U.S. Air Force evacuates Joint STARS aircraft to Tinker

The U.S. Air Force E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft from the 116th Air Control Wing, Georgia Air National Guard, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., evacuated to Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., to escape the path of Hurricane Dorian.

The Joint STARS aircraft belonging to the Georgia Air National Guard, 116th Air Control Wing, are being relocated to Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., in preparation for Hurricane Dorian’s potential arrival on the eastern coast of Georgia.

The Air Force’s website said the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, or Joint STARS, is an airborne battle management, command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform. Its primary mission is to provide theater ground and air commanders with ground surveillance to support attack operations and targeting that contributes to the delay, disruption and destruction of enemy forces.

The radar and computer subsystems on the E-8C can gather and display detailed battlefield information on ground forces. The information is relayed in near-real time to the Army and Marine Corps common ground stations and to other ground command, control, communications, computers and intelligence, or C4I, nodes.

The antenna can be tilted to either side of the aircraft where it can develop a 120-degree field of view covering nearly 19,305 square miles (50,000 square kilometers) and is capable of detecting targets at more than 250 kilometers (more than 820,000 feet). The radar also has some limited capability to detect helicopters, rotating antennas and low, slow-moving fixed wing aircraft.

As a battle management and command and control asset, the E-8C can support the full spectrum of roles and missions from peacekeeping operations to major theater war.

Photo by 2nd Lt. Ronald Cole
Photo by 2nd Lt. Ronald Cole
Photo by 2nd Lt. Ronald Cole

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