www.defenselink.mil Department of Defense The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country. The department's headquarters is at the Pentagon. Mission The Department of Defense is responsible for providing the military forces needed to deter war and protect the security of our country. The department's headquarters is at the Pentagon. The mission of DefenseLINK is to support the overall mission of the Department of Defense by providing official, timely and accurate information about defense policies, organizations, functions and operations. Also, DefenseLINK is the single, unified starting point for finding military information on-line. This mission is consistent with the DoD Principles of Information, which outline the Department's policy for providing information to military members, DoD civilians, military family members, the American public, the Congress, and the news media. The information you find here is cleared for public release in accordance with the DoD web policy. DefenseLINK also hosts the Department of Defense part of the Government Information Locator Service (GILS), which is intended to help citizens identify, locate and retreive information about their government. More information about GILS, is available on the GILS Demonstration Server. Principles of Information It is the policy of the Department of Defense to make available timely and accurate information so that the public, Congress and the news media may assess and understand the facts about national security and defense strategy. Requests for information from organizations and private citizens will be answered in a timely manner. In carrying out the policy, the following principles of information will apply: Information will be made fully and readily available, consistent with statutory requirements, unless its release is precluded by current and valid security classifications. The provisions of the Freedom of Information Act will be supported in both letter and spirit. A free flow of general and military information will be made available, without censorship or propaganda, to the men and women of the Armed Forces and their dependents. Information will not be classified or otherwise withheld to protect the government from criticism or embarrassment. Information will be withheld only when disclosure would adversely affect national security or threaten the safety or privacy of the men and women of the Armed Forces. The Department's obligation to provide the public with information on its major programs may require detailed public affairs planning and coordination within the Department and with other government agencies. The sole purpose of such activity is to expedite the flow of information to the public: propaganda has no place in Department of Defense public affairs programs. The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs has the primary responsibility for carrying out this commitment. These principles were signed by the Secretary of Defense on April 1, 1997. History DefenseLINK first went on-line in October 1994, and is a cooperative effort between the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) and the Defense Technical Information Center. It's initial purpose was to simply publish and distribute, in electronic form, the news releases from the DoD. Since that time, the mission of DefenseLINK has expanded as more information has been published on-line that is of interest to the general public and other specific audiences. Security and Privacy Notice 1. DefenseLINK is provided as a public service by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs and the Defense Technical Information Center. 2. Information presented on DefenseLINK is considered public information and may be distributed or copied unless otherwise indicated. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested. 3. For site management, information is collected for statistical purposes. This government computer system uses software programs to create summary statistics, which are used for such purposes as assessing what information is of most and least interest, determining technical design specifications, and identifying system performance or problem areas. 4. For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this government computer system employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. 5. Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, no other attempts are made to identify individual users or their usage habits. Raw data logs are used for no other purposes and are scheduled for regular destruction in accordance with National Archives and Records Administration guidelines. 6. Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this service are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act. 7. If you have any questions or comments about the information presented here, please forward them to us using the DefenseLINK Contact Us page. Disclaimer for External Links The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the United States Department of Defense of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sites, the United States Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. All links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this Department of Defense web site. Please let us know about existing external links which you believe are inappropriate and about specific additional external links which you believe ought to be included. Government Information Locator Service (GILS) DefenseLINK hosts the DoD part of the Government Information Locator Service (GILS), which is intended to help citizens identify, locate and retreive information about their government. GILS includes an index of abstracts of official government web sites, major documents (including FOIA processed (a)(2) records) and Automated Information Systems, with pointers to the referenced web site or document. This is a fast, text-based search system, and is part of the government-wide GILS system. More information about GILS, is available on the GILS Demonstration Server.