The important of Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) systems for maintaining tactical communications in RF-challenging environments, such as mountainous regions was not lost on the U.S. Air Force and its managers at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base. The BACN systems technology has been transitioned from its status as Joint Urgent Operational Need to a more permanent status of Program of Record (POR). The system technology has actually proved its value to pilots and warfighters for more than a decade, and the change in status marks a more effective and permanent approach to the technology for a greater number of users.
This change of status allows BACN to be used in more than just its initial Central Command applications. With the POR status, the technology will be available during training and to a greater number of warriors as an effective communications tools in mountainous regions. Requests for BACN-equipped aircraft have grown steadily since the development of BACN technology in 2008.
The U.S. Air Force's BACN communications technology is now at POR status so that it has greater availability to troops.
“We’ve been constantly analyzing the size of the fleets, and building the best schedules to maximize coverage since day one,” said Lt. Col. Tim Helfrich, BACN’s materiel leader. “We have a small team that weighs aircraft downtime and operational needs against coverage requests. Every BACN-equipped aircraft is always in theater.”