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USAF Tactical Air Command and Control is a specialty which performs and manages tactical air control party (TACP) operations. They provide the Air Force assistance and expertise in planning and controlling combat air resources. Operates and supervises communications nets to support army ground maneuver units.
Wherever American military forces are found, TACP airmen are sure to be nearby. Nicknamed the \"Air Force infantry\" because they spend most of their career assigned to Army units, tactical controllers can most often be found embedded with special operations forces.
Their primary role is to direct combat strike aircraft against enemy targets and also coordinate artillery fire with air strikes To accomplish their mission, tactical controllers serve on the front line, often in advance of any other military units.
In Afghanistan, they control the battlefield by coordinating strikes of the A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Supervises and conducts mission planning and coordination of combat air resources. Recommends use of combat air resources to support mission requirements, tactics, air support assets, and ordnance capabilities and limitations. Extracts target information from maps. Plans and controls combat air support missions. Coordinates field artillery support.
Supervises and performs inter-service liaison activities to ensure effective integration of combat air resources on the battlefield.
Provides Air Force expertise essential to joint combat operations. Assists with and coordinates air support requests. Plans, prepares, and conducts mission briefings. Assists with and develops fire support coordination plans.
Manages and operates global positioning systems, and voice and digital TACP combat communications weapons systems. Establishes and operates point-to-point communications nets. Processes and requests combat air resources to support Army ground maneuver units. Directs and employs field expedient antenna techniques.
Supervises and performs TACP field duties. Deploys to battlefield forward areas and supports Army maneuver units. Uses military maps to navigate to and operate within combat zones. Maintains proficiency with TACP weapons, field equipment, and signaling devices. Selects and supervises preparation of bivouac sites. Directs and applies camouflage and concealment techniques. Manages and conducts operator servicing of TACP vehicles, radios, and field and support equipment.
Qualifications Require a Knowledge of:
Air Force theater air control system and Army air ground system; tactical air support weapons systems; covert and overt signaling and marking; combat intelligence collecting and reporting; individual and crew-served weapons; site selection and defense; Army military symbology, weapons, and equipment; artillery call-for-fire and adjustment procedures; Army combat maneuver unit missions, organization, and tasking; characteristics of mobile and portable communications systems, global positioning systems, and associated equipment; field expedient antennas; vehicle and foot movement techniques; Army and Air Force supply and mobility procedures; Army command and unit staff functions and tasking; interservice and host-tenant support agreements and procedures; TACP vehicle and support equipment operations, management, and operator servicing procedures; tactical air request, coordination, and control procedures; universal transverse mercator map and compass navigation; and geographical reference coordinate system.
The fight for peace and freedom takes the tactical controllers into some of the roughest terrain and most inhospitable conditions in the world. Whether they are braving the freezing temperatures and thin air in the mountains of Afghanistan, or in the desolate, searing deserts of Iraq, wherever Special Forces are needed, TACP goes. Often they are the first in and last out.
Their training begins with basic radio maintenance and operation, then continues with land navigation and combat air support basics, followed by survival school, where they learn resistance, escape and evasion tactics.
TACP airmen can be recognized by their black berets. Although the burgundy berets of Air Force pararescuemen and the crimson berets of Air Force combat controllers are easily recognized, the black beret is seldom seen worn by Air Force members.
In the field, tactical controllers wear a battle uniform that is unremarkable, without name or Air Force labels, rank insignia or unit markings. Instead, their uniforms are adorned with small patches that make them visible to American pilots using special night-vision equipment, and are clearly marked on the sleeves and boots with each airman's blood type.
Tactical controllers are Ranger and airborne qualified, and are proficient in static line and high-altitude, low-open parachute tactics, as well as in air assault and scuba operations.
For entry into this specialty, completion of high school with courses in mathematics is desirable.
Whether involved in a low-intensity conflict or full-scale conventional warfare, TACP airmen guide the full fury of American military might.
Hence their \"Death on call\" creedo something easily deploy.