By Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster | 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The 4th Space Operations Squadron accepted control of the 10th Wideband Global Satellite during a ceremony at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, July 10.
The platform was launched earlier this year aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle from Space Launch Complex 37B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, March 15.
In the ceremony, the satellite was transferred from the Space and Missile Systems Center to the 14th Air Force, who then transferred the responsibility of the vehicle down through the 50th Space Wing, 50th Operations Group and finally to 4th SOPS.
First Lt. Dion Tchokreff, 4th SOPS WGS engineer, said the transfer marks the official ownership and control of the satellite by an Air Force entity and will enhance the capabilities of the WGS series.
“WGS-10 will increase the strength in signal of the existing nine-vehicle constellation by 17 percent,” he said.
Following launch, Boeing conducted a series of on-orbit to verify the performance of the satellite for this moment.
“The Boeing and 4th SOPS launch, and early orbit team, went through a two-month rehearsal and a four-month execution period to ensure the vehicle safely arrived to geostationary orbit,” Tchokreff said.
WGS-10 is the second WGS satellite accepted since the now deactivated 3rd Space Operations Squadron unified with the 4th SOPS.
“It’s been two years since the merger and the teams have come together as demonstrated by the acceptance of this vehicle along with the previous one,” said Lt. Col. Timothy Ryan, 4th SOPS commander “We are one team, with one mission and goal in sight.”
WGS produces flexible, high-capacity communications for the joint warfighter by procurement and operation of the satellite constellation and the associated control systems.
“Anytime we put a satellite vehicle in orbit, we are gaining more resiliency, which is important in an operationally contested and degraded environment,” Ryan said. “More importantly, it gives more of the abilities and the capabilities of the satellite to the warfighter.”
The launch and transfer of authority of this platform highlights the 4th SOPS’s commitment to evolving space, innovation and mastering space and alignment with the U.S. Air Force’s dedication to deliver secure and reliable satellite communications around the world to support the joint warfighter.