The concept for a Battlefield Coordination Detachment originated in 1980 when it was required in Europe to deal with Soviet Union capabilities to attack in successive echelons overwhelming the ground defense. The success of US deep operations required close and continuous coordination between the Air Component Commander (ACC) and the Land Component Commander (LCC). A Memorandum of Agreement between the US Air Force and the US Army for Army/Air Force Liaison Support, dated 1 November 1995, established the Battlefield Coordination Element (BCE). The BCE was an Army liaison team that operated in the US Air Force Tactical Air Control Center (TACC) and provided a continuous exchange of targeting information and intelligence which effectively integrated US Army operational requirements into the Air Tasking Order (ATO). Eventually the TACC evolved into the Air and Space Operations Center (AOC) and the BCE evolved into the Battlefield Coordination Detachment (BCD).
Currently, there are five Battlefield Coordination Detachments serving the Army; 1st BCD located at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona; 3rd BCD located at Osan Air Base, South Korea; 4th BCD located at Shaw AFB, South Carolina; 19th BCD located at Ramstein AFB, Germany, and the 5th BCD located at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
As the senior liaison unit for the Commander, United States Army Forces (ARFOR) operating in the Pacific theater to the Joint Force Air Component Commander (JFACC) for the United States Pacific Command, the 5th BCD facilitates the integration of air power with ARFOR ground operations through the coordination of air support and the exchange of operational and intelligence information. The BCD ensures that the JFACC and 613th Air Operations Center (AOC), Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, are aware of the ARFOR Commander's intent, scheme of maneuver, and requirements for air support.