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United States Air Force Combat Control Team

United States Air Force Combat Control Teams, singular Combat Controller, are American special operations forces who specialize in all aspects of air-ground communication, including air traffic control, fire support, command and communications in covert, forward, or austere environments. Assigned to Special Tactics Squadrons and Special Tactics Teams along with Pararescuemen, Special Operations Reconnaissance, Tactical Air Control Party operators, Combat Controllers are an integral part of Air Force Special Operations Command, the Air Force component of United States Special Operations Command, of Joint Special Operations Command. Trained in underwater and maritime operations, freefall parachuting, many other deployment methods, Combat Controllers are assigned individually or as a team to Army Special Forces, Army Ranger, Navy SEAL, Delta Force to provide expert airfield seizure, airstrike control, communications capabilities. Combat Controllers are FAA-certified air traffic controllers and maintain proficiency throughout their career.

Along with TACPs, many Combat Controllers qualify and maintain proficiency as joint terminal attack controllers where they call in and direct air strikes, close air support and fire support. Out of the seven Air Force Crosses awarded since the Global War on Terror started in 2001, five have been awarded to Combat Controllers for extraordinary heroism in combat. CCT Motto: "First There", which reaffirms the Combat Controller's commitment to undertaking the most dangerous missions behind enemy lines by leading the way for other forces to follow. Air Force Special Operations Command's Combat Controllers are battlefield airmen assigned to special tactics squadrons, they are trained special operations forces and certified Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers. The mission of a Combat Controller is to deploy undetected into combat and hostile environments to conduct special reconnaissance, establish assault zones or airfields, while conducting air traffic control, fire support, command and communications and forward air control.

They deploy with air and ground forces in support of direct action, such as counter-terrorism, foreign internal defense, humanitarian assistance, combat search and rescue. Combat Controllers employ all-terrain vehicles, amphibious vehicles and demolitions in pursuit of their objectives, which may include obstacle destruction. Combat Controller training, nearly two years long, is among the most rigorous in the US military; the CCT pipeline has a wash out rate upwards of 90–95% due to self-eliminations, injuries sustained during training, academic failures. The Air Force is working to lower the washout rate through proper education and rigorous pre-pipeline training. Combat Controllers maintain air traffic controller qualification skills throughout their career in addition to other special operations skills. Many maintain proficiency as joint terminal attack controllers, their 35-week initial training and unique mission skills earn them the right to wear the scarlet beret and their 3 skill level.

From that point they attend a 12–15-month advanced skill training course to obtain their 5 skill level. Once they complete AST their training pipeline is finished and they are mission-ready Combat Controllers; the first course Combat Controller trainees attend after the 8.5-week Basic Military Training is the two-week-long Combat Control Selection Course at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. The selection course focuses on sports physiology, basic exercises, combat control history and fundamentals; the second course in the CCT pipeline is the Combat Control Operator Course located at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. The Operator course is 15.5 weeks long. The Operator course teaches aircraft recognition and performance, air navigation aids, airport traffic control, flight assistance service, communication procedures, conventional approach control, radar procedures and air traffic rules. After the Operator course the trainee attends the Army Airborne School at Georgia. In the three-week course the trainees learn basic parachuting skills required to infiltrate an objective area by static line airdrop.

The next course after Airborne School is the Air Force Basic Survival School located at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. SERE School lasts three weeks; the course teaches techniques for survival in remote areas. Instruction includes principles, procedures and techniques that enable individuals to survive, regardless of climatic conditions or unfriendly environments, return alive; the last course in the Combat Control pipeline is the Combat Control School located at Pope Field, North Carolina. The CCT School is thirteen weeks long and it provides the final Combat Controller qualifications; the training includes physical training, small unit tactics, land navigation, assault zones, fire support and field operations including parachuting. Graduates of Combat Control school are awarded their 3-skill level on their Air Force Specialty Code, scarlet beret and CCT flash; the Benini Heritage Center Fund Raising effort supports education and training at the Combat Control School. After the Combat Controller gains their three level they attend Special Tactics Advanced Skills Training for 12 to 15 months as part of the Special Tactics Training Squadron located at Hurlburt Field, Florida.

Advanced Skills Training is a program for newly assigned Combat Controllers and Special Operations Weather Technicians. AST produces mission

Zeba Islam Seraj

Zeba Islam Seraj is a Bangladeshi scientist known for her research in developing salt-tolerant rice varieties suitable for growth in the coastal areas of Bangladesh. She is a Professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Dhaka. Seraj studied at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh obtaining a B. Sc. in 1980. She completed her M. Sc. from the same university in 1982. She obtained her PhD in Biochemistry from University of Glasgow in 1986 and went to University of Liverpool for post-doctoral work in the following year. After completing her post-doc she joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Dhaka in 1988, she became an associate professor in 1991 and a professor in 1997 at the same university. She has been supervising Plant Biotechnology projects funded by foreign and local grants as a Principal Investigator since 1991, she is a visiting researcher with UT Austin since 2013 Seraj has established a well-equipped plant biotechnology laboratory at the University of Dhaka.

She is a co-principal investigator of a project in the Generation Challenge Program —an initiative to use molecular biology to help boost agricultural production. Seraj has worked on fine mapping of the major QTLs for salinity tolerance in Pokkali, a traditional rice landrace and application of markers to aid breeding programs for incorporation of salinity tolerance in rice, she works on developing genetically modified rice varieties with improved salt tolerance suitable for growing in the coastal region of Bangladesh. She was the recipient of the PEER award for using next generation sequencing technologies to find the basis of salt tolerance of a rice landrace endemic to the Bangladesh coast, where University of Texas at Austin served as the host for collaborative work Seraj has been a visiting scientist in PBGB, IRRI, PBGB & CSWS Division, IRRI, USDA research station at Beaumont, Texas, USA and at the Department of Molecular and Developmental Biology, University of Texas, Austin, USA as Norman Borlaug Fellow.

She has been honored with Visiting researcher status at University of Texas at Austin. She was awarded with the Annanya Award, 2017 for her Scientific Research. Zeba was married to Toufiq M Seraj, is a Bangladeshi businessman, the founder and managing director of Sheltech, they have two daughters. Anannya Top Ten Awards Zeba Islam Seraj's lab website Barrell, Tony. "Bangladesh: Rice is Life". Rice Bowl Tales. ABC Radio National. Story Transcript. "Partner and Product Highlights 2006". Generation Challenge Programme. Archived from the original on 5 July 2007.url=http://sites.nationalacademies.org/PGA/PEER/PEERscience/PGA_084034