TINKER AIR FORCE BASE: After four years of planning, the 752nd Operations Support Squadron has successfully completed their first live mission on the AN/TYQ-23A weapons system at Tinker Air Force Base.
The 752nd OSS received the AN/TYQ-23A Tactical Air Operations Module weapons system in September 2019 after beginning the acquisition process in the summer of 2015. The ground-based weapons system allows squadron members at Tinker AFB to provide command and control to both live and simulated aircraft from around the country. Only 18 of these weapons systems exist in Air Force inventory and Tinker AFB is now one of only four active-duty bases to have this equipment.
To prepare for the weapons system, the 752nd OSS had to attend weeks of training on how to operate the equipment. The squadron also added 10 maintenance personnel and underwent extensive renovations to support the necessary equipment and technology.
“The fact that we are now able to run missions shows how we, the Control and Reporting Center community, continue to adapt and overcome to achieve mission success,” said Brian Zbydniewski, 752nd OSS, CRC systems integration technical advisor. “We took an old and outdated building and turned it into a state-of-the-art control facility where we can control missions using radios, radars and data links from all over the United States.”
The first live mission occurred Dec. 4th in coordination with the 77th Fighter Squadron out of Shaw AFB. The mission began with connectivity and correlation checks to ensure the weapon system from Tinker AFB could connect to the needed databases. Once connected, the 752nd OSS was able to monitor an aerial refueling of an F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 77th FS. Four versus three scenarios were used allowing the 752nd OSS to provide defensive counter air support and control of the air domain.
“It was awesome to see the culmination of several years of hard work, and see our Airmen get a small glimpse of that,” said Staff Sgt. Johnathan Pearson, 752nd OSS noncommissioned officer in charge of CRC maintenance. “It’s not something that a lot of people get to see in their careers, and getting to see and do it technically for three systems has been really eye-opening as to what impact you can have on the Air Force; not just at the unit but for the next generations to come.”
With the new ground-based command and control weapons system, the 752nd OSS plans to conduct two simulated missions per week with two live missions per month. The new system allows the squadron to coordinate with flying squadrons across the country, to include the E-3 Sentry, or AWACS, at Tinker AFB.
“Having a dedicated weapon system at Tinker Air Force Base allows us to develop and validate standards, technical orders, and improve training, in order to better support the active duty air control squadrons.” said Maj. Christopher Tegtmeyer, 752 OSS chief of exercises and plans and crew lead for the mission. “This system ensures that whenever we receive the call, our Airmen are trained and prepared to efficiently and effectively execute the mission.”