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Special Tactics Tactical Air Control Party

Being a conventional TACP is already a challenging and arduous task, but couple that intensity with the demanding and specialized operations of the U.S. Army Rangers, Special Forces, and U.S. Navy SEALs and you'd be describing the mission of an Special Tactics TACP.

Special Tactics TACP Airmen deploy with Special Operations Forces to provide Joint Terminal Attack Control, or JTAC. Integrating air combat power and surface fires into the ground scheme of maneuver, they enable dynamic, synergistic, and lethal firepower on today's battlefield.

Special Tactics TACP motto: "100%, and then some"


Special Tactics tactical air control party Airmen support Special Operations Command assets by providing terminal attack control and fire support expertise for all three Ranger Battalions, the 75th Ranger Regiment, U.S. Army Special Forces, U.S. Navy SEAL teams, and other Special Mission Units.

Special Tactics TACPs are assigned to the 17th Special Tactics Squadron at Ft. Benning, Ga., Joint Base Lewis McChord, Tacoma, Wa., Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, Ga., and all four active duty Special Tactics Squadrons located in the continental United States.


- JTAC (SEI 914)
- Basic Airborne qualified or volunteer for parachutist duty
- Have a current class III Flight Physical
- Retainability to complete five-year controlled tour
- Eligible for TOP SECRET/SCI clearance
- Financially stable
- Able to deploy within 18 hours
- Exceed Air Force Fitness Standards


The Air Force is the only service with dedicated Airmen such as TACPs performing joint terminal attack control, or precision air, ground and sea strike, as their primary duty.

TACPs must train constantly to ensure precision and excellence on the battlefield. From TACP technical school to JTAC qualification, it can take up to three years; on average, it takes 12-24 months to become JTAC-qualified due to thorough and constant evaluation within the TACP units.

Every 17 months, TACPs must be recertified in JTAC through an evaluation process, directed by a joint regulation.

TACPs must maintain currencies in training, just like a pilot would. They must perform JTAC duties with live fly aircraft and simulators. For example, TACPs must maintain currencies in night-live laser training every six months, in addition to quarterly JTAC training.


See our Join Page for applications

Physical Requirements

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


Basic Military Training (BMT), 8 weeks, Lackland Air Force Base, TX- The first step to becoming an Airman happens in BMT where trainees learn military structure, the core values of the U.S. Air Force, and to prepare both mentally and physically for life as an Airman.

Special Warfare Preparatory Course (SW PREP), 8 weeks, Lackland AFB, TX- If they have what it takes to join Air Force Special Warfare, it will be revealed here. Candidates will undergo intense strength and conditioning training by running, rucking and swimming extensively. They'll also learn about the rich history of Special Warfare, Esprit De Corps and ultimately take the Physical Ability and Stamina Test (PAST) to see if they'll move on to tech training.

TACP Preparatory Course, 1 week, Lackland AFB, TX- The pipeline to become an Air Force TACP is long and challenging. To prepare Airmen for the rigors of it, candidates will receive an extra week of training that includes a variety of intense, sustained calisthenics, as well as middle- and long-distance running.

TACP Apprentice Course, 12 weeks, Lackland AFB, TX- Special Warfare Airmen are some of the most highly trained warriors in the military. For TACPs, that training begins here with instruction and assessment on the art and science of radio communications, small unit tactics and the basics of close-air support.

Airborne School, 3 weeks, Fort Benning, GA- TACPs serve on the front line, but getting there sometimes requires dropping in from above. During airborne training, they learn basic parachuting and prepare for static line jump operations.

SERE Training, 3 weeks, Fairchild AFB, WA- Special Warfare Airmen conduct missions in some of the most extreme and hostile places on the planet. This is where they receive survival, evasion, resistance, and escape training that will likely one day save their lives.