View Full Version : Tactical Air Command and Control Specialists

09-17-2004, 05:35 PM


Brief Overview:

The Forward Air Control mission dates back to World War II. Unfortunately information from that time period is sketchy. During Korea and Vietnam the Ground FAC mission came unto its own. I will attempt to fill in as many blanks as possible. During the Vietnam conflict, the role of the Forward Air Controller was redefined. Not always were they flying low over the jungle looking for targets. Now they were on the ground, attached to ground maneuver units (The Army, Grunts, Foot Sloggers, Crunchies..take your pick). Their mode of transport was the M-151 Ford jeeps with a heavy communications pallet in place of the back seats. To keep this radio equipment in good working order a maintenance tech, a 304X4 (Radio Repairman), was assigned to the "System" This ROMAD (Radio Operator Maintainer And Driver, an enlisted guy) was to assist the FAC (an officer, usually a Lieutenant or Captain) in getting around the country and more or less stay out of harms way. During the early years of this mission, the personnel who did it were not chosen because they were Gung-ho or highly motivated. It was their turn. Pure and simple. Some of the enlisted ROMADS made a name for themselves and others were just faces in the crowd. The 275X0 AFSC, (Tactical Air Command And Control Specialist) was separated from the 304X4 AFSC in 1977. This new AFSC was established because ROMAD duties were being performed by 304X4's even though these duties were not reflected in their specialty description. This became a concern because less than thirty three percent of ROMAD duties involved radio maintenance, causing training problems and loss of proficiency in actual 304 duties. This coupled with no formal training standard developed for ROMADs, prompted a proposal from "The Gang of 5" (Suarez, Thurman, Wachs, Fiscus and Mack) to Air Staff to create an AFSC that directly handled ROMAD duties. Also lobbying for us was Col. "Rumbles" Ruhman (Shorties Boss), Capt. Garrison the Tactical Air Command Point man and Maj. "Tony" Namlick the AGOS point man. Effective 30 April 1977, AFSC 275X0 was established to perform ROMAD duties exclusively. When the award of the AFSC took place, the Air Force needed people to man the new positions. Who better than the people that had been doing it prior to April?. Most of the personnel grabbed were either returning from overseas or were in overage slots in the 304 job. Most of the "New" ROMADs were not really happy about being drafted like this. The 304 personnel parachute qualified were able to move freely from TACP (Tactical Air Control Party FAC + ROMAD + M-151 = TACP) to CCT (Combat Control Team, overqualified Air traffic controllers). The CCT was under the 24 man team concept. 6 Positions for 304s for radio repair and 18 Air Traffic controllers. The CCT were authorized berets, "High Speed" (Newer) equipment, and other amenities such as pay bonuses. The TACPs were treated rather like step children by Tactical Air Command. In 1979, Military Airlift Command (Owners of CCT) decided to eliminate the 304 slots. Now the 304s had to make a quick choice, find a job as a radio repairman, cross train to the CCT or cross train to the TACP. Most took the TACP. Since its inception in 1977, the 275X0 (1C4X1) has made a place for himself in history. The next time you watch CNN and see an air strike going into an enemy target, see if you can see the guy wearing Air Forces *****es and a microphone stuffed into his face.

11 September 2001
Islamic terrorist hijack 4 commercial airliners. Two, they drive into the Twin towers in New York, the third they ram the Pentagon with and the fourth crashes into a field in Penn. It is believed that the passengers took back the 4th aircraft before it could hit its intended target. Over 4000+ personnel are listed as missing or dead.
Osama Bin Laden has been linked to the terrorist action. The Hunt has begun.

US Forces, in cooperation with British and other nations have started combat operations in Afghanistan. Ground troops will mostly be Special Operations Personnel.

19 October.
3/75 Rangers pay a visit to a city in Afghanistan. TACPs, are of course, involved. Looks like mustard stains on jump wings for some of our guys.

Hi-res (http://www.romad.com/history/overwatch2.JPG)

19 Feb 2003 On Wednesday, February 19th, 2003, TSgt. Jackson, SRA Venable, and their Special Force Team, were enroute to their base camp returning from a combat mission. A SOF Team member AND SRA VENABLE were IN THE SECOND VEHICLE. Two other team members were IN THE THIRD VEHICLE. TSgt Jackson and a Team member were in the fourth vehicle. THE ROAD WAS COVERED in SNOW. When the trail they were on ended, THEY FOLLOWED A CUT THROUGH path, in order to RETURN TO THE PRIMARY road. THE FIRST TWO VEHICLES PASSED THROUGH WITHOUT INCIDENT. THE THIRD VEHICLE STRAYED SLIGHTLY OFF OF THE PREVIOUS VEHICLES TRACKS. A LARGE EXPLOSION ROCKED THE SURROUNDING area AND TSgt. JACKSON WITNESSED THE third VEHICLE JUMP INTO THE AIR AND RESETTLE in ruins. IT WAS CLEAR THAT THE RIGHT FRONT OF THE VEHICLE HAD SUSTAINED most OF THE DAMAGE. TSgt Jackson made an IMMEDIATE CALL FOR MEDEVAC support and took cover. Once he could not reach his primary contact, HE EXECUTED the alternate requesting method and sent the request. IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE EXPLOSION, TWO SOF Team GUNNERS WENT INTO THE TURRETS AND DID A SWEEP, LOOKING FOR POTENTIAL PERSONNEL WHO COULD HAVE INITIATED THE MINE. HOWEVER, NO PERSONNEL or TRACKS WERE SEEN AND THIS PART OF THE ROAD IS NOT TRAVELLED OFTEN. The Team then REALIZED they WERE IN A MINEFIELD. Although he was already clear of the minefield, SRA VENABLE went back into the area, and was among THE FIRST personnel TO reach the injured. He assisted the other team members in rendering first aid. IT was CLEAR THAT MEDEVAC was necessary, AND a medical professional was needed ON SITE IMMEDIATELY. The injured personnel’s RIGHT FOOT WAS TRAUMATICALLY AMPUTATED and A DEEP GASH WAS evident just under HIS RIGHT EYE. When the patient BECAME COLD, they WRAPPED HIM IN A SLEEPING SYSTEM, and moved him into a vehicle WHERE IT WAS WARMER. This helped in preventing the patient from going into shock. THE MEDEVAC ARRIVED AND TRANSPORTED the injured to a medical facility. The immediate actions of TSgt. Jackson and SRA Venable led to the survival and evacuation of injured military personnel. While SRA Venable sacrificed his own safety, and went back into the minefield in order to rescue another member of his Team, TSgt. Jackson stayed in the danger area and called for the Medevac until he and the rest of his Team could exit the area safely. The selfless actions of TSgt. Jackson and SRA Venable reflect great credit on themselves, the Louisiana National Guard, and the United States Air Force.

March 22nd 2003 First Combat Loss of a TACP member since the creation of the careerfield. A disgruntled Army soldier tosses grenades into the 101st TOC and unloads his weapon through the tent killing two. One, was Major Gregory L. Stone. Major Gregory “Linus” Stone died of wounds received during a grenade attack on the 22nd of March, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, which he was assigned to as an Air Liaison Officer (ALO) at Camp Pennsylvania, Kuwait, Monday March 24th, 2003. Major Stone was a member of the 124th Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS), 124th Wing, Idaho Air National Guard, located at Gowen Field. Maj Stone was mobilized and deployed in support of 19 ASOS. He was a true professional, who lead from the front, volunteered for this assignment and died preparing to support and defend the constitution of the United States, as he had vowed to do over 20 years ago. Maj Stone leaves behind family members, loved ones and many friends. Maj. Stone was born February 6, 1963 , in Weiser, Idaho.

March 31st 2003 Second Combat loss of a TACP Member. FOX News, API: BAGRAM, Afghanistan — Rebel fighters fired more than a dozen rockets and mortars at U.S. military positions in eastern Afghanistan, prompting an air strike that left at least two attackers dead, an Army spokesman said Monday. The mortar and rocket fire missed their marks, and no U.S. soldiers were injured, Col. Roger King told reporters at Bagram Air Base, the headquarters of the U.S.-led coalition north of Kabul. The attacks Sunday came a day after an ambush in southern Helmand province killed two U.S. servicemen, the first American combat deaths in Afghanistan since December and a sign rebel activity is increasing after the start of the war in Iraq. A U.S base near the town of Shkin, in the eastern Paktika province, came under fire by about a dozen 82 mm mortar rounds, King said. Soldiers spotted three vehicles leaving the area and called in air support from a Marine AV-8 Harrier jet and two Apache helicopter gunships. The Harrier dropped a 1,000-pound, laser-guided bomb into the cluster of vehicles, King said. The Apaches did not fire any weapons. "The initial battle damage assessment was that we killed two individuals associated with these vehicles," King said. Separately, assailants fired two rockets at a U.S. post in the eastern town of Gardez, in neighboring Paktia province. No one was injured. In addition, a rocket was fired at the Kabul Military Training Center late Sunday in the capital, King said. The attack came about the same time as a rocket hit the headquarters of the international peacekeeping force that patrols Kabul. No injuries were reported. "It was a busy night," King said. Afghan authorities say Taliban, their Al Qaeda allies and forces loyal to a renegade rebel commander are behind the attacks. Saturday's attack in the southern province of Helmand was the first fatal encounter for U.S. forces in Afghanistan since December. A Special Forces soldier and an airman were killed and another Special Forces trooper wounded when their four-vehicle convoy was ambushed on a reconnaissance patrol. Three Afghan soldiers also were wounded. The Americans killed were identified by U.S. authorities and family members as Army Special Forces Sgt. Orlando Morales, 33, of Manati, Puerto Rico and Staff Sgt. Jacob L. Frazier, 24, a member of the Illinois Air National Guard from St. Charles, Ill. The ambush took place two days after an international Red Cross worker was killed in neighboring Kandahar province. The region is the birthplace of the hardline Taliban regime driven from power by U.S.-led forces in late 2001. U.S. forces and Afghan militia have been conducting sweeps in Kandahar province -- and such offensives often spur more rebel activity. Hundreds of coalition forces swept into the Helmand Valley last month for Operation Viper, and patrols of the perilous area continue. The ambush was part of an "uptick" in rebel activity following the start of the Iraq war about 10 days ago, he said. Posters supposedly written by the Taliban's elusive leader Mullah Mohammed Omar have recently appeared in eastern Afghanistan renewing his call for a holy war against U.S. troops and Afghans who work with them. "Whenever the non-Muslims attack a Muslim land it is the duty of everyone to raise against the aggressor," said the posters, which carried the signatures of 600 Islamic clerics. "We were blamed for Usama bin Laden because they said he was a terrorist and he was taking shelter with us. But what is the fault of Iraq? Iraq has no Usama bin Laden in his country," it said

April 25th 2003 Airman 1st Class Raymond Losano, 24, of Del Rio, Texas, died of wounds received April 25 while supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Losano was a tactical air command and control specialist assigned to the 14th Air Support Operation Squadron, Pope Air Force Base, N.C.

26 March 2003 The Largest jump since World War II into Bashur Airfield Iraq. Over 1100 jumpers + pallets in 19 C-17s put knees in the breeze in the dark of the night. Jumpers landed between 2 kilometers short of, and 3.5 kilometers long of the Drop zone. With the mud and the muck, it took over 12 hours to assemble the unit.
The following TACP's jumped in to Iraq with the 173rd Airborne:
Blaine Anderson
Conan Higgins
Matthew Foote
Ryan Knight
Juan Valentin
Alejandro Castillo
Faustino Martinez
Mitchell Yang
Leo Ortiz

Website (http://www.romad.com/history/history.htm) with history since 1946 - 2003