TACRON Two Two provides trained, combat-ready air command and control detachments to support Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) air operations planning, coordination, and execution. A detachment consists of approximately 30 personnel, is assigned to the amphibious squadron commander, and oversees every aspect of strike group air operations, including:
- Control and management of organic and non-organic aircraft conducting close air support, tanking, and airlift missions in support of the ESG and Marine operations ashore;
- Development, assignment, and de-confliction of airspace within the ESG area of operations;
- Management of ESG air assets as the Air Resource Element Coordinator and Helo Element Coordinator;
- Production, coordination, and execution of daily ESG Air Tasking and Airspace Control Orders;
- Integration of ESG air operations with U.S. Combatant Commanders, Service Component Commanders, Joint and Combined Task Force Commanders, and associated Air Operations Centers;
- Liaison with foreign governments on diplomatic clearances for air operations; and Management and execution of strike group passenger/mail/cargo airlift.
The Officer-in-Charge of the afloat detachment serves as the Air Officer for the amphibious squadron commander and is charged with integrating every aspect of amphibious air operations into the overall ESG mission.
The TACRON mission does not end at the beach. As an expeditionary unit, TACRON Two Two maintains the capability to man and operate existing air traffic control (ATC) facilities ashore or establish remote air control capabilities at landing zones, temporary airfields, Forward Operating Bases, or Forward Air Refueling Points (FARPs). TACRON personnel train alongside their fellow Marine Corps air controllers at remote air fields near Camp Lejeune, NC , setting up expeditionary airfields and exercising their field equipment and techniques. TACRON air controllers carry their combat gear, weapons, radios and charts ashore to augment Marine Air Control Group (MACG) personnel. Just as TACRONs did during WWII, with nothing more than a radio and a chart, they provide airspace structure and safely de-conflict aircraft, both fixed and rotary wing from all services and nationalities, in support of the ground operations. TACRON 22 deploys two detachments, each consisting of 20-25 enlisted personnel and 5-6 officers (including one USMC officer), representing a variety of aviation and maritime experience. This wide range of expertise provides a unique capability to accomplish the complex air planning, coordination and control necessary for amphibious operations.