13B on the backend of the E-3 here. Don't think there many any E-3 pilots on this forum. I'll give you the data I have though.
1. Ops Tempo
You can expect to be deployed for 4 months and then home for a year. (Currently in the desert for my 3rd in 2.5 years, that is rare) Deployments can wear you down with how long our sorties are. TDYs are plenty and go all over the World. You can expect 4 to 5 TDYs during the year off. When my Sq gets back we're doing WTI, Maple Flag, Red Flag, and Green Flag West. That's just the schedule through September. Home station, you can expect to fly at least once a week, maybe less. We have a ton of Co-Pilots flowing in. Home station sorties are standard at 7.5 hours, 10.0 with a tanker. Normally you're home by 1700 unless you have a late show. Just an assumption, but I think we are the only platform that shows as early as we do. Some shows are 0330 to take off at 0600 to meet a morning vul on the East Coast at 0900. I don't mind them. But I'm just hanging out in the back until we get enough altitude to turn the systems on.
2. Life Style/ Family Stability
I think AWACS has a great Life Style and its not too bad on the family. Like I said above, most days you're home by 1700. In most cases you know a year in advance when your going to deploy. TDYs are fragged out early. You have plenty of time to plan. We have to plan early since there are 20 people on a crew, If we bring 3 crews, an MPC, Staff, and MX to Vegas, that's a lot of people to put up in lodging so we have to get out in front of it. There is lot's of buffoonery, however. Example: Got married in Sept of 16, we deployed in Nov 16. The CC canceled my Honey Moon because I would miss the Road to War Brief on the first day of Spin-Up (for my 3rd deployment). Wife was not pleased. Also, showing at 0330 to find out the jet is on jacks in Doc 2 with a massive hydro leak. May be ready at 0900 or it may not, but you can't leave the Sq until we know for sure. Things like that happen here and there.
Can't speak on the front end morale, but they all seem to enjoy it. I've heard the jet is a beast and fun to fly. The backend morale is damn low. There is sometimes a divide between the front end and back end. The MCC usually an O-4 or O-5 owns the back end. However, the AC usually an O-3 or above owns the jet and is responsible for it's safety. Backend needs to go to the East Coast to get in a Viper SEAD Vul, but flight deck needs to go Dyess to get some off station transition. So training priorities become an issue as well, it's normally hashed out on MP day prior to fly day. If we take off late or something moves in the timeline, it's usually a discussion in the air.
4. Advancements & Future of the Airframe
E-3s are getting a flight deck upgrade. Not sure when it will be completed. But the flight deck bros are all excited about it except the Navs. We have old no glass gauges and it's being upgraded to glass(see AWACS Dragon Mod.) There is another upgrade that I'm not familiar with, but it will no longer require a Nav. The E-3 will be around for a while. When we're up and everything is working like it should, there isn't a lot we can't see and can't listen to. With 20 radios and an unlcassed radar range of 250NM, not a lot of platforms can provide that kind of capability.
5. Preferred PCS Location
If you're AWACS, "Mother Tinker" will always bring you back. Pilots have 3 locations they can PCS to from Tinker. Elmo, Kadena, and GK. Preferences are all over the place. Just depends on what that individual wants. Most folks say any where but Tinker. And that includes white jets.
If you have more questions, feel free to PM me. If I don't know the answer, I'll track down my AC and get the data. Lot of great stuff on this thread. Full disclosure, I'm looking to get to UPT in a year or so.