Joint STARS Cruises Past 20,000

The airmen of the 116th Air Control Wing at Robins AFB, Ga., who fly, operate, and maintain the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft have amassed 20,000 combat flying hours covering operations in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past four years, reports the Desert Eagle newspaper. And, some of these airmen have served in theater for more than a year; most have made numerous deployments. On the record flight—the 1,756th combat sortie—the Joint STARS crew, flying at 30,000 feet, heard a “mayday” call from troops stranded on a helicopter that had crashed in a lake. The E-8 crew relayed the distress call, bringing a speedy rescue.