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CASSIDY, JOHNSON URGE DEFENSE SECRETARY ESPER TO CONSIDER BARKSDALE FOR HIGH-TECH TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROGRAM

October 21, 2020
Press Release

BOSSIER, La. – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and U.S. Representative Mike Johnson (LA-04) today sent a letter to Department of Defense Secretary Mark Esper encouraging the department to consider Barksdale AFB as a candidate for its newest high-tech telecommunications program to test fifth generation (5G) wireless defense applications. The letter goes on to state:

“The development of 5G technology will have transformational impacts that reverberate through virtually every facet of daily life. As we make this transition into the 5G era, it is critically important that our Armed Forces have a comprehensive understanding of how this technology can be best utilized to advance our National Defense Strategy.

To that end, we believe Barksdale possesses certain characteristics that serve the interests of the Department of Defense in carrying out this program…the fast-growing cyber corridor along Interstate 20 in Louisiana could magnify Barksdale’s 5G testing through the development of non-military applications for this program, thus ensuring taxpayers and the Department of Defense receive the greatest possible return on this investment.”

Note: The letter is rooted in one of Congressman Johnson’s amendments to the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2021. The House and Senate are currently resolving differences in the NDAA passed by each chamber.  

You can read the text of the letter below or click here for a signed copy.

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October 21, 2020

The Honorable Mark T. Esper
Secretary
United States Department of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301

 

Dear Secretary Esper:

As the Department of Defense continues to identify military installations as part of its 5G test bed program, we write to highlight for your consideration Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, Louisiana.

The development of 5G technology will have transformational impacts that reverberate through virtually every facet of daily life. As we make this transition into the 5G era, it is critically important that our Armed Forces have a comprehensive understanding of how this technology can be best utilized to advance our National Defense Strategy.

To that end, we believe Barksdale possesses certain characteristics that serve the interests of the Department of Defense in carrying out this program. For example, Barksdale has streamlined access to a wide variety of spectrum bands, mature fiber and wireless infrastructure, and easy access to prototyping and test ranges. Moreover, the fast-growing cyber corridor along Interstate 20 in Louisiana could magnify Barksdale’s 5G testing through the development of non-military applications for this program, thus ensuring taxpayers and the Department of Defense receive the greatest possible return on this investment.

For these reasons, we strongly support Barksdale Air Force Base as a candidate installation for the 5G test bed program, and we respectfully ask that you to give it every appropriate consideration.

 

Sincerely,

Bill Cassidy, M.D.                                                                     Mike Johnson
United States Senator                                                             Member of Congress