20th Air Division (United States)

20th Air Division

Scott AFB in 1957
Active 1955–1960; 1966–1967; 1969–1983
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Role Air Defense
Part of Tactical Air Command
Insignia
20th Air Division Emblem
(approved 20 August 1956)



The 20th Air Division (20th AD) is an inactive United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with Tactical Air Command at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida where it was inactivated on 1 March 1983.

During most of the division's history it served with Air Defense Command as a regional command and control headquarters. Between 1955 and 1967 the division controlled air defense units in the central United States. It controlled a slightly different areas of the midwestern US from 1955 to 1960 and from 1966 to 1967. Its area of responsibility shifted to the east coast if the United States from 1969 to 1983. It was shifted to its final station on paper in 1983 and was immediately inactivated.

History

The 20th AD was assigned to Air Defense Command (ADC) for most of its existence. It served as a regional command and control headquarters, controlling fighter interceptor and radar units over several areas of responsibility during the Cold War. For three years it also commanded a surface-to-air missile squadron.

The division was initially activated as an intermediate command organization of Central Air Defense Force at Grandview (later, Richards-Gebaur) AFB in June 1955.[1] The 20th AD was responsible for the interceptor and radar units within an area that covered parts of Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, and virtually all of Kansas and Missouri.[2]

On 1 October 1959 ADC activated the Sioux City Air Defense Sector and its Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) DC-22 Direction Center and assigned it to the division.[3] The 20th also operated a Manual Control Center (MCC-2) at Richards-Gebaur. The division was inactivated in 1960 when ADC reorganized, and the 33d Air Division assumed command of most of its former units.[1][4]

The division was reactivated in 1966 under Tenth Air Force as a SAGE organization, replacing the Chicago Air Defense Sector when ADC discontinued its air defense sectors and replaced them with air divisions.[5] The 20th provided air defense from the Truax Field, Wisconsin DC-7/CC-2 SAGE blockhouse for parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, and all of Illinois.[2] The division also acted as the 20th NORAD Region after activation of the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) Combat Operations Center at Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado. Operational control of the division was transferred to NORAD from ADC.

In addition to the active duty interceptor and radar units, the 20th AD supervised Air National Guard units that flew interception sorties using (among other aircraft) McDonnell F-101 Voodoos and Convair F-106 Delta Darts. At the same time the division controlled numerous radar squadrons. It was inactivated in 1967 as part of an ADC consolidation of intermediate level command and control organizations, driven by budget reductions required to fund USAF operations in Southeast Asia.

The 20th AD was activated for a third time in November 1969 under Aerospace Defense Command (ADCOM).[1] The division provided air defense for virtually all of the southeastern United States, except for most of Louisiana from the SAGE DC-4 blockhouse at Fort Lee AFS, Virginia.[6] The division also controlled a CIM-10 Bomarc surface-to-air anti-aircraft missile squadron near Langley AFB until the squadron's inactivation in October 1972.[7]

ADCOM was inactivated on 1 October 1979. The atmospheric defense resources (interceptors and warning radars) of ADCOM were reassigned to Tactical Air Command, which formed Air Defense, Tactical Air Command (ADTAC) as the headquarters to control them.[8] After 1981, the division controlled units equipped with McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle aircraft. Its subordinate units continued to participate in intensive academic training, numerous multi-region simulated (non-flying) exercises, and flying exercises.

The 20th AD moved to Tyndall AFB, Florida in March 1983 where its mission, personnel and equipment was transferred to the Southeast Air Defense Sector.

Lineage

  • Constituted as the 20 Air Division (Defense) on 8 June 1955
Activated on 8 October 1955
Inactivated on 1 January 1960
  • Activated on 20 January 1966 (not organized)
Organized on 1 April 1966
Discontinued and inactivated, on 31 December 1967
  • Activated on 19 November 1969[9]
Inactivated on 1 March 1983.

Assignments

  • Central Air Defense Force, 8 October 1955 – 1 January 1960
  • Air Defense Command, 20 January 1966
  • Tenth Air Force, 1 April 1966 – 31 December 1967
  • Aerospace Defense Command, 19 November 1969
  • Air Defense, Tactial Air Command), 1 October 1979 – 1 March 1983.[9]

Stations

  • Grandview (later, Richards Gebaur) AFB, Missouri, 8 October 1955 – 1 January 1960
  • Truax Field, Wisconsin, 1 April 1966 – 31 December 1967
  • Fort Lee AFS, Virginia, 19 November 1969[9]
  • Tyndall AFB, Florida, 1 March 1983 – 1 March 1983.

Components

Sector

  • Sioux City Air Defense Sector: 1 October 1959 – 1 January 1960[3]

Groups

Sioux Gateway Airport, Iowa
Truax Field, Wisconsin
Richards-Gebaur AFB, Missouri
Tyndall AFB, Florida[14]
Fort Fisher AFS, North Carolina

Squadrons

Fighter-Interceptor
Langley AFB, Virginia
Scott AFB, Illinois
Dover AFB, Delaware
Missile
  • 22d Air Defense Missile Squadron (BOMARC): 19 November 1969 – 31 October 1972[7]
Langley AFB, Virginia
Radar
  • 20th Air Defense Squadron (SAGE), 1 January 1975 – 1 October 1979[19]
  • 630th Radar Squadron, 1 August 1972 – 31 December 1977[20]
Houston Intercontinental Airport, Texas
  • 632d Radar Squadron, 19 November 1969 – 30 September 1978[20]
Roanoke Rapids AFS, North Carolina
  • 634th Radar Squadron, 1 January 1973 – 1 July 1974[20]
Lake Charles AFS, Louisiana
  • 635th Radar Squadron, 1 January 1973 – 1 June 1974[21]
Dauphin Island AFS, Alabama
  • 644th Radar Squadron, 19 November 1969 – 1 April 1978[21]
Homestead AFB, Florida
  • 645th Radar Squadron, 19 November 1969 – 1 April 1976[22]
Patrick AFB, Florida
  • 649th Radar Squadron, 19 November 1969 – 30 June 1975[22]
Bedford AFS, Virginia
  • 650th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, 1 March 1956 – 8 October 1957[23]
Dallas Center AFS, Iowa
  • 657th Radar Squadron, 19 November 1969 – 30 September 1970[24]
Bedford AFS, Virginia
  • 660th Radar Squadron, 19 November 1969 – 15 November 1980[24]
MacDill AFB, Florida
  • 671st Radar Squadron, 19 November 1969 – 30 September 1979[25]
NAS Key West, Florida
  • 676th Radar Squadron, 1 April 1966 – 1 December 1967[25]
Antigo AFS, Wisconsin
  • 678th Radar Squadron, 19 November 1969 – 1 March 1970[25]
Tyndall AFB, Florida[14]
  • 679th Radar Squadron, 19 November 1969 – 1 February 1974[26]
NAS Jacksonville, Florida
  • 680th Radar Squadron, 19 November 1969 – 30 May 1970[26]
Palermo AFS, New Jersey
  • 691st Radar Squadron, 19 November 1969 – 30 September 1970[27]
Cross City AFS, Florida
  • 693d Radar Squadron, 19 November 1969 – 30 September 1970[27]
Dauphin Island AFS, Florida
  • 701st Radar Squadron, 1 April 1966 – 1 March 1970[28]
Fort Fisher AFS, North Carolina
  • 702d Radar Squadron, 19 November 1969 – 9 June 1979[28]
Savannah AFS, Georgia
  • 725th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, 1 March 1956 – 1 January 1960[28]
Walnut Ridge AFS, Arkansas
  • 738th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, 1 March 1956 – 1 January 1960[29]
Olathe AFS, Kansas
  • 755th Radar Squadron, 1 April 1966 – 1 December 1967[30]
Williams Bay AFS, Wisconsin
  • 770th Radar Squadron, 19 November 1969 – 1 February 1974[31]
Fort George G. Meade, Maryland
  • 771st Radar Squadron, 19 November 1969 – 1 February 1974[31]
Cape Charles AFS, Virginia
  • 782d Radar Squadron, 1 April-25 June 1966[32]
Rockville AFS, Indiana
  • 787th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, 1 January 1959 – 1 January 1960[33]
Chandler AFS, Minnesota
  • 788th Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) Squadron, 1 March 1956 – 15 October 1958; 1 April 1966 – 1 December 1967[33]
Waverly AFS, Iowa
  • 789th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, 1 March 1956 – 1 January 1960
Omaha AFS, Nebraska
  • 790th Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) Squadron, 1 March 1956 – 1 April 1959; 1 April 1966 – 1 December 1967[33]
Kirksville AFS, Missouri
  • 791st Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) Squadron, 1 March 1956 – 15 October 1958; 1 April 1966 – 1 December 1967[34]
Hanna City AFS, Illinois
  • 792d Radar Squadron, 19 November 1969 – 8 December 1978[34]
North Charleston AFS, South Carolina
  • 793d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, 1 March 1956 – 1 January 1960[34]
Hutchinson AFS, Kansas
  • 796th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, 1 March 1956 – 1 June 1961[35]
Bartlesville AFS, Oklahoma
  • 797th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, 1 March 1956 – 1 June 1961[36]
Fordland AFS, Missouri
  • 798th Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) Squadron, 1 March 1956 – 1 January 1960
Belleville AFS, Illinois[34]
  • 810th Radar Squadron, 19 November 1969 – 31 July 1978[34]
Winston-Salem AFS, North Carolina
  • 861st Radar Squadron, 19 November 1969 – 30 June 1975[37]
Aiken AFS, South Carolina
  • 4638th Air Defense Squadron (SAGE), 1 January 1972 – 1 January 1975[19]

See also

  • List of USAF Aerospace Defense Command General Surveillance Radar Stations
  • Aerospace Defense Command Fighter Squadrons

References

Notes

Bibliography

Further Reading

  • Aerospace Defense Command publication, The Interceptor, January 1979 (Volume 21, Number 1)
  • AFHRA Factsheet 20th Air Division (dead link)

External links

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