Team JSTARS surpasses 100,000 flying hours supporting COCOMS
By Tech. Sgt. Julie Parker, 116th Air Control Wing Public Affairs
/ Published May 01, 2014
Robins Air Force Base, Ga. -- Team JSTARS, set a major milestone Thursday when they surpassed 100,000-flying hours in support of combatant commanders across the globe during a mission, flying out of Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.
The joint-force unit comprised of the Georgia Air National Guard's 116th Air Control Wing, and active-duty personnel from the Air Force's 461st ACW and Army JSTARS 138th Military Intelligence Company achieved the hours by maintaining a ready and relevant force, accomplishing missions flown at home and abroad in direct support of all the Department of Defense's combatant commanders since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The unit flies the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, a one-of-a-kind capability that can conduct battle management and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance simultaneously. The platform provides the ability to track ground vehicles, maritime and aircraft, collect imagery, and relay tactical data to ground and air theater commanders.
"JSTARS 100,000-flying hours in support of our nation's combatant commanders represents more than a decade of sacrifice and service by our men and women," said Col. Kevin Clotfelter, 116th ACW commander. "We know this marker was reached because of the sacrifice and support of our families, communities and mission partners."
The operational resume' of Team JSTARS includes support of six combatant commands including U.S. Pacific, Northern, Southern, Africa, European and Central Commands.
"This milestone represents an achievement of tremendous endurance," said Col. Henry Cyr, 461st ACW commander. "Whether hunting terrorists, defending our borders or scouring the seas, deserts and mountains of the globe; the men and women of JSTARS have delivered on their promise to be 'On Station'."
Team JSTARS have provided continuous support for Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector during nearly 13 years of continuous deployments.
"The significant Team JSTARS milestone is a clear indication of the platform's importance and value across the entire Department of Defense," said Lt. Col. Todd Morgan, 138th Military Intelligence Company commander. "The interoperability of Army and Air Force personnel working in concert onboard the E-8C has enabled the platform to provide critical and timely ISR to maneuver commanders during direct combat operations."
"This is a tremendous achievement by our Georgia Air National Guard team, the 116th Air Control Wing working in concert with their Active Duty counterparts - the 461st Air Control Wing at Robins Air Force Base. Our Georgia Air National Guard unit has been continuously deployed for over a decade around the globe, providing critically-required support to ground and combatant commanders. These two units, and the overall JSTARS program, have proven themselves to be a model of how the Guard and the Active Components can work together to accomplish a common, essential mission," said Maj. Gen. James B. Butterworth, Georgia National Guard adjutant general.