AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy — The 603rd Air Control Squadron’s final year of existence will be a busy one.

The unit, which the Department of Defense has slated for elimination in a force-reduction move announced earlier this year, will send airmen to three locations for half-year missions starting this week, according to the 31st Fighter Wing public affairs office.

About half the squadron will be deployed on the three missions. The remainder will stay at Aviano to prepare for the deactivation of the unit, which will likely take place in the summer of 2013, according to the wing.

Lt. Col. Stephen Carocci, the Scorpions’ commander, will lead a contingent to Afghanistan in support of the mission in Afghanistan. He will command an international squadron made up of U.S., British, Australian and Canadian personnel.

Maj. Dave Johnson will lead another 603rd contingent going downrange.

Master Sgt. Thomas Crutchfield will head the third, which will focus on missile defense.

None of the locations could be released due to security concerns, according to the wing.

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