New BACN mission begins with 18th ACCS activation

  • Published
  • By Joseph Mather
  • 78th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The 18th Airborne Command and Control Squadron activated during a ceremony at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, Feb. 10, 2023.

A geographically separated unit from the 319th Reconnaissance Wing at Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota, the 18th ACCS will fly the E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node aircraft out of Robins.

BACN, often pronounced bacon, is a communications relay and gateway system that provides military commanders with a versatile means of exchanging information from multiple air, ground and maritime sources, including host nation, joint and coalition forces.

Col. Jason Dillon, 319th Operations Group commander, announced Lt. Col. Scott Sevigny as the commander of the newly activated 18th ACCS during last week’s ceremony.

“Squadron commanders are selected in a highly competitive process, and Sevigny was an easy choice,” said Dillon. “Scott comes to us with a wide range of experience in three different aircraft. He has flown the RC-135 aircraft, the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System aircraft, and now the E-11A aircraft.”

Dillon said they are fortunate to be handing the flag to a seasoned command pilot.

“As I hand you the guidon, the mission and our Airmen are now in your hands,” he said. “I know you will get the mission done while taking care of our most valuable assets, our people. Lead by example, lead with passion, never forget your worth, and never let the men and women of the 18th ACCS forget their worth.”

After accepting the guidon Sevigny said he looks forward to the opportunity to lead the newly stood up squadron.

“It is a great honor to be selected as a commander of any Air Force unit,” he said. “The Air Force puts a high level of trust in all its squadron commanders, and I hope to live up to and exceed those expectations. To be able to lead the men and women of a brand-new unit is a particular opportunity and challenge that I look forward to.”

Sevigny said the unit’s origins started 81 years ago.

“While it is a new mission for the 18th ACCS, the unit can trace its lineage back to World War II when it was originally named the 28th Troop Carrier Squadron flying C-47 aircraft,” he said. “It is inspirational to the squadron to have such a robust history, and we will do our best to live up to it.”

According to Sevigny, unit readiness is a priority as it prepares for worldwide missions.

“We need to get to the point where we have established training programs here at Robins and eventually start deploying our squadron’s personnel and BACN’s capabilities to wherever the Air Force needs us to go,” he said. “It will be a gradual process as we bring in more people, aircraft and systems.”

Even though the process will take time, Sevigny said the personnel assigned to the unit have already begun training with the new parent unit.

“The squadron has been working with the 319th RW and 319th OG to integrate into their mission and operations,” he said. “We have been greatly looking forward to officially becoming part of the 319th family and contributing to their mission.”

The 18th ACCS activation is one of four new missions coming to Robins that align better with the future Air Force design to prepare for near-peer threats.

The first E-11A BACN aircraft is expected to arrive at Robins AFB in the spring of 2023 and the unit is expected be fully operational by fiscal year 2027.