EC-130J Commando Solo
Definition/Scope: The EC-130J Commando Solo, a specially-modified four-engine Hercules transport, conducts information operations, psychological operations and civil affairs broadcasts in AM, FM, HF, TV and military communications bands. A typical mission consists of a single-ship orbit offset from the desired target audience - either military or civilian personnel. The Air Force Special Operations Command’s 193rd Special Operations Wing, Middletown, Pa., has total responsibility for the Commando Solo missions. Many modifications have been made to the Commando Solo. These include enhanced navigation systems, self-protection equipment, air refueling and the capability of broadcasting radio and color TV on all worldwide standards. The airborne radio and television broadcast mission originated in the mid-1960s with the EC-121 (known as Coronet Solo). The mission later transitioned to the EC-130E (1980) and eventually to the EC-130J (2004). Soon after the 193rd SOW received EC-130s, the Air National Guard unit participated in the rescue of American citizens in Operation Urgent Fury in 1983. Then known as Volant Solo, the aircraft acted as an airborne radio station, keeping the citizens of Grenada informed about the U.S. military action. Several years later in 1989, Volant Solo was instrumental in the success of coordinated psychological operations in Operation Just Cause. During this mission it broadcast throughout the initial phases of the operation, helping to end the Noriega regime. In 1990, the 193rd joined the newly formed Air Force Special Operations Command, and the wing’s aircraft were redesignated Commando Solo, with no change in mission. In 1990-91, Commando Solo was deployed to Saudi Arabia and Turkey in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Its missions included broadcasting the "Voice of the Gulf" and other highly successful programs intended to convince Iraqi soldiers to surrender.
Broader Terms:Air Force aircraft
Narrower Terms:civil affairs