SOWELA receives $35 million donation of Air Force jet

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 12:34 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - SOWELA will receive its largest donation to date from the U.S. Air Force with a $35 million aircraft.

The E-8A Joint STARS aircraft will be flown in and signed over to SOWELA from the Air Force during a ceremony at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at the Chennault Airport. After the fly-in, a signing ceremony and tour of the plane will take place, followed by remarks and brunch, held in SOWELA’s Culinary, Gaming and Hospitality Center.

According to the Air Force, the E-8A is a modified Boeing 707-300 series aircraft. Joint STARS evolved from Army and Air Force programs to develop, detect, locate and attack enemy armor at ranges beyond the forward area of troops.

The aircraft will be added to SOWELA’s growing fleet for its popular Aviation Maintenance programs, which provides a hands-on learning environment and practical application of aircraft maintenance training.