Airmen who maintain the ground radar systems at Balad AB, Iraq, enabling 24/7 air operations, must troubleshoot and repair more than 7,200 separate parts, says SSgt. Tyler Hand, ground radar systems supervisor for the 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron. These parts range from coolant systems to motors and microelectronics. He told Air Force journalist SSgt. Alice Moore: “Our radar is the looking glass through which the air missions are coordinated. We can’t afford to perform inspections and system alignments half-heartedly.”
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.