The Pentagon has just deployed aircraft to Turkey in support of a new mission against ISIS. The newly-deployed aircraft will specifically target on ISIS’ communication — likely focusing on both disrupting the terror group’s ability to communicate with other members and disseminate propaganda, as well as its ability to use mobile devices to trigger bombs.
The United States has deployed tactical aircraft capable of attacking ISIS’s ability to communicate closer to the front lines of the battle against the terrorist group.
The U.S. European Command announced a squadron of Marine Corps EA-6B Prowler aircraft has been sent to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey to support operations against ISIS.
In addition to being able to intercept communications by ISIS, the Prowler can protect allied forces on the ground and strike aircraft by jamming any radar and communication devices ISIS has.
While the Pentagon won’t spell out their mission specifically, the Prowlers could be used to jam cell phone signals and other devices used to trigger roadside bombs, or to interrupt radio broadcasts used to distribute ISIS propaganda.
The aircraft was first used in 1972 during the Vietnam War and also has been deployed to assist peacekeeping missions around the world, as well as to enforce “no-fly” zones like the one over the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
They have been used in both Iraq and Syria since military action against ISIS began in 2014.
“The Prowler is a force multiplier continuing to do what it has for the last 45 years: support warfighters flying in the air and fighting on the ground by giving them the electronic communications dominance to ensure a decisive win,” Lt. Col. David Westover, Jr., a spokesman for European Command, told CNN.
It’s the latest addition to battlefield capability the U.S.-led coalition is putting forward in its fight against ISIS.
Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work told reporters earlier this week the United States was unleashing “cyber bombs” as part of a new arsenal of weapons designed to cripple the command and control elements of ISIS.
And earlier this year, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said an enhanced cyber effort against ISIS was designed to “overload their network so they can’t function.”
No word yet on whether the Obama administration will require these aircraft to drop flyers warning ISIS about impending attacks so they can make alternate plans.
But it’s kinda nice that they announced the plan to give ISIS a more substantial heads up.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]