ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
The 16th Airborne Command and Control Squadron with the 461st Air Control Wing flew its final local sortie after 27 years of operational history flying the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft Sept. 8, 2022, at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.
The squadron’s ‘Fini-Flight’ follows the Air Force’s decision to divest the E-8C JSTARS aircraft fleet beginning with four aircraft in fiscal year 2022.
The 16th ACCS was activated Feb. 11, 1943, as the 380th Fighter Squadron and was formally redesignated as the 160th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron Aug. 25, 1944. It was later redesignated as the 16th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron Oct. 10, 1950, and was then inactivated Dec. 15, 1989. It was redesignated the 16th ACCS Jan. 15, 1996, which it has remained until the present.
Over the course of its history, the squadron has answered her nation’s call in the European theater of World War II, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War and numerous deployments delivering command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to worldwide combatant commands in theater operations.
It has been an honor leading a squadron with such an outstanding history of excellence throughout so many of our nation’s conflicts dating back to World War II. The men and women who have served in the 16th have a lot to be proud of. This was a big day for our squadron and for Team JSTARS.Lt. Col. Joseph Maruska, 16th ACCS commanderSince its redesignation as the 16th ACCS, the squadron has delivered over 5,030 deployed sorties and 51,138 deployed hours, winning eight Headquarters Air Force Air Battle Management Aircrew of the Year awards and contributing to numerous Outstanding Unit Awards for the 461st and 116th Air Control Wings at Robins AFB.
Lt. Col. Joseph Maruska, 16th ACCS commander, piloted the ‘Fini-Flight’ and used the historic call sign of ‘Phenom 16.’
“It has been an honor leading a squadron with such an outstanding history of excellence throughout so many of our nation’s conflicts dating back to World War II,” said Maruska. “The men and women who have served in the 16th have a lot to be proud of. This was a big day for our squadron and for Team JSTARS.
“We could not have done it without the support of Team JSTARS maintenance, our sister squadrons, base support agencies and our teammates in the 116th Air Control Wing,” he continued.
The upcoming inactivation of the 16th ACCS will be the first of several milestones for the JSTARS divestment, which will ultimately make way for the bed down of four new missions at Robins that align with the future Air Force design to prepare for near-peer threats.
The 16th ACCS will be officially inactivated Feb. 16, 2023.