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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 170-96
May 01, 1996

GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM POLICY ANNOUNCED

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology Paul G. Kaminski today participated in a White House ceremony announcing the first comprehensive statement of U.S. policy on the management and use of the Global Positioning System. According to Kaminski, this policy statement marks a milestone in the evolution of GPS as a critical defense resource and an equally critical economic and scientific resource that will benefit the U.S. and the world. It represents the best of American scientific and technical ingenuity and highlights the positive results that can be achieved when the military and civil sectors cooperate in creating a true dual use system.

GPS consists of a constellation of 24 satellites, a worldwide signal monitoring and control network and a broad family of military and civilian user equipment. As the developer and operator of GPS, the Defense Department has been an active proponent of its use for civilian purposes. GPS is intended to provide a substantial military competitive advantage for the U.S. and its allies over any potential adversaries while at the same time serving a broad range of civilian applications. In fact, GPS has already proved its military effectiveness during Desert Storm and humanitarian operations in Somalia, Haiti and Bosnia and is now being fully integrated into virtually every facet of U.S. military operations.

At the same time, GPS applications have grown enormously in the civilian sector. GPS use already exists far beyond the simple scope of navigation and positioning, as the system has evolved into an information resource and an integral part of the Global Information Infrastructure. Throughout this process, DoD has worked in close partnership with both federal and private civil organizations to bring GPS into full operational use for civilian as well as military benefit.

Because of this policy and its commitment to long-term, stable GPS operations, DoD will continue to support GPS use for peaceful civil purposes. We anticipate and long, healthy partnership with the civilian community through the GPS Executive Board and through international discussion with other providers of GPS augmentation services and other satellite-based navigation and positioning services.