About

The 4th Airborne Command Control Squadron was activated in April 1970, branching off from the 28th Air Refueling Squadron, located at Ellsworth AFB, 8 miles east of Rapid City, South Dakota. The squadron provided an airborne and auxiliary command post and a communications link for Fifteenth Air Force and Strategic Air Command.

Crews from the 4ACCS occasionally flew “Looking Glass” missions to back up the SAC airborne command post. The squadron flew the EC135A/C and G models and was deactivated in October 1992.

4ACCS COMMANDERS
Lt Col John A. Berlette          1 Apr ’70 – 31 Jul ’71
Lt Col Eugene Bal, Jr            1 Aug ’71 – 19 Nov ’72
Lt Col Ronald L Haase         20 Nov ’72 – 20 Aug ’73
Lt Col Bennie R Allen           21 Aug ’73 – 8 Jul ’74
Lt Col Clifford M Jackson       9 Jul ’74 – 1 Jul ’76
Lt Col Arvid S Doucette          2 Jul ’76 – 20 Apr ’77
Lt Col Robert B Picht            21 Apr ’77 – 15 May ’79
Lt Col Charles C Adams       16 May ’79 – 15 Jul ’81
Lt Col Clifford E Lambert      16 Jul ’81 – 3 May ’82
Lt Col Terry A Pratchett          4 May ’82 – 5 Jul ’84
Lt Col Arthur R Bode               5 Jul ’84 – 12 Aug ’85
Lt Col Carmen E Auwarter    13 Aug ’85 – 9 Jun ’87
Lt Col George M Xiques, Jr   10 Jun ’87 – 9 Jul ’89
Lt Col Frank Zazula, Jr          10 Jul ’89 – 12 Sep ’91
Lt Col H Richard Hodges, Jr  13 Sep ’91 – 1 Oct ’92

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Original Ellsworth AFB 44SMW-28BW ALCS crew list. Our Ellsworth bunch was the second crop of ALCS-ers, behind those originally qualified at Offutt AFB for Looking Glass duty. (The FR/FV+6 or 7 digit number is the old USAF serial number for each individual, before we went to using SSN. Those numbers have been excluded.)

44SMW ALCC CREWS 1967 list for standup of the 4th ACCS at Ellsworth, combining the crew assets from Ellsworth and Minot. Gary Curtin was the first person to PCS out of the 4th ACCS, a few weeks later in late April 1970, enroute to SOS and the rest of his Air Force career.

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“LOOKING GLASS”

An essential element in the command and control of the Strategic Air Command’s forces was the Airborne Command Post, also called “Looking Glass.” The nickname came from the mission – it was a mirror of the ground-based system. At least one airborne command post was in the air at all times and its highly-trained crew and staff ensured there was a viable means to direct bombers and missiles from the air should ground-based command centers become inoperable. It guaranteed that U.S. strategic forces would act only in the precise manner dictated by the President.

These aircraft began their duty with SAC on February 3, 1961. From then on, a Looking Glass aircraft was in the air at all times 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for more than 29 years. On July 24, 1990, Looking Glass ceased continuous airborne alert, but remained on ground or airborne alert 24 hours a day. Crews accumulated more than 281,000 accident-free flying hours. The last EC-135 was retired from service on October 1, 1998.

Another strong testament to the “Quality of the Leadership and Performance” in the Operations Deputate and 4ACCS!  “It’s Safe to Say……….There’s Nothing You Guys Can’t Do!”   Outstanding Mission Support

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One thought on “About

  1. Brenda M. Brennan, USAF (Ret) – this was my first operational station in 1981 as a young “butter-bar”!!! Many fond memories!!! Pulling alert at Minot AFB, ND was NOT one of them…LOL!!!

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