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164th Theater Airfield Operations Group

Commander, 164th TAOG

Col. Douglas C. Van Weelden

Commander, 164th TAOG

Col. Douglas C. Van Weelden, from Saranac Lake, N.Y., received his commission through ROTC at the State University of New York College at Geneseo in 1991. He has... More

Command Sgt. Maj. Jorge O. Soriano

Command Sgt. Maj. Jorge O. Soriano

Command Sergeant Major, 164th TAOG

Command Sgt. Maj. Jorge O. Soriano's assignments include flight operations specialist, A Co, 229th Attack Helicopter Battalion, Fort Campbell, Ky.; flight operations specialist, 3-58th Aviation Regiment... More

Insignia

The 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group provides airspace and air traffic services support and expertise to Army warfighters, major commands and installations worldwide. The 164th TAOG ensures safety of operations, standardization and controller/unit certification of Army Air Traffic Control. TAOG also develops and provides functional area support and expertise to meet Army airspace/ATS requirements in joint/combined environments, national and international airspace.

TAOG tasks include:

  • Providing ATS assistance to support major combat operations
  • Deploying ATS subject matter experts to support warfights, MACOMs and installations worldwide
  • Deploying ATS maintenance response teams to MCOs
  • Executing ATS quality assurance program for warfighters, MACOMs, and installations worldwide
  • Executing training and readiness oversight of ATS RC units
  • Executing support and sustainment operations of all ATS and subsystems worldwide

The 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group can trace its history back to the Korean War. During the period from 1953 to 1963, each Army Aviation unit in Korea accomplished its own airfield traffic control and flight following of aircraft. On Aug. 4, 1963, an aircraft crashed on a mountainside killing all six personnel on board. The accident and subsequent nine day delay in locating the crash site resulted in the formation of the Army Air Traffic Control Regulation and Identification Company in December 1963, to provide flight following of aircraft to enhance Aviation safety.

In 1966, the company was reorganized in the 284th Aviation Company (Air Traffic Control) with the strength of one officer and 38 enlisted soldiers.

In 1971, the air traffic control assets of the divisions and corps were transferred to 284th Aviation Company. Authorized strength was increased to 191, with further augmentation of Katusa and Korean civilian employees to provide bilingual capability.

On July 1, 1973, all air traffic control units were transferred to the U.S. Army Communications Command and the 284th ATC was assigned to the 1st Signal Brigade. By 1974, the company strength of 231 soldiers was responsible for providing visual flight rules flight following of aircraft and operating eight control towers and three radar facilities.

On Feb. 1, 1977, the 284th Aviation Company was re-designated as the U.S. Army Air Control Battalion, Korea (provisional). On Oct. 1, 1978, the organization was officially inactivated and reactivated as the 125th Air Traffic Control Battalion (Corps) with a headquarters and headquarters detachment and two air traffic control companies.

On Oct. 16, 1986, the 125th Air Traffic Control Battalion transferred its colors from the 1st Signal Brigade to the 17th Signal Brigade, thus becoming an official member of Army Aviation.

Under the United States Army Aviation regimental plan, the 125th Air Traffic Control Battalion was re-designated on July 16, 1987, as the 4th Battalion, 58th Aviation Regiment.  On Oct. 16, 1995, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 4th Battalion, 58th Aviation Regiment retired its colors and re-activated as the 164th Air Traffic Services Group.  On June 15, 2005, the 164th ATS Group became part of the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade.

On May 2, 2007, the 164th ATS Group was re-designated the 164th TAOG, under the U.S. Army Forces Command, and stationed on Fort Rucker, Ala.  Soon after, on June 7, 2007, elements of the 164th TAOG deployed to Iraq and Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom Rotation 07-09 and remained through OIF Rotation 08-10.

In April 2010, a detachment of 164th TAOG soldiers was sent forward in support of ATS units in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.

On Aug. 28, 2010, USARCENT aligned all of its general support Aviation units and air traffic services units under the command of 164th TAOG in order to provide effective command and control, safety and standardization oversight, and higher headquarters administration.

In order to facilitate these requirements, additional personnel were required and on Oct. 7, 2010, were deployed from Fort Rucker and joined the detachment to ensure these requirements were met.

Air Traffic Services has a long and proud history: always at the forefront ready to answer our nation’s call and proclaiming a clear voice of freedom, wherever army aviators and ground forces are called to serve.

Unit Insignia

The distinctive unit insignia for the 164th TAOG has unique symbolism. The triangular shape symbolizes the Mekong Delta where the group was activated and conducted its operations. The concentric triangles refer to the unit’s growth in its primary mission to give support. Red and yellow are colors used by the Republic of Vietnam while the swooping silver hawk refers to the combat air power of the unit. The color blue is used by aviation units; it also alludes to the ultimate goal of peaceful blue skies. The words “Here Am I, Send Me” comes from the Bible in the book of Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" and I said, "Here Am I. Send Me!"

For more information, call (334) 255-8914, or visit the TAOG website.

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