117ACS Deploys to Control SW Asia Airspace
By Master Sgt. Charles Delano, 165th Airlift Wing
/ Published November 15, 2013
Savannah, Ga -- The airmen of the 117th Air Control Squadron, Georgia Air National Guard deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Nov. 13, 2013 at Savannah Air National Guard Base in Savannah, Ga. Lt. Col. Ron Speir, 117ACS Commander left with a mix of seasoned operators and maintainers who accompanied him during a 2010 deployment and cadre of Guardsmen on their first overseas deployment.
For the past two weeks, the members of the 117ACS performed training on the differences between the Battlespace Command and Control Center (BC3) they will be using during deployment and the current system they use domestically. During the six-month deployment, maintenance crews headed by Maj. Ryan Hampton will be upgrading the radios and radar components of the BC3 to expand the capabilities and reach of the system. "The experience, knowledge, and ability of the radar maintenance shop to keep the radar running 24 hours a day while completing system upgrades makes them the unsung heroes of the unit," said Hampton.
The 117ACS will be a part of the Control and Reporting Center (CRC) which integrates data from control and surveillance radar, air, land, and sea based sensors to provide air defense for over 200,000 miles of coalition airspace. Through chat, radio, and phone communication, operators will collaborate with the Navy and Army to positively control friendly aircraft, detect enemy aircraft and missiles, and provide the Joint Forces Air Component Commander with an accurate and reliable battle space picture.
This is the third deployment to the region for the 117ACS which is one of nine Air National Guard Air Control Squadrons.