Tech. Sgt. Shannon Cruze: I pretty much live with the Army. I've been to Afghanistan six times, Iraq once. My last appointment in Afghanistan was Oruzgan province. I dropped over 200,000 pounds of ordnance. They usually delegate me to do anything with air. Like, I was also doing resupply; I'll call in the helicopters to land with the supplies. I was calling air drops, but mainly I was the lifeline for their fire support. It's awesome to be the person that can call in that power. When you can actually call in a 2,000-pound bomb, there's nothing that can beat that. A guy's going to shoot a bullet at you, and you can bring back a 2,000-pound bomb. That's an amazing feeling.
Master Sgt. Robert Lee: Air power is critical in breaking the world of the enemy and forcing them in a position where they're either neutralized or forced to surrender.
You go to the schoolhouse after you've done Basic Training; there you're going to spend several months learning the basic radios and the procedures. And that's really the beginning of your training. From there, you go to survival school, and then you go back to your unit, and in your unit you continue your training. And it's really a long process because this is such a varied field, so there's several different things that you need to get proficient with before you can work your way to being a tech and being a primary forward air patroller.
Master Sgt. Lou Santiago: What makes a good TACP? He's got to be smart. He's got to be flexible. Nobody's holding your hand, and you need to find what you're looking for on your own. He's got to have a goal in mind, and he gets out there and he goes for it.
Staff Sgt. Ben Santiago: When an Army commander comes to you, he needs close air support, and you're able to offer it to him successfully, that's a good day's work.