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Senate Armed Services Committee schedules hearing on FCC’s Ligado order

Inhofe: “Given that the FCC has made its decision, it’s critical our members understand the national security implications.”
Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley talk to the chairman and the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senators James Inhofe and Jack Reed. Credit: DoD

WASHINGTON – The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) announced the committee has scheduled a May 6 hearing on the impact on national security of the Federal Communications Commission’s approval of Ligado’s spectrum proposal.

Invited witnesses include Dana Deasy, the Pentagon’s chief information officer; Michael Griffin, undersecretary of defense for research and engineering; former Coast Guard commandant Thad Allen; and Gen. John Raymond, chief of space operations and commander of U.S. Space Command.

“The Senate Armed Services Committee is holding this hearing to review the national security impacts of the FCC’s order on the Ligado proposal as it relates to our committee’s jurisdiction,” Inhofe said in a statement April 30.

“Both publicly and privately, the Department of Defense has expressed serious concerns about the risks Ligado’s planned usage poses both to military equipment and ancillary equipment used by the military, industry and everyday Americans as well,” Inhofe said. “Given that the FCC has made its decision, it’s critical our members understand the national security implications and what steps the military will need to take to mitigate these effects if the decision is not reversed.”

For additional background and analysis on this issue, you can listen to the replay of the SpaceNews’ webinar on FCC policy held April 29.

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly two decades as editor of NDIA’s National Defense...