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THE E-3 SENTRY

 

– Purpose:
 Identify E-3 sentry characteristics,
missions, Air Force roles, and significant contribution to Operation Desert
Shield

 

– Characteristics and Mission:  The E-3 Sentry is an airframe that functions
as an Airborne Early

  Warning and Control System
(AWACS)

 

   — The aircraft was created as
a modification of the Boeing 707 passenger plane in which a

       large radar detection dome,
computer displays, and upgraded communication systems were

       added1

 

   — The crewmembers encompass system
technicians, rated officers (pilots, navigators, and air

       battle managers), and
system operators who collaborate to accomplish various mission

       types2

 

   — The original computers and
displays were created in the 1970s, but United States E-3 Sentry

       aircraft are currently
being upgraded with a modernized commercial computer interface3

 

 

– Role in the Air Force:  The E-3
sentry conducts airborne asset management, directs attack

  aircraft, and provides long
range battle area observation

 

   — The E-3 Sentry is a large
platform capable of conducting “Air surveillance, command and

       control, battle space
management and communications”4

 

   — The E-3 has been employed
in many operations including Desert Storm, Desert Shield,

      Allied Force, Enduring
Freedom, and Odyssey Dawn5

 

 

– Contribution
to Desert Shield: E-3 crews were tasked to deployed during Operation Desert

   Shield, and contributed heavily to airborne
mission success.  

 

   — The command and control capabilities
provided by E-3 crews contributed to 38 of the 40 air-

       to-air kills during the operation, and management
of “over 120,000 coalition sorties6

 

   — During the conflict, The
E-3 system collected and recorded all air war data that occurred

       while one of the airframes was on station7

 

– Conclusion:  The E-3 sentry is
an integral asset for effective air battle management, and

   continues to aid in accomplishing
the Air Force mission after decades of employment

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