TACRON 21 trains, deploys and supports combat-ready TACRON detachments providing centralized planning, control, coordination and integration of amphibious and expeditionary combat air operations.
TACRON 21 performs three primary mission areas that support our Navy and Marine Corp team. Our primary mission areas are:
- Tactical Air Control of Close Air Support (CAS) Aircraft – Tactical air control of CAS aircraft consists of controlling aircraft afloat from the tactical air control center (TACC). Amphibious air traffic control (AATC) hands them off to TACC and we hand them off to the Direct Air Support Center (DASC) or to a terminal controller, depending on the situation. It is our core competency and the reason why TACRON 21 was commissioned in September 1946. We train/practice this mission area at Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC) Fallon, the Joint Expeditionary Team Trainer and during the pre-deployment work-up cycle. We will continue to expand CAS opportunities by working with Air Wings and Squadrons on the east coast.
- Expeditionary Air Operations Ashore – Expeditionary air operations ashore consists of manning and operating existing air traffic control (ATC) facilities ashore or establishing remote air control capabilities at landing zones, temporary airfields, Forward Operating Bases (FOBs), or Forward Air Refueling Points (FARPs). TACRON personnel possess skill sets that allow them to integrate with Marines ashore and assist Marine Expeditionary Unit and Battalion Landing Team Air Officers performing a variety of air operations related duties. TACRON 21 is further defining the CONOPS for Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC) and Tactical Air Control Parties (TAC-P). We train/practice expeditionary air operations ashore at RUT and FSIOP along with other Marine MMT and BLT exercises.
- Air Operations Center (AOC) Afloat – Air Operations Center (AOC) afloat consists of performance of the duties described in NTTP 3-02.1.3. Functions include maintaining an air watch that provides situational awareness to the Strike Group Commander and staff, alert aircraft management and serving as air resource element coordinator (AREC) and airspace control authority (ACA), when directed, and assisting the Air Defense Commander with management of the fleet air defense identification zone (FADIZ) duties. We train/practice air operations center afloat at the JETT and while underway during the pre-deployment work-up cycle.
- We must be ready to effectively perform each of the missions simultaneously while deployed or when required in support of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief.