December 16, 1999 -- Deputy Secretary of Defense John J. Hamre today announced the Department of Defense is fully ready to protect the nation's security during the Year 2000 computer rollover.
In a press conference at the Pentagon, Hamre outlined some of the massive efforts undertaken by the Department of Defense to prepare for the Y2K rollover period. DoD has monitored the fixing, testing and certification of one third of all essential computerized systems in the Federal Government, totaling 2,101 mission critical systems and 5,488 mission support systems. Today, all defense systems needed for key functions during the late December to early January rollover period are compliant. In particular, nuclear systems, communications systems, and defense logistics systems are fully compliant. The Department's final completion rate is put at 99.9 percent since two mission critical intelligence systems are still to be finalized. They will next be used in May 2000, however, and are not needed for the rollover period.
In noting the Department's progress, Hamre commented, "The Department of Defense has invested immense effort and long hours to fix our systems and safeguard our security. This successful completion effort, started in late 1995 and accelerated in the last 18 months, is a tribute to the dedication of DoD's military personnel and civilian employees."
As part of the Department's program, the operation of U.S. military installations around the world was tested: all 637 of these military sites are now Y2K compliant. Their electric power services, water, waste water, security and emergency services have been checked and work properly. Of note, the Pentagon building is Y2K compliant and will be ready on Jan. 1, 2000. The Pentagon has a backup power feed line and backup generators for command centers, the sewage station and life and safety lines. It has compliant air conditioning, alarms and smoke detectors, telephone systems, and police radio system.
DoD has also focused attention on federal "high impact programs:" those key systems which pay DoD personnel and provide for military health care. The Military Health System and military hospitals are Y2K ready as are all pay and personnel systems for active duty, civilian and retiree personnel.
DoD has a record number of 4,221,565 embedded devices and has replaced everything that is significant and required to accomplish DoD's mission, resulting in 99.9% compliance. The remaining non-compliant devices have no operational impact and pose no safety hazard; therefore they have been deliberately retained as a matter of sound management practice and good stewardship of taxpayer funds. For example, some non-compliant fax machines have been retained. The machines still work, but simply print the wrong date on the header.
To ensure its systems worked appropriately, Defense conducted the largest, most comprehensive testing effort in the Department's history. Included was testing of single systems, groups of systems in functional settings (pay and personnel systems together, for example), and evaluations of major operational activities. In all, 123 major evaluations were conducted, including 36 by the unified military commands.
The Department of Defense Inspector General has monitored the Department's progress, issuing more than 180 audits on Y2K compliance. In a report entitled "Summary of DoD Year 2000 Issues IV" issued today, the IG summarized its late 1999 audit results on Y2K by saying, "The cumulative results of the extensive audit and inspection effort to facilitate and validate DoD year 2000 conversion progress support an assessment that the Department is ready to carry out all national security missions after December 31, 1999."
Hamre commented on the complexity of DoD's preparations by saying, "Not only have we tested our systems, but to ensure we can protect the nation's security, each system has a fully validated back-up, or contingency plan. Each Service, agency, and warfighting command has tested these plans in exercises."
Costs for the Department's Y2K program totaled $3.596 billion over the six-year period, Fiscal Years 1996-2001. This price tag covers such factors as identifying the problem, fixing systems, conducting tests, developing contingency plans, and running extensive operational evaluations.
The extent of the Department's Y2K preparations reaches as well to the establishment of the Center for Y2K Strategic Stability in Colorado Springs, Colo. In this center, U.S. and Russian military personnel will sit side-by-side during the Y2K transition period, from late December to mid-January 2000, and continuously monitor U.S.-provided information on missile and space launches. These representatives will be in voice contact with command centers in the U.S. and Russia via a highly reliable, Y2K-tested communications link.
The Center for Y2K Strategic Stability compliments the extensive steps taken by the U.S. and Russia to ensure the reliability of their warning systems, nuclear weapons and command and control capabilities.
Hamre concluded his briefing by saying, "The American public can be confident the Department of Defense is Y2K ready."
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