Air Force base says GPS jam will not impact Colorado

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DENVER -- Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada said GPS in Colorado will not be impacted as it performs its red flag exercise over the Nevada Test and Training Range.

As part of the exercise, the Air Force base will shut down GPS intermittently to prepare for situations in which it is inaccessible during combat.

Reports online suggest the drills will impact a vast portion of the western U.S., including California, Nevada, Oregon, Wyoming, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Montana and New Mexico.

The reports also suggest it would hinder major airports such as Denver International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport.

Nellis Air Force Base said those reports are false and the GPS jam up will only happen within the confines of the test and training range.

"I think the interesting thing is we’ve all come to rely on it but first and foremost it’s a military navigation system," University of Denver professor and GPS expert Steven Hick said.

Hick said when necessary, the military does scramble GPS in hot spots around the world.

"The theory is if you scramble it, the bad guys can’t use it against us," Hick aid. "I couldn’t speak to how broad an area or how narrow an area they can do that, but that’s what they do."

A Nellis Air Force Base spokesman reiterated in a statement that people outside the designated test and training range will not be impacted by the exercise.

"The contested and degraded parameters for exercise operations are standard and routine," Major Teresa Sullivan said in a statement. "Our exercise operations are confined to the boundaries of the NTTR, so there should be little, to no impact on the general public.

"We're very conscious of impacts to air traffic and to the community, and we notify the appropriate agencies in advance in order to mitigate such impact."

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