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2d Airborne Command and Control Squadron

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The United States Air Force's 2d Airborne Command and Control Squadron[note 2] was an airborne command and control unit located at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. The squadron was an integral part of the United States' Post Attack Command and Control System, performing the Operation Looking Glass mission with the Boeing EC-135 aircraft.

2nd Airborne Command and Control Squadron
Shield Strategic Air Command.png
Gen. Richard A. Ellis, Strategic Air Command, commander in chief, Boeing EC-135, Exercise Global Shield '79.jpg
Active1942-1944; 1949-1952; 1952-1954; 1970-1994
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
RoleCommand and control
Part ofStrategic Air Command
DecorationsAir Force Outstanding Unit Award
Insignia
2d Airborne Command and Control Squadron emblem2d Airborne Command and Control Squadron.PNG
2d Ferrying Squadron emblem[note 1]2 Ferrying Sq emblem.png

Contents

HistoryEdit

World War IIEdit

From its activation in April 1942 until it was disbanded in 1944, the 2d Ferrying Squadron received aircraft at their factory of origin and ferried them to the units to which they were assigned.[1]

Liaison duties in the 1950sEdit

The 2d Liaison Squadron provided emergency air evacuation, search and rescue, courier and messenger service, routine reconnaissance and transportation of personnel. It regularly operated between Langley Air Force Base, Virginia and Fort John Custis with one Beechcraft C-45 Expeditor and several Stinson L-13s.[1]

In July 1952, the squadron closed at Langley and reopened at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, operating de Haviland Canada L-20 Beavers. It operated a regular courier service to Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina and Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, South Carolina. In 1953, the squadron also began operating Sikorsky H-19 helicopters. The unit was inactivated in June 1954.[1]

Airborne Command PostEdit

The desire for an Airborne Command Post (ABNCP) to provide survivable command and control of Strategic Air Command's nuclear forces came about in 1958. By 1960, modified KC-135A command post aircraft began pulling alert for SAC under the 34th Air Refueling Squadron (AREFS). On 3 February 1961, Continuous Airborne Operations (CAO) commenced, which meant that there was always at least one Looking Glass aircraft airborne at all times. Starting in 1966, the 38th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron took over the Looking Glass mission. Eventually, on 1 April 1970, the 2nd ACCS took over the Looking Glass mission flying EC-135C ABNCP aircraft for the duration of the Cold War as a critical member in the Post Attack Command and Control System. There continued to be at least one Looking Glass aircraft airborne at all times providing a backup to SAC's underground command post. Additionally, the 2 ACCS maintained an additional EC-135C on ground alert at Offutt AFB, NE as the EASTAUXCP (East Auxiliary Command Post), providing backup to the airborne Looking Glass, radio relay capability, and a means for the Commander in Chief of SAC to escape an enemy nuclear attack.[2][3]

The 2nd ACCS was also a major player in Airborne Launch Control System operations. The primary mission of the 2nd ACCS was to fly the SAC ABNCP Looking Glass aircraft in continuous airborne operations, however, due to its close proximity in orbiting over the central US, the airborne Looking Glass provided ALCS coverage for the Minuteman Wing located at Whiteman AFB, MO. Not only did Whiteman AFB have Minuteman II ICBMs, but it also had ERCS configured Minuteman missiles on alert. The EASTAUXCP was ALCS capable, however, it did not have a dedicated ALCS mission.[4][5]

LineageEdit

2d Ferrying Squadron
  • Constituted as the 2d Air Corps Ferrying Squadron on 18 February 1942
Activated on 16 April 1942
  • Redesignated 2d Ferrying Squadron on 12 May 1943
  • Disbanded on 31 March 1944
  • Reconstituted and consolidated with 2d Liaison Squadron and 2d Airborne Command and Control Squadron as the 2d Airborne Command and Control Squadron on 19 September 1985[1]
2d Liaison Squadron
  • Constituted as the 2d Liaison Flight on 27 September 1949
Activated on 25 October 1949
  • Redesignated 2d Liaison Squadron on 15 July 1952
Inactivated on 22 July 1952
Activated on 22 July 1952
Inactivated on 18 June 1954
  • Consolidated with 2d Ferrying Squadron and 2d Airborne Command and Control Squadron as the 2d Airborne Command and Control Squadron on 19 September 1985[1]
2d Airborne Command and Control Squadron
  • Constituted as the 2d Airborne Command and Control Squadron on 12 March 1970
Activated on 1 April 1970
  • Consolidated with 2d Ferrying Squadron and 2d Liaison Squadron on 19 September 1985
  • Inactivated on 19 July 1994[1]

AssignmentsEdit

StationsEdit

  • Hensley Field, Texas (18 February 1942)
  • Love Field, Texas, 8 September 1942
  • Fairfax Airport, Kansas, 16 January 1943 – 31 March 1944
  • Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, 25 October 1949 – 22 July 1952
  • Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, 22 July 1952 – 18 June 1954
  • Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, 1 April 1970 – 19 July 1994[1]

Awards and CampaignsEdit

Aircraft & Missiles OperatedEdit

  • Various aircraft (1942–1944)
  • Beechcraft C-45 Expeditor (1949–1952)
  • Stinson L-13 (1949–1952)
  • de Haviland Canada L-20 Beaver (1952–1954)
  • Sikorsky H-19 (1953–1954)[1]
  • Boeing EC-135 (1970–1994)[6]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

Notes
  1. ^ Cargill indicates this emblem never received official approval. At the time he prepared the Lineage and Honors statement the emblem for the 2d Airborne Command and Control Squadron had not yet been approved. At that time the only approved emblem was that of the 2d Liaison Squadron approved on 13 April 1954 depicting a hummingbird on a yellow background, but no image of this emblem is available.
  2. ^ From the abbreviation of its name (2 ACCS), the squadron was referred to as "Two Axe".
Citations
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Hall, R. Cargill (16 October 1984). "USAF Lineage and Honors History (USAFHRC Form 5)" (PDF). Air Force Historical Research Center. Retrieved 24 August 2016.[permanent dead link] (updated after 1994)
  2. ^ ALCS Article, page 14-15
  3. ^ [Hopkins III, Robert S. 1997. Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker: More Than Just a Tanker. Leicester, England: Midland Publishing Limited, p. 114-117, 196]
  4. ^ ALCS Article, page 14-15
  5. ^ [Hopkins III, Robert S. 1997. Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker: More Than Just a Tanker. Leicester, England: Midland Publishing Limited, p. 114-117, 196]
  6. ^ World Airpower Journal. (1992). US Air Force Air Power Directory. Aerospace Publishing: London, UK. ISBN 1-880588-01-3
Bibliography

  This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

External linksEdit