Some 60 airmen of the 603rd Air Control Squadron Scorpions who just returned to their home base at Aviano AB, Italy, from months supporting Southwest Asia combat operations, left their forward location with an enhanced command and control system, replacing an old and costly-too-maintain computer-based information system, the AN/TYQ-23, with a state-of-the-art Battlespace Command and Control Center. The BC3 will enable more expeditionary air control operators to manage the combat air space and control radar operations in multiple theaters at the same time. Currently, 71st Expeditionary Air Control Squadron operators track an average of 1,000 different aircraft a day. “The Scorpions came in and left the deployed unit a much better place,” said Maj. Robert Peacock, 71st EACS commander, and added, “Their combat focus was the key to our success.” (Aviano report by TSgt. Michael O’Connor)
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.