606th ACS ADVON Team: First ones there

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Rusty Frank
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
According to the 606th Air Control Squadron factsheet the unit is known as the "inspectors of the skies."

Before the deployment, a small band of Airmen leaves before their fellow 606th ACS Airmen.

"The advanced echelon team is a small percentage, handpicked group of individuals that goes forward prior to the main body," said Lt. Col. Aaron Gibney, 606th ACS director of operations.

Gibney said the team leaves roughly one to two weeks prior to the main body to take care of administrative and tactical issues.

"The team operates in a laying-the-ground-work-type of role," he said. "The ADVON team is going to look out and make sure that the training plan for all the inbound is accurate and realistic. We are going to make sure that when the main body arrives it is taken care of as far as making sure they have a place to stay."

The team acts as a buffer between the members already in place and experienced at the deployed location and those newly arriving.

"We are replacing another unit," he said. "We sit down and talk to the experienced unit and make sure that the handover with our inexperienced unit is as smooth as possible."

Being on the ADVON team can be stressful and busy, Gibney added, because the experienced team is trying to hand over duties to the new arrivals as fast as they can. While the team is dealing with that, they are also trying to standardize everything for the incoming main body.

Even though the team deals with all that comes with a deployment, they still remain the "inspector of the skies."

"The main goal is that our unit replaces the unit that's there right now without losing combat capability," he said.