In a new report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said the U.S. Army should work to ensure its new online system, that assists with logistics management, operates in all situations and that soldiers complete necessary training to operate the system.

The Global Combat Support System-Army (GCSS-Army) is a web-based information and logistics system that “has improved the Army’s ability to meet logistics needs during military operations through improved visibility, accountability, and reporting of its assets, such as replacement parts and equipment.”

According to the GAO report, though, the system does not function in situations where network connectivity is an issue, which may negatively impact combat units’ performance during operations.

“Soldiers GAO interviewed told GAO that during military operations, they may be in a remote location close to an adversary where they may or may not have internet or satellite access; cyberattacks are possible; and mountains could obstruct connectivity,” the report states. “The Army plans to develop and to field a disconnected operations capability by 2023, but whether it will dedicate the appropriate resources remains uncertain.”

GAO added that the Army could lose timely accurate, and secure information to sustain operations if it wasn’t able to operate GCSS-Army when disconnected from the service branch’s network.

GAO made two recommendations for Army, both of which were concurred with by the Defense Department (DoD). The Pentagon also provided suggestions on which Army offices should address the recommendations, which GAO agreed with. The recommendations include:

  • Army should dedicate resources to meet its plan to develop and field a capability for GCSS-Army to operate when it’s disconnected from the Army’s network; and
  • Army should establish a mechanism with a capability to track whether soldiers are completing the necessary training to operate GCSS-Army and gaining proficiency in how to use it.
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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.
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