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Schriever Sentinel

Air Force’s WGS-2 satellite launched into orbit

(Photo by Pat Corkery, United Launch Alliance) A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the U.S. Air Force’s second Wideband Global SATCOM satellite lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., April 3. After a 31-minute flight, WGS-2 was placed successfully in orbit where it will provide enhanced communication abilities to troops in the field.

(Photo by Pat Corkery, United Launch Alliance) A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the U.S. Air Force’s second Wideband Global SATCOM satellite lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., April 3. After a 31-minute flight, WGS-2 was placed successfully in orbit where it will provide enhanced communication abilities to troops in the field.

By Staff Sgt. Stacy Foster

50th Space Wing Public Affairs

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla.  – The Air Force’s second Wibeband Global Satellite Communications, or WGS, satellite was successfully launched into orbit April 3.

WGS-2 joins the service’s first WGS satellite, which launched on Oct. 10, 2007. The WGS system will significantly increase the communications capabilities for troops in the field, allies and national leadership, to include the president.

“WGS-1 has performed beyond our expectations,” said Lt. Col. Brent McArthur, 3rd Space Operations Squadron commander. “In fact, feedback from users indicates the capabilities have exceeded their expectations as well and they just can’t get enough of it.”

The 3rd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever AFB maintains control of WGS-1, and is scheduled to assume control of WGS-2 in late June 2009.

The WGS-2 mission is the second installment of the WGS system. The WGS satellites are important elements of a new high-capacity satellite communications system providing enhanced communications capabilities to America’s troops around the world for the next decade and beyond. WGS enables more robust and flexible execution of Command and Control, Communications Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance, as well as battle management and combat support information functions. WGS-2 augments the existing service of the WGS-1 satellite by providing additional information broadcast capabilities.

(Courtesy photo) 1st Lt. Katie Boeing, Staff Sgt. Aaron Summers, Capt. Jeff Pleinis and Lt. Col. Mike Kinslow, all from the 3rd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever AFB, pose for a photo in front of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on the morning of April 3. The rocket was used to launch the Air Force's second Wideband Global SATCOM satellite into orbit later that evening. 3rd SOPS will assume control of the satellite June 2009.

(Courtesy photo) 1st Lt. Katie Boeing, Staff Sgt. Aaron Summers, Capt. Jeff Pleinis and Lt. Col. Mike Kinslow, all from the 3rd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever AFB, pose for a photo in front of the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on the morning of April 3. The rocket was used to launch the Air Force

“This has been a herculean effort, there are literally thousands of people working around the clock to make this a success,” said Colonel McArthur. “It’s an awesome responsibility for 3 SOPS to assume control of WGS-2 after so many people have spent hundreds of thousands of hours getting this satellite to where it is today.”

The satellite will be positioned over the equator at around 60 degrees East longitude to provide support to US Central Command in Afghanistan, Iraq and others parts of Southwest Asia.

WGS-3 is currently scheduled to launch in August from Cape Canaveral. Three additional satellites are planned to be launched after WGS-3 to bring the constellation to a total of six by 2013.

Some Information in this article obtained from www.ulalaunch.com.

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