The E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) of the US Air Force suffered damage during a ground maintenance operations engine run at Robinson Air Force Base, Georgia, on December 19.
According to airforcetimes.com, the aircraft’s engine failed for reasons unknown, spreading debris across parking areas and caused damage to four other aircraft in the fleet.
A Safety Investigation Board is scheduled to arrive at Robins Air Force Base on Thursday, December 28 to determine the cause of the engine mishap.
Staff from the 461st and 116th Air Control Wings, who operate and maintain the JSTARS fleet, have since worked to restore three of the planes to mission ready status and as clear. The fourth aircraft is expected to return to mission ready status after the holiday.
The E-8C is an airborne battle management, command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform. The E-8C is a modified Boeing 707-300 series commercial airframe extensively remanufactured and modified with the radar, communications, operations and control subsystems required to perform its operational mission. Its primary mission is to provide ground surveillance to support attack operations and targeting. The JSTARS fleet consists of 16 E-8C aircraft and one E-8A trainer.