AF75 flight commemorates the Air Force's 75th anniversary

  • Published
  • By Kimberly Woodruff 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs
  • 552 ACW

On September 18, the Air Force celebrated its 75th anniversary.

Airmen from the 552nd Air Control Wing, at Tinker Air Force Base commemorated the anniversary with a special flight on September 7.

The Airborne Warning and Control flight was a regularly scheduled training sortie that was dubbed the AF75 flight.

“This is a really special way for us to commemorate the Air Force’s 75th anniversary,” said Col. Keven Coyle, commander of the 552nd ACW.

The crew flew their training mission to the Utah area with the intent to provide air control to the F-35s from Hill AFB. Upon return to Oklahoma, the flight crew did some practice approaches before landing.

"We train, fly, and battle manage the skies over Iraq and Syria with more than 210,000 hours of supporting air operations from the ground and more than 12,000 annual hours of flight operations around the globe,” said Coyle. “Since the wing stood up at Tinker AFB in 1977, AWACS crews have supported numerous campaigns around the world to include URGENT FURY in Grenada, DESERT SHIELD, DESERT STORM and PROVEN FORCE in Saudi Arabia. The wing deployed to support Operation DESERT THUNDER and Operation ALLIED FORCE, NATO’s response to the crisis in Kosovo. In 2001, the wing was one of the first units tasked to protect the airspace over North America as part of Operation NOBLE EAGLE (ONE) within hours of the Sept. 11 attack on American soil. The wing has been continuously deployed for more than 20 years. On behalf of the men and women of the 552nd ACW serving around the globe, we extend happy anniversary wishes to the Air Force and all who have served.”

The 552nd ACW is responsible to the commander of Air Combat Command for the operations, maintenance, logistics, training, and combat support of E-3 AWACS aircraft as well as ground-based control and reporting centers. Providing combat-ready theater battle management forces at the direction of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, it deploys, operates, and supports these forces worldwide, ensuring combat capability for all peacetime and contingency operations.