by Master Sgt. Roger Parsons
116th Air Control Wing
2/4/2015 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The
Air Force E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft,
also known as JSTARS, flown by the Air National Guard's 116th Air
Control Wing and Air Force's 461st ACW, participated in naval exercises
here Jan. 30 to enhance joint-service training in a contested
The Navy's Composite Training Unit Exercise tested crews' ability to
respond to a variety of threats for which the E-8C Joint STARS long
range radar capability provided land and sea radar information to the
Navy's Carrier Strike Group 4 based out of Norfolk, Virginia.
"Six years ago when we initiated the Air Force/Navy integration effort,
the E-8C was one of the first Air Force aircraft to participate," said
one of the seasoned JSTARS Liaison Officers. "Being on the ship, I saw
how JSTARS was looked at as the expert in now what is known as Navy
JAM-GC, short for Joint Concept for Access and Maneuver in the Global
Supporting the new joint warfare concept, JSTARS joined more than ten
different aircraft types, providing one-of-a-kind command and control,
intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and battle management
Flying on board JSTARS was Navy Lt. j.g. John Duffner, a naval flight
officer with the Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 126 out of
"The precision of the radar and the sheer size of the crew on JSTARS
enables them to do more things simultaneously than we can do," said
Duffner. "It's been a very interesting week and I definitely know a lot
more about how JSTARS works than I did before and I've been impressed."
During the missions, the naval aviator received hands-on training and
got to compare the Navy E-2C Hawkeye aircraft command and control
platform that he's accustomed to with the JSTARS platform.
"I came here as a liaison officer to gain a better understanding of what
JSTARS can do so I can take it back to my squadron and see how we can
work together to better accomplish our mission set "said Duffner. "I was
also able to help the JSTARS crewmembers gain a better understanding of
how the Navy does things."
The U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71)
along with its carrier strike group (CSG-12), shipped out to sea Jan. 8
to begin a series of exercises designed to prepare the ship's crew for
deployment later this year.