|505th Command and Control Wing|
505th Command and Control Wing emblem
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||United States Air Force Warfare Center|
|Garrison/HQ||Hurlburt Field, Florida|
The United States Air Force's 505th Command and Control Wing (505 CCW) is organized under the USAF Warfare Center. The 505 CCW is dedicated to improving warfighter readiness through integrated training, tactics, and testing for operational-level command and control of air, space, and cyber power. It hosts the Air Force's only Air Operations Center Formal Training Unit (FTU), located at Hurlburt Field, Florida.
The mission of the 505 CCW is to improve warfighter capability through command and control testing, tactics development, and training. While the mission focuses on the Component Numbered Air Forces (C-NAF) and their attached and assigned forces, the wing is also tasked to support joint and coalition forces engaged in all aspects of C2. C2 is where the integration of air, space, and cyber happens! Through a multi-disciplinary approach to training and development of tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) for the Component-NAF Headquarters; testing and training of key C2 systems; comprehensive, realistic, cutting-edge operational through tactical-level live, virtual, and constructive exercises, the 505th is postured to provide the best possible support to the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines who are fighting and winning our nation's battles. The 505 CCW is responsible for developing the combat capability of the Air and Space Operations Center (AOC) and for developing and integrating joint live-virtual-constructive (LVC) training capabilities within the Air Force Distributed Mission Operations Center (DMOC). In addition to hosting the Air Force's only AOC Formal Training Unit (FTU), the 505 CCW delivers realistic, cutting-edge operational command and control (C2) training through BLUE FLAG, VIRTUAL FLAG, Joint Expeditionary Force Experiment (JEFX), and equivalent overseas Combatant Command and Service exercises, and executes operational test for all elements of the Theater Air Control System (TACS) to include the E-3A AWACS, E-8 Joint STARS, Command Reporting Center (CRC), AOC, Air Force Digital Common Ground Station (DCGS) and Tactical Air Control Party (TACP). Through the Operational Command Training Program (OCTP), Air Force retired three-star general officer Senior Mentors train Air Force, joint, and coalition operational-level commanders and their staffs.
505 CCW Detachment 1 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas advises the Commanding General and key staff of the United States Army's Combined Arms Center on all aspects of air and space power doctrine and employment, and integrates realistic air and space capabilities in the Army's worldwide Battle Command Training Program (BCTP). Det 1 integrates a doctrinally-correct representation of air power in Army Mission Rehearsal Exercises and Warfighter Exercises.
The unique mission of the 84 Radar Evaluation Squadron is to provide Department of Defense radar planning, integration, and evaluations while simultaneously monitoring the U.S. radar grid.
Through a multi-disciplinary approach to training and development of tactics, techniques, and procedures for the AOC; testing and training of key C2 systems; and comprehensive, realistic, state-of-the-art operational and tactical live, virtual, and constructive exercises, the 505 CCW prepares Air Force, joint, and coalition forces for crisis, contingency, and combat operations.
The Wing has a unique history dating back to the establishment of the 505th Aircraft Control and Warning Group (ACWG) on May 2, 1947. Stationed at McChord Field (later Air Force Base), Washington, the group was activated under the Air Defense Command becoming the first post-World War II air control and warning unit. For the remainder of 1947 the group supported two radar stations, one at Arlington, Washington, and one at Half Moon Bay near San Francisco, California. These stations worked with fighter squadrons to perfect ground-control and interception techniques. The group included a fleet of B-25 Mitchells used extensively to perform radar calibration flights. The experience gained from operating the two sites proved invaluable to air defense planners who were in the process of designing a nationwide early warning radar network.
As tensions increased between the US and the USSR, the importance of the 505th mission grew. In September 1949, the group no longer operated B-25’s yet they remained focused on early warning systems, supporting detachments up and down the Pacific Northwest coast. The group provided early warning operating radar systems including the AN/TPS-1. With a growing movement to assign homeland defense to reserve units, the 505 ACWG inactivated on February 6, 1952. However, this would not mark the end of the 505th. The Air Force would revive the unit and its expertise with radars 13 years later
On November 2, 1965, the 505 ACWG was re-activated as the 505th Tactical Control Group (TCG). Replacing the 6250th Tactical Air Support Group that activated three months earlier, 505 TCG called Tan Son Nhut Air Base in South Vietnam home. The 505th was responsible to provide Command and Control (C2), for the Tactical Control System in Southeast Asia (SEA). This mission included the operation of numerous radar sites throughout South Vietnam and Thailand from 1965 to 1973. In addition to the radar sites, the group managed O-1 Bird Dogs assigned to five squadrons from late 1965 through 1966. These O-1 units included the 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23d Tactical Air Support Squadrons operating from various bases throughout SEA. Forward Air Controllers (FACs) flew the “Bird Dogs” to find and mark enemy activity, direct air strikes and perform battle damage assessment.
Initially assigned to the 2d Air Division in Vietnam, the 505th re-aligned under the Seventh Air Force on April 1, 1966. Soon afterward, the 505th received approval for its emblem and official motto - “Search and Direct.” The group eventually lost its flying squadrons but the radar mission grew. The 505th distinguished itself as the only unit to furnish all of SEA an electronics ground environment system for aircraft control and warning and radar services. After eight years of service in Vietnam the group earned thirteen campaign streamers and five Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards with Combat “V” devices. With the end of the war in 1973 came the unit’s inactivation.
The 505th’s lineage continued with the activation of the 4442d Tactical Control Group on March 1, 1980. Functioning as the 4442d, the unit aligned under the USAF Tactical Air Warfare Center. The group established a headquarters at Hurlburt Field, Florida where it managed a command, control, communications (C3) and intelligence complex. Along with the C3 operations, the unit conducted operational tests and evaluated tactical air control elements. They also provided training on tactical air control and operated the USAF Air Ground Operations School until 1997. The 505th has remained at Hurlburt since 1980 but received several name changes to match the evolution of its mission.
With the elimination of MAJCOMs in 1991, the unit re-designated as the 505th Air Control Group. In April 1993, when the 505th began operating the new USAF Battlestaff Training School, the Air Force renamed the unit 505th Command and Control Evaluation Group. At the same time, the mission expanded to include a new detachment at Kirkland AFB, New Mexico. By 1998, with the ever-increasing importance of the Air Operations Center as a weapons system and the units expanding mission to train personnel in its use, the Air Force again changed the 505th’s name, this time to the Air Force Command and Control Training and Innovation Center (AFC2TIC). The center continued to test new command and control systems and train personnel on their use in combat. Realizing that the center incorporated more than just a building with several detachments located around the US, the Air Force gave it group status on April 15, 1999. The group carried its mission into the 21st century providing modern training and techniques to increase the command and control capabilities at the operational level of the Air Force.
After almost 54 years of re-designation, inactivation, consolidation and renaming, the group finally became a wing on March 12, 2004. Now the 505th Command and Control Wing, it controls three groups: the 505th Training Group at Hurlburt Field; the 505th Operations Group at Nellis AFB; and the 505th Distributed Warfare Group at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.