CTF-67 is a subordinate command to Commander, U.S. SIXTH Fleet and maintains tactical control of deployed maritime patrol and reconnaissance squadrons. When assigned to CTF-67, P-3C Orion aircraft provide the Fleet with essential information in the European and African Areas of Responsibility. During Operation Allied Force, aircraft from Task Force 67 deployed to Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily and took on missions that would have been impossible for P-3C aircraft of the past. NATO's Allied Force marked the debut of the P-3C Anti-Surface Warfare Improvement Program (AIP), an upgrade that includes a suite of sensor, communications and self-defense equipment. The Mediterranean maritime patrol force for these operations included ten P-3Cs, five of the AIP variant, and 14 crews from Patrol Squadrons 1, 4, 5 and 10 from Naval Air Stations Whidbey Island, Barbers Point, Jacksonville, and Brunswick, respectively.
On 22 March, 1999, two days before the start of hostilities, P-3C AIP aircraft began flying around-the-clock surveillance flights in the Adriatic Sea in direct support of afloat ships. For the next 94 days, Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) provided 100 percent of the patrols for the USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Battle Group and other allied ships operating in the area. This marked the first time surface air patrols during actual operations have been performed exclusively by non-carrier organic aircraft. CTF-67 AIP-equipped P-3Cs were able to directly observe commercial contraband ships as well as military boats and ships moored at coastal sites and underway. The images were down-linked to the USS Theodore Roosevelt battle group commander, giving the battle group an unprecedented real-time and near real-time view of the tactical situation. In all, CTF-67 aircraft detected and reported over 3,500 surface contacts. Due to the P-3C’s ability to stay on-station for hours at a time, battle group commanders had flexibility and could re-direct assets at short notice.
CTF-67 was established under COMFAIRMED in 1952 and was originally located in Naples, Italy before moving to NAS Sigonella, Sicily in October, 2004. After completing the move, the TSC facility and personnel became Commander, Task Force 67 and Staff. Commander, Task Force 67 at NAS Sigonella was assumed by CAPT R. A. Lally on October 1, 2004.Since the move, CTF-67 has taken several commands under it’s control: Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Detachment (AIMD), JMAST, NCTSI-4, PEP, and of course the deployed P-3C squadron.On October 1st, 2008, CTF-67 assumed tactical control of all maritime patrol aircraft in the African Area of Responsibility.CTF-67 maintains a Watch Floor and a staff that takes direction from SIXTH Fleet.
Tactical Support Center (TSC) Sigonella
Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW) command, control, and communications in the Mediterranean began in the administrative spaces of the patrol squadron deployed to Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella in 1968. An initial teletype and voice relay capability led to an expanded communications transmitter site constructed northwest of the base in 1970.First designated as an Antisubmarine Classification and Analysis Center, the facility was upgraded to an Air ASW Tactical Support Center (TSC) in 1972, making real-time mission planning and evaluation possible for deployed P-3 squadrons. TSCs were later designated fleet wide as Antisubmarine Warfare Operations Centers (ASWOCs). Serving a dual role as a NATO Maritime Air Control Authority (MACA), ASWOC/MACA Sigonella became responsible for analysis, reconstruction, and command and control of Maritime Patrol Aviation (MPA) forces from several allied countries flying from Sigonella in support of NATO’s southern region commitments. In May 1993, the ASWOC was then designated a TSC, but with a greatly expanded command and control role in U.S. joint and NATO maritime operations.
TSC/MACA Sigonella served as a subordinate task unit (CTU-67.1.2) of Commander, Maritime Surveillance and Reconnaissance Force, U.S. SIXTH Fleet (CTF-67) and provided task group (CTG-431.3) command and staff functions for NATO MPA forces assigned to Commander, Maritime Air Forces, Mediterranean (CTF-431).Since its inception, TSC/MACA Sigonella has been recognized with two Navy Unit Commendations, five Meritorious Unit Commendations, six Commander in Chief, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe "Golden Anchor" awards (FY-89, 93-97), three "Silver Anchor" awards (FY-88, 92, 98), and five Commander, U.S. SIXTH Fleet "Hook-‘Em" awards for Under Sea Warfare (USW) Excellence. Especially noteworthy were TSC/MACA Sigonella’s contributions to MPA operations during the Kosovo conflict. Operating in a multimillion dollar facility, TSC/MACA Sigonella evolved into its mission of supporting forward-deployed MPA assets. The pride and professionalism of each member of this unit, however, have served as the foundation for its success. TSC Sigonella was disestablished on October 1, 2004, after integrating with CTF-67.