All Bold Text was provided directly from TheBlaze.
1. Why was a “rescind and destroy” memo issued for the April 25, 2012 ATEC report,
calling for it to be replaced with revised version dated May 25, 2012? What did the
revised material include?
A: An investigation revealed that the “rescind and destroy” memo was issued in order to
ensure that the 25 April 2012 FOAR [Forward Operational Assessment Review] “properly
reflected the strengths and weaknesses of Palantir and that the recommendations in the
report were in line with the report’s purpose.” The investigating officer did not find that the
direction was attributable to “anyone attempting to improperly advance the Army’s DCGS-A
Program of record.”
2. We’ve been told (by person(s) with knowledge of meetings and discussions on topic)
that Lt. Gen. Mary Legere “strongly encouraged subordinates to endorse DCGS’s
capabilities and dismiss Palantir as an effective component to DCGS.” In that, what
is Lt. Gen. Legere’s response to that statement? How does Lt. Gen. Legere assess
Palantir’s capabilities v. DCGS’s capabilities?
A: The Army strongly endorses the best intelligence capabilities for our warfighter,
regardless of the industrial partner who is providing that capability. The service has been a
very open advocate of innovation and increased industry outreach opportunities with all
Army senior leaders fully supported industry outreach efforts to include the Cooperative
Research and Development Agreement with Palantir that was signed May 30, 2012 in order
to gain a greater understanding about how the Army can leverage Palantir capabilities. We
have frequently encouraged Palantir officials to take part in numerous Industry Days and
other DCGS-A initiatives. The Army plans to open up several DCGS-A opportunities for
competition in the coming years, and is hopeful that all large and small industry partners will
compete. It is important to note that DCGS-A also includes hardware, trucks, antennas and
other equipment in addition to software applications and it is currently supported by over 60
Reference for question 3: The 1996 Clinger Cohen Act established the role of the
agency CIO who is responsible for “developing, maintaining and facilitating
the implementation of a sound and integrated IT architecture. The architecture is an
integrated framework for evolving or maintaining existing IT and acquiring new IT. The
agency heads shall identify in the agency’s IRM plan (required by the Paperwork Reduction
Act (PRA)), major IT acquisition programs that have significantly deviated from
their respective cost, performance or schedule goals.”
3. According to OMB Circular No. A-130 Revised, as part of the capital planning
process, each agency must “Support work processes that it has simplified or
otherwise redesigned to reduce costs, improve effectiveness, and make maximum
use of commercial, off-the-shelf technology.” How has the Army complied with the
outlined requirements of this law, pertaining to DCGS-A?
A: The DCGS-A Program participates with approximately 60 small and large commercial
industry partners across the country that support DCGS-A. Each partner must be compliant
with intelligence community data and standards and willing to build an open architecture.
Ease of use, interoperability and easy access to data are critical factors for these
participants in their work supporting the Army. Attached is a list of some of the industry
partners that helps develop the software in use with DCGS-A.
4. According to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division’s
“USAICoE Lessons Learned Collection Report” report dated January 2013, “DCGS-A
is not an enterprise system capable of replacing the Army’s multiple intelligence
ground processing systems.” The November 2013 memo “Training Requirements to
Maintain Proficiency of DCGS-A” attributes the following assessment to the 130th
Engineering Brigade “DCGS continues to be; unstable, slow, not friendly and a major
hindrance to operations at the [battalion] level.” What is Lt. Gen. Legere’s response
to these assessment of the program and why does there appear to be a disconnect
between the DCGS-A assessment of Army personnel in theater and the assessment
of Army officials stateside?
A: The Army takes user feedback seriously and has implemented that feedback into the
current version of DCGS-A that is in use in Afghanistan. In fact, in response to feedback,
Army officials directed an ease of use campaign to specifically address user concerns which
has resulted in a number of improvements included in the latest version of the DCGS-A
software. The changes have been well received by our Soldiers. We will continue to
leverage our soldier’s feedback to improve all aspects of the DCGS-A system, including
software, hardware, ground stations, topographic support, etc.
5. What’s the status of Red Disk and why have the previous two attempts to integrate
DCGS via cloud computing architecture been unsuccessful?
A: The Army, like all of the Services, is working with the Intelligence Community to migrate
to the Intelligence Community cloud standards and to provide enhanced capability to our
Warfighters. Previous DCGS-A cloud efforts have contributed to the Army’s and other
Services’ understanding of these requirements while also serving the needs of our forces in
theater. Red Disk, a separate effort from DCGS-A, will inform the Army’s future
requirements for DCGS-A.
6. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) has called for an investigation into the misuse of DCGS-A
funding in an October 29, 2013 letter saying “It was recently confirmed by the House
Armed Services Committee that Operations and Maintenance funds may have been
used for further Research, Development, Test and Evaluation funding for the Army’s
Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS-A)…If accurate, this would be a clear
violation of the Antideficiency Act (ADA).”
What’s the Army’s response to this accusation and where did the Army allocate these
funds in question?
A: The Army Audit Agency is currently conducting an audit of the DCGS-A Program of
Record in direct response to Rep. Hunter’s latest concerns. We are awaiting the results of
the audit and it is premature to comment at this time.