AWACS Unit Logs 4,000th Combat Sortie

Airmen of the 968th Expeditionary Airborne Air Control Squadron flew the unit’s 4,000th combat sortie since the squadron began supporting operations in Southwest Asia in 2007, according to an Air Force release. The milestone sortie took place on April 5. The squadron is currently the only AWACS unit operating in US Central Command’s area of responsibility, according to the mid-April release. “This accomplishment is not only a testament to the aircrews and staff that have rotated through the AOR, but also a phenomenal feat for AWACS maintainers,” said Lt. Col. Ed Goebel, 968th EAACS commander. “The significance of this is even greater because it occurred in conjunction with the Afghanistan elections,” he said. AWACS airplanes surveil the air and provide battlespace awareness and tactical command and control to commanders. “Every mission counts and every time we step to the jet, people are depending on us,” said Capt. Kinsley Jordan, aircraft commander with the squadron. (380th AEW report by Maj. Khalid Cannon)