24 March 2017
Those capabilities have had different purposes over the years, as some legacy AWACS airmen will tell you. Both of Capt. Gabriel Gricol's parents were technicians on AWACS planes during the Gulf War. He now serves as the senior director of his own AWACS crew.
"Initially when this platform was designed, it was designed as an intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance platform," said Gricol. "Now we work as command and control, so we provide big picture, situational awareness to pilots while they're operating."
As you see the silhouette flying high above the Oklahoma City skyline, the airmen are continually training for the day the AWACS is needed in a critical battle.
"I've got 1,000+ hours on this jet and I still find new issues that I've never seen before," admitted Senior Airman Shayan Khan.
While not every flight is into combat, it is the training missions performed by Tinker's crews that help protect our friendly skies.
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