Jan. 6 (UPI) -- A squadron at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma completed its first live mission using the AN/TYQ-23A information system, the U.S. Air Force announced.
Airmen of the 752nd Operations Support Squadron used the ground-based weapons system to connect with needed databases across the Air Force to monitor the aerial refueling of an F-16 fighter plane.
Called the AN/TYQ-23A Tactical Air Operations Module, it provides considerably more situational awareness of battlespace and allows the crew members to coordinate actions more easily.
The system is the primary link in the Ground Theater Air Control System, an automated and computer-based information system providing automated information functions including aircraft surveillance, flight follow, control, and communication functions within the GTACS.
The system allows personnel at Tinker and three other bases in the United States to provide command and control of live and simulated aircraft.
Four years in planning, 752nd OSS personnel prepared for the new system with 10 weeks of training. The first mission occurred in December, with the Air Force announcing its successful use on Sunday.
"The fact that we are now able to run missions shows how we, the Control and Reporting Center community, continue to adapt and overcome to achieve mission success," Brian Zbydniewski, 752nd OSS CRC systems integration technical advisor, said in a statement. "We took an old and outdated building and turned it into a state-of-the-art control facility where we can control missions using radios, radars and data links from all over the United States."