Metz, France
Combat Operations Centre (COC)
6 Tactical Aircraft Control Centre (TACC)

S2-2-1 (AOC)

Metz, Moselle, France
19 Jun 57

The Chief of the Air Staff,
Air Force Headquarters,
Ottawa, Ontario.

Organization Ė 1 Air Division

Operational Control

From its inception Air Division has been faced with the problem of establishing an adequate and efficient organization which would, within the frame work of 4th ATAF, cover the many facets of operational planning and control from the HQ level down through to the squadrons. Development over the years has been governed by many factors but in the main changes have catered to changes in operational concepts, and improvements to facilities.

Recognizing that our present organization is far from satisfactory, and that corrective measures must be taken immediately, this HQ has completed a study with a view to determining the best solution to our problem. The following paragraphs summarize past and present methods that have been adopted and developed, the inadequacies of same and our proposals for a more efficient method of operation.

Prior to the formation of 61 AC&W Squadron in August 1955, Air Division HQ developed an operational section which was in effect a partial Command Operational Centre (COC) and a Tactical Air Control Centre (TACC). In its former capacity this section, acting on directives from higher headquarters, and information from the operational wings, planned for and directed the overall Air Division effort. In the latter case delayed filtered radar information, supplied from both 12 Air Force and 1er CATC, was plotted and monitored by operational personnel who used the information to complete the overall picture. Squadron control was exercised through the Wing Operational section, but aircraft scrambles were through the appropriate AOCís.

With the formation of 61 Squadron in August 1955, radar information was no longer fed into the Air Div HQ section. Some of the recognized TACC functions were imposed upon 61 AC&W Squadron but by reason of physical accommodation, establishment and functional limitations little or no authority other than scramble control, interception, "Zulu" etc. could be allotted to it. The operations section in HQ still attempted to carry on in the dual role of COC and TACC but as could be expected unsatisfactory situations developed at all levels.

In short, the present operational command and control channels are, incomplete, confusing and most inefficient. If we are to retain the integrity of our forces and realize the full fighting efficiency of our units, we must exploit the full control capability of the Type 80 radar and its associated equipment. Furthermore, the AOC must be provided with an operational centre in which he can conduct day-to-day and long range planning and provide the necessary control and operational authority in consonance with the overall 4th ATAF structure of operational control.

To do this we require an organization, in peacetime, which will utilize as far as possible existing facilities and provide the following:

    1. A facility, at command level, to enable the planning for, and allocation of Air Division forces to meet commitments as directed by 4th ATAF.
    2. The capability of implementing the AOCís orders, plus commitment and direction of allocated forces.
    3. The necessary control and direction of airborne forces and direction of 61 AC&W Squadron to ensure maximum combat effectiveness.

It is proposed, therefore, to form within the Air Division a Combat Operations Centre (COC) and a Tactical Aircraft Control Centre (TACC). This type of organization will meet our present and foreseeable requirements and follows the recognized pattern in effect in Canada and other nations.

Combat Operations Centre

The COC is to be responsible to the AOC for the provision of operational direction to the TACC.

The function of the COC is:

    1. To screen operational commitments assigned to 1 Air Division by 4th ATAF and to allocate priorities.
    2. To interpret these commitments into missions and allocate them to the TACC. The size of the effort allotted to specific missions will be assigned at the discretion of the AOC as the situation demands.
    3. To receive and maintain by means of display boards the status of the combat capability of the Air Division in terms of aircraft, personnel, logistics state, airfield and facility serviceability, etc.
    4. To maintain the maximum possible efficiency and combat capability of the fighting forces of the Air Division by means of the judicious employment of forces and the distribution and possible re-allocation of personnel, spares, equipment, POL and Ammo in accordance with the requirements of the moment.
    5. To advise HQ 4th ATAF of the current operational status of 1 Air Div forces and to provide a forecast of the combat potential as required.
    6. To provide technical advice to all Air Div units through the medium of the Technical and Logistic Team situated within the HQ.
    7. In peacetime the staff function is to prepare, co-ordinate and revise exercise operations orders.

Tactical Aircraft Control Centre

The TACC is to be directly responsible to the AOC through the COC for the operational direction of assigned squadrons and 61 AC&W Squadron.

The function of the TACC is:

    1. To implement the orders of the AOC in the fulfillment of the assigned role of 1 Air Division.
    2. To provide direct supervision of the control facilities of 61 AC&W Squadron and assigned aircraft.
    3. To provide direction and planning for the most efficient utilization of the control facilities and assigned aircraft.
    4. To co-ordinate and implement exercises in time of peace.
    5. To maintain direct control of RCAF aircraft assigned to air defence and strike missions and direct 61 AC&W Squadron for the most efficient utilization of those forces.
    6. To maintain and disseminate to higher authorities (COC) the current air picture and combat status of 1 Air Div forces.
    7. To liaise directly with adjacent AOCís within the same commands for mutual assistance and passage of tactical information.
    8. To arrange handover of aircraft to adjacent sectors as necessary.


Recognizing the necessity for an adequate peacetime operation centre at 1 Air Div, AFHQ approved the renovation of Fort díArs. The COC will occupy this accommodation, and will be maintained "in being" in peacetime with the capability of expanding to meet the wartime requirement. Until such time as the renovations at Fort díArs are completed, the COC will operate above ground in the Chateau de Mercy, but the capability and overall effectiveness will be very restricted during this initial phase due to cramped quarters and makeshift equipment. However, in the interests of getting started it is considered worthwhile to accept these drawbacks for the short period envisaged.

The TACC must be housed within, or adjoining, the 61 AC&W control room. Only in this way can the live display of the current air situation be made available to the TACC without unnecessary duplication. The TACC can easily be incorporated into the proposed R3 or R8 or whatever building is eventually approved for the Operations Section of 61 AC&W Squadron. However, in the meantime, it will be necessary to build a temporary prefab building adjacent to their Operations Room with a glass partition separating the two functions. This construction will provide temporary accommodation pending finalization of the urgently required permanent facility.

Personnel Requirements

Skeleton peacetime manning of both the COC and TACC can be effected from within existing Air Division establishments. The TACC is to be activated in full in peacetime while the COC will operate with a skeleton staff and be fully manned by the addition of "War-task-assigned" personnel who hold otherwise non-essential positions. The necessary establishment amendments and the detailed reorganization to provide personnel for the peacetime COC and TACC will be the subject of a separate submission.


The proposal to develop a COC and a TACC within 1 Air Division was discussed with the Chief of Operations and Chief of Organization and Management by my Staff Officer Operations/Training during his recent visit to AFHQ. Approval in principle was granted at that time. On the strength of this approval and in view of the necessity for early activation of these very vital elements, I am taking steps to develop immediately the proposed COC and TACC. The necessity for the inauguration of these control elements is considered to be of vital importance to the efficient employment of the forces allotted to 1 Air Division.

It is requested that your Headquarters review the proposals outlined herein and advise of your formal concurrence at an early date.


(HB Godwin) A/V/M
AOC, 1 Air Division, RCAF