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Weather data are instrumental for planning, executing, and sustaining U.S. military operations and for meeting civilian needs, such as weather forecasting and climate research. As existing weather satellite systems age, the DOD faces potential gaps in its space-based weather monitoring capabilities. As a result, the DOD and other stakeholders, including the military services, the intelligence community, and U.S. civil agencies such as NOAA, are now in a precarious position to fill key capability gaps with immediate and near-term solutions. The DOD conducted an AOA to identify and compare the operational effectiveness and life-cycle costs of potential solutions.
This testimony is based on a report the GAO issued in March 2016 on its assessment of DOD's AOA and focuses on the extent to which it informed DOD's plans for providing weather-related capabilities and addressed input from stakeholders.