Historical last active duty JSTARS flight at RAB

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jared lovett
  • 86 AW/PA

The 10th Expeditionary Airborne Command and Control Squadron conducted its last active duty deployed aircrew mission on an E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, June 26, 2023. 

After over 20 years of communicating real-time situational awareness of ground operations to the joint force, NATO partners and allies, the JSTARS will leave behind a long legacy, spanning as far back as Operation Desert Storm, as the Air Force transitions to more advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations platforms.

“A lot of these aircraft use technology from the 1950s and 1960s, but with this new platform being put into place, we’re going to take advantage of more advanced technologies, which will keep our Airmen out of danger,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Andrew Branch, 10th EACCS senior director.

The active duty aircrew will return to their home station at Robins AFB, Georgia June 29, 2023, and their work will be handed over to Georgia Air National Guard personnel at the 116th Air Control Wing, who will complete the dissolution of the JSTARS aircraft. 

“The Guard will carry on the mission just as the active component did,” said Capt. Isaac Carluccio, 10th EACCS mission planning chief.

The new system taking the place of the JSTARS is the Tactical Operations Center, which is currently being set up at Robins AFB. This new system provides Airmen more latitude to conduct ISR operations from a ground location.

“This is an historic moment,” said Branch. “A lot of units don’t work together as closely as we do at Robins Air Force Base. There are some challenges that come with it but at the end of the day, we all come together and make sure that the mission is successful.”

The 461st Air Control Wing is responsible to the commander, Air Combat Command, for operations, maintenance, logistics, training and combat support of the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C2ISR) aircraft, supporting Combatant Commanders. It provides combat-ready theater battlespace management forces at the direction of the Secretary of Defense, operating and supporting these forces worldwide, ensuring combat capability for all operations as required by a Combatant Commander in accordance with the unit's Designed Operational Capability (DOC).