Aviano Units Prepares to Relinquish Control

Members of the 603rd Air Control Squadron at Aviano AB, Italy, in January will conclude the unit’s final deployment before the squadron’s planned inactivation in the spring. These airmen have been serving since July as part of the 71st Expeditionary Air Control Squadron at an undisclosed air base in the Persian Gulf and at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, according to a Dec. 30 release. “Currently I have a majority of my squadron either deployed here [at the undisclosed location] or in Kandahar,” said Lt. Col. Stephen Carocci, 603rd ACS commander. “On a daily basis, [they] provide battle management and command and control over the skies of Afghanistan and support for the Gulf region,” he added. Carocci has also been in charge of the 71st EACS during the latest deployment. Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Aviano unit’s airmen have supported operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Horn of Africa, states the release. “The air control community is small, so many of us will run into each other again in the future and remember what we accomplished while in the 603rd ACS,” said Carocci. (379th AEW report by SrA. Joel Mease)