43rd ECS Transitions to EA-37B

  • Published
  • By Charles J. Haymond
  • 55th Wing Public Affairs

The 43rd Electronic Combat Squadron took its final flight in the EC-130H Compass Call aircraft on Feb. 15, 2024, at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. 

The Air Force is replacing the aging fleet of EC-130H aircraft with new EA-37Bs.

“Throughout its storied existence, the squadron's adaptability and commitment to evolving military technologies shine through, having operated 11 different aircraft types across six continents,” said Lt. Col. Tray C. Wood, 43rd ECS commander. “The final EC-130H flight marks the end of an era and signals the beginning of a new chapter with the forthcoming EA-37B transition.”

The 43rd ECS is the first squadron under the 55th Electronic Combat Group to move itself away from the EC-130H Compass Call aircraft to the new EA-37B Compass Call. A total of 10 EA-37B aircraft are on track to be delivered while simultaneously retiring the EC-130H fleet in a phased approach.

“This shift to the squadron's 12th aircraft emphasizes its enduring legacy and continuous efforts to stay at the forefront of technological advancements in military aviation,” Wood said. “This rehost emphasizes the squadron's commitment to maintaining operational excellence and readiness in the face of evolving global security challenges.”

A part of the 43rd ECS philosophy is a connection to the past and the unity embodied by all current and former 43rd ECS members.

“We are simply carrying on the traditions of our past members as we usher in a new era and aircraft,” said Capt. Austin Galeazzo, 43rd ECS director of staff.

“Our squadron is exemplified by its camaraderie, we proudly carry 107 years of traditions from the Bats that came before us,” said Capt. Paul Matthews, 43rd ECS executive officer. “With our mantra, ‘Once a Bat, Always a Bat,’ the legacy of the 43rd ECS will live on in us long after our service has ended."  

During this transition, the 43rd ECS is appreciative of the support received from Air Combat Command, 16th Air Force, and the 55th and 355th Wing leadership teams.  During this new journey, Wood and 43rd ECS members look forward to reaching new heights ahead of them.

“As we welcome a new era of electronic attack, the 43rd Electronic Combat Squadron will play a critical role in security, air superiority and mission success within the multi-domain theatre,” Wood said. “In an era where electromagnetic dominance is synonymous with strategic advantage, the 43rd ECS remains at the forefront, ensuring the continued success of the warfighter.”