45th SW supports 4th Mobile User Objective System satellite launch

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  • 45th Space Wing Public Affairs
The 45th Space Wing helped successfully launch the fourth Mobile User Objective System satellite aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket Sept. 2.

"Here at the 45th we measure success one launch at a time," said Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, the 45th SW commander. "With this being my first launch as the 45th SW commander, I can tell you the road to achieving that success is no small task. It takes a blended team of military, civilian and contracted professionals driving toward the same objective of getting that rocket into space. I am proud of the hard work our team put into today's launch and it goes without saying that there's nothing more exciting than being a part of a team that provides assured access to space ... that's our charge. We did it today, we'll do it tomorrow and there's nothing quite like it."

The Navy-delivered MUOS is a next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system, built by Lockheed Martin, designed to significantly improve ground communications for U.S. forces on the move. The system will undergo multiservice operational test and evaluation beginning in December and will achieve full operational capability in 2017.

According to the Navy's Communications Satellite Program Office, MUOS works like a smartphone network in space, vastly improving secure satellite communications for mobile U.S. forces. MUOS provides users a global, on-demand, beyond line of sight capability to transmit and receive high-quality voice and mission data on a high-speed Internet Protocol-based system.

"Delivery of this fourth satellite for the U.S. Navy completes the initial MUOS constellation and provides near-global coverage for the network," said Iris Bombelyn, the vice president of narrowband communications at Lockheed Martin. "For our mobile forces, that means for the first time they will be able to have secure, high-fidelity voice conversations, networked team calls and data exchange, including video, with anyone around the world connected with a MUOS terminal."

MUOS is supported by the Army's project manager for tactical radios. According to the U.S. Army, MUOS will use Earth-orbiting satellites as the equivalent of cellphone towers in space and will connect U.S. forces on ships, in submarines, aircraft and vehicles. It provides the vital link between troops in advanced positions or remote areas and the rest of the Defense Department military global network.

Prior to the successful launch of the fourth MUOS, the 45th SW supported the first, second and third MUOS launches respectively in 2012, 2013 and 2015 from Cape Canaveral Air Station.