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​Combat controllers from the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla., perform air traffic control radio transmissions to an A-10C Thunderbolt II approaching an austere landing strip during training at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., Dec. 4, 2014. Air Force photo by A1C Chris Massey.

​The Air Force is now allowing airmen to be released from their current jobs and attempt to cross-train into special tactics, provided they meet the standards for the new career fields. The move, which comes from an April 25 policy memorandum, is an attempt to fill critically manned career fields in the special tactics community, such as special tactics officer, combat rescue officer, combat controller, pararescue, and special operations weather, according to July 26 release. The new policy also allows airmen to join the tactical air control party and air liaison officer career fields, though those require prior service in the conventional force. The airmen will now be able to cross train to special tactics regardless of the manning levels in their prior career field. “Battlefield airmen career fields historically have high attrition in training,” CMSgt. Alan Yoshida, battlefield airmen training pipeline manager, said in the release. “This policy change could benefit the Air Force by increasing the candidate pool to those previously not allowed to cross train.” Under the new policy, an airman who does not pass initial qualifications for the special tactics career field will be reinstated into prior career field “without any prejudice,” the release states.