Be a Combat Controller

Combat Control

Combat Controllers
Exciting career awaits you!

Combat Control (CCT) is one of the most exciting, challenging, and physically demanding jobs in the Air Force.  As a member of the Special Tactics Team, you are organized, trained and equipped for rapid insertion into hostile areas by whatever means necessary — parachute, scuba, vehicle, etc. — to establish communications and control airlift and air strike assets in the target area.  Some of the duties include: assault zone assessment and establishment; air traffic control; command and control communications; special operations terminal attack control; and demolitions.  CCTs provide a unique capability and typically train and deploy with air and ground forces in the execution of Direct Action, Counter-terrorism, Foreign Internal Defense, Humanitarian Assistance, Special Reconnaissance, Austere Airfield, and Combat Search and Rescue operations. The elite special tactics team is usually the first military unit deployed to international trouble spots.Combat Controllers are assigned to Special Tactics Squadrons, which are part of the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC).  Follow the links to the right to find out more more information on one of the most rewarding and challenging careers in the military.

Your day begins and ends with an adrenaline rush as you push your physical and mental limits to the edge. You’re trained and equipped for rapid deployment into combat and hostile environments anytime and anywhere in the world on a moment’s notice.

 Slipping undetected behind enemy lines, you’re first on the scene setting up assault zones and airfields while establishing air traffic control and fire support. You’re an Air Force Combat Controller and being “First There” is more than a motto, it’s your commitment to leading the way for other U.S. and coalition forces to follow.

 As a member of an Air Force Special Tactics team, you’re among the most highly trained special operations forces in the armed services. You live, train and deploy with the U.S. Army Rangers, Army Special Forces and Navy SEALs. Battlefield commanders depend on your air traffic control skills and control of close air support aircraft. The most dangerous American on today’s battlefield is a Special Tactics Combat Controller with a radio in one hand and the U.S. Air Force overhead.

 You’re an FAA-certified air traffic controller trained in an array of weapons and qualified in the use of demolitions to take part in counter-terrorism, humanitarian, special reconnaissance, and search and rescue operations. From precision parachuting and scuba diving to operating all-terrain vehicles and amphibious craft, you’re capable of carrying out the Combat Control mission in any environment.


Being a Combat Controller is one of the most challenging and physically demanding jobs in the Air Force. Those who successfully complete the intense training regimen become part of an elite team and earn the right to wear the Air Force Combat Control scarlet beret.  Do you have what it takes to qualify and succeed?


 • Be a U.S. citizen

• Be male (restricted by Dept. of Defense policies)

• Achieve a qualifying score on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test

• Meet Air Force height and weight standards

• Be able to pass a Class III flight physical               

Note:  Have vision no worse than 20/70 uncorrected, correctable to 20/20 each eye (waivers may be given); have normal color vision.  LAZEK or PRK surgery is potentially waiverable after 1 year.

• Be able to pass the Physical Ability and Stamina Test

Physical Ability and Stamina Test (PAST) Minimum Requirements

     2 x 25-meter underwater swim 

This exercise is two-3 minute cycles consisting of: underwater swim and surface swim back to the starting point.  (10 min. rest)

  500-meter surface swim       11:42 min.         (30 min. rest)

  1.5 mile run                          10:10 min.         (10 min. rest)

  pull ups (1 min.)                   8 reps                (2 min. rest)

  sit ups (2 min.)                     48 reps              (2 min. rest)

  push ups (2 min.)                  48 reps             



 • Combat Control Selection Course

2 weeks (10 training days) (Lackland AFB, Texas)

 • Air Traffic Control Course

15 weeks (72 training days) (Keesler AFB, Mississippi)

 • Basic Army Airborne School

3 weeks (15 training days) (Fort Benning, Georgia)

 • Basic Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape

(SERE) Training

2 weeks (17 training days) (Fairchild AFB, Washington)

 • Combat Control School

13 weeks (61 training days) (Pope AFB, North Carolina)



After completing initial Combat Control qualification training, you’ll gain exciting and realistic hands-on experience through the Advanced Skills Training program at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

During this 11-12 month course, you’ll attend the U.S. Army Military Free Fall Parachutist School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Yuma, Arizona. You’ll also learn how to dive down to depths of 130 feet at the Air Force Combat Divers Course in Panama City, Florida.


Combat Controllers receive enlistment bonuses and extra pay that can add up to thousands of dollars. Incentives include Combat Dive Pay, Military Free Fall Parachute Pay, Demolition Pay, and Special Duty Assignment Pay.

 See your recruiter for complete details.


Along with learning a critical Air Force job skill you can use in the civilian world, you’ll earn some great perks. Check out these:

   30 days of vacation with pay each year

  Worldwide travel

  Opportunities for advanced education with up to 100 percent tuition assistance

  Comprehensive medical and dental care

  Extra money for food, clothing and housing are all tax free allowances

  Use of base recreational and sports facilities including fitness centers, swimming pools, baseball fields, tennis courts and golf courses

  Thrift Savings Plan similar to a 401(k)


If you have what it takes to meet the physical and mental challenges required of an Air Force Combat Controller, then join our team and serve your country. Contact your local Air Force recruiter or call 1-800-423-USAF. Also, visit our website at AIRFORCE.COM.

Information may have changed.  Please check with your recruiter for updates.