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 April 18, 2014

Business: Lockheed to Lose 17 F-35s Under Automatic Pentagon Cuts - Pentagon will cut 17 of the 343 F-35 fighters it planned to buy from Lockheed Martin in fiscal 2016 through 2019 unless Congress repeals automatic budget cuts, according to a new Defense Department report. DOD looking for ways not to break MH-60R helo deal - The...
 
 

News Briefs April 18, 2013

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,177 As of April 15, 2014, at least 2,177 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. At least 1,802 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
LM-F35-hours

F-35 fleet surpasses 15,000 flying hours

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fleet recently surpassed 15,000 flight hours, marking a major milestone for the program.  “Flying 15,000 hours itself demonstrates that the program is maturing, but what I think is e...
 

 
nasa-cassini

NASA Cassini images may reveal birth of new Saturn moon

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has documented the formation of a small icy object within the rings of Saturn that may be a new moon, and may also provide clues to the formation of the planet’s known moons. Images taken w...
 
 

NASA completes LADEE mission with planned impact on Moon’s surface

Ground controllers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., have confirmed that NASA’s Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer spacecraft impacted the surface of the moon, as planned, between 9:30 and 10:22 p.m., PDT, April 17. LADEE lacked fuel to maintain a long-term lunar orbit or continue science operations and was intentionally sent...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Kepler telescope discovers first Earth-size planet in ‘habitable zone’

Photograph courtesy of NASA Ames/SETI Institute/JPL-Caltech Kepler-186f resides in the Kepler-186 system about 500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Cygnus. The system is also home to four inner planets, seen lined up...
 




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>