FORT SILL, Okla., March 12, 2020 -- Soldiers from the Air Defense Artillery School visited Tinker Air Force Base Feb. 18, to receive capability briefs on Air Force systems.Airmen from the 552nd Air Control Wing briefed students attending the ADA Captains Career Course and the 140K Air and Missile Defense System Tacticians Warrant Officer Basic Course. The air defenders gained knowledge about the E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) and their ground control and reporting center (CRC)."The importance of these Air Force command and control elements to air defense is the ability to identify friend or foes and also assist with ADA friendly protect functions," said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Joshua Vance, 140K instructor. "Our No. 1 mission as ground-based air defense is to protect friendly forces."As an air defense system, AWACs can detect, identify, and track airborne enemy forces far from the boundaries of the United States or allied countries. It can also direct fighter-interceptor aircraft to these enemy targets. The CRCs are mobile command, control, and communications radar elements of the Air Force theater air control system.ADA students visited the flight line and received a tour of an AWACS jet. They asked questions of the various crew members on daily operations and compared notes on the differences between the Air Force and Army radar tracks. The training provided a platform to exchange ideas on how to strengthen the communication between the Air Force and Army's air defense units.ADA officers and warrant officers can be assigned as ADA fire control officers who work in the Air Force AWACS or CRC cells, said Vance. These fire control officers embedded in the Air Force cells allow the Army's air defense to push this vital information quicker to Patriot and Terminal High Altitude Air Defense units' information control centers. This information allows ADA units greater time to react to possible enemy threats."It is one thing to talk realism in training while sitting in an engagement control center, it is a whole other thing seeing the Air Force perspective," said Capt. Samuel Horwitz, ADA CCC instructor. "Understanding the differences between how the Army and Air Force operate will enable us all to operate better in the future."A majority of new 140K warrant officers have spent their entire career in Patriot units, explained Vance. This training showed the warrants how ground-based air defense integrates into the joint services at the upper echelons. Also, as these warrants progress in their careers, they have a better understanding of the different players in the air defense kill chain. This gives them the awareness to make a better air management decision in their careers."The Air Force is a great asset and they expand our coverage of the battlespace, to more than what we can see," said Warrant Officer Blake Munck, a 140K student. "This training demonstrated how we could coordinate information through the Air Force to help us provide better command and control."