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New threat emitter will cut Louisiana bomb wing fuel costs

The internal components of the Joint Threat Emitter (JTE) Command and Control Unit are testing during installation, Sept. 24, 2013, Claiborne Bombing and Gunnery Range, Alexandria, La. The JTE simulates surface-to-air missile threats against U.S. Air Force aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lt. Col. Dave Webb/Released)

The internal components of the Joint Threat Emitter (JTE) Command and Control Unit are testing during installation, Sept. 24, 2013, Claiborne Bombing and Gunnery Range, Alexandria, La. The JTE simulates surface-to-air missile threats against U.S. Air Force aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Lt. Col. Dave Webb/Released)

The Transmitter Electronic Unit antenna array is installed at the Claiborne Bombing and Gunnery Range, Oct. 4, 2013, Alexandria, La. The transmitter is part of the Joint Threat Emitter, which simulates surface-to-air missile threats against U.S. Air Force aircraft. (Courtesy photo/released)

The Transmitter Electronic Unit antenna array is installed at the Claiborne Bombing and Gunnery Range, Oct. 4, 2013, Alexandria, La. The transmitter is part of the Joint Threat Emitter, which simulates surface-to-air missile threats against U.S. Air Force aircraft. (Courtesy photo/released)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- A new threat transmitter going online this month will help the 307th Bomb Wing here save more than $6 million annually in fuel costs.

The Joint Threat Emitter installed at the Claiborne Bombing and Gunnery Range is a state of the art electronic transmitter that replicates signals emitted by surface-to-air missiles and anti-aircraft artillery. The JTE will train B-52 electronic warfare officers to detect and defeat the signals to protect the crews and aircraft during the threat of a missile attack.

"Practicing electronic jamming is essential to protection during wartime," said Lt. Col. Robert Vanhoy, 93rd Bomb Squadron director of operation. "If we can jam the enemy's signals, we can prevent them from taking down our aircraft."

The 307th BW currently maintains 20 B-52H Stratofortresses and is the only B-52 Formal Training Unit in the Air Force. They took over the training curriculum for all B-52 crew members in 2009.

With the JTE installed at the Claiborne range, Barksdale crews no longer have to fly to ranges in West Texas, Kansas and Idaho, saving precious fuel dollars.

JTE is used by other Air Force aircraft that have radar warning receiver capabilities including the C-130 Hercules, B-2 Spirit, B-1 Lancer, F-16 Fighting Falcon, A-10 Thunderbolt II and F-22 Raptor.

The 2nd Bomb Wing and Green Flag East will also benefit from the fuel savings on the Claiborne Range, which is a 15-minute flight from Barksdale.

In 2010, the Air Force Audit Agency performed an efficiency review of ranges in the U.S. This led the way for the JTE system to be considered for the Louisiana range.

"This system was one the reserve B-52 unit has been trying to put in place since the early 90s," said Lt. Col. Dave Webb, 307th Operations Flight commander. "There just wasn't the money to make it happen." This particular project has been in the works for three years. So far, the Air Force Reserve Command has spent approximately $350,000 on the infrastructure.

"The cost that the Reserve Command has laid out for the system will be saved in days after the JTE is up and running," said Col. Jonathan Ellis, 307th Bomb Wing commander. "We will not only save the government a great deal of money, but we will be able to significantly increase the training our students are receiving and thus better prepare them for future threats."

"Having training locations right in your backyard offers the cost savings we are all looking for," said Richard Harris, Combat Air Force Training System program manager.