The USAF 2nd Space Operations Squadron designated the satellite operational on 1 April.
The Sqn had accepted control of the satellite, Vehicle Number 75 (SVN75), on 27 March. It was set usable at 1945Z on 1 April as PRN18, occupying Slot 6 in Plane D.
GPS III satellites have a planned life of 15 years and are designed to be forward- and backward-compatible, allowing them to fully adapt to the future whilst remaining fully usable with previous generations of spacecraft. They also transmit the new L1C signal. The satellites are also claimed to be 3-times more accurate than their predecessors, with 8-times improved anti-jam capability.
Eight more GPS III satellites are scheduled for launch by 2025, the next launch expected in April. Lockheed Martin is contracted to build a total of up to 32 GPS III/GPS III Follow-on (GPS IIIF) satellites.