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726th ACS hits ground running in SW Asia

Leading the charge at the 73rd Expeditionary Air Control Squadron at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar are Capt. Rachel Reynolds, center, Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Botelho, left, and Master Sgt. Albert Foley, all members of the 726th Air Control Squadron from Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. (Air Force photo)

Leading the charge at the 73rd Expeditionary Air Control Squadron at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar are Capt. Rachel Reynolds, center, Senior Master Sgt. Joseph Botelho, left, and Master Sgt. Albert Foley, all members of the 726th Air Control Squadron from Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. (Air Force photo)

SOUTHWEST ASIA -- -- On Jan. 10, 42 Airmen with the 726th Air Control "Hardrock" Squadron from Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho took up their watch at the 73rd Expeditionary Air Control Squadron in Southwest Asia.

The 726th ACS is a geographically separated unit that falls under the 552nd Air Control Wing at Tinker Air Force Base.

The 73rd EACS, or "Double Dagger" as they are also known, is responsible for providing command and control radar, ground-to-air radio communications, and tactical data links to the 71st Expeditionary Air Control "Pyramid" Squadron at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, as they execute the Combined Forces Air Combatant Commander's Tactical Air Control mission in Operation Enduring Freedom.

On Jan. 13, the 726th ACS also took over the reins of the 71st EACS, with Lt. Col. Shayne Yorton assuming command from Lt. Col. Robert Long.

In the few short days Hardrock Airmen have been on-site, they have resolved a wide range of complex radar and radio outages that had plagued the command and control mission for months.

Along with the 121 Airmen from Mountain Home AFB, the 71st EACS team is also comprised of Airmen from Hill AFB, Utah, Spangdahlem AB, Germany, and Tinker AFB. The United States Marine Corps, Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, and the Royal Canadian Air Force round out the remaining operators providing battle management command and control to OEF.

Both Double Dagger and Pyramid's mission is to provide a clean and accurate radar air picture, bolstering voice communications to reach maximum reliability, extend the OEF/Combined Defense of the Arabian Gulf tactical data network, and finally providing time critical BMC2 to support the CFACC's priorities and support the troops on the ground.

This is the Hardrock standard and both of these teams have hit the ground running to do just that.