On 30 APR 77 the Air Force assigned a unique AFSC to TACPs (Tactical Air Control Party). In 1979 they stood up Eagle 01, a TACP training flight, at the TACP Schoolhouse Hurlburt Field. Falcon 01 and Hawk 01 began shortly thereafter. In 2010 the TACP community was 'plussed-up' and Raptor 01 joined the others.
Tomorrow, Thursday 27 SEP 2012, Hawk Nine Zero (Hawk 90) graduates from the schoolhouse. They will walk across the stage to receive their black beret, blouse the trousers of their dress blues for the first time and a new generation of young ROMADs will join the ranks of their active duty counterparts. They'll then go on to their gaining units, undergo CMR (Combat Mission Ready) certification and then be ready to deploy. Some 2-3 years after on the job experience these men will go on to the JTAC Certification Course at Nellis AFB and become fully certified Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (DoD recognized to control air to surface and surface fire support).Later in their careers they will be given the opportunity to Assess and undergo Selection for AFSOC.
As you'll see below, the class - and their instructor - have a sense of humor.
For a more serious view of some TACP student training, check out this look at their water survival iteration:
Images and video courtesy of the TACPs of Botstik Collective and the individual TACP from Eagle Eight-Four pictured above. If you know him, or deploy with him, ask him about running a combat tracking evolution in his boots, rifle and head-to toe camo paint - and nothing there. I was there. I was one of the instructors. I saw it happen and frankly I'm scarred for life.
If you are interested in supporting this small community of dedicated Airmen, and the families of their fallen, please take a moment to visit their association: http://usaftacp.org/