In summer 2004, the Iraqi city of Fallujah symbolized the violent and dangerous Sunni insurgency that had plagued al Anbar Province. Marine Major Kevin "Frantic" O'Rourke, air officer for Regimental Combat Team One (RCT-1), stayed very busy coordinating air strikes against insurgent positions around the city.
One way he and his team detected and tracked targets was by using unmanned aerial vehicles. UAVs could transmit live video feed of enemy activity and maintain positive identification while aircraft providing on-call close air support were scrambled overhead.
When O'Rourke wanted to strike a target, typically the coordinates obtained from the UAV video feed were passed to the aircraft. The pilot then entered the coordinates into his system, enabling his powerful targeting pod (TPOD) sensors to view the target location.