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116th ACS marks 50 years in ORANG

116th ACS marks 50 years in ORANG

Seen here is the 1950’s vintage AN/MPS-11 radar atop a radar tower at Portland Air Base in the early 1970s. The radar was mobile and could be taken from the tower and deployed to the field by the 116th Tactical Control Squadron which operated it. (Courtesy CMSgt Michael Brown)

116th ACS marks 50 years in ORANG

This photo shows the 116th Tactical Control Squadron’s operations room with the radar scopes displaying air contact information. (Courtesy CMSgt Michael Brown)

PORTLAND, Ore. --

Congratulations to the men and women of the 116th Air Control Squadron on the 50th anniversary of their squadron’s assignment to the Oregon Air National Guard!

On May 27, 1971, the 116th Tactical Control Squadron joined the Oregon Air National Guard.  Initially based at Portland Air Base, the squadron served as the Control and Reporting Center (CRC) component of the 153rd Tactical Control Group (TCG), a ground-based unit and its components which formed a Tactical Air Control Center (TACC).  These units were part of the Air Forces Ground Tactical Air Control System (GTACS), an essential command and control capability for the conduct of air operations in a given deployed theater of air operations. 

Other primary elements in the 153rd TCG included Oregon’s 104th Tactical Control Squadron (TCS, a Control and Reporting Post, CRP) and Washington’s 105th TCS (CRP) which each had their own same-numbered Tactical Control Flights (Forward Air Control Post, FACP).  The 116th combined the radar data which formed the operational picture from all elements of the group to support and enable TACC battle management functions. 

Of all these elements, the 153rd TCG inactivated in 1976 and of the remaining subordinate units, only the 116th survives today. It’s now designated as the 116th Air Control Squadron (ACS) and based at Camp Rilea in Warrenton, Oregon since 1987.  As the 116th ACS, the squadron forms the mobile ground-based senior radar element of a theater air control system and provides command and control for joint air operations via surveillance, identification, weapons control and battle management.

(142nd Wing History Office, special thanks to CMSgt Michael Brown)