CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. --
The U.S. Air Force’s 45th Space Wing supported United Launch Alliance’s successful launch of the WGS-9 spacecraft aboard a ULA Delta IV rocket from Space Launch Complex 37 here March 18, 2017, at 8:18 p.m. ET.
The Air Force has been breaking barriers since 1947 and the successful WGS-9 launch marks an important occasion for the Wideband constellation as it is a major milestone in a 20-year multilateral partnership.
In January 2012, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and New Zealand signed a multilateral Memorandum of Understanding with the United States, agreeing to fund the procurement of the ninth WGS satellite. The U.S. is responsible for funding the launch, operation and sustainment of WGS-9. International partners will receive a proportional share of the bandwidth provided by the WGS constellation based on financial contribution.
The WGS constellation is the highest-capacity military communications system in the U.S. Department of Defense arsenal. WGS supports a wide variety of missions for Combatant Commanders around the world to perform missions, from search and rescue efforts to military operations. Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center is the Air Force's center for acquiring and developing military space systems.
The addition of WGS-9 to the constellation will increase speed, reliability, and effectiveness for the warfighter, which enables the U.S. and international partners to more efficiently coordinate on missions in the air, on land and by sea.
According to Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, 45th Space Wing commander and mission Launch Decision Authority, the fourth major launch operation on the Eastern Range this year, and second successful launch in just two and a half days, culminates many long hours and hard work by the entire mission team.
“Thanks to the amazing commitment, focus on the mission, and teamwork the men and women of the 45th Space Wing share with our mission partners at SMC and ULA, we successfully launched the next satellite in the WGS constellation,” he said. “This mission demonstrates the Air Force’s commitment to deliver secure and reliable satellite communications around the globe to U.S. forces and our allies. It also once again showcases why the 45th Space Wing is the ‘World's Premiere Gateway to Space.’”