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The Honorable Martin Meehan (D-MA)
Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and
Capabilities Committee on Armed Services Hearing on Defense Department

February 26, 2004

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I join you in welcoming our panelists.

Transformation has become the popular buzzword in the Defense Department.

Secretary Rumsfeld assumed command of the Pentagon and - ever since - we have repeatedly heard about the effort to transform the military establishment.

But within this effort, many misunderstandings abound. Some view transformation as reorganization; others look to the promise of technological wizardry as the "holy grail" of military metamorphosis.

Simply put, transformation is a combination of all these things. Effective and sustainable transformation is both evolutionary and revolutionary. It combines technological advancement with doctrinal and organizational shifts, and relies upon persistent experimentation - as long as the "lessons learned" are both keenly observed and used to refine tactics, techniques, and procedures.

With Hanscom Air Force Base in my district, I am most familiar with - and applaud - recent Air Force efforts to transform. But I am also interested in the specifics of other efforts to change and adapt to the many threats facing our nation. I hope that today's testimony assists us all in this endeavor to push DoD in the proper direction.

Again, I thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing, and look forward
to the testimony.