Dept. of Defense Possible chemical plant closing : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

this is a link for an article which talks about the Department of Defense and its irresponsible Y2K handling of critical computer systems which may result in the closing of a chemical plant.

-- Diane (, January 08, 1999


Whoa!! Good one, Diane. Hotlink and it deserves to be noted here: 99.html

JANUARY 7, 1999 . . . 15:57 EST

Report: Y2K problems could close DOD chemical plant


Officials at an Army chemical disposal site for nerve gas and blister agents have seriously mismanaged Year 2000 fixes to critical computer systems, raising the possibility that the government will shut down the site at a cost of $2 million a week, according to a recently released report.

The Defense Department's Inspector General reported that the Army's project manager for the Johnston Atoll Agent Disposal System did not begin checking until last summer for Year 2000 bugs in its critical computer systems. The systems monitor air quality, process data and control code at Johnston Atoll, which is more than 700 miles southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii, and consists of four islands. One of the islands, Johnston Island, served as the military's atmospheric nuclear testing range for more than three decades. The Army began to destroy its stockpile of chemical weapons in June 1990 and expects to complete its operations shortly after 2000.

In addition, the program office failed to prepare necessary documentation for Year 2000 fixes and has yet to develop a contingency plan, a risk management plan and a system testing plan, according to the DOD IG. The report also condemned the Army for incorrectly reporting the status of systems in the required monthly report to DOD.

"The Army faces increased risk that it may not be able to implement corrections before the turn of the century," resulting perhaps in the "temporary closure of the Johnston Atoll Disposal System at a weekly cost of $2 million," the report concluded.

The Army Program Office for Chemical Demilitarization at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is responsible for about 90 Automatic Continuous Air Monitoring systems throughout the facility. A spokesman for the Army's Chemical Stockpile Disposal Project Office said that although the Army got a late start on addressing the Year 2000 issue, they now have a schedule to fix computers and have no plans to shut down the site. However, the spokesman said the project office will not meet the Office of Management and Budget's March 31 deadline to have computer systems fixed, tested and operational. "All of our mission-critical computer systems will be Y2K-compliant before the turn of the century," the spokesman said.

According to the IG, the Army is only in the initial stages of its Year 2000 planning and still has not determined how to correct the problems with some of its critical systems.

-- Diane J. Squire (, January 08, 1999.

Yes, Diane but there are probably hundreds of other DoD chemical plants working just fine out there somewhere, maybe, i guess.

MoVe Immediate

-- MVI (, January 08, 1999.

MVI, Yes.

Why don't we hear about them yet? Why id the DOD on of the worst rated government agencies? What are the possible repercussions to other chemical disposal sites for nerve gas and blister agents? Why is the he Army is only in the initial stages of its Year 2000 planning? Why has the Army still not determined how to correct the problems with some of its critical systems?

What else that is "critcal" to the lives and safety of the people living in the U.S. is "in harms way?"


-- Diane J. Squire (, January 08, 1999.

Thanks for the input Diane. The content of this article was particularly disturbing to me, especially when you consider what a late start the Army has gotten. Seems quite disheartening. Anyway... thanks again.

-- Diane (, January 08, 1999.

Diane, this is what I call a 4x4 that I would use to hit DGI's with.

DoD has earned a grade of F, and I believe it's now up to D since last year, in remediation progress.

This is but one tiny example of their mismanagement that earned them this grade. This article simply puts a graphic picture of what exactly this grade means.

-- Chris (, January 09, 1999.

The article fails to mention:

The Johnston Atoll Facility is a joint-services location.

The DSWA (Defense Special Weapons Agency) is the controlling authority that operates and "owns" it.

The DSWA falsified y2k status reports.

The same agency is the "owner" and responsible agency for the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.

They are also responsible for the security of all "Special Weapons."

Facts. No conjecture. No opinion. No commentary.

-- PNG (, January 09, 1999.

Thanks PNG.

Time soon to do a little more dipping into some of those .gov and .mil web-sites. Public domain info can be "quite" illuminating.


-- Diane J. Squire (, January 09, 1999.


DOD is operated by military people. Chain of command is an operative concept. It's not quite "anything that's not obligatory is forbidden," but not acting without orders is pretty much the way of things. The sort of leadership that would have recognized this problem and begun to deal with it years ago simply isn't there.

Another more unpleasant element is the often noted insistence of higher echelon commanders that subordinate commanders make the reports look good.

Someone in another thread asked, what is it about these people who "don't get it"? What's in their heads? I'm certain that part of the DGI armament is nothing more complicated than a complete inability to imagine the world we know coming to a stop. The gap is just too much to deal with. I spent several months early in 1998 "knowing" what might happen, but at the same time feeling that it couldn't happen. Conflicted, you might say.

-- Tom Carey (, January 09, 1999.

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