Tactical Air Command
The mission of the Tactical Air Command (TAC) is to command, organize, equip, train and administer assigned or attached forces; plan for and participate in tactics for light bombardment and other airplanes. These include tactical fighters, tactical bombers, tactical missiles, troop carriers, assault, reconnaissance and support units. The command also plans for and develops the capability to deploy tactical striking forces anywhere in the world.
The Tactical Air Command was established on 21 Mar 1946. When the National Security Act of 1947 set up an autonomous Air Force, TAC became one of the USAF's commands. On 1 Dec 1948, TAC was reduced to an operational headquarters assigned to Continental Air Command. It regained major air command status on 1 Dec 1950.
By March 1951, TAC had two numbered air forces, the 9th and 18th. In July of 1955, the 19th Air Force was activated under TAC; its mission was to organize and deliver Composite Air Strike Forces when and where needed. The 18th Air Force, TAC's troop carrier Air Force, was deactivated in January 1958 - the 12th AF was subsequently activated and took responsibility for the western half of the United States.
While SAC was expanding in the 1950s, TAC was doing likewise. Although many of its units had been transferred to the Far East during the Korean Conflict and others to Europe to bolster NATO, TAC had formed new units and acquired new airplanes to replace those it had lost.
In 1955, TAC developed a mobile strike capability for rapidly moving its units from the U.S. to any area of the world where a "brush-fire" was threatened. Named the "Composite Air Strike Force" (CASF), it included fighters for delivering both conventional and nuclear weapons, transports for airlifting men and equipment, tankers for mid-air refueling, and reconnaissance planes for aerial photography. The CASF was designed to augment combat-ready units already assigned to the U.S. Air Force in Europe (USAFE), the Pacific Air Force (PACAF), and the Alaskan Air Command (AAC).
Two years later, TAC was further strengthened when SAC no longer needed fighter planes for bomber escort and its fighter units were transferred to TAC.
The first actual employment of the Composite Air Strike Force took place in July 1958 when the President of Lebanon called upon the U.S. to prevent the possible overthrow of his nation's government. Within three hours of receiving an alert, TAC had its planes on their way across the Atlantic to the Middle East. With TAC's nuclear forces in Turkey only 15 minutes away, the crisis in Lebanon gradually dissolved and the CASF returned to the U.S. without having to engage in a "shooting" war.
Six weeks later TAC had to send another CASF to the Far East because of a Red Chinese announcement that they intended to attack the island of Quemoy occupied by the Chinese Nationalists (Taiwan). In the face of the rapid reaction by U.S. forces, the Communists did not carry out their threat.
More Information on TAC. What, and who killed it...
The Tactical Air Command (TAC) was a command of the United States Air Force charged with battlefield-level (tactical) air combat, including light bombardment, close air support of ground troops, interdiction of enemy forces, and air transport of ground troops. TAC was also responsible for tactical ballistic missiles.
Tactical Air Command was established 21 March 1946, along with the Strategic Air Command. When the USAF was officially formed as a separate service (beginning operations 18 September 1947) TAC became one of its commands. On 1 December 1948 it was temporarily reduced to the status of operational headquarters under the Continental Air Command, but it was restored to major air command status two years later, on 1 December 1950.
In the 1950s TAC developed the Composite Air Strike Force (CASF) concept, a mobile rapid-deployment strike concept designed to respond to "brush fire" conflicts around the world. A CASF included fighter bomber aircraft for both conventional and nuclear attack missions, as well as transport, tanker, and tactical reconnaissance assets. TAC composite air strike forces were intended to augment existing combat units already in place as part of U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), the U.S. Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), or the (AAC). The first deployment of the Composite Air Strike Force took place in July 1958 in response to an imminent coup d'etat in Lebanon. TAC scrambled forces across the Atlantic to Turkey, where their presence was intended to force an end to the crisis. A similar CASF was deployed in response to conflicts between China and Taiwan in 1958.
When Strategic Air Command abandoned its fighter escort force in 1957, those aircraft were transferred to TAC, further augmenting its strength.
TAC was heavily involved in the American war in Vietnam from 1964 to 1973, and subsequent U.S. conflicts.
Following the 1991 Gulf War and the end of the Cold War, U.S. military planners perceived a serious blurring between the responsibilities of TAC and SAC. General John M. Loh, who served as USAF Vice Chief of Staff before becoming TAC commander on 26 March 1991, was heavily involved in the restructuring decisions.
As a result, in spring 1992 the decision was made to merge most SAC and TAC resources, while simultaneously reorganizing the(MAC). The commands were consolidated as the Air Combat Command on 1 June 1992, again under the command of General Loh.
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