The 45th Space Wing successfully launched the ninth satellite in the Wideband Global SATCOM constellation Saturday evening from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla. A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket carried the satellite. “The WGS-9 launch marks a significant occasion for the WGS constellation as it is the fielding of a satellite procured under a partnership with Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and New Zealand,” said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, commander of Space and Missile Systems Center, in a press release. The constellation provides “not only US forces, but also our international partners, with enhanced communications capabilities and increased coverage,” he said. The WGS-9 launch had been previously scheduled for March 8 but was delayed because of a problem with the rocket’s first-stage booster. WGS-8 was launched on Dec. 7, 2016. The launch date for the 10th satellite has not yet been announced.
The U.S. and U.K. launched a new wave of strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen on Jan. 22, hitting radars, missile support systems, and underground weapon storage areas, the Pentagon said. The strikes were in response to Houthi attacks on American commercial ships in the Red Sea.