Boeing announced Tuesday that the Air Force has taken control of the third Wideband Global Satcom military communications satellite from the company after the spacecraft completed several weeks of on-orbit functional tests. Air Force operators at Schriever AFB, Colo., are now conducting additional tests and moving WGS-3 into its operational position over the Atlantic Ocean. The satellite is expected to become operational this spring, according to Boeing. WGS-3 was placed in orbit last December. It joined WGS-1 and WGS-2, which are operating over the Pacific Ocean and the Middle East, respectively. Boeing is under contract to build more WGS satellites.
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.