Air Force file photo

Those Lost Investigation Files Have Been Found, Air Force Says

The service is still investigating how files from more 100,000 inspector general cases — and their backups — became corrupted.

The U.S. Air Force says it has recovered files from 100,000 inspector general investigations dating back to 2004.

In a short, four-sentence statement released midday on Wednesday, service officials said the Air Force continues to investigate the embarrassing incident in which the files and their backups were corrupted.

“Through extensive data recovery efforts over the weekend and this week, the Air Force has been able to regain access to the data in the Air Force Inspector General Automated Case Tracking System (ACTS),” the statement reads.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Air Force chief of staff said that the effort to recover the files involved Lockheed Martin and Oracle, the two defense contractors that run the database, plus Air Force cyber and defense cyber crime personnel.

“They’ve been working nonstop since they got called in here a few days ago,” Gen. Mark Welsh said at a Defense Writers Group breakfast.

Once the database is deemed stable, it will be brought back online, the statement said.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to get this data recovered and there won’t be a long-term impact, other than making sure we understand exactly what happened, how it happened and how we keep it from ever happening again,” Welsh said.

Lockheed lost the data last month. Air Force leaders at the Pentagon were not told about the incident until June 6. The Air Force went public with the incident late last Friday.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, who was scheduled to get an update on the data recovery effort this morning, has directed an independent review of the incident. Lockheed is also conducting an internal review, Welsh said.

The inspector general’s office investigates claims of waste, fraud, and abuse within the Air Force.