Operations Coordination and Execution Lead Capt. Kevin Johnson, at Naval Network Warfare Command, recently announced the transition of Pacific fleet communications to the Wideband Global System (WGS-1), the first of a series of six new generation communications satellites that will dramatically improve NETWARCOM's ability to provide timely and accurate information and decision superiority to the fleet.
"This is a tremendous first step in improving our communications, both afloat and ashore. It will not only improve our tactical communications but will also allow us to conduct our logistics and other routine communications in a more timely manner and allow Sailors more flexibility to complete online training courses and communicate with their families," Johnson said.
Each WGS satellite provides more communication capability than the entire Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) constellation and has been eagerly anticipated by Navy forces in the Pacific theater. Follow-on WGS-2 and WGS-3 will provide improved communications capability in the Indian Ocean and Atlantic.
The WGS program augments, and will eventually replace, the existing DSCS which provides super high frequency (SHF) wideband communications. The reconfigurable antennas on WGS satellites will enhance fleet operations by increasing the commander's ability to tailor coverage areas to match operational scenarios.
Navy carrier and expeditionary strike groups will use WGS to provide high-capacity connectivity between ships and into the terrestrial portion of the Defense Information Systems Network (DISN). Ships operating in the Western Pacific will have the first opportunity to use these new satellites. USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) was the first ship to access WGS-1 during its recent transition to operational status.
The WGS satellites are key elements of a system that is expected to provide a significant increase in global communications capabilities for the fleet. These satellites provide communication capacity, connectivity and flexibility for Navy forces afloat and ashore.
The WGS constellation will maintain interoperability with existing and programmed X-band and Ka-band satellite terminals. WGS supports the Navy's warfighting information exchange requirements, enabling execution of tactical command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR); battle management; and combat support information.
WGS also augments the current Ka-band Global Broadcast Service (on UHF follow-on satellites) by providing additional information broadcast capabilities.
"We'll be closely monitoring the transition to WGS to ensure we are using it to its fullest capacity and are eagerly awaiting WGS-2, WGS-3 and the rest of the Wideband Global System constellation," Johnson said.
NETWARCOM is the Navy's type commander for networks, information operations, space and intelligence, and the central operational authority responsible for providing ready information professional, information warfare and intelligence forces.
For more information, go to the NETWARCOM Web site at www.netwarcom.navy.mil.