On 30 APR 77 the Air Force assigned a unique AFSC to TACPs (Tactical Air Control Party). In 1979 they stood up Eagle 01, a TACP training flight, at the TACP  Schoolhouse Hurlburt Field. Falcon 01 and Hawk 01 began shortly thereafter. In 2010 the TACP community was ‘plussed-up’ and Raptor 01 joined the others.

Tomorrow, Thursday 27 SEP 2012, Hawk Nine Zero (Hawk 90) graduates from the schoolhouse. They will walk across the stage to receive their black beret, blouse the trousers of their dress blues for the first time and a new generation of young ROMADs will join the ranks of their active duty counterparts. They’ll then go on to their gaining units, undergo CMR (Combat Mission Ready) certification and then be ready to deploy. Some 2-3 years after on the job experience these men will go on to the JTAC Certification Course at Nellis AFB and become fully certified Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (DoD recognized to control air to surface and surface fire support).Later in their careers they will be given the opportunity to Assess and undergo Selection for AFSOC.

Congratulations, boys.

As you’ll see below, the class – and their instructor – have a sense of humor.

A ROMAD in Afghanistan calling in a CAS chastisement to Taliban on the ground.

For a more serious view of some TACP student training, check out this look at their water survival iteration:

 

Images and video courtesy of the TACPs of Botstik Collective and the individual TACP from Eagle Eight-Four pictured above. If you know him, or deploy with him, ask him about running a combat tracking evolution in his boots, rifle and head-to toe camo paint – and nothing there. I was there. I was one of the instructors. I saw it happen and frankly I’m scarred for life.

If you are interested in supporting this small community of dedicated Airmen, and the families of their fallen, please take a moment to visit their association: http://usaftacp.org/

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Travis September 26, 2012 at 12:35 pm

They have a **** of a producer. Good editing.

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bman September 27, 2012 at 10:16 am

Good videos. With all due respect to the TACPs and AFSOC, I think their capabilities are too mission specific and redundent. Combat weathermen arent used often, if they are, it isnt a job that technology couldnt handle in the hands of another unit, all SOF units with the exception CA and PSYOPS can perform CSAR. CSAR units instead are flying around Afghanistan on regular medevac missions or embedding with other SOF and nonSOF units. While they do a good job, they are still 18Ds like all other SOF medics. TACPs is a name for a specialized unit of JTACS which exist in other SOF units. They also spend their time embedding with other units rather than conducting their own missions. Im not just picking on AFSOC, I think the Air Force as a whole was just fine as the Army Air Corps. AFSOC should integrated into USASOC and I truly believe if both branches were merged as they were in the past, billions of dollars could be saved in reducing, flag ranks, commands, stationary, different paper forms, training and recruiting pipelines, redundent capabilities, and uniforms, bands and ceremonial units.

I think the Marines should come up with a non-redundent SOF unit or put all of their recon guys into MARSOC. We all know they started MARSOC just for the money and they should go all in or get out. Being Department of the Navy, I think it should be required that they all be scuba qualified. That would reduce their redundency in their combat advisor units where Army SF are the recognized experts in the area, the Marines would have an all amphibeous capable version.

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Glang September 28, 2012 at 8:04 am

Per my understanding of the TACP, which was explained to me by one of the guys in the video:

The TACP is typically assigned to regular Army line units. JTACs and CCTs are a tad bit different as they are more SOF oriented. They may sound redundant but they fill a role for the regular Army as commo between ground assets and air assets. Their role effectively eliminates a lot of the "chain of command" climbing that was required when line units would call for CAS. With these guys there is a direct line of commo.

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