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Defense Weather Satellites: DOD Faces Acquisition Challenges for Addressing Capability Needs

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Technical Report

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U.S. Government Accountability Office Washington United States

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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, DOD faces potential gaps in its space-based weather monitoring capabilities. As a result, 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. 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 GAO issued in March 2016 on its assessment of DODs AOA and focuses on the extent to which it informed DODs plans for providing weather-related capabilities and addressed input from stakeholders. GAO reviewed DODs AOA documents and interviewed DOD officials, including stakeholders within the military services, and NOAA officials.

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