Released: February 20, 1998

E-3 Sentrys join in Gulf build-up

by Master Sgt. Daniel Sherwood
552nd Air Control Wing Public Affairs

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. - In response to tasking from the commander, U.S. Central Command, the 552nd Air Control Wing here geared up for deployment to Southwest Asia Feb. 13.

Two E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft left for the Gulf Feb. 16. Specialized equipment, parts, and approximately 100 deploying personnel were airlifted to the region by an Air Mobility Command C-5 Galaxy Feb. 15.

People and aircraft from the 552nd will provide airborne command and control for coalition aircraft and surveillance of the northern and southern "no-fly" zones over Iraq," said Col. Charles Winstead, 552nd ACW vice commander.

The wing brings to Southwest Asia an Airborne Battle Management platform with the AWACS. The E-3 provides theater commanders with an airborne radar platform that identifies all friendly aircraft in its range and any potential airborne threats.

"With this platform, theater commanders can assess the threat and make appropriate plans," said Winstead. "Controllers aboard the aircraft use this picture of the aerial battlefield to warn friendly aircraft of potential airborne threats so they may either avoid the threat or gain a tactical advantage in eliminating that threat."

Air Combat Command Public Affairs, United States Air Force,