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107th ACS ribbon cutting ceremony
Brig. Gen. Michael G. Colangelo, Arizona National Guard commander, and Brig. Gen. Kurt Neubauer, 56th FW commander, perform the ribbon cutting for the 107th Air Controller Squadron's new facility at Luke AFB. (A.F. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey A. Wolfe)
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107th ACS moves to Luke

Posted 2/17/2009   Updated 2/17/2009 Email story   Print story

    


by Justin Oakes
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


2/17/2009 - LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Papago Park in Phoenix no longer serves as the home of the 107th Air Control Squadron. 

Instead, the 107th ACS, an Air National Guard unit, gathered its Airmen and their unique mission and moved to a more advantageous site - Luke Air Force Base. 

"Planning for the move began in 2006," said Maj. Kevin George, 107th ACS chief of maintenance. "Luke provided excellent support by ensuring that the 107th received what we needed in order to execute the move." 

The work it took to establish a new location was extensive and is still ongoing. Two new buildings were built and another was gutted to make room for the incoming unit. 

Set-up of remote radio capabilities, developing a new computer system, construction of an equipment pad and finding the right logistics project officer were just a few of the requirements that involved bringing the 107th on board, Major George said. 

As an ANG unit, the 107th is the only unit in the Air Force that trains weapons directors for the Air Force and Air National Guard. Air battle managers are responsible for enabling command and control of aircraft flying in a given theater by providing the air picture through radar surveillance and other communications equipment.

The unit currently encompasses 74 guard personnel who are instructors, maintainers and support staff, 21 active-duty instructors and 11 contractors, who support the schoolhouse. 

"The move greatly benefits our students," said Maj. Lynda Lovell, 107th ACS director of operations. "From a safety standpoint, it eliminates an extremely hazardous drive. Students were billeted at Luke and had to drive to and from base multiple times a day in order to attend classes and briefings." 

However, safety is just one of many advantages resulting from the move. 

Students now have convenient access to Luke services, such as the fitness center and bx, and are able to actively participate in base organizations, Major Lovell said. 

"The learning curve is much higher now that the 107th has transitioned onto Luke," said Lt. Col. Pam Jackson, 107th ACS commander. "By eliminating the excessive time it took to travel, students now have more time to study, and instructors have more time to devote to curriculum." 

The schoolhouse produces 80 students a year that undergo the initial qualification course to be a weapons director. After successful completion of the course, a student either returns to their home unit for more training or proceeds to the advance course that is taught at the 607th Air Control Squadron. 

Not only is the 607th also a tenant unit at Luke but it now shares buildings with the 107th. 

"By co-locating with the 607th, this provides a mutually beneficial relationship between our two units and for the students," Colonel Jackson said. "Besides having a smooth transition from the basic course to the advance course, the move also provides the opportunity for many of our departments to blend such as scheduling and current operations." 

The 107th ACS had a ribbon cutting ceremony officially marking its new home at Luke Air Force Base, Feb. 17. 



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