Tenth Air Force was activated on February 12 and was built up around a nucleus of air force personnel newly arrived from Java and the Philippines, under the command of Maj. Gen. Lewis H. Brereton. It had its headquarters at New Delhi. It was responsible for creating, operating and safeguarding the India-China Ferry, more commonly known as the Hump airlift, between April 8 and December 1, 1942, first with its Assam-Burma-China Command until July 16, then the India-China Ferry Command until December 1, when jurisdiction for the airlift passed to the Air Transport Command.
The Tenth Air Force initially provided control of all USAAF combat operations in the China Burma India Theater under theater commander Lt. Gen. Joseph Stillwell. Units based in China were controlled by the China Air Task Force of the Tenth Air Force, created July 4, 1942 to replace the American Volunteer Group, and commanded by Brig. Gen. Claire Chennault. Units based in India were controlled by the India Air Task Force, created October 8, 1942, commanded by Brigadier General Caleb V. Haynes.
In March 1943 the China Air Task Force was dissolved and its components made part of the new Fourteenth Air Force, activated in China under Chennault. The Tenth operated in India and Burma as part of the Allied Eastern Air Command until it moved to China late in July 1945.
The Tenth Air Force conducted offensive strategic bombing operations in Burma and supported Allied ground efforts with close air support and operations against Japanese communications and supply installations. After the end of the war in China, the command headquarters departed from Shanghai on 15 December 1945, being attached to Army Service Forces at Fort Lawton, Washington where the last personnel were demobilized and the command inactivated, being returned to HQ USAAF on January 6, 1946.
In March 1946, USAAF Chief General Carl Spaatz had undertaken a major re-organization of the postwar USAAF that had included the establishment of Major Commands (MAJCOM), who would report directly to HQ United States Army Air Forces. Continental Air Forces was inactivated, and Tenth Air Force was assigned to the postwar Air Defense Command in March 1946 and subsequently to Continental Air Command (ConAC) in December 1948 being primarily concerned with air defense.
The command was re-activated on 24 May 1946 at Brooks Field (later, AFB), Texas. It moved to Offutt AFB, Nebraska, 1 July 1948; Fort Benjamin Harrison (later, Benjamin Harrison AFB), Indiana, 25 September 1948. It was originally assigned to provide air defense over a wide region from Kentucky to Montana; from the Four Corners of southwest Colorado to the Northeast tip of Minnesota, north of the borders of New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Tennessee.
In addition to the command and control of the active Air Force interceptor and radar units in its region, it also became the command organization for the Air Force Reserve and state Air National Guard units.
Moved to Selfridge AFB, Michigan, January, 16 1950 where for the next decade it concentrated on air reserve training throughout the decade. On July 1, 1960, the Fourth Air Force Reserve Region was formed at Randolph AFB. The Fourth Region was one of five Reserve regions and became operational on September 1, 1960, under the control of Continental Air Command (CAC), as a result, Tenth Air Force was discontinued, and inactivated, on September 1, 1960.
Tenth Air Force was reactivated on January, 20 1966 at Richards-Gebaur AFB, Missouri as part of Air Defense Command with the inactivation of its organization of Air Defense Sectors. Its area of responsibility was the central region of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River and the northern peninsula of Michigan.
When Air Force operations were phased out of Ellington AFB, Central Region Headquarters moved to Bergstrom AFB, in Austin, TX, on March 10, 1976. The Air Force Reserve’s entire intermediate management structure was then realigned effective October 8, 1976; and the Reserve Regions were inactivated and succeeded by the currently activated Tenth Air Force. Re-designated Tenth Air Force (Reserve) on September 24, 1976, the unit activated in the Reserve on 8 October 1976 at Bergstrom AFB, TX, assigned to Air Force Reserve. It was redesignated Tenth Air Force on December, 1 1985.
As a result, the unit assumed command over all Tactical Air Command-gained and Strategic Air Command-gained Air Force Reserve units regardless of geographic location. With the inactivation of TAC and SAC in 1992, Tenth Air Force today is responsible for command supervision of fighter, bomber, rescue, airborne warning and control, special operations, flying training, combat air operations battle staff, and space reserve units.