The latest female airman to attempt to become a tactical air control party airman dropped out on her third day of training.
That airman began TACP training Aug. 6 after finishing the battlefield airman prep course. However, she ”self-eliminated” and is now trying to retrain into a medical career field, Lt. Gen. Darryl Roberson, head of Air Education and Training Command, said in a Sept. 7 email.
AETC’s public affairs office confirmed to Air Force Times on Aug. 11 that the airman had started training, which Air Force Times reported that day, but was unaware at the time that she had dropped out.
Roberson said another female airman started the battlefield airman prep course on Aug. 14, after graduating from basic military training, and she hopes to become a TACP airman.
A third female airman, who also wanted to become a TACP, failed out of the battlefield airman prep course and retrained into security forces, Roberson said. This year, the only enlisted battlefield job women have attempted to join has been TACP, he said.
“Physical standards for battlefield airmen are both challenging and relevant,” Roberson said. ”Women comprise 19 percent of the Air Force ― the highest percentage of women in any service. Being a battlefield airman is tough. Not everyone wants to be a battlefield airman, but those who have the desire and qualifications will be afforded an opportunity to serve in those specialties, regardless of other factors.”
Two other female airmen previously tried unsuccessfully to become TACPs. One was forced to drop out after sustaining a leg injury and returned to her previous specialty. The other was not able to meet the entry standards to begin TACP training.
TACPs deploy to the battlefield with ground troops from other services, where they coordinate with aircraft overhead during combat and direct airstrikes.
Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at Military.com. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.