One of the front level jobs in the Air Force is the Combat Air Controller. It is a first in type combat role, and he has to be able to parachute in to a forward area, often behind hostile lines to execute his mission. Because of its combat role, the job of Combat Air Controller in the Air Force is open to men only at the present time.
The combat Air Traffic Controller is literally a soldier in combat first, and then he can perform things that many soldiers do not receive training for. He is trained in amphibious techniques, and the use of scuba gear, and has received training on bikes, motorcycles, rappelling, and snowmobiles, all merely as a possible way to get to work. By the very nature of the work the combat air controller has to be able to master a variety of different environments in order to be able to do the technical part of his job, the air traffic controller.
The job of Combat Air Traffic controller demands that they be trained and proficient in survival training techniques. The Combat Air Controller establishes assault zones and then directs air traffic within those zones. He is literally part of the farthest-reaching assets that ground commanders have in their command. Combat Air Control is one of the most technically, physically, and mentally demanding jobs in the entire military, and it is one of the most highly regarded and prestigious jobs in the United States Air Force.
To be considered for this billet prospective Air Force Airmen have to complete successfully all phases of the PAST. The faster that the airman can swim or run, or the more repetitions that one can complete in a specific exercise, the more he is considered. After Boot camp there are a variety of training camps and schools to be attended. The Combat Air Traffic Controller also is sent periodically to a variety of survival training schools to keep their skills as finely honed as possible.
This specialty is one of the most competitive of any in the Air Force. Less than one in twenty people who apply are accepted, and the washout rate after training has begun is fairly high. But if you are in excellent physical shape, intelligent, and desire a challenge, then the job of Combat Air Traffic Controller may be for you. After your time in the military is up, you can often find work in the Air Traffic control field in civilian life.