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A United States Air Force Tactical Air Control Party, commonly abbreviated TACP, refers to an individual or team of United States Air Force personnel with AFSC1C4X1, who are aligned with a conventional United States Army or United States Marine Corps combat maneuver unit or to an Air Force, Army, Marine, or Navy special operations unit, to provide precision terminal attack guidance of U.S. and coalition fixed- and rotary-wing close air support aircraft, artillery, and naval gunfire; establish and maintain command and control (C2) communications; and advise ground commanders on the best use of air power.

In conventional settings, TACPs are the principal Air Force liaison element to the United States Army (USA). In this context, the TACP is an Air Force liaison element aligned with Army combat maneuver echelons from Corps to Battalion level. The TACP provides its aligned Army unit with expertise in planning and executing airpower in support of the land component commander's scheme of maneuver. In special operational settings, TACPs deploy with special operations units, including Air Force Special TacticsArmy Special Forces, and Navy SEAL teams, the 75th Ranger Regiment, and Joint Special Operations Command Special Mission Units, acting primarily as precision airstrike controllers and communication/C2 experts.

A enlisted 1C4X1 candidates and 13L ALO candidates will attend a 5-day indoctrination course at Medina AFB immediately following basic military training. The course educates candidates on the TACP career field and also identifies candidates unsuitable for the AFSC. An entry-level Physical Abilities and Stamina Test (PAST) test and a 4-mile timed ruck march must be successfully completed to pass the Indoctrination course and progress to the Initial Qualification Course at Lackland Air Force Base.

Initial Training

  • Block I Basic Career Knowledge (30 Days)

Portable radio familiarization, basic career knowledge, and associated publications.

  • Block II Ground Environment Training (30 Days)

Field training exercise, day and night land navigation, vehicle navigation, convoy training, and small unit tactics. Also including training in bivouac setup, site selection, patrolling methods, and day and night navigation on foot and in a vehicle.

  • Block III Air Support Coordination/Weapons Systems (25 Days)

Methods and means of requesting close air support, weapons effects and utilization, and other coordination procedures.

Advanced Training

  • United States Air Force Combat Survival School – 3 weeks, Fairchild AFB, Washington

This course teaches basic survival techniques for remote areas using minimal equipment. This includes instruction of principles, procedures, equipment and techniques that help individuals to survive regardless of climatic conditions or unfriendly environments, and return with honor.

  • United States Army Airborne School** – Basic Parachutist Course – 3 weeks, Fort Benning, Georgia

Students learn the basic parachuting skills required to infiltrate an objective area by static line airdrop. This course includes ground operations week, tower week, and "jump week" when participants make five parachute jumps. Personnel who complete this training are awarded the basic parachutist rating and are allowed to wear the Parachutist Badge.

**Note: Some of these courses are unit dependent and not all students may be selected.

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High school diploma, GED with 15 college credits, or GED




  • Successful completion of the TACP physical ability and stamina test

  • Minimum score of 30 on the TACP selection model completed in Tailored Adaptive Personality Assessment System

  • Normal color vision and depth perception

  • Compliance with medical standards for Ground Base Controller Duty

  • Possession of a valid state driver’s license to operate government motor vehicles

  • Must maintain ability to deploy and mobilize worldwide

  • Qualification to bear firearms

  • Completion of a current National Agency Check, Local Agency Checks and Credit

  • Completion of 8.5 weeks of Basic Military Training

  • Must be between the ages of 17 and 39