US military says it's Y2K-ready

US Deputy Security of Defence John J Hamre said the Department of Defence is 99.9 per cent ready for the year 2000 date rollover.

"The Department of Defence has invested immense effort and long hours to fix our systems and safeguard our security," Hamre said.

Hamre said the Defence Department has spent the past six years fixing, testing and certifying the department's 2101 mission-critical systems, including nuclear, logistics and communications systems, as well as 5488 mission-support systems. The cost of the project totaled more than $US3.5 billion.

"Not only have we tested our systems, but to ensure we can protect the nation's security, each system has a fully validated backup, or contingency, plan,"Hamre said.

The reason the department is not 100 per cent Y2K ready is because two of its mission-critical intelligence systems haven't yet been fixed, Hamre said. However, Hamre added, those systems are not scheduled for use until May 2000 and pose no threat to national security.

The operations of all US military facilities around the world were tested, and the 637 sites are now Y2K ready, Hamre said. In addition, the Pentagon building is also prepared for the date change to January 1.

Hamre said $10 million of the total cost was spent ensuring that there won't be any problems with Russia's nuclear systems during the Y2K date rollover.

He also said the Defense Department had developed contingency plans in the event a hacker tried to break into the department's systems during the Y2K rollover.

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