NATO must disable GPS jammers during maneuvers
NATO's North Atlantic military alliance is no longer allowed to use GPS jammers during an ongoing maneuver off the coast of Scotland. An order was issued by the British Ministry of Defense following complaints from the public.
In advance, the military reportedly gave notice that GPS functionality in the area could be disrupted these days. However, this message did not reach many locals. For example, fishermen suddenly found themselves exposed to a situation in which their sea locating instruments were no longer working, the BBC reported.
Various fishing boat captains have turned to authorities, saying it would endanger the safety of their employees. The jammers also caused problems ashore. There are concerns that tourists who rely on their GPS systems for hiking in Scotland could become lost and injured.
Local governments on some islands in the region have also complained that the jammers not only interfere with GPS signals, but also cause problems with mobile communications and satellite TV reception. Some villages should have been almost completely cut off from communication with the mainland at times, as essential parts of communication and internet connections now work via mobile networks.
The current NATO maneuver “Joint Warrior” is scheduled to continue until October 17. It takes place twice a year with the participation of naval, air and land forces. 14 states are involved in the current action.
According to the military, communications to the population had already been published in September. In early October, warnings were also issued via the region's usual maritime radio channels. However, this was probably not enough to reach everyone involved. So far, it's unclear what went wrong. GPS jammers have also been used in previous maneuvers without complaint, he said. Military, ship, navy, battleship.