Sustaining current levels of operations on any aircraft while simultaneously recapitalizing it is a big challenge, especially when it comes to the E-8 JSTARS ground-surveillance fleet, Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke, Air National Guard director, told reporters Tuesday at AFA’s Air & Space Conference in National Harbor, Md. JSTARS is one of “the most highly demanded platforms” by combatant commanders, said Clarke. “They want JSTARS,” he explained. However, “it’s very difficult to sustain [the] current level of effort and move on to new airplanes at the same time,” he said. Financially, it’d be impossible, and Clarke believes the Air Force needs “to take a knee” and explain that “you’re not going to get all the capability you’ve had in the past year because at some point, we have to recapitalize the suite.”
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