In the early weeks of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the US military satellite communications capacity was overwhelmed by the demand from US troops for satellite bandwidth to transmit voice and data communication. In response, the US military dramatically increased its use of commercial satellite capacity to meet the explosion of demand.
A study by the Satellite Industry Association found that 80% of all US military satellite communication during the Iraq invasion was carried on commercial satellites. Then-US assistant secretary of defense for networks and information integration, John P. Stenbit, estimated that the US military purchased between $200 million and $300 million worth of commercial satellite services during the first year of the war.
Recognizing the military’s reliance on commercial satellites, the US Navy undertook an effort, called the Commercial Broadband Satellite Program (CBSP), to develop and deploy satellite communication terminals specifically designed to increase the Navy’s commercial satellite communications capability…
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