Computers and U.S. Military Readiness in Europe

LCD-76-110: Published: Aug 25, 1976. Publicly Released: Aug 25, 1976.

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A review was undertaken of the usage of automatic data processing (ADP) systems by U.S. Forces stationed in Europe to meet their peacetime and wartime operational needs.

In its review, GAO found that how the services establish overall wartime computer readiness depends on how they assess the need for ADP wartime support and the risk of losing this compared to the cost of providing an adequate ADP wartime readiness process. Further, although the services depend on ADP to carry out effectively those activities vital to wartime operations, many functions which parallel manual operations do not exist for meeting data requirements. This is particularly the case in comand and control, personnel, and large-supply operations. Currently, the services have studies in various stages of development to increase operational readiness. However, ADP wartime readiness will not be improved materially unless: (1) ADP wartime missions are clearly defined; (2) secure backup facilities are designated and made as transportable and as survivable as the principal activities which they support; (3) field testing is conducted periodically to insure that van mounted computers can operate in field environments and that adequate power supplies and transportation support are available; and (4) adequate plans are provided for the continuity of ADP support when individual systems are destroyed in wartime.

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