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Army Set to Brief Congress on Flawed Multibillion Software Program Following Blaze Investigation

PUL-E ALAM, AFGHANISTAN - MARCH 29: SGT Kurtis Scheinder from Detroit, Michigan with the U.S. Army's 2nd Battalion 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division patrols on the edge of a village outside of Forward Operating Base (FOB) Shank on March 29, 2014 near Pul-e Alam, Afghanistan. The primary mission of soldiers with the 10th Mountain Division stationed at FOB Shank is to advise and assist Afghan National Security Forces in the region. The soldiers continue to patrol outside the FOB in an effort to decrease rocket attacks on the FOB from the nearby villages. Security is at a heightened state throughout Afghanistan as the nation prepares for the April 5th presidential election. Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Army is holding an impromptu briefing Monday for lawmakers on Capitol Hill to explain a flawed software program less than a week after TheBlaze revealed that the multibillion government program has been failing soldiers on the battlefield since its inception more than a decade ago, a top congressional aide said.

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TheBlaze TV’s For the Record last week exposed how the Army’s top brass failed to provide the necessary technology to troops on the battlefield, choosing instead to promote their own software, known as Distributed Common Ground System-Army, or DCGS-A .

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif. ), who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, has been fighting the Army's resistance to use other superior and far cheaper software programs readily available in the private sector.

"Whenever the Army does these types of briefings, it’s usually because they are feeling heat on the program," said Joe Kasper, Hunter's deputy chief of staff, told TheBlaze.

Kasper said that the Army briefing is "all a facade, really."

"Whatever is conveyed is sure to mislead and confuse the audience, and for sure won’t draw on the real distinctions, developed through real-time war zone applications, between DCGS and commercial alternatives," he added. "It’s because of investigations and reporting by TheBlaze and other outlets, calling attention to gaps in capability created by DCGS, that the Army is facilitating the briefing and feeling a bit defensive."

Army representatives could not immediately be reached for comment, but in an email to members of Congress obtained by TheBlaze, Army officials said the briefing would be "an update on the DCGS-A program" with a presentation by the program manager and experts in Army intelligence and training to "respond to questions concerning milestones [and] cost."

Army officials are also sending "several recently deployed Army intelligence soldiers [who] will discuss their experiences with used different versions of the DCGS-A system as well as other commercially available software," the email said.

The Army’s software was intended to find bomb-making patterns, mine intelligence, input surveillance data, build dossiers on the enemy and to provide tools that help analysts determine the enemies next move. Soldiers on the battlefield were not impressed with the Army’s system, however, which they reported had numerous glitches and failures.

"If DCGS worked the way it should, then why do the brief? Why defend it in this forum and not among the Army auditors and independent auditors who slam it routinely," Kasper said. "Why not make the case to the men and women who have walked into the congressman’s office unannounced, or those whose bad experiences are included in report after report? That’s the true test."

Follow Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) on Twitter

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