The Airborne Connector

A US Air Force aircraft type that had quietly gone about its trade for nearly 15 years came into sharp focus after a crash in Afghanistan. Combat Aircraft Journal examines the role of the E-11A BACN.

The crash of a US Air Force-operated E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) — registration 11-9358 — in the Taliban-controlled Dih Yak district in the Ghazni province of Afghanistan on January 27, 2020, put the spotlight on a type that has provided sterling support to forces from the shadows. The E-11 was operated by the 430th Expeditionary Electronic Combat Squadron (EECS) from Kandahar. Two US personnel were killed in the crash, but details of how it happened have remained sketchy, except that the US military has said the incident was not the result of enemy fire.

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