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USFJ commander inspects newly arrived Kadena Block 40/45 equipped E-3 Sentries

  • Published
  • By Photos by Airman 1st Class Cesar J. Navarro, Article by Staff Sgt. Kyle Johnson
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs


KADENA AIR BASE, Japan – U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Ricky Rupp, U.S. Forces Japan and 5th Air Force commander, got a firsthand experience aboard a newly arrived E-3G Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft, armed with an enhanced user interface, at Kadena Air Base, Jan. 13, 2022.

The aircraft’s upgraded interface, Block 40/45, replaces the original interface the platform used since the jet first flew. The updated equipment increases the situational awareness of the AWACS crew, allowing an allied force to more efficiently prioritize and engage targets.

“I’m truly grateful to see this new capability, and the Airmen who use it, in person,” Rupp said. “This system is just one example of how we are constantly updating our capabilities to stay on the leading edge of technology in aviation.”

As the U.S. Air Force continues its efforts to stay one step ahead of regional near-peer adversaries, systems like the Block 40/45 enable Airmen to fly, fight and win in defense of U.S. interests and regional stability.

“The transition from E-3B Block 30/35 to E-3G Block 40/45 is a critical leap in capabilities for Kadena airborne tactical battle management.  Crewmembers are able to rapidly assess the battlespace, make decisions and communicate those decisions at a quicker pace,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Alexander Demma, 961st Airborne Air Control Squadron Commander.

U.S. Air Force Capt. Ronelle Say, 961st Airborne Air Control Squadron air battle manager, explained the technological leap for the operator is similar to jumping from a 1980’s 8-bit computer to a modern computer.

“Block 40/45 gives me a much larger view of the world,” Say said. “This [interface] doesn’t just help the 961st, but the entire area of responsibility.”

As an airborne command and control platform, an increased communication capability of Kadena’s AWACS will have ripple effects, increasing the efficiency of all aircraft – both U.S. and allied throughout the region.

“This capability improvement enhances allied force lethality and promotes regional stability in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command area of responsibility,” Demma said.

Kadena’s E-3 Sentries deploy with regularity to exercise with allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific.