An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Compass Call deploys to Kuwait to support USCENTCOM AOR

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Natalie Filzen
  • 386 AEW Public Affairs

Two U.S. Air Force EC-130H Compass Call aircraft arrived at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait to demonstrate a continued U.S. presence in theater to our partners and adversaries, and support a commitment to security and stability in the region.

The EC-130 aircraft were redeployed to the United States where they postured as an immediate response force following the 41st Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron’s inactivation from Al Dhafra Air Base in Sept. 2021, after a 20-year-long standing deployment.

At the time of its deactivation, the 41st EECS had executed 14,753 sorties totaling over 90,000 hours of flight time in the U.S. Central Command theater.

“We trained back home to be ready to go at a moment's notice to any destination that they want us to,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Ricardo Solano, 41st EECS commander. “We were tasked, so we packed, left and came out here within a matter of days.”

The rapid deployment of the EC-130s into the USCENTCOM area of responsibility exhibits the U.S.’s ability to incorporate additional combat capability at any time, deterring regional aggressors through the electronic warfare prowess.

“We posture in a way that our training is all up to date and the mission sets that we practice are current,” said Solano. “We also look forward to future mission sets, and how we could possibly be utilized as the world changes. We're always at home preparing, there's no pause. We're always in that mindset that we could go tomorrow.”

The EC-130s use the electromagnetic spectrum in order to disrupt enemies' command. The interruption of enemy communications impedes on their ability to come together and properly coordinate for attacks and control the situation. In a sense, they are flying blind. These non-kinetic effects save the lives of those who would otherwise be seen and targeted.

“All of the individuals that make this airplane go are vital - from our ground maintainers that help launch this aircraft off the ground every day, to the pilots and navigators that help get us to and from where we need to be, and our electronic warfare officers, who employ the mission system,” said Solano.

With an onboard crew of 13, and countless ground support personnel, the crew’s job is to see, analyze and attack the electromagnetic spectrum, utilizing specialized equipment on the aircraft. While sophisticated, the mission system is continuously evolving to expand its capabilities to address the emerging communications systems of our adversaries.

“It's rewarding to know that you're out there helping support the forward line troops,” said Solano. “We're shielding our forces going in for offensive operations. You're about as close as you can get to the front of the action.”

While deployed here, the EC-130s will protect the American and coalition forces on the ground from enemy forces, whether they be insurgent, terrorist or enemy nations.