Sunday, January 31, 2016

Is this the receiving end of our recent Rock and Roll Skyking messages? Late Breaking News

USAF RC-135U Combat Sent aircraft (USAF Photo)
Late Breaking News: This aircraft was the subject of an incident involving the Russian AF over the Black Sea Saturday. See USA Today story "Russian jet buzzes U.S. Air Force spy plane over Black Sea" at


If you looked at my previous post this morning, and you checked out my "what is an EAM file," you would have discovered a bit of insight on what I believe a Skyking message is used for.

Well the aircraft in the picture above, even as I type, is flying around the Middle East (just spotted today in and around Turkey and Israel). It would certainly fall within the parameters I have set for a user of HFGCS Skyking message traffic.

Call sign seen today "BARN 06" another interesting consequence that I have mentioned before re: four letter ## call signs.

Here is a bit more information on the RC-135U courtesy of the official USAF public information files.

The RC-135U Combat Sent provides strategic electronic reconnaissance information to the president, secretary of defense, Department of Defense leaders, and theater commanders. Locating and identifying foreign military land, naval and airborne radar signals, the Combat Sent collects and minutely examines each system, providing strategic analysis for warfighters. Collected data is also stored for further analysis by the joint warfighting and intelligence communities. The Combat Sent deploys worldwide and is employed in peacetime and contingency operations.

There are only two Combat Sent aircraft in the Air Force inventory and both are assigned to the 55th Wing at Offutt AFB, Neb. The RC-135U aircraft are manned by Air Combat Command crews from the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron and the 97th Intelligence Squadron (of the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency). The Combat Sent is composed of a wide variety of commercial off-the-shelf and proprietary hardware and software. Its current configuration allows for both manual and automatic analysis of electronic signals. By combining manual systems with the Automatic Electronic Emitter Locating System, Ravens and intelligence specialists can simultaneously locate, identify, and analyze multiple electronic signals.

The Combat Sent records these signals for future reference or for extensive analysis by electronic systems theorists. Any information garnered from the data will help determine detailed operating characteristics and capabilities of foreign systems. Evasion techniques and equipment are then developed from this knowledge that will detect, warn of, or defeat these electronic systems.