JSTARS Organization Restructured

The Air Force leadership has changed the organization that operates the service’s fleet of E-8C JSTARS ground-surveillance aircraft at Robins AFB, Ga. Gone is the blended 116th Air Control Wing that saw active duty and Air National Guard airmen run the JSTARS mission under a single, unified command chain. In its place is a new active association under which the 116th ACW becomes the ANG host unit and the newly established active duty 461st ACW works side-by-side with it to operate these aircraft. There will be no change to manning due to these administrative moves, said USAF officials. Back in 2002, the Air Force designated the 116th ACW as a blended unit, the first of its type. Since then, USAF has standardized the integration of active duty and reserve component units under the association construct. The desire to fit JSTAR operations into an association drove this change. (SAF/PA report by André Kok) (See also report from The Telegraph of Macon, Ga.)