Air Force Combat Controllers

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Air Force Combat Controllers’ motto is First There. Affirming that it is these battlefield airmen who are the first force to actually enter combat. With skills rivalling the Marines, Special Forces and Navy SEALs; courage, skill and fitness are core.

Who are Air Force Combat Controllers?

Would you be ready for anything? Including unearthing assault zones or airfields, to directing air traffic, as well as relaying battle information. Whilst supporting the needs of both air and ground forces, often in hostile and remote zones. Moreover, could you undergo Special Operations training and possess FAA-certified Air Traffic Controller certification? Air force combat controllers clearly need fiercely diverse talents.

What Does Combat Controllers Training Involve?

Before a recruit is even considered, the following basics must be met:

  • High School Diploma.
  • GED with 15 college credits, or GED.
  • ASVAB – General; Mechanical
  • Age 17–39 years
  • Physical aptitude – timed and tested
  • Water competency


CCT is notoriously one of the toughest trainings you could undergo in the US military, with a monumental wash out rate of 90–95%. Reports highlight that this figure is mainly due to dropouts, injuries and academic failures. We surmise below a brief synopsis of the initial 35 week tough training you can expect:

  • CCT Screening Course, Texas (2 weeks).
    • Focus on sports structure, nutrition, basic combat control and history
    • Weak recruits are ‘weeded’ out at this stage
  • Operator Course, Mississippi (15.5 weeks)
    • Tuition on aircraft recognition and function
    • Navigation
    • Weather
    • Air traffic rules
    • Comms skills
    • Radar techniques
  • Basic Parachuting Course, Georgia (3 weeks)
    • Basic skills to infiltrate an objective zone by static line airdrop
  • Air Force Basic Survival School, Washington (3 weeks)
    • Survival techniques for hostile, remote zones
    • Principles, procedures and equipment
  • Combat Control School, North Carolina (13 weeks)
    • Physical training
    • Small unit tactics
    • Land navigation
    • Assault zones
    • Field operations

Newly assigned Combat Controllers must further undertake Special Tactics Advanced Skills Training in order to be mission ready.

Combat Controllers AST Training

Aimed to test personal limits through gnarly mental and physical drills. Let there be no doubt, this will do just that. Based in Florida over one year, recruits aim to complete the following:

  • Formal Training Phase (5 months)
    • Air Force Combat Diver Course
    • Qualify as a combat diver
    • Ability to scuba
    • Operate closed circuit equipment
    • Diving to depths of 130ft
    • Army Military Free Fall Course
    • Wind tunnel training
    • In-air instruction + aerial manoeuvres
    • Air sense + parachute control
  • Core Phase (3 months)
    • Skills honed in comms, air traffic control + fire support
  • Special Tactics Training (3 months).
    • Operational Readiness Training Phase
    • Combat skills for future missions
    • Tactical all terrain vehicle use
    • Conducting searches
    • Honing skills for infiltrating forbidden territory

The unique skills of Air Force Combat Controllers continue to be battlefield tested. Hence it is no surprise that five out of the seven Air Force Crosses have been awarded to this unit; for extreme heroism in combat…

Combat Controllers US Air Force Logo