Battlefield Airmen

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by maxr3m, May 3, 2010.

  1. maxr3m

    maxr3m Member

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    Does anyone know how many cadets go onto become battlefield airmen? (ex. Tactical Air Control Parties or Joint Terminal Attack Controllers)
     
  2. 08AFAtoArmy

    08AFAtoArmy New Member

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    As far as TACP/JTAC's, none. Those AFSC's are for enlisted personnel only. As far as STO/CRO, very very few. Maybe 4 to 5 per class. It's extremely difficult and most cadets can't hack the selection process, and even of those that can only a few get selected.
     
  3. Bundy

    Bundy Member

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    Sorry, still new to all this. What is STO / CRO. Those positions must really be something if "most cadets can't hack the selection process"!
     
  4. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    STO=Special Tactics Officer
    CRO=Combat Rescue Officer

    They are the officer AFSCs for Air Force special operations. Training and selection processes are similar to other special operations jobs--physically and mentally demanding, at a cut above what most people can take.
     
  5. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    The AF just graduated the first "career" ALO course last year.

    http://www.nellis.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123171800

    Not sure, but I think a couple of cadets who graduated this year from the AFA are slotted for the ALO course as well. Time for some more "googling" on my part....

    As someone who was involved in this career field at different stages of my career, I can only say "it's about time!", for a variety of reasons.
     
  6. fly boy

    fly boy Candidate

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    I'm new to this stuff, too, so what are TACPs and JTACs? Also, are the pararescue guys and combat control both enlisted?
     
  7. futureAFA

    futureAFA Member

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    As for CRO or STO how many get selected out of each class for the training even? And how many want to do that? Basically about what % of the class would you need yo be in to get selected for the CRO or STO training (eg. the top 10% of class)

    This is one career choice that would be VERY high on my list of what I want to be IF I got accepted.

    If I dont get accepted I would hope for Pararescue or CCT.
     
  8. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    TACPs: Tactical Air Control Party. Small unit (typically 6-8 guys per "Party") of AF personnel, "attached" to an Army Battalion. Can (and typically) sent down to lower levels (company and below) to move forward with that Army unit. Provides Command and Control of AF assets providing Close Air Support for that Army unit (and other services' air assets, as required). A RACP typically consists of an either a Air Liaison Officer (ALO) or senior NCO leading the TACP, plus some junior NCOs and airmen providing support (setting up the radio networks, running the equipment, etc.) The junior enlisted ranks are known as ROMADS (Radio Operators, Maintainers, And Drivers).

    Attached link gives a good history of the enlisted career field

    http://www.romad.com/history/history.htm

    JTACs: Joint Terminal Air Controllers. Years back, when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, only rated aircrew were authorized to provide command and control of Close Air Support, due to the complexity of the mission. However, since the ALO numbers were very limited, and because the army leaders in the field wanted their ALOs close by to COMMAND the air support (i.e. request the assets and control the airspace), the AF wisely began to authorize our NCOs to also provide final CONTROL of Close Air Support missions (i.e. talk to the pilots on the radio to coordinate their attacks, ensure friendlies are identified and protected, etc.). They became known as ETACS (Enlisted Air Terminal Controllers). For a while, it remained that way: only AF personnel were authorized to provide Command and Control of Close Air Support assets. Other services were NOT authorized to provide CAS outside of very limited circumstances, sch as emergency situations (i.e. "drop that bomb now, or we're all dead here on this hill. And yes, my unit commander accepts sole responsibility for the consequences!")

    Well, the Joint Fires Publication was reviewed after years of experience from Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom showed it would be a good idea to allow sister service members to also provide control of CAS from the ground (the AF TACPs can't be everywhere at once, and CAS assets were in BIG demand!), as long as they were properly trained and validated as mission capable. Now, every service can have members qualified to control CAS in battle, as long as they have completed the course taught at Nellis AFB, and become certified as a card-carrying JTAC.

    The TACP, Search and Rescue, and Combat Controller community all have a much higher enlisted to officer ratio. Just the nature of the beast, and very similar to army and Marine ground units.

    By the way, the S&R and Combat Controller pipeline is combined during the initial phases of jump school, dive school, and a few other training areas. Its only after months of training do they split up to do their job-specific training (Air Traffic Control school for the combat controllers, battlefield medical rescue for the Combat Rescue guys...)
     

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