The U.S. Space Force is now operating in space. On Thursday, United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture of Boeing (BA -0.14%) and Lockheed Martin (LMT -0.45%), launched the sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) communications satellite on an Atlas V rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. With this final piece in place, the network of AEHF satellites will provide jam-resistant communications capabilities for the U.S. and its allies. 

Expressing his gratitude for the mission's success,  Gen. Jay Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, U.S. Space Force, said "From our acquisition experts at SMC, to the satellite developers at Lockheed Martin, to the aircrews at Air Mobility Command, and our range support teams at the 45th Space Wing, we greatly appreciate the collaboration with the ULA team who all contributed to this historic, first National Security Space launch under the U.S. Space Force."

A rocket flies above the clouds at sunset.

Image source: Getty Images.

Established within the U.S. Air Force, the Space Force, the newest branch of the U.S. military , was established in December 2019. According to its website, the Space Force is "a military service that organizes, trains, and equips space forces in order to protect U.S. and allied interests in space and to provide space capabilities to the joint force."

Yesterday's launch represents the 83rd successful launch of an Atlas V rocket and the 138th launch for ULA. The ULA's next scheduled launch for the U.S. Space Force is in May.