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NEWS | March 23, 2020

55th Wing brings the Rivet Joint to San Antonio

By Manuel Garcia Sixteenth Air Force/Air Forces Cyber Public Affairs

Members of the Air Force’s 55th Wing, out of Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, stopped by Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Feb. 21 to demonstrate the unique capabilities of the RC-135, known as Rivet Joint.

The Rivet Joint is one of several Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft used, in part, to collect, survey and analyze data.

“The plane can be best described as a vacuum,” said Maj Joseph Cunningham, chief of inspections standard evaluation, assigned to manage procedures for the RJ aircrew.  

Built with an on-board sensor suite, the RJ allows the mission crew to detect, identify and geolocate signals throughout the electromagnetic spectrum. The mission crew can then forward gathered information in a variety of formats to a wide range of consumers via the RJ's extensive communications suite.

“The crew for this plane,” Cunningham said, “will be about 20 to 30 folks and as long as we can get gas, it can go up to 24 hours.”

This RJ has deployed globally in support of theaters in Iraq and Afghanistan, to conduct ISR missions during combat operations.

The data the RJ delivers provides joint warfighters the information needed to ensure force protection as well as conduct effective targeting operations. This information is vital to the warfighter and gives commanders the decision advantages needed.

During their stop at JBSA-Lackland, the crew provided guided tours and presentation to the public before departing for Nebraska.