|26th Air Division|
Emblem of the 26th Air Division
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Role||Command and Control|
|Part of||Tactical Air Command (ADTAC)|
The 26th Air Division (26th AD) is an inactive United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with Tactical Air Command, (ADTAC) assigned to First Air Force, being stationed at March Air Force Base, California. It was inactivated on 30 September 1990.
Was established in October 1948 by Air Defense Command (ADC) as intermediate level of command. Initially responsible for atmospheric air defense of middle Atlantic region from North Carolina to greater New York City area east of the Appalachian mountains. Commanded Manual Direction Center (MDC) at Roslyn AFS, New York (P-3) 1948-1958 directing interceptor units to aircraft identified by Aircraft Control and Warning Squadrons at radar stations in AOR. It employed off shore naval picket ships, fixed "Texas Tower" radar sites, airborne early warning units, and a civilian Ground Observer Corps program. The latter phased down when the SAGE program was implemented. Improved radar and communications equipment and fighter interceptors, and better techniques and methods, eventually led to the 26th Air Division becoming the first operational Semi Automatic Ground Environment SAGE Direction Center (DC-1) within Air Defense Command at McGuire AFB, New Jersey. Moved to Syracuse AFS New York and commanded SAGE DC-3 Direction Center and first SAGE Command Center (CC-01) beginning in 1958 and assumed operational control of the MDC at Topsham AFS, Maine in August 1958 and the SAGE DC-4 at Fort Lee AFS, Virginia in September 1958. . In 1961 the division assumed air defense training responsibility for Air National Guard (ANG) units within the area. During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the division deployed fighter aircraft and part of its airborne early warning and control force to Florida.
The 26th's area of control expanded until by 1963 its boundaries extended from the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico and well toward the center of the United States. Expanded responsibilities in 1963 assuming command of SAGE DC-9 at Gunter AFB, Alabama in July and DC-6 at Custer AFS, Michigan in September and GCI stations in Newfoundland and Labrador formerly under the 64th Air Division.
In April 1966, the division was replaced by the First Air Force, and moved without personnel or equipment to Adair AFS, Oregon, where it assumed responsibility for the defense of Oregon, part of California and Nevada by the inactivation of the Portland and Reno Air Defense Sectors. Assumed additional designation of 26th NORAD Region after activation of the NORAD Combat Operations Center at Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado and reporting was transferred to NORAD from ADC at Ent AFB in April 1966.
The division was gradually phasing down until it replaced the 27th Air Division at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona in November 1969, when in an ADCOM reorganization of atmospheric defense forces, the command became responsible for the air defense of a large area of the southwest. In October 1979, it transferred to Tactical Air Command (ADTAC) and continued to supervise atmospheric defense forces of its assigned AOR.
Began phase-down of operations with activation of new Southwest Air Defense Sector (SWADS) in July 1987. Engaged chiefly in transfer of mission to SWADS 1987-1990. Inactivated on 1 October 1990.
- Established as 26th Air Defense Division on 21 October 1948
- Activated on 16 November 1948
- Re-designated: 26th Air Division (Defense) on 20 June 1949
- Inactivated on 1 February 1952
- Organized on 1 February 1952
- Re-designated: 26th Air Division (SAGE) on 8 August 1958
- Re-designated: 26th Air Division on 1 April 1966
- Organized on 1 April 1966, absorbing assets of Portland Air Defense Sector and Reno Air Defense Sector
- Assumed additional designations 26th NORAD/CONRAD Region, 1 April 1966
- Inactivated on 30 September 1969
- Reactivated on 18 November 1969
- Organized on 19 November 1969, absorbing assets of 27th Air Division
- Assumed additional designation 26th ADCOM Region, 8 December 1978
- Inactivated on 30 September 1990, assets transferred to Southwest Air Defense Sector.
- Mitchel AFB, New York, 16 November 1948
- Mitchel AFB Sub Base #3, Roslyn Air Warning Station, New York, 18 April 1949
- Re-designated: Roslyn Air Force Station, New York, 1 February 1952
- Syracuse AFS, New York, 15 August 1958
- Redesignated Hancock Field, New York, 14 February 1959
- Stewart AFB, New York, 15 June 1964
- Adair AFS, Oregon, 1 April 1966 – 30 September 1969
- Luke AFB, Arizona 19 November 1969
- March AFB, California, 31 August 1983 – 1 July 1987.
- Keflavik Airport, Iceland, 1 July-4 September 1963
- Travis AFB, California, 1 April-25 June 1966
- Hamilton AFB, California, 1 October 1970 – 1 September 1973
- Castle Air Force Base, California, 1 September 1973 – 1 July 1987
- Castle AFB, California, 1 April 1966 – 18 July 1968
Radar evaluation squadron
- 4713th Radar Evaluation Squadron (ECM)
- Griffiss AFB, New York, 1 July-20 October 1959
- List of United States Air Force air divisions
- List of USAF Aerospace Defense Command General Surveillance Radar Stations
- Aerospace Defense Command Fighter Squadrons
- Cornett, Lloyd H; Johnson, Mildred W (1980). A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization, 1946–1980. Peterson AFB, CO: Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center. http://www.usafpatches.com/pubs/handbookofadcorg.pdf.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed (1983) . Air Force Combat Units of World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 978-0-912799-02-5. http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/Publications/fulltext/af_combat_units_wwii.pdf.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed (1982) . Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/Publications/fulltext/combat_sq_of_the_af_wwii.pdf.
- Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9. http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/Publications/fulltext/combat_wings.pdf.
- Winkler, David F.; Webster, Julie L (1997). Searching the skies: The legacy of the United States Cold War Defense Radar Program. Champaign, IL: US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories. LCCN 9720912. http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bn/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA331231. * Aerospace Defense Command publication, The Interceptor, January 1979 (Volume 21, Number 1)
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