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JSTARS joins Checkered Flag 18-1

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Sergio A. Gamboa
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft, or JSTARS, from Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, will be flying in support of Checkered Flag 18-1 hosted by the 44th Fighter Group at Tyndall Nov. 6 through 17.

Checkered Flag is a large-scale, aerial total-force exercise that combines fourth and fifth-generation airframes enhancing the capabilities of Airmen while training to rapidly respond to current, real-world conflicts and preparing for the future of air superiority.

Team JSTARS provides joint airborne command and control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance over land and water and provides combat support forces to meet state and national objectives. The 116th Air Control Wing is established as the host Air National Guard component of Team JSTARS with the active duty 461st ACW and Army JSTARS contributing personnel to the mission.

To accompany the wing’s mission, the JSTARS provides theater ground and air commanders with ground surveillance to support attack operations and targeting that contributes to the delay, disruption and destruction of enemy forces.

“The E-8C Joint STARS is the world's only weapon system of its type,” said Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons, 116th ACW Public Affairs superintendent. “When combatant commanders need simultaneous wide-area surveillance and command and control, JSTARS is their first choice.”

Readiness is a combination of properly trained Airmen with the necessary equipment. Exercises like Checkered Flag and aircraft like the E-8C give Airmen the ability to maintain readiness at all times.

“If JSTARS didn't exist, combatant commanders would lose the wide area capability for the dual-sided intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and command and control that Joint STARS offers,” Parsons said. “Essentially, it would take multiple aircraft to see the same area that one E-8C Joint STARS can see alone.”

Checkered Flag provides a platform for Airmen and aircraft, like Joint STARS, to train in simulated real-world scenarios to continue enhancing their mission and synergize Total Force Integration.

Team JSTARS has provided joint Total Force Integrated operations across six combatant commands around the globe, flying more than 107,000 combat hours in the Central Command Area of Responsibility since 9/11.