by Tech. Sgt. Regina Young
116th Air Control Wing
3/18/2015 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Air
Force E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft crews
recently relayed real-time geographic data to ground personnel to
safely evacuate citizens during a simulated hurricane as part of the
Vigilant Guard exercise that took place in South Carolina.
While flying overhead, JSTARS unique wide-area, all-weather, surface
surveillance radar and on-board communication suite allowed aircrew to
immediately send damaged route, flooding, and bridge integrity
information to Soldiers, and state and local authorities caused by
simulated Hurricane Zephyr.
"This exercise provided a great opportunity to integrate and build
partner relationships with the National Guard and civil authorities,"
said a 128th Airborne Command and Control Squadron mission crew
Flown by members of the Georgia Air National Guard's 116th Air Control
Wing, along with Soldiers from the 138th Military Intelligence Company,
the exercise was the first-time JSTARS participated in Vigilant Guard
directly helping the Defense to Civil Authorities agency.
"We have national guardsmen supporting many combatant commands across
the globe as well as protecting the homeland here," said the mission
crew commander. Our participation in Vigilant Guard allowed us to
exercise our capabilities and find shortfalls and correct them so JSTARS
can be used most effectively in both types of missions."
Vigilant Guard is a U.S. Northern Command and National Guard Bureau
sponsored exercise designed to improve emergency coordination, response
and recovery management with federal, regional, local, civilian and
"Joint STARS are the 'eyes' for the folks on the ground; they provide an
interface with industry partners that is beneficial to the mission,"
said a deputy intelligence oversight officer with the Georgia National