8/8/2013 - LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif -- 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) today, 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
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