GPS and the Joint Force Commander: Critical Asset, Critical Vulnerability
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI
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Joint Force Commanders JFCs have become over reliant on military and commercial satellite systems for intelligence gathering and dissemination, weather, command, control, communications, and navigationguidance functions, to name a few. The Global Positioning System GPS, in particular, is becoming the dominant source for navigation, precision, and timing information in weapon, vehicles, and command and control systems. With the large investment in GPS-dependent systems, there is a tendency to overlook GPS shortcomings and vulnerabilities. Weve reached the point where satellites have become a center of gravity for both military planning and operations. Moreover, the U.S. has not yet weaponized space to protect its assets. The JFC should not rely on GPS as the sole navigational, precision weapons guidance, and timing information in military weapon systems and command and control systems. Over-reliance on GPS produces critical vulnerabilities in the operational concepts of precision engagement, force protection, operational maneuver, and command and control. Although GPS is a critical strength, it can be exploited by an adversary. JFCs must understand not only the capabilities of GPS, but also the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of GPS before employing weapons, equipment, and systems that are GPS-dependent.
- Navigation and Guidance