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23rd Air Division
USAF 23rd Air Division Crest.jpg
23rd Air Division emblem
Active 18 November 1969–1 July 1987
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Garrison/HQ see "Stations" section below
Equipment see "Aircraft / Missiles / Space vehicles" section below
Decorations see "Lineage and honors" section below

23rd Air Division ADC/TAC/NORAD Region AOR 1969-1979

23rd Air Division/Southeast Air Defense Sector AOR, 1979-1987

The 23rd Air Division is an inactive United States Air Force intermediate echelon command and control organization. It was last assigned to First Air Force, Tactical Air Command (ADTAC). It was inactivated on 1 July 1987 at Tyndall AFB, Florida.


The Division was activated at Duluth Airport in November 1969, replacing the 29th Air Division in an Aerospace Defense Command (ADCOM) realignment and re-organization of assets. Assigned additional designation of 23rd NORAD Region upon activation with reporting to the NORAD Combat Operations Center at Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado.

The 23rd AD was responsible for the air defense of a large area of the upper Midwest south of the 97th meridian west, bordered by the southern boundary of the Canada – United States border to the Ohio/Pennsylvania border; south and west along the western ridge of the Appalachian Mountains to the 38th parallel north. This encompassed most of Minnesota, Iowa, Northern Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and all of Michigan. It was also the command organization for the Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) Data Center (DC-10) at Duluth AFS.

The division and its subordinate interceptor, missile and radar units participated in numerous exercises such as Amalgam Fairplay, Feathered Indian, and Feathered Brave. In addition, its subordinate units exercised with surface to air missiles. The scope of responsibility for the 23rd AD was expanded in 1973 with further ADCOM unit inactivations and consolidations to include the area south along the 88th meridian west to the 33rd parallel north, west to the 97th meridian west. This added all of Missouri and Arkansas, as well as western Tennessee and northern Mississippi to the Division's Area of Responsibly.

In 1979 it was incorporated into Tactical Air Command with the inactivation of ADCOM as a major command. Under Air Defense, Tactical Air Command (ADTAC) it continued its mission until 15 April 1982 when it was reassigned to Tyndall AFB, Florida and assumed responsibility for most of the region previously commanded by the inactivated 20th Air Division.

In 1985 most active-duty units were inactivated or reassigned to other missions, and the air defense mission came under Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units under First Air Force. The Division stood down on 1 July 1987, its command, mission, components, and assets were transferred to the ADTAC Southeast Air Defense Sector.


  • Established as 23rd Air Division on 18 November 1969
Activated on 19 November 1969
Assumed additional designations 23rd NORAD/CONRAD Region, 1 April 1966
Assumed additional designation 23rd ADCOM Region, 8 December 1978
Inactivated on 1 July 1987, assets transferred to Southeast Air Defense Sector



Interceptor units[]

Selfridge AFB, Michigan, 1–31 December 1969
  • 343rd Fighter Group (Air Defense)
Duluth Airport, Minnesota, 19 November 1969-28 August 1970

Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan, 1 July 1971-31 March 1973
Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan, 1 December 1969-1 July 1971
Langley AFB, Virginia, 1 March 1983-1 July 1987

  • 62nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron
K. I. Sawyer AFB, Michigan, 19 November 1969-30 April 1971
K. I. Sawyer AFB, Michigan, 28 August 1970-1 August 1981

Missile units[]

Kincheloe AFB, Michigan, 19 November 1969-31 July 1972
Duluth AFS, Minnesota, 19 November 1969-30 April 1972

Radar units[]

Selfridge AFB, Michigan, 19 November 1969-1 July 1974
Calumet AFS, Michigan, 19 May 1969
Re-designated 665th Air Defense Group, 1 March 1970-1 January 1974
Osceola AFS, Wisconsin, 19 November 1969-31 March 1975
Antigo AFS, Wisconsin, 19 November 1969-30 June 1977
Baudette AFS, Minnesota, 19 November 1969
Re-designated 692nd Air Defense Group, 1 March 1970-1 January 1974

Wadena AFS, Minnesota, 19 November 1969-30 September 1970
Empire AFS, Michigan, 19 November 1969-1 April 1978
Sault Sainte Marie AFS, Michigan, 19 November 1969-30 October 1979
Port Austin AFS, Michigan, 19 November 1969-30 September 1988
Finland AFS, Minnesota, 19 November 1969-5 August 1980


See also[]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  • A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980, by Lloyd H. Cornett and Mildred W. Johnson, Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
  • Winkler, David F. (1997), Searching the skies: the legacy of the United States Cold War defense radar program. Prepared for United States Air Force Headquarters Air Combat Command.
  • Aerospace Defense Command publication, The Interceptor, January 1979 (Volume 21, Number 1).

External links[]

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