The 17th Special Tactics Squadron is one of the ten Special Tactics Squadrons of United States Air Force Special Operations Command. It is garrisoned at Fort Benning, Georgia. Special Tactics Squadrons consist of Special Tactics Officers, Combat Controllers, Combat Rescue Officers, Pararescuemen, Air Force Special Operations Weather Technicians, Air Liaison Officers, Tactical Air Control Party operators, and a number of combat support airmen which comprise 58 Air Force specialties.
Special Tactics operators with the 17th STS, 24th Special Operations Wing, Air Force Special Operations Command, deploy with special operations forces to provide joint terminal attack control and maximize the impacts of air power by controlling and directing precise strikes to destroy the enemy. The squadron’s primary mission is to provide special tactics TACPs to the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment for unconventional operations.
A Tactical Air Control Party, commonly abbreviated TACP, refers to an individual or team of United States Air Force personnel, who are aligned with a conventional United States Army or United States Marine Corps combat maneuver unit or to an Air Force, Army, Marine, or Navy special operations unit, to provide precision terminal attack guidance of U.S. and coalition fixed- and rotary-wing close air support aircraft, artillery, and naval gunfire; establish and maintain command and control (C2) communications; and advise ground commanders on the best use of air power.
The 17th STS is made up of a headquarters unit and two operational detachments. The headquarters unit is stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia. Detachment 1 (Red Team) is stationed at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia and is attached to 1st Ranger Battalion. Detachment 2 (Silver Team) is stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington and is attached to the 2nd Ranger Battalion. Each detachment consists of 13 TACPS and one ALO.