DOD Awards Iridium 5-Year Gateway Evolution Contract Worth Up to $76 Million

MCLEAN, Va., Oct. 1, 2019 (Iridium PR) — Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) today announced that it has been awarded a 5-year, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract from the Defense Information Systems Agency on behalf of the United States Air Force Space Command (AFSpC) with potential revenues up to $76 million.  

Known as the Gateway Evolution Contract (GEC), this contract enables ongoing innovation and critical enhancements for the U.S. Government’s dedicated Iridium gateway.  It will enable adoption of the latest technology upgrades, both hardware and software, necessary to address emerging warfighter requirements and to ensure continued operations with the latest state-of-the-art satcom-based capabilities.

(more…)

DOD Awards 7-Year, $738.5 Million Contract to Iridium

MCLEAN, Va., Sept. 16, 2019  (Iridium PR) –Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) today announced that it has been awarded a $738.5 million, seven-year, fixed-price contract with the United States Department of Defense through the U.S. Air Force Space Command (AFSpC) to provide unlimited satellite services from its unique Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation.

Through what is known as the AFSpC’s Enhanced Mobile Satellite Services (EMSS) program, Iridium will continue to deliver access to global secure and unsecure voice, broadcast, netted or Distributed Tactical Communications System (DTCS) and select other services for an unlimited number of DoD and associated DoD-approved subscribers. 

(more…)

AIAA Applauds Creation of Space Command

RESTON, Va. (AIAA PR) – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) applauds the establishment of the U.S. Space Command. The new combatant command prioritizes the protection of our assets and sustains our advantages in space.

AIAA Executive Director Daniel L. Dumbacher made the following statement after the official ceremony to stand up U.S. Space Command:

“Space is essential to each and every one of us. Not only is it critical to U.S. military operations, but it is vital for civilian and commercial applications as well. Perhaps no one better understands that than AIAA’s members and community. With the reality that space is a contested environment, we welcome the U.S. government’s establishment of U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) as the entity responsible for ensuring free and open access to space.

The Institute, through our DEFENSE Forum and ASCEND event, as well as technical resources, looks forward to working with General John Raymond and the Command leadership to accomplish its missions of missile warning, satellite operations, space control and space support. We look forward to working with USSPACECOM to ensure that space remains conflict free and open to all.”

Rocket Lab Launch Reset for Tuesday New Zealand Time

Electron lifts off with U.S. Air Force satellites. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

After a scrub due to high winds, Rocket Lab has rescheduled its latest Electron Look Ma, No Hands launch for no earlier than Tuesday, Aug. 20 at 12:12 am NZST (12:12 UTC/8:12 am EDT).

Rocket Lab’s eighth mission will carry four satellites, including: a Cubesat for French maritime surveillance company UNSEENLABS ; BlackSky’s Global-4 Earth-imaging satellite; and two U.S. Air Force Space Command experimental satellites designed to test new propulsion, power, communications, and drag technologies.

Rocket Lab will webcast the launch at www.rocketlabusa.com.

Rocket Lab to Launch 4 Satellites in Look Ma, No Hands Mission

Electron lifts off with U.S. Air Force satellites. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (Rocket Lab PR) — Rocket Lab’s eighth mission will lift-off in August from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, carrying a total of four satellites aboard an Electron launch vehicle.

The mission is manifested with satellites destined to begin a new constellation for UNSEENLABS, as well as more rideshare payloads for Spaceflight, consisting of a spacecraft for BlackSky and the United States Air Force Space Command.

The first launch opportunity is no earlier than Friday, Aug. 16 at 12:57 UTC (8:57 EDT). The launch window is open until Aug. 30.

(more…)

USAF’s Pearl White Cubesats Mission Set to Launch Aboard Rocket Lab Electron Booster

Electron lifts off with U.S. Air Force satellites. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

MAHIA, New Zealand — Pearl White, an Air Force Space Command demonstration program, is set to launch no earlier than August 16th as part of a rideshare aboard a Rocket Lab Electron launch vehicle in summer 2019.  The launch will take place at the Rocket Lab Launch Complex-1 near Mahia, New Zealand.

The program goal is to design, develop, launch and operate two 6U cubesat experimental spacecraft as an on-orbit testbed for emerging technologies in 2019. 

The demonstration will test new technologies including propulsion, power, communications, and drag capabilities for potential applications on future spacecraft. The spacecraft will be placed in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) with a notional altitude of ~540 km and an inclination of ~45 degrees.

The two cubesats were built by Tiger Innovations Inc., which is located in Herndon, Virginia, and are designed for a one-year lifetime.  Tiger Innovations Inc. will operate the spacecraft for the life of the program under the direction and oversight of AFSPC.

Rocket Lab’s August Mission Focused On Building Constellations And Enabling R&D

Electron lifts off with U.S. Air Force satellites. (Credit: Rocket Lab)

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (Rocket Lab PR) – Rocket Lab, the global leader in dedicated small satellite launch, has today announced its next launch is a mission carrying satellites destined to begin a new constellation for UNSEENLABS, as well as more rideshare payloads for Spaceflight, consisting of a spacecraft for BlackSky and the United States Air Force Space Command.

The mission – named ‘Look Ma, No Hands’ – will lift-off in August from Launch Complex 1 in New Zealand, carrying a total of four satellites aboard an Electron launch vehicle.

(more…)

USAF Space Command General Backs Reusable Rockets

Gen. John Raymond

The head of U.S. Air Force Space Command said he is “completely committed” to eventually using previously flown rockets to launch military payloads.

It would be “absolutely foolish” not to begin using pre-flown rockets, which bring such significant savings that they’ll soon be commonplace for the entire industry, General John W. “Jay” Raymond said in an interview Monday at Bloomberg headquarters in New York.

“The market’s going to go that way. We’d be dumb not to,” he said. “What we have to do is make sure we do it smartly.”

The Air Force won’t be able to use the recycled boosters until they’re certified for military use, a process that Raymond suggested may already be in the works.

“The folks out at Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles that work for me would be in those dialogues,” he said, declining to specify when certification could take place. “I don’t know how far down the road we’ve gotten, but I am completely committed to launching on a reused rocket, a previously flown rocket, and making sure that we have the processes in place to be able to make sure that we can do that safely.”

Read the full story.











Defense Officials Describe Priorities for Operating in Contested Space Domain

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket carrying AFSPC-6 mission lifts off from Space Launch Complex-37. (Credit: ULA)

By Cheryl Pellerin
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2017 — Space enables everything the joint force does and the national security space architecture must protect and defend that capability in a contested environment, officials from the Air Force, the intelligence community and the Defense Department told a House panel in recent testimony.

Air Force Gen. John Raymond, commander of Air Force Space Command and Air Force Lt. Gen. David Buck, commander of the Joint Functional Component-Space for the U.S. Strategic Command testified last week before the House Armed Services Committee on priorities and posture of the national security space enterprise for fiscal year 2018.

(more…)











Raymond Takes Over U.S. Air Force Space Command

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein passes the guidon of Air Force Space Command, to Gen. John Raymond at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Oct. 25, 2016. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Craig Denton) Mrs. Laura Hyten, wife of Gen. John Hyten, receives flowers as a thank you from the Airmen of Air Force Space Command during the AFSPC change of command ceremony Oct. 25, 2016, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. The Hytens are moving to Offut Air Force Base, Neb., where the general will become the next commander of U.S. Strategic Command. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Craig Denton) 2 of 12 DOWNLOAD HI-RES / PHOTO DETAILS Mrs. Laura Hyten, wife of Gen. John Hyten, receives flowers as a thank you from the Airmen of Air Force Space Command during the AFSPC change of command ceremony Oct. 25, 2016, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. The Hytens are moving to Offut Air Force Base, Neb., where the general will become the next commander of U.S. Strategic Command. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Craig Denton) Gen. John Raymond takes questions from the media during his first press conference as commander of Air Force Space Command, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri) 3 of 12 DOWNLOAD HI-RES / PHOTO DETAILS Gen. John Raymond takes questions from the media during his first press conference as commander of Air Force Space Command, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri) Gen. John Raymond prepares to address the media after taking charge of Air Force Space Command from Gen. John Hyten at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Oct. 25, 2016. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri) 4 of 12 DOWNLOAD HI-RES / PHOTO DETAILS Gen. John Raymond prepares to address the media after taking charge of Air Force Space Command from Gen. John Hyten at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Oct. 25, 2016. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri) Tech. Sgt. William Marx, 21st Operations Support Squadron, salutes as the Air Force Space Command change of command ceremony begins, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Gen. John Raymond, previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force, took charge of AFSPC during the ceremony. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri) 5 of 12 DOWNLOAD HI-RES / PHOTO DETAILS Tech. Sgt. William Marx, 21st Operations Support Squadron, salutes as the Air Force Space Command change of command ceremony begins, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Gen. John Raymond, previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force, took charge of AFSPC during the ceremony. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri) Gen. John Raymond speaks with Airmen shortly after taking charge of Air Force Space Command, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman) 6 of 12 DOWNLOAD HI-RES / PHOTO DETAILS Gen. John Raymond speaks with Airmen shortly after taking charge of Air Force Space Command, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman) Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein passes the Air Force Space Command guidon to Gen. John Raymond Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Gen. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri) 7 of 12 DOWNLOAD HI-RES / PHOTO DETAILS Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein passes the Air Force Space Command guidon to Gen. John Raymond Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Gen. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri) Left, Air Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein, Gen. John Hyten, outgoing commander of Air Force Space Command, and Gen. John Raymond salute during the National Anthem, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Raymond took command of AFSPC minutes later. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri) 8 of 12 DOWNLOAD HI-RES / PHOTO DETAILS Left, Air Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein, Gen. John Hyten, outgoing commander of Air Force Space Command, and Gen. John Raymond salute during the National Anthem, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Raymond took command of AFSPC minutes later. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri) Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein speaks during the Air Force Space Command change of command ceremony at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Oct. 25, 2016. Minutes later, Gen. John Raymond took command of AFSPC. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri) 9 of 12 DOWNLOAD HI-RES / PHOTO DETAILS Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein speaks during the Air Force Space Command change of command ceremony at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Oct. 25, 2016. Minutes later, Gen. John Raymond took command of AFSPC. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri) Gen. John Raymond addresses audience members moments after taking charge of Air Force Space Command from Gen. John Hyten at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Oct. 25, 2016. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri) 10 of 12 DOWNLOAD HI-RES / PHOTO DETAILS Gen. John Raymond addresses audience members moments after taking charge of Air Force Space Command from Gen. John Hyten at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Oct. 25, 2016. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. David Salanitri) Right, Gen. John Hyten, outgoing commander of Air Force Space Command, claps with (left) Air Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein minutes after Gen. John Raymond took command of AFSPC, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Gen. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman) 11 of 12 DOWNLOAD HI-RES / PHOTO DETAILS Right, Gen. John Hyten, outgoing commander of Air Force Space Command, claps with (left) Air Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein minutes after Gen. John Raymond took command of AFSPC, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. Gen. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman) From right, Gen. John Hyten, outgoing commander of Air Force Space Command, takes in the moment as Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein looks on minutes before Goldfein passes command of AFSPC to Gen. John Raymond, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman) 12 of 12 DOWNLOAD HI-RES / PHOTO DETAILS From right, Gen. John Hyten, outgoing commander of Air Force Space Command, takes in the moment as Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein looks on minutes before Goldfein passes command of AFSPC to Gen. John Raymond, Oct. 25, 2016 at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein passes the guidon of Air Force Space Command, to Gen. John Raymond at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., Oct. 25, 2016. Raymond was previously the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters Air Force. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Craig Denton)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (USAF PR) – Gen. John W. Raymond replaced Gen. John E. Hyten as commander of U.S. Air Force Space Command during a ceremony here today.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein presided over the change of command ceremony.

Hyten is headed to Offutt AFB, Neb. to lead U.S. Strategic Command.

(more…)











Obama Nominates Hyten to Lead U.S. Strategic Command

Gen. John E. Hyten
Gen. John E. Hyten

President Barack Obama has nominated U.S. Air Force Gen. John Hyten as the new commander of U.S. Strategic Command (Stratcom).

Hyten had headed Air Force Space Command since 2014. President Obama has nominated Lt. Gen. Jay Raymond, who serves as the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for operations, to replace Hyten at that position in overseeing space operations.

“I want to congratulate Gen. John Hyten on his nomination by President Obama to be commander of U.S. Strategic Command,” Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said in a press release.

“I’ve known and worked closely with Gen. Hyten for several years, and over the course of his three-and-a-half decades in the Air Force, he has been a model for generations of men and women in uniform,” Carter said. “And he’s done so in a wide range of roles: from commanding airmen at the squadron, group, wing, and major command levels, to leveraging America’s space assets in support of troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, to helping our military confront 21st-century threats in new domains like space and cyberspace.”

Hyten will replace Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney as Stratcom’s commander. The nomination requires Senate confirmation.

Save











Hyten Releases Commander’s Strategic Intent Document

Gen. John E. Hyten
Gen. John E. Hyten

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. (USAF PR) — General John Hyten, commander, Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), revealed his updated Commander’s Strategic Intent May 6.  The strategic intent document serves as the overarching document guiding the command.

Click this link to access the full document: AFSPC Commander’s 2016 Strategic Intent.pdf

“The global expanse of our Nation’s international engagements increasingly demands that our Air Force provide Global Vigilance, Global Reach, and Global Power today and in the anticipated environment 20 years from now,” General Hyten said.   “More than ever, AFSPC is called upon to deliver agile, integrated, and resilient effects in, from, and through space and cyberspace that are critical to fulfilling these strategic demands.”

(more…)











Shelton Calls for Innovation, Cost Savings Amid Tight Budgets

Gen. William Shelton
Gen. William Shelton

by John Parker
72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla., April 21, 2014 — Innovation and cost-saving ideas will help ensure the Air Force keeps its warfighting readiness despite significant, ongoing budget cuts, the commander of Air Force Space Command recently told a Tinker audience.

General William L. Shelton spoke April 15 in Bldg. 4029 to about 90 members of the 38th Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group.

(more…)











Video: Gen. Shelton of Air Force Space Command at FAA Conference

Gen. William L. Shelton, Commander of the U.S. Air Force Space Command, talks during the 15th FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference. There’s a nifty video at the beginning showing fictional space exploration along side vehicles now in development.

The full transcript is reproduced after the break.

(more…)