There are constant rumors of TACP apprentice course changes. Most that involve significant change have connection to JTAC becoming an award of 3-level AFSC requirement.
Most of current rumor is connected to a August 2016 Program guidance memorandum that will become void in August 2017 unless something is implemented as a new requirement in the AFECD (Apr 2017), CFETP (July 2016) or AFI 13-113v1 (July 2014).
SUBJECT: Air Force Guidance Memorandum for AFI13-113, Volume 1, Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) Training Program, 26 August 2016:
The following change adds JTAC Volunteer requirements to AFI13-113, Volume 1. Air Liaison Officer (ALO - P13LX) and TACP Operator (1C4XX) personnel are required to become Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) certified in order to perform operational duties. Add new paragraph 126.96.36.199. Primary AFSC ALO and TACP operator personnel who do not volunteer in writing to perform JTAC duties as a prerequisite to enter formal TACP training. Individuals who withdraw their volunteer status must be removed from AETC or Combat Air Forces AFSC 13L, 1C4, or JTAC formal training. Individuals must sign an Air Force Memorandum per AFMAN 33-326, with the following statement, “I volunteer to control close air support missions as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller under any and all conditions, including hostile action against an armed enemy.”
This Memorandum becomes void after one-year has elapsed from the date of this memorandum, or upon publication of an Interim Change or rewrite of AFI 13-113, Volume 1, Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) Training Program, whichever is earlier. There are no reliability restrictions on this memorandum. [/color]
The current April 2017 AFECD indicates JTAC qualification remains an award of 5-skill level AFSC requirement.
3.5.3. For award and retention of AFSC 1C451/71/91/00, certification as a JTAC according to AFI 13-112, Volume 1, Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) Training Program, and Volume 2, Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) Standardization/Evaluation Program.
The current July 2016 CFETP does state:
"Apprentice Level Training: Some equipment items and vehicles are not yet procured. These items are funded and will be ordered in FY17. Loan of equipment from operational units and internal adjustments (e.g. temporary increase of student to equipment ratios) have been coordinated." But fails to give any indications of a new pipeline being considered or implemented.
Although I can enter an academic for the fun of it discussions about the recent emphasis of I volunteer to control CAS as a JTAC entry classification requirement this discussion is separate from required initial skills training for award of any AFSC.
The significant driving change to initial skill training requirements for award of TACP 3-level AFSC is inseparably connected to at what skill level does gaining and sustaining JTAC qualifications become mandatory for award and retention of award of the TACP skill level AFSC.