RADAR planes join Iraqi Freedom - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

RADAR planes join Iraqi Freedom

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April 1, 2003

Warner Robins-- Fifty flight crew members of the 116th Air Control Wing deployed, flying two Joint STARS Surveillance Jets to the Middle East.

The J-Stars crews are men and women from the Air Force, Army, and Georgia Air Guard. This is the Air Force's airborne battle management command. It's powerful radar systems spot enemy troop and equipment movements, and provide surveillance to the ground forces.

This is the first deployment for 23 year old Airman First Class Jessica Willwerth. "I'm just excited. It was a shock to me because I just finished training Thursday. I wasn't anticipating this at all. But I got the word, got ready, and I'm ready to get over there and help out with what I can."

This are the Air Force's newest J-STAR Surveillance Jet. The modified Boeing 707 was Air Force II, flying former Vice President Al Gore before refurbishment. It flew out of Robins Air Force Base this afternoon headed to the Middle East, now ready to support the troops.

posted at 5:40PM by dave.miller@walb.com