The 55th Electronic Combat Group celebrated 40 years of the EC-130 Compass Call program with a celebration hosted by the 55th Wing Association Oct. 15-16., 2021.
The EC-130 Compass Call operates under the 55th ECG as a geographically separated unit of the 55th Wing at Offutt AFB, Neb.
“This event marks the occasion of this mission set turning 40 and celebrates the wide array of accomplishments, achievements, and milestones of the Compass Call program and the wonderful Airmen who made it all happen for all these years,” said Col. Kristen Thompson, 55th Wing commander. “At this celebration, we have people who truly are legends; legends in this community as well as in the Air Force.”
The aircraft provides airborne communications jamming by disrupting enemy command and control communications and limits adversary coordination.
Rep. Don Bacon, who served with the 55th Wing at Offutt and Davis-Monthan, each three times, was the keynote speaker for the event. He commended the past and present aircrews for their sacrifice and accomplishments over the past two decades while continuously deployed in support of operations in Afghanistan.
“When you look back at the last 20 years and what you’ve all accomplished in Afghanistan, be proud,” said Bacon. “None of what you did was in vain. You effectively jammed communications and contributed to the effort to stop terrorism.”
Bacon said that the total number of sortie hours flown in that region by the EC-130 exceeded 10 years’ time.
“We have had a hand in every major operation of the past 40 years,” said Col. George Cundiff, 55th ECG commander. “If the U.S. has done it, if the Department of Defense has done it, largely, we’ve been there.”
“Most notably, our time in Afghanistan, as we were there until the very end,” he said. “We were there when the very last C-17 lifted off from Karzai International Airport and nothing happened to that C-17 because we were there.”
There was also a static display that allowed aircrew past and present to tour the EC-130, as well as an RC-135V/W Rivet Joint, which made the trip from Offutt.
“For 20 years we have provided U.S. Central Command unwavering support,” said Thompson. “And as we look to the future, we may be uncertain where our next battlespace may be, but we can be certain that we have a team of ready, capable, and combat-tested Airmen ready to impede the communications of any adversary.”