9/21/2012 - Sept. 14, 2012 --
An "Excellent" rating was received by the 116th and 461st Air Control wings as part of a recent Operational Readiness Inspection conducted by over 70 professionals from Air Combat Command's Inspector General team.
"This year's successful ORI was the result of a lot of hard work by the entire team," said Brig. Gen. William Welsh, 116th ACW commander. "In preparation we also had to ensure that we met the requirement to continue to do operations overseas, while setting ourselves up for success with this inspection."
That effort included the tireless dedication of operations and maintenance groups, as well as support personnel from across the 116th ACW, 461st ACW and Army's 138th Military Intelligence Company. The team had been preparing for this inspection the past year and a half.
There were over 600 participants in this year's ORI, with the IG team in place Sept. 5-11.
The priority was to test the ability of Team JSTARS to launch its airplanes on time and on station, meeting taskings while responding to various simulations from inspectors.
Those included simulated chemical and mortar attacks, small arms fire, crash recovery and survival scenarios.
"The objective is to see how much we can stress the organization and perform under that stress," said Col. Henry Cyr, 461st ACW vice commander.
Cyr also credits the unique experiences brought to the inspection as part of the JSTARS total force construct of the Georgia Air National Guard, the Army and ACC forces. "When you put all this together, we are better suited to respond to complex situations," added Cyr. "We are fortunate to have that great team. Having that complex organization is in fact one of our strengths."
As part of the "Excellent" grade, over the summer the IG team also evaluated a Virtual Flag exercise, designed to provide realistic warfighter training in a simulated environment. The exercise was hosted by the Air Force Distributed Mission Operations Center, and linked operational and tactical training of various weapons systems platforms across the armed forces, including the JSTARS platform.
Over a 10-year period, Team JSTARS, an airborne battle management, command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform based at Robins, has experienced steady deployments in support of various contingencies across the globe.
The next Team JSTARS ORI is scheduled for 2017.