The US Air Force’s (USAF) 430th Expeditionary Electronic Communications Squadron (EECS) has taken the delivery of a new E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) aircraft.

The new aircraft arrived at the Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia on 16 December 2022.

It has been procured by the USAF and Air Combat Command (ACC) to support the 430th EECS in delivering effective and consistent communication channels for ground, air and naval forces operating in the US Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility (AOR).

USAF 430th EECS commander lieutenant colonel Todd Arthur said: “The 430th supports warfighters who conduct around-the-clock operations in the CENTCOM AOR.

“We supply communication coverage to ground and air forces in active combat zones, who require consistent, clear communications to higher levels of leadership and other command and control assets.”

Also known as ‘Black Wolves’, EECS is the only USAF unit to operate an E-11A fleet with a BACN payload.

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Other objectives of EECS are to provide communication coverage to the US warfighters, as well as to other allied nations’ forces and coalition partners.

The E-11A BACN aircraft primarily acts as ‘Wi-Fi in the sky’ or a low-Earth satellite to provide extended aerial command-and-control capabilities to both ground and air forces and their platforms.

Arthur added: “This new E-11A will relieve the pressure on the rest of our fleet and enable us to sustain a high mission capable rate.”

The USAF is also planning to establish a new squadron for the E-11A aircraft at the Robins Air Force Base (AFB) in Georgia, US, by next month.

Robins AFB has recently concluded environmental assessments to support new missions, one of which is the establishment of the E-11A BACN squadron.