Friday, March 30, 2012

New radar helps Airmen defend Arabian Gulf

From USAF:
Via Terry

New radar helps Airmen defend Arabian Gulf

Posted 3/28/2012  Email story   Print story

by Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Grewe
727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron

3/28/2012 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) -- Airmen defending the Arabian Gulf have another arrow in their quiver thanks to a new radar system installed at the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing here March 18.

The TPS-75, or "Tipsy-75" as the 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron calls it, is a powerful air surveillance radar capable of providing long-range, real-time radar coverage.

Airmen assigned to the 727th EACS use the TPS-75 to provide 24-hour air defense and surveillance for unknown threats over the entire Arabian Gulf region. The new system gives the radar operators both a bigger and more detailed picture as they monitor all aerial activity in the area.

"Our job is to constantly watch the skies," said Lt. Col. Steven A. Breitfelder, the 727th EACS commander. "Our operators defend the Arabian Gulf and its surrounding countries by monitoring the area for enemy aircraft."

The 727th EACS set a goal for increased radar coverage to improve their current mission capabilities. Airmen began looking and coordinating with the host nation in January to find a suitable site able to support the TPS-75.

"This was a major goal of ours, and it's a really great feeling to get it accomplished," said Breitfelder, who is deployed from Blue Ash Air National Guard Station, Ohio. "The maintenance folks finally get to see the results of all their hard work, and that is very rewarding."

Radar maintenance craftsman Staff Sgt. Ron Applegate, also deployed from Blue Ash ANG Station, was thrilled to have the opportunity to set up the radar.

"We've been chomping at the bit since January to set her up," Applegate said. "I'm just happy we finally get the chance to set up and work on the radar. I love the sense of pride that I get as a radar maintenance technician, knowing that our job is going toward the successful execution of the mission."

Once they received the orders, the entire squadron's maintenance section formed a team and got to work. Comprised of radar, computer, radio, and satellite and generator maintenance experts, the team combined their talents to set up an operational radar site in less than two days.

"Once we got out there and started working, everything just fell into place," Applegate said. "It gave us all a chance to put our training and skills to good use, and to show off what we do best."
727th EACS takes control of new mission

Posted 1/9/2012   Updated 1/6/2012  Email story   Print story 


by 1st Lt. Victoria B. Porto
380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

1/9/2012 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) -- The 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron changed missions Dec. 30 as it supported the end of Operation New Dawn and began supporting the air defense of the Arabian Gulf.

The timing of the transition allowed for a full-circle moment for members of the 727th EACS, who are deployed from the 606th ACS at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.

"It was an honor for our squadron to close out Operation New Dawn because the 606th ACS was the first air control squadron on station in Iraq," said Lt. Col Justin Hickman, the 727th EACS commander.

The 727th EACS provides command and control capabilities through real-time radar surveillance that allows Airmen to coordinate the movement of aircraft in their battlespace.

Turning their focus to the Arabian Gulf, the Airmen will continue to provide surveillance and tactical command and control to deconflict the flight paths of various air assets in the region and protect troops on the ground, just as they did while supporting the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.

"We're here to execute the air tasking order and to make sure our assets and our host nation partners are safe," said Capt. Lynn Senior, a 727th EACS air surveillance officer.

Staff Sgt. Sarah Hanby, a 727th EACS weapons director, emphasized the importance of their new mission.

"We know it's important to have our eyes out there to support this entire region," she said. "We keep people safe; we give them a sense of security by watching from overhead."

But members of the 727th EACS can't do the mission alone. They work closely with the airborne warning and control system Airmen stationed at the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing as well as the Soldiers from the 108th Air Defense Artillery Brigade who monitor the sky and man the Patriot batteries in defense of the region.

"They are outstanding teammates and they've set us up for success," Hickman said of the daily efforts between the units to efficiently control the air space.

And as their rotation comes to an end, the Airmen of the 606th ACS will pass the reins to the 123rd ACS from the Ohio Air National Guard; the same "sister squadron" based with them in Iraq in 2003.

"I am very proud of my Airmen and I want to thank all the Airmen of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing that have helped us transition from Iraq to our new mission," Hickman said.

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