728th Air Control Squadron

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The 728th Air Control Squadron is a Control and Reporting Center (CRC) assigned to the 552d Air Control Group, 552d Air Control Wing. The 728th's mission is focused around providing air control (radar) services for combat air operations. Officially, the 728th provides a mobile, combat-rated, senior radar element of the Theater Air Control System for worldwide contingencies. Additionally the 728th provides combat and control of joint air operations by conducting surveillance identification, weapons control, Battle Management and theater communications data link.

History[edit]

The squadron was activated by the Ninth Air Force commander in 2 September 1950 at Turner Air Force Base, Georgia. The unit, originally designated 728th Tactical Control Squadron was stationed at Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina in 2 November 1950 followed by a move to Donaldson Air Force Base, South Carolina in 16 January 1954. On 12 June 1956, the squadron was stationed at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. In the early 1960s, as Army airborne units were training for deployment to Vietnam, Detachment 1 of the 728th TCS operated out of a field deployment on Fort Bragg and set up mobile communications systems for Army field exercises. This detachment moved from Fort Bragg to McCoy Air Force Base, Florida in 1965 and was involved in providing radio relay communications for the Inter-American Peace Force at San Isidro AB in the Dominican Republic. The detachment relocated to Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, South Carolina in 1967 as a detachment out of Shaw AFB. The 728th, in those days, was an element of the Air Force Tactical Air Command and supported the Composite Air Strike Force (CASF). The Detachment at Myrtle Beach AFB stood down in 1969 and personnel were sent to Tactical Control Squadrons(TCS)at Cannon AFB, Eglin AFB, Bergstrom AFB and other bases. The 728th moved to Eglin Air Force Base Auxiliary Field #3 (Duke Field) in 15 August 1977 as a tenant unit. The squadron was finally relocated to Eglin Air Force Base proper in 5 June 1994 under the 33d Fighter Wing.

Awards and activities[edit]

Since the squadron's creation, the 728th has received six Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards; with one Valor device for Desert Storm and has participated in several major command, U.S. Readiness Command and Joint Chiefs of Staff directed exercises and deployments throughout the world. During Operations Desert Shield/Storm, the 728th fulfilled a vital role in the coalition effort while they were deployed to King Kalid Military City (KKMC), Saudi Arabia. The 728th also participated in Operation Deny Flight, the suppression of flight activities over Bosnia, while deployed to Mt Jacotenente, Italy. Additionally, the 728th is known for its significant contribution to the fight against illegal narcotics in Central and South America and for supporting an ongoing rotation to Kuwait as part of Operation Desert Calm. They also have been deployed six times to Iraq to support Operation Iraqi Freedom.

With the impending transition of the 33d Fighter Wing from an Air Combat Command unit operating the F-15 Eagle to an Air Education and Training Command unit operating the F-35 Lightning II, as well as a push to consolidate all stateside Control and Reporting Counters under one Wing, on 1 May 2008 the 728th Air Control Squadron was moved underneath the newly activated 552d Air Control Group at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma along with the 607th Air Control Squadron at Luke Air Force Base, the 726th Air Control Squadron at Mountain Home Air Force Base, and the 729th Air Control Squadron at Hill Air Force Base. The 552d Air Control Group's parent wing is the 552d Air Control Wing also at Tinker Air Force Base which also operates the majority of the USAF's fleet of E-3B/C Sentry AWACS aircraft. The resulting Wing consolidated all ACC tactical command and control and air Battle Management capabilities under one parent organization allowing for continuity amongst CRCs.

Currently, the 728th Air Control Squadron is part of the Twelfth Air Force, 552d Air Control Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and is always poised and ready to provide a Control and Reporting Center in support of tactical air operations throughout the world.

Past Commanders[edit]

Capt. David F. Pyle 2 Sep 1950 Maj. Carl H. Leo 18 Dec 1950 Maj. Bynum H. Redford Apr 1952 Maj. Joseph R McNamara ca. 1952 Maj. Frank S Puente Jul 1953 Maj. J. M. Patrick 1 Jul 1954 Maj. George C. Marvin 25 Jul 1955 Maj. Blythe E. Stevens 15 Aug 1955 Capt J. N. Landon ca. 1955 Maj. Edmond Jacobs 7 Nov 1955 Lt Col. Homer L. Marcy 25 May 1956 Maj. Harry Leas 8 Feb 1957 Lt Col. Harry E Novinger ca. 1957 Lt Col. Marshall F. Crispen 16 Dec 1959 Maj. Glen W. Richardson 24 Jun 1960 Maj. Frank Hathaway ca. 1961 Lt Col. William F. Gilland Unknown Lt Col. Douglas P. Shinn Unknown Maj. Frank R. Highsmith July 63 Lt Col. Wilson M. Depriest Aug 1964 Col Walter J. Russell Jr., ca. 1967 Lt Col Don F. Fair, ca. 1968 Lt Col William N. Hopkins 15 Apr 1969 Lt Col Jimmy Hicks 9 Feb 1971 Lt Col Loren F. Driver 2 Jul 1971 Maj. Francis X. Arceneaux ca. 1973 Lt Col Jack L. Breid ca. 1974 Lt Col Arthur J. Gillett ca. 4th Qtr 1975 Lt Col James L. Johnson 25 Jul 1977 Maj. James Koza 16 Jul 1979 Lt Col Gerald E. Haba 29 Jul 1981 Lt Col Bobby R. Wright ca. Dec 1982 Lt Col Bobby W. Smart ca. Dec 1983 Lt Col Terry M. McKenzie 1 Jun 1984 Lt Col Terry F. Green 13 Jun 1986 Lt Col Lloyd W. McGrady 7 Nov 1989 Lt Col William L. Alford ca. Nov 1990 Lt Col Steven S. Savage 2 Nov 1992 Lt Col Mark E. Bontrager 9 Jan 1995 Lt Col Dale R. Wildey 2 Jun 1997 Lt Col Jon C. Wilson 7 May 1999 Lt Col Randal S. Nelson 12 Jun 2001 Lt Col Scot D. Shively 27 Aug 2003 Lt Col Frederick S. DeFranza 1 Sep 2005 Lt Col Douglas I. Hagen 20 Jun 2007 Lt Col Dominic Setka 16 Oct 2009 Lt Col Jon Rhone May 2011

Sources[edit]