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DEFINES MISSION OF TACTICAL AIR COMMAND.
Originally a public domain film from the National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
Tactical Air Command (TAC) is an inactive United States Air Force organization. It was a Major Command of the United States Air Force, established on 21 March 1946 and headquartered at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. It was inactivated on 1 June 1992 and its personnel and equipment absorbed by Air Combat Command (ACC).
Tactical Air Command was established to provide a balance between strategic, air defense, and tactical forces of the post–World War II U.S. Army Air Forces followed by, in 1947, the U.S. Air Force. In 1948, the Continental Air Command assumed control over air defense, tactical air, and air reserve forces. After two years in a subordinate role, Tactical Air Command (TAC) was established as a major command.
In 1992, after assessing the mission of TAC and to accommodate a decision made regarding Strategic Air Command (SAC), Headquarters United States Air Force inactivated TAC and incorporated its resources into the newly created Air Combat Command…
Special Operations Units
Air Force Special Forces units became part of TAC in 1961 when a counter-insurgency force was activated at Eglin AFB, Florida. Aircraft of these units consisted of a combination of propeller-driven World War II and Korean War-vintage fighters, modified trainers, Douglas B-26 Invader attack bombers and an eclectic collection of cargo and utility aircraft. Originally activated as a Combat Crew Training Squadron, the unit was upgraded to a wing and designated as the 1st Air Commando Wing. In 1964…
In response to what has become known as the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964, TAC pilots and support personnel found themselves deployed to places like Da Nang AB and Phan Rang AB in South Vietnam and Takhli RTAFB and Korat RTAFB in Thailand. Initially, TAC began deploying squadrons of F-100 Super Sabre, RF-101 Voodoo and F-105 Thunderchief aircraft to these overseas installations under the cognizance of PACAF. As the American effort in Southeast Asia increased, TAC used a process of deploying squadrons to PACAF-operated bases in South Vietnam and Thailand, with the squadrons being attached temporarily on rotational deployments or being permanently reassigned to the PACAF wing.
For the next decade, TAC would be consumed by operations in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. On a daily basis, flight crews trained by TAC would hurl themselves and their planes at targets across the area of operations, to include over the skies of North Vietnam. As the command responsible for training aircrews for overseas duty, TAC maintained Readiness Training Units in the United States to train pilots and other aircrew members for fighters, reconnaissance and troop carrier (redesignated tactical airlift after 1 July 1966) squadrons in the Pacific…
1972 Spring Invasion
In 1970, the war was beginning to wind down as the conflict was being Vietnamized. Units from the Republic of Vietnam Air Force (VNAF) took on more and more combat to defend their nation and USAF tactical air strength was reduced as several air bases and, in some cases, formerly USAF aircraft, were turned over to the VNAF.
Bombing of North Vietnam (Operation Rolling Thunder) had ended in 1968, and as a result, North Vietnamese forces had built up their air defenses and continued to pour men and equipment into the South via the Ho Chi Minh Trail. By the beginning of 1972 there were only about 235 USAF tactical combat aircraft in Southeast Asia. Vietnamization was severely tested by the Easter Offensive of 1972, a massive conventional invasion of South Vietnam by North Vietnamese Army forces in spring 1972. On 30 March 1972, the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN) launched an all out invasion of South Vietnam with over 13 divisions, pushing South Vietnamese units aside with little difficulty. President Nixon stepped up air strikes to turn back the invasion, or at least to slow it down.
In response to the invasion, TAC deployed both squadrons and wings to air bases in Thailand…