The 45th Space Wing successfully launched a United Launch Alliance-built Delta IV rocket carrying the sixth Wideband Global Satcom satellite at 8:29 p.m., Aug. 7 from Space Launch Complex 37B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
A combined team of military, government civilians and contractors from across the 45th SW provided support to the mission, including weather forecasts, launch and range operations, security, safety and public affairs.
The satellite will provide additional wideband satellite communications coverage for U.S. defense forces and international partners, to include Australia, which supported the cost of the sixth spacecraft under a partnership agreement.
The WGS system provides anytime, anywhere communication for the war fighter through broadcast, multicast, and point-to-point connections.
WGS is the only military satellite communications system that can support simultaneous X and Ka band communications, with crossbanding that makes it transparent to the warfighter to communicate across terminal types.
WGS provides essential communication services, allowing Combatant Commanders to exert command and control of their tactical forces, from peacetime to military operations. Tactical forces will rely on WGS to provide high-capacity connectivity to the Defense Information Systems Network.
Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno the commander of the 45th SW praised the entire, mission-focused team on the outstanding results.
“I am proud of the hard work of the 45th Space Wing, the Space and Missile Systems Center, United Launch Alliance, Boeing, our industry and mission partners and everyone involved in this
WGS-6 launch,” said Armagno, who also served as the Launch Decision Authority for the second time in less than three weeks.
The 45th SW also launched a United Launch Alliance-built Atlas V rocket carrying the second Mobile User Objective System satellite, built by Lockheed Martin, for the U.S. Navy from here July 19.
“Once again, our entire team worked hand-in-hand to make this another successful launch for the U.S. Air Force and our nation,” Armagno said.
Sixth Wideband Global SATCOM satellite launched
The U.S. Air Force’s sixth Wideband Global SATCOM spacecraft was launched on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. at 8:29 p.m., EDT, Aug. 8, the first step in its journey to expand satellite communications services to the warfighter.
The satellite will provide additional wideband SATCOM coverage for U.S. defense forces and International partners, to include Australia, which supported the cost of the sixth spacecraft under a partnership agreement.
Over the next few months, Boeing will begin on-orbit testing of the satellite to verify nominal performance and prepare the satellite for operational use. Ultimately, the satellite will be controlled by the U.S. Air Force’s 3rd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo. WGS-6 should enter operations in early 2014.
“WGS is a vital piece of the MILSATCOM enterprise consisting of WGS, DSCS, AEHF, Milstar and terminals,” said Charlotte Gerhart, chief, Wideband SATCOM Division, MILSATCOM Directorate. “WGS is providing unparalleled global communications capabilities to soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen for the United States, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, and New Zealand. The continued success of WGS is due to the hard work and dedication from the combined Government and Boeing team.”
The Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the U.S. Air Force’s center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems including Global Positioning System, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control network, space based infrared systems, and space situational awareness capabilities.