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26th Air Division
USAF 26th Air Division Crest.jpg
Emblem of the 26th Air Division
Active 1948–1990
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Role Command and Control
Part of Tactical Air Command (ADTAC)
26th Air Division ADC AOR 1948-1959
26th Air Division ADC AOR 1966-1979
26th Air Division/Southwest Air Defense Sector AOR, 1979-1990

The 26th Air Division (26th AD) is an inactive United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with Tactical Air Command, (ADTAC) assigned to First Air Force, being stationed at March Air Force Base, California. It was inactivated on 30 September 1990.


Was established in October 1948 by Air Defense Command (ADC) as intermediate level of command. Initially responsible for atmospheric air defense of middle Atlantic region from North Carolina to greater New York City area east of the Appalachian mountains. Commanded Manual Direction Center (MDC) at Roslyn AFS, New York (P-3) 1948-1958 directing interceptor units to aircraft identified by Aircraft Control and Warning Squadrons at radar stations in AOR. It employed off shore naval picket ships, fixed "Texas Tower" radar sites, airborne early warning units, and a civilian Ground Observer Corps program. The latter phased down when the SAGE program was implemented.

Improved radar and communications equipment and fighter interceptors, and better techniques and methods, eventually led to the 26th Air Division becoming the first operational Semi Automatic Ground Environment SAGE Direction Center (DC-1) within Air Defense Command at McGuire AFB, New Jersey. Moved to Syracuse AFS New York and commanded SAGE DC-3 Direction Center and first SAGE Command Center (CC-01) beginning in 1958 and assumed operational control of the MDC at Topsham AFS, Maine in August 1958 and the SAGE DC-4 at Fort Lee AFS, Virginia in September 1958. .

In 1961 the division assumed air defense training responsibility for Air National Guard (ANG) units within the area. During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the division deployed fighter aircraft and part of its airborne early warning and control force to Florida.

The 26th's area of control expanded until by 1963 its boundaries extended from the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico and well toward the center of the United States. Expanded responsibilities in 1963 assuming command of SAGE DC-9 at Gunter AFB, Alabama in July and DC-6 at Custer AFS, Michigan in September and GCI stations in Newfoundland and Labrador formerly under the 64th Air Division.

In April 1966, the division was replaced by the First Air Force, and moved without personnel or equipment to Adair AFS, Oregon, where it assumed responsibility for the defense of Oregon, part of California and Nevada by the inactivation of the Portland and Reno Air Defense Sectors. Assumed additional designation of 26th NORAD Region after activation of the NORAD Combat Operations Center at Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado and reporting was transferred to NORAD from ADC at Ent AFB in April 1966.

The division was gradually phasing down until it replaced the 27th Air Division at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona in November 1969, when in an ADCOM reorganization of atmospheric defense forces, the command became responsible for the air defense of a large area of the southwest. In October 1979, it transferred to Tactical Air Command (ADTAC) and continued to supervise atmospheric defense forces of its assigned AOR.

Began phase-down of operations with activation of new Southwest Air Defense Sector (SWADS) in July 1987. Engaged chiefly in transfer of mission to SWADS 1987-1990. Inactivated on 1 October 1990.


  • Established as 26th Air Defense Division on 21 October 1948
Activated on 16 November 1948
Re-designated: 26th Air Division (Defense) on 20 June 1949
Inactivated on 1 February 1952
  • Organized on 1 February 1952
Re-designated: 26th Air Division (SAGE) on 8 August 1958
Re-designated: 26th Air Division on 1 April 1966
Organized on 1 April 1966, absorbing assets of Portland Air Defense Sector and Reno Air Defense Sector
Assumed additional designations 26th NORAD/CONRAD Region, 1 April 1966
Inactivated on 30 September 1969
  • Reactivated on 18 November 1969
Organized on 19 November 1969, absorbing assets of 27th Air Division
Assumed additional designation 26th ADCOM Region, 8 December 1978
Inactivated on 30 September 1990, assets transferred to Southwest Air Defense Sector.



Re-designated: Roslyn Air Force Station, New York, 1 February 1952
Redesignated Hancock Field, New York, 14 February 1959


Air Force[edit]

Keflavik Airport, Iceland, 1 July-4 September 1963




Interceptor squadrons[edit]

Travis AFB, California, 1 April-25 June 1966
Hamilton AFB, California, 1 October 1970 – 1 September 1973
Castle Air Force Base, California, 1 September 1973 – 1 July 1987
Castle AFB, California, 1 April 1966 – 18 July 1968

Radar squadrons[edit]

Radar evaluation squadron[edit]

Griffiss AFB, New York, 1 July-20 October 1959

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/26th_Air_Division — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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