The attack by the Chinese military caught FECOM off guard, and many assumed it was the precursor to a widening war in Asia.
The menace of Chinese air power loomed large against FECOM.
While plans for cross-border imaging continued at FEAF headquarters, FECOM persevered with the fight against advancing Chinese forces.
While FEAF was tasking the squadron to find and fix enemy forces for its operational needs, FECOM and the Joint Chiefs were requiring the squadron to function at the strategic level by seeking out any indicators that the Chinese or Soviets were looking to expand hostilities.
Spurred by the fear of heavy air attacks from the Chinese, General Stratemeyer drafted a message to General Vandenberg requesting CSAF advocacy on behalf of a FECOM request to overfly Manchurian airfields with RB-45s.
Unfortunately, FECOM did not interpret the JCS decree as such and their Plan 1-50 maintained control of SAC elements for the first five days of the war.
Balance among three subordinate efforts became a task of the FECOM staff as transport, support, and prioritizating combat power became more complex.
Thereby Joy and his staff could remain focused on the big picture and continue to support the FECOM staff as its naval component.
The FECOM staff had actively used joint targeting approval and operations planning since August.
Eighth Army was shaken, X Corps sobered, and FECOM left unsure as to the actual scope of Chinese intervention.
FECOM had sufficient intelligence by mid-November to raise serious doubts over the wisdom of plunging into the unknown.
FECOM had not been a joint headquarters when the war began, nor did it become joint until long afterwards.