Wicker: No Foreign Gov’t GPS Systems on U.S. Soil

November 19, 2013

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a senior member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, today proposed legislation to prohibit foreign governments from constructing satellite GPS stations in the United States. Wicker’s legislation is in response to a recent report that the U.S. State Department might allow a Russian space agency to construct half-a-dozen satellite ground monitoring stations on U.S. soil.

“I am deeply concerned about the Russian proposal to use U.S. soil to strengthen its GPS capabilities,” Wicker said. “These ground monitor stations could be used to gather intelligence. Even more troubling, these stations could actually improve the accuracy of foreign missiles targeted at the United States.

“Time and again, President Putin has shown he is unwilling to cooperate with America. Let us not forget that Russia has granted asylum to Edward Snowden, defended the brutal regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and denied Russian orphans the chance at a better life with a ban on U.S. adoptions.”

Wicker’s legislation was filed as an amendment to the “National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA),” S. 1197. Specifically, it prohibits the construction of foreign ground stations in the U.S. unless the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence certify that the construction of these stations would not be used to gather intelligence or improve the accuracy of any foreign weapons systems. Cosponsors of the amendment include Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Deb Fischer, R-Neb., and Mike Lee, R-Utah.

Wicker also filed two additional amendments to the NDAA bill that would ensure our military is fully equipped with a balanced fleet to secure the safety of Americans here and abroad.

“These amendments would make sure the Navy is provided with the vessels it needs to create a robust and effective fleet to protect our citizens,” Wicker continued. “A fleet with diverse types of crafts, including more amphibious assault ships, will assure our military has the most advanced and well-maintained equipment.”

One amendment prioritizes funding to establish force structure and capability balance of fleet vessels. The other amendment requires the Commandant of the Marine Corps to provide a report to Congress evaluating the operational risk of the current fleet and reviewing its needs for the future.

“Providing our troops with the means necessary to carry out their jobs is of utmost importance,” Wicker added. “These amendments would help make certain that the military enforces requirements already in place, including a minimum of 38 amphibious assault ships to be available for deployment.”