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Tactical Air Operations Center (TAOC)

The tactical air operations center (TAOC) is the Marine air command and control system's (MACCS's) principal airspace control and management agency. The Marine air control group's (MACG's) Marine air control squadron (MACS) provides personnel and equipment. Through radar inputs from its organic sensors and data link information from other military radar units (MRUs), the TAOC provides real-time surveillance of assigned airspace in addition to air direction, positive aircraft control, and navigational assistance to friendly aircraft.

The TAOC provides air surveillance and control of aircraft and surface-to-air weapons (SAWs) for antiair warfare (AAW) in support of the Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF). Its primary function-to conduct and coordinate AAW-is accomplished through the direction, coordination, and employment of various air defense weapons systems that include interceptor aircraft and ground-based air defense (GBAD) weapons.

The TAOC consists of operator shelters, air surveillance radars, communications equipment, and a mobile electric power (MEP) generator. This equipment allows air defense control officers, tactical air defense controllers, and air control electronics operators to maintain air situational awareness and to effectively control, coordinate, and manage air defense employment within the TAOC's assigned sector.

The hub of the TAOC is the AN/TYQ-23(V)4 tactical air operations module (TAOM). Each TAOC has four TAOMs. A subset of the TAOC is the EW/C site. It will have one or two TAOMs. The TAOM is a mobile, modular, automated command and control (C2) shelter designed to conduct AAW control, tactical ATC, and surveillance and ID functions for the MAGTF. The TAOC's modular concept allows TAOMs to operate in stand-alone configuration or to be combined with other TAOMs to increase system capability and redundancy.

Various modifications have been made to TAOC equipment to upgrade its theater missile defense (TMD) capabilities. Concentrating on the theater missile (TM) threats most likely to influence a MAGTF; i.e., shorter-range theater ballistic missiles (TBMs) and cruise missiles (CMs), TAOC modifications are primarily focused on the TAOM and the AN/TPS-59(V)3.

The TAOM has been modified to receive, process, distribute, and/or forward TBM target data to AAW and GBAD units that can engage and destroy the target and other C2 agencies via digital data communications. TAOM(V)4 processes Link-16 information, operates in Link-16 voice, and has a laser printer, a fiber-channel switch, local area network ports, and firmware reconfigurable modems in the digital communication unit. OCUs have been upgraded to 26-inch monitors, keyboard, and trackball.

The AN/MSQ-124 air defense communications platform (ADCP) provides a single shelter to receive and transmit tactical data within the MACCS. The ADCP has a Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS) terminal and interfaces with a Link-16 network. The Link-16-equipped ADCP receives tactical data and transmits it to short-range air defense units via the ground-based data link (GBDL). The ADCP also provides immediate translation of TBM data from the AN/TPS-59(V)3 radar via a PPDL.

The TAOC's organic radars provide the air picture to efficiently control and manage air defense within its assigned sector. The TAOM can accept data from four radars and process data from as many as three radars at a time. However, each TAOC has a mix of two AN/TPS-59(V)3 and AN/TPS-63B radars.

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