Pentagon Confusion on GPS Back-up/eLoran
In December Deputy Secretary of Defense Work co-signed a letter to five Congressmen sharing their concern about GPS vulnerability and the need for a complementary and backup system. He said that the administration was pursing an eLoran timing network while documenting requirements for a larger positioning, navigation and timing system.
The administration’s decision appears to have resulted from years of work and deliberation by the National Space-based PNT Executive Committee (co-chaired by Deputy Secretary Work). In 2004 NSPD-39 (which was affirmed by President Obama in 2009) identified GPS services as critical to national security and mandated acquisition of a backup capability.
But on the 15th of March of this year, two senior DOD officials testifying before Congress seemed to question the validity of that work and decision. “Inside GNSS” reported that after the hearing Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) sent a letter to Space Command’s General John Hyten and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Doug Loverro pointing out numerous discrepancies in their testimony and asking additional questions.