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In the middle of that string of F-117s, we spotted a markedly different aircraft. It sported a planform with a less-pronounced wing sweep than the Nighthawk, a quieter engine acoustic signature and a significantly different exterior lighting pattern. Despite yeoman efforts, my AW&ST colleagues and I were never able to identify this aircraft or its mission. The mysterious bird may still be flying out there ... or retired and hangared at the secretive Groom Lake, Nev., air base.
Key among these were the “Ravens” (electronic warfare officers) from the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing that flew the RC-135 Rivet Joint electronic surveillance aircraft. Along with other intelligence assets, the RC-135s helped maintain an accurate and up-to-date electronic order of battle of the Iraqi forces in Kuwait and Iraq.
Along with other intelligence assets