Air Combat Command

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The U.S. Air Combat Command (ACC) "owns" the Air Force aircraft, personnel, and facilities assigned to the operational Unified Combatant Commands. Its responsibilities include training and readiness for forces to be assigned to the operational units, but, as is common in the modern U.S. military, the commanding general wears "multiple hats". In addition to the ACC responsibilities, he is also the Air Component Commander for two Unified Combatant Commands, United States Joint Forces Command and United States Strategic Command.

ACC's forces are organized under a direct reporting unit, four numbered air forces and one Air Force Reserve numbered air force. The command operates 15 major bases, including tenant units on 13 non-ACC bases throughout the United States. ACC also has responsibility for inland search and rescue in the 48 contiguous states.

Numbered Air Forces

First Air Force

With headquarters at Tyndall AFB, FL, the First Air Force provides the Air Force resources for the North American Air Defense Command, and the overall defense of the continental United States.

Its major units are:

  • Continental United States Regional Air Operations Center, NORAD System Support Facility and the Southeast Air Defense Sector at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.,
  • Northeast Air Defense Sector in Rome, N.Y.
  • Western Air Defense Sector at McChord Air Force Base, Wash.
  • Ten Air National Guard fighter wings are assigned to 1st Air Force, and as many as 30 ANG fighter wings reported to this numbered air force during the early months of Operation Noble Eagle.

Eighth Air Force

Eighth Air Force is the air component of United States Strategic Command, including bomber aircraft and C3I-ISR aircraft.

Other Eighth Air Force units include the 67th Information Operations Wing, Lackland AFB, Texas; the 70th Intelligence Wing, Fort Meade, Md.; the 116th Air Control Wing (E-8C JSTARS), Robins AFB, Ga.; 552nd Air Control Wing (E-3B/C), Tinker AFB, Okla.; the 819th RED HORSE Squadron, Malmstrom AFB, Mont.; and the 3rd Air Support Operations Group, Fort Hood, Texas.


Barksdale AFB, La. -- 2nd Bomb Wing: B-52H

Beale AFB, Calif. -- 9th Reconnaissance Wing: U-2, T-38. Selected as beddown base for MQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle

Minot AFB, N.D. -- 5th Bomb Wing: B-52H

Offutt AFB, Neb. -- 55th Wing: E-4B, RC-135 RIVET JOINT, RC-135 COBRA BALL, RC-135 COMBAT SENT, TC-135W, WC-135W, OC-135B Open Skies

Whiteman AFB, Mo. -- 509th Bomb Wing: B-2, T-38

Ninth Air Force

Ninth Air Force is the air component for United States Central Command, as well as for active, reserve, and Air National Guard units on the east coast of the U.S.

Tenth Air Force

With headquarters at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, Fort Worth, Texas, directs the activities of more than 13,300 reservists and 900 civilians located at 28 installations throughout the United States.

Twelfth Air Force

Based at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., Twelfth Air Force controls ACC's conventional fighter and bomber forces based in the western United States and is the Air Component for United States Southern Command (AFSOUTH).

Direct Reporting Unit

U.S. Air Force Warfare Center, at Nellis AFB, Nev., conducts the Air Force's advanced weapons and tactics training, manages advanced pilot training and is responsible for the operational test and evaluation of ACC's combat weapons systems. The UAV Battlelab, and the Command and Control Training and Innovation Group located at Hurlburt Field, Fla. are assigned to the center.

Under the Air Warfare Center:

  • 57th Wing ([[A-10 Thunderbolt II|A-10), F-15C/D, F-15E, F-16C/D, HH-60G and RQ-1A/B Predator unmanned aerial vehicle)
  • 99th Air Base Wing
  • 98th Range Wing
  • U.S. Air Force Air-Ground Operations School
  • U.S. Air Force Weapons School
  • U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron (the Thunderbirds)
  • 414th Combat Training Squadron (Red Flag).

Also assigned are the UAV Battlelab and the Command and Control Training and Innovation Group, located at Hurlburt Field, Fla.

The 53rd Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla. is also assigned to the Air Warfare Center.

Its units include

  • 53rd Test and Evaluation Group (A-10, F-15A/C/E, F-16C/D, F-22 Raptor, B-1 Lancer, B-2, B-52, HH-60G, MQ-1 Predator and MQ-4 Global Hawk) at Nellis,
  • 53rd Electronic Warfare Group at Eglin, and the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group (E-9) at Tyndall AFB, Fla.
  • The 53rd Test Management Group at Eglin coordinates the wing's test process, directing resources and priorities within the wing nationwide.