US to Build eLoran Timing, then Navigation Network to Complement GPS
In letters dated the 8th of December, Department of Defense Deputy Secretary Robert Work and Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez informed five members of Congress that the administration is working on a “near-term solution” to address vulnerabilities of the GPS timing signal by establishing a complementary “timing-focused eLoran capability.” This would be a prelude to “a full complementary PNT capability for the nation.”
This letter was in response to the congressmen’s call for action in a letter to the two deputy secretaries sent in late August. In that letter the congressmen noted that several administration officials have identified GPS as a “single point of failure for critical infrastructure” and that several government efforts have shown that eLoran is the preferred, if not only reasonable, alternative.
The congressmen’s concerns were addressed to the two deputy secretaries because they chair the administration’s National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Executive Committee. As such they are responsible for coordinating such issues across all federal departments and making recommendations to the President.
Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) has been particularly vocal about the need for such a system in recent hearings. He welcomed the response from the two deputy secretaries saying “It is good to see them directly addressing this issue. We have had a lot of talk on this for too many years, though, and what we need is action. I look forward to the administration moving forward promptly to make the nation safer.”