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Air Force Ready to Launch WGS-8 Satellite

The U.S. Air Force's eighth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite, encapsulated in a 5-meter payload fairing, is mated to a Delta IV booster at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex (SLC)-37. (Photo courtesy of ULA)

The U.S. Air Force's eighth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite, encapsulated in a 5-meter payload fairing, is mated to a Delta IV booster at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex (SLC)-37. (Photo courtesy of ULA)

The U.S. Air Force's eighth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite, encapsulated in a 5-meter payload fairing, is mated to a Delta IV booster at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex (SLC)-37. (Photo courtesy of ULA)

The U.S. Air Force's eighth Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellite, encapsulated in a 5-meter payload fairing, is mated to a Delta IV booster at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex (SLC)-37. (Photo courtesy of ULA)

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The U.S. Air Force and its mission partners are scheduled to launch the eighth Boeing-built Wideband Global SATCOM satellite aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle. Liftoff is scheduled for Dec. 7 from Space Launch Complex 37B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The launch window opens at 6:53 p.m. EST and will remain open for 42 minutes.

“This launch will significantly enhance the WGS constellation, providing vital wideband communications anytime, anywhere to U.S. warfighters and our international partners through broadcast, multicast, and point to point connections.” Said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, Space and Missile Systems Center commander and Air Force program executive officer for Space. “WGS-8 maintains the core capability to support X and Ka-band communications simultaneously, while also increasing communication capacity.”

With a new state-of-the-art digital channelizer, WGS-8 will increase communication capacity by approximately 45 percent more than previous WGS satellites. The WGS constellation is the nation’s highest-capacity military communication system, providing a quantum leap in communication capability for the U.S. military and allied forces. This vital asset continually collects and routes real-time data through all X-band and Ka-band terminal types in support of a wide variety of missions, from search and rescue efforts to military operations.

“The demand for ever-increasing reliable and secure satellite communications has been at the forefront of the WGS mission,” said Greaves. “WGS provides communication connectivity across all mission areas, including air, land, and naval warfare.”

Operated by U.S. Air Force’s 3rd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base, the WGS constellation delivers reliable and secure communications services worldwide 24-hours a day, seven days a week as a vital military asset to the US and allied forces.
The Air Force is committed to providing capabilities to ensure combatant commanders receive the tools they need to effectively communicate and coordinate strategic and tactical operations against any adversary.

Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California, is the U.S. Air Force's center for acquiring and developing military space systems. Its portfolio includes GPS, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks, space-based infrared systems, and space situational awareness capabilities.

Media representatives who would like to interview a subject matter expert or learn more about the WGS-8 launch should send an e-mail to smcpa.media@us.af.mil