14th Air Support Operations Squadron [14th ASOS]
The mission of the 14th Air Support Operations Squadron is to provide air and space power expertise and integration to the 82nd Airborne Division. Through advice and assistance, the 14th ASOS provides the vehicle to dominate the surface combat environment and prevent any enemy from doing the same.
The 14th ASOS is also tasked with performing night and day parachute/helicopter assaults with division, brigade, and battalion commanders providing air operations against hostile targets in close proximity to friendly forces.
The 14th ASOS' commitment is to provide the best trained and prepared air liaison officers, tactical air command and control specialists, and support personnel in the world to support 82nd Airborne Division airborne assault and ground operations.
The 14th Air Support Operations Squadron maintains two flights, the division TACP and the brigade TACP, on continuous 2-hour alert in support of the 82nd Airborne Division's worldwide Division Ready Brigade (DRB) tasking.
In February 1943, at Morris Field, New Jersey, the 14th Air Support Communications Squadron was activated to provide air support parties to the 80th and 98th Infantry Divisions and at least one airborne regiment in the continental United States. Although this unit was deactivated in early 1944, other air support parties, a rather new concept,did parachute into Normandy with 82nd Airborne Division during the allied invasion of Europe and proceeded to define, with great success, the concept of terminal attack control by jeep-borne forward air controllers (FACs) known as "Rover Joes," pilot FACs drawn from attack squadrons.
Since that beginning, the mission of tactical air control parties has remained constant -- to provide liaison, operate and maintain communications nets to request air support, and control that air support once it arrived over the battlefield. Over the years, including three wars following WW II, organizations have changed structures and names, tactics have evolved, and technology has improved. We have moved beyond the concept of "column cover" and have established the concept of "push CAS" to provide decisive airpower to support Army ground operations.
After WW II, the U.S. Air Force continued to provide tactical air control party (TACP) support to the 82nd Airborne Division under various labels. Most recently, members of Detachment 1, 507th Tactical Air Control Wing landed on Granada with elements of the 82nd Airborne Division during Operation URGENT FURY, parachuted into Panama with the Division during Operation JUST CAUSE, and fought in Operation DESERT STORM when the Division crossed the Saudi border into Kuwait and Iraq. Then, in September 1994, fifteen 14th Air Support Operations Squadron TACPs boarded C-130 transports with 82nd Airborne Division units to support Operation RESTORE DEMOCRACY, planned as the largest combat airborne assault operation since WW II. This invasion was aborted shortly before the planned drop time when Haitian leaders capitulated -- shortly after learning that the invasion force was on the way.
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