Ships at Naval Station Norfolk lost GPS signals in late May due to inadvertent signal jamming, according to the Air Force organization that helped pinpoint the problem.
Amphibious ships homeported at the base, such as the USS New York, are equipped with a terrestrial Digital Wideband Transmission System to communicate with each other and Marines ashore during operations.
DWTS operates in the L-band also used by the Global Positioning System. In late May, an unidentified ship transmitted on GPS frequencies, “effectively jamming all GPS receivers in the area,” Lt. Col. Thomas R. Ste. Marie, commander of the 2nd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo., which operates the satellite navigation system, told attendees at a GPS conference in Nashville, Tenn., on Tuesday.
Ste. Marie said the Navy issued a fleetwide advisory to all DWTS users not to transmit on GPS frequencies, which include 1176.45 MHz, 1227.60 MHz, 1381.05 MHz and 1575.42 MHz.
This is just another in a long list of examples of why no one -- especially sailors -- should rely solely on GPS.