|505th Command and Control Wing
|Active||1947–1952; 1965–1973; 1980–present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||United States Air Force Warfare Center|
|Garrison/HQ||Hurlburt Field, Florida|
|Motto(s)||Search and Direct|
|Decorations||Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device|
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award
Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm
|Colonel Frederick Coleman III |
|505th Command and Control Wing emblem (Approved 26 September 1966)|
|Patch with early 505th Tactical Control Group emblem|
The United States Air Force's 505th Command and Control Wing is organized under the United States Air Force Warfare Center. The wing is dedicated to improving readiness through integrated training, tactics development and operational testing for command and control of air, space and cyberspace. It hosts the Air Force's only Air Operations Center Formal Training Unit at Hurlburt Field, Florida.
The unit was first activated in 1947 under Air Defense Command (ADC) as the 505th Aircraft Control and Warning Group. It controlled radar units in the northwest until inactivating in February 1942[dubious ] during a general reorganization of ADC.
It was activated again during the Vietnam War in November 1965. It initially commanded both aircraft warning units and forward air control squadrons, but in December 1966, those units were transferred to the 505th Tactical Air Control Group. It continued to manage the airspace over South Vietnam until the American withdrawal in 1973.
- 805th Combat Training Squadron, also known as the Shadow Operations Center- Nellis (ShOC-N) at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada
- 705th Combat Training Squadron, also known as the Distributed Mission Operations Center (DMOC), home of VIRTUAL FLAG and Coalition VIRTUAL FLAG exercises at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico
- 505th Combat Training Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida
- 505th Communications Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida
- 505th Training Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida
- 84th Radar Evaluation Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah
- 705th Training Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Florida
- 605th Test and Evaluation Squadron (TES) at Hurlburt Field, Florida
— 605th TES, Detachment 1 at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma
— 605th TES, Detachment 2 at Robins AFB, Georgia
— 605th TES, Detachment 3 at Beale AFB, California
On 21 May 1947, the wing was activated by Air Defense Command (ADC) as the 505th Aircraft Control and Warning Group. Stationed at McChord Field, becoming the first post-World War II aircraft control and warning unit in ADC. For the remainder of 1947 the group supported two radar stations, one at Arlington, Washington, and one at Half Moon Bay near San Francisco. These stations worked with fighter squadrons to improve ground-control and interception techniques. The group included a fleet of B-25 Mitchells used extensively to perform radar calibration flights. The experience gained from operating the two sites proved invaluable to air defense planners who were in the process of designing a nationwide early warning radar network.
As tensions increased between the US and the USSR, the importance of the 505th mission grew. In September 1949, the group no longer operated B-25s, yet they remained focused on early warning systems, supporting detachments along the Pacific Northwest coast. The group provided early warning operating radar systems including the AN/TPS-1. On 15 March 1950, the reserve 564th ACWG was activated as a Corollary unit at Silver Lake, sharing the 505th's equipment and facilities. The 564th was called to active duty on 10 May 1951 and was inactivated, with its personnel used as fillers for the 505th. With a growing movement to assign homeland defense to reserve units, the 505 ACWG inactivated on 6 February 1952.
On 2 November 1965, the 505 ACWG was re-activated as the 505th Tactical Control Group (TCG). Replacing the 6250th Tactical Air Support Group that activated three months earlier, 505 TCG called Tan Son Nhut Air Base in South Vietnam home. The 505th was responsible with providing Command and Control (C2), for the Tactical Control System in Southeast Asia (SEA). This mission included the operation of numerous radar sites throughout South Vietnam and Thailand from 1965 to 1973. In addition to the radar sites, the group managed O-1 Bird Dog observation aircraft assigned to five squadrons from late 1965 through 1966. These O-1 units included the 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23d Tactical Air Support Squadrons, operating from various bases throughout SEA. Forward Air Controllers (FACs) flew the "Bird Dogs" to find and mark enemy activity, direct air strikes and perform battle damage assessment.
Maintenance support was provided by the 505th Tactical Control Maintenance Squadron first based at Tan Son Nhut and later at Bien Hoa AB. Initially assigned to the 2d Air Division in Vietnam, the 505th was reassigned to the Seventh Air Force on 1 April 1966. Soon afterward, the 505th received approval for its emblem and official motto – "Search and Direct". The group eventually lost its flying squadrons but the radar mission grew. The group was the only unit to furnish all of SEA an electronics ground environment system for aircraft control and warning and radar services. After eight years of service in Vietnam the group earned thirteen campaign streamers and five Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards with Combat "V" devices. With the American withdrawal in 1973 came the unit's inactivation.
The 505th's lineage continued with the activation of the 4442d Tactical Control Group on 1 March 1980. Functioning as the 4442d, the unit aligned under the USAF Tactical Air Warfare Center. The group established a headquarters at Hurlburt Field, Florida where it managed a command, control, communications (C3) and intelligence complex. Along with the C3 operations, the unit conducted operational tests and evaluated tactical air control elements. It also provided training on tactical air control and operated the USAF Air Ground Operations School until 1997. The 505th has remained at Hurlburt since 1980 but received several name changes to match the evolution of its mission.
With the elimination of MAJCOMs in 1991, the unit re-designated as the 505th Air Control Group. In April 1993, when the 505th began operating the new USAF Battlestaff Training School, the Air Force renamed the unit 505th Command and Control Evaluation Group. At the same time, the mission expanded to include a new detachment at Kirkland AFB, New Mexico. By 1998, with the ever-increasing importance of the Air Operations Center as a weapons system and the units expanding mission to train personnel in its use, the Air Force again changed the 505th's name, this time to the Air Force Command and Control Training and Innovation Center (AFC2TIC). The center continued to test new command and control systems and train personnel on their use in combat. Realizing that the center incorporated more than just a building with several detachments located around the US, the Air Force gave it group status on 15 April 1999.
The group became a wing on 12 March 2004. Now the 505th Command and Control Wing, it controls two groups: the 505th Test and Training Group at Hurlburt Field and the 505th Combat Training Group at Nellis Air Force Base.
10. Henley, Debora, “505 CCW supports largest U.S. Army Warfighter Exercise on record” https://www.505ccw.acc.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2445686/505th-ccw-supports-largest-us-army-warfighter-exercise-on-record/