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E-3 Sentry takes part in Checkered Flag 18-1

A U.S. Air Force E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System from the 552nd Air Control Wing, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., touches down on the flightline at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Nov. 7, 2017. The AWACS was at Tyndall participating in Checkered Flag 18-1, a large-scale aerial exercise designed to integrate fourth and fifth-generation airframes while providing a platform for maintenance teams to be evaluated.

A U.S. Air Force E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System from the 552nd Air Control Wing, Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., touches down on the flightline at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Nov. 7, 2017. The AWACS was at Tyndall participating in Checkered Flag 18-1, a large-scale aerial exercise designed to integrate fourth and fifth-generation airframes while providing a platform for maintenance teams to be evaluated. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Isaiah J. Soliz/Released)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

Airmen from Tinker Air Force Base came to Tyndall to take part in Checkered Flag 18-1 Nov. 6-17, 2017.

A total of 72 Tinker Airmen, along with the E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) are at Tyndall in support of providing command and control during the Checkered Flag exercise.

Checkered Flag is a large-scale, aerial total-force exercise that combines fourth and fifth-generation airframes enhancing the capabilities of Airmen while training to rapidly respond to current, real-world conflicts and preparing for the future of air superiority.

“Checkered Flag gives the 964th Airborne Control Squadron, the 552nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, and all the supporting units the opportunity to test their readiness capabilities in a deployed environment,” said Capt. Mathew Mendenhall, 552nd ACW director of operations. “This includes the tactical integration with fourth- and fifth-generation fighters, coordinating ground support and logistics, and ensuring that all facets of AWACS mission requirements are met.”

Tinker is home to the 552nd Air Control Wing. Their mission is to train, develop, and employ combat-ready Airmen and weapons systems to deliver decisive “command of the air” to America’s national security priorities.

The expertise that came along ranged from enlisted aircrew members, maintainers, security forces and pilots. These Airmen were from the 964th AACS, 552nd AMXS, 72nd Security Forces Squadron and 552nd Air Control Networks Squadron.

“Checkered Flag provides home station leadership within these organizations with a realistic snapshot of how their units preform from start to finish, departing and returning to Tinker AFB, given their diverse roles and responsibilities,” Mendenhall said.

Tinker Airmen take their skillset to Tyndall by integrating with fourth- and fifth-generation fighters to accomplish specific goals related to training, testing, and executing mission readiness. To that end, communicating safety of flight, tactical command and control, and overall mission objective direction are the primary roles of the AWACS throughout all facets of Checkered Flag.