News>Same mission, new name for E-11A unit at Kandahar
Lt. Col. Robert Finch speaks during the activation ceremony for the 430th Expeditionary Electronic Combat March 13, 2013, at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. The unit, which flys the E-11A, was previously designated as the 451st Tactical Airborne Gateway. Finch is the 430th EECS commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Scott Saldukas)
Col. Brook Leonard speaks during an activation ceremony for the 430th Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron March 13, 2013, at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. The unit, which flys the E-11A, was previously designated as the 451st Tactical Airborne Gateway. Leonard is the 451st Expeditionary Operations Group commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Scott Saldukas)
Chief Master Sgt. James Isom renders a salute to Col. Brook Leonard during the activation ceremony for the 430th Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron march 13, 2013, at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. The unit, which flys the E-11A, was previously designated as the 451st Tactical Airborne Gateway. Isom is the 451st Expeditionary Operations Group superintendent and Leonard is the 451st EOG commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Scott Saldukas)
by Capt. Tristan Hinderliter
451st Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
3/15/2013 - KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- The 451st Tactical Airborne Gateway, the unit here that flies the E-11A, was designated as a squadron during a ceremony on March 13. It is now the 430th Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron.
The mission of the E-11A is to serve as a Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, a communications system that provides radio connectivity across the battlespace for airborne and surface operators.
"This deployment is a great opportunity for these warriors to serve their country, and being deployed here during the time this unit converts to a squadron makes it extra special," said Lt. Col. Robert Finch, 430th EECS commander.
The unit, which has been operating in Afghanistan since 2009, includes pilots from a variety of different airframes across the Air Force, including the F-15, F-16, F-18, A-10, C-17, C-20, C-21, C-37, C-130, KC-10, KC-135, RC-135, E-3, Academy gliders, B-1 and the B-2.
"I continue to be amazed at the quality of Airmen we have in our Air Force, regardless of the aircraft they fly or the career field they serve in," Finch said. "The diversity in this squadron is truly a blessing. The greatest advantage is that it allows us to be able to incorporate the best practices out of each community, which helps make this an outstanding squadron."
Finch also praised the maintenance team, which is made up of Northrop Grumman contractors.
"They've done a fantastic job at keeping these jets airborne with a mission that requires around-the-clock maintenance," he said.
Col. Brook Leonard, 451st Expeditionary Operations Group commander, said the unit does amazing work in bringing "beyond line-of-sight" communications to the fight.
"It's really neat that we can do this given the context of this day and age," he added. "Right now we're on the precipice of drawdown and redeployment operations, so to stand up a squadron in this kind of environment is really a privilege. In many ways it speaks to the quality and excellence this unit has exhibited while they were the TAG."
The 430th has a long history of service dating back to World War II. It was first constituted as the 430th Fighter Squadron in 1943, then re-designated as the 430th Fighter-Bomber Squadron in 1952. It was dubbed the 430th Tactical Fighter Squadron in 1958, and finally the 430th Electronic Combat Squadron in 1992. It was inactivated in July 1993.
"The 430th has always been activated when the nation needs us most," Finch said to the Airmen in attendance. "We must continue to brainstorm new ideas of how we can provide additional capabilities, allowing ground and air warriors to integrate with each other. I challenge you to continue to innovate and develop new tactics that can allow us to use our capabilities even more effectively."
3/19/2013 1:46:26 AM ET I would like to apologize for my previous comment. I realize that I look like a complete idiot for criticizing someone on something that I clearly have no idea how to do earthier. I will take it upon myself to let everyone else know that I am not educated and enjoy pointing fingers to feel good about myself while I am the insecure moron that has to use an alias to speak my mind. Being a coward was how I was raised.
SMPI, Five-Sided Fantasy Land
3/19/2013 1:29:36 AM ET Great story on a great event - Keep the stories flowing as it connects the rest of the AF world with the AOR. Amazing things happen in the AOR every day and you and your team captures them exceedingly well. As for DMPI you need to get a life
Dr. Silvano Wueschner, Kandahar
3/18/2013 9:28:31 AM ET Sq its a CRJ 700 with avionics mods and sweet platform. I worked CRJ 100200 just a little bigger. also has TF-34 or CF34-5A2 or 3A1. For those who get to play with it the MFD's and PFD's are a dream but for real troubleshoting its easy.
3/18/2013 8:30:53 AM ET Quote-the unit here that flys the E-11A-end quote. Flys Really This was written by an Air Force captain a college graduate Who edits this stuff Other college graduates You make the USAF look stupid.