By 2nd Lt. Jeffery Brown
4th Space Operations Squadron
As the front runner of protected communications for military satellites, Milstar has been going strong for America for the past 16 years. While this legacy system continues to serve America and her fighting forces, it received a huge boost in capabilities as its follow on system the Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite, made her maiden voyage to the stars Aug. 16 at 7:07 a.m. from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The operators of the AEHF satellite will be the 4th Space Operations Squadron here at Schriever AFB.
“AEHF will provide protected, secure, and survivable crosslinked satellite communications worldwide through all levels of conflict,” said Lt. Col. Todd Hoover, 4 SOPS director of operations. “The users, which will range from the warriors on the ground to the President of the United States, will be provided 10 times greater capacity and six times the channel data rates than that of the Milstar Block II Satellites. This will enable transmission of tactical military communications including real time video, battlefield maps, and targeting data.”
The first AEHF satellite, “SV-1,” will reside in geosynchronous Earth orbit alongside the Milstar satellites and continue to help provide continuous worldwide communications coverage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It will also provide connectivity across the spectrum of mission areas including land, air, and naval warfare; special operations; strategic nuclear operations; strategic defense; theater missile defense; and space operations and intelligence.
Excitement was abuzz in 4,SOPS as it prepared to have its first of three planned new generation satellites launched into orbit.
“I am excited to partner with Space and Missiles Center MILSATCOM Wing to bring the first-of-its-kind AEHF satellite into the protected satellite communications operations arena,” commented Lt. Col. Douglas Schiess, 4 SOPS commander. “AHEF SV-1 will allow 4 SOPS to provide even better and faster secure communications to warfighters around the world in every combatant commanders AOR.”