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 Senate Appropriations Committee released its version of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act on Oct. 18, proposing an additional half billion dollars for the Space Force's 2022 budget and an extra 16 C-130Js for the Air Force, while leaving the service's requests for F-35s and F-15EXs untouched.