Commander Fleet Air Mediterranean (COMFAIRMED)
Commander Task Force 67 (CTF-67) (COMARSURVRECFORSIXFLT)
Commander Maritime Air Force South (COMMARAIRSOUTH)
Commander Combined Task Force 431
Commander Fleet Air Mediterranean (COMFAIRMED) was established in September 1952 to exercise command and control over naval operations and installations in the Mediterranean. ComFAirMed is one of four commands held by a rear admiral, with a combined staff on Naval Support Activity Naples. The admiral supervises 17 subordinate commands with facilities from Turkey to England. COMFAIRMED is a subordinate commander to Commander in Chief, US Naval Forces Europe and provides logistic support to US naval aviation units and control of naval shore installations and medical facilities in the Mediterranean.
Air Services Coordinator Mediterranean [ASCOMED] is an integral division of Commander, Fleet Air, Mediterranean located in Naples, Italy. ASCOMED performs scheduling and coordination for air services to support the SIXTH Fleet and Navy Mediterranean shore activities. As the COMFAIRMED Operations Department, ASCOMED is responsible for scheduling logistic flights throughout the Mediterranean theater. ASCOMED primarily provides support for the movement of DOD personnel, mail, parts and supplies, VIPs etc. Along with providing this support, ASCOMED must coordinate with foreign governments permission to use their air space and meet all requirements for the transportation of hazardous materials. ASCOMED satisfies on the average of 2500 flight requests per quarter.
Commander Maritime Surveillance Reconnaissance Forces, U.S. Sixth Fleet [COMARSURVRECFORSIXFLT] / Commander Task Force 67 (CTF-67) is a subordinate commander to Commander, U.S. SIXTH Fleet and maintains operational control over deployed maritime patrol squadrons, a permanently-based reconnaissance squadron and antisubmarine warfare operations centers in the Mediterranean. CTF 67 is responsible for maritime air and surveillance forces. The P-3 Orion patrol aircraft provide the Fleet with essential information on the Mediterranean area.
During Operation Allied Force aircraft from Task Force 67, deployed to Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, took on combat and combat support missions that would have been impossible for P-3's of the past. NATO's Allied Force marked the combat debut of the P-3C Antisurface Warfare Improvement Program (AIP), an upgrade that includes Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), which provides all-weather, day or night surveillance capability; Standoff Land Attack Missile (SLAM) capability; and a suite of sensor, communications and self-defense equipment. The Mediterranean maritime patrol force for these operations included ten P-3Cs, five of the AIP variant, and 14 crews from Patrol Squadrons 1, 4, 5 and 10 from Naval Air Stations Whidbey Island, Barbers Point, Jacksonville and Brunswick, respectively.
On 22 March 1999, two days before the start of hostilities, P-3C AIP aircraft began flying around-the-clock armed force protection surveillance flights in the Adriatic Sea in direct support of afloat Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) shooting ships. For the next 94 days, Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) provided 100 percent of the Surface Combat Air Patrols (SUCAP) for the USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Battle Group and other allied ships operating in the area. This marked the first time surface combat air patrols during actual combat operations have been performed exclusively by non-carrier organic aircraft.
CTF-67 AIP-equipped P-3's were able to directly observe commercial contraband ships as well as Yugoslav boats and ships moored at coastal sites and underway. The images were downlinked to the USS Theodore Roosevelt battle group commander, giving the battle group an unprecedented real-time and near real-time view of the tactical situation. In all, CTF-67 aircraft detected and reported over 3,500 surface contacts. In another first, AIP-equipped P-3's fired a total of 14 Standoff Land Attack Missiles (SLAMs) at Serb targets. Because of the P-3's ability to stay on-station for hours at a time, battle group commanders had the flexibility to hit mobile targets on short notice. This in-flight planning/re-targeting ability for SLAM strikes validated the importance of the P-3's strike role.
Commander Maritime Air Force South (COMMARAIRSOUTH), formerly designated Commander Maritime Air Force Mediterranean (COMARAIRMED) is a NATO subordinate commander to Commander, allied Naval Forces Southern Europe. COMMARAIRSOUTH provides peacetime coordination of allied Maritme Patrol Aircraft (MPA) operating in the Mediterranean, and command and control of MPA forces assigned to Commander, Allied Naval Forces, Southern Europe (COMNAVSOUTH) for participation in NATO exercises and in times of tension or war. Commander Maritime Air Allied Naval Forces South (COMMARAIRSOUTH) provides daily and special coordination of Allied Maritme Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and helicopters operating under national command and control throughout the Mediterranean and Black Seas; preparation of NATO exercises, review of NATO airplans and tactical doctrine; MPA advisor to Commander Allied Naval Forces Southern Europe (COMNAVSOUTH).
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