The shortage of qualified military personnel to operate and maintain computer systems and networks has led to the growing use of civilians (government employees) and contractors (not government employees) to fill the gap. For the army, that means 68 percent of their computer geeks are civilians. For the navy, it's 53 percent, while for the air force it's only 17 percent. Since computers are an integral part of every aspect of the American armed forces, there is a great need for computer technicians in Iraq. The Department of Defense won't say how many civilian computer technicians are over there, but at least three have been killed by enemy action so far. Most civilian computer specialists never leave the base they are assigned to when they reach Iraq. The armed forces don't want to lose any more of these folks, as that would make recruiting even more difficult.