E-8C Joint STARS aircrew members monitor moving target indication data at their operator work stations during a mission supporting BALTOPS 2018 and Saber Strike 18 exercises at Fighter Wing Skrydstrup, Denmark, June 12, 2018. The JSTARS team consists of the Georgia Air National Guard’s 116th Air Control Wing (ACW), plus active duty personnel assigned to the 461st ACW and Army JSTARS. They are in Denmark to participate in BALTOPS 2018 and Saber Strike 18. JSTARS brings a unique, manned, joint airborne command control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability to the exercises. During BALTOPS, the Georgia Airmen will join military forces from 17 nations to enhance flexibility and interoperability among allied and partner nations to strengthen combined response capabilities, as well as demonstrate international resolve to ensure stability in, and if necessary defend, the Baltic Sea region. The Saber Strike exercise facilitates cooperation between the U.S., Estonia, Latvia Lithuania, Poland, and other allied and partner nations to improve joint operational capability in a variety of missions and prepare the participating nations and units for future operations while enhancing the NATO alliance.
Joint STARS is the only platform in the U.S. arsenal that combines accurate wide-area moving target detection with synthetic aperture radar imagery to locate, classify and track surface targets in all weather conditions from standoff distances. The fleet has flown more than 130,000 combat mission hours in support of the U.S. Central Command since Sept. 11, 2001.
Image credit Air National Guard photograph by Senior Master Sgt. Roger Parson