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TACTICAL AIR CONTROL PARTIES

Posted 6/9/2010 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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Korean War
A Tactical Air Control Party consisted of an experienced Mosquito pilot, a radio operator, a radio mechanic, and one or two radio jeeps. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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An Air Force TACP (Tactical Air Control Party) consisted of an experienced Mosquito pilot, a radio operator, a radio mechanic and one or two radio jeeps. TACP personnel lived as soldiers during their tour at the front and carried weapons to defend themselves against attack -- they were unofficially nicknamed the "Air Force infantry."

The original mission of the TACP was to directly control air strikes at the front line. The visual limits of these ground-based observers in Korea's mountains, however, led to the creation of the highly successful Mosquito airborne forward air controllers (FACs). Though the airborne FACs directed most of the air strikes, the TACPs continued to play an important role.

The TACPs became communication links between ground commanders, airborne Mosquito FACs, and strike aircraft (the TACP jeeps were the only ground units at the front that could communicate between incompatible radio systems). They also coordinated artillery fire with air strikes. Further, having an experienced Mosquito pilot so close at hand enabled ground commanders to effectively use air power.

This jeep was restored, fitted with radio equipment and donated to the museum by the Mosquito Association in 2001.

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