WASHINGTON – US military teams in charge of North America have spent millions of dollars to facilitate COVID-19, to analyze space data related to the Pentagon’s joint venture to command and control all domains, and to upgrade information technology. in the office, said a Pentagon observer.

An audit by the Inspector General of the Department of Defense found that Northern Command and North American Aerospace Command spent about $ 13 million of the money received to meet the JADC2 pandemic, a vision of seamless communication across the department. claims to be incorrect.

Of the $ 2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill for 2020, known as the CARES Act, more than $ 10 billion has been donated to the Department of Defense. Of the nearly 500 NORAD and NORTHCOM transactions worth $ 66 million, the auditors reviewed 25 transactions worth $ 61 million. Of that, $ 34 million was used properly, while $ 19 million was not, and about $ 7 million was uncertain because employees did not have the necessary documentation, the supervisor said.

“Therefore, the officials may have violated the statutes for this purpose by using funds from the CARES Act to pay for projects not related to COVID ‑ 19”, said the auditors in their review, announced publicly on Wednesday. “Improper use of NACE and USNORTHCOM CARES Act funds undermines the confidence of Congress and taxpayers in the Department of Defense.”

The investigation was sparked by an accusation made on the hotline of the Ministry of Defense.

IN JADC2 related contract was for space data analysis, and its work required data analysis software for space tracking, space time and environment, and radar. Officials from the Colorado-based NORAD and NORTHCOM teams say the deal was a “broad effort” involving many command and control initiatives, as well as staff tracking and medical statistics, the documents show.

JADC2 aims to better connect military services and speed up information sharing to enable more accurate and appropriate responses to threats. It is usually summarized as connecting sensors to shooters.

Officials also used nearly $ 5 million of the CARES Act funds under an existing contract to acquire the country’s stable, cloud-based air defense software, which receives data from a project called Pathfinder. Pathfinder uses machine learning and other options for analyzing data from military, commercial, and government sensors to create an overall operational picture.

The software summarizes data from many systems that in the past would not have been analyzed or evaluated in time, Air Force General Glen Van Herckleader of NORAD and NORTHCOM, told Pathfinder last year.

Auditors reviewing the contract and supporting documents were unable to find a link to the public health crisis. Instead, they said they set the costs to be more in line with the indictment.

Command officials disagreed, saying Pathfinder technology was used to monitor the state of the workforce and respond quickly to COVID-19 assistance needs.

For more than a quarter of the audited transactions, totaling more than $ 7 million, auditors said teams did not maintain adequate evidence to support whether employees used pandemic countermeasures and which records lacked a clear and documented link to COVID. – 19 pandemics.

More than $ 5 million was used for the first phase of a NORAD and NORTHCOM building complete re-wiring project. The auditors said that there was no documentation to show how the cable infrastructure project was related to COVID ‑ 19. About $ 531,500 was used in the same way build a wireless network that employees say it will allow for better social distancing. The auditors said several documents, emails and testimony were not enough to prove it.

Command officials told the auditors that they had maintained sufficient support for all their expenses under the CARES Act.

The auditors found that millions of dollars have been spent appropriately on projects that increase bandwidth, maximize teleworking capabilities, and allow people to distribute. The money was also properly used to quarantine, feed and care for troops, a proactive measure that probably stopped the spread of the coronavirus. These fees fall within the spending plan of the Ministry of Defense for the CARES Act, which determines what is acceptable – medical care, cleaning products and Defense Proceedings Act purchases, among other expenses – and what was not.

The audit recommended that the BBC’s Director of Budget determine whether there had been any irregularities Deficit Control Act, which states that the executive cannot spend money unless Congress authorizes it. Officials agreed to coordinate with NORAD and NORTHCOM to correct problems identified by the auditors.

Asked for comment on Friday, a spokesman confirmed the inspector general’s report and said that “the recommendations have already been duly considered by US Northern Command. There is nothing more to add. “

Joe Gould is a senior Pentagon reporter for Defense News, covering the intersection of national security policy, defense policy and the defense industry.

Colin Demarest is a reporter for C4ISRNET, where he covers military networks, cyberspace and IT. Colin had previously covered the Department of Energy and its NNSA – namely the Cold War clean-up and the development of nuclear weapons – for a South Carolina daily. Colin is also an award-winning photographer.


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