Army investigates improper acquisition of intel software by infantry unit bound for Afghanistan

Army acquisition officials have demanded that the 3rd Infantry Division take "immediate corrective action" upon discovering that the unit tried to obtain a controversial intelligence software for training before it deployed to Afghanistan, reports Defense News.

Heidi Shyu, the Army’s acting assistant secretary for acquisition, sent an e-mail on Aug. 16 to the 3rd Infantry Division after her staff uncovered two memos signed by the division in May that requested delivery of Palantir intelligence software for training before deployment to Afghanistan, the story said.

Shyu's request for corrective action was aimed at the 3rd Infantry Division, which had stated in the memos that it didn’t have the money to pay for the intelligence software, the story said. An offer by the company to furnish the software on a cost-free basis to the division runs counter to established contracting methods.

Palantir software is designed to assimilate vast amounts of information stored in various government databases to help units at the battefront track and pinpoint various kinds of targets and threats.

The memos, which requested “temporary training/reach-back server” from Palantir, were addressed to the Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office and the Technical Support Working Group, and also to  intelligence contractor Praescient Analytics and Palantir.

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