Gen. Dellarocco said the common ground software was so difficult to use that it “impacted operator confidence and increased their frustration.”
His memo points out that “multiple open screens are required to complete a single task” and that computers tend to freeze because so many screens are open. In addition, users must convert data into different formats, a process that adds many steps and allows for errors to be introduced.
The general urged that the Distributed Common Ground System program manager issue a “tech bulletin” warning units in Afghanistan that the system is vulnerable to hacking. The program manger is developing a plan for the common defense system “to address many of the shortcomings we have identified,” he said.
“The Army is currently working to further improve DCGS-A capabilities as we receive feedback from soldiers and units in combat,” the Army spokesman told The Times. “The Army’s approach, which focuses on effective capabilities delivered to soldiers, not specific commercial products, is designed to field the latest technologies as we continuously strive for improvement. Based upon this feedback, areas of planned improvement include enhanced ease of use for soldiers in combat.”
But in internal documents obtained by The Times, Army officials imply that the requests were “ghost written” by contractors.
Two months ago, Army Col. Mark Stock, a brigade commander, asked the Pentagon for Palantir, saying that “mission essential requirements for force protection and targeting IED threats … are not met by current intelligence systems.”
Meanwhile, ArmyBrig. Gen. Harold J. Greene, deputy for acquisition and systems management, expressed concern that reports about the Distributed Common Ground System and Palantir have suggested that there is a choice or competition between the two software platforms. He said the common ground system “does much more than Palantir does.”
“DCGS does tasking, processing, exploitation and dissemination, while Palantir does a small subset of the mission of DCGS,” Gen. Greene told The Times. “It does a portion of the exploitation focused on link analysis. DCGS does have a link analysis tool, but it does so much more than that. … It’s really not a competition between DCGS, as a whole, and Palantir.”
Asked about problems found in just-completed testing, Gen. Greene said: “There are some parts of it working very well, both in the theater and the continental United States. As we are finding out, we did a test. You do tests to see how well things work, and there are some things in the emerging reports we are hearing that we need to correct and we have corrected many of them already.”
Asked why soldiers in Afghanistan have praised Palantir and have sought special permission to buy it, the general said: “The Palantir system does some things very well. It has an ease of use and an ease of training that we would like to leverage.”View Entire Story
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
First over-the-counter column approved for fast and effective relief from even your worst media-induced headache.
Challenge the political status quo. Realize that you make better decisions than the bureaucrats in D.C.?
A politically conservative and morally liberal Hebrew alpha male hunts left-wing viper
Sometimes life requires a paradigm twist.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention
California wildfires wreak havoc