USAF Combat Controllers (CCT)
Combat Control Technicians (CCT) of US Air Force Special Tactics Squadrons are highly proficient in the following:
- air traffic control
Combat Controllers are trained to covertly insert, mark out landing zones (for helicopters) or ad hoc landing strips (for fixed wing aircraft) or parachute drop zones, then guide air assets in and out. This is their primary role.
- joint terminal attack control (JTAC)
CCTs are capable of calling in fire from aircraft such as fast moving jets, attack helicopters and AC-130 Gunships. This is not their primary role and is a function that may be covered by a decicated Air Force Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) unit on the scene.
USAF CCTs typically work alongside other Special Operations Forces and accompany them on missions. They are proficient in many methods of insertion such as HALO parachuting, and amphibious operations.
Combat Controller Video
Combat Controllers Equipment
Combat Controllers use a range of equipment when on operations
- secure satcomms
CCTs use encrypted satellite radios to talk to air assets, typically PRC-177 satcomm units.
- infrared lights and strobes
IR Strobes are used to mark out landing strips. The IR lights and strobes are invisible to the naked eye but highly visible via night vision goggles or aircraft FLIR sensors. The lights and strobes can be activated by remote control, enabling an entire adhoc runway or LZ to go from invisible to visible with the flick of switch.
- laser target designators
when calling in air strikes, CCTs mark the target with a laser beam from a portable designator unit such as the SOFLAM