Defense

April 10, 2013

‘Compass Call’ing: Are you listening?

Tags:
SSgt. David Dobrydney
Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan

Tech. Sgt. Justin Longway checks a patch panel aboard an EC-130 Compass Call March 23, 2013, at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The 41st EECS flies nightly missions in support of troops on the ground. Longway is an airborne maintenance technician with the 41st Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron.

Even high in the air, they have their ears close to the ground.

Linguists from the 41st Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron, are trained in the art of employing electronic attack for the purpose of denying, degrading and disrupting enemy communications from aboard the EC-130 Compass Call.

“We’re a precision electronic attack platform,” said Tech. Sgt. Dallas Allen, a cryptologic language analyst with the 41st EECS. “We can go out and … stop (the enemy) from communicating with each other.”

When on a mission, the airmen of the Compass Call employ precision electronic attack capabilities in support of U.S. and coalition tactical air, surface and special operations forces.

“You really have to have a lot of confidence in yourself when it comes to identifying certain kinds of communications,” Allen said. “Sometimes you’ll be listening and think ‘did I just hear him say that, or did I expect him to say that?’”

The linguists’ confidence comes from the amount of practice they go through while at home station, Allen said.

Senior Airman Whitni Orgass works at her station aboard an EC-130 Compass Call March 23, 2013 at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The 41st EECS flies nightly missions in support of troops on the ground. Orgass is an 41st Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron cryptological language analyst.

“We have to spend hours in the listening lab studying our language,” he said. “We go to simulations and that’s where we’re able to hone our skills. We listen to known communications so we can practice identifying them.”

The linguist career field is relatively small and with the group of linguists who fly, even smaller. Allen said there are probably less than 1,000.

Given the size of the career field, the linguists have shorter deployments than other Airmen. However, their time spent at home is shorter as well, Allen said.

“It’s a leapfrog effect,” he said. “We’re constantly out here.”

The missions can last anywhere from two to 15 hours, based on the need of troops on the ground.

“Some nights we might not have anything, other nights we may be extremely busy,” Allen said. “When we get feedback from (the ground troops) … it makes you feel like we’re really coming together as a group.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 23, 2014

News: Israel’s Iron Dome defense in line for tripled U.S. spending - Israel’s iron Dome missile defense system may end up getting triple the U.S. funding that the Defense Department sought for it in March. Ukraine asked U.S. for systems to counter Russian missiles - A month before the United States says a Russian missile likely brought...
 
 

News Briefs July 23, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,194 As of July 22, 2014, at least 2,194 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. The AP count is three less than the Defense Department’s tally. At least...
 
 
Raytheon photograph

Raytheon completes key Air, Missile Defense Radar reviews

Raytheon photograph Partially-populated, full-sized Air and Missile Defense Radar array. Raytheon has completed two critical program reviews for the new Air and Missile Defense Radar, the U.S. Navy’s next generation integ...
 

 
Insitu photograph

Insitu demonstrates long endurance capabilities of Integrator unmanned aircraft

Insitu photograph Insitu’s Integrator unmanned aircraft recovers via SkyHook; the aircraft recently completed a 24-hour endurance flight. Insitu announced July 22 the successful 24-hour flight of its Integrator unmanned a...
 
 

NASA partners punctuate summer with spacecraft development advances

Spacecraft and rocket development is on pace this summer for NASA’s aerospace industry partners for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program as they progress through systems testing, review boards and quarterly sessions under their† Space Act Agreements with the agency. NASA engineers and specialists continue their review of the progress as the agency and partners move...
 
 

U.S. Navy selects Northrop Grumman for ship self-defense system

The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman a $12 million task order for a full range of engineering services to continue modernizing the Ship Self-Defense System Mark 2. The contract has a potential value of $61 million over five years, if all options are exercised. SSDS MK2 is a combat system designed for anti-air defense...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>