An RC-135V/W Rivet Joint prepares to take off and eventually departs Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar on Oct. 21, 2016. U.S. Air Force photos
War Is Boring: The U.S. Air Force’s Biggest Spy Planes Are Hunting Islamic State Fighters
RC-135 Rivet Joints spot terrorist radios, phones and scoop up chatter
New photographs confirm the U.S. Air Force’s biggest spy planes are helping hunt Islamic State fighters. The missions come as Iraqi and Kurdish troops work to evict the terrorists from the city of Mosul.
On Oct. 21, 2016, at least one RC-135V/W Rivet Joint took off from Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar and headed for either Iraq or Syria. Derived from the Boeing 707 airliner, these four engine flying spooks can travel nearly 4,000 miles without needing to refuel.
“The aircraft provided reconnaissance to the 20-nation air coalition by collecting real-time on-scene … intelligence,” one official caption read.
The jets can supply “near real-time on-scene electronic warfare support, intelligence collection, analysis, and dissemination capabilities,” another caption explained.
As forces on the ground push back Islamic State, making sure the group’s fighters can’t escape unnoticed is particularly important.
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WNU Editor: I am sure the Islamci State has adapted .... but their lines of communications must be slow.