The last EC-130H Compass Call aircraft assigned to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia has departed the base for good to operate elsewhere in the region. This move is associated with the drawdown of US forces in Iraq and the changing nature of the US mission there. “[O]ur capabilities are no longer required in the Iraqi theater of operations,” said Lt. Col. J. D. Rye, head of the 43rd Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron, a wing component. He continued, “[S]o, we’re shifting our assets to other locations in the US Central Command area of responsibility.” Compass Calls feature special electronic equipment to jam enemy communications. Such capability has helped to prevent the detonations of scores of improvised explosive devices. Over a six-and-a-half year period, Compass Calls flew 23,000 combat hours from this location. (386th AEW report by Maj. Dale Greer)
The Collaborative Combat Aircraft will be operational in the late 2020s, several years before the Next-Generation Air Dominance family of systems, Air Force officials told the House Armed Services tactical aviation panel. The CCAs will first be “shooters,” then electronic warfare platforms, then sensors, in that order, they added.