WASHINGTON — U.S. Strategic Command has accepted command and control of the military’s second Boeing-built Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) communications satellite, paving the way for operations, according to an Aug. 21 Air Force press release.

WGS-2 is now positioned to cover Southwest Asia and will provide high-capacity communications links to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Upon the recommendation of Air Force Space Command and Army Space and Missile Defense Command, Strategic Command has assumed responsibility for the satellite from U.S. Space Command, the release said.

Built by Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems of Seal Beach, Calif., WGS-2 was launched April 3 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and delivered to the Air Force June 15 following on-orbit checkout, the release said. It follows the first WGS satellite that launched in 2007 and is now in operation over the Pacific Ocean region.

Boeing is under contract to build six WGS satellites, and the Air Force plans to buy two more. The third satellite in the constellation is slated to launch Sept. 30 aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket.