Not the Standard ATC Gig

The Air Force is using some of its air traffic controllers in an unusual way—they guide fighters to targets. That’s a job normally handled by USAF terminal attack controllers or air battle managers, but in the southern third of Iraq, it is now part of the daily routine of area control center controllers who also oversee routine air traffic. If they see suspicious activity on their scope within a “kill box,” they direct a fighter to the area, then monitor it to keep other aircraft out of the way.