Editor’s Note: Unless there is a crisis, the government almost always takes small steps on things. The below announcement about the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2018 is a good example.  

Several things to keep in mind for those prone to be too eager or too pessimistic:

  • This is just the House version of the bill – though we see no reason the provision would not pass the Senate.  
  • It allows money to be spent – but it does not actually provide the money. Funding could come either from existing funds in the budget, or in the Appropriations Act for 2018 which is also in progress, or not at all.  
  • It does not ensure the nation has a system to complement and backup GPS  – Yet NDAAs have mentioned the GPS vulnerability problem for several years. Last year’s directly addressed the need for a complement and backup.  
  • This bill directs action. – But if folks in the administration are determined to resist they can act so that nothing is really accomplished.

All in all, this NDAA is progress. It continues to show Congress’ concern and intent, and highlights the national need. It also reinforces other legislative efforts to support the Department of Transportation establishing a national complementary and backup system.

From GPS.gov:

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018 act includes policy and funding guidance for the GPS program…

Demonstration of Backup and Complementary PNT