ⓘ United States Strike Command. In 1961 the United States Strike Command was established at MacDill Air Force Base as a unified combatant command capable of respo ..

United States Strike Command

ⓘ United States Strike Command

In 1961 the United States Strike Command was established at MacDill Air Force Base as a unified combatant command capable of responding to global crises. The name of the command was originally derived from the acronym for Swift Tactical Reaction In Every Known Environment. It integrated the CONUS-based forces of the Armys Continental Army Command) and the Air Forces Composite Air Strike Force and Tactical Air Command.


1. Mission and deployments

In March 1961 Secretary of Defense McNamara ordered the JCS to develop a plan for integrating the Strategic Army Corps STRAC and Tactical Air Command into a unified command. The JCS Chairman, the CSA, and the CSAF endorsed this idea, provided that the new command eventually included Navy and Marine Corps units. But the CNO objected that the inherent flexibility of naval forces would be sacrificed if assigned to a command tailored to STRAC and TAC. He suggested instead that troop carrier and ground-support aircraft be made organic to the Army or that a joint task force be organized that would train air-ground teams for augmentation of existing commands. Similarly, the CMC argued that development of a" doctrine” for joint Army-Air Force operations would suffice.

Secretary McNamara ruled in favor of the proposed new command. United States Strike Command USSTRICOM was activated on 1 January 1962 under an Army general. USSTRICOM assumed operational control over the combat-ready forces of TAC and CONARC. In 1965 the United States Atlantic Fleet became STRICOMs naval component command. A year later General Theodore J. Conway took command, a position he held until 1969. Initially, STRICOMs assigned missions were to: a provide a reserve of general purpose forces for reinforcing the other unified commands, b train the general reserve, c develop joint doctrine and, d plan for and execute contingency operations. Subsequently, STRICOMs missions were expanded to include planning for, and execution of, operations in the Middle East, sub-Sahara Africa, and Southern Asia MEAFSA.

STRICOM took place in the worldwide readiness test of which Operation Giant Lance formed a part in 1969, sortieing U. S. Navy Middle East Force ships into the Gulf of Aden.

STRICOM was redesignated United States Readiness Command REDCOM in 1972. Essentially, the change was nothing more than a redesignation, except that the command was divested of its MEAFSA responsibilities. The redesignated commands missions included integrating, training, and providing CONUS-based general purpose forces, as well as planning and providing joint task force headquarters and forces for operations in areas not assigned to other unified commands. In 1979, the national command authorities ordered the CINC of REDCOM CINCRED to establish the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force RDJTF headquarters as a separate subordinate command within REDCOM. That same year, General Volney F. Warner took command of REDCOM, and held command until 1981. The Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force became an independent unified command in 1983 as United States Central Command USCENTCOM.

Readiness Command was replaced by United States Special Operations Command USSOCOM in 1987, with the last CINCRED, General James J. Lindsay, becoming the first CINCSOC.

Detachment 1, 1150th USAF Special Activities Squadron, also known as "Communications Support Element" or CSE, was subordinate to USSTRICOM and operated from MacDill AFB. CSE was about a 50–50 mix of Air Force and Army personnel. CSE consisted of two units – Field Unit "A" FUA and Field Unit "B" FUB – and was mainly a mobile tactical communications outfit.

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