New E-11A Enters the Fleet

The Air Force took delivery of its fourth E-11A aircraft, announced Air Combat Command. This airplane, based on the Bombardier Global 6000 business jet, arrived at JB Langley-Eustis, Va., on Sept. 18, before setting off to join the rest of the E-11 fleet supporting combat operations in Afghanistan, according to Langley’s Sept. 23 release. The E-11s fly out of Kandahar Airfield. Equipped with the Northrop Grumman-supplied Battlefield Airborne Communications Node, the E-11s act as overhead communications relays, enabling ground troops and air assets to communicate beyond line of sight in mountainous, rugged terrain where communications might otherwise be limited or impossible. “That extra communication can make a difference between life and death when you are talking about airborne support for the ground forces engaged with the enemy,” said Lt. Col. Eric Moses, ACC’s deputy chief of the tactical data links enterprise. EQ-4B Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft also carry BACN. “The BACN team has received many reports from the theater crediting the BACN for helping save lives,” said Col. Jim Wildes, ACC’s TDL enterprise chief. (Langley report by SSgt. Candice C. Page) (See also ACC video report.)