Air Force Special Operations Command’s Combat Controllers are battlefield airmen assigned to special tactics squadrons. They are trained special operations forces and certified Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers. The wartime mission of a Combat Controller is to deploy undetected into combat and hostile environments to conduct special reconnaissance, establish assault zones or airfields, while simultaneously conducting air traffic control, fire support, command, control, and communications and forward air control. They deploy with air and ground forces in support of direct action, counter-terrorism, foreign internal defense, humanitarian assistance, and combat search and rescue. Combat Controllers employ all-terrain vehicles, amphibious vehicles, a wide variety of weapons, and demolitions in pursuit of their objectives.
During peace time, Combat Controllers stand ready to rapidly deploy anywhere in the world to support humanitarian/crisis relief. Their unique skills enable them to quickly access distant/isolated locations, establish ports of entry, coordinate & control relief efforts, and distribute critical supplies to the most remote locations. Additionally, they assist with rescue, recovery, and evacuation efforts.
Combat Controllers are an integral part of Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), the Air Force component of United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), and of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Trained in underwater and maritime operations, freefall parachuting, and many other deployment methods, Combat Controllers are often partnered (individually or as a team) with Army Special Forces, Army Ranger, Navy SEAL, and other Special Operations Forces teams from around the world to provide expert airfield seizure, airstrike control, and communications capabilities.