Y2K Secret Satellite Glitch

Military satellite information center takes Y2K hit

(Everything20000) The government kept it a secret until today. A ground station that processes information from military satellites took a computer Y2K hit and stopped operating on New Year's Eve, and the system wasn't up to full power until today.

The ground-based station was knocked out for two to three hours beginning about 7 p.m. EST on New Year's Eve. That's time is midnight Greenwich Mean Time. With the ground system unable to work for several hours, it meant the government did not have information from the satellites until a backup system was put to use.

A temporary fix had the system up and running by about midnight EST, but a permanent solution was not in place until this morning.

At a Pentagon news conference the spokesman Capt. Tim Taylor called the outage significant, and said it was the only major problem the Pentagon encountered during the rollover from 1999 to 2000. Pentagon officials won’t say where he data-processing station was located and they won’t describe the type of satellites involved. They say secrecy requirements will not allow them to release that information.

It is interesting to note that no mention was made of the problem when Rear Adm. Robert F. Willard, head of Y2K preparedness for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke on Friday, 2 _ hours after the outage. At that press conference Willard told the media that all Pentagon computer systems were operating normally.

Taylor said today that Willard was not informed about the problem until after the news briefing. He said public affairs officials were trying to find out why the National Reconnaissance Office did not immediately report the problem.

You can bet there is more to be heard on this incident, the secrecy of it all has the attention of the national media.

Source: Associated Press

DATE: 1/3/00

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