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Becoming a TACP is a difficult task. The transition from basic training to the end of Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) Special Tactics training, which takes about a year, is both physically and strategically demanding.
which makes sense when you consider that their job is to deploy with Special Operations Forces to integrate air combat power and surface fires into the ground scheme of maneuver, allowing for dynamic, synergistic, and deadly firepower on today’s battlefield.
Airmen in TACP start out in special warfare, but then they move to Air Combat Command. After TACP has worked for a few years, they are ready to evaluate Air Force Special Tactics. Training starts with basic radio maintenance and use, then moves on to land navigation and basic combat air support. After that, they go to survival school, where they learn how to stay alive, getaway, fight back, and hide (SERE).
To become an Air Force TACP, you must first pass the Air Force Special Operations Command’s Special Tactics Tactical Air Control Party Physical Fitness Test (ST TACP PFT). The Air Force must pass the PAST test to be eligible for TACP.
Before you can become an Air Force TACP, you have to pass the Air Force Basic Military Training course, which is more commonly known as “Boot Camp.”
But if you want to be a TACP in the Air Force, the USAF suggests that you get ready before entering the TACP pipeline.
To help with this, the Air Force gives all TACP candidates who want to join the Air Force Special Ops a 21-day fitness program that is easy to follow.
Course for the Air Force TACP
Candidates for the TACP go to JBSA Lackland to take the TACP Preparatory Course.
The course lasts one week, but that might be better written as “one long week.”
The TACP Preparatory Course was made by the Air Force to get Airmen ready for the hard work of the TACP Pipeline. This extra week includes a variety of intense, long-lasting calisthenics, middle- and long-distance running, and other mental and physical conditioning.
Because Air Force TACPs have unusual jobs, they don’t have many options in the civilian world. On clearancejobs.com, there were only 26 results when I looked for TACP. Civilian companies, mostly defense contractors, were looking for ASOS (Air Support Operations Squadron) support personnel, JTAC instructors, systems engineers/TACPs, test engineers, USAF EOD instructor support, senior systems engineers, and senior program managers.
Even though there aren’t many jobs for TACPs after they leave the Air Force, they can use their security clearance (if it’s still active) to help them find work.
If you want to join the Air Force and aren’t afraid to push yourself, you should definitely think about becoming an Air Force TACP. You will not only get to see the world and do important work for your country, but you will also be one of the best people in the US Armed Services.
“100% and then some!” is another motto of the Air Force Tactical Air Control Party.