Reservists Back from Supporting RIMPAC International Exercise

More than 60 Reservists from the 513th Air Control Group and the 970th Airborne Air Control Squadron returned to Tinker AFB, Okla., after nearly two weeks in Hawaii supporting the 2014 Rim of the Pacific exercise, the world’s largest international maritime engagement. Ships, aircraft, and personnel from 22 nations, including China, were involved in the month-long exercises on and around the Hawaiian islands, according to an Aug. 4 release. The 970th AACS flew the only E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft at RIMPAC, surprising the mostly naval personnel at the air operations center with the flood of data they provided, said Lt. Col. Brent Vander Pol, the 970th AACS commander. “There was a huge gasp on the floor of the center when this massive amount of data they hadn’t been seeing appeared on the displays,” he said. The Sentry flew more than 33 hours in five missions to control more than 50 fighters and refueling aircraft, working closely with US and coalition naval personnel. The 970th airmen were joined at RIMPAC by about 65 fellow Reserve airmen and four KC-135 refueling aircraft from the 507th Air Refueling Wing, also from Tinker.