TALKING PAPER                                                                            ON                                                                              THE E-3 SENTRY – Purpose: Identify E-3 sentry characteristics,missions, Air Force roles, and significant contribution to Operation DesertShield – Characteristics and Mission:  The E-3 Sentry is an airframe that functionsas an Airborne Early  Warning and Control System(AWACS)     — The aircraft was created asa modification of the Boeing 707 passenger plane in which a       large radar detection dome,computer displays, and upgraded communication systems were       added1    — The crewmembers encompass systemtechnicians, rated officers (pilots, navigators, and air       battle managers), andsystem operators who collaborate to accomplish various mission       types2    — The original computers anddisplays were created in the 1970s, but United States E-3 Sentry       aircraft are currentlybeing upgraded with a modernized commercial computer interface3  – Role in the Air Force:  The E-3sentry conducts airborne asset management, directs attack  aircraft, and provides longrange battle area observation    — The E-3 Sentry is a largeplatform capable of conducting “Air surveillance, command and        control, battle spacemanagement and communications”4    — The E-3 has been employedin many operations including Desert Storm, Desert Shield,      Allied Force, EnduringFreedom, and Odyssey Dawn5  – Contributionto Desert Shield: E-3 crews were tasked to deployed during Operation Desert   Shield, and contributed heavily to airbornemission success.      — The command and control capabilitiesprovided by E-3 crews contributed to 38 of the 40 air-       to-air kills during the operation, and managementof “over 120,000 coalition sorties6     — During the conflict, TheE-3 system collected and recorded all air war data that occurred       while one of the airframes was on station7 – Conclusion:  The E-3 sentry isan integral asset for effective air battle management, and   continues to aid in accomplishingthe Air Force mission after decades of employment


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