71st EACS deactivates
By Senior Airman Kia Atkins, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 05, 2014
AL UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar -- The 71st Expeditionary Air Control Squadron rolled up and encased its unit flag for the last time during a deactivation ceremony here, Nov. 1.
“Today is a difficult day for us when we deliberately shut down what I believe is a superior command and control agency,” said Lt. Col. Stuart Williamson, 71st EACS commander. “Our mission is now being controlled by the 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron, so we’re here as the final crew of the 71st EACS.”
Since being activated in 2006, the 71st EACS provided command and control via remote radar, radio and data link hubs in the Central Command area of responsibility and has maintained positive control of every aircraft in their airspace.
Starting in 2009, the 71st EACS kept the skies of Afghanistan safe while ensuring troops on the ground got what they needed by providing command and control and battle management.
“The 71st EACS has provided world-class command and control for Operation Enduring Freedom,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Wachter, the 379th Expeditionary Operations Group deputy commander. “Additionally, they have coordinated and integrated with a multitude of command and control agencies for the mission execution and have rapidly assumed combined defense of the Arabian Gulf responsibility when tasked.”
During the ceremony, in accordance with Air Force tradition, the squadron’s guidon was rolled up and cased.
“Your pyramid call sign may be retired, but your efforts have made an indelible mark on us all,” said Wachter.