Warplanes: Those Who Lurk and Listen


November 28, 2007: On a typical day this month in Iraq, U.S. Air Force (mostly), Navy and allied aircraft flew 50-60 combat missions (dropping bombs, using cannon, or just coming in low and loud to scare the enemy), 30 or more electronic reconnaissance missions and 140-60 airlift sorties (delivering an average of 4-5 tons of cargo per sortie, and an average of 15-20 passengers). These days, most missions are uneventful. The electronic reconnaissance missions are numerous, and important, for seeking out and capturing any electronic transmissions terrorists might be using. Terrorists are particularly fond of commercial walkie-talkies, which in the flat terrain of Iraq can be used at long distances (ten kilometers or more.)


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