By Josh Rogin
Oct. 27, 2006
Shipments of goods to soldiers in Southwest Asia were delayed for four
days after Hurricane Katrina because a logistics center in Baton Rouge,
La., wasn't properly prepared for the disaster, according to a Defense
The 321st Theater Material Management Center Rear lacked internal
controls and a disaster recovery plan to adequately protect and
safeguard information technology resources, states an Oct. 18 report by
the DOD Inspector Generals Office.
The center lost voice and data communications during the hurricane and
was unable to resume operating one critical logistics information
technology system within 24 hours, as required, the report states.
The IGs office also found that the centers internal controls were
substandard. We identified internal control weakness in the protection
of [IT] resources, it said. The center also did not have a disaster
The center is a U.S. Army Reserve unit under the 377th Theater Support
Command. It is responsible for supply management for the area under
Central Command, supporting the systems that track and deliver all
ammunition and supplies to Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan and the Horn of
Eventually, the unit re-established communications with Southwest Asia
via satellite with the help of the Very Small Aperture Terminal Office,
a part of the Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems,
which borrowed satellite terminals from a unit at Fort Polk, La.,
according to a news report.
But the consequences of a delay in providing important information or of
a degradation of services may seriously affect the mission and
operational readiness, the IG report states.
Since Katrina, the centers most critical IT resource, the Corps Theater
Automatic Data Processing Center, was moved to Redstone Arsenal, Ala.,
because of an unrelated consolidation.
Nevertheless, the IG recommended that the management center establish
disaster recovery measures for its critical IT systems at their final
locations and that Army Materiel Command execute those measures after
Army officials concurred with the IG offices recommendations.
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