COMBAT CONTROLPhysical Ability and Stamina Test for CCT:
How long does it take to become a Combat Controller? The combat control career field requires 35 weeks of training and unique mission skills earn them the right to wear the scarlet beret. Learn more about combat control.E-mail 24SOW.RAS.firstname.lastname@example.org to be contacted by a Special Tactics Recruitment Liaison.What is Combat Control? Air Force Special Operations Command's combat controllers are Battlefield Airmen assigned to special tactics squadrons. They are trained special operations forces and certified FAA air traffic controllers. The mission of a combat controller is to deploy, undetected, into combat and hostile environments to establish assault zones or airfields, while simultaneously conducting air traffic control, fire support, command and control, direct action, counter-terrorism, foreign internal defense, humanitarian assistance and special reconnaissance in the joint arena. Learn more about combat control.E-mail 24SOW.RAS.email@example.com to be contacted by a Special Tactics Recruitment Liaison.How do I become a Combat Controller? Combat controllers are among the most highly trained personnel in the U.S. military. They maintain air traffic control qualification skills throughout their careers; many qualify and maintain currency in joint terminal attack control procedures, in addition to other special operations skills. Their 35-week training and unique mission skills earn them the right to wear the scarlet beret.
Physical Ability and Stamina test for STO:
What is a Special Tactics Officer?
Special Tactics Airmen are elite special operators uniquely skilled in commanding and controlling operations integrating air and ground capabilities, often necessary in special operations, to achieve battlefield objectives. Special Tactics Officers (STOs) lead Special Tactics Teams (STTs) in preparation for worldwide contingency operations both in hostile and austere environments, ranging from counterterrorism missions to global humanitarian assistance operations. While working alongside joint and coalition SOF partners, STOs coordinate employment of STTs at all levels of command to provide: global access for force projection; precision strike, i.e. close air support, combined arms, and strategic attack; personnel recovery/combat search and rescue, and battlefield trauma surgery.
As leaders responsible for delivering highly specialized capabilities outside the realm of conventional warfare, they are experts in planning and executing special reconnaissance, strike, and recovery missions. STOs are trained in military static-line and free fall employment techniques, combat dive, demolition, and joint terminal attack control, they competently lead this effective, lethal fighting force by creative problem solving, will power, and dedication to their team members.
What Special Tactics careers are available to officers?
Special Tactics has three career fields open to qualified offier candidates: Combat Rescue Officer, Special Tactics Officer, and Special Operations Weather Officer. To learn more about these career fields, e-mail STO.firstname.lastname@example.org and a Special Tactics Recruitment Liaison will contact you.
TACTICAL AIR CONTROL PARTY AIRMENHow do I become a Special Tactics TACP Airmen?Only 5-10% of TACPs are Special Tactics TACP Airmen; the majority of TACPs belong to Air Combat Command and support conventional Army units with precision air strike and air power communication capabilities. To become an ST TACP, you must first have experience within the TACP career field, and then apply and be specially selected for Special Tactics.
What does it take?
Calisthenics Minimums: 8 pull-ups in 2 minutes 60 sit-ups in 2 minutes 48 push-ups in 2 minutes Run Minimum: 3 miles, non-stop, completed within 24 minutes Combat Water Survival Test 12-mile road march with 50-pound (dry) rucksack and weapon in under 3 hours
SPECIAL OPERATIONS WEATHER TEAM
Physical Ability and Stamina Test
What is Special Operations Weather?
Special operations weathermen are meteorologists with advanced tactical training to operate in hostile or denied territory. They gather and interpret weather data and provide intelligence from deployed locations while working with Air Force and Army special operations forces. They collect localized weather intelligence, assist mission planning, generate accurate and mission-tailored target and route forecasts in support of global special operations, conduct special reconnaissance and train foreign national forces. Learn more about special operations weather.
E-mail 24SOW.RAS.email@example.com to be contacted by a Special Tactics Recruitment Liaison.
How do I become a Special Operations Weather Airmen?
The SOWT career field is small and selective, and is only in Special Tactics. To become a SOWT, you will go through approximately two years of special operations and weather training, learning to operate at the highest level.
What is Pararescue?
Air Force Special Operations Command's pararescuemen, also known as PJs, are the only Department of Defense specialty specifically trained and equipped to conduct conventional or unconventional rescue operations. These Battlefield Airmen are the ideal force for personnel recovery and combat search and rescue.
A PJ's primary function is as a personnel recovery specialist, with emergency medical capabilities in humanitarian and combat environments. PJs deploy in any available manner, to include air-land-sea tactics, into restricted environments to authenticate, extract, treat, stabilize and evacuate injured personnel, while acting in an enemy-evading, recovery role. Learn more about pararescue.
E-mail 24SOW.RAS.firstname.lastname@example.org to be contacted by a Special Tactics Recruitment Liaison.
How long does it take to become a Pararescueman?
Pararescuemen endure some of the toughest training offered in the U.S. military. They complete the same technical training as EMT-Paramedics, plus specialized training which takes about a year and a half to complete. Learn more about pararescue.
Air Liason Officer application
Special Operations Surgical Team application
What is Special Tactics?Special Tactics is the Air Force's Special Operations ground combat forces. Special Tactics teams execute Special Operations missions to enhance air operations deep in enemy territory, or in remote locations in rugged terrain.What Special Tactics career opportunities are there for reservists?Qualifying reservists must become full-time active duty to pursue careers in all Special Tactics career fields.
I'm a civilian and want to join one of the enlisted Special Tactics career fields. What should I do?
Take a trip to your local recruiter, and let them know what you want to do. They will get you in touch with the regional Special Operations Recruiter to mentor you through the enlistment process. Consult the other pages on this website for specific information regarding each career field.
I'm in the Air Force and want to retrain into an enlisted Special Tactics career field. What should I do?
For enlisted members below the rank of E-6, visit myPers and click the retraining link. So long as you are eligible, myPers will send you instructions for completing a retraining package for your desired career field. Once your package is screened, you will be invited to attend either the Combat Controller/Special Operations Weather Team Retraining Assessment at Hurlburt Field, Fla. or the Pararescue Jumper retraining assessment at Lackland AFB, Texas.
I’m a sister service military member, and want to become an enlisted Special Tactics member. What should I do?
Visit your local Air Force Recruiter and let them walk you through the cross-service transfer process. However, understand that cross-service slots are limited and vary by career field. Depending on availability, you may have to wait until October 1st for the next fiscal year to start.
I desire to commission as a Special Tactics Officer. What should I do?
A link at the bottom of this page will provide you with detailed instructions about how to apply to become a STO. If your Phase 1 application is approved, you will be invited to attend Phase 2: A week-long, bi-annual selection event conducted at Hurlburt Field, Fla. It is extremely challenging, and should only be attempted after extensive mental and physical preparation. Consult the workout and nutrition guides to help properly prepare for the selection.
What is the difference between a Combat Controller and a Tactical Air Control Party Airman?
Combat Controllers are trained in a wide variety of skillsets—air traffic control, SCUBA, military freefall, etc.—and belong to Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), which directly supports United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). They regularly support joint special operations forces (SOF) and spend their entire operational career within Air Force Special Tactics (ST).
Tactical Air Control Party members specialize in synchronizing air assets into the ground battlespace, and work closely with the conventional Army to manage large area of operations. They belong to Air Combat Command (ACC), and therefore are not SOF. After TACPs have completed their training pipeline and gained some experience at their ACC units, they can apply to attend the SOF TACP selection, and be hired into Special Tactics.
Both Combat Controllers and TACPs can become Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs), and control air-to-ground munitions employment in close air support situations for their respective supported units.
Bottom line: TACPs are conventional and support conventional forces, whereas Combat Controllers are SOF and support USSOCOM.