Department and, in my case, where the Navy must go. I think for the first time it will be the most acute examination of strategy and budget that we have undertaken in a long time.

I think those who have been in the budget wars, every budget war is the most acute one. But this one I think is being driven in different ways and by different factors.

And so as I go through this process, understanding full well that the economy is something that must be addressed, I nonetheless look at: What do you want in a navy? Where do you want that navy to be? How reponsive do you want it? What are the characteristics of it? And that's where I think we will go.

And the question that I will ask is, not only what do want to be able to do, but what are you willing to not have in your pocket when the world takes us into places where we might otherwise not want to be?

With that said, I'll open it up because I think people would rather have their questions answered than me expound.

LEHMAN: Well, you're very generous but I am more anal. I'm not going to let you open it up because I'll get to ask the first questions. (Laughter.) And the first one I'd like you to address is, what really is your vision of the Navy of the future?

We see -- you know, we've gone through the end of history, and the sudden emergence of a whole variation of different kinds of potentially mortal threats, and so it's very clear to the world that we do have global responsiblities. Our economy, our culture is dependent now globally in a way that has never been the case to this extent in the future.

So navies are the presence that keeps that stability, historically. So talk a little bit about how you see the Navy 10 years from now as to its makeup, the platforms, and hence from those talk a little bit about what your program priorities are, and --

ROUGHEAD: The one fundamental that I think is often lost is, as John alluded to, is that navies exist to support the security and prosperity of the country. I think all too often we tend to put the emphasis more on the security piece. But throughout history, as economies rise navies rise with it. We see it with the Portuguese, with the Spanish, with the British, the United States; we're seeing China undergo the same transformation.

And the one thing that has remained constant as events have transformed in the world, the amount of trade that moves on the ocean is relatively unchanged. It's over 90 percent, you know, you'll see 90, 95 percent.

The amount of energy that moves on the ocean is essentially almost all of it. Recent change in history is how much money moves on the ocean floor, (say it ?) swims with the fishes, but it's about $3.2 trillion a year that move on tranoceanic cables in the form of transactions that are taking place.

And so the maritime domain is going to remain very important, and indeed, as world events unfolded that trade continued on. I think, too, the other thing that's going to be very different as we go into the future is that for the first time some of the trade patterns are going to change. The amounts won't, but the patterns will.

And in a few short years you'll see the expansion of the Panama Canal have an effect on trade between Europe and Asia. It will set up a whole new set of intermodal points in the United States. And I can circle back around and talk about the impact of earmarks on that, if anybody would like to touch on that.

And then the biggest thing will happen in the period over the next 25 years. Something that has not happened since the end of the ice age. And that's the opening of the Arctic. And we can debate, you know, why the climate is changing but the fact of the matter is there's more water to the north than there has been in the past.

And our view is that the first changes will be fishing stocks will migrate with water temperature, so there'll be more activity. Then will come the mineral extraction and then in about 25 years you will have open and reliable trade routes between Europe and Asia that will save millions of dollars over the norm.

And so that whole system of trade, commerce, interest in sea lanes, will remain. And so I subscribe to the fact that our Navy does exist to provide for the security of the United States, to be able to control world events by being a deterrent force and assurance force to friends and partners, and having that Navy forward and being able to do those types of things. But it also exists to grease this intercourse that takes place globally, culturally.

And so as I look at the future and I look at the next 10 to 20 years, the fleet that I believe that the nation must have is one that can be forward, that can respond quickly and flexibly. It's a fleet that can't be so specialized in its "eaches" that we price ourselves out of business, so how do you get the flexibility and the types of things that you need, and that's what we've been about on my watch.

When I came into this position, it was clear to me that as you look at defense budgets, they follow a very nice sine curve. We were on a very inflated curve for far too long, and so my sense was, on my watch, it was going to come down. And I will admit that I didn't see it coming down -- didn't see the economy turning as much as it has and the pressures that would result from that.

But I knew that it was going to come down, and so the objective that we set forth was, let's go ahead and get some good stable production lines that can provide the Navy, provide the nation, with the types of things that we're going to need to do what I talked about earlier: maritime security, power projection, sea control, and also being that deterrent force.

And so what we have done is to address our major investments in our submarine force, where we're building -- and this year we moved to two a year from one a year -- nuclear attack submarines; designing the new ballistic missile submarines that will be in service until 2080 -- start building in 2019; putting in place shipbuilding programs, such as the littoral combat ship for maritime security, antisubmarine warfare, mine warfare, that are able to move quickly and operate in areas -- in littoral areas, because that's the other trend that's going to be upon us is the compression of populations to the coast, to the littoral areas. Most of the mega-cities are going to be in that littoral band, and so being able to operate in close, being able to operate with other navies and maritime forces in that region is going to be very important. That's the littoral combat ship.

Technology marches ahead, and so for that reason, we are heavily focused on integrated air and missile defense. Proliferation of ballistic missiles has been extraordinary, and the Navy not only has been put on point, if you will, or in the lead for maritime ballistic missiles, and so we're also putting our system ashore in -- most recently announced in Romania, and that will be manned by Navy because of our expertise in that particular field.

In aviation we know that we have to move into fifth-generation aircraft -- (inaudible) -- sophisticated air defense systems. We know that with the proliferation of submarines globally -- the number is increasing, and it's not just China -- the ability to be out over the water, to be able to monitor those types of things will have to be addressed. And then we're moving pretty aggressively into unmanned systems, because one of the other pressures that we have to deal with is the cost of manpower as we go forward and how do you control the number of people that you need going forward.

So that's, in a nutshell, the major elements of the fleet that we are putting together.

One of the other things that we have done -- perhaps a bit more boldly than the other services -- is that we have committed to the fact that information and how information is sensed, moved and analyzed is going to be more central to our naval operations than what we've done in the past, which is to have the centrality focused on the ship, the submarine or the airplane. They will still be important, but how we move information, how we sense information, how we operate in cyberspace -- the term that everyone likes to use -- has caused us in the last two years to restructure ourselves, to establish an organization that has global responsibility and activity in cyber (work ?) globally; and then to take the human capital, which is always the most important thing that we have, and form that into what we're calling an information dominance corps, and when we do that, it's 45,000 people.

And so that's the environment that we see, those are some of the general trends that we're investing in, and I think that the future will be one of highly informationalized -- and I'm stealing a word from my Chinese friends in that regard -- environments. How quickly can you move the information and get it to the right person at the right time, in the right place, in the right form? And so that's kind of where we're heading.

LEHMAN: Thank you. Well, that leads right into the issue of how we're going to provide that. And I'd like to get your views on -- there's a, finally, a real awareness, certainly in the secretary of defense and the senior leadership, that the system for procuring beams, bullets and ships is not working, that -- as Secretary Gates has pointed out, the original staff of OSD, which in the '47 law, was limited to 50, is now 750,000 -- and that the growth of the bureaucracy, and more importantly, the bureaucratic system as a way to, quote, "manage resources," has really destroyed accountability and line management.

And while there were many good intentions with Goldwater-Nichols and some good effects in joint operations, one of the worst things that's obvious now, because you can date it from the passage of that legislation when the acquisition programs really started to spiral out of control, is that the service chiefs were taken out of the -- out of the acquisition world. And in my experience, the service chiefs represented the most essential insight as to the tradeoffs.

Do we need more of these or more of those? Do we spend 25 years developing a stealthy this or that and give up numbers and less sophisticated -- 95 percent of the capability, I think -- I'm not picking on stealth, but just as an example -- why don't you get back into the procurement field? And I mean, why don't you chiefs --

ROUGHEAD: Well, I would say that one of the things that we in the Navy have done, and I think that you were right on, and what I call the bifurcation of the acquisition process is one that, as I've looked at it, to a certain degree, we let it happen. When I look at the law, there are certain elements that there is a bifurcation between those who set the requirements and write the checks, and then those who go out and acquire the equipment. But we allowed it to be more than it needed to be.

And for me, coming into the position and looking at where we were, looking at that economic environment -- budgetary environment that I saw, and then coming in, to your point, from the fleet where that tends to capture me as opposed to how well the milestones and how structured the program is, is: What is it that we're delivering to the sailor? That's what my driver has been.

I looked at programs, for example, like the DDG 1000 -- very expensive program, very high-end technology -- a technological marvel without question. But it began its evolution when I was a lieutenant commander. It has taken that long and has gone through many iterations to get to where it is now, but the environment and the threat environment had changed, and the ship was not going to be able to deliver on what I saw as the developing threat of integrated air-and-missile defense proliferation of submarines. And so for that reason, we moved to truncate that program.

The Lateral Combat Ship that, right before Christmas, we got the green light to build 20, because we finally got the price under control: I can trace that process to a meeting where we brought together the program managers, the technical people that deal with that work in the Navy, and key members of my staff, and we went into a room about this size. And we said: There is an acquisition issue, there is a requirements issue, there is a funding issue, but we have a common problem, and that's delivering the ship to the United States Navy. And we have to fix it.

And it took us two years. We canceled two ships right out of the chute. But we got the program under control, and we were approved by Congress to buy 20. I don't think we've been given a green light to buy 20 ships in a long time.

And so we are forcing that process back together, but there's another area that I think plays into this. And that is that, in addition to a highly structured and very bureaucratic process in the acquisition system with boards and councils that review all the requirements, one of the things that I think we have not allowed ourselves to do is to fail. And I say that in the context of failure on occasion being a good thing.

And so the idea that you could try something and maybe it didn't quite (pan ?) out the way that you wanted it to is almost something that you avoid at all costs. As opposed to saying, "We tried something; it didn't quite work the way we want it to; what went wrong, and let's give it another shot," the tendency is, if you allow something to fail, then you lose it forever. That was one of the reasons why I wanted to -- you know, why we cancelled the LCSs, because I thought we were going to loose the whole -- the whole thing.

So associated with that aversion to failure is an extraordinary testing program that we have put in place. And that testing program takes time, it takes a lot of resources. And the example that I've cited -- and I'm pleased to say that we've kind of walked it back from where it was -- we are in the process of getting ready to build some crafts for the Marine Corps. They're hover crafts that move things from amphibious ships ashore. The ones we initially built are old. They have to be replaced. So we're basically reproducing the same thing that we built. Obviously, improvements in some of the technology allow us to improve reliability, maintainability.

And so -- but it's a repeat. It's like a -- you know, a Ford 150 pickup truck, only this time you're going to have a transistor radio in it instead of tubes. And yet, we were going to have to build (three ?) of those for the test program. And before we could go to production -- it was going to take us two years to get through that test program -- that we estimated the cost of that testing was $100 million, to repeat the same vehicle. And so we took that on, and we've walked that one back.

But I think that that's also a function. Not only bureaucratically have we made the system very complex and laid in a lot of checkers on top of, you know, what we're trying to do, but that we also have, in our aversion to failure, put in place things that we will test it to a fare-thee-well to make sure that it's a hundred percent of what we want. And the cost just continues to grow and grow and grow, to get that 100-percent solution instead of the 80-percent solution.

No one should take away from this that I ever want to put a sailor in harm's way where there's risk to life or to mission. I mean, we'll always keep the focus on that. But I think we've let the pendulum swing far too far.

LEHMAN: The admiral is being too modest, because what he's describing was actually very gutsy because this is really outside the law, outside the intent of the law. It's perfectly legal, but the intention of the legislation was to get the uniformed people completely out of -- out of procurement. And it's the fact that we've -- one of the most optimistic developments I've seen is the fact that this secretary of defense and Ash Carter, the procurement chief, really get it, that they have to have some line accountability with people who know -- who have been at sea, the Navy and the Air Force. And so what you describe is a significant accomplishment, but it's not what the regulations say.

ROUGHEAD: Right.

LEHMAN: One of the real accomplishments, I think, that you've been a major part of has been supporting getting this kind of parallel acquisition system to get to the -- to the combatant commanders what they need.

ROUGHEAD: Exactly.

LEHMAN: And that system, which you helped put together, has averaged 402 days, from writing the requirement to -- and the requirement, by the way, is written in a matter of weeks, not four years, which is the average for the DOD system -- whereas the DOD 5000 system, through which the big programs go, now takes an average of 22 years. There are 40 committees that can write change orders to the admiral's procurement program, scattered all around the Pentagon and around the world in different commands.

One last question, which is closely related, and that is personnel. There are many, many issues of personnel, and I won't suggest that you try to cover them all here. But there've been a lot of headlines lately about the steady increase in the numbers of commanders who have been relieved.

ROUGHEAD: Right.

LEHMAN: Operational commanders. And one of the theories is that this, again, bureaucratic bloat -- and it's not just to the civilian side.

Are 250, now, joint task forces that have grown because every officer in all the services have to be dipped in to staff duty in order to be considered -- to screen for command -- as a commander, and have to have four years of staff duty, joint staff duty, before they can be considered for flag. And so there has been a definite reduction in operational time, shift drivers and operational people, in order to check that box. So why are you relieving so many commanders?

ROUGHEAD: Because they fail. No, that's a bit of a flip answer. But, you know, we have in the Navy a very strict concept and standard of accountability. And those standards are not going to change. I would say that of the number of commanders that have been relieved, 99 percent of those in command are not relieved. So we have very, very good people out there.

It's interesting to note, and particularly this week with some stories in the press, that most of those who are relieved are not relieved because of tactical or technical shortcomings. They didn't run their ship aground or they were unable to operate a nuclear power plant. Most of them, almost without exception, are for shortcomings in character and integrity. And, you know, that to me is unacceptable. We are focusing on that. But I think the other dimension that does come into it -- and this is not an excuse -- but in the world that we live in today -- and, you know, John asked you all to silence them -- but in a sense, in the world we live in today the divide between one's personal life and professional life has essentially evaporated. And so the ability to see, to provide information that we then legitimately and rightfully will run to ground I think is a bit of the problem.

One of the other areas that I've been giving a great deal of thought to is how we tend to live our professional lives now, and the pressures that exist on young men and women that serve, and the dynamics of dual-income families and things like that; that the number of people in our Navy who live apart from their spouse, or live primarily apart from their spouse, is pretty significant. We didn't have a handle on this. And I began to get a sniff that maybe -- you know, maybe there was something about the fact that we weren't living the way we had as a Navy in the past.

And when I asked the question nobody knew the answer, and then finally one of our bright young folks came up and said, I think if I take the code where everyone is assigned for their duty and I then take the code where we are paying their housing allowance and I compare the two, I think I might get a rough number. I said, have at it. It's better than what we have now. And when we ran the numbers it was 44,000 people.

That's a pretty significant number. A normal tour in the Navy is two to three years. And I think that we're seeing that dynamic come into it, whether it's the two incomes or the kids in school and you don't want to leave -- you know, pull them out of a high school that they may have been in. So I think there's a lot going on there.

That doesn't make any excuse for the fact that we have very high standards. And if you fail in those standards, then you're not going to stay in a position of command authority.

Kind of going back to your earlier point on, you know, bringing the Navy and the acquisition together and being a little bit out of the intent, being a sailor I kind of took a very simple approach to this. Our program mangers are all naval officers, engineering duty specialists. They're on the acquisitions item, I'm on the other side. And I just looked at them and I said, you're wearing a uniform. I'm wearing a uniform. I am senior to you. Let's have a discussion.

And they tend to kind of follow along in that vein. And we've been able to have, I think, some pretty good outcomes because at the end of the day we all realize that it's not about which side we're on; it's that we have to produce something for the Navy and the nation. And we have to produce it at a time when things are increasingly expensive, because we in the Navy buy very expensive things and they take time to produce. And that's what our focus is.

QUESTIONER: Thanks.

LEHMAN: We'll open the floor to questions now. Who would like to --

QUESTIONER: I have one.

LEHMAN: Yeah. Identify yourself when you --

QUESTIONER: My name is Rocky Staples. I was in the Marine Corps many, many years ago, where I was a fighter pilot on a carrier.

So I had a specific question about carriers. One reads from time to time that the carrier will become obsolete, if in fact it's not already obsolete. It costs so damn much money, so much is tied up in them, and there're going to be so many extra ways to shoot at objects like carriers in the future. How -- if you look ahead 20 years, how many carriers do you think the United States should try to maintain?

ROUGHEAD: I'm -- the -- I'm very comfortable with the number that we have now, given the environment that we're in.

Right now we have 11 carriers; the number is going to drop down to 10 for a short period of time when Enterprise goes out of service. So we'll get one more deployment out of Enterprise; she's currently on deployment, flying into Afghanistan, providing about 30 percent of the fixed wing coverage for our troops in Afghanistan. Her first mission was the Cuban Missile Crisis. Not a bad investment for the nation if you amortize it over that time.

And the -- so the number's good; we'll drop down to 10 for about two years; we can cover that gap. Then we'll bounce up, and we'll be 12, 11, depending on the delivery schedules. When they come, sometimes you bump up 12. And then on the current build rate, we would be at a permanent 10 in 2039. That's seven CNOs from me. So, you know, we'll probably see things change a little bit between now and then.

But I -- we can do the work we need to do with a carrier, and I'm often engaged in discussions about the value of aircraft carriers. The fact that they are vulnerable, and particularly in light of what everyone dusts off as the DF21, the Chinese missile that they have, I'm always amazed that as people talk about that, they don't talk about the fixed airfields: that we know exactly what the coordinates are, they're not going to move, and -- oh, by the way -- you have a pretty hard time masking those, which we can -- there are certain techniques that we can use with the aircraft carrier.

Aircraft carriers have been trying to be taken out of action for decades. That's the evolution of warfare as I see it. And -- but as far as the utility of the aircraft carrier, I view them as sovereign American airfields that we can put wherever we want. We don't have to ask anybody permission to put them there. We don't have to be hampered by overflight rights based on where a land base may be. We can put those where we want them, and we can move that airpower extraordinarily fast.

Personal example: Moved the George Washington -- when I commanded that group -- from the Arabian Gulf, recovered the airplanes from combat missions in Iraq on a Sunday afternoon at 2:00; the following Monday it would be gone. At 8:00 in the morning we were launching those airplanes in the Adriatic, in the vicinity of Montenegro.

You can't do that with land-based air, and so the question is, where does the nation want to be able to have this capability -- this striking power, which is really pretty extraordinary? And I argue that an aircraft carrier is probably the best deterrent tool that we have. We can move it, we can place it, we can back it off -- if we want to -- (inaudible) -- that signal down a little bit.

So I think that they will continue to be important in that regard, and I'm comfortable with what we are doing with respect to the survivability of the carriers. But as we go into this period of 10, 20 years from now, I think we also have to ask ourself the question, will access and will issues of sovereignty and the sensitivities of sovereignty lessen or will they increase? And I believe that access, the sensitivities of sovereignty are going to be on the upswing, and therefore, does the nation want to have the option of being able to put that power where it needs it, when it needs it?

For all of the discussion about the vulnerability of aircraft carriers, I'm watching with interest as China is moving in that direction, as India is moving in that direction, and I'm not saying it's tit-for-tat -- you know, my toolbox is bigger than yours -- but I think that other countries realize the utility that you gain from something that you can put anywhere you want.

QUESTIONER: So Somalia, Yemen -- is it straits of Mandab -- and the Suez Canal: Can you tell us a little bit about what's going on there? It seems to have been quiet lately. What's the role the Navy in that region of world?

ROUGHEAD: Yeah. We have quite a bit going on there right now. Obviously, we are maintaining the other carrier presence in the North Arabian Sea flying into Afghanistan, but right now we have two aircraft carriers there. We have one in the Gulf from time to time flying over Iraq. But we also have some of our amphibious ships that will move over in towards the Horn of Africa, several ships among other nations, but we have several ships that are doing the counter-piracy patrols in the Somali Basin.

And so, you know, my sense is that the Horn of Africa is going to become increasingly important as we deal with East Africa. And the problem with piracy is there's no rule of law ashore. You know, we'll -- we are patrolling with our partners out there, and it's really a strange group: It's China, it's Russia, it's us, it's Malaysia, it's India, EU, NATO. Six years ago, if you would've said, hey, why don't you round all those guys up and go do something, I would have said, probably not, how are you going to get them all together? But that's what's happened.

And we'll continue to do that. We're patrolling an area four times the size of Texas and a coastline that runs from to Maine to Florida. And until you can go in and dismantle the criminal business and the syndicates -- because they are syndicates; they have a fantastic business model that they're working. And until you can go in and dismantle that with, you know, with legitimate law enforcement, we're going to be out there for a while.

And what we're seeing, because the business is quite successful -- where you buy bigger boats and you buy better weapons and you buy better communications and surveillances systems -- there are acts of piracy that are occurring closer to India than they are to Somalia right now.

LEHMAN: Question over here?

QUESTIONER: Hi. Michael Stilpas (ph) from the Financial Times. I was wondering if you'd talk a little bit about the cost of operations in Libya. Specifically, some people are interested in the cost of cruise missiles, exactly how many have been launched, how much they've cost, and what that means for -- whether that's going to make sort of noticeable dent in -- (inaudible).

ROUGHEAD: Yeah. Thank you. I think the -- you know, kind of getting back to the use of naval power, with one exception, we moved nothing to conduct the operations in Libya. It was already on station. It was in the Mediterranean. And that's the employment model -- the deployment model we use for the Navy. That's what being forward is about. That's what being a deterrent force is about. That's what being responsive is about.

I'm always asked or complimented that, well, you guys moved really fast. And I said, well, we reacted quickly, but we were there. That's what you get with a global Navy.

And so there was no additional cost of moving the ships. They were on station. We had a guided missile destroyer that was doing ballistic missile defense in the eastern Mediterranean, and we said: Go down, there's a Tomahawk mission for you. So they shot a shipload of Tomahawks. Ship load, I said. (Laughter.) The -- and -- the

But we fired 228 Tomahawks. They're in the inventory. I was asked, do you have more? I have many more. But that's 228. In the program this year, we had another buy, and we have been buying Tomahawks, because we tend to not use them, and then, when we do use them, we use a fairly good tranche of them. So --

QUESTIONER: So you shot 228 over the course of --

ROUGHEAD: Over the course of the operation.

QUESTIONER: But you already had 228 more to buy in the pipeline.

ROUGHEAD: This year I want to say -- we were around 120 or so for this year, but I have a pretty deep bench on Tomahawks right now, in the thousands.

QUESTIONER: So didn't cost you anything. What do you mean, "bench"? Do you mean --

ROUGHEAD: Inventory, inventory, yes.

QUESTIONER: Right.

ROUGHEAD: And so, that -- you know, we'll replace over time.

The only thing that we had to move was an electronic attack squadron that was operating. It was the new Growler -- the electronic attack version of the Super Hornet -- was on a deployment, first deployment of that type of airplane in Iraq, flying in (Al Assad ?) Air Base. They recovered from a combat in Iraq. We moved them to Italy, and 47 hours after the recovery in Iraq, they launched on a combat mission into Libya.

We're pretty proud of that. Those folks did some terrific work. But that was the only move that we made. So there were some transport costs associated with it.

But again, this is where I think you -- where the value of naval forces, particularly a global force, comes into play.

QUESTIONER: (Inaudible) -- you're not going to need to order any more Tomahawks in order to --

ROUGHEAD: There will not be -- there will not be a special order. You know, we'll have the tranche we have in this year's budget. And as we work with the '13 budget, we'll take a look and see how many that we need there. At the same time that we are ordering, we also have a refurbishment line that's running, so the older missiles that we have in inventory are rolling in and making sure that they're upgraded, that they're tested, that they're ready to go, recontainerized for use.

QUESTIONER: And how much does 230 Tomahawks cost, roughly? I mean, I know you don't have to buy more, but is there a --

ROUGHEAD: Yeah. There are -- I use a million dollars a copy.

QUESTIONER: Admiral, thanks for being here today. I'm Andrew Heaney from Heaney Energy Corporation. It seems like the Navy has more opportunity to cooperate with the Chinese than any other service. Also, it seems like there's also greater opportunity for conflict. I'm wondering if you could just speak a little bit to your relationship with your Chinese counterparts and what the nature of that relationship might be going forward?

ROUGHEAD: Yeah. I -- just if I could pick up on the comment that you made, Navy has the opportunity to cooperate with our Chinese counterparts perhaps more easily than others. I would -- you know, I'm a navalist, forgive me. I would say that applies to every country. And it brings me back around to the sovereignty issues.

I can put together a naval exercise between two countries or among several countries. And we go off, we do things, we exchange personnel on our ships, we work toward common goals, in some cases maybe it's a search and rescue, humanitarian assistance. And I'm not burdened by the fact that I have to get people in, and some countries may be a little sensitive to, you know, why do we have all these foreign troops here, what are they doing?

We don't have that burden. We go off and kind of do what we need to do. And we in the Navy, as part of the strategy that I talked about, have really focused on what we're calling the global maritime partnership. A little data point -- I'll get to your China question here in a bit. But every 10 years at our war college in Newport, the CNO hosts an International Seapower Symposium.

Forty years ago, we had 67 countries. Ten years ago we had 102 countries there. In one place, 92 chiefs of service were there, the largest gathering in history of naval leadership and of countries associated with the maritime domain. And we continue those relationships. My counterpart from the UAE was at my home for dinner last night. I'm leaving on Sunday for Spain. My Brazilian counterpart visited me here within the last two months.

And because we have gotten to the point where we can pick up the telephone and call one another, much the same as I did with Wu Shengli when we had a little bit of a dustup in the EEZ. And I have met on several occasions. We are able to be very frank with one another. And that was when we talked after the Impeccable business.

So I believe that that's important, and I have advocated for a more cooperative relationship with the PLA Navy. We have, over the last two years, conducted military operations with the PLA Navy every day. It's called counterpiracy. We're down in the Somali basin. We're sharing information. We're transferring personnel from ship to ship to, again, mold that relationship.

What we're not seeing is that same sort of cooperation as we get into areas, particularly in the Western Pacific. I'd like to see more of that. We continue to engage with them. In fact, my Pacific fleet commander was at a conference in Singapore this past week where he met with the Chinese on ways to move ahead. We have what we call the MMCA, the Military Maritime Consultancy Agreement. Stacy (ph) used to be my lawyer at the Pacific fleet.

And so we use that as a vehicle to try to square through some of the rubs, if you will. But I think it's important that we try to develop that relationship. And it's important, I believe, to the countries, particularly in the region, and more so now in Southeast Asia, that the Chinese must be much more transparent and, I believe, cooperative in their activities there.

QUESTIONER: Sir, you had reactivated the storied 10th Fleet. Instead of chasing U-Boats, we're now chasing cyberthreats.

ROUGHEAD: Exactly.

QUESTIONER: Why a numbered fleet? And we all agree, you've got to stand up the capability, but the real challenge is integrating that, both into naval operations but also with the Cyber Command.

ROUGHEAD: Right.

QUESTIONER: Walk us through your thinking on making it a numbered fleet, and how that's gone.

ROUGHEAD: OK. Thanks for the question, and thanks for being a historian of the 10th Fleet. (Laughter.) It's a fascinating story. I mean, it really is, it's extraordinary. The reason that we did that -- when we made the move into what we call information dominance, where we changed the structure of my headquarters. And then we knew that in the world of cyber you have to be global because it doesn't like to adhere to the geographic boundaries of -- that we tend to be more comfortable with.

But I also wanted it to be viewed as operational. I didn't want it to be a bureaucracy. I wanted it to be an operational element -- that command and control. And the model that we use in the Navy, you know, we use numbered fleets. In the Army they use corps and Air Force has wings. It was something that I believe was important to give us a very rapid organizing principle because we know how to build that type of structure and people are very familiar working that type of structure.

But I also wanted it to be a fleet to give it the sense that they were going to be doing something, it wasn't simply going to be a headquarters. I will tell you that, as in all things, it's as much the structure and the direction, and then the key ingredient is the leadership. And we picked someone that I had tremendous confidence in. He's been a warhorse for a long time. He is not a cyber person. In fact when I called him in and I said, Barry (ph), you're going to be the 10th Fleet commander -- I can't repeat what he told me when I told him that. It had something to do with his lack of knowledge about computers.

But the fact of the matter is he's an operator; he gets things done. He's extraordinarily brilliant, he's a nuclear-trained officer. And it's gone very well, it's actually gone better than I anticipated. It has moved faster than I anticipated. And we've done something differently with that organization than I would say others have done.

We have taken the 10th Fleet and I made it a direct subordinate of Keith Alexander at U.S. Cyber Command. The other services have put their Cyber Command under another service four-star headquarters. Barry McCullough works directly for Keith Alexander.

The other thing that we did was gave him budget authority. He's the only numbered fleet commander that has money and can spend it because I don't want him to do a mother-may-I I need money to do this -- he needs to move quickly because that mission moves quickly.

The other thing that we did, that I think is a little bit different, is that we tend to become enamored with the technical dimension of cyber. And I would submit that the hardest part of cyber for us in the military and for the nation is not the technical piece, it's the policy piece and it's the legal underpinnings of who's going to be doing what to whom.

But what we did with 10th Fleet was that in this Byzantine, you know, U.S. Code system that we operate under, we are entitled 10. So 10th Fleet operates with Title 10 authority because he's a military command. I made him my cryptologic authority in the Navy. And so by doing that he picks up Title 50. And then I embedded an NCIS element in 10th Fleet and picks up Title 18.

He moves across all spectrums, adhering to the law at all times, but he can move in places faster without any additional authorities, permissions, and he does that for Keith Alexander. Obviously, he's administratively under my command. He's the only fleet commander who has a direct line to me, the others go through their fleet commanders for administrative control.

And the amazing thing is, it's the same structure that Ernie King had with the Tenth Fleet in World War II. And it worked in World War II, and it's working now.

LEHMAN: We have time for one more question.

QUESTIONER: (Off mic.) Can you comment -- the forward deployment in Yokosuka seems to go very well, but the situation in Futenma with the Marines, and in Okinawa, and the buildup in Guam -- these are obviously very expensive prospects. Is there any resolution in sight?

ROUGHEAD: Yeah, it's still being worked by us and by the Japanese government. And you know, we've been on this path for some time. I don't think there's any question that we must address the issues on Okinawa. And -- nor do I believe there's a question about the importance of having the Marines forward in the Pacific, to be that responsive force that they are.

Because as I look at the future -- and the question was asked earlier -- you know, how do you envision that future? I envision the Navy and Marine Corps being that force in readiness in this time of increased concerns about sovereignty and speed of operation, and that the Navy and the Marine Corps, by being at sea and being able to move from the sea, will be a very, very valuable tool for the nation to have.

So the idea of having the Marines forward in the Pacific, not -- you know, not just where they are now, but being able to move into other areas in Southeast Asia and have that freedom of movement, that we can move that force rapidly wherever we need it to be, or swing it into the Indian Ocean and into the Middle East if that need arises. That's where both the Navy and Marine Corps are pretty joined at the hip on. And we have been of that mind for the last few years.

LEHMAN: Since the naval person (hasn't been asked ?), one more question.

QUESTIONER: Admiral, let me just ask one last question. In the context of the vision that you outlined, can you just comment more on your vision of force composition, forward in thinking in terms of missile defense, special ops, some of the cyber comments that were just made, and then the fact that we have envisioned 10 carrier groups.

ROUGHEAD: Yeah. I think the -- you know -- the idea of having additional forward bases because of the comments and the belief that I have about sovereignty and the future, I'm not so sure you're going to see a lot of naval force structure -- Navy force structure being based forward. I think we have -- you know -- what we have in the forward deployed naval force is extraordinary helpful to the safety security of particularly northeast Asia, but the Western Pacific in general.

The -- we're doing some operational concepts, for example with the Littoral Combat Ship, by using some innovative crewing concepts that we can get much more forward operational availability out of those ships. So they'll tend to stay forward, but the crews will be rotating, and we can move the crews on and off in a variety of places.

The Cyber Command, I think, will continue to have its global reach and its global view and global action. But I really do think that the base structure that we have right now is about where we need it to be because at the same time you think about that dispersion, we -- you know, it comes at a cost.

And so where do you elect to put the money? And I would argue that, in the coming years, when you start to talk about military construction and where you are going to put it, my bet would be that you'll probably see a desire for more military construction in the continental United States than anywhere else.

LEHMAN: Well, Admiral, thank you very much. You managed to walk that razor's edge at -- in a public on-the-record session, and actually give us a lot of good information. So thank you for your frankness and --

ROUGHEAD: Thank you.

LEHMAN: So I would just close by asking you all to come to our next roundtable on the 23rd, when we're going to be talking about the Kennedy foreign policy. We've got -- Alan Brinkley will be chairing it, and we've got Fred Kemp (ph) and Richard Reeves, so on that note, thank you all for coming, and we'll see you on the 23rd. (Applause.)

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