In a previous post on the Government Satellite Report, we looked at the current situation in the Arctic Circle and discussed why it’s an area of such incredible strategic importance for today’s military.
Ultimately, as climate change continues to melt polar ice, we’re beginning to see the Arctic as a potential pathway for international trade and other economic interests. But the Arctic is far from benign, uncontested territory. On the other side of the Arctic Ocean lies two of America’s largest adversaries – each of which is investing to strengthen their position in the region.
This is why Air Force Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, who leads U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), called the area the nation’s “first line of defense” at last year’s Sea Air Space Conference.
Unfortunately, there is significant investment that needs to be made to prepare our military to defend our strategic interests in this area. We need new ships and ice breakers. We need to retrain troops for the harsh environment. And – most importantly – we need to ensure that the communications infrastructure is in place to deliver the next generation, network-enabled tools that give today’s warfighter a strategic, tactical edge over their adversaries.
And that last area is one in which our military could certainly use some help. According to Jon Bennett of SES Government Solutions (SES GS), the military’s current communications satellites may not be enough to meet their demands in the Arctic Region.
To learn more about the unique communications requirements of the Arctic Circle, the Government Satellite Report Podcast recently sat down with Jon. During our podcast discussion, Jon talked about why the military’s WGS wideband satellite constellation may not be sufficient to deliver the connectivity and bandwidth necessary for operations in the Arctic Circle, and how commercial satellite capacity could help to bolster what is already available – while also delivering new advanced capabilities to today’s warfighter.
Click the PLAY button below to listen to what Jon had to say: