GPS Management Today.

The Global Positioning System management structure
is currently undergoing a transition. Until recently, DoD was solely
responsible for the management and operations of GPS as well as for policy formulation
regarding the system and its uses. Although DoD and the Department
of Transportation cooperated on those aspects of GPS policy affecting civil
access to the system, much of the decision authority rested with DoD, and ultimately
with the National Command Authority. However, now the civil government sector—primarily DoT—has been given a more active role in GPS management.

Many changes occurring are a result of recommendations made by a joint task
force of the Departments of Defense and Transportation in 1993. The Joint
DoD/DoT Task Force (JTF) was established after the Secretaries of Defense and
Transportation agreed to examine the operational, technical, and institutional
implications of increased civil use of GPS. The JTF was directed to (1) evaluate
services derived from GPS signals; (2) evaluate the ability of GPS, as managed
and operated by the DoD, to meet the needs of civil users; (3) assess the importance
of GPS services to civil, commercial, and national security objectives; and
(4) assess the long-term U.S. government sustainment of GPS as a national resource.
The JTF recommendations, released in a report in December 1993,
point to seven core areas where GPS is not meeting civil user expectations or
where alternate management strategies have been recommended. The GPS
management structure was one of the core areas where the JTF saw room for
improvement. The JTF recommended that steps be taken to enhance civil
participation in developing GPS policy and in managing the basic system and
planned augmentations.Thus the U.S. government is now involved in
striking a balance between military and civil requirements and providing channels
for both sectors to offer input to GPS management and policymaking.

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