The 726th Air Control Squadron is no stranger to combat readiness. Dominating as one of the three active duty air control squadrons across the Air Force, “HardRock” has deployed numerous times to aid personnel down range.
Impacting the deployed mission doesn’t happen overnight. Exercises like Red Flag Nellis test the 726th ACS’s mettle in maintaining air superiority against all adversaries.
Airmen of the 726th ACS prepare for Red Flag West, Feb. 25 - March 1, to provide communication, command and control (C3) to operators from Air Combat Command.
“Red flag is a great training opportunity to test all aspects of ACC’s airpower by using every component we have at the 726 ACS,” said Senior Airman Joshua Adams, 726th ACS radio frequency transmission systems technician. “We make sure that we can provide C3 for our operators and pilots to complete their missions down range. “
Red Flag uses a multi-domain platform to increase combat readiness by creating a realistic training environment.
“During missions like Red Flag, my job ensures the readiness and availability of certain assets that are called during these times of need,” said Airman 1st Class Luke Ducharme, 726th ACS radio frequency transmission systems technician. “Having all personnel equipped and trained as subject matter experts on the different equipment promises the mission will be accomplished to its fullest extent.”
Preparing for Red Flag is no small task; HardRock pack’s items are pivotal to the welfare of aircrew and operators participating in the exercise.
“Supplying communications for our operators guarantee environmental and active-mission safety to the pilots and those in the immediate local area,” Ducharme said.
When the unit deployment manager gives the squadron orders to Red Flag, HardRock Airmen establish readiness by conducting Limited Technical Inspections on every vehicle and mobile asset.
“While LTI’s are being produced, other shops begin pre-deployment inspections and pack up all equipment being sent to Red Flag,” Adams said. “Once those inspections are completed, we make sure our weights and measurements are correct.”
Afterwards, the loaded convoys are sent through a quality assurance line for a final inspection to ensure the increments are airworthy for Red Flag.
“Preparing for this exercise is important, because the readiness that we have during our exercises will directly translate to the readiness that we will have during a real world scenario,” said Adams. “ACS’s priority is being prepared to go at moment’s notice, and this is something we will continue to uphold.”