Apr. 22, 2014 9:58am Sara Carter
Editor’s Note: This is the second report in an investigative series by TheBlaze into how top Army officials failed to provide necessary technology to troops on the battlefield, choosing to promote their own flawed software instead. Read part one here.
Two-time war veteran Rep. Duncan Hunter is preparing for another battle. This time, it’s against the U.S. Army, and it’ll be waged on Capitol Hill.
Hunter was in disbelief in February 2012 when he received word from soldiers in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Division that the Army had denied them a life-saving software analysis tool called Palantir. The software, developed in California’s Silicon Valley, could help predict the location of future bombs meant to kill troops by analyzing explosives found in the field. It was similar to numerous requests the 5th Stryker Brigade had submitted in 2009 to Army officials before deploying to Afghanistan, requests that were also denied.
[those who listen to my radio show or read this blog know I want THIS man to run for President!]
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is now leading a fight against the Army’s failure to provide life-saving software technology to soldiers on the battlefield. (Photo courtesy of Hunter’s office)
Dozens of young soldiers, officers and information technology specialists were complaining in calls and emails over failures with the Army’s Distributed Common Grounds System-Army, known by the acronym DCSG-A. The soldiers wanted the alternative software, Palantir, which had proven successful during training and missions in other service branches.
The 82nd had already suffered a number of casualties and had continuously been denied access to Palantir. The Marines and Air Force were using it; the 82nd wanted the same.
By February, Hunter was drawn into the fight. He paced back and forth in his office on that cold day, a senior congressional aide recalled.
As the congressman took up the cause, six troops in the division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team were killed in a two-week span by roadside bombs. In June 2012, Hunter wrote a letter urging the House Oversight Committee to investigate.
The 82nd warned that it “was a matter of life and limb,” Hunter told TheBlaze.
The former Marine, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, picked up the phone and called the one man he thought would fix the problem: Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army’s chief of staff.