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Chart DTM-8.-Communications satellite global system program, 1966–
GOVERNMENT USE OF SATELLITE COMMUNICATIONS
MONDAY, AUGUST 15, 1966
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m., in room 2247, Rayburn Office Building, Chet Holifield (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Representatives Chet Holifield, Frank Horton, and William L. Dickinson.
Also present: Herbert Roback, staff administrator; Douglas G. Dahlin, counsel; and J. P. Carlson, minority staff.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. The committee will be in order.
OPENING STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN HOLIFIELD
Today, the Military Operations Subcommittee commences hearings on satellite communications from the standpoint of Government operational programs and procurement of services from carrier sources.
Events in this interesting and complex field are moving quickly and in several directions. On June 16, 1966, the first installment of what the Department of Defense calls its initial defense communications satellite program (IDCSP) was successfully placed in orbit.
I may say that our subcommittee has a great interest in the military satellite program; in fact, we tried to give it a little encouragement in its formative stages. The hearing record of our subcommittee on the earlier phases of the military program is quite extensive, and we summed it up in House Report No. 178 (89th Cong., 1st sess.), which recorded our view of the importance of a military capability in this field, and our recommendations for achieving it. We expect, in the course of these hearings, to get a progress report from the Department of Defense on the matters covered in earlier reports.
The Department of Defense, I am told, accounts for about 75 percent of all the communications by Government users. Undoubtedly it was for this reason that President Kennedy designated the Secretary of Defense as Executive Agent for the National Communications System (NCS), which is being developed to serve the Government agencies which are substantial users of communications. Secretary McNamara's responsibilities in this capacity are carried out, as I understand it, by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Administration, Mr. Solis Horwitz. At the same time, the Defense Communication Agency, directed by Lt. Gen. Alfred D. Starbird, is designated the
Manager for the NCS, concerned more directly with the planning and operational aspects. We will hear Mr. Horwitz and General Starbird today, and also Mr. Thomas F. Rogers, Deputy Director (Electronics and Information Systems), who is representing Dr. John S. Foster, Jr., Director Research and Engineering. Mr. Rogers will review the technical programs and progress in satellite communications.
The Department of Defense is, of course, a large buyer of communications services as well as an operator. With Secretary McNamara's approval, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Department of Defense both have entered into contracts with the Communications Satellite Corp. (Comsat), to obtain satellite communications services-in NASA's case for the Apollo program, and in DOD's case for circuits between Hawaii and the Philippines, Japan and Thailand. We examined rather carefully the circumstances of NASA's procurement in hearings of January 1966 and House Report No. 1340 (89th Cong., 2d sess.), which our committee submitted to the Congress on March 21, 1966. We will discuss these procurements further in the course of the hearings, with testimony from both DOD and NASA.
These procurements, at least the Defense portion, have not been free of controversy. Several international carriers were active bidders against Comsat for supplying the services, although they would have to rely on Comsat for the satellite segment; that is to say, Comsat's competitors, who also are important stockholders, are compelled, in the present order of things, to buy from Comsat if they would sell to the Government.
In the midst of all these complications, the Federal Communications Commission published its decision on "authorized users” of Cosmat services. If I read this opinion correctly, Cosmat, as a carrier's carrier, is supposed to deal with the carriers instead of the Government, except in very special circumstances.
A Comptroller General's decision, following on the heels of the FCC ruling, said in effect that there was no legal barrier to a direct contract between the Defense Department and Comsat, but that FCC still had to authorize Comsat performance of the contract. This is a very interesting situation, and of course we shall inquire into it and try to get a better understanding of its implications. Undoubtedly several of the carrier companies will want to be heard on this subject.
Our hearing schedule, which must be tentative and adjusted to leg. islative exigencies and to accommodate witnesses, is as follows:
Week of August 15:
Witnesses from the Department of Defense and the Air Force, Army, and Navy.
Week of August 22:
Witnesses are the Director of Telecommunications Management in
Comsat will lead off that week. We will also hear the Federal Communications Commission, A.T. & T., and other carrier witnesses.
Now we will proceed with our schedule. Mr. ROBACK. Mr. Chairman, if it is satisfactory with the Defense witnesses, we will ask Mr. Rogers to come forward first and give us a review of the technical programs.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Mr. Rogers, are you present?
Mr. HOLIFIELD. Come forward and bring anyone you wish with you.
Mr. Rogers, you will identify your associate for the record, please. STATEMENT OF THOMAS F. ROGERS, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, DEFENSE
RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING (ELECTRONICS AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS), DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE; ACCOMPANIED BY WILLIE L. MOORE, JR., DEPUTY ASSISTANT DIRECTOR (COMMAND AND CONTROL), OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF DEFENSE RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING FOR ELECTRONICS AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Mr. ROGERS. This is Mr. Willie L. Moore, Jr., Deputy Assistant Director, Command and Control, in my office, the Office of the Deputy Director of Defense, Research and Engineering for Electronics and Information Systems.
Mr. HOLIFIELD. You may proceed.
Mr. ROGERS. Mr. Chairman, it is indeed a pleasure to have the opportunity of appearing again before this committee to give you a progress report on Department of Defense satellite communications research and development activities.
A number of matters of interest to this committee have taken place since Dr. Foster, the Director of Defense Research and Engineering, discussed this subject with you in January of this year. I expect that other witnesses from the individual military departments, now scheduled to appear before you later during these hearings, will describe their relevant activities in detail to you. Today, I would like to summarize:
Our experience to date with both the Syncom microwave repeaters and the initial defense communications satellite project-the IDCSP-satellite repeaters.
Our work in the advanced defense communications satellite project--the ADCSP-leading toward a fully operational system.
The status of our tactical satellite communications program, and certain other related activities.
The total of these efforts forms a comprehensive research and development program directed to the effective application of satellite communications technology to critical military communications needs. Its end objective is the provision of those tough, flexible, secure, and reliable operational communications which are required by the Department to conduct military operations in support of national objectives. This satellite communication R. & D. program is directed to the satisfaction of both strategic and tactical communication needs, and it