GPS FULLY OPERATIONAL STATEMENT OF 1995
GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM FULLY OPERATIONAL
The Air Force announced today that the Global Positioning System
satellite constellation has met all requirements for Full Operational
Capability. FOC status means that the system meets all the requirements
specified in a variety of formal performance and requirements documents.
This declaration signals the culmination of more than 20 years of
research, development and implementation activities that brought the
revolutionary navigation system from concept to reality. The program was
created by the Department of Defense in 1973. The first GPS satellite, a
Block I developmental model, was launched in February 1978.
"This is a major milestone," said Air Force Vice Chief of Staff General
Thomas S. Moorman Jr. "GPS has become integral to our warfighters and is
rapidly becoming a true utility' in the civilian community," he concluded.
The first launch of operational (Block II) GPS satellite in February
1989, marked the beginning of steady progress toward a full constellation of
24 satellites. That milestone was achieved in June 1993 and Initial
Operational Capability was declared later that year. FOC marks the successful
completion of Department of Defense testing of the 24 Block II satellites now
in orbit and confirmation of their operational capabilities.
The system gained fame during Desert Storm by providing unprecedented
navigational accuracy for allied air and ground forces, but it is rapidly
being integrated into a wide variety of civilian uses as well according to
Maj. Gen. Robert S. Dickman, director of Space Programs in the Office of the
Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition. "GPS is a model for
dual-use' systems," said General Dickman. "It's both a force multiplier for
the warfighter and a boon to the civilian sector."
GPS, operated by the 2nd Space Operation Squadron of the 50th Space Wing
at Falcon Air Force Base, Colo., is a U.S. Department of Defense
radionavigation system. It provides highly accurate, real-time, all-weather
position, velocity, and time information to properly equipped air, land, sea
and space-based military and civilian users around the world. For more
information, contact Air Force Space Command Public Affairs, (719) 554-5285.
Revised date: Wednesday, May 02, 2001