Connect with us

Units

USAF Combat Controllers Team (USAF CCT)

Published

on

USAF combat controllers

US Air Force Special Operations Command’s combat controllers teams, or short USAF CCT, are assigned to special tactics squadrons like Battlefield Airmen. The mission of USAF Combat Controllers Team (USAF CCT) is to deploy undetected into remote and possible hostile environments and combat zones to establish assault zones or airfields for incoming troops, while simultaneously conducting air traffic control, fire support, command and control, direct action, counter-terrorism, foreign internal defense, humanitarian assistance and special reconnaissance. USAF Combat Controllers are FAA-certified air traffic controllers.

USAF CCT has their own motto, “First There,” it reaffirms the combat controller’s commitment to undertaking the most dangerous missions behind enemy lines by leading the way for other forces to follow their lead.

Training of USAF CCT members

USAF Combat controllers team(USAF CCT) are among the most highly trained special operations force in the U.S. military. They maintain their core skill as air traffic controllers throughout their career in addition to other unique skills. They are highly trained in infiltration methods which including static line and freefall parachuting, scuba, rubber raiding craft, all-terrain vehicles, rappelling and fast rope methods. Most qualify and maintain currency as joint terminal attack controllers. They are known also by the rule, that only males can apply for training.

The first part of their training lasts for 35-weeks of training and unique mission skills earn them their initial certification and the right to wear the distinctive scarlet red beret. After that, they follow an additional 11-12 months of advanced skills training which takes place at the Special Tactics Training Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla., before they can be assigned to an operational special tactics squadron and considered combat ready in USAF Combat Controllers teams.

Training courses of USAF Combat Controller Team members:

  • Combat Control Screening Course, Lackland Air Force Base, Texas This 10-day screening course focuses on physical fitness with classes in sports physiology, nutrition, basic exercises, CCT history, and fundamentals.
  • Combat Control Operator Course, Keesler AFB, Miss.  This 15 and a half-week course teaches aircraft recognition and performance, air navigation aids, weather, airport traffic control, flight assistance service, communication procedures, conventional approach control, radar procedures and air traffic rules. This is the same course that all Air Force air traffic controllers attend and is the core skill of a combat controller’s job.
  • U.S. Army Airborne School, Fort Benning, Ga. Trainees learn the basic parachuting skills required to infiltrate an objective area by static line airdrop in a three-week course.
  • U.S. Air Force Basic Survival School, Fairchild AFB, Wash. This two- and a half-week course teaches basic survival techniques for remote areas. Instruction includes principles, procedures, equipment and techniques, which enable individuals to survive, regardless of climatic conditions or unfriendly environments and return home.
  • Combat Control School, Pope AFB, N.C. This 13-week course provides final combat controller qualifications. Training includes physical training, small unit tactics, land navigation, communications, assault zones, demolitions, fire support and field operations including parachuting.
  • Special Tactics Advanced Skills Training, Hurlburt Field, Fla.  Advanced skills training is a 12-to-15-month program for newly assigned combat controller operators.
  • U.S. Army Military Free Fall Parachutist School, Fort Bragg, N.C., and Yuma Proving Grounds, Ariz. This course instructs free fall parachuting procedures. The five-week course provides wind tunnel training, in-air instruction focusing on student stability, aerial maneuvers, air sense, parachute opening procedures and parachute canopy control.
  • U.S. Air Force Combat Diver School, Panama City, Fla.  Trainees become combat divers, learning to use scuba and closed-circuit diving equipment to covertly infiltrate denied areas. The six-week course provides training to depths of 130 feet, stressing the development of maximum underwater mobility under various operating conditions.

History of USAF Combat Controllers Team

Army pathfinders originated in 1943 out of the need for accurate airdrops during airborne campaigns of World War II.  These pathfinders preceded main assault forces into objective areas to provide weather information and visual guidance to inbound aircraft through the use of high-powered lights, flares and smoke pots.

When the Air Force became a separate service,  Air Force pathfinders, later called combat control teams, were activated in 1953  to provide navigational aids and air traffic control for a growing Air Force.  In the Vietnam War, combat controllers helped assure mission safety and expedited air traffic flow during countless airlifts. Combat controllers also flew as forward air guides in support of indigenous forces in Laos and Cambodia.

USAF Combat controllers continue to be the literally First There when they are called upon to participate in international emergencies and humanitarian relief efforts.

Advertisement

Units

Portuguese Army Special Operations Forces

Published

on

IMG 1662 3 - Portuguese Army Special Operations Forces

In Portuguese, it is called Centro de Tropas de Operações Especiais (CTOE), and you can translate it to Special Operations Forces Center, they are the Portuguese Army Special Operations Forces (SOF) and are part of the Army Rapid Reaction Brigade. They are based in Lamego, a city in the North of Portugal surround by mountains and very close to the Douro River. The very cold environment in the winter mixed very hot in the summer, the mountain terrain together with the harsh training the men receive is a great recipe to create very tuff Men.

Organized in Special Operations Platoons and Task Units (TU), but together with support and logistics, they have a Battalion size unit. The CTOE is composed of a specially selected man, which are organized, trained, equipped and use techniques, tactics and procedures that are nonstandard to regular forces. They are able to conduct activities in all spectrum of warfare, independently or integrated with other regular or irregular forces in a way to achieve victory. In case of Political need they are also able to conduct descript or even covert operations. Special Operations can be conducted directly against an enemy, or indirectly by training and supporting local foreign military or even create militia from populations.

Portuguese SOF TU can be infiltrated by air, land or water and coordination with Air, Land and Naval Firepower support is common in any Joint Operations Area as it augments Special Operations capacities.

The regular TASK UNIT is composed of Commander (Captain), Operations and Intelligence Officer (Lieutenant), Operations and Intelligence Sargent, Team and Logistics Master Sargent, one support section, one maintenance section, one medical section, one communications section and a Platoon of Special Operations soldiers. Sometimes, if needed, it can be augmented with Air Force Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) personnel.

Portuguese SOF missions include:

  • Perform studies and experiments with new tactics and gear,
  • Organize, train and maintain Special Operations Forces,
  • Organize, train and mentor irregular/civilian forces,
  • Organize and perform Subversive Warfare in case of homeland invasion by foreign forces,
  • Unconventional warfare,
  • Counter-Terrorism,
  • Psychological warfare
  • Direct and indirect actions,
  • Raids and Sabotage against high-value targets,
  • Long range reconnaissance patrol (LRRP),
  • Locating enemy command and control centers,
  • Targeting and destruction of enemy air defenses and radar systems,
  • Hostages, POW and other personnel rescue operations,
  • Many other that it´s commander find suitable.

Portuguese Army SOF has been deployed worldwide. Some of the known countries are Angola, Mozambique, Guinee-Bissau, Iraq, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, East-Timor, Afghanistan, Mali and the Central African Republic. They have been a part of NATO Immediate Reaction Forces since its creation.

Working in other countries for long time period missions demands that the unit acquires knowledge of the local language and cultural costumes. English and French are common languages taught to the unit. Portugal has a long military tradition in Africa so this is one area of operations where the unit feels very comfortable

Some of the foreign qualifications that the Officers and Non-Commission Officers take are:

  • Forward Air Controller (FAC) in Germany
  • Sniper in the United Kingdom,
  • Special Forces in the United States,
  • Airborne in the United States,
  • Ranger in the United States,
  • Special Operations Military Free-Fall in the United States,
  • Jungle warfare in Brazil,
  • Artic Warfare in Norway,
  • Enemy vehicles recognition in Germany,
  • Long range reconnaissance patrol in Germany

Portuguese Army SOF has been modernizing itself for the last years. Especially in what concerns the individual soldier equipment. New weaponry like assault rifles, silencers, light and medium machine guns, Trijicon and Schmidt & Bender scopes, AN PEQ-16B laser/illuminator modules, AN PVS-21 night vision goggles, but also protection equipment like the Ops core Helmets, Warrior assault systems Tactical Vests and some day by day items like the mystery ranch backpacks, Harris Radios and Peltor Headsets.

Portuguese Army SOF is a modern force with experience in many theatres. With participation in United Nations, European Union and NATO operations, it is a strong asset to these Organizations and its partners.

Their motto is: “Que os muitos por sermos poucos não temamos” – Don´t fear the many just because we are few.

Continue Reading

Units

German alternative to US Navy SEALs: Special forces of underwater commandos

Published

on

kommando spezialkrafte marine - German alternative to US Navy SEALs: Special forces of underwater commandos

The elite detachment of combat divers, Kommando Spezialkräfte Marine (KSM) is a special unit of commandos of the German Navy that may serve as Berlin’s response the US Navy SEALs. Against the background of the current situation in the world (cold wars, sea piracy, etc.), KSM acts as an important tool of Germany’s foreign policy. KSM was established for special operations under the water.

Special forces in the naval forces of Germany appeared relatively recently. First-ever German military divers were trained in France in 1959. The task of the German battalion “Specialized operational marine forces” (Spezialisierten Einsatzkräften der Marine) included special operations on land and under the water. From 2003 to 2014, the battalion was one of the most sought-after units of the German army.

Special operations were conducted in Afghanistan, Cyprus, Lebanon, Kosovo and Somalia. In the process of the recent reorganization of the German Navy, the battalion was divided into several groups. In April 2014, a fundamentally new military organization was created – special forces of commando divers – Kommando Spezialkräfte Marine, or KSM.

The Kommando Spezialkräfte Marine is based in the German city of Eckernförd, where the entire fleet of German submarines is deployed. “The new military structure has a narrow specialization, this allows us to better perform the tasks set. Guys do their work professionally, and it is the most important thing for me,” the commander of KSM, Jorg Buddenbaum, said.

ksm kommando - German alternative to US Navy SEALs: Special forces of underwater commandos

KSM operators during the training (Photo: FILE)

The tasks of Kommando Spezialkräfte Marine (KSM) special forces include reconnaissance and sabotage activities on the water, under the water, and in the coastal zone. Missions can also be life-saving, peacekeeping, aimed at protecting and ensuring security of any objects (ships, oil and gas offshore platforms). The work of the unit is often conducted under the aegis of NATO or the UN.

Each mission usually involves four or five military divers – a commander, a sniper, a medic, a radio operator and an observer. Their diving equipment includes German rebreather Dräger LAR-V, dry and wet suits from 5 to 7 mm, fins and masks, navigation gadgets, knives, underwater watch and underwater pistol P11 Heckler&Koch (silently fires steel arrows). KSM divers use submarine scooters to move underwater, while air cushions, speedboats, kayaks, etc. are used on the water surface.

The German Armed Forces do not disclose any information on the number of KSM soldiers. According to various reports, it goes about 130 men (only men can serve in KSM).

ksm germany - German alternative to US Navy SEALs: Special forces of underwater commandos

Kommando Spezialkräfte Marine (Photo: FILE)

KSM candidates have to undergo an exceptionally intense 3-year training course. In the process of training, candidates master the knowledge and skills necessary for naval commandos: diving, parachute jumping, rock climbing, counter-terrorism training, boat and ship navigation. As a rule, only 30 percent of candidates join the rank of KSM servicemen. To date, KSM is considered one of the most highly trained special units of the German army.

Continue Reading

Most Popular Last Week