The 7th Expeditionary Air Command and Control Squadron, the E-8C Joint STARS unit deployed to Southwest Asia from the Total Force 116th Air Control Wing at Robins AFB, Ga., surpassed 40,000 flight hours supporting the global war on terror during a mission Sept. 2. “It’s a pretty big event,” said Lt. Col. William Gould, 7th EACCS commander and added: “It has taken us quite a while to get to this. We’ve been here since the beginning of the GWOT flying these missions and supporting the folks on the ground.” The Joint STARS force has flown more than 3,650 war-on-terror missions since shortly after 9/11. Throughout this period, maintainers have kept the unit’s aircraft operating at a 99.6 percent launch rate. (379th AEW report by MSgt. Jeff Loftin)
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.