U.S. Navy Growlers jam High Value Targets/Individuals’ cell phones.
The image in this post shows the nose of a VAQ-137 EA-18G Growler aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt, supporting Operation Inherent Resolve against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Interestingly, the aircraft sports a quite unique kill marking, showing a person “hit” by a lightning bolt.
According to our sources, this is the kill mark applied when the Growler is used in an operation during which it jams cell comms or pick up cell comms and that person is targeted.
All the other “standard” lighting bolts are for generic Electronic Attack support: usually, jamming during ops when F/A-18s are dropping ordnance.
But the cell phone one is very specific to targeting a High Value Target or other individual with a cell or cell-jamming over an area. Ordnance is often employed in this context.
Along with actively jamming enemy communications, the Growler, operating in a networked environment along with other two aircraft of the same type (needed for triangulation), can use its EW pods to geo-locate a signal source and target it from stand-off distance with air-to-surface missiles.
Image credit: Marc Garlasco