There’ve been rumblings that some White House officials pressured Gen. William Shelton, head of Air Force Space Command, to alter his testimony before going before a House oversight committee in a classified session earlier this month to discuss LightSquared’s proposed wireless broadband network and its interference with the GPS signal. The Daily Beast reported, for example, that Shelton was asked to make his testimony come across more favorably to the company. A reporter asked Shelton about this Tuesday afternoon during his media availability at AFA’s Air & Space Conference in National Harbor, Md. “Anytime in the past or in the future that I am called to testify, I will do my best to present the facts as I know them,” Shelton answered. “The real issue here, certainly from my perspective, is protecting the GPS service. We are stewards of GPS capability for the nation and literally for the world, and I believe that my first responsibility is to the users, not only military, but civil and others, to make sure that that service is continued.” Shelton’s been explicitly clear in his public comments on this topic: He presently sees no way for LightSquared to operate its network on the currently proposed frequencies without interfering with the GPS signal to unacceptable levels for users of precision GPS receivers (see LightSquaring a Circle and No Room to Coexist). If that’s toning down his views, we sure would have liked to have seen his original script.
Gen. Mark A. Milley handed over his responsibilities as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—the nation’s top military officer—to Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. on a gray Sept. 29 morning, marking a milestone in a turbulent era of U.S. defense policy.