Upgraded AWACS Goes to the Pacific

The Air Force’s upgraded E-3G Sentry made its Pacific debut last month. The 552nd Air Control Wing at Tinker AFB, Okla., deployed the upgraded Airborne Warning and Control System Block 40/45 to PACAF in March, flying the first E-3G sortie over the Korean peninsula on March 18, according an April 15 Tinker release. The aircraft was stationed at Kadena AB, Japan, from March 12-22 and also flew missions alongside the Japanese Self Defense Forces. The AWACS helped control other aircraft in aerial interdiction, counter-air, and suppression of enemy air defense training missions, 964th Airborne Air Control Squadron Detachment Commander Maj. Jonathan Ritsema said in a release. The upgraded AWACS made its combat debut in November. The aircraft’s $2.7 billion upgrade program includes modern communications, enhanced computer processing, and improved threat tracking.