Cyberattack risk prompts Navy to take up celestial navigation

Brittany A. Roston - Oct 13, 2015, 4:48 pm CDT
Cyberattack risk prompts Navy to take up celestial navigation

Hackers have hit government agencies and private companies alike, and the instances of data theft and compromise are becoming increasingly severe. The risk of cyberattacks is ever present, and as such, the U.S. Navy has decided to restart teaching celestial navigation as a backup tool. The Naval Academy used to teach celestial navigation, but stopped in the 1990s, prompting outcry.

According to the Capital Gazette, the Naval Academy has restarted the teaching of “brief lessons” on celestial navigation, having reportedly done so earlier this year. Computers aren’t going anywhere; they’ll remain the preferred mode of navigation, but in the event they go down, sailors will have the option of looking up instead.

The process of teaching celestial navigation has been ongoing since 2011, it seems. It first started with ship navigators being trained in such ways, then with the aforementioned basic lessons. Now, in Fall 2016, enlisted ranks will be taught with a program that is being rebuilt.

In addition, ROTC students this past fall started with celestial navigation classes under a Navy pilot program. The program has been used at Auburn, Philadelphia, and Rochester colleges. The Naval Academy class of 2017 will ultimately be the first to have graduated with the celestial navigation instructions having been fully reinstated.

SOURCE: Capital Gazette

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