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New radar
SOUTHWEST ASIA - Staff Sgt. Ronald Applegate, 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron, sets up a new radar at the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing March 18, 2012. The TPS-75 radar will help the 727th EACS monitor aerial activity in support of the defense of the Arabian Gulf. Applegate is deployed from Blue Ash Air National Guard Station, Ohio. (U.S. Air Force photo/1st Lt. Victoria Porto)
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New radar helps 380th AEW defend Arabian Gulf

Posted 3/22/2012   Updated 3/23/2012 Email story   Print story


by Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Grewe
727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron

3/22/2012 - SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Airmen defending the Arabian Gulf have another arrow in their quiver, thanks to a new radar system installed at the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing March 18.

The TPS-75, or "Tipsy-75" as the 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron calls it, is a powerful air surveillance radar capable of providing long-range, real-time radar coverage.

Airmen assigned to the 727th EACS use the TPS-75 to provide 24-hour air defense and surveillance for unknown threats over the entire Arabian Gulf region. The new system gives the radar operators both a bigger and more detailed picture as they monitor all aerial activity in the area.

"Our job is to constantly watch the skies," said Lt. Col. Steven A. Breitfelder, 727th EACS
commander, deployed from Blue Ash Air National Guard Station, Ohio. "Our operators defend the Arabian Gulf and its surrounding countries by monitoring the area for enemy aircraft."

The 727th EACS set a goal to increase radar coverage to improve their current mission capabilities. Airmen began looking and coordinating with host nation in January to find a suitable site able to support the TPS-75.

"This was a major goal of ours, and it's a really great feeling to get it accomplished," Breitfelder said. "The maintenance folks finally get to see the results of all their hard work, and that is very rewarding."

Radar maintenance craftsman Staff Sgt. Ron Applegate, also deployed from Blue Ash Air National Guard Station, Ohio, was thrilled to have the opportunity to set up the radar.

"We've been chomping at the bit since January to set her up," Applegate said. "I'm just happy we finally get the chance to set up and work on the radar. I love the sense of pride that I get as a radar maintenance technician, knowing that our job is going toward the successful execution of the mission."

Once they received the orders, the entire squadron's maintenance section formed a team and got to work. Comprised of radar, computer, radio, and satellite and generator maintenance experts, the team combined their talents to set up an operational radar site in less than two days.

"Once we got out there and started working, everything just fell into place," Applegate said. "It gave us all a chance to put our training and skills to good use, and to show off what we do best."

3/28/2012 9:15:51 AM ET
Well Done
Pat Roach, Ohio
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