The USAF's 950th Electronic Systems Group has delivered the 500th unit of an airborne intelligence system that helps aircrews to send and receive timely situational awareness and threat data.
The intelligence system, Combat Track II, deployed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, will provide support to the US's Africa Command.
The entire Combat Track II unit, comprising a small laptop computer and a GPS and SATCOM-enabled radio, can be easily transported on and off aircraft, saving space on board and money.
Crew aboard the air mobility fleet and on bombers use Combat Track II to keep track of friendly and potential hostile aircraft positions.
Combat Track II also alerts the crew to ground threats, including mobile surface-to-air missile sites.
Group 631st Electronic Systems Squadron programme manager Capt. Scott Frank said if one aircraft gets information about a threat, the crew can send a message ahead to other aircraft that may be closer to the threat area.
"It will confirm that operators on board those aircraft have also received the information," he said.
Combat Track II is also used by the air force's Air Mobility Command, Air Combat Command, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserves.