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6K and Counting: The Air Force’s RC-135 Rivet Joint force now can claim to have been continuously deployed for 6,000 days. Last fall, we noted that one of the airmen who maintain this high demand/low density electronic reconnaissance aircraft has deployed 18 times to Southwest Asia since 1993. Over the years, the Air Force has upgraded the Rivet Joint, giving the 1960s-vintage platform new engines, updated cockpit avionics, and improved mission equipment, which enables the Cold War warrior to switch from strategic to tactical support—talking with warfighters on the ground—on a single sortie.