Kingpin command and control ops begin at Shaw

  • Published
  • U.S. Air Forces Central Public Affairs

The 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron officially began full operations from Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., on April 20, 2021, after 10 years of operations at Al Dhafra Air Base, UAE.  

In total, more than 150 U.S. Air Force Airmen and coalition partners belonging to the 727th EACS have repositioned from Al Dhafra Air Base to Shaw AFB. The unit will continue to maintain a presence at Al Dhafra and other bases throughout the U.S. Air Forces Central’s theater to support its mission and regional partnerships.

“The 727th EACS “Kingpin” has been the bedrock for Tactical Command and Control for AFCENT and CENTCOM operations for the last 20 years,” said Lt. Col. Virnon S. Garrison, 727th EACS commander. “No matter where Kingpin relocates on the globe, warfighter’s in the AOR can count on us every time to deliver in their time of need.”

Kingpin is a tactical command and control unit that serves as the lead control and reporting center and directly provides the Combined Air Operations Center with a common air picture, enabling air operations across the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

The activation of Kingpin operations at Shaw AFB and the realignment under the 609th Air Operations Center enhance AFCENT’s operational resilience and demonstrates advancements in the Air Force’s ability to distribute operations globally. This move also provides a unique opportunity to synchronize command and control functions from the tactical to the operational level.

”Command and control is a critical joint function, and in today’s contested environment, the need for a common understanding of commander’s intent across the levels of war has never been greater,” said Col. Frederick “Trey” Coleman, 609th AOC commander. “Organizationally we’ve always tended to build a wall between tactical and operational C2. This realignment provides a unique opportunity to align tactical and operational mission sets under one organization to better support the commander’s intent.”

Kingpin’s relocation to Shaw AFB is not indicative of a diminishing commitment to the relationships with AFCENT’s regional partners. The command remains fully committed to enhancing regional stability, deterring regional aggression and forging resolute partnerships to better defend our mutual interests.

“Kingpin’s joint and coalition team have been providing world class command and control at ADAB for the past 10 years,” said Lt Col Joseph Faraone, 727th EACS director of operations. “While we may be in a new location, our support to the air tasking order, airspace management, air domain awareness, and kinetic strikes will not change.”