HomeNewsArticle Display

Compass Call targets ISIL through electronic attack

An EC-130H Compass Call prepares to taxi Dec. 5, 2016 at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. The Compass Call employs a crew of roughly a dozen Airmen working together to jam Da’esh communications. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Park)

An EC-130H Compass Call taxis Dec. 5, 2016 at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. The Compass Call employs a crew of roughly a dozen Airmen working together to jam ISIL communications. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Park)

An EC-130H Compass Call flies above an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia Dec. 5, 2016. The Compass Call is a low-density, high-demand asset supporting ground operations against Da’esh. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Park)

An EC-130H Compass Call flies above an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia Dec. 5, 2016. The Compass Call is a low-density, high-demand asset supporting ground operations against ISIL. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Park)

SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) -- Military operations are complex. Attacking an adversary requires significant coordination and communication between a commander and their fighters. The fog and friction of war means that even the best laid plans are often adapted on the fly, and competent leaders need the ability to redirect their forces in real-time in order to react to enemy actions. If a commander can’t issue orders, his capabilities are severely degraded and his likelihood of success plummets.

Attacking those lines of communication is an effective, innovative way to reduce an enemy’s capability. The U.S. Air Force knows this, and they use that knowledge every day in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant through employment of the EC-130H Compass Call.

“When the Compass Call is up on station supporting our Iraqi allies, we are denying (ISIL’s) ability to command and control their forces, to coordinate attacks,” said Lt. Col. Josh Koslov, the 43rd Expeditionary Electronic Attack Squadron commander. “If you can’t talk, you can’t fight. It’s very simple.”

In order to target and jam those communications, the EC-130H employs roughly a dozen Airmen. This includes a standard C-130 flight crew on the flight deck, in addition to a contingent of electronic warfare officers and linguists in the rear of the aircraft. Each of these individuals is a piece in accomplishing the mission.

“(The linguist’s) weapon is language,” Koslov said. “They help us to efficiently find, prioritize and target (ISIL). They prioritize the signals we’re targeting from the strategic (level) through the tactical level and they also help the electronic warfare officer make jamming decisions in order to provide the effects desired by the ground force commander.”

When used effectively, the EC-130H disorients ISIL fighters, helping make them easy targets for troops on the ground to engage.

“We are inducing massive confusion and friction into their operations that make them ineffective as a fighting force,” Koslov said.

The capabilities of the Compass Call can offer a distinct advantage for American, Iraqi and coalition forces. The aircraft is currently in demand with ground force commanders, but Koslov and his team face significant challenges executing their operations.

There are only 14 EC-130Hs across the entire Air Force. That relatively small number of aircraft, coupled with the sheer volume of mission requirements levied upon it, makes the Compass Call a low density, high demand asset. Additionally, the aircraft themselves are more than 50 years old and require a dedicated crew of maintainers to ensure that it’s capable of carrying out its zero-fail mission.

First Lt. John Karim, the 386th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Compass Call Aircraft Maintenance Unit officer in charge, oversees more than 30 Airmen dedicated to ensuring the aircraft are able to meet the needs of commanders on the ground.

“There are a lot of challenges with maintaining an old aircraft like this,” Karim said. “We have a 1964 model out here on the ramp and you run the gamut of issues from old wiring to old structural issues (and) corrosion. You find that many of the items on the aircraft have been on there for well over 20 or 30 years, and parts fail all the time. So the aircraft more often than not come down and they need us to fix it before it can fly again safely.”

Despite the demanding mission his maintainers are required to accomplish, Karim is confident his team will keep the aircraft flying.

“I’m proud to be here and proud to work with all these Airmen from (Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona),” he said. “At the end of the day, every day, we make the mission happen no matter what. There might be a few busted knuckles, we might break a sweat, but we make it happen.”

Koslov, too, attributes his unit’s success to the outstanding Airmen working under his command. He and his team know that what they do is important for the future of Iraq and for stability in the wider Middle East region.

“We’re just a small part in the big Air Force team, a smaller part in the joint team, a part in the coalition team supporting the Iraqis who are going to defeat (ISIL),” he said. “They will destroy (ISIL), and we’re looking forward to the day that those guys are done fighting and their country is peaceful again.”

Engage

Twitter
Now that's spooky. 😏 As spooky season comes to a close, remember to maintain social distance and wear a mask this… https://t.co/9vZmk57Mmf
Twitter
Maintaining mission readiness. #ReadyAF https://t.co/ZhALhRQgQP
Twitter
The 605th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Detachment 1, recently participated in Astral Knight 20, a U.S. Air Forces… https://t.co/WObBS1CVdM
Twitter
Increasing warfighter capacities The Air Force Civil Engineer Center is leading the construction of $107 million i… https://t.co/1Ff7PEW1Hl
Twitter
"Medic!" 🚑 @KunsanAirBase Airmen participated in medical evacuation training, Oct. 27, 2020. Medical personnel ar… https://t.co/iucvbtLGGB
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: #ICYMI Airmen of the @AKNationalGuard's 210th & 212th RQS rescued an injured hiker at Byron Glacier. Due to inclement wea…
Twitter
The best of the best. Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) Airmen participate in the 2020 Lightning Challenge at Fort… https://t.co/x31SkdJUK4
Twitter
Speaking the same language is crucial when working with our allies and partners. #ReadyAF https://t.co/S78oFS1yMF
Twitter
"Calling search and rescue" @374AirliftWing Airmen participate in a Samurai Readiness Inspection at Combined Arms… https://t.co/16NG8UuD77
Twitter
The two-week exercise is in tandem with the Polish air force near Powidz, Poland. #Partnership #ReadyAF https://t.co/oj2EPRUBSF
Twitter
.@USAF_ACC conducted an experiment known as Agile Flag 21-1 from Oct. 21-29 to test agile combat employment and a n… https://t.co/sZF2HgNUeI
Twitter
The Department of the Air Force will soon conduct focus groups with Total Force Airmen and Space Professionals abou… https://t.co/uPAlbUEYxt
Twitter
RT @AFGlobalStrike: For 50+ years, #MinutemanIII #ICBM fleet has underpinned our strategic force & played critical role in ensuring protect…
Twitter
RT @RealAFOSI: Between Oct. 20 and 21, 2020, Iranian threat actors conducted an information operations campaign by sending emails, masquera…
Twitter
Ready day or night The 8th Fighter Wing at @KunsanAirBase stands ready to conduct counter-air, air interdiction,… https://t.co/8FzXyQPwFo
Twitter
RT @SpaceForceDoD: Vice Chief of Space Operations tests positive for COVID-19 https://t.co/El9DBFkpAg
Twitter
Global reach Approximately 200 Airmen and four B-1B Lancer aircraft with the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron from… https://t.co/XdxCzteeGx
Twitter
Small business partnerships 🤝 @AFWERX is recommending more than 250 proposals as part of its X20D Small Business… https://t.co/vzVcj7Idfc
Twitter
Rapid strategic delivery 📦 The 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, deployed with @USAFCENT, is responsible for… https://t.co/WxSke8iXnG
Twitter
Fulfilling mission-critical requirements The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently granted the #USAF a patent… https://t.co/wtf5K6NITn
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,299,327
Follow Us