JSTARS reassures mission partners

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Emmeline James
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

It’s the early hours of the morning when the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System crew arrives to begin their day. They receive a quick briefing before the E-8C JSTARS aircraft is prepared for departure.

The JSTARS aircraft, deployed to Ramstein Air Base, Germany from the Georgia Air National Guard’s 116th Air Control Wing at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, provides an airborne battle management, command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform. JSTARS are operated by Guardsmen from the 116 ACW, active duty Airmen from the 461 ACW, and U.S. Army Soldiers from the 138th Military Intelligence Company.

During their time in the U.S. European Command theater, the unit is supporting training exercises and events demonstrating the U.S.’s steadfast commitment to NATO allies, enhancing interoperability with multinational partners, and deterring any actions that could destabilize regional security.

“We are here to support EUCOM operations in the area, including operations in support of deterring aggression within neighboring countries.” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Stephanie Bisagno, 10th Expeditionary Airborne Command and Control Squadron intel non-commissioned officer in charge.

The 10 EACCS squadron comprises 19 different Air Force Specialty Codes, all essential to the in-house maintenance, planning and intel parts of the mission.

“Everyone plays a role on every sortie,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Joseph Sullivan, 10 EACCS director of operations. “The mission is very dependent on people being competent and effective at their jobs.”

Sullivan added the Airmen and Soldiers, who fly during each mission, integrate ground commanders to ensure all members have the most up-to-date information necessary for mission success.

Using radar, communications, operations and control subsystems, the JSTARS crew can communicate real-time situational awareness of ground operations to the joint force and NATO partners and allies.

“As a C2ISR(command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) platform, the E-8C is capable of wide area surveillance of targets on the ground,” explained U.S. Air Force Capt. Dale Warfield, 10 EACCS JSTARS mission planning chief. "Our Airmen and Soldiers are working hard to ensure that decision-makers – in the ground and on the air – have the information they need during any mission.”