In the fall of 1961, TAC was again called into action, this time to provide men and planes to Europe because of the Berlin Crisis. Numerous USAF Reserve and Air National Guard units were mobilized to increase TAC's combat strength and in November, TAC deployed more than 200 Federalized ANG airplanes and thousands of personnel under "Operation Stair Step" to France, Germany, and Spain to augment USAFE units already on duty in Europe.
The crisis ended in the summer of 1962
and the personnel returned to the U.S. F-84Fs of the Federalized Air National
Guard in Newfoundland, Nov. 1961, prior to flying the Atlantic to Europe in response to the Berlin
Crisis. Because of the long over water distance to the next airfield
in the Azores, the planes were towed to the end of the runway prior to
takeoff to conserve fuel. During this "Operation Stair Step" deployment
of more than 200 fighter aircraft (the largest overseas movement of a fighter
force since WWII), not a single plane was lost.
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