This particular project was a result of a request originated from this very blog. From time to time I get such general requests for specific insignia, and I always follow up on such requests as time permits. This time, a comment to one of my articles read the following: “Serge, Fantastic work. I wanted to see if you could work your magic and create the flash and crest of the USAF TACP. Small group of guys often overlooked. We have nothing close to what you have created for us to use in presentations and such. Would be greatly appreciated.” And here we are… If you guys read this, please feel free to use those for your presentations and such…
The Tactical Air Control Party, commonly abbreviated TACP, is a small team of Army, Marine or Air Force personnel who provide airspace deconfliction and terminal control of Close Air Support at battle group level or below. It usually consists of an officer Forward Air Controller (FAC), a SNCO FAC and usually a pair of signallers/drivers. A United States Air Force Tactical Air Control Party, commonly abbreviated TACP, is usually a team of two or more United States Air Force TACP journeyman or craftsman(AFSC 1C4X1) aligned with a conventional or special operational United States Army combat maneuver unit to advise ground commanders on the best use of air power, establish and maintain command and control communications, and provide precision terminal attack guidance of U.S. and coalition fixed- and rotary-wing close air support aircraft, artillery, and naval gunfire. A TACP always includes at least one Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) qualified to control attack aircraft. It can also include an Air Liaison Officer, who works primarily in an advisor capacity.
Along with being aligned with all conventional U.S. Army combat units, TACP airmen are also attached to Special Forces, Navy SEALs, and Army Rangers, as well as Joint Special Operations Command units and multi-national Special Operations task forces, primarily as communication and aircraft coordination experts and precision airstrike controllers. In addition, TACP members can be assigned to AFSOC Special Tactics Squadrons to perform their traditional duties in support of the Special Tactics mission. Enlisted members are either known as JTACs or ROMADs. JTACs provide terminal attack control for attack aircraft and act in an advisory capacity for their aligned army unit. ROMADs (Now referred to by the Air Force as JTAC's in training) are communication experts who assist JTACs in the performance of their duties while working to attain JTAC status for themselves. ("Radio Operator, Maintainer, and Driver," a holdover acronym from the career field’s Vietnam era, when enlisted airmen served primarily as assistants to officer-only Forward Air Controllers, has been replaced in the TACP vernacular with the term "Recon, Observe, Mark & Destroy" in reflection of the modern role of the TACCS)
TACP members wear black berets with a distinctive red, blue, and green cloth flash and silver crest. Pilots serving as Air Liaison Officers are authorized to wear the black beret, flash, and rank while assigned to a TACP unit, but not at any other point in their career (many choose not to don the black beret out of respect for the enlisted TACP airmen who have undergone intense training to earn this distinctive uniform item). Air Liaison Officers can obtain JTAC status by attending a four-week joint terminal attack controller qualification course, but are not required to do so. Non-rated Air Liaison Officers, or "13 Limas," undergo the same intense training as their TACP airmen. They wear the black beret.
As always, the above insignia are available on a limited number of selected quality products via my “Military Insignia” galleries at Zazzle. You may simply follow the direct links in the article to navigate to the corresponding galleries
I will also make my insignia designs available free of charge to any military units and personnel, for any non-profit/non-commercial and charitable causes, benefiting troops and their families. In addition, I would make my designs available free of charge to any military branches, formations and units for any non-commercial internal duty-specific purposes, such as unit-related web design, training materials or presentations, as I did on many occasions in the past.