SPECIAL TACTICS OFFICER
Special Tactics Officers 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.
COMBAT RESCUE OFFICER
Combat Rescue Officers lead teams of Pararescuemen and other operators in support of Personnel Recovery missions, ranging from hostile engagements to humanitarian aid missions. Most CROs fall under Air Combat Command, however a small amount are part of Special Tactics Teams assigned to Air Force Special Operations Command leading Personnel Recovery operations for U.S. Special Operations Command.
The 24th Special Operations Wing, the Air Force's only Special Tactics wing, hosts initial assessment and selection for potential AFSOC and ACC Combat Rescue Officers.