On this date in 1995, the system reached full operational capability (FOC), having passed through initial stages (IOC) since 1993.
The USAF Vice Chief of Staff declared in 1995: ‘This is a major milestone, GPS has become integral to our war-fighters and is rapidly becoming a true utility in the civilian community.’
On this 25th anniversary, the US Space Command Commander has declared: ’The United States Space Force’s continuing objective for the constellation is to ensure GPS remains the Gold Standard for global space-based positioning, navigation and timing.’
The US Space Force (USSF) reminds us that ‘The GPS operational constellation currently has 31 satellites, and the system is continually updated and modernised, making it a resilient system to maintain the signals required for accurate positioning, navigation and timing around the world.’
The Commander of the 2nd Space Operations Sqn (2SOPS), which operates GPS, concludes: ‘The 25th Anniversary is a huge, momentous occasion for us. We take great pride in providing this global utility to the approximately 6 billion users worldwide. Celebrating this anniversary gives us a moment to recognise how far we’ve come, but also to get pumped about what lies ahead for our programme and our role in executing that.’