HomeNewsArticle Display

JSTARS provides ground assessment during joint hurricane exercise

U.S. Air Force aircrew members with the 116th Air Control Wing, Georgia Air National Guard, and a Soldier with the 138th Military Intelligence Company, monitor surveillance information during a mission aboard an E-8C Joint STARS (JSTARS), Robins Air Force Base, Ga., Nov. 15, 2014. The JSTARS platform provides wide-area, all-weather, surface surveillance radar that is used in a combat capacity supporting combatant commanders across the globe. They can also provide valuable data during domestic natural disasters; such as hurricanes and tornadoes, by communicating real-time geographic data to ground personnel to help safely evacuate citizens. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Regina Young/Released)(Portions of the photo have been blurred and names withheld for security purposes)

U.S. Air Force aircrew members with the 116th Air Control Wing, Georgia Air National Guard, and a Soldier with the 138th Military Intelligence Company, monitor surveillance information during a mission aboard an E-8C Joint STARS (JSTARS), Robins Air Force Base, Ga., Nov. 15, 2014. The JSTARS platform provides wide-area, all-weather, surface surveillance radar that is used in a combat capacity supporting combatant commanders across the globe. They can also provide valuable data during domestic natural disasters; such as hurricanes and tornadoes, by communicating real-time geographic data to ground personnel to help safely evacuate citizens. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Regina Young/Released)(Portions of the photo have been blurred and names withheld for security purposes)

U.S. Air Force aircrew members with the 116th Air Control Wing, Georgia Air National Guard, monitor surveillance information during a mission aboard an E-8C Joint STARS (JSTARS), Robins Air Force Base, Ga., Nov. 15, 2014. The JSTARS platform provides wide-area, all-weather, surface surveillance radar that is used in a combat capacity supporting combatant commanders across the globe. They can also provide valuable data during domestic natural disasters; such as hurricanes and tornadoes, by communicating real-time geographic data to ground personnel to help safely evacuate citizens. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Regina Young/Released)(Portions of the photo have been blurred and names withheld for security purposes)

U.S. Air Force aircrew members with the 116th Air Control Wing, Georgia Air National Guard, monitor surveillance information during a mission aboard an E-8C Joint STARS (JSTARS), Robins Air Force Base, Ga., Nov. 15, 2014. The JSTARS platform provides wide-area, all-weather, surface surveillance radar that is used in a combat capacity supporting combatant commanders across the globe. They can also provide valuable data during domestic natural disasters; such as hurricanes and tornadoes, by communicating real-time geographic data to ground personnel to help safely evacuate citizens. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Regina Young/Released)(Portions of the photo have been blurred and names withheld for security purposes)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The E-8C Joint STARS, relayed real-time geographic data to ground personnel to safely evacuate citizens during a simulated hurricane in the Vigilant Guard exercise in March.

Flying over the skies of South Carolina, JSTARS unique wide-area, all-weather, surface surveillance radar and on-board communication suiteĀ  allowed aircrew to immediately send damaged route, flooding, and bridge integrity information to Soldiers, and state and local authorities caused by simulated Hurricane Zephyr.

"This exercise provided a great opportunity to integrate and build partner relationships with the National Guard and civil authorities," said a 128th Airborne Command and Control Squadron mission crew commander.

Flown by members of the Georgia Air National Guard's 116th Air Control Wing, along with Soldiers from the 138th Military Intelligence Company, the exercise was the first-time JSTARS participated in Vigilant Guard directly helping the Defense to Civil Authorities agency.

"We have national guardsmen supporting many combatant commands across the globe as well as protecting the homeland here," said the mission crew commander. Our participation in Vigilant Guard allowed us to exercise our capabilities and find shortfalls and correct them so JSTARS can be used most effectively in both types of missions."

Vigilant Guard is a U.S. Northern Command and National Guard Bureau sponsored exercise designed to improve emergency coordination, response and recovery management with federal, regional, local, civilian and military partners.

"Joint STARS are the 'eyes' for the folks on the ground; they provide an interface with industry partners that is beneficial to the mission," said a deputy intelligence oversight officer with the Georgia National Guard.