The Distributed Common Ground System is now in use in Afghanistan. It received mixed reviews from soldiers who complained in confidential memos obtained by The Washington Times that the machine is too slow and unreliable.
“We are deeply troubled that the mounting costs associated with the DCGS-A have yet to produce a consistently functional product and places our warfighters in the field at increasing risk,” the Republicans wrote.
The letter was signed by Rep. Mike Pompeo, Kansas Republican, and six others. It states that the Pentagon’s top operational tester concluded the ground system’s newest version is “not operationally effective.”
“It is becoming increasingly clear this program is failing,” Mr. Pompeo said.
Battlefield intelligence has taken on new importance in Afghanistan, where the Taliban, al Qaeda and other insurgents blend in with the population and move in the shadows to plant bombs and conduct ambushes.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican, is the House’s leading critic of the common ground system. He has uncovered internal memos that show the Army has blocked attempts by commanders to acquire a commercially available data processor in place of the Army-funded system. He wrote to the House Appropriations subcommittee on defense on April 17 urging that funding for the program be eliminated.
The Army will get its chance to defend the system Friday in a briefing to congressional defense staffers. The Army plans to present soldiers who say the common ground system works great.