by 45th Space Wing Public Affairs
10/31/2015 - CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- The
45th Space Wing supported the U.S. Air Force's eleventh launch of
Boeing-built Global Positioning System IIF satellite aboard a United
Launch Alliance Atlas V from Space Launch Complex 41, here Oct. 31 at
12:13 p.m. EDT.
"As the nation's premier gateway to space, we are proud to be part of
the team providing GPS and its capabilities to the world," said Brig.
Gen. Wayne Monteith, 45th SW commander, who served as the Launch
Decision Authority. "GPS IIF-11 was the 16th launch this year for the
wing. Our team diligently prepared for this important mission through a
series of rigorous rehearsals, readiness reviews and pre-operational
checkouts. Together, with the Space and Missile Systems Center and our
industry partners, we make up one team delivering assured space launch
and combat capabilities for the nation."
The integrated team is currently preparing GPS IIF-12, the last model of
the series, for launch in early 2016. An Airmen-led processing team at
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., has processed every launch of
the series since GPS IIF-1 launched here in May 2010.
"The GPS IIF satellites play a key role in our modernization effort to
provide new space-based capabilities for users around the globe and for
decades to come," said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, Space and Missile
Systems Center commander and Air Force Program Officer for Space. "The
successful outcome of today's mission is due to the tremendous
commitment of a world class team focused on mission success."
According to SMC, the GPS constellation is healthy, stable and robust
with two GPS IIAs, 12 GPS IIRs, seven GPS IIR-Ms, and 10 GPS IIF
satellites on orbit providing precise global positioning, navigation,
and timing services to users around the globe.
American taxpayers fund the GPS enterprise operated by the U.S. Air
Force. GPS, originally designed for the military user, has become a
global utility depended upon by more than two billion GPS users
Even the 45th SW personnel rely on GPS satellites currently on orbit to
track most missions they launch from the Eastern Range at CCAFS.
Eastern Range instrumentation provides radar tracking, telemetry,
communications, command/control sites, camera and optical sites, and
other support capabilities such as meteorology. Instrumentation is
necessary to safely and successfully conduct civil, commercial, and
national security spacelift operations and ballistic missile tests and
evaluation. Eastern Range assets are based on dependable designs and
technology and are arrayed in a highly efficient architecture designed
to ensure safety of the launch environment and the public at large.