What is a Battlefield Airman?

No matter what their job, these Airmen have one thing in common; they are the best of the best. Their excellent physical training, expertise in light weapons, and unique skills allow them to perform special operations missions as part of a US Air Force Task Force or to effectively team up with members of US Army Special Forces, Rangers and US Navy SEALS. They are ready to tackle any mission, under any conditions, in any climate, anywhere in the world. The most highly trained personnel in the U.S. military, they carry out some of the most dangerous missions behind enemy lines. If you are ready for the greatest challenge of your life, if you are ready to be “First There, That Others May Live” then read on.



– Combat controllers (CCT) and Special Tactics Officers (STO) are trained & certified FAA air traffic controllers, and are subsequently trained to coordinate air attacks, extractions, parachute and re-supply drops. The mission of a combat controller is to deploy, undetected, into combat and hostile environments to establish assault zones or airfields, while simultaneously conducting air traffic control, fire support, command and control, direct action, counter-terrorism, foreign internal defense, humanitarian assistance and special reconnaissance in the joint arena.  In the middle of a hotly contested landing field, their calm and professional leadership brings order and success to the mission.  Their Motto is: First There.




– Pararescuemen (PJs) and Combat Rescue Officers (CRO) are personnel recovery specialists who are trained to locate, assess, treat, and recover isolated and injured personnel anytime, anywhere, under any conditions. When US or Allied personnel are in the greatest danger, Pararescuemen are their best defense.  PJs/CROs operate inside Air Combat Command and Special Operations Command; supporting the Air Force’s isolated personnel while also integrating with the joint service’s elite units.  The PJ/CRO Creed reads: “It is my duty as a Pararescueman/Combat Rescue Officer to save life and aid the injured.  I will be prepared at all times to perform my duties, quickly and efficiently, placing these duties before personal desires and comforts.  These things we do, That Others May Live.”  Their motto is: “That Others May Live.”



– Special Operations Weather Team (SOWT) members are expert weather forecasters whose specialized training allows them to gather and analyze weather data in the field. They advise battlefield commanders of the effects of weather and climate on special operations. No major special operation is undertaken without first consulting the Special Operations Weatherman.  Special operations weathermen are among the most highly trained operators in the Department of Defense. They are trained in the same weather qualifications as all Air Force weathermen in addition to advanced special tactics skills.  The SOWT motto is, “Coela Bellatores,” or “Weather Warriors.” The motto reaffirms the commitment to deploy into restricted environments by air, land or sea to observe and analyze all weather data from “mud to sun.”





– Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) and Air Liaison Officers (ALO) are the principal Air Force liaison element to the US Army.  The Air Force is the only service in the D0D that has dedicated operators such as TACPs/ALOs performing joint terminal attack control (JTAC) duties as their primary mission.  ST tactical air control parties support Special Operations Command assets by providing terminal attack control and fire support expertise for all three Ranger Battalions, the 75th Ranger Regiment’s Reconnaissance Company, U.S. Army Special Forces Operational Detachment A teams, U.S. Navy SEAL Team platoons, and other Special Mission Units.  Their motto is: The Strong Shall Stand, The Weak Will Fall by the Wayside.  The ST TACP motto is: “100%, and then some”.