by Master Sgt. Greg Steele
93rd Bomb Squadron
10/30/2013 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- A
new threat transmitter going online this month will help the 307th Bomb
Wing here save more than $6 million annually in fuel costs.
The Joint Threat Emitter installed at the Claiborne Bombing and Gunnery
Range is a state of the art electronic transmitter that replicates
signals emitted by surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft artillery.
The JTE will train B-52 electronic warfare officers to detect and defeat
the signals to protect the crews and aircraft during the threat of a
"Practicing electronic jamming is essential to protection during
wartime," said Lt. Col. Robert Vanhoy, 93rd Bomb Squadron director of
operation. "If we can jam the enemy's signals, we can prevent them from
taking down our aircraft."
The 307th BW currently maintains 20 B-52H Stratofortresses and is the
only B-52 Formal Training Unit in the Air Force. They took over the
training curriculum for all B-52 crew members in 2009.
With the JTE installed at the Claiborne range, Barksdale crews no longer
have to fly to ranges in West Texas, Kansas and Idaho, saving precious
JTE is used by other Air Force aircraft that have radar warning receiver
capabilities including the C-130 Hercules, B-2 Spirit, B-1 Lancer, F-16
Fighting Falcon, A-10 Thunderbolt II and F-22 Raptor.
The 2nd Bomb Wing and Green Flag East will also benefit from the fuel
savings on the Claiborne Range, which is a 15-minute flight from
In 2010, the Air Force Audit Agency performed an efficiency review of
ranges in the U.S. This led the way for the JTE system to be considered
for the Louisiana range.
"This system was one the reserve B-52 unit has been trying to put in
place since the early 90s," said Lt. Col. Dave Webb, 307th Operations
Flight commander. "There just wasn't the money to make it happen." This
particular project has been in the works for three years. So far, the
Air Force Reserve Command has spent approximately $350,000 on the
"The cost that the Reserve Command has laid out for the system will be
saved in days after the JTE is up and running," said Col. Jonathan
Ellis, 307th Bomb Wing commander. "We will not only save the government a
great deal of money, but we will be able to significantly increase the
training our students are receiving and thus better prepare them for
"Having training locations right in your backyard offers the cost
savings we are all looking for," said Richard Harris, Combat Air Force
Training System program manager.