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TACP - AF PAST Test for Air Force Special Warfare

Stew smith

I often get asked about the Tactical Air Control Party of the Air Force Special Operations Command. We, at Fitness, do not have a specific workout program for TACP, but after researching TACP and training a few TACP candidates through the Heroes of Tomorrow program, here are the recommendations we have developed:

The PFT Bible - Military PFT to get TO the training and advance into the Army Ranger / SF Workout to prepare for the rucking events during the training. This combo will more than adequately prepare you to get TO and THROUGH Air Force TACP Training. However The Air Force Special Ops workout and / or Tactical Fitness has an all encompassing tactical training program that focuses on all the elements of fitness these special operators will face in the future - run, swim, ruck, lifting, sprints, calisthenics, and more...

The Air Force is making changes to the Battlefield Airman Program - in fact, get ready for Air Force Special Warfare!  The following units comprise Air Force Special Warfare starting in 2020.


Combat Controller

Special Reconnaissance 

Tactical Air Control Party (TACP)

New 2020 PAST Standards as of April 2020

Minimum Physical Ability and Stamina Test (PAST) for Air Force Special Warfare

SWOE - Special Warfare Open Enlistment - Now you enlist as a SWOE and your performance at the Air Force Special Warfare Prep Course and the follow on Selection determines if you go PJ, CCT, Special Reconnaissance (SR) training pipeline. 



(for transfers)



Pushups 2 min





Situps 2min





Pullups 2 min





1.5 mile run





2 x 25m u/w swim




500m swim





Order of the PAST:  Pullups, Situps, Pushups, Run, U/W Swims, 500m Swim.

*   -- means “not tested”

Recommended PAST Scores from active duty special operators to be a competitive student within the training pipeline:

500m swim - sub 9 minutes
200m swim – sub 4 minutes
1.5 mile run – 9 minutes
Pullups - 20
Situps - 80-100
Pushups – 80-100

I do not have a specific TACP Training program, but the Air Force Special Ops Program that I have been using to make PJ / CCT for years is updated and perfect for the journey since most of the journey is now the same throughout Prep, Assessment, and Selection. 

A Tactical Air Control Party, commonly abbreviated TACP, is usually a team of two or more United States Air Force Tactical Air Controllers. They sometimes include an Air Liaison Officer, which is assigned to a U.S. Army combat maneuver unit. TACPs advise ground commanders on the best use of air power. They also establish and maintain command and control communications, control air traffic and naval gunfire and provide precision terminal attack guidance of U.S. and coalition close air support .

TACP members are assigned to all conventional Army combat units and to various other units such as Special Forces, Navy SEALs and the Army Rangers.


As you can see the PAST requirements are not that challenging, but to be successful not only do you need to master this fitness test, you need to add rucking, more running and leg PT, calisthenics, and core workouts. Recommended numbers and run / ruck times are listed below:

Ruck with 35-50lbs – minimum pace of 4 mph or 15 min mile – goal 12-13 min mile pace. The Army APFT and Ranger / SF Workout will help build a foundation for those seeking TACP with the challenging run and rucking tests involved. 

After Basic Military Training, all former "battlefield airmen candidates" now "Air Force Special Warfare candidates" attend an 8 week prep course called the Air Force Special Warfare Prep Course.  This course is designed to rebuild these special ops recruits after BMT and adequately prepare them for selection and assessment training and the follow on Special Warfare pipelines.  More success - less attrition is the goal of this program. 

Some of the best workouts to prepare for these type of requirements and recommended PAST scores are the link ideas above. One option if you are just starting out on your fitness journey and need to up your scores on the PAST - try this ebook/book if you are just getting started as the AF Special Ops workout is pretty advanced level. 

The PFT Bible - Military PFT - Pullups, pushups, situps, 1.5 mile run workouts.

Calisthenics and Cardio is another good option as it focuses on run, swim, and all your calisthenics that are tested. 

Once you ace the PAST and are now preparing for the TACP training, I would recommend a tougher program such as the Army Ranger / SF Workout or Tactical Fitness as it is loaded with PT, weights, core, running and rucking.

If you are using a program like the ones featured on the Fitness Store continue and add this supplemental program to your training. If you are not on a program, you can try to add this with a one of the free running programs to help your PFT running. See Running Plan 

Thanks for the emails – they really do inspire me to develop articles, so keep them coming at This workout is an opinion of the author and should you proceed with this plan or any derivation, you do so at your own risk and should be cautious.

Good luck with your nutrition / performance fitness program and I hope you see improvement soon. Workouts can be easily obtained at the Fitness Book Store. Send me an email and I may post it up as an article next week. You can contact me at 

General Tactical Fitness Training Information 

Learn How to do Seasonal Periodization to Build Tactical Athlete Skills

Twelve Questions / Answers About Mental Toughness

Quitting or Not Quitting - The Choice is YOURS  

Which Program is Right For Me - Special Ops Candidates 



Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1 Beginner Weeks 1-9 
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3 - Intermediate Weeks 1-12
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4 Grinder PT - Four weeks before Hell Week

Navy SEAL Weight Training Book
Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness Book

The Pipeline of Training Options: 


It depends:  The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness is a classic and focuses on high rep calisthenics and running and swimming base.  You will build up your running over 12-18 weeks to 20 miles but very fast paced focus on both the 1.5 mile run for the PST and the 4 mile timed run for weekly run test at BUDS. If you are an athlete with a strong power / strength background in lifting and not running or swimming, Navy SEAL Fitness is ideal for you. IF you need some place to start Navy SEAL Fitness is ideal for you as well because a calisthenics base / running / swimming progression is a good place to build a foundation.  Though you will likely need to spend some time in the Navy SEAL Weight Training Book OR if Navy SEAL FItness is too challenging, go with Navy SEAL SWCC, EOD, Diver, PST Phase 1 Workout.  Phase 1 is a good starting point if Navy SEAL Fitness program is too tough. 

Navy SEAL Weight Training - This is part two (winter lifting phase) of my SEAL Prep program. If you have done the Navy SEAL Fitness (12 weeks to BUDS) program a few times and need a break, this is the next program that integrates lifting with the Navy SEAL Prep training. 

Navy SEAL / SWCC, EOD, Diver Program Series - Phase 1 is what I call a beginner guide, but it is still challenging.  It is geared toward those who are scoring minimally or failing their Navy PST test - 500yd swim, pushups, situps, pullups, 1.5 mile run.  It is easier than The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness and a good prep course before attempting it. 

Phase 2 and 3 of the Navy SEAL / SWCC, EOD, Diver program is about the same level of intensity as Navy SEAL Fitness and is also a good follow-up plan after Phase 1

Phase 4 ot the Navy SEAL Key to Mental Toughness is by far my toughest workout ever created.  It resembles a day of BUDS, complete with "wet and sandy", runs after eating, high rep punishment push-ups, 4 mile timed runs, 2 mile swims with fins, log PT simulation, and even a HellWeek Simulator with 3 workouts a day.  

Other EBOOKS (Military, Police, Fire Fighter, Special Ops, General Fitness– Most of my programs tend to focus on getting TO and THROUGH a specific tactical training program.  So you may see a mix of all the seasons in some of these books, but if you are training long term, you can take advantage of Seasonal Periodization and save yourself some of the over-use, long term pains that tend to follow many of the tactical preparations - especially on the spec ops level of training. 

Start training today with workouts that focus on the specifics of getting to and through tactical profession training from firefighter, police, swat, military to special ops. We have programs to help you get TO and THROUGH training.


Tactical Fitness Series - Tactical Fitness, Tactical Strength, and Tactical Mobility is an ALL-encompassing program that focuses on lifting, calisthenics, run, ruck, swim, speed, agility, and flexibility / mobility. Many people focusing on USMC (OCS, RECON, MarSOC) Army Ranger / SF, Air Force Special Warfare, SWAT / Federal Law Enforcement, and Navy Special Warfare have done very well focusing on the Tactical Fitness Series and developing themselves into an all-round Tactical Athlete

The Warrior Workout Series - If you are solid with making your own workouts, but need some ideas.  This three part series has 300 workouts (100 / book) to pick from focusing on all the elements of fitness and training programs. Each book is organized with periodization cycles in mind along with calisthenics only, weights / calisthenics mix, cardio options and more. Warrior Workout 1   -  Warrior Workout 2  -   Warrior Workout 3. 

Personalized Training Programs
There are many more options as well as 
personalized training programs member's only program and the new :


Try Our Stew Smith Fitness Members Only Club - #1 Best Selling Tactical Fitness Programs

Questions?  Just email me at

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