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TODAY WE'LL TAKE YOUR QUESTIONS FROM ACROSS THE FLEET

2019-04-01

I'M PETTY OFFICER I'LL BE YOUR HOST JOINING ME IS SECRETARY OF THE NAVY HONORABLE RAY MABUS. THANKS FOR JOINING US. BEFORE WE GET THINGS ROLLING CAN YOU ADDRESS US ON THE STATUS OF THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS FAMILY. THE THING THAT THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS GIVES OUR COUNTRY IS PRESENCE. WE ARE WHERE WE NEED TO BE, NOT JUST AT THE RIGHT TIME, BUT ALL THE TIME. WE ARE ALL OVER THE WORLD. AND THE WAY WE PROVIDE THAT PRESENCE IS BY DOING FOUR THINGS. BY CONCENTRATING ON FOUR THING. PEOPLE, PLATFORMS, POWER AND PARTNERSHIP. PEOPLE, THE SAILORS AND MARINES WE'VE GOT ARE THE ABSOLUTE EDGE THAT WE HAVE. IT'S OUR - IT'S THE ADVANTAGE THAT WE HAVE OVER ANYONE ELSE. AND TRYING TO MAKE SURE THAT SAILORS AND MARINES, FAMILIES ARE TAKEN COMPARE OF, MAKING SURE THAT YOU GOT THE RIGHT TOOLS TO DO YOUR JOB, MAKING SURE THAT THE DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULES MAKING SURE THAT THE STRESS ON THE FORCE THAT YOU'RE RESILIENT THAT YOU CAN MEET THESE THINGS, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE PUT OUR 21ST CENTURY MARINES THAT WE'VE GOT AND GO TO LOOK AT. BUT THAT IS OUR EDGE. ARE OUR PEOPLE. SECOND ARE PLATFORMS, WE'VE GOT THE BEST PLATFORMS IN THE WORLD, BEST SHIPS, AIRCRAFT, QUANTITY BECOMES QUALITY. WE ARE GROWING THE FLEET. THE FIVE YEARS BEFORE I BECAME SECRETARY U.S. NAVY PUT 27 SHIPS UNDER CONTRACT. IN THE FIRST FIVE YEARS I'VE BEEN SECRETARY WE PUT 70 SHIPS. WE'RE GROWING THE FLEET TO GET PAST 300 SHIPS BEFORE THE END OF THIS DECADE. THIRD IS POWER, ENERGY, YOU DENT HAVE TO LOOK ANY FURTHER THAN THE HEADLINES TODAY TO SEE HOW ENERGY CAN BE USED. IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE HAVE A STEADY COST FOR ENERGY. BECAUSE IN TWO YEARS THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE HAS HAD $3 BILLION IN ADDITIONAL ENERGY COSTS. THAT S HARD MONEY TO FIND. ONLY PLACE WE CAN FIND IT IS OUT OF OPERATIONS, WE TRAIN LESS, WE FLY LESS, OR IF THE BILL GETS TOO BIG WE BUY FEWER SHIPS AND FEWER AIRCRAFT. THAT'S JUST NOT - ANY OF THOSE IS NOT A GOOD OPTION. FINALLY, PARTNERSHIPS. MARINES AND SAILORS HAVE TO BE DIPLOMATES. YOU'RE THE ONLY PEOPLE THAT A LOT OF FOREIGNERS WILL EVER SEE, ONLY AMERICANS THAT THEY WILL EVER MEET. THOSE PARTNERSHIPS ARE WITH THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, THOSE PARTNERSHIPS ARE WITH INDUSTRY THAT BUILD OUR PLATFORMS. BUT THEY'RE WITH OUR FRIENDS, OUR ALLIES AROUND THE WORLD. IF YOU JUST LOOK AT WHAT THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS ARE DOING AROUND THE WORLD TODAY, IN THE PACIFIC, WE'RE IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC DOING MISSILE DEFENSE WORK. MARINES IN OKINOWA IN AUSTRALIA. AMPHIBIOUS-READY GROUP. OPERATING IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC WE JUST ANNOUNCED HUMANITARIAN DISASTER RELIEF AROUND THE PACIFIC. YOU MOVE A LITTLE FURTHER WEST, MARINES IN COMBAT IN AFGHANISTAN. AIRPLANES OFF A CARRIER, COMING IN TOO DO CLOSE AIR SUPPORT FOR THOSE MARINES AND SAILORS ON THE GROUND. WE'VE GOT ON THE LINE, IN THE FIFTH FLEET RIGHT NOW DOING SHIPS IN THE FIFTH FLEET ARE DOING EVERYTHING FROM TO SECURE SYSTEMS ALL ACROSS THAT AREA. WE'VE GOT MARINES IN THE BLACK SEA ROTATIONAL FORCE. YOU GO A LITTLE FURTHER WEST WE'RE DOING MISSILE DEFENSE WORK. AND SPAIN ON THE LINE TODAY I WAS THERE, NOT LONG AGO TO WELCOME THE FIRST OF FOUR DESTROYERS THAT WE'RE PITTING IN TO PROVIDE THAT CONSTANT PRESENCE IN THAT AREA, IN EUROPE AND AROUND EUROPE AND HERE AT HOME WE'VE GOT SAILORS AN MARINES RIGHT ACROSS THIS COUNTRY TRAINING, GETTING READY TO GO ON DEPLOYMENT. FINAL THING I'M SAY IS THAT AS WE COME DOWN WE'RE OUT OF IRAQ COMING DOWN OUT OF AFGHANISTAN BUT FOR SAILORS AND MARINES WE'RE NOT A GARRISON FORCE WE'LL ALWAYS BE DEPLOYED. A PERMANENT HOMECOMING. WE ARE AMERICA'S INSURANCE POLICY. WE ARE EVERYWHERE WE NEED TO BE. AND WE ARE THERE TO GIVE AMERICA OPTIONS ON HOW TO REACT ANYTHING THAT COULD HAPPEN IN THE WORLD TODAY. AND SO I'M REALLY GLAD TO BE HERE. I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO TALKING TO YOU AND TO GETTING YOUR CONCERNS AND ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS. AND TO TALK ABOUT JUST WHAT AN AMAZING THING THIS PRESENCE THAT WE GIVE AND THE SAILORS AND MARINES THAT WE HAVE, THE WORK THAT YOU DO, THE SKILL THAT YOU SHOW, THE SACRIFICE THAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES MAKE EVERY DAY TO WEAR THE UNION NORM OF THIS COUNTRY. THANKS FOR THAT OPPORTUNITY. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SECRETARY. TO BREAK THE ICE WE'LL START OUT WITH THAT EUROPEAN PRESENCE. SPAIN, GO AHEAD WITH YOUR QUESTION. GOOD AFTERNOON, GENTLEMAN, I HAVE A QUESTION FOR THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY. SIR, MY QUESTION TO YOU IS, WITH THE SITUATION GOING ON IN UKRAINE AND RUSSIA, DO YOU HAVE ANY VISION ON OUR PRESENCE, HAVING A GREATER IMPACT ON THE ACTUAL CONFLICT FIRST, I GIVE A COIN TO THE FIRST QUESTION, WILL BE A LITTLE HARD TO GET IT TO YOU WE'LL MAKE SURE WE GET YOUR NAME AND SEND IT TO YOU. THIS IS YOURS. ON YOUR QUESTION, WE GIVE OPTIONS, WE GIVE THE NATIONAL LEADERSHIP OPTIONS WE HAVE ADDITIONAL MARINES INS BULGARIA AS PART OF THE ROTATIONAL FORCE. AND WE'RE DOING WORK - OUR JOB AS I SAID BEFORE IS TO BE NOT JUST AT THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME BUT RIGHT PLACE ALL THE TIME. SO THAT OUR NATIONAL LEADERSHIP. THEY CAN MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHAT OUR RESPONSE IS, WHAT WE DO IN THIS CRISIS OR IN ANY SORT OF CRISIS. BUT THAT'S WHAT THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS GIVE THIS COUNTRY AND THAT'S WHY WE ARE NEVER GARRISON FORCE. THAT IS WHY WE ARE DEPLOYED AND PUTTING THOSE SHIPS IN TO WHERE YOU ARE. ALL RIGHT. MOVING RIGHT ALONG CONTINUING WITH OUR GLOBAL ALL-HANDS CALL THEME WE'LL TAKE OUR NEXT QUESTION FROM SOCIAL MEDIA. WHO BETTER TO HANDLE THAT THAN UNITED STATES MARINE. STANDING BY WITH UPDATE IS SERGEANT FLOWERS. HERE WE ARE, OUR FIRST QUESTION COMES FROM TRAVIS, HE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT IS THE SECNAV POSITION CONCERNING THE NATIONAL FUNDING, HOW DOES SECNAV SEE THE NEXT TEN YEARS AFFECTING THE PROPOSED DOD BUDGET. GREAT QUESTION. NUMBER ONE, WE WERE UNDER SEQUESTER FOR ABOUT A YEAR. AND JUST A DUMB, DUMB WAY TO CUT. EVERYBODY EXPECTS AS WE COME OUT OF - THAT WE'LL SPEND LESS ON DEFENSE BUT THE IMPORTANT THING IS HOW DO WE DO THAT. HOW DO WE DO IT IN A SMART WAY. HOW DO WE DO IT IN A WAY THAT KEEPS THE CAPABILITIES THAT WE NEED. HOW DO WE DO IT THAT KEEPS IT IS TOOLS FOR YOU THAT WE NEED TO HAVE. CONGRESS - THEY DIDN'T GET BACK UP TO WHERE THE PRESIDENT'S BUDGET WAS BUT GAVE US SOME STABILITY FOR '14 AND '15. WE CAN DO SOME PLANNING. PAST '15 IT'S UP IN THE AIR. SEQUESTER IS SUPPOSED TO KICK BACK IN IN '16 GOING FORWARD. BUT WE'RE WORKING VERY HARD TO MAKE SURE THAT WE DON'T CUT IN THIS MINDLESS WAY AND USING THIS MEDAC APPROACH. THE NATIONAL DEFENSE STRATEGY OF THE UNITED STATES, THE PRESIDENT ANNOUNCED IN JANUARY OF 2012 IS A MARITIME STRATEGY. IT'S WHAT - FOR US TO DO THAT WE'VE GOT TO KEEP A GREAT NAVY AND GREAT MARINE CORPS WE'VE GOT TO GROW THE FLEET AND MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE THAT PRESENCE. THAT IS WHAT ONE OF MY JOBS IS IN TERMS OF MAKING SURE THAT THE BUDGET THAT WE HAVE REACHES WHAT WE NEED TO DO. NOW, WE'RE GOING TO TAKE SOME RISK IN SOME AREAS. BUT WHAT WE'RE GOING TO FOCUS ON ARE THINGS LIKE BUILDING SHIPS, MAKE SURE THAT WE CAN MAINTAIN THAT PRESENCE. WE'RE GOING TO FOCUS ON THE THINGS THAT WE'LL TRY TO MAKE SURE THAT THE FORCE THAT YOU HAVE, EVERYTHING THAT YOU NEED TO DO LOOKING OUT TEN YEARS, IF YOU CAN - ON THE BUDGET. WE'RE GROWING THE FLEET. WE'RE TRYING TO KEEP BASE WITH SAILORS AND MARINES. THE MARINES ARE COMING DOWN IN NUMBERS. THE MARINES WENT UP FROM 175,000 TO 202,000 DURING THE SURGE IN IRAQ. WE'RE COMING BACK DOWN RIGHT NOW THE NUMBER FOR THE MARINES THAT WE'RE DRAWING BACK DOWN IS 182,000 MARINES. THE MARINES CAN DO THE JOB THAT WE NEED TO DO WITH 182,000 AND WE CAN KEEP BASE AS LONG AS WE'RE GIVEN ENOUGH TIME WE CAN KEEP THAT WITH MARINES AND THEIR FAMILY. THE OTHER THING THAT HAS BEEN HURTING US IN THE BUDGET IS THESE THINGS CALLED CONTINUING RESOLUTION. CONGRESS PASSED A BUDGET ON TIME, WE'RE SUPPOSED TO HAVE A BUDGET BY THE FIRST OF OCTOBER. IT'S BEEN THE SPRING IN A LOT OF YEARS, IN FACT I'VE BEEN SECRETARY NOW ALMOST FIVE YEARS WE HAVE NEVER HAD A BUDGET ON TIME SINCE I'VE BEEN SECRETARY. AND IF YOU GOT CONTINUING RESOLUTION GOING, YOU CAN'T DO LIKE PUT A SHIP IN A SHIPYARD BECAUSE THAT'S CALLED A NEW START. YOU CAN'T SPEND ANY MORE MONEY ON PROGRAM THAN YOU SPENT THE YEAR BEFORE REGARDLESS OF THE NEED. AND SO WE GOT TO FIX THOSE TWO THINGS. CONTINUING RESOLUTIONS AND SEQUESTERS. ALL THE TIME, RECOGNIZING THAT THE PEOPLE ARE DEMANDING AND SHOULD EXPECT THAT WE'RE GOING TO SPEND LESS ON DEFENSE BUT THAT WE WILE KEEP THIS COUNTRY SAFE AND WE WILL COME DOWN, WE WILL MAKE THE REDUCTION IN A SMART WAY AND NOT IN JUST THIS HAM-HANDED, CUT EVERYTHING A CERTAIN PERCENTAGE WAY. ALWAYS A TOUGH QUESTION BUT SOMETHING EVERYBODY IS ASKING ABOUT. MOVING, QUESTION FROM KOREA, GO AHEAD. HELLO, MY NAME IS REILLY REEVES, I'M STATIONED WITH MY HUSBAND HERE IN KOREA. MY QUESTION IS ALSO REGARDING THE BUDGET. BUT FROM A FAMILY STANDPOINT. WITH THE SMALLER MILITARY BUDGET ON THE HORIZON ANY MORE DISCUSSION ABOUT REPLACING THE CURRENT HOUSING AND FOOD ALLOWANCE PROGRAMS WITH STANDARD LOCALITY ALLOWANCE THAT WE CONSOLIDATE OURS, AND HOW THIS MIGHT AFFECT OVERSEAS MILITARY FAMILIES WITH REGARD TO OUR HOUSING AND LIVING ALLOWANCES I DON'T KNOW OF ANY EFFORT TO MOVE TOWARD THAT ONE LOCAL ALLOWANCE THAT YOU TALKED ABOUT. THAT WOULD BE A DOD-WIDE THING, THAT WOULDN'T BE JUST THE NAVY OR MARINE CORPS DOING IT. THAT WOULD BE FOR THE JOINT FORCE, THAT WOULD BE FOR EVERYBODY. AS I SAID I DON'T KNOW OF ANY MOVEMENT IN THAT WAY. THE THINGS THAT WE'RE DOING, THE THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN RECOMMENDED ON THINGS LIKE PAY ALLOWANCE TO SLOW SOME OF THE GROWTH IT'S NOT TO CUT ANY - ANYBODY'S PAY OR CUT ANYBODY'S ALLOWANCES BUT SLOW THE GROWTH BASE MILITARY PAY AND ALLOWANCES HAVE GROWN 40% MORE THAN THE PRIVATE SECTOR OVER THE LAST DECADE OR MORE. AND WE'RE GETTING TO A POINT AND WE'RE REALLY AT THAT POINT WHERE WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DECIDE WHETHER WE ARE ABLE TO BUY THE TOOLS THAT YOUR HUSBAND AND FELLOW MARINES AND FELLOW SAILORS NEED TO DO THE JOB. IN ORDER TO GET - BECAUSE PERSONNEL COSTS ARE TAKING UP SUCH A LARGE PART OF THE BUDGET IN THE MARINES, FOR EXAMPLE, 36-46% OF EVERY DOLLAR OF EVERY DOLLAR GOES FOR PERSONNEL COSTS. NOT BECAUSE MARINES ARE MORE EXPENSIVE, THEY'RE CHEAPER THAN ANY OTHER SERVICES THAT WE'VE GOT. IT'S JUST THAT WE HAVE GOTTEN TO THAT POINT WHERE GOT TO MAKE A CHOICE EITHER GOING TO GET A LOT SMALLER OR WE'RE NOT GOING TO HAVE THE TOOLS THAT WE NEED OR WE'RE GOING TO SLOW THE GROWTH A LITTLE BIT. SLOW THE GROWTH ON THINGS LIKE DAH OR PAY RAISES, SLOW THE GROWTH ON SOME OF THE HEALTH CARE COSTS. WITHOUT DOING ALL THIS IN THE WORDS THAT OUR CNO USES, THERE'S QUALITY OF LIFE WITH PAY AND BENEFITS AND FAMILY, ALSO QUALITY OF WORK. DO YOU HAVE THE THINGS THAT YOU NEED TO DO YOUR JOB. AND DO YOU HAVE THE TRAINING THAT YOU NEED TO DO THAT JOB FOR THE COUNTRY. AND WE'VE JUST GOT TO KEEP THAT BALANCED. ALL RIGHT. MR. SECRETARY, NEXT WE'RE GOING TO CAMP PENDLETON, GO AHEAD WITH YOUR QUESTION FOR MR. SECRETARY. MORNING, SIR, CORPORAL GREEN. I WANT TO KNOW, RECENTLY PRESIDENT OBAMA SIGNED THE ENHANCED DEFENSE COOPERATION AGREEMENT, I WANT TO KNOW HOW THAT IS GOING TO AFFECT THE DEPLOYMENTS AS FAR AS LOCATION AND TEMPO. YOU'RE RIGHT THAT HE JUST SIGNED THAT WITH THE PHILIPPINES LAST WEEK, I GUESS. AND WE DON'T KNOW YET HOW THAT IS GOING TO - WHAT THAT MEANS IN TERMS OF ROTATION OR MEANS IN TERMS OF WHAT GOES THERE. BUT WE'RE GOING TO KEEP OVER 22,000 MARINES WEST OF THE INTERNATIONAL DATELINE. OKINAWA, GUAM, THE ROTATIONAL MARINES IN HAWAII. AND I DON'T THINK YOU'RE GOING TO SEE TEMPO GOING DOWN IN THE FUTURE. EITHER IN THE PACIFIC OR ANYWHERE AROUND THE WORLD. NOW WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO IS MAKE SURE THAT WHEN YOU DO DEPLOY THAT YOU KNOW WHEN IT'S GOING TO BE AND KNOW WHEN YOU'RE GOING TO COME HOME. WE GIVE YOU SOME CERTAINTY IN TERMS OF YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. THE WORLD GETS A VOTE. YOU CAN - BEST PLANS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO BE SCRAPPED. BUT IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT WE'RE DOING WITH SOMETHING CALLED THE OPTIMIZED FLEET RESPONSE PLAN WE'RE STARTING WITH CARRIERS AND GOING TO MOVE TO AMPHIBS AND IT TAKES CARRIERS 36 MONTH PERIOD SAYS, HERE IS WHEN WE'RE GOING TO TRAIN AND GOING TO DO MAINTENANCE AND GOING TO DEPLOY. AND THEN HERE IS WHEN WE'RE GOING TO COME BACK HOME AND BE THE SURGE CARRIER. THAT WILL GIVE YOU AN IDEA AND CERTAINTY FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. AS I SAID WE'RE GOING TO MOVE THAT TO AMPHIBIOUS READY GROUPS ALL AROUND THE WORLD. YOUR DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE, THE HIGH TEMPO. THE DEMAND IS GOING UP. IT'S NOT GOING DOWN. I THINK THAT THE HIGH DEPLOYMENT WE'RE TRYING TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY'RE NOT - WE'VE HAD VERY, VERY LARGE DEPLOYMENTS, CONTINUALLY AMPHIBIOUS READY GROUPS. WE'RE TRYING TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY'RE NOT AS LONG AS THEY HAVE BEEN. BUT AGAIN, THE WORLD GETS A VOTE. HOW THE AGREEMENT THAT WE'VE JUST REACHED WITH THE PHILIPPINES PLAYS IN TO THAT, IT WILL PLAY IN TO IN TERMS OF OUR ROTATIONAL FORCES. AND MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT IS WHAT THAT AGREEMENT TALKS ABOUT IS ROTATIONAL FORCES. AND THE AGREEMENT THAT WE'VE GOT IN PLACE NOW IS IN AUSTRALIA WHERE WE SEND MARINES, WE STARTED IT WITH A COMPANY WE'VE GONE UP NOW - STARTED OUT WITH ABOUT 200 MARINES NOW WE'RE AROUND 11 OR 1200 MARINES AND BUILDING UP TO BATTALION SIZE. SET OF MARINES. BUT ON ROTATIONAL BASIS. OUT AND AROUND THE AREA DOING ENGAGEMENTS, TRAINING, EXERCISES, DOING - WORKING WITH OUR PARTNERS AND ALLIES. ISS BATTON. GREETING, SIR. MY NAME IS QUARTERMASTER LEWIS I'M FROM NORTH CAROLINA, I'M CURRENTLY STATIONED ON BOARD USS BATTON, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF THE DEPLOYMENT AND ANY PLANS TO STABILIZE THE DEPLOYMENT. I APPRECIATE THE QUESTION IN PARTICULAR FROM BATTON YOU'RE OUT THERE YOU'RE IN THE FIELD. I THINK YOU'VE BEEN THERE FOR A GOOD WHILE. THE ANSWER I JUST GAVE TO THE OTHER QUESTION, WE'RE TRYING TO STABALIZE DEPLOYMENT. AND WE'RE TRYING TO MAKE SURE THAT WE REWARD PEOPLE AT SEA. WE'VE INCREASED CAREER SEA PAY. IF YOU ARE AT SEA OR THREE YEARS CUMULATIVE YOU'RE GOING TO SEE A 25% INCREASE IN SEA PAY. IF YOU'RE AT SEA FOR THREE YEARS IN A ROW THEN YOU'RE GOING TO GET SEA PAY PREMIUM AND WE'RE DOUBLING THAT FROM $100 A MONTH TO $200. IF YOU'RE E5 TO E9 AND YOU SPENT EIGHT YEARS WHETHER JUST IN YOUR CAREER AT SEA THAN ANY TIME YOU'RE ASSIGNED TO A SHIP YOU'RE GOING TO GET A COMBINATION OF THOSE TWO. WE'RE ALSO LOOKING AT GIVING ADDITIONAL ALLOWANCES IF DEPLOYMENTS GO OVER CERTAIN LENGTH. IF THEY GO OVER SIX MONTHS WE'RE LOOKING AT EXTRA PAY FOR SAILORS AND MARINES THAT ARE AT SEA FOR THAT LONG. BECAUSE THAT IS A REALLY, REALLY LONG TIME TO BE AT SEA. I WAS IN THE NAVY MORE THAN 40 YEARS AGO. AND SIX MONTHS DEPLOYMENTS WERE PRETTY STANDARD. SIX MONTHS IS NOT A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME TO BE AWAY FROM HOME. USE BEING THAT THIS PLAN WE'RE TRYING TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR DEPLOYMENTS ARE STABLE, THAT THEY'RE - YOU CAN PLAN FOR IT, THAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES CAN PLAN FOR IT YOU KNOW WHEN YOU'RE GOING TO BE TRAINING AND GOING ON DEPLOYMENT AND GOING TO COME COME BACK THAT WE REWARD PEOPLE THAT GO TO SEA. THAT GO TO SEA A LOT. BECAUSE WE ARE THE NAVY. AND THAT'S OUR JOB IS TO BE FORWARD DEPLOYED. WE ARE THE MARINES, THAT'S OUR JOB TO BE FORWARD DEPLOYED AND THERE AROUND THE WORLD AND NOT JUST AT A BASE BACK AT HOME. BUT WE UNDERSTAND THE STRESS THAT THAT PUTS ON PEOPLE. ON THEIR FAMILIES AND WE ARE GOING TO, NUMBER ONE, MAKE IT MORE CERTAIN. AND NUMBER TWO, REWARD YOU FOR DOING THAT. AND I HOPE Y'ALL HAVE A GREAT CRUISE AND GET HOME VERY SAFE. ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE INCENTIVES ARE WELL RECEIVED. OUR NEXT QUESTION COMING FROM SKYPE ALL THE WAY FROM AFGHANISTAN. GO AHEAD WITH YOUR QUESTION, AFGHANISTAN. GOOD MORNING, MR. SECRETARY. THIS IS LANCE CORPORAL BARING IN AFGHANISTAN. WHEN WE GET TO COUNTRY WE HAVE VAST ASSORTMENT OF - TO AID US IN DOING OUR JOB WILL WE BE SEEING THESE STATE SIDE AS PART OF OUR BATTALION STANDARD ISSUE ONE OF THE THINGS THAT MARINES DO BETTER THAN ANYBODY IS ADOPT NEW THINGS TO HELP THEM GET THEIR JOB DONE. MARINES HAVE DONE IT IN THINGS LIKE ENERGY. WE WERE LOSING MARINES FOR EVERY 50 CONVOYS OF FUEL COMING IN TO AFGHANISTAN AT THE HEIGHT OF THE FIGHTING. MARINES ADOPTED THINGS LIKE ROLL-UP SOLAR PANELS, POWER, GPS AND RADIOS. SOLAR PANEL IS POWER TENTS, BETTER GENERATORS, LED LIGHTS STUFF LIKE THAT THAT IS BECOMING PART OF THE KIT FOR EVERY MARINE UNIT. SAME THING WITH THE OTHER EQUIPMENT THAT WE HAVE. AND ONE OF THE THINGS ALSO THAT MARINES DO WAY BETTER THAN ANYBODY ELSE IS WE'RE BRINGING OUR STUFF BACK FROM AFGHANISTAN AND WE'RE FIXING IT. WE'RE LOOKING AT WHAT MARINES NEED GOING FORWARD. MARINES WILL GET LIGHTER BASE YOU'RE GOING BACK TO SEA. MARINES HAVE BEEN USED AS SECOND LAND ARMY FOR MORE THAN A DECADE NOW IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN YOU'VE BEEN MAGNIFICENT AT IT. BUT MARINES GOING FORWARD THE THINGS THEY GIVE THE COUNTRY IS THIS AMPHIBIOUS CAPABILITY. THE EXPEDITION FORCE AND READINESS, THE FORCE THAT IS READY TO GO IF THE FIGHT IS TODAY OR IF THE CRISIS IS TODAY YOU'RE READY TO GO TODAY. WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A LOOK AT THE EQUIPMENT. WE'RE GOING TO FIX THE STUFF THAT WE NEED TO KEEP GOING. MARINES GET MORE FOR A DOLLAR THAN ANYBODY ELSE IN THE SERVICE. SO I THINK THE SHORT ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION IS, YES, WE'RE GOING TO GIVE - MAKE SURE THAT YOU KEEP ALL THE THINGS THAT YOU HAVE IN THEATER THAT YOU'LL NEED TO DO YOUR JOB BUT YOUR JOB MAY BE DIFFERENT GOING FORWARD. SO THAT EQUIPMENT MAY BE A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT. BUT ONE OF MY JOBS AND ONE OF THE SERGEANT MAJOR'S JOB MAKE SURE THAT YOU'VE GOT WHATEVER TOOLS YOU NEED TO DO THE TASK THAT AMERICA GIVES YOU. AND SEMPER PHHI AND TELL YOUR FELLOW MARINES. I'LL SEE YOU AGAIN SOON. ALL RIGHT, MR. SECRETARY WE HAVE LOT OF PEOPLE WAITING. NEXT QUESTION FROM CONNECTICUT. GO AHEAD WITH YOUR QUESTION. HI, HOW ARE YOU DOING, SIR. THIS MY QUESTION FOR YOU IS NOTICING RECENT CHANGES IN POLICIES AND REGULATIONS DO YOU DO YOU SEE - AFRICAN AMERICANS AND HISPANICS IN A MORE NATURAL STATE THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE'RE LOOKING AT RIGHT NOW WE'RE LOOKING AT THAT ACROSS THE SERVICE. NOT JUST FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN BUT FOR EVERYBODY. DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. WHAT ALLOWS YOU TO DO YOUR MISSION AND JUST A BIG OLD PAIN TO KEEP UP. AND WE'RE GOING TO HAVE THE ANSWER PRETTY SOON. THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE HAS GIVEN THAT TO EVERY SERVICE TO LOOK AT AND I'VE HAD BUNCH OF CONVERSATIONS WITH SAILORS AND MARINES ABOUT THIS AND I HOPE THAT WITH SOME OF YOUR INPUT WE CAN GET A GOOD ANSWER ON THIS. WHO IS NEXT ALL RIGHT, NEXT QUESTION, MR. SECRETARY. COMING FROM OUR LIVE STUDIO AUDIENCE. LIEUTENANT, GO AHEAD. GOOD MORNING, SIR, HOW ARE YOU I'M STATIONED AT WALTER REED BETHESDA. MY QUESTION IS MORE TOWARDS MEDICAL SIDE WE'RE USING MORE PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE TO TREAT OR SAILORS AND MARINES. MY QUESTION ARE WE GOING TO PROVIDE MORE OF THESE SERVICES ON THE FLEET LEVEL PROVIDING MORE NUTRITION, EXERCISE AND HEALTH EDUCATION FOR OUR SAILORS AND MARINES ON THE SHIPS AND AS WELL AS SHORE SIDE. WE'VE GOT TO DO THAT. THE THINGS - PREVENTIVE STUFF MAKE SURE THAT WE'VE GOT A CULTURE OF FITNESS, MAKE SURE THAT EVERYBODY IS READY TO GO. MAKE SURE THAT NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS WE CAN RESPOND. THE THINGS THAT YOU MENTIONED PHYSICAL FITNESS, DIET, HELPING PEOPLE STOP SMOKING OR MAKING SURE THAT ALCOHOL DOES END UP IN A CAREER-ENDING OR LIFE-ENDING INCIDENT. A LOT OF THE THINGS THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT IN TERMS OF 21ST CENTURY TAILORED AND MARINE TRYING TO MAKE IT UNDER ONE THING. IT'S WAY EASIER TO KEEP SOMETHING FROM HAPPENING THAN IT IS TO TO RELY ON SOME OF OUR GREAT DOCTORS AND NURSES AND HEALTH CARE FOLKS TO FIX. AND SO THE REASON THAT WE DO THESE VFT, THE REASON THAT YOU SEE THE FUEL TO FIGHT THINGS, HOW MANY CALORIES ARE IN SOMETHING, ARE THEY GOOD CALORIES OR EMPTY CALORIES, ARE THEY GOING TO GIVE YOU WHAT YOU NEED. THE REASON THAT YOU SEE ALL THE SMOKING CESSATION PROGRAMS AND EMPHASIS ON DEGLAMOURIZING ALCOHOL. NOT TO KEEP PEOPLE FROM DRINKING BUT TO KEEP PEOPLE FROM LOSING THEIR CAREER OR LOSING THEIR LIFE OVER JUST A BAD DECISION. AND PREVENTING OTHER THINGS, SEXUAL ASSAULTS, PREVENTING SOME OF THE THINGS THAT ARE ATTACKED ON OUR SHIPMATES. THE WHOLE NOTION OF 21ST SAILOR/MARINE IS TO STOP THESE THINGS AND PREVENT THEM BEFORE THEY GET DONE. I DON'T WANT TO - I WANT TO DO A BRAVO ZULA TO BETHESDA, OUR DOCTORS, NURSES AROUND THE WORLD FOR GREAT JOBS THAT YOU ARE DOING AND I'M SO INTERESTED IN HEALTH CARE THAT I MARRIED A NURSE. ABSOLUTELY. MR. SECRETARY GOT SOME GREAT STUFF ALREADY AND SOCIAL MEDIA. SERGEANT FLOWERS HAS MORE WITH AN UPDATE. WE HAVE NEW E-MAIL COMING IN FROM CHAD WHO WOULD LIKE TO KNOW, ARE THE LCS AND JHB PROGRAMS MEETING THE NEEDS OF THE U.S. NAVY IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT IS LIKELIHOOD OF ADDITIONAL ORDERS BEYOND THE 32 SHIPS. WELL, WE'VE GOT A REQUIREMENT FOR 52 SMALL - THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE HAS ORDERED THAT WE TAKE A LOOK AT LCS. THIS IS VERY NORMAL. TAKE A LOOK AT IN TERMS OF SURVIVABILITY, IN TERMS OF LEHALITY OF THE WHOLE PROGRAM. THERE WERE CONCERNS ABOUT LCS IN TERMS OF COST NOT ONLY UNDER CONTROL BUT PRETTY MILD PROGRAM, NOW IN TERMS OF HOW MUCH THESE PLATFORMS COSTS WE'VE GOTTEN IT DOWN TO $50 MILLION A SHIP NOW. BUT WE TAKE A LOOK AT EVERY SINGLE PLAT FORM, WHETHER IT'S THE DDGS THAT WE DID, THE VIRGINIA SUBMARINES IT DOESN'T MATTER. WHEN THEY COME IN TO THE FLEET WE TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT, ARE WE DOING THEM CORRECTLY, DO WE NEED TO CHANGE EVERYTHING, HOW ARE THESE SHIPS PERFORMING. AND THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE HAS SAID THAT WE SHOULD TAKE THIS CLOSE DETAILED LOOK WHICH I THINK IS ABSOLUTELY APPROPRIATE, THAT THE OPTIONS COMING OUT ARE WE KEEP BUILDING THE LCS WAY. THAT WE BUILD MODIFIED LCS OR THAT WE BUILD A COMPLETELY NEW DESIGN. BUT TAKE IN TO ACCOUNT SCHEDULE AND COST SO THAT WE MAKE SURE WE GET THOSE SHIPS TO THE FLEET. WE'VE GOT THIS REQUIREMENT FOR 52 SMALL SURFACE COMBATANTS TO MEET OUR NEEDS AND OBLIGATIONS AROUND THE WORLD. TAKE IT BACK TO SKYPE. BACK TO AFGHANISTAN. AFGHANISTAN, GO AHEAD WITH YOUR QUESTION. GOOD MORNING, MR. SECRETARY. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER PROGRAM TO THE CORPSMAN RATING, MR. SECRETARY I'M GOING TO GIVE YOU A VERY BEST ANSWER I'VE GOT. I DON'T KNOW. BUT I TELL YOU WHAT, I'LL CHECK IN TO IT AND MAKE SURE THAT I'VE GOT YOUR - MAKE SURE I CAN GET BACK IN TOUCH WITH YOU. BUT I WILL LOOK IN TO THAT. I DON'T HAVE A CLUE. ALL RIGHT. MOVING RIGHT ALONG BACK TO SPAIN. GO AHEAD WITH YOUR QUESTION. HI, SIR, I'M FROM BEAUTIFUL SPAIN. MY QUESTION TO YOU IS FROM - ARE ANY OF THE WEAPON SYSTEMS CURRENTLY BEING TESTED GOING TO BE DEPLOYED ANY TIME SOON WE'RE PUTTING A LASER WEAPON IN THE ARABIAN GULF THIS SUMMER. TO SEE HOW THAT WEAPON DOES IN A MARITIME ENVIRONMENT WITH ALL THE SALT AND CORROSION AND THE HEAT OF THE ARABIAN GULF. WE'RE TESTING A RAIL GUN AND WE'RE GOING TO PUT ONE OF IT PROBABLY ON SOMETHING LIKE JOINT HIGH SPEED VESSEL TO TEST IT OUT. I WAS JUST AT THE CHRISTENING OF THE ZUMWALT, IT HAS A BRAND NEW GUN SYSTEM THAT IS AMAZINGLY LONG RANGE AND AMAZINGLY ACCURATE. WE HAVE NEW MISSILES COMING IN TO THE FLEET. WE'VE GOT - WE JUST GOT WEAPON SYSTEM AFTER WEAPON SYSTEM THAT EITHER ADVANCES ON WHAT WE'VE GOT NOW ARE COMPLETELY NEW STUFF LIKE THE LASER AND RAIL GUN. AS SOON AS THEY'RE READY WE'RE MOVING THEM OUT TO TEST THEM IN THE FLEET TO MAKE SURE THEY WORK NOT JUST IN A LAB OR IN A TEST AREA BUT IN THE FLEET. AND WE'RE GOING TO GET YOU THE MOST ADVANCED THINGS THAT WE'VE GOT AND GOING TO DO IT JUST AS QUICKLY AS WE CAN. ALL RIGHT. OUR NEXT QUESTION PRERECORDED COMING FROM JAPAN. HELLO, MR. SECRETARY. MY NAME IS STAFF SERGEANT GOMEZ I'M STATIONED AT ARMS TRAINING CENTER IN JAPAN. MY QUESTION IS, HOW WILL BUDGET CUTS AFFECT RETIREMENT FOR ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY. WELL, CONGRESS HAS A COMMISSION LOOKING AT RETIREMENT. THEY'RE GOING TO REPORT, I THINK EARLY NEXT YEAR BUT THE NOTION THAT EVERYBODY HAS - EVERYBODY IN LEADERSHIP IS THAT WHATEVER RETIREMENT SYSTEM YOU JOINED UNDER THAT IS THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM YOU'LL RETIRE IN. SO THAT IF ANY CHANGES ARE MADE TO RETIREMENT IT WILL BE FOR PEOPLE WHO JOINED AFTER THOSE CHANGES ARE MADE. SO I THINK THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION IS, IT WON'T CHANGE THE SYSTEM, WON'T CHANGE THE AMOUNT OF WHATEVER RETIREMENT YOU WOULD BE - YOU COULD GET IT IN ANY OTHER WAY. EXCELLENT. LET'S CHECK BACK IN WITH SOCIAL MEDIA. ALONG WITH THE HOT TOPICS OF BUDGET, A QUESTION FROM STEVEN FROM OHIO, HE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW ARE WE GOING TO BE ABLE TO STAY AHEAD OF OUR ENEMIES IN SUBMARINE TECHNOLOGY WITH THE BUDGET AND THE WAY THAT THEY ARE. ABSOLUTELY. I'LL GIVE YOU A LONGER ANSWER. BUT WE OWN THE UNDERSEA DOMAIN. WE JUST ANNOUNCED WE'RE BUYING TEN NEW VIRGINIA CLASS SUBMARINES, ANNOUNCED IT YESTERDAY OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. WE'RE BUILDING TWO SUBS EVERY YEAR AND THESE ARE TECHNOLOGICAL MARVELS. THESE ARE WAY AHEAD OF ANY SUBMARINE ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD. AND WE'RE GOING TO KEEP THAT TECHNOLOGICAL AGE. WE'RE GOING TO KEEP THAT EDGE IN THE UNDER WATER DOMAIN. WE'VE GOT CHIEF NAVAL OPERATIONS THAT IS A SUBMARINER AND HE UNDERSTANDS PARTICULARLY WILL THE IMPORTANCE OF DOING THAT. AND THAT'S ONE OF HIS COMMITMENTS AND MY COMMITMENTS THAT WE WILL NEVER FALL BEHIND IN UNDERSEA IN JUST THAT PRESENCE AND WHAT WE CAN DO IN THE UNDERSEA DOMAIN. ABSOLUTELY GREAT NEWS FOR THE SUB COMMUNITY. WE'RE HEADED BACK TO SPAIN. GO AHEAD WITH YOUR QUESTION. GOOD AFTERNOON, SIR, MY NAME IS MY QUESTION TO YOU IS, WITH THE PREVIOUS SHOOTING ON BOARD NAVAL ESCALATIONS WHAT SECURITY MEASURES ARE WE TAKING; WHAT IS THE LONG TERM PLAN OF ACTION IN ORDER TO PREVENT THIS. WHEN TRAGIC, TRAGIC SHOOTING HAPPENED AT THE WASHINGTON NAVY YARD WE LOST 13 HEROES THAT DAY, WE TOOK A CLOSE LOOK AT SECURITY. SEE WHAT GAPS THERE WERE. TOOK A QUICK LOOK THEN WE TOOK MUCH MORE DETAILED LOOK AND THERE WERE SOME GAPS. NOW, WE DON'T THINK OR BELIEVE THAT ANY OF THESE ACTIONS THAT WE'VE TAKEN WOULD HAVE PREVENTED THE WASHINGTON NAVY YARD. BUT IT MIGHT PREVENT SOMETHING IN THE FUTURE. WE HAVE TAKEN SOME ADDITIONAL SECURITY STEPS TO MAKE OUR BASES SAFE AND SECURE FOR OUR SAILORS AND MARINES AND THEIR FAMILIES. BUT HAVING SAID THAT, WE COULD MAKE OUR BASES IN TO FORTRESS. WE COULD SEARCH EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN DETAIL. WE COULD SEARCH EVERY SINGLE DETAIL WHAT IT WOULD MEAN IS THAT YOU HAVE NOT MUCH INTERACTION WITH THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES. WHAT IT WOULD MEAN, LIVE ON BASE TAKE YOU TWO OR THREE HOURS TO GET THROUGH THE SECURITY CHECK POINT. WHAT IT WOULD MEAN IS THAT THEY WOULD BECOME FORTRESSES THAT'S IN THE WHAT WE'RE LOOKING FOR. WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO IS IF THERE ARE GAPS IS TO MEET THEM. I THINK WE'VE DONE THAT AFTER THE WASHINGTON NAVY YARD. AND IF WE FIND NEW GAPS TO ADDRESS THOSE, BUT THE SHOOTING IN - THE LAST THING I WANT TO SAY, THE SHOOTING IN NORFOLK, THE FIRST RESPONDERS WERE THE ONES THAT SHUT THAT DOWN. WE LOST A SHIPMATE, ANOTHER REAL HERO IN THAT. THOSE FIRST RESPONDERS WERE THE ONES THAT KEPT THAT FROM BEING ANY WORSE AT ALL. AND WE'RE GOING TO MAKE SURE THAT WE KEEP THOSE FIRST RESPONDERS, MAKE SURE THAT THEY GOT THE TOOLS THEY NEED TO DO THEIR JOB AND MAKE SURE THAT WE TAKE WHATEVER MEASURES WE CAN TO MAKE SURE THAT THE BASES ARE SAFE AND SECURE AS WE CAN POSSIBLY MAKE THEM, GIVEN THE FACT THAT THOSE BASES WERE NOT GOING TO TURN THEM IN TO JUST FORTRESSES THAT NOBODY CAN GET IN AND OUT OF. ALL RIGHT, MR. SECRETARY. WE'RE GOING TO EL SALVADOR WITH A QUESTION VIA SKYPE. WE SEEM TO HAVE TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES. CONNECTICUT INSTEAD. GO AHEAD WITH YOUR QUESTION. GOOD MORNING, SIR, STATIONED ON USS NEW MEXICO. QUESTION FOR YOU IS, WITH RECENT INTEGRATION OF FEMALES ON TO SUBMARINES WHERE WILL WE SEE FURTHER FEMALE INTEGRATION IN TODAY'S NAVY WE'VE GOT WOMEN, OFFICERS TODAY ON SSBN AND SSDN. AND THE BIG NEWS THERE IS THERE'S NO NEWS, JUST BEEN INTEGRATED IN TO THE CREWS, THEY ARE DOING GREAT. COME BACK FROM SEVERAL DEPLOYMENTS NOW. NEXT YOU'RE GOING TO SEE WOMEN OFFICERS GOING IN TO VIRGINIA CLASS ATTACK SUBMARINES, THAT WILL HAPPEN VERY SOON AND THEN YOU'RE GOING TO SEE ENLISTED SAILORS GOING IN TO SUBMARINES ACROSS THE FLEET. WE HAVE GROUP TO LOOK HOW TO DO THAT MAKING SURE WE HAVE THE RIGHT COMPARTMENTS, THINGS LIKE THAT, MAKING SURE THAT WE UNDERSTAND THE WAY TO INTEGRATE THESE IN TO EVERY DIFFERENT TYPE OF SUBMARINE. AND WHAT RATINGS WE'RE GOING TO NEED AND HOW WE CAN MOVE WOMEN IN TO THOSE RATINGS ON THE SUBMARINE. ONE OF THE THINGS WE FOUND, WHETHER IT'S ON SURFACE SHIP OR SUBMARINE, THE MORE DIVERSE WE ARE THE STRONGER WE ARE. AND OPENING UP OF SUBMARINES ONE OF THE LAST PLACES IN THE NAVY THAT WOMEN COULD NOT SERVE. WE JUST OPENED UP A CRAFT WHICH I THINK IS NEXT TO THE LAST ABSOLUTE PLACE THAT WOMEN COULDN'T SERVE, THE ONLY COMMUNITY THAT RIGHT NOW WOMEN CANNOT SERVE IN IS THE SEALS AND THAT'S NOT A NAVY DECISION THAT'S A SPECIAL OPERATIONS DECISION. BUT WOMEN IN SUBMARINES HAS BEEN LIKE WOMEN ON SURFACE SHIPS LIKE WOMEN IN OUR NAVY HAS MADE US A BETTER NAVY, A STRONGER NAVY. ALL RIGHT, SIR. BACK TO SEA. PRERECORDED QUESTION FROM USS JASON DUNHAM. MY QUESTION, IS MANY RATES ARE KNOWN FOR ASSETS THEY RECEIVE DURING TRAINING LIKE CERTIFICATIONS AND CLEARANCES AND MAKING IT POSSIBLE TO GET OUT HOW CAN THE NAVY CONVINCE THEM TO STAY IN WELL, WE'RE TRYING TO CONVINCE PEOPLE TO STAY IN IN RATINGS THAT ARE ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL LIKE THAT. WE'VE GOT REENLISTMENT BONUSES FOR RATINGS THAT ARE UNDERMANNED AND IN HIGH DEMAND. ALSO IT'S THE SERVICE ASPECT. THE GOOD THAT YOU DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY. WE'RE TRYING TO LOWER THE STRESS ON SAILORS AND THEIR FAMILIES BY DOING THINGS LIKE THIS, OPTIMIZED FLEET RESPONSE PLAN THAT GIVES YOU MORE TIME TO PLAN ABOUT WHEN YOU'RE GOING TO BE DEPLOYED. DOING THINGS LIKE IF YOU GO TO SEA IS INCREASED CAREER SEA PAY AND PREMIUM. TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE KNOW THAT WE VALUE WHAT YOU DO AND THAT YOU'RE VERY IMPORTANT. NOW HAVING SAID ALL THAT, SO FAR WE'RE SEEING RECORD RECRUITING AND STILL RECORD RETENTION ACROSS THE NAVY AND ACROSS THE MARINE CORPS. I THINK THAT SPEAKS PARTLY TO THE THINGS THAT SERVICE AND MILITARY BRINGS BUT I ALSO THINK IT SPEAKS TO THE PATRIOTISM AND DEDICATION AND WILLINGNESS TO SERVE OF PEOPLE WHO RAISE THEIR HAND, THE FEWER THAN 1% OF AMERICA THAT PUTS ON THE UNIFORM OF AMERICAN RAISE THEIR HANDS AND THAT'S AN AWESOME THING TO SEE. THAT'S THE BEST PART OF MY JOB IS GETTING OUT SEEING SAILORS AND MARINES ON THE JASON DUNHAN, I WENT TO THE COMMISSIONING. I THINK EXCEPT FOR EL SALVADOR I'VE BEEN TO EVERY SINGLE PLACE THAT SO FAR THE - IS COMING FROM. PART OF MY JOB IS TO TELL PEOPLE HOW MUCH, NOT ONLY THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS APPRECIATE THEIR SKILL, THEIR DEDICATION, THEIR PATRIOTISM BUT HOW MUCH THEIR COUNTRY DOES. WE'RE AMERICA'S AWAY TEAM WE'RE USUALLY A LONG WAY FROM HOME. PEOPLE DON'T GET TO SEE JUST HOW GOOD OUR SAILORS AND MARINES ARE. JUST HOW TALENTED THEY ARE, EDUCATED, TRAINED THEY ARE AND PART OF MY JOB IS TRY TO GET THAT WORD OUT AND TO THANK THEM ON BEHALF OF THE PEOPLE THAT THEY PROTECT. ALL RIGHT, MR. SECRETARY. GIVE YOU CHANCE TO GO BACK TO EL SALVADOR. VIA, SKYPE, GO AHEAD. GOOD MORNING, MR. SECRETARY. MY QUESTION IS, WHAT CAN BE DONE TO IMPROVE THE JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS FOR SERVING IN ASSIGNMENTS, SEEM TO BE IN CONSISTENT WITH MARRIED SAILORS AND HOUSING AND ENTITLEMENT. FOR INSTANCE, MARRIED SAILORS OR PCS ORDERS GET HOUSING ORDERS, WHERE OTHERS DO NOT. THAT'S ONE OF THOSE ISSUES THAT WE STRUGGLE WITH ALL THE TIME. AND THE BEST ANSWER I CAN GIVE YOU IS PROMISE TO GO BACK AND TAKE A LOOK AT THIS PARTICULAR INSTANCE. BUT I'LL GO BACK TO MY OWN EXPERIENCE. WHEN I WAS IN 45 YEARS AGO I WAS SINGLE, I GOT PAID LESS, FEWER ALLOWANCES, I ALWAYS FOUND MYSELF ON DUTY ON THANKSGIVING DAY AND CHRISTMAS DAY. I HAD A FAMILY, TOO. I WASN'T MARRIED BUT I HAD PARENTS AND AUNTS AND UNCLES AND FOLK THAT I WANTED TO BE WITH. IT IS ALWAYS A PULL AND A TUG BECAUSE WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE TAKE CARE OF DEPENDENTS AND FAMILIES. ALSO WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE FAIR IN THE WAY THAT WE DO IT. I'LL JUST TAKE THIS GET BACK TO YOU. ALL RIGHT, MR. SECRETARY. HEADED TO THE WEST COAST BACK TO CAMP PENDLETON. GO AHEAD WITH YOUR QUESTION. MORNING, SIR. SERGEANT ARMSTRONG WITH COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY. WHY DOES IT TAKE SO LONG FOR MARINE AND FELLOW SERVICE MEMBER TO RECEIVE VA BENEFITS AFTER THEIR ENLISTMENTS IT SHOULDN'T TAKE AS LONG FOR MARINES OR ANYBODY TO RECEIVE VA BENEFITS. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT DOD AND THE VA ARE WORKING ON IS SHORTENING THAT. MARINES AND NAVY WE'VE SHORTENED IT MORE THAN ANYBODY ELSE BUT IT'S STILL TOO LONG. WE'VE GOT IT DOWN TO ABOUT 180 DAYS DOWN FROM - IT WAS MORE THAN 300 DAYS. IT WAS A YEAR BEFORE YOU WERE GOTTING IT. WE'VE CUT THAT MORE THAN IN HALF BUT IT'S STILL TAKING TOO LONG. THERE ARE EFFORTS UNDERWAY AT THE DOD LEVEL, EFFORTS UNDERWAY AT THE VA TO HAVE ONE SET OF RECORDS TO MAKE - WE RAN PILOT IN THE NAVY MAKE ONE DETERMINATION OF NEED SO THE PHYSICAL FITNESS DETERMINATION, THE DISABILITY DETERMINATION WOULD BE MADE ONCE AND NOT TWICE THE WAY IT IS NOW. WE'RE HOPING THAT THAT, THE LESSONS LEARNED FROM THAT CAN BE ROLLED OUT. IT'S TAKING TOO LONG. YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE THAT GAP IN BETWEEN THE END OF SERVICE AND THE VA. I KNOW THAT PEOPLE - IT'S DOD-WIDE ISSUE. IT'S NOT JUST MARINES OR SAILORS I KNOW THAT PEOPLE ARE WORKING ON IT. WE NEED TO DO A LOT BETTER. EXCELLENT. MR. SECRETARY, WE'RE GOING TO TAKE QUESTION FROM OUR STUDIO AUDIENCE, GO AHEAD. SIR, I READ LAST WEEK THAT THE RESEARCH LABORATORY DEVELOPED A METHOD TO CREATE JP EQUIVALENT FILE. IS THAT SOMETHING THAT IS COST EFFICIENT NOT ONLY WILL WE PRODUCE AMOUNT OF FUEL BUT SOMETHING THAT WE HAVE TO HAUL ALL OUR AIRCRAFT AND SHIPS BASED ON THE NEW CHEMICAL COMPOSITION. WELL, IT'S STILL IN THE RESEARCH PHASE. IT'S STILL IN A LAB RIGHT NOW. IT WOULD BE PRETTY COOL IF WE COULD DO IT. WE SEEM TO HAVE A GOOD ABILITY OF SEA WATER TO BE ABLE TO DO THAT. BUT, ANYWAY, WE'VE GOT SOME - I'VE BEEN WORKING ON ENERGY SINCE THE TIME I CAME HERE. ONE OF THE REQUIREMENTS THAT WE HAVE FOR NEW SOURCES OF ENERGY IS JUST WHAT YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT, THAT THEY GOT TO BE A DROP-IN FUEL IF WE'RE GOING TO USE THEM ACROSS THE FLEET. IF WE'RE GOING TO USE THEM ACROSS OUR AIRCRAFT BECAUSE WE'VE GOT MOST OF THE FLEET WE'RE GOING TO HAVE FOR THE NEXT YEARS AND YEARS WE'VE GOT MOST OF THE AIRCRAFT. AND IT WOULD BE JUST INCREDIBLY PROHIBITIVELY TO CHANGE THOSE ENGINES. BIOFUELS THAT WE'VE NOW DEMONSTRATED WITH THE GREAT GREEN FLEET AT RIM PACK TWO YEARS AGO THAT WE'RE BEGINNING TO BUY NOW HAVE GOT TO BE DROP-IN FUELS, HAVE TO BE COST AND COMPETITIVE WITH FOSSIL FUEL THEY CAN'T TAKE ANY LAND OUT OF FOOD PRODUCTION. THOSE ARE OUR REQUIREMENTS. IT WOULD BE THE SAME FOR ANY SORT OF NEW FUEL, SORT OF A NICHE FUEL FOR SOMETHING LIKE UNMANNED UNDER WATER THEN WE COULD DESIGN THE VEHICLE AROUND THE FUELS. WE'RE PUTTING IN THE WHOLE FLEET WE GOT THE ENGINES. AND THE GREAT THING ABOUT THE BIOFUEL WE'VE USED SO FAR AS I SAID IN THE ANSWER TO PREVIOUS QUESTION, BIG NEWS WAS NO NEWS. ENGINE DIDN'T NOTICE A DIFFERENCE, THAT'S WHAT GOT TO MAKE THE CASE. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. MOVING RIGHT BACK TO CONNECTICUT. GO AHEAD WITH YOUR QUESTION. GOOD MORNINGS, MR. SECRETARY. FROM SUBMARINE SQUADRON FOUR. MY QUESTION IS, IN TERMS OF THE PROCESS IS THERE SOMETHING THAT CAN BE DONE TO IMPROVE THIS IN TERMS OF TIMEFRAME AND COMMUNICATION I'M GOING TO ASK YOU TO REPEAT. THAT I DIDN'T CATCH WHAT PROCESS I JUST DIDN'T HEAR YOU. SAME SORT OF ANSWER THAT I GAVE ON THE VA. WE ARE WORKING TO MAKE SURE THAT MED BOARD THAT DISABILITY DETERMINATION, IS THAT MEDICAL DETERMINATIONS ARE MADE ONLY ONCE BETWEEN THE SERVICE AND THE VA WE'RE TRYING TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY'RE DONE FASTER AND I'VE SAID WE'VE COMPRESSED THE TIME FOR NAVY AND FOR THE MARINE CORPS. BUT WE STILL HAVE TO COMPRESS IT MORE. BECAUSE YOU CAN CITE ALL THE STATISTICS YOU WANT TO THAT WERE COMING DOWN IN TERMS OF - GETTING BETTER BUT IF YOU'RE GOING THROUGH IT, IF YOU'RE THE ONE WAITING FOR THAT MED BOARD, WAITING FOR THAT DETERMINATION THEY DON'T MEAN ANYTHING WE JUST NEED TO DO A BOATER JOB OF GETTING YOU AN ANSWER AND GETTING YOU THROUGH THAT PROCESS QUICKER. AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE'RE FOCUSING ON. EXCELLENT. BACK TO SOCIAL MEDIA, SERGEANT FLOWERS MR. SECRETARY, JASON MARTINEZ WOULD LIKE, SIR, WHAT ARE WE DOING TO HELP OUR SAILORS AND MARINES TO TRANSITION IN TO THE CIVILIAN WORLD. WE'RE TRYING TO DO A LOT TO TRANSITION. MOST PEOPLE THEY COME IN TO THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS DON'T SPEND CAREER. THEY SPEND ONE TOUR, TWO TOURS THEY GO BACK OUT. AND THEY DO GREAT THINGS. WE TRY TO START FAIRLY EARLY, UP TO A YEAR BEFORE YOUR TRANSITION DATE, UP TO A YEAR BEFORE YOUR END OF SERVICE DATE. TAKE YOU THROUGH SOME OF THE BENEFITS THAT WILL BE THERE FOR YOU, TAKE YOU THROUGH SOME OF THE PROCESSES THAT YOU'LL NEED TO GO THROUGH. GIVE YOU SOME OPTIONS IN TERMS OF WHICH WAY YOU GO, WHETHER YOU GO FOR MORE EDUCATION OR WHETHER YOU GO FOR A PARTICULAR SET OF JOB SKILLS OR JOB TRAININGS, MOVE RIGHT IN TO THE WORKFORCE. OR WHETHER YOU WANT TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR, GO OUT AND DO SOMETHING, START A BUSINESS, OWN YOUR OWN WE'VE GOT THESE DIFFERENT TRACKS. WE'VE ALSO GOT APPRENTICESHIP TRACK THAT YOU WANT TO DO SOMETHING - I'LL TAKE, FOR EXAMPLE, WELDING IN A SHIPYARD IT RELATES TO SOMETHING YOU'VE DONE BEFORE WE CAN PUT YOU IN - WITH AN APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM SO THAT AS YOU COME OUT YOU CAN SPEND SOME OF YOUR LAST SERVICE TIME ACTUALLY IN THESE PROGRAMS SO THAT WHEN YOUR SERVICE ENDS YOU CAN MOVE RIGHT IN TO A JOB. EMPLOYERS, THE OTHER THINGS THAT I AND A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE WORKING ON IS MAKING SURE THAT EMPLOYERS GET THE SKILL THAT'S COMING OUT OF THE NAVY AND MARINE CORPS, ALL OF OUR SERVICES, YOU HAVE LEADERSHIP SKILLS, YOU HAVE INCREDIBLE TECHNICAL SKILLS. YOU'VE GOT THE KIND OF SKILLS THAT IN TERMS OF DISCIPLINE, IN TERMS OF JUST LIFE EXPERIENCE THAT EVERY EMPLOYER OUGHT TO BE LOOKING FOR. AND ONE OF THE THINGS WE'VE GOT TO DO AND ONE OF THE THINGS I THINK WE'RE BEGINNING TO DO MUCH BETTER IS TO HOOK THOSE EMPLOYERS UP WITH PEOPLE COMING OUT OF THE MILITARY SO THAT THEY CAN SEE HOW GOOD OUR SAILORS AND MARINES ARE THAT ARE GETTING OUT SO THAT WE CAN SEE THE SKILL AND TALENT LEVEL THAT THEY BRING TO ANY JOB AND SO THAT IT'S NOT A MURKY PROCESS AND WE DO THAT LATCH UP BEFORE YOU GET OUT OF THE MILITARY AND NOT JUST SORT OF SAY, THANKS, AND SEE YA. BUT TO HAVE THAT GOOD STRONG TRANSITION PROCESS IN PLACE, MAKE SURE THAT YOU AVAIL YOURSELF OF ALL THE THINGS WE'VE GOT OUT THERE THAT CAN HELP MAKE THAT TRANSITION AND TO HELP MAKE YOU AS MUCH OF A SUCCESS IN THE CIVILIAN WORLD THAT YOU WERE IN THE NAVY OR MARINE CORPS. THANKS. YOU MOVING ON TO SOCIAL MEDIA, ONE MORE QUESTION. THIS COMES FROM FROM JAMES, LIKE TO KNOW ARE THERE PLANS TO IMPROVE SHIP-BOARD SYSTEM OR ADD SATELLITES TO CONNECT BAND WIDTH TO MAINTAIN CONTACT WITH THEIR FAMILIES. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT THIS COMMUNICATIONS REVOLUTION THAT WE'RE IN, ONE OF THE BIG ISSUES THAT BRINGS TO US, ONE OF THE BIG CHALLENGES IS BANDWIDTH. JUST HAVING ENOUGH FOR OUR INSTALLATIONS, HAVING ENOUGH FOR OUR SHIPS AT SEA, HAVING ENOUGH FOR OUR NETWORK SYSTEMS, WEAPON SYSTEMS, COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS, ALL THE SYSTEMS THAT WE RELY ON TO DO OUR JOBS. IN ADDITION TO THAT, MAKING SURE THAT WE CAN STAY IN CLOSE TOUCH WITH OUR FAMILY, WITH OUR LOVED ONES BACK HOME WHEN WE'RE GONE ON THESE LONG DEPLOYMENTS, LONG WAY FROM HOME. WE'VE GOT SOME PROGRAMS UNDERWAY, WE'RE MANAGING THE SPECTRUM A LOT MORE, A LOT MORE ACTIVELY MANAGING THE SPECTRUM SO THAT WE CAN DO ALL THESE JOBS. WE'RE BRINGING NEW STUFF ONLINE, NEW CAPABILITIES ONLINE TO MAKE SURE THAT WE KEEP THAT BANDWIDTH. BECAUSE THE DEMAND IS GETTING BIGGER, NOT GETTING SMALLER BUT BIGGER FROM NETWORK SYSTEMS. IT'S GETTING BIGGER FROM PEOPLE STAYING IN TOUCH. ALL RIGHT, MR. SECRETARY RUNNING SHORT ON TIME. MAKE SURE WE GET ONE IN. FUTURE OF THE NAVY. GO AHEAD WITH YOUR QUESTION. GO AHEAD, MR. SECRETARY. IF YOU HAVE ANY CLOSING REMARKS YOU'D LIKE TO GIVE US TO. THE DBGD 1000 IS NAMED AFTER ZUMWALT. HE PAID A LOT OF ATTENTION TO SAILORS AND HE ENDED SOME REGULATIONS THAT DIDN'T HELP YOU DO YOUR JOB. OR CALLED THEM MICKEY MOUSE REGULATIONS, ALSO THOUGHT WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN TO THE NAVY AND MADE US STRONGER. THAT'S GOING TO BE A GREAT SHIP AND GOT A GREAT CREW. EXCELLENT. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. SECRETARY. WE APPRECIATE YOU JOINING US. ALSO LIKE TO SAY THANK TO YOU EVERYONE ELSE THAT WAS IN OUR STUDIO AUDIENCE AS WELL AS SOCIAL MEDIA. EVERYONE AT DMA. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS THAT DIDN'T GET ANSWERED FEEL FREE TO CHECK OUT ALL HANDS MAGAZINE AT WWW.AH.MIL AND GET THOSE POSTED UP FOR YOU. WE'LL ANSWER THE QUESTIONS WE DIDN'T GET TO BECAUSE I TEND TO BE A LITTLE LONG WINDED. THANK Y'ALL. THANK YOU, MR. SECRETARY. APPRECIATE IT.