Published August 16, 2018
The Fourteenth Air Force (14 AF) was temporarily redesignated as the Space Operations Command Dec 20, 2019 when it's parent command, Air Force Space Command, was redesignated as the U.S. Space Force. In order to create more lean, agile force, the USSF's reorganized hierarchy did away with two echelons of command, one of which was the numbered Air Force. The organization currently known as SpOC will become "SpOC West" upon establishment of the larger USSF Field Command that will be know as the SpOC.
14 AF traces its roots to the late 1930s when Maj. Gen. Claire L. Chennault organized a group of American civilian volunteer pilots to fight the Imperial Japanese in the China-Burma-India theater. Throughout World War II, the Flying Tigers, known for the distinctive tiger shark paintings on their P-40’s, compiled a stellar war record against numerically superior forces. Following several post-war reorganizations that included a variety of reserve and airlift roles, 14th Air Force became the 14th Aerospace Force (AEROF) in 1968, the first command dedicated to space surveillance and tracking. In 1993, 14th Air Force was restructured in its space role, becoming a numbered Air Force within Air Force Space Command.
14 AF was headquartered at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. It was responsible for the organization, training, equipping, command and control (C2), and employment of Air Force space forces to support operational plans and missions for U.S. combatant commanders and air component commanders. 14 AF was the sole numbered air force for space, serving as an operational space force provider for the Combined Force Space Component Command (CFSCC) and U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM).
Immediately prior to its deactivation, 14 AF was comprised of almost 16,000 personnel with 28 weapon systems at 44 locations worldwide. It oversaw operations at five wings and the 614th Air Operations Center (AOC). 14 AF was responsible for providing strategic missile warning, nuclear command, control and communication, position, navigation and timing, Space Domain Awareness, satellite operations, space launch and range operations.