New TACP Training Course


In the above article, it states: "The new TACP-focused unit will speed up the training process dramatically, from 18 months to 21 weeks, AETC said. This will also allow the Air Force to produce 270 fully qualified TACP operators annually, as opposed to 220 partially qualified TACPs per year."

Is this article implying that receiving the JTAC certification (fully qualified) will happen at the end of the 21 week FTU?
Curious to get a TACP's or someone in the know's perspective, thanks again!
 

Yukon

Moderator
Staff member
Operator
From the article:
“The activation of this unit will increase readiness and lethality of the Air Force special warfare TACP, and optimize advanced skills training and education to ensure a full spectrum, high end and fully qualified focused force ready to meet combatant commander’s requirements.”
This is clearly identifying 5-level upgrade training after completing all required entry training required for award of 3-skill level specialty code. The 31 October 2019 AFECD still discloses JTAC qualification and certification is required for award of 5-skill level specialty code.

The article further discloses "The new TACP-focused unit will speed up the training process dramatically, from 18 months to 21 weeks." The presumption is JTAC qualification and certification within 21 weeks (5.25 months), but unclear if this FTU provides all the other upgrade training required for award of 5-skill level AFSC code. The annual training efficiency increase suggested in the article of 270 fully qualified TACP operators annually, as opposed to 220 partially qualified TACPs per year is only a difference of 50 and achieving this goal has yet to be achieved. So....
 
From the article:


This is clearly identifying 5-level upgrade training after completing all required entry training required for award of 3-skill level specialty code. The 31 October 2019 AFECD still discloses JTAC qualification and certification is required for award of 5-skill level specialty code.

The article further discloses "The new TACP-focused unit will speed up the training process dramatically, from 18 months to 21 weeks." The presumption is JTAC qualification and certification within 21 weeks (5.25 months), but unclear if this FTU provides all the other upgrade training required for award of 5-skill level AFSC code. The annual training efficiency increase suggested in the article of 270 fully qualified TACP operators annually, as opposed to 220 partially qualified TACPs per year is only a difference of 50 and achieving this goal has yet to be achieved. So....
I understand that TACP's used to be able to deploy as a ROMAD. Is this still the case since 21 weeks cuts the time period of being a ROMAD extremely short. Or is it set up now that TACP's can't deploy until they've attained their JTAC qualification?
 

Yukon

Moderator
Staff member
Operator
To the best of my understanding there was never a deliberate policy intent specific to TACP enlisted specialty to restrict deployment until 5-skill level was or is obtained. Any such policy as with all enlisted specialties are connected to minimum qualification requirements for award and retention of 3-skill. 5-skill, 7-skill, and 9-skill level AFSC and comparing minimum skill level qualifications to deployment and mission requirements the enlisted specialty exists to fulfil (typically identified in UTCs and other documents). Difficult to give a useable answer at this time, but I expect changes most likely to be implemented in 2020 will provide ability to give a useable answer.

Policy is "personnel must be fully qualified without deployment limitations and have all required mission and skill level training complete IAW applicable directives and instructions." Award and retention of 3-skill level is "generally" the minimum qualification to be a deployable personnel resource, however Air Force policy discourages, but doesn't prohibit, the deployment of 3-levels. Other qualification requirement factors are also in play.

"Generally" is emphasized as there are other policies and mission ready qualifications that may come into play that takes cannot out of being an absolute restriction or limitation. It appears TACP is still in an evolving mode of if a 3-level is considered a deployable resource.

It appears TACP is adopting the CCT integrated 5-skill level and mission ready qualification training model. If so, then the answer has potential of being of enlisted TACP can't be deployed until 5-skill level is obtained (won't be assigned to an operational line unit until such training is successfully completed). Scrutiny of the current AFECD (Oct 2019) indicates the new Special Reconnaissance enlisted specialty is mirroring the pararescue qualification model of 5-level upgrade training is separate from mission qualification training. Meaning the 3-level is a deployable resource.

Identifying the ROMAD enlisted AFSC, established 1977, and not existing prior to 1977 as the TACP AFSC is both inaccurate and incorrect. A transition of job description and minimum qualification requirements for award of 3-skill, 5-skill, 7-skill, and 9-skill level began about 1985 and is still in progress. The rallying motto of "Once a ROMAD, Always a ROMAD" no longer has any relevance.

A transition that changed not only the specialty title, but also the occupation description (away from radio maintenance and driving communication vehicles) to gaining Enlisted Tactical Air Control duties and responsibilities that subsequently became Joint Tactical Air Control (JTAC) qualifications and certification. As this happened deploying as ROMADs began disappearing as ETAC/JTAC pushed down from being an optional 7-level requirement to being a mandatory requirement for award and retention of 7-skill level and subsequently 5-and 7-skill level.
 
Thank you for the detailed response.

I remember watching a documentary about TACP's sometime around 2013 or so and the term ROMAD was used as a "TACP in training", which is why I asked. From what I understood, ROMADs could still deploy and had 18-24 months to get their JTAC qualification (prior to the Oct 2019 change) and ROMADs would deploy as an extension of the JTAC where they would learn the 'ins & outs'. I just thought that cutting down the time to 21 weeks which seems too short for a deployment would eliminate the possibility that a TACP could deploy without their JTAC qualification.

Again, thank you for the answer. I've already talked to a recruiter and am taking my ASVAB next week and hope to start my journey in becoming a TACP shortly after.
 
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