CCT Orientation Course for Civil Air Patrol Cadets

CCOC will be THE most challenging, thrilling, and worthwhile CAP Cadet Activity you'll ever attend, bar none. As a 2009 Plank Class Alumnus, I guarantee that the staff, planning, and execution of this course are exemplary. THIS IS A MUST-DO Cadet Activity!!! Get in top condition physically, though... you have been warned!
                                                                       Click on video to the right

For more information and application procedures for the CCT Orientation Course, Click Here.

Below are a couple of interviews with Combat Controllers, just click on the video to watch.

Special Tactics Unit teaches skills to Special Operations Airmen
Combat Control Pre SCUBA Video

2/11/2009 - 
HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. (AFNS)  -- Spending hours in a pool in the warm Florida sun may sound like a vacation, but for trainees at the Air Force Special Operations Training Center's Special Tactics Training Squadron here, it's anything but.

For these trainees, each of whom is a three-level Combat Controller, spending hours in a pool is all part of the training to earn their five level certification. The STTS teaches these trainees advanced skills they will need before being assigned to their first operational units.

"The first phase is pre-scuba training and the trainees will spend anywhere from three to four hours in the pool at one time," said Tech. Sgt. Nathan Salvemini, STTS superintendent of formal training. "Then they will normally have a couple more hours of remedial training at the end of the day." 
The purpose of this training is to familiarize the trainees with the basics of water operations. The trainees perform tasks such as tying knots underwater, learning how to stay afloat without their arms and hands, how to perform "buddy breathing" and how to use snorkeling gear.

But the course also teaches the trainees how to deal with the intangibles of water operations.

"Everyone has a basic fear of water," said Master Sgt. Duane Sadler, a Combat Controller and STTS instructor. "This course allows these guys to learn how to overcome this fear and not panic in stressful situations.

The pre-scuba training course lasts four to eight weeks and prepares the trainees for the next step in their water training -- the Air Force Combat Diver Course in Panama City, Fla.

"We instituted the pre-scuba course to better prepare our trainees for the intense training they will receive at the combat diver course," said Maj. Chris Larkin, STTS commander. "Since we started this, we haven't lost anyone in further training and typically the honor graduate will be one of our guys."

This is because the Airmen have developed the confidence to know they can surpass their limits and perform effectively in any situation they may find themselves while in the water, he added.

"This training does definitely help," said 2nd Lt. Nate Smith, an advanced skills trainee. "It's challenging, but it shows you how to overcome stress, not panic and accomplish the mission. It shows you can do more than you thought you were capable of, too."

This message will help the trainees throughout their advanced training. The pre-scuba training is only one small part of the lengthy process it takes to become a Combat Controller.

"All said and done, it takes a little more than two years to train one Combat Controller," Sergeant Sadler said.

This training includes attending air traffic control school, the combat diver course, survival training, airborne school and a 13-week basic Combat Controller technical course.

By the time the controllers are assigned to their first operational unit, they have the skills necessary to perform their missions in a real-world environment.

Which is good, since the majority of these trainees will deploy shortly after accomplishing all their training.

"That's what makes this training so important," Sergeant Sadler said. "It gives these guys the abilities and know-how to do what they're asked to do when they leave here."