726th Air Control Squadron returns from deployment
By Senior Airman Tyrell Hall, 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 01, 2018
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Over 100 Airman from the 726th Air Control Squadron, Mountain Home Air Force Base, returned from a 6-month deployment October 27, 2018.
"We were the 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron out there, or 'King Pin', we controlled the entire war for Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria," said Capt. Michael L. Taylor, assigned to the 726th ACS.
The 727th EACS is the Department of Defense's largest Control and Reporting Center, responsible for 24/7 tactical Command and Control of over one million square miles of Central Command airspace.
"The controllers out there make sure that our ground forces can communicate with our aircraft, so that the air craft know their targets and can help on close air support missions," said Col. Sandelier, Deputy Commander of Support at Mountain Home Air Force Base.
"King Pin" blends the capabilities of more than 350 joint and coalition partners from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Air National Guard, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Crops, Royal Air Force, Belgian Air Component and Royal Danish Air Force.
It's Moto, "Always in Control."
"Most of our air operations are coalition," said Senior Master Sgt. Douglas J. McPherson, 726th ACS First Sergeant. "When we control aircraft, it's important to have a central location where they control it from one spot."
With operators and maintainers across 28 Air Force Specialty Codes, they deployed to 10 locations where they ensured communication between ground and air units in order to support and direct a total of 73,927 air strikes, 3,087 sorties and 25,647 total flight hours.
Col. Sandelier gave some insight into what living conditions were like for the Airman during the deployment.
"There are a lot of variations of what it's like to be deployed depending on the locations you're in", he said. "Some places, they are well established, others are very rugged and you're living in tents outside the wire. These guys, a lot of them, were outside the wire quite a bit."
After six long months, the 726th ACS returned home early morning October 27th where they were greeted by over 100 family members awaiting them.
Taylor described the welcoming atmosphere of coming home to family and friends.
"We're all just ecstatic to be off the plane and back home," he said. "Lots of hugs, lots of smiling people, it's a good time and it's great to be back."
"To see a large mass return like this, all these folks out here, it doesn't matter that it's early in the morning, it doesn't matter that it's colder than it's been the past few weeks," said Sandelier. "People are here, families are here and they are excited."
Mountain Home Air Force Base welcomes home the returning Airmen, and congratulates them on all their accomplishments.