An Air Force plan to relocate squadrons of elite close-air support airmen on Army bases, consolidating from eight locations down to just two, is alarming GOP lawmakers, who claim the move will harm military readiness and are pressing the service for more details.
Tactical Air Control Party airmen are part of a special warfare job in the Air Force and embed with other services, such as the Army and Marines, to help scout and guide air support in the heat of battle. It's one of the service's toughest jobs and involves rigorous physical training and hazardous assignments.
But the plan to reorganize multiple units located at Army bases across the country into just two locations may cause issues, GOP members of the House claimed in a letter to Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall.
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“Any soldier who has been in a ‘danger close' engagement and has trusted a TACP operator to call in effective fires will attest to the mutual trust they develop through close integration,” the lawmakers wrote. “Breaking these relationships will create a gap in expertise at the expense of the warfighter and will force division commanders to assume greater risk across all domains.”
Rose Riley, a department of the Air Force spokeswoman, confirmed to Military.com on Tuesday that the service selected Fort Cavazos in Texas and Fort Liberty in…