United States Air Force Combat Control Teams, singular Combat Controller (CCT) (AFSC 1C2X1), are American special operations forces (specifically known as "special tactics operators") who specialize in all aspects of air-ground communication, including air traffic control, fire support (including fixed and rotary wing close air support), and command, control, and communications in covert, forward, or austere environments.
Assigned to Special Tactics Squadrons and Special Tactics Teams along with Pararescuemen, Special Operations Reconnaissance, and Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) operators, Combat Controllers are an integral part of Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), the Air Force component of United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM), and of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Trained in underwater and maritime operations, freefall parachuting, and many other deployment methods, Combat Controllers are often assigned individually or as a team to Army Special Forces, Army Ranger, Navy SEAL, and Delta Force to provide expert airfield seizure, airstrike control, and communications capabilities.
Combat Controllers are FAA-certified air traffic controllers and maintain proficiency throughout their career. Along with TACPs, many Combat Controllers also qualify and maintain proficiency as joint terminal attack controllers (JTACs) where they call in and direct air strikes, close air support and fire support. Out of the seven Air Force Crosses awarded since the Global War on Terror started in 2001, five have been awarded to Combat Controllers for extraordinary heroism in combat.