History of Tactical Air Control Squadron Twelve
Tactical Air Control Squadron TWELVE (VTC-12) is home ported at the Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado, California. TACRON TWELVE provides air control detachments in support of San Diego-based Expeditionary Strike Groups (ESG), the forward-deployed USS BONHOMME RICHARD ARG in Sasebo, Japan, and Commander, Task Force SEVENTY-SIX in Okinawa, Japan.

Tactical Air Control Squadrons were formed as a direct result of wartime experiences during the island hopping campaign against Japan during World War II. Wartime experience indicated a requirement for an organization trained in the control of air support for amphibious operations. AIR SUPPORT CONTROL UNIT THREE (ASCU THREE) was created on October 1, 1944 and deployed from amphibious flagships to battleships. On January 1, 1946 ASCU THREE was redesignated TACRON THREE. In June 1949, TACRON THREE was transferred to the East Coast and redesignated TACRON FOUR. TACRON THREE was reestablished on August 29, 1950. TACRON THREE was redesignated TACRON TWELVE in April 1955. This designation lasted only until June 1, 1955 when TACRON TWELVE was redesignated TACRON ELEVEN and TACRON THIRTEEN was redesignated TACRON TWELVE. This last redesignation lasted through May 31, 1973 when TACRON TWELVE disestablished. TACRON TWELVE’s chameleon-like history has provided the building blocks for today’s premier squadron that reestablished on May 20, 1981.

TACRON TWELVE enjoys a rich history of wartime and peacetime campaigns. TACRON TWELVE, and predecessors, have served in many operations including:

KOREA (1950-1953)
Amphibious landings at Pohang Dong, Wosan, Hungnam and Inchon. Awarded Korean Presidential Unit Citation.

VIETNAM (1965-1975)
Search and rescue coordinators for the recovery of LT Randy "Duke" Cunningham and LT Willie "Irish" Driscoll, the Navy only aces of the war.

Conducted “Hunter-Killer” operations from USS DENVER (LPD-9). Controlling AH-1J Cobra’s from the USS CLEVELAND (LPD-7), TACRON TWELVE personnel conducted intercepts against North Vietnamese surface vessels moving supplies ashore.

Participated in Operations Fortress Ridge, Badger Tooth, Ballistic Armor, Badger Catch, Fortress Attack, Joy Street, and Beach Ball.

MIDDLE EAST
Awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for support of the Marines in Awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for support of the Marines in Lebanon during 1983.

Operations Desert Shield (1990), Desert Storm (1991), and Desert Saber (1991), TACRON TWELVE personnel played a major role in the development and planning of amphibious operations and contingencies.

Operations Southern Watch (1992-2003) and Desert Fox (1998) supporting United Nations sanctions against Iraq and enforcing the “no-fly” zone in southern Iraq.

TACRON TWELVE has participated in the Global War on Terrorism by supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM (2001-present) and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (2003-present).

PHILIPPINES and EAST TIMOR
Operation Fiery Vigil, the evacuation of more than 22,000 people after the June 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, Philippines.

April 2001, participated in Operation STABILIZE and Project HANDCLASP providing humanitarian assistance to the people of civil-war-torn East Timor.

AFRICA
In Somalia, TACRON TWELVE Detachments participated in Operations Provide relief (1992) that airlifted food and supplies, and United Shield (1995) that provided humanitarian relief and evacuated U.N. personnel.

In Rwanda, TACRON TWELVE Detachments participated in refugee relief efforts During Operation SUPPORT HOPE (1994).

TACRON TWELVE awards include:
  • Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)
  • Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
  • Republic of Vietnam Campaign
  • Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
  • Sea Service
  • Humanitarian Service
  • Southwest Asia Service Medal
  • Vietnam Service Medal
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Navy Expeditionary Medal
  • Battle Efficiency Award
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation
  • Navy Unit Commendation
  • Joint Meritorious Unit Award
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