Changes are on the horizon for the 607th Air Control Squadron as members prepare to switch from Air Combat Command to Air Education and Training Command next month.
Lt. Col. Charles Jones, 607th ACS director of operations, said the switch in major commands will reflect the squadron’s expanded mission.
“Our mission is to train control and reporting center operators and deploy warfighters,” he said. “We take the baseline students and provide them with initial qualification training. With the 107th Air Control Squadron closing their doors by the end of the fiscal year, it’s ideal for us to absorb their mission of training weapons directors and reorganize ourselves under the MAJCOM of our host unit.”
The 107th ACS is an Arizona National Guard unit.
Squadron leaders are excited about the upcoming changes in MAJCOM and mission.
“We’ve always felt welcome here with the 56th Fighter Wing as a great host wing, and it makes for a smooth transition,” said Lt. Col. Sean Slaughter, 607th ACS commander. “My goal is to make this transition as smooth and seamless as possible with no delays or degradation in our mission.”
Slaughter also recognizes potential challenges in aligning his squadron’s role with the 56th FW.
“The biggest challenge is how we’ll set ourselves up to meet new tasks and how we’ll integrate with changes in the Luke mission as the wing moves from the F-16 to the F-35,” he said.
The 607th commander is confident his squadron members will rise to any challenges the future may bring.
“We’ve already started to implement plans and solutions for the transition period,” Slaughter said. “We have a great squadron doing great things for the Air Force.”
The squadron currently offers five initial qualification training courses and one undergraduate course. The courses include surveillance technician, electronic protection technician, interface control technician, weapons director and air weapons officer. The undergraduate course is offered for weapons director students.
Approximately 200 members comprise the 607th ACS, deploying to various locations around the world or training more than 300 students per year with up to 90 students in the squadron at any given time.
“We are constantly deploying our people, cycling them back and forth from the area of responsibility,” Slaughter said. “Deployments help our instructors and in turn our courses because they bring back experience and keep the training relevant.”