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An E-11 Battlefield Airborne Communications Node sits on the flightline at Kandahar Airfield (KAF), Afghanistan, Aug. 1, 2017. The E-11 BACN is a vital airborne signal relay, enabling real-time communications between friendly forces in the air and on the ground. There are only four E-11 aircraft in the Air Force and they operate around the clock, 24/7, ensuring Air Force and coalition operators can communicate when needed.
An E-11 Battlefield Airborne Communications Node sits on the flightline at Kandahar Airfield (KAF), Afghanistan, Aug. 1, 2017. The E-11 BACN is a vital airborne signal relay, enabling real-time communications between friendly forces in the air and on the ground. There are only four E-11 aircraft in the Air Force and they operate around the clock, 24/7, ensuring Air Force and coalition operators can communicate when needed. (Keenan Kunst/U.S. Air Force)

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Tribune News Service) — The U.S. Air Force announced that the 319th Reconnaissance Wing (RW) at Grand Forks Air Force Base will take command of the new E-11 Battlefield Airborne Control Node aircraft mission, based at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia.

The Senate Defense Appropriations Committee has worked to grow the base’s missions including:

Working to convert Grand Forks to an ISR wing and re-designate the base as the lead for all U.S. Air Force Global Hawk operations.

Upgrading the Global Hawk to support the widest possible set of missions including securing $29 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 for upgrades to allow the aircraft to reroute around adverse weather conditions.

Establishing a new space networking center in Grand Forks and linking it with unmanned aircraft operations in the Red River Valley, including the 319th RW.

(c)2021 Devils Lake Journal, N.D.

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