For over two decades, the air force has been trying to develop a portable digital communications device, but the effort has constantly been overtaken by fast developing civilian technology. The air force wanted this digital communications so that FACs (Forward Air Controllers) on the ground could more reliably send information to aircraft above. Digital would be faster and more accurate than spoken, and the air force has finally recognized that their expensive, and long awaited, Digital Communications Terminal can be replaced by a cheap PDA or laptop computer. So the air force is adopting modem cards and connectors that enable FACs to communicate from their laptops to military radios, to data systems in American military aircraft overhead. The FACs are issued a ruggedized laptop computer, that is built to survive living rough in the field.