First Air Controllers In, Last Out

Members of the 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron began supporting the air defense of the Arabian Gulf. This squadron, currently comprised of airmen assigned to the 606th ACS in Spangdahlem AB, Germany, was the first air control unit on station in Iraq after Operation Iraqi Freedom began in 2003 and supported the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq last month as Operation New Dawn concluded. “It was an honor for our squadron to close out Operation New Dawn,” said Lt. Col Justin Hickman, 727th EACS commander. Members of the squadron help control the movement of aircraft in the airspace that they monitor through real-time radar surveillance. They deconflict the flight paths of air assets, working in concert with E-3 AWACS aircraft and Army air defense controllers. They started monitoring Arabian Gulf airspace on Dec. 30. (380th AEW report by 1st Lt. Victoria B. Porto)