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380AEW Article

Kingpin wins the day, every day

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Mya M. Crosby
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

The mission in any deployed location involves constant and reliable communication between aircraft operating in the air space overhead and those who support a particular mission from the ground. In order to do so, a number of people work together to accomplish the myriad missions executed in the Area of Responsibility.

 

The 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron, also known as the “Kingpin,” is a non-stop shop, comprised of a plethora of assets ranging from the men and women communicating critical information to the radars providing a real-time sight picture of the mission at hand.

 

“Kingpin’s mission in Southwest Asia has a lot of components, several countries, and a highly-trained workforce behind it,” said Senior Master Sgt. Martin Hutchinson, 727th EACS NCO in charge of radar maintenance. “We provide the air picture information that enables completion of the Air Tasking Order, which assigns specific aircraft to their defined missions. It takes a team of several specialty codes, [operating in] multiple countries, and both operators, maintainers and support personnel to accomplish our mission.”

 

For effective communication, the radars require preventative maintenance due to nature of the Kingpin’s mission. These Airmen work nearly a third of their shifts performing this maintenance, “where all systems are carefully checked, equipment receives any necessary adjustments, and moving parts are lubricated,” according to Hutchinson.

 

“It’s important for us to address equipment issues as they arise before they cause bigger problems, said Hutchinson. “From a radar maintainers’ standpoint, we go by our motto, ‘If we’re spinning, we’re winning!’”

 

The other part of the 727th EACS is the main site, where the rest of the magic happens. The personnel are essentially responsible for coordination between joint coalition aircraft conducting missions throughout the AOR.

 

“My day consists of two three-hour shifts on our operations floor as a surveillance technician and two three-hour shifts as a member of 727th EACS Operations Support,” said Airman 1st Class Brandi Gatton, 727th EACS surveillance technician. Her job includes classifying all aircraft within a particular operating space in accordance with AOR-specific guidance. She also assists the air controllers with safety and airspace management.

 

In support of all coalition partners, the Kingpin unit at ADAB is a team comprised of U.S. Airmen, Marines and allied forces converging for one cause.

 

“I am a Marine-equivalent to an Air Force Air Battle Manager, or a 13B, supporting operations throughout the U.S. Central Command AOR,” said U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Scott White, 727th EACS officer in charge of operations support. “My specific tactical position is the senior director for Operation FREEDOM’S SENTINEL/Resolute Support Mission, which places me in a position to oversee the Battle Management Command and Control Mission for the Combined Forces Air Component Commander for that specific AOR.”

 

With its complex elements, the Kingpin is made up of people with different backgrounds, lending to different experiences. This rare opportunity allows the unit to broaden its mission capability and get the job done.

 

“The mission the 727th EACS supports enables us to make the correlation between what we do on the operations floor and how it affects the mission downrange,” White said. “The other great part about the 727th EACS is the coalition nature of the mission. Being able to work with our different coalition partners helps strengthen our relationships with our allies along with increasing our on-the-job knowledge.”

 

Between the different groups of people coming together and their dependent operation, the complex nature of the 727th EACS ensures USCENTCOM’s vast mission is in full effect.