116ACW, Joint STARS join Checkered Flag 18-1

E-8C Joint STARS

An E-8C Joint STARS taxis down the runway during a morning mission at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., July 20, 2017. Team JSTARS; consisting of the 116th Air Control Wing (ACW), Georgia Air National Guard, active-duty 461st ACW and Army JSTARS, provides joint airborne command and control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance support over land and water to combatant commanders around the globe. The Total Force Integration unit operates the world’s only Joint STARS weapon system based out of Robins Air Force Base. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons)

E-8C Joint STARS

U.S. Air Force aircrew members from the 116th Air Control Wing (ACW), Georgia Air National Guard, monitor surveillance data while flying a night mission aboard an E-8C Joint STARS, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., July 13, 2017. Team JSTARS, consisting of the 116th ACW, active-duty 461st ACW and Army JSTARS, provides joint airborne command and control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance support over land and water to combatant commanders around the globe. The Total Force Integration unit operates the world’s only Joint STARS weapon system based out of Robins Air Force Base. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons) (Portions of the photo have been blurred for security and privacy concerns)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Team JSTARS out of Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, is flying an E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System in support of Checkered Flag 18-1 hosted by the 44th Fighter Group at Tyndall Nov. 6-17, 2017.

Checkered Flag is a large-scale, aerial total-force exercise that combines fourth and fifth-generation airframes enhancing the capabilities of Airmen while training to rapidly respond to current, real-world conflicts and preparing for the future of air superiority.


Team JSTARS provides joint airborne command and control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance over land and water and provides combat support forces to meet state and national objectives. The 116th Air Control Wing is established as the host Air National Guard component of Team JSTARS with the active duty 461st ACW and Army JSTARS contributing personnel to the mission.

To accompany the wing’s mission, the E-8C Joint STARS provides theater ground and air commanders with ground surveillance to support attack operations and targeting that contributes to the delay, disruption and destruction of enemy forces.

“The E-8C Joint STARS is the world's only weapon system of its type,” said Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parsons, 116th ACW Public Affairs superintendent. “When combatant commanders need simultaneous wide-area surveillance and command and control, JSTARS is their first choice.”

Readiness is a combination of properly trained Airmen with the necessary equipment. Exercises like Checkered Flag and aircraft like the E-8C give Airmen the ability to maintain readiness at all times.

“If JSTARS didn't exist, combatant commanders would lose the wide area capability for the dual-sided intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and command and control that Joint STARS offers,” Parsons said. “Essentially, it would take multiple aircraft to see the same area that one E-8C Joint STARS can see alone.”

Checkered Flag provides a platform for Airmen and aircraft, like Joint STARS, to train in simulated real-world scenarios to continue enhancing their mission and synergize Total Force Integration.

Team JSTARS has provided joint Total Force Integrated operations across six combatant commands around the globe, flying more than 107,000 combat hours in the Central Command Area of Responsibility since 9/11.