US Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) announced on 6 November the introduction and integration of the new Tactical Air Navigation (TACAN) system for enhanced combat deployments, with the 1st Combat Communication Squadron (CBCS) receiving the upgrade to its technology

Thales have produced the TACAN as an operational concept for military forces to establish a forward operating base with non-jammable navigational aides in remote environments. The miniaturised TACAN is meant to be installed without significant additional personnel training. The system is rugged, meeting Military standard 810, and fast to deploy on existing runways when attempting to secure their use. 

The MM-7000 TACAN is a man-portable system, and one of the smallest, lightest and most mobile ground stations available, capable of accurately relaying flight information to over 250 aircraft simultaneously. It has the potential to greatly improve agile combat operations by providing support to aircrews, enabling them to locate designated airfields or landing zones with greater efficiency, facilitating approach vectors and runway procedures in difficult environments.

As the Tactical Airfield Operations Flight prepares the system for deployment in the European and Africa theatres of operations, this acquisition also sets the stage for a future deployment across the Pacific Air Forces.

According to Chief Master Sgt. Daniel Carter, Flight Chief Airfield Ops of the 1st Combat Communications Squadron, the new TACAN system is an important capability to provide aircrews with vital information, including the distance to the stationed airfield and the specific identification code. 

Staff Sgt. Morgan Giacomelli, says that the MPTACAN system is known for its efficient deployment process. It can be quickly set up and become fully operational within minutes at any unprepared tactical location, which is an improvement when “compared to hours for previous systems.”

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Giacomelli goes onto credit the system with exceptional agility, and notes an advantage in dynamic combat scenarios, enabling military personnel to quickly and dependably access critical data without any unnecessary delays.