JSTARS Fleet Hits 1 Million Flight Hours

The Air Force’s E-8 JSTARS fleet completed one million hours of flight time on Sept. 6 while deployed to the Middle East. The aircraft, from the 7th Expeditionary Airborne Command and Control Squadron out of Robins AFB, Ga., reached the milestone during an operational mission in Central Command, according to an Air Forces Central Command news release. “Simply put, JSTARS finds things and solves operational problems in the air and on the ground,” 7th EACCS Commander Lt. Col. William Hartman said in the release. “JSTARS battle managers use our ground surveillance radar to detect, disrupt and ultimately destroy Daesh forces in Iraq and Syria in partnership with our air coalition strike assets every day while also providing support and over-watch of friendly forces in Afghanistan.” The Air Force this week released a draft RFP for a replacement system for the current JSTARS fleet, which is made up of 16 Boeing 707s dating to the 1960s. (See also: The JSTARS Recap from the February 2015 issue of Air Force Magazine.)