Members of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing activated the 968th Expeditionary Airborne Air Control Squadron, an E-3 AWACS unit, at the wing’s undisclosed operating location in Southwest Asia. They said the new unit is “the first enduring AWACS squadron” at the base, according to the 380th AEW’s April 2 release. “This squadron was activated to usher in a new era in AWACS,” said Lt. Col. Peter Mykytyn, 968th EAACS commander. “For the first time this unit will have a one-year commander supported by units from Pacific Air Forces and Air Combat Command,” he added. The activation took place on March 25. The squadron traces its lineage to 1943 and the European theater of World War II, states the release. (380th AEW report by SSgt. Timothy Boyer)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.