Six former Senior Commanders signed a letter to Secretary of Defense James Mattis on E-8C JSTARS recapitalization.
JSTARS is a unique ground moving-target tracking capability that can monitor up to 600 targets simultaneously, day or night, through dust, clouds or haze. The planes and their radars generate pinpoint reports of enemy locations and vehicle movements for U.S. and allied forces. They have been used with great effect in the Iraq and Serbian wars, as well as to provide close surveillance of tense arenas in Eastern Europe and on the Korean peninsula.
The Air Force had a plan to modernize the 16 JSTARS aircraft in the fleet, but backed off this effort last summer to advance a more futuristic, networked plan that would unfold in the next decade. Many in Congress and the broader defense community are skeptical of this new proposal. The attached joint letter reflects some of their key concerns.
The letter is signed by:
General John Craddock, former Supreme Allied Commander, Europe
General Michael Loh, former commander, Air Combat Command
General Thomas A. Schwartz, former commander, U.S. Forces Korea
General Walter Sharp, former commander, U.S. Forces Korea
General James (JD) Thurman, former commander, U.S. Forces Korea
Admiral Robert F. Willard, former commander, Pacific Command
Click here to read the letter.
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