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Advanced Extremely High Frequency system achieves IOC

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- Gen. John Hyten, the Air Force Space Command commander, declared initial operational capability for the Advanced Extremely High Frequency system July 28.

The significant achievement reflects collaboration between numerous organizations, including Headquarters Air Force Space Command, the Space and Missile Systems Center, Army, Navy and the developers, Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman. The system also includes international partners from the U.K., Canada and Netherlands.

The system is a joint-service satellite communications system that provides survivable, global, secure, protected and jam-resistant communications for high-priority military ground, sea and air assets. It provides 10 times the throughput and a substantial increase in coverage compared to the 1990s-era Milstar satellites currently in orbit.

"Achieving AEHF IOC is a great accomplishment for the team. We're proud to deliver an unparalleled leap forward in protected communications capability for both our nation's senior leaders and also our warfighters in the field," said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, the SMC commander.

With the IOC declaration, the 4th Space Operations Squadron is now operating the AEHF system, supporting warfighters around the world.

The first AEHF spacecraft was launched on Aug. 14, 2010; the AEHF-2 spacecraft was launched on May 4, 2012; and the AEHF-3 spacecraft was launched on Sept. 18, 2013. The Air Force will continue to expand the AEHF constellation to meet the demands of the Defense Department and the warfighter. AEHF-4, AEHF-5 and AEHF-6 are projected to launch in 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively.

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