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Team JSTARS brings manned wide-area view to joint-force combat exercise

U.S. Air Force Maj. Aaron Pulcifer, a mission crew commander with the 12th Airborne Command and Control Squadron, performs a pre-flight ops check on an E-8C Joint STARS in preparation for a mission during the Northern Strike 2015 combat exercise, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., July 29, 2015. Team JSTARS joined military forces from more than 20 states and four coalition countries for the exercise hosted by the Michigan National Guard. Working with a liaison officer from the 116th Air Control Wing (ACW), Georgia Air National Guard, deployed to the exercise headquarters in Michigan, aircrews flying out of Robins Air Force Base from the 461st ACW and the Army JSTARS provided real- time tracking information to air and ground forces helping them to find and identify enemy forces played by exercise participants. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons/Released)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Aaron Pulcifer, a mission crew commander with the 12th Airborne Command and Control Squadron, performs a pre-flight ops check on an E-8C Joint STARS in preparation for a mission during the Northern Strike 2015 combat exercise, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., July 29, 2015. Team JSTARS joined military forces from more than 20 states and four coalition countries for the exercise hosted by the Michigan National Guard. Working with a liaison officer from the 116th Air Control Wing (ACW), Georgia Air National Guard, deployed to the exercise headquarters in Michigan, aircrews flying out of Robins Air Force Base from the 461st ACW and the Army JSTARS provided real- time tracking information to air and ground forces helping them to find and identify enemy forces played by exercise participants. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jacob Hall, a radar technician with the 12th Airborne Command and Control Squadron, performs an ops check on the radar system of an E-8C Joint STARS in preparation for a mission during the Northern Strike 2015 combat exercise, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., July 29, 2015. Team JSTARS joined military forces from more than 20 states and four coalition countries for the exercise hosted by the Michigan National Guard. Working with a liaison officer from the 116th Air Control Wing (ACW), Georgia Air National Guard, deployed to the exercise headquarters in Michigan, aircrews flying out of Robins Air Force Base from the 461st ACW and Army JSTARS provided real-time tracking information to air and ground forces helping them to find and identify enemy forces played by exercise participants. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons/Released) (Portions of the photo have been blurred for security purposes)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Jacob Hall, a radar technician with the 12th Airborne Command and Control Squadron, performs an ops check on the radar system of an E-8C Joint STARS in preparation for a mission during the Northern Strike 2015 combat exercise, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., July 29, 2015. Team JSTARS joined military forces from more than 20 states and four coalition countries for the exercise hosted by the Michigan National Guard. Working with a liaison officer from the 116th Air Control Wing (ACW), Georgia Air National Guard, deployed to the exercise headquarters in Michigan, aircrews flying out of Robins Air Force Base from the 461st ACW and Army JSTARS provided real-time tracking information to air and ground forces helping them to find and identify enemy forces played by exercise participants. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons/Released) (Portions of the photo have been blurred for security purposes)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Josh Barker, a flight engineer with the 12th Airborne Command and Control Squadron, performs a pre-flight on an E-8C Joint STARS in preparation for a mission during the Northern Strike 2015 combat exercise, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., July 29, 2015. Team JSTARS joined military forces from more than 20 states and four coalition countries for the exercise hosted by the Michigan National Guard. Working with a liaison officer from the 116th Air Control Wing (ACW), Georgia Air National Guard, deployed to the exercise headquarters in Michigan, aircrews flying out of Robins Air Force Base from the 461st ACW and the Army  JSTARS provided real-time tracking information to air and ground forces helping them to find and identify enemy forces played by exercise participants. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons/Released) (Portions of the photo have been blurred for security purposes)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Josh Barker, a flight engineer with the 12th Airborne Command and Control Squadron, performs a pre-flight on an E-8C Joint STARS in preparation for a mission during the Northern Strike 2015 combat exercise, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., July 29, 2015. Team JSTARS joined military forces from more than 20 states and four coalition countries for the exercise hosted by the Michigan National Guard. Working with a liaison officer from the 116th Air Control Wing (ACW), Georgia Air National Guard, deployed to the exercise headquarters in Michigan, aircrews flying out of Robins Air Force Base from the 461st ACW and the Army JSTARS provided real-time tracking information to air and ground forces helping them to find and identify enemy forces played by exercise participants. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons/Released) (Portions of the photo have been blurred for security purposes)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jeffrey Sieff, a radar technician with the 12th Airborne Command and Control Squadron, performs an ops check on the radar system of an E-8C Joint STARS in preparation for a mission during the Northern Strike 2015 combat exercise, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., July 29, 2015. Team JSTARS joined military forces from more than 20 states and four coalition countries for the exercise hosted by the Michigan National Guard. Working with a liaison officer from the 116th Air Control Wing (ACW), Georgia Air National Guard, deployed to the exercise headquarters in Michigan, aircrews flying out of Robins Air Force Base from the 461st ACW and the Army JSTARS provided real-time tracking information to air and ground forces helping them to find and identify enemy forces played by exercise participants. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons/Released) (Portions of the photo have been blurred for security purposes)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Jeffrey Sieff, a radar technician with the 12th Airborne Command and Control Squadron, performs an ops check on the radar system of an E-8C Joint STARS in preparation for a mission during the Northern Strike 2015 combat exercise, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., July 29, 2015. Team JSTARS joined military forces from more than 20 states and four coalition countries for the exercise hosted by the Michigan National Guard. Working with a liaison officer from the 116th Air Control Wing (ACW), Georgia Air National Guard, deployed to the exercise headquarters in Michigan, aircrews flying out of Robins Air Force Base from the 461st ACW and the Army JSTARS provided real-time tracking information to air and ground forces helping them to find and identify enemy forces played by exercise participants. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons/Released) (Portions of the photo have been blurred for security purposes)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Alex Barton, a navigator with the 12th Airborne Command and Control Squadron, performs a pre-flight ops check on an E-8C Joint STARS in preparation for a mission during the Northern Strike 2015 combat exercise, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., July 29, 2015. Team JSTARS joined military forces from more than 20 states and four coalition countries for the exercise hosted by the Michigan National Guard. Working with a liaison officer from the 116th Air Control Wing (ACW), Georgia Air National Guard, deployed to the exercise headquarters in Michigan, aircrews flying out of Robins Air Force Base from the 461st ACW and the Army JSTARS provided real-time tracking information to air and ground forces helping them to find and identify enemy forces played by exercise participants. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons/Released) (Portions of the photo have been blurred for security purposes)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Alex Barton, a navigator with the 12th Airborne Command and Control Squadron, performs a pre-flight ops check on an E-8C Joint STARS in preparation for a mission during the Northern Strike 2015 combat exercise, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., July 29, 2015. Team JSTARS joined military forces from more than 20 states and four coalition countries for the exercise hosted by the Michigan National Guard. Working with a liaison officer from the 116th Air Control Wing (ACW), Georgia Air National Guard, deployed to the exercise headquarters in Michigan, aircrews flying out of Robins Air Force Base from the 461st ACW and the Army JSTARS provided real-time tracking information to air and ground forces helping them to find and identify enemy forces played by exercise participants. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons/Released) (Portions of the photo have been blurred for security purposes)

U.S. Airmen with the 12th Airborne Command and Control Squadron, perform pre-flight ops checks on an E-8C Joint STARS in preparation for a mission during the Northern Strike 2015 combat exercise, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., July 29, 2015. Team JSTARS joined military forces from more than 20 states and four coalition countries for the exercise hosted by the Michigan National Guard. Working with a liaison officer from the 116th Air Control Wing (ACW), Georgia Air National Guard, deployed to the exercise headquarters in Michigan, aircrews flying out of Robins Air Force Base from the 461st ACW and the Army JSTARS provided real-time tracking information to air and ground forces helping them to find and identify enemy forces played by exercise participants. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons/Released) (Portions of the photo have been blurred for security purposes)

U.S. Airmen with the 12th Airborne Command and Control Squadron, perform pre-flight ops checks on an E-8C Joint STARS in preparation for a mission during the Northern Strike 2015 combat exercise, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., July 29, 2015. Team JSTARS joined military forces from more than 20 states and four coalition countries for the exercise hosted by the Michigan National Guard. Working with a liaison officer from the 116th Air Control Wing (ACW), Georgia Air National Guard, deployed to the exercise headquarters in Michigan, aircrews flying out of Robins Air Force Base from the 461st ACW and the Army JSTARS provided real-time tracking information to air and ground forces helping them to find and identify enemy forces played by exercise participants. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons/Released) (Portions of the photo have been blurred for security purposes)

U.S. Airmen with the 12th Airborne Command and Control Squadron, perform pre-flight ops checks on an E-8C Joint STARS in preparation for a mission during the Northern Strike 2015 combat exercise, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., July 29, 2015. Team JSTARS joined military forces from more than 20 states and four coalition countries for the exercise hosted by the Michigan National Guard. Working with a liaison officer from the 116th Air Control Wing (ACW), Georgia Air National Guard, deployed to the exercise headquarters in Michigan, aircrews flying out of Robins Air Force Base from the 461st ACW and the Army JSTARS provided real-time tracking information to air and ground forces helping them to find and identify enemy forces played by exercise participants. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons/Released) (Portions of the photo have been blurred for security purposes)

U.S. Airmen with the 12th Airborne Command and Control Squadron, perform pre-flight ops checks on an E-8C Joint STARS in preparation for a mission during the Northern Strike 2015 combat exercise, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., July 29, 2015. Team JSTARS joined military forces from more than 20 states and four coalition countries for the exercise hosted by the Michigan National Guard. Working with a liaison officer from the 116th Air Control Wing (ACW), Georgia Air National Guard, deployed to the exercise headquarters in Michigan, aircrews flying out of Robins Air Force Base from the 461st ACW and the Army JSTARS provided real-time tracking information to air and ground forces helping them to find and identify enemy forces played by exercise participants. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons/Released) (Portions of the photo have been blurred for security purposes)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Team Joint STARS joined military forces from more than 20 states and four coalition countries, providing manned, battle management, command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities during the Northern Strike 2015 combat training exercise from July 20-31.

The exercise, hosted by the Michigan National Guard, combined air and ground combat scenarios the U.S. military has been involved with the past several years.

Flying out of Robins Air Force Base, JSTARS aircrews completed multiple missions focused on the counter insurgency environment incorporating F-16 Fighting Falcons and A-10 Thunderbolts, while supporting Soldiers, Marines, and Airmen on the ground.

Working with a liaison officer from the 116th Air Control Wing, aircrews from the 461st ACW and Army JSTARS provided real-time tracking information to air and ground forces helping them find and identify simulated enemy forces.

"Being able to look commanders in the eye and let them know what we can do for them, I've seen our role in Northern Strike grow the past three years." said Maj. Bradley Webb, an air battle manager and senior director with the 116th ACW, Georgia Air National Guard.

According to Maj. Aaron Pulcifer, mission crew commander with the 461st ACW, the wartime environment today is comprised of smaller groups of insurgents hiding within the civilian population, versus a traditional mass force on force war.

"JSTARS is particularly valuable in these [insurgent] types of scenarios because of our ability to view such a wide area of the battlefield with Airmen and Soldiers in the seats making real-time decisions and overcoming technological challenges on the fly."