Intelligence: Rivet Joint Wizards in Iraq

Archives

January18, 2007: In Iraq, U.S. Air Force reconnaissance aircraft crews have found a way to predict where the terrorists, who plant roadside bombs, are coming from.

While the U.S. Army and Marines do most of the fighting in Iraq, the navy and air force have sent specialized units that are able to contribute. For example, the air force has surveillance aircraft, like the RC-135 Rivet Joint, that can collect a wide variety of electronic signals in an area, and analyze them quickly. The analysis effort is looking for patterns. The bomb teams leave signs electronically (cell phones, walkie-talkies) or visually (images captured on surveillance cameras). Using the right math and analytical tools (software and computers) and you can quickly discover where the bad guys are coming from, and have the ground troops promptly raid the location.

This kind of work is popular with the RC-135 crews (about thirty aircrew and techies), because they are getting a chance to do, in a combat zone, what they have long trained for. Moreover, it's relatively risk free, as the aircraft fly beyond the range of machine-gun or should fired anti-aircraft missiles. In addition, the most productive work is done during night missions, when the bad guys can't even see the RC-135's high above.

 


Article Archive

Intelligence: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close