08/12/2006. Remarks by Jack
McKillop: "This aircraft was originally ordered by Western
Air Lines of Los Angeles, California, USA, in February 1969, to be
registered N1509W. However, Western encountered financial problems
and the order was cancelled in August 1969 and the airline began
The c/n was reallocated to a 707-347C-H for the
CAF; the aircraft rolled off the assembly line on
October 20, 1969, made its first flight on March 3, 1970 and was
delivered to the CAF seven days later. The CAF purchased five
CC-137s and all were operated by No. 437 (Transport) Squadron, No.
8 Wing, based at CFB Trenton, Ontario, Canada. All were fitted with side
cargo doors and this aircraft, and a second one, were fitted with
Beech 1800 air-to-air pods for aerial refueling in May 1972.
After 27-years service with the CAF, it was sold to the USAF on
April 17, 1997 and converted by Northrop Grumman to an E-8C, s/n
97-0201, c/n P-13, equipped with a Joint Surveillance Target Attack
Radar System (JSTARS). This conversion consisted of mounting
an elongated Norden phased array radar antenna in a 27 ft (8.2 m)
long canoe-shaped radome beneath the forward fuselage.
JSTARS is an airborne battle management, command and control,
intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform. Its primary
mission is to provide theater ground and air commanders with ground
surveillance to support attack operations and targeting that
contributes to the delay, disruption and destruction of enemy
forces. The radar and computer subsystems on the E-8C can gather
and display detailed battlefield information on ground forces. The
information is relayed in near-real time to the US Army and USMC
common ground stations and to other ground command, control,
communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) nodes.
This aircraft is currently based at Robins AFB, Warner Robins,
Georgia, USA, assigned to the 93d Air Control Wing, Ninth Air Force, Air
Combat Command. View also photo 4739."