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Staff Sgt. Kenneth Hass, the 606th Air Control Squadron's weapons director, kisses his wife, Kimberly, before heading downrange in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The couple's two children, Maddie and Gabbie, ages 3 and 5, watch.

Staff Sgt. Kenneth Hass, the 606th Air Control Squadron's weapons director, kisses his wife, Kimberly, before heading downrange in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The couple's two children, Maddie and Gabbie, ages 3 and 5, watch. (Jennifer Lindsey / U.S. Air Force)

Staff Sgt. Kenneth Hass, the 606th Air Control Squadron's weapons director, kisses his wife, Kimberly, before heading downrange in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The couple's two children, Maddie and Gabbie, ages 3 and 5, watch.

Staff Sgt. Kenneth Hass, the 606th Air Control Squadron's weapons director, kisses his wife, Kimberly, before heading downrange in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The couple's two children, Maddie and Gabbie, ages 3 and 5, watch. (Jennifer Lindsey / U.S. Air Force)

Master Sgt. Bradley Robson, of the 606th Air Control Squadron, says goodbye to his wife, Silvia.

Master Sgt. Bradley Robson, of the 606th Air Control Squadron, says goodbye to his wife, Silvia. (Jennifer Lindsey / U.S. Air Force)

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — A year after returning from a deployment to Iraq, the 606th Air Control Squadron is leaving again.

Nearly 100 airmen from the 52nd Fighter Wing’s unit are deploying from their home at Spangdahlem Air Base to Southwest Asia as part of a scheduled rotation, the Air Force said Friday.

About 30 members of the unit left the base Friday for the four-month tour in support of the war on terrorism. The others are scheduled to leave this weekend, said Staff Sgt. Jennifer Lindsey, wing spokeswoman. The unit was scheduled to leave earlier this week, but delays kept the squadron at Spangdahlem.

Their squadron’s destination is not being released by the Air Force for security reasons.

The 606th’s main job is to coordinate air traffic in combat zones, helping direct planes to troops on the ground in need of air power, or to fuel tankers.

The unit also helps put together a snapshot of the sky with information from NATO Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft and U.S. Army and Navy surveillance systems, according to a wing press release.

During its deployment to Balad Air Base, Iraq, in 2004-05, the unit was involved in 213 situations in which troops on the ground needed help from aircraft.

After arriving at the deployment site this weekend, squadron members will set up camp and get their radar dishes in place.

The unit — one of only two mobile air control squadrons in Europe — celebrated its 60th anniversary last month.


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