Tactical Air Command in the 1970s By In the 1970s, Tactical Air Command (TAC) continued its modernization program with the addition of the F-15, F-16 and A-10. It was assigned operational control of all the USAF drones and remotely-piloted vehicles in 1976, and a year later received its first E-3A Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft. By the end of the decade, TAC had grown to 98,000 people and some 2,000 aircraft at 24 bases. Numerous Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units were assigned to it to be immediately available should the need arise. TAC also assumed responsibility for air defense of the U.S. against enemy manned aircraft when the Air Defense Command was dissolved late in 1979. Click here to return to the Tactical Air Command Overview.