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For nearly 20 years, the U.S. Army has had limited success in developing an information network — sensors, software, and radios — to give soldiers the exact information they need, when they need it, in any environment. Such a network is expected to improve situational awareness and decision making in combat. Under its network modernization strategy, the Army is implementing a new agile process intended to leverage industry technology solutions. The Army estimates that it will require about $3.8 billion in fiscal 2013.
This report addresses the extent to which (1) the Army's network strategy and agile process addresses cost, technology maturity, security, and readiness; and (2) the Army's strategy faces other risks and challenges.
To help ensure adequate oversight, the GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense (1) define quantifiable outcome-based performance metrics for network equipment; (2) develop a plan for future network evaluations to determine if those measures have been met; and (3) evaluate fielded network performance and make recommendations for adjustments, as necessary. The GAO also recommends that the Secretary of Defense consolidate Army tactical network budget elements and justifications into a single area of the Army budget submittal.