Satellite controllers at Schriever AFB, Colo., took charge of the latest GPS IIF navigation satellite on Nov. 6, a mere six days after it was launched, according to a release. “It was a fast turn from launch to taking control of the spacecraft,” 2nd Space Operations Squadron commander Lt. Col. Todd Benson, said in a release. “We’ve done five launches in the last 15 months,” said Benson. “You won’t find that experience anywhere else,” he added. The 11th next generation GPS satellite—SV-73—blasted off from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., Oct. 31, and the next GPS IIF satellite is slated for deployment in February. The overall GPS constellation currently comprises 40 satellites, according to the release.
Three B-1B Lancers from the 7th Bomb Wing flew over the Indo-Pacific alongside F-16s from the Japanese Air Self Defense Force recently, as part of a joint large force exercise. The mission began and ended in the continental U.S., as the bombers flew 31 hours and landed Jan. 11.