JSTARS surveillance provides Green Flag eyes in sky

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie
  • 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Circling the desert southwest, an E-8C Joint STARS (JSTARS) aircraft provides all-weather radar to track potential threats for Green Flag ground forces Jan. 24 at the U.S. Army National Training Center on Fort Irwin, California.

The JSTARS surveillance system is constructed to locate, classify and track ground targets, making it a critical component in Green Flag exercises.

“JSTARS is the only platform with the ability to provide a real-time surveillance picture of the battlefield,” said Staff Sgt. Jacob Easdale, an airborne operations technician assigned to the 16th Airborne Command and Control Squadron at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. “It allows the ground force commanders to make informed decisions with more situational awareness.”

JSTARS, Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, is a battle management and command and control aircraft capable of airborne ground surveillance. Throughout the exercise, JSTARS use their radar system to gather intelligence for Air Force command centers and Army mobile ground stations through secure data links.

“We’re here to detect moving ground vehicles and report possible enemy movements to enhance the ground forces’ ability to plan attack operations,” said Easdale.

The integration between JSTARS and ground forces in Green Flag allows both sides to gain the experience needed to be confident under pressure in real wartime situations.