Wired’s Danger Room blog took a trip on Commando Solo, the US Air Force plane that’s been specially modified for the Psychological Operations or PsyOps division to create instant radio and television stations to broadcast persuasive messages to the people below.
As you might expect, the article doesn’t reveal a huge amount and there’s lots of close angle photos that look like the sort of thing a military aviation perv might take on the subway.
However, it does reveal a little about what it’s like to work in the mobile studio and it does mention the difficulty with measuring impact of their work – a constant point of contention with PsyOps work.
Measuring the effectiveness of a bomber or a strike fighter is fairly straightforward: The art of bomb damage assessment, measuring the size of a bomb crater or effective blast radius of airdropped weapons. What about when your weapon is a television or radio signal, and your goal is the somewhat more nebulous aim of ‚Äúinfluencing‚Äù a target?
‚ÄúThe biggest challenge is measuring our effectiveness,‚Äù said Rice. ‚ÄúWe don‚Äôt have a way to look at it ‚Äî we don‚Äôt have BDA.
Link to Danger Room ‘Inside the Air Force‚Äôs Secret PsyOps Plane’.