View from the Airborne Crow’s Nest

An Air Force E-8 JSTARS surveillance aircraft teamed with Navy and Customs Service patrol airplanes to hone interoperability. They jointly identified, tracked, and helped to engage maritime targets off the South Carolina coast during Exercise Iron Dagger. The E-8 worked with Customs’ P-3 Orion airborne warning platform and the Navy’s new P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft to vector Air Force A-10s and F-15s to interdict live surface targets during the June 11-15 drills, according to a June 20 release from Robins AFB, Ga., home to the JSTARS fleet. “It’s given us an insight into what JSTARS can do to help US Customs and Border Protection,” noted a CBP agent during the exercise. JSTARS, he added, “can see a lot of the marine environment.” The Georgia Air National Guard’s 116th Air Control Wing and Active Duty 461st ACW, both at Robins, organized the exercise. (Robins report by MSgt. Roger Parsons)