By Ed Oswald | Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 12:42 pm
The Air Force has begun work to allay fears of GPS system failure following a GAO report last week that the system stands a risk of deteriorating starting in 2010. In a scheduled online forum over Twitter on the topic, the armed services branch said in no uncertain terms that GPS is not going anywhere.
“No, the GPS will not go down. GAO points out, there is potential risk associated with a degradation in GPS performance,”Col. Dave Buckman, AFSPC command lead for Position, Navigation and Timing said over Twitter.
Buckman continued by saying that he agreed with the agency that there was risk of performance issues, however the Air Force Space Command was indeed working to prevent any disruptions.
GAO officials have charged that budget overruns and a lack of oversight has put the system at risk. It’s apparent that the report stung hard enough that officials overseeing our system felt the need to respond to it.
“We definitely need to keep this in perspective . Since 1995, GPS has never failed to exceed performance standards,” Buckman argued.
I agree with the Air Force’s assessment. While cost overruns and oversight issues are handicapping the upgrades to a aging system, the GAO’s report came across as a little too much Chicken Little.
At the same time, its a lesson in government accountability that hopefully our new president is going to correct.