That Makes Three

Air Force space officials announced Friday that US Strategic Command has accepted operational command and control of WGS-3, the third wideband global satellite communications spacecraft. Perched in position over the eastern Atlantic, the Boeing-built satellite now provides a high-capacity communications bridge between US forces in the continental United States and those stationed in Europe, Africa, South America, portions of the Middle East, and forces afloat in Atlantic waters. WGS-3 was placed into orbit last December. It is the third of six WGS spacecraft that Boeing is under contract to build, although the Air Force plans to procure at least several more. The 3rd Space Operations Squadron, a component of the 50th Space Wing at Schriever AFB, Colo., operates the satellite for STRATCOM’s Joint Functional Component Command for Space at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. WGS-3 joins WGS-1, which operates over the Pacific, and WGS-2, which sits above the Indian Ocean and supports troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.