The Air Force had successfully launched 47 consecutive military payloads, noted Lt. Gen. Mike Hamel, commander of Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center. Speaking Friday at AFA’s Space Symposium, Hamel said that another launch was scheduled for that day. Shortly thereafter at the symposium, Roger Krone, president of Boeing’s network and space systems, confirmed that the 48th launch had indeed taken place as scheduled. A Boeing Delta II at 2:12 p.m. EST on Nov. 17 boosted the Lockheed Martin-built Global Positioning System Block IIR-16M satellite into orbit from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla. It was the second replenishment GPS boosted into orbit this fall.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.