A TACRON, or a Tactical Air Control Squadron, has been in existence for more than 60 years. TACRON came to be in the Pacific and the Aleutian Campaign of 1943. In the Attu operations in May of that year, the first Air Support Control Unit afloat was employed. Operating from Pennsylvania (BB 38), close air support missions were controlled by this unit during the amphibious phase of the operation. In the early stages of amphibious operations during WW II the requirement for training air support control personnel in the highly specialized techniques of close air support developed. At this time, the control units were not officially established and drew personnel for each campaign from amphibious staffs. When the war in the Pacific ended, the air support organization had grown to 24 air support control units comprised of nearly 2,300 officers and enlisted personnel commanded by a rear admiral.
The invasion of the Marshall Islands in January 1944 saw the first use in the Pacific of the Amphibious Flagship (LCC), the ship used was the USS Rocky Mount (AGC-3). Previous operations had shown the need for embarking the naval landing and air commanders in one ship so that the commander could more easily coordinate the entire amphibious operation. Two of these were employed, each embarking one ASCU. Iwo Jima brought about the final development of the methods used throughout the remainder of the war. While these early amphibious operations were being executed, the program for training air support personnel in the highly specialized techniques was being expanded.
In late 1946, the Air Control Units were commissioned and had their name changed to that of Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON). Originally based in Yokuska, Japan TACRON THREE (later to be TACRON TWO-TWO) was relocated to San Diego in June 1947 where it remained for two and one-half years. On 22 November 1949 the squadron embarked in USS BAYFIELD (APA 33), along with most of their dependents and household effects for the journey to their new homeport – Norfolk, Virginia. As the BAYFIELD was transiting the Panama Canal, on 3 December 1949 TACRON THREE reported to CINCLANTFLT for duty and assumed the new designation of TACRON FOUR. TACRON FOUR arrived in Norfolk on 11 December 1949 and set up “house” at the Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek. On 2 April 1955, the squadron designation was officially changed to TACRON TWO-TWO.
In the past few years, TACRON TWO-TWO has supported numerous deployments and work ups for amphibious groups deploying in support of the Maritime Security Operations (MSO) and regional Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) efforts. Recent command achievements include the successful deployment aboard the USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG), where they participated in the evacuation of the US Embassy in Yemen and Operation INHERENT RESOLVE (2015). More recently, a TACRON TWO-TWO detachment with the USS Wasp ARG played a crucial role in Operation ODYSSEY LIGHTNING expelling ISIS fighters from Sirte, Libya (2016). The last detachment from TACRON worked closely with the WASP ARG, which included Commander, Amphibious Squadron (PHIBRON 6), USS Wasp (LHD 1), USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41), USS San Antonio (LPD 17) and the 22nd MEU and included underway periods in the 2nd, 6th, and 5th Fleet areas of operations and encompassed missions in Libya, Yemen, and operations off the coast of Africa.