24th Special Tactics Squadron

Pararescueman is hoisted up to a U.S. Navy MH-60 Seahawk.
A U.S. Air Force Special Tactics pararescueman assigned to the 24th Special Operations Wing is hoisted up to a U.S. Navy MH-60 Seahawk assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Nine during a simulated personnel recovery on Eglin Range, Florida, Feb. 20, 2021, as part of Exercise Emerald Warrior. (1st Lt. Alejandra Fontalvo/Air Force Special Operations Command Public Affairs)

The 24th Special Tactics Squadron is a U.S. Air Force component of the Joint Special Operations Command.

Combat controllers are trained special operations forces and certified FAA air traffic controllers. Their mission is to deploy, undetected, into combat and hostile environments to establish assault zones or airfields while simultaneously conducting air traffic control, fire support, command and control, direct action, counterterrorism, foreign internal defense, humanitarian assistance and special reconnaissance.

Their motto "First There" reaffirms the combat controller's commitment to undertaking the most dangerous missions behind enemy lines by leading the way for other forces to follow.

Their lineage extends back to 1941 when they were known as the 24 Air Corps Interceptor Control Squadron. Since then, the unit has been redesignated and reconstituted several times, and it came to exist in its current form in 1992.

The unit was involved heavily in activities in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of JSOC groups Task Force 121, Task Force 6-26 and Task Force 145.

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