966th History Help

E-3, E-3, E-737, E-767, EC-121, etc.
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Post by TRBL » Thu Mar 13, 2003 10:21 am

I am in search of any and all information that I can find on the history of the 966th. Pictures, stories, articles, anything and everything. No one has managed to keep track of the 66th heritage and what I do have is very, very, very vauge. So any info would be greatly appreciated!

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Post by Chief Redbird » Thu Mar 13, 2003 4:07 pm

I can give you some info. Hope this helps.

966th AEW&C Sq at McCoy AFB, FL, bounced around back and forth under the 552 AEW&C Wg at McClellan AFB, CA and the 551 AEW&C Wg at Otis AFB, MA. In the mid-60s, Otis was flying EC-121H, McClellan was flying EC-121D and McCoy was flying EC-121Q aircraft.

Sometime in the 70's the 966 AEW&C ceased operations at McCoy and an ANG unit was established at Homestead AFB. In 1976 the 966 AWACTS was stood up at Tinker AFB, OK. This was to be an E-3A Training Sq, but they didn't get any E-3 aircraft until 1977. Lt Col John R. Farrington (later MGen) was the first 966 Sq Commander at Tinker.

Several times I flew EC-121s with the 966 AEW&C Sq during Operation Family Man in the early 1970s although I was deployed from McClellan. I flew as a supplemental crew member with their Sq Ops crew. They only had one Radar Tech in DOV and needed two per crew. I was the designated deployee Radar Tech :( for several of these deployments.

On 9 Jul 76 I signed in to the 966 AWACTS at Tinker as an Instructor ART. I missed the stand-up by 9 days, but served 18 months in the 966 before moving up to Wg DOV in Jan 78.

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AEW Units: 963 AWACS 552 OSS 552 ACW
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Post by wildbill » Thu Mar 13, 2003 6:17 pm

Dean Boy's emailed me with the following link that is at his web site:

History of 966th:
<a href='http://www.551and552-aewc.org/966/966th.htm' target='_blank'>http://www.551and552-aewc.org/966/966th.htm</a>

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Post by Zman » Sun Mar 16, 2003 7:57 am

I first got to the 552nd in Oct 78. After training, I was assigned to the 965th in its first iteration (it was deactivated, then reactivated thanks to President Carter and his buy decision on the E-3. President Reagan fixed that, so reactivation). I was assigned to the 966th in the fall of 79. The Commander was LTC Art Kerr (later Col) and the DO was LTC John Tagnesi (later Col). I was an IWD/ISD and an attached evaluator until March 81 when I was moved to Wing Stan/Eval. I left the Wing in March 83 for Korea. The 966th, in my time, was manned with the most capable and the most storied people that were ever in my career field (Jeff Barcus, to name one). I would be happy to share remembrances with any of you out there.

Lynn J. Zerull, Col (Ret)

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Post by MJBrackenhoff » Thu Jul 03, 2003 2:11 am

My father was the DO in the 66th during that period (LTC Don Brackenhoff). I have heard much about the wing and that squadron, in particular, from those days. I wish I had been in the wing in the early days. I was in the 63rd from 89 forward and in the 66th from 96-2000.

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Post by RichNoe » Wed Feb 18, 2004 8:49 pm

I got to Tinker in March of 78. I was assigned to the 963 upon arrival. Waiting almost 6 months before My trianging began. Moved to the original 965 when it opened.... When I finished traing was sent to the 966 as an instructor AST. Stayed there until 1981 when I left to help startup the NATO detachment at GK. Those years were some of the most challenging but rewarding years I spent in AWACS. We were always going full tilt and everywhere we went it was another first. Fond memories of the DC Air show where the AWACS was the big hit. People were lined up before the show opened and there was still a long line at the end of the day.

Rich Noe

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Post by nick » Fri Apr 09, 2004 7:43 pm

What sort of history specifics are you after?

I arrived a Tinker as one of the early "pipeline" students around May of 1987. Third or fourth class of pipeline ARTs.

Did the 552/966 as a student under John Pundsack, Ted Litz, Dana Little, Darrell Trimble.

Assigned 964th Delta Flight fall 1987 through fall 1992. ELF-1, chasing Bears out of Iceland, Desert Shield/Storm with Clark Speicher (MCC) and Wes Sechler (AC) and host of other memorable misfits; flying the line.

Instructor upgrade through the 966 in fall of 1991. Rich-Bob Hiltz was NCOIC, Buck Best my instructor.

Assigned 966th as IART fall of 1992. Rich-Bob, Steve Inboden, Mike Swehla, Scotty Bresson (Yukla 27), many others.

Returned to 964th Jan of 1996.

Separated in May of 1996.

Many people around then may remember my wife, Cathy more vividly than me. She was the Scheduling Queen of the 964th for a couple of years, and wound up as the Wing JTIDS defliction goddess.

If anything from those periods of time are of interest, I may be able to dredge up some memories for you.

I lost touch with the AEWA for several years, and have just now rediscovered it.

SSgt Mark "Nick" Nicholson

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Post by Dexrog » Fri Sep 10, 2004 10:20 am

I got to the 966 in February of 1980; did the training program as we transitioned to a new software version under the leadership of Chip Dimity and Harry Plachman. The instructor cadre at the time included Dennis Shepherd, the infamous Dave Bumsted, Like Sand, and Gordy Howard. CJ Jensen, Lanny Hutchens, and several others were just leaving to start what became the 961st at Kadena. I think that Lynn Zerull may have done my first WD checkride. Anyway, great days, colorful players, and lots of flying made it a fun time and a fun time to be there as we introduced the "Big Jet" to the CAF. Look forward to hearing from others ...

Dex Rogers


966th History Help

Post by Anonymous » Sun Feb 18, 2007 12:23 pm

I arrived at Tinker in July of 1976, and became the 966th Chief of Mission Crew Training. Not sure exactly what kind of info you may be looking for, but I'd be happy to answer any specific questions you might have.

Jim North

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