One of the many "things that need to be improved" noted after the 1991 Gulf War was keeping better track of civilians serving overseas with the troops. These people are usually contractor representatives helping to maintain, or even operate, some types of equipment, as well as Red Cross and AAFES (Army and Air Force Exchange Service, the military WalMart people) workers. Civilians who were army employees were already being tracked, but these "independents" were becoming more numerous and keeping track of them was a growing headache. So a web based tracking system was developed, and it came into service in May, 2002. CIVTRACKS also kept track of Department of the Army civilian employees, since there was no point in having two systems for civilians operating overseas. CIVTRACKS now keeps tabs on 900 army employees and 1200 contractors. It worked well during the Iraq war, especially during emergencies when a civilian working with the troops overseas had to be found and contacted in a hurry. But commanders could also get information on how many civilians were operating with his troops and what they were there for. So successful is the program, that it is going to start tracking civilians working with the other services.