3rd TOW is mandated to perform tactical air operation in its area of responsibility, and in the employment of tactical air power, air superiority must be achieved to gain freedom of movement in a limited space and time. Under command and control of 3rd TOW are various Tactical Operations Group, strategically located in the whole area of Mindanao and Sulu, to serve as forward operating units which plan, control and coordinate the employment of tactical air support elements within its area of responsibility.
Under the operational control of SOUTHERN COMMAND, 3rd TOW in close coordination with the different service units in its AOR is employing its wide range of tactical air power capabilities. The Wing Commander, 3rd TOW acts as the Air Component Commander in the area. He is responsible for the supervision and control of air power requirements of ground forces.
In support of national development effort in its AOR, 3rd TOW participates in various socio-economic, cultural and civic action activities in close coordination with other government entities, LGUs and NGOs. 3rd TOW plans, coordinate and orchestrates socio-civic actions and activities like adopt-a-mountain aimed at forest protection and preservation, Adopt-a-school program which provides support and services to school, adopt-a-barangay and OPLAN SPOTS aimed at reducing smuggling, illegal fishing and pouching in the southern backdoor.
In support to international commitments and bilateral agreements, 3rd TOW participates in joint exercises with Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and USA.
Within the framework of ISO Bantay-Laya, 3rd TOW organizes, trains and equips Special Operation Teams which are dispersed and immersed with various influenced and affected barangays in its AOR, in close planning, coordination and support of surface forces in the area.