Reach Out and Touch Someone:

The Fighter Aircraft Communication Enhancement pod is becoming increasingly popular since it enables ground forces to get their coordinates to close air support aircraft via a cell-phone-type operation. FACE is particularly useful in mountainous Afghanistan, where standard line-of-sight aircraft communication was virtually impossible. Ground forces call the Air Support Operations Center at Bagram AB, Afghanistan, via a FACE pod—a hollowed out jamming pod with two Iridium satellite-based phones interfaced with the aircraft radio—to order up CAS, according to Col. Gregory Touhill, director of communications at the Combined Air Operations Center in Southwest Asia. Touhill said any aircraft that can carry a pod could use FACE “with little or no modification.”