The Military Airlift Command (MAC) is an inactive United States Air Force major command (MAJCOM) that was headquartered at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. Established on 1 January 1966, MAC was the primary strategic airlift organization of the Air Force until 1974, when Air Force tactical airlift units in the Tactical Air Command (TAC) were merged into MAC to create a unified airlift organization.
In 1982, the heritage of the World War II Air Transport Command (ATC) (1942-1948) and the postwar Military Air Transport Service (MATS) (1948-1966) were consolidated with MAC, providing a continuous history of long range airlift.
Inactivated on 1 June 1992, most of MAC's personnel and equipment were reassigned to the new Air Mobility Command (AMC), with a smaller portion divided between U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) and the newly created Air Education and Training Command (AETC). The heritage of MAC (and its predecessor organizations) was officially consolidated into AMC in 2016.
MAC was the USAF successor organization to the Department of Defense's Military Air Transport Service (MATS), with MATS having been disestablished on 8 January 1966. MAC's emblem reflected its predecessor's history by incorporating the globe-wings-arrows emblem of MATS into its shield.
Although MATS was under the operational control of the United States Air Force, the 4-digit USAF Military Air Transport Service units at all levels were considered major command (MAJCOM) provisional units by USAF due to MATS being a Department of Defense Unified Command. Under the USAF lineage system, they did not possess a permanent lineage or history and were discontinued upon inactivation. AFCON (HQ Air Force-controlled) units were activated under MAC, to which USAF personnel and equipment formerly assigned to MATS MAJCOM units were reassigned effective 8 January 1966. No formal lineage or history between former MATS MAJCOM units and MAC AFCON units was ever made.
With the establishment of MAC by the USAF, plans were also made to discontinue the role of the United States Navy within the new command. MATS' shore-based naval air transport squadrons (VR) were assigned back to the Navy upon its inaction, most being converted to organic Operational Support Airlift (OSA) roles for the Navy and renamed as fleet logistics support squadrons, primarily residing in the Naval Air Reserve. However, some naval aircrews formerly assigned to MATS continued to fly USAF C-130Es for MAC until 1968, when all MAC C-130s were transferred to Tactical Air Command as part of the theater troop carrier mission being reassigned.
In addition, MAC continued the missions of several other activities formerly under MATS: the Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service (ARRS); Air Weather Service (ARS); Special Air Mission (SAM); Air Photographic and Charting Service (ACIC) (Reassigned to the Defense Mapping Agency in 1972), and Aeromedical Transport Wing (AMTW).