While flying their KC-135 tankers over Iraq and Syria, airmen of the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron out of al Udeid AB, Qatar, reached a milestone with the data link system called Roll-on Beyond Line of Sight Enhancement, or ROBE. Crews of the squadron have now flown 40,000 hours with ROBE in support of US military operations in Southwest Asia, according to a release. ROBE enables real-time air-to-ground and air-to-air communications between platforms that wouldn’t otherwise be able to connect due to line-of-sight limitations. The tankers serve as a data-relay hub that allows ground troops and aircraft to connect to command centers in real time. "I think the ROBE will continue to be a valuable tool to support future conflicts, and I think it’s a big part of how the KC-135 can continue to help support troops on the ground," said Capt. Schuyler Henry, a pilot with the 340th EARS. ROBE is transportable and can be carried on any KC-135 that has preinstalled node connections.
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The Senate Armed Services Committee’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act, released by the committee late Thursday, would provide for $715.9 billion in spending, according to a summary produced by the committee.
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