Today in History – December 1, 1948/1950 – Changes in Command

On December 1, 1948, The United States Air Force created the Continental Air Command (ConAC) and subordinated the Air Defense Command and Tactical Air Command under it. “HQ TAC was reduced to the status of an operational headquarters under CONAC. This move reflected an effort to concentrate all fighter forces deployed within the continental United States (CONUS) to strengthen the air defense of the North American continent.[1] The creation of ConAC was largely an administrative convenience: the units assigned to ConAC were dual-trained and expected to revert to their primary strategic or tactical roles after the air defense battle was won.” (1)

The “Century Series” of tactical fighters. Clockwise from the bottom: F-104 Starfighter, F-100 Super Sabre, F-102 Delta Dagger, F-101 Voodoo, and F-105 Thunderchief. All except the F-102 served in TAC.

Two years later on December 1, 1950, the USAF removed the Tactical Air Command (TAC) from control by the Continental Air Command and returned the TAC to the status of a major command due to the need to deploy personnel and aircraft to Japan and South Korea due to the Korean War. (1)

Prior to 1966, TAC routinely deployed CONUS-based North American F-100 Super Sabre wings to 16 AF bases in Spain, as well as to Aviano Air Base, Italy. With USAFE taking possession of these bases from SAC, Tactical Air Command reassigned the 401st Tactical Fighter Wing from England Air Force Base, Louisiana to USAFE on a permanent basis to Torrejon Air Base, Spain on 27 April to perform host functions at the base and to support rotational temporary duty (TDY) to Italy and Turkey for NATO alerts.

However, when the 401st’s fighter squadrons deployed to South Vietnam in the 1960s for the Vietnam War, squadrons from Homestead AFB, Florida, and Myrtle Beach AFB, South Carolina were utilized to fill the need in Spain. These squadrons remained in Europe until 1970, when the drawdown in Vietnam allowed the squadrons from the 401st, which were deployed to Southeast Asia, to rejoin their home unit. (1)


(1) Wikipedia

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