RC-135: Team Mildenhall Airmen enable mission

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Alexandria Lee
  • 100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

The U.S. Air Force long ago recognized future wars would not solely be fought on air, ground, or sea, and to prepare for that reality, the use of electronic warfare was crucial.

Electronic warfare is comprised of jamming communication systems, and electronic support protection tactics, such as infrared homing to distract missiles. The mission of the 95th Reconnaissance Squadron at RAF Mildenhall focuses on support, collecting intelligence and data.

With the help of these devoted Team Mildenhall Airmen, the Air Force shows its dedication in dominating air, space and cyberspace.

The RC-135 Rivet Joint is a reconnaissance aircraft, hosting a myriad of technology behind the cockpit. Once the RC-135 lands, it no longer becomes an aircraft for the 95th RS; it becomes a computer ready to be downloaded and decrypted from data collected throughout the flight.

“Our focus is on the computers, data networking and radio maintenance for the RC-135 Rivet Joint,” said Staff Sgt. Randy Duncan, 95th RS RC-135 electronic warfare craftsman. “We enable the mission and fix the instruments that help with the purpose of the mission.”

Once the aircrew lands, they are debriefed and the technicians go in and troubleshoot any problems that may have risen throughout the flight.

“We are in an interesting realm; we aren’t solely information technologists or maintainers, we’re a marriage of both,” said Senior Airman Jonathan Cobb, 95th RS electronic warfare technician. “We take care of everything behind the pilot. We collect information and maintain the materials used to collect the information.”

Duncan agreed with the influence and the impact of electric warfare.  One of the biggest benefits Duncan saw was the first-hand experience of how they affect the mission, and how electric warfare plays a role in the ‘big Air Force’ as well as on the base. Duncan and his team bring real-time information to the troops on the ground as well as for the folks in the office.

The squadron remains one of the Air Force’s oldest and most decorated units taking part in many military operations, including Operations Allied Force, Unified Protector, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

The 95th RS mission is global information and electronic warfare dominance, any time and any place.