The CRC is a mobile, scalable, ground-based, integral element of the U.S. Air Force (USAF) theater air control system (TACS), providing persistent battle space awareness (BA) and tactical battle management command and control (BMC2). It consists of tailorable, modular equipment and support, maintenance, and operations personnel. As a weapon system, the CRC employs in support of air, ground, and surface operations across the full range of military operations (ROMO) in an assigned theater battle management area (BMA). The CRC is also adept at interfacing with elements of the joint theater air ground system (TAGS).
The CRC comprises of six sub-groups of systems to include computing, sensor, power and environtmental, communications, and training simulation elements that provide the BA and BMC2 capability supporting the Joint Force Air Component Commander or Combined Force Air Component Commander (JFACC/CFACC).
The sub-groups include: (1). BMC2 Group - AN/TYQ-23A V1, (2). Communications Group - AN/TRC-213/214, AN/TSC-179, Tactical Deployable Communications (TDC) (support to deployed radar mission only), (3). Radar Sensor Group - AN/TPS-75, (4). Systems Support Group – Generators, environmental control units (ECUs), prime movers, and mobilizers and (5). Tactical Data Link (TDL) Group - AN/TSC-147. (6) CRC Simulation Package (CSP).
The CRC supports air operations by executing force management, surveillance, weapons control, identification, and information management enabling the six functions of orienting operators, pairing assets, solving problems, speeding decisions, bringing order, and providing assessments in its assigned BMA, which in turn provides information dominance, decision superiority, and operations synergy.
The CRC conducts the following: (1). BMC2 to include counter-air, counter-land, force accountability, aerial refueling, personnel recovery, and combat airspace management, (2). Surveillance and Identification, (3). Tactical Data Link Management, and (4). Integrated Air and Missile Defense. Additionally, the Area Air Defense Commander (AADC) may designate the CRC Commander as the Region/Sector Air Defense Commander (RADC/SADC). When required a US Army (USA) Air Defense Artillery Fire Control Officer (ADAFCO) will be assigned to the CRC to effect coordination with USA air defense assets when required by the tasked mission.
The USAF CRC total force includes both active & Air National Guard forces. Active force is based at three locations, two in the CONUS, and one in USAFE-AFRICOM. Active duty CRCs include maintenance, support personnel, and six combat mission ready (CMR) crews for a total of 1,300 personnel. Air National Guard force consists of 10 locations, which include nine CRCs and the 133 Test Squadron (also tasked with a Deployed Radar (DR) combat capability); for 1,700 personnel. The ANG forces are comprised of the same maintenance and support personnel, with two CMR crews per CRC.
The Air Combat Command’s CRCs, the 726th Air Control Squadron (ACS) based at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, and the 729th Air Control Squadron at Hill AFB, Utah, report to the 552nd Air Control Group and the 552nd Air Control Wing at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma. The 606th ACS, located at Aviano Air Base, Italy, reports to the 31st OG/56th Fighter Wing.
The ANG force consists of the 103 ACS, 109 ACS, 116 ACS, 117 ACS, 123 ACS, 128 ACS, 134 ACS, 141 ACS, 255 ACS, and the 133 TS and report to their respective parent wings and to the National Guard Bureau.
The 607th ACS is an Air Education and Training Command Formal Training Unit (FTU) that supports CRC training at Luke AFB, Arizona and reports to the 56th Operations Group and 56th Fighter Wing.
The AN/TYQ-23A(v1) battle management system, fielded in 2018, a phase of the CRC modernization program, is the computing “engine” that enables effective BA and BMC2. This one modernization effort alone greatly increased the BMC2 computing capacity and significantly reduced airlift requirements from 102 C-17’s to 25 C-17’s.
CRC modernization also includes replacing its legacy AN/TPS-75 with a state of the art long-range surveillance radar. The CRC also has the capability to ingest radar data from non-organic radar sources. Additionally, the CRC is progressing ahead with planning and acquiring the capability to ingest ground moving target indicator (GMTI) sensor data from other off-board sensor platforms.
The CRC has demonstrated its role as the premier ground based BMC2 system in the world in Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, NORTHERN WATCH, DESERT STORM, DESERT SHIELD, NEW DAWN, ALLIED FORCE, IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, SUPPORT JUSTICE, INHERENET RESOLVE, FREEDOM’S SENTINEL, RESOLUTE SUPPORT, and numerous NOBLE EAGLE missions.
Primary Function: Battle Space Awareness (BA) and Battle Management, Command and Control (BMC2)
Unit Cost: $25 million per active CRC.
Manning: Crew consists of varying numbers of personnel dependent upon the mission tasked. A full unit CRC is made up of approximately 390 personnel and the ANG with 140 personnel.
Initial operating capability: 1950's; AN/TPS-75 and OMs entered service in 1991
Inventory: Approximately 14
Standard CRC equipment per unit:
AN/TYQ-23A with Tactical Operations Center (TOC): 1
AN/TPS-75 Radar: ACT 2, ANG 1
AN/TSC-147 (JTIDS Module): ACT 3, ANG 2
TSC-179 GMT Satellite Terminal: ACT 2, ANG 1
TRC-214: ACT 2, ANG 1
Support Equipment: Multiple Generators, 5-ton trucks, Environmental Control Units (ECU), Mobilizers, UHF/VHF/HF/SATCOM radios. Shelters (Tactical Operations Center (TOC), Mission Planning Center (MPC), Unit Command Center (UCC), and personnel and maintenance usage.)