Joint STARS Reaches 37K

The airmen of the 116th Expeditionary Air Command and Control Squadron deployed to Southwest Asia have amassed 37,000 combat flying hours, spanning 3,000 sorties. Currently the unit comprises four-plus E-8C Joint STARS ground radar aircraft, deployed from the joint Air National Guard-active duty 116th Air Control Wing at Robins AFB, Ga. Lt. Col. Bill Gould, leader of the 116th EACCS, said the missions conducted by the Joint STARS team, which includes Army members on the airborne mission crew, continue to evolve and grow. He said, “We are only programmed to fly about 7,000 hours a year, [but] this past year we almost doubled that at roughly 14,000. (USAF report by SSgt. Jason Barebo)