Washington, D.C. – A leading member of the House Armed Services Committee is challenging how the commanding officer of Army Special Operations Command has explained inconsistencies regarding the decision to move forward with the Distributed Common Ground System.
The Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) is a computer network used to process and disseminate intelligence, such as targeting images. Each service, including special operations forces, uses its own version of DCGS.
The system has brought conflict to Congress and in the courts, however, as the Army has been accused of overspending to develop the system when a commercial solution has existed for years. In October, a federal judge ordered the Army to reconsider commercial platforms.
In a Dec. 15 letter to Lt. Gen. Kenneth Tovo, the commanding officer of USASOC, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) asked the lieutenant general to explain why his command reported that intelligence officers requested DCGS, when leading intelligence officers supporting Operation Inherent Resolve stated they did not plan to use the system. Rep. Hunter uncovered the discrepancies during his investigation of the matter.
The discrepancy “further reinforces my concern that outside influence from [the Department of Army intelligence] drove the filing of those [requirements],” he wrote. “This influence is of particular concern since [the Department of Army intelligence] has been at the center of much of the controversy surrounding Army leaders making misleading or false statement to Congress.”
Rep. Hunter is vice chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.
NDAA directs Army to procure commercial solutions
The fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act directed the Army to procure commercially available off-the-shelf technologies to process multi-source intelligence.
The bill asserts such technologies require less training and are substantially easier for personnel to use.
Congress passed the $619 billion measure Dec. 8 and it now awaits President Barack Obama’s signature – which could come Dec. 16.
Featured image courtesy of Daily Beast.