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Report | Dec. 1, 2014

DoD Needs to Reinitiate Migration to Internet Protocol Version 6 (Redacted)



We determined whether DoD was effectively migrating to Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6).


Although DoD satisfied the requirement to demonstrate IPv6 on the network backbone by June 2008, DoD did not complete the necessary Federal and DoD requirements and deliverables to effectively migrate the DoD enterprise network to IPv6. This occurred because:

  • DoD Chief Information Officer (CIO) and U.S. Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) did not make IPv6 a priority;
  • DoD CIO, USCYBERCOM, and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) lacked an effectively coordinated effort and did not use available resources to further DoD-wide transition toward IPv6; and
  • DoD CIO did not have a current plan of action and milestones to advance DoD IPv6 migration.

As a result, DoD is not realizing the potential benefits of IPv6, including to battlefield operations. Furthermore, the delay in migration could increase DoD’s costs and its vulnerabilities to adversaries.

Management Action Taken

On June 24, 2014, DoD IPv6 representatives met to discuss concerns and how best to authorize IPv6 on DoD networks. The group agreed to begin a limited deployment of IPv6 in October 2014, analyze results, and incrementally expand the deployment as conditions and results permit.


We recommend the DoD CIO:

  • establish a DoD-wide IPv6 transition office and working groups to more effectively advance DoD’s transition to IPv6;
  • coordinate with the Commander, USCYBERCOM; Director, DISA; Commander, U.S. Army Information Systems and Engineering Command; Director, High Performance Computing Modernization Program; and other DoD test and evaluation components to establish a process to ensure test results and lessons learned are integrated into DoD IPv6 migration efforts;
  • coordinate with the Commander, USCYBERCOM and the Director, DISA, to develop new DoD IPv6 transition milestones, roles and responsibilities, and enforcement mechanisms to ensure successful migration to IPv6; and
  • monitor status of IPv6 milestones established above and elevate any delays to the Deputy Secretary of Defense.

Management Comments and Our Response

Comments from the Acting Principal Deputy DoD CIO fully addressed the recommendations and no additional comments are required. Additionally, we received unsolicited comments from the Director, C4 Systems and CIO Support (J6), USCYBERCOM.