AEHF-2 Shifts to Operators’ Control

After a three-month journey to its intended operational perch and many hours of subsequent on-orbit testing, AEHF-2, the Air Force’s second Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite, is now under the control authority of the 4th Space Operations Squadron at Schriever AFB, Colo., according to base officials. The airmen of this unit will henceforth operate the military communications satellite over its estimated service life of 14 years, stated Schriever officials Nov. 13. The formal transfer of satellite control authority from Air Force space acquisition officials at Los Angeles AFB, Calif., to the squadron occurred Nov. 7, they said. “We are excited and proud to achieve this significant milestone along the path to full operations for the Advanced Extremely High Frequency system of vehicles,” said Lt. Col. Scott Trinrud, 4th SOPS commander. AEHF-2 joins AEHF-1, which arrived at its on-orbit station in October 2011. AEHF spacecraft will complement and then eventually replace Milstar communications satellites. “With a pair of AEHF satellites on orbit, we can now offer higher data rates for users via crosslinks between the satellites,” said Lt. Col. Alistair Funge, the squadron’s director of operations. (Schriever report by Scott Prater)