U.S. Air Force Fact Sheet: AIR COMBAT COMMAND

air combat command

Air Combat Command, with headquarters at Langley Air Force Base, Va., is a major command created June 1, 1992 by combining its predecessors Strategic Air Command and Tactical Air Command . ACC is the primary provider of air combat forces to America’s warfighting commanders.


Air Combat Command is the primary force provider of combat airpower to America’s warfighting commands. To support global implementation of national security strategy, ACC operates fighter, bomber, reconnaissance, battle-management, and electronic-combat aircraft. It also provides command, control, communications and intelligence systems, and conducts global information operations.

As a force provider, ACC organizes, trains, equips and maintains combat-ready forces for rapid deployment and employment while ensuring strategic air defense forces are ready to meet the challenges of peacetime air sovereignty and wartime air defense. ACC numbered air forces provide the air component to U.S. Central, Southern and Northern Commands, with Headquarters ACC serving as the air component to Joint Forces Commands. ACC also augments forces to U.S. European, Pacific and Strategic Command.

Personnel and Resources

More than 96,000 active-duty members and civilians make up ACC’s work force. When mobilized, more than 57,000 members of the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with about 859 aircraft, are assigned to ACC. In total, ACC and ACC-gained units fly more than 2,000 aircraft.


ACC’s forces are organized under a direct reporting unit, four numbered air forces and one Air Force Reserve numbered air force. The command operates 15 major bases, including tenant units on 13 non-ACC bases throughout the United States. ACC also has responsibility for inland search and rescue in the 48 contiguous states. The ACC commander is the component commander of U.S. Air Forces – Joint Forces Command and U.S. Strategic Command.

Numbered Air Forces

First Air Force, or Air Forces Northern, with headquarters at Tyndall AFB, Fla.,  has responsibility for ensuring the air sovereignty and air defense of the continental United States, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.  As the continental United States Region, or CONR, for the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD,  1 AF  (AFNORTH) provides air defense in the form of airspace surveillance and airspace control.  First AF is also the designated air component for U.S. Northern Command.

AFNORTH rapidly responds to non-military threats under the Defense Support to Civil Authorities, or DSCA, mission.  The organization assists civilian agencies before and during emergencies, natural or man-made disasters, and other DOD-approved activities. Operating with the 601st Air and Space Operations Center, the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center serves as the U.S. inland search and rescue coordinator and is the single agency responsible for coordinating on-land federal searches. These search and rescue operations can be conducted anywhere in the 48 states, Mexico and Canada. The Civil Air Patrol is a significant partner in search and rescue and other DSCA missions.

Other First Air Force (AFNORTH) units include the 601st Air and Space Operations Center, the 702nd Computer Support Squadron and the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall AFB, the Northeast Air Defense Sector in Rome, N.Y.; the Western Air Defense Sector at McChord AFB, Wash.;  Det. 1, 1 AF, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and 722nd Air Defense Squadron, North Bay, Canada.

Aligned wings:

  • 119th Fighter Wing, Hector Field, Fargo, N.D.:  MQ-1, C-21
  • Det. 1, 119 Fighter Wing, Langley AFB, Va.
  • 120th Fighter Wing, Great Falls International Airport, Mont.:  F-16
  • 125th Fighter Wing, Jacksonville IAP, Fla.:  F-15
  • Det. 1, 125 Fighter Wing, Homestead Air Reserve Station, Fla.
  • 142nd Fighter Wing, Portland IAP, Ore.: F-15
  • 144th Fighter Wing, Fresno Air National Guard Base, Calif.: F-16
  • Det. 1, 144 Fighter Wing, March Air Reserve Base, Calif.
  • 147th Fighter Wing, Ellington ANG Base, Texas: MQ-1, C-26
  • 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth IAP, Minn.: F-16
  • 158th Fighter Wing, Burlington IAP, Vt.: F-16
  • 177th Fighter Wing, Atlantic City IAP, N.J.:  F-16
  • 101st Information Operations Flight, Salt Lake City IAP, Utah

Eighth Air Force, with headquarters at Barksdale Air Force, La., supports ACC in providing command and control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C2ISR); long-range attack; and information operations forces to Air Force components and warfighting commands. Eighth Air Force trains, tests, exercises and demonstrates combat-ready forces for rapid employment worldwide. Eighth Air Force provides conventional forces to U.S. Joint Forces Command and provides nuclear capable bombers, specified Global Strike assets, and C2ISR capabilities to U.S. Strategic Command. Eighth Air Force also supports STRATCOM’s Joint Force Headquarters – Information Operations and serves as the command element for Air Force wide computer network operations.

Other Eighth Air Force units include the 67th Information Operations Wing, Lackland AFB, Texas; the 70th Intelligence Wing, Fort Meade, Md.; the 116th Air Control Wing (E-8C JSTARS), Robins AFB, Ga.;  552nd Air Control Wing (E-3B/C), Tinker AFB, Okla.; the 819th RED HORSE Squadron, Malmstrom AFB, Mont.; and the 3rd Air Support Operations Group, Fort Hood, Texas.


Barksdale AFB, La. — 2nd Bomb Wing: B-52H

Beale AFB, Calif. — 9th Reconnaissance Wing: U-2, T-38. Selected as beddown base for RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system

Minot AFB, N.D. — 5th Bomb Wing: B-52H

Offutt AFB, Neb. — 55th Wing: E-4B, RC-135S/U/V/W, TC-135W, WC-135W, OC-135B

Whiteman AFB, Mo. — 509th Bomb Wing: B-2, T-38

Ninth Air Force, with headquarters at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., controls ACC fighter forces based on the East Coast of the United States, and serves as the air component for a 25-nation area within the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility.

Other Ninth Air Force units include: 33rd Fighter Wing (F-15C/D), Eglin AFB, Fla.; 18th Air Support Operations Group, Pope AFB, N.C.; 820th Security Forces Group, Moody AFB, Ga.; 823d RED HORSE Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla.; and the 5th Combat Communications Group, Robins AFB, Ga.


Langley AFB, Va. — Headquarters Air Combat Command, 1st Fighter Wing: F-15C/D, selected as first operational F-22 wing

Seymour-Johnson AFB, N.C. — 4th Fighter Wing: F-15E. The 23rd Fighter Group at Pope AFB (A-10/OA-10) is part of the 4th Fighter Wing.

Shaw AFB, S.C. — Headquarters 9th Air Force; 20th Fighter Wing: F-16C/D

Tenth Air Force, located at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, Fort Worth, Texas, directs the activities of more than 13,300 reservists and 900 civilians located at 28 installations throughout the United States.

The mission of the 10th Air Force is to exercise command supervision of its assigned Reserve units to ensure they maintain the highest combat capability to augment active forces in support of national objectives. Tenth Air Force currently commands Air Force Reserve Command units gained by five other major commands, including Air Combat Command. ACC-gained units consist of six fighter wings, three air rescue units, one bomber squadron, one combat operations squadron, and one airborne warning and control group when mobilized.

Twelfth Air Force, with headquarters at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., controls ACC’s conventional fighter and bomber forces based in the western United States and has the warfighting responsibility for U.S. Southern Command as well as the U.S. Southern Air Forces.

Other 12th Air Force units include: 388th Fighter Wing (F-16C/D), Hill AFB, Utah; 1st Air Support Operations Group, Fort Lewis, Wash.; 3rd Combat Communications Group, Tinker AFB, Okla.; and 820th RED HORSE Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev.


Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. — Headquarters 12th Air Force; 355th Wing: A/OA-10 (EC-130H, stationed at Davis-Monthan, is an Eighth Air Force asset and controlled by the 55th Wing at Offutt AFB, Neb.)

Dyess AFB, Texas — 7th Bomb Wing: B-1

Ellsworth AFB, S.D. — 28th Bomb Wing: B-1

Holloman AFB, N.M. — 49th Fighter Wing: F-117, T-38

Mountain Home AFB, Idaho — 366th Fighter Wing: F-15C/D/E, F-16D, F-16C/J, and the Air Expeditionary Force Battlelab

Direct Reporting Unit

U.S. Air Force Warfare Center, at Nellis AFB, Nev., conducts the Air Force’s advanced weapons and tactics training, manages advanced pilot training and is responsible for the operational test and evaluation of ACC’s combat weapons systems. The UAV Battlelab, and the Command and Control Training and Innovation Group located at Hurlburt Field, Fla. are assigned to the center.

Under the Air Warfare Center is the 57th Wing (A-10, F-15C/D/E, F-16C/D, HH-60G and RQ-1A/B Predator unmanned aircraft system); 99th Air Base Wing, 98th Range Wing, U.S. Air Force Air-Ground Operations School, U.S. Air Force Weapons School, U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron (the Thunderbirds) and the 414th Combat Training Squadron (Red Flag).

The 53rd Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla. is also assigned to the Air Warfare Center. The 53rd Wing’s subordinate units include the 53rd Test and Evaluation Group (A-10, F-15A/C/E, F-16C/D, F/A-22, B-1, B-2, B-52, HH-60G, RQ-1 Predator and RQ-4 Global Hawk) at Nellis, the 53rd Electronic Warfare Group at Eglin, and the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group (E-9) at Tyndall AFB, Fla. The 53rd Test Management Group at Eglin coordinates the wing’s test process, directing resources and priorities within the wing nationwide.

Point of Contact

Air Combat Command, Public Affairs Office; 130 Andrews St., Suite 202; Langley AFB, VA 23665-1987; DSN 574-5007 or 757-764-5007; e-mail: [email protected]

Courtesy US Air Force, October 2008