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From Kingpin to Queenpin: Women's History Month takeover

Personnel assigned to the 727th EACS, or “Kingpin,” conducted an all-women mission in celebration of Women’s History Month. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miranda A. Loera)

U.S. Air Force Col. Kristen Thompson, 380th Expeditionary Operations Group commander, addresses women assigned to the 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron (EACS) during a briefing at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, March 2, 2021. Personnel assigned to the 727th EACS, or “Kingpin,” conducted an all-women mission in celebration of Women’s History Month. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miranda A. Loera)

Personnel assigned to the 727th EACS, or “Kingpin,” conducted an all-women mission in celebration of Women’s History Month. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miranda A. Loera)

U.S. Surveillance technicians assigned to the 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron (EACS) monitor radars at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, March 2, 2021. The 727th EACS, also known as “Kingpin,” is comprised of a plethora of assets ranging from the men and women communicating critical information to the radars providing a real-time sight picture of the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miranda A. Loera)

The 727th EACS, also known as “Kingpin,” is comprised of a plethora of assets ranging from the men and women communicating critical information to the radars providing a real-time sight picture of the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miranda A. Loera)

U.S. Air Force Col. Kristen Thompson, 380th Expeditionary Operations Group commander (left), U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Alexandra O’Brien, 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron (EACS) surveillance technician (center), and Royal Australian Air Force Capt. Sally Riendeau, 727 EACS section lead (right), review radar monitors at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates, March 2, 2021. In support of all coalition partners, the 727th EACS, also known as “Kingpin,” is a team comprised of U.S. Airmen, Marines and allied forces converging for one cause. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Miranda A. Loera)

AL DHAFRA AIR BASE, United Arab Emirates --

Women’s History Month came to fruition in the United States in 1987. Since then, women have continued breaking barriers throughout the world.

The 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron made history this month by becoming the first in Command and Control Battle Management Operations history to derive a tactical team on the floor comprised entirely of women, to include the Maintenance Operation Center, Mission Planning Cell and Intel, which the team dubbed “Queenpin.”

“We wanted to kick off Women’s History Month celebrating women’s excellence, by performing the first ever all-female crew,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Saundra Collins, 727th EACS operations superintendent. “It was important to hold the event this month to capture us doing our everyday job, doing it well, and showing it can be done by a group of fascinating, fabulous, rock star women.”

The 727th EACS is comprised of several assets ranging from the men and women communicating critical information to the radars providing a real-time sight picture of the mission. Having an all-female group performing the mission was an achievement in itself, but it also created an opportunity for joint integration. Members assigned to the Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force teamed up with their U.S. counterparts to accomplish the three-hour mission shift.

“This was just a way for us to leave behind a legacy,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jalesa Reynolds, 727th EACS administrative technician. “Making it happen here at ADAB while also having a female operations commander at the head of the table and lead us all into a successful mission was icing on the cake. Her role was to show us all that women can take charge. To be strong and hold their own no matter the task, mission, or what’s at stake.”

U.S. Air Force Col. Kristen Thompson, 380th Expeditionary Operations Group commander, led as the mission commander for “Queenpin.” 

“The most important thing I do as a commander is support our Airmen,” said Thompson. “I was so proud to be a part of a [Queenpin] crew that celebrated our women warriors—and there’s no better place to highlight our truly fantastic experts than at ADAB and in a combat environment. The entire Kingpin team is special and these ladies are no exception.”