Fix the Shipboard Air Intercept Controller Program
By Commander Christopher F. Hill, Commander David Dees, Lieutenant Brett Williams, and Lieutenant Will Meyer, U.S. Navy
During the Vietnam War, “Red Crown” was the call sign of what is today known as the air intercept controller (AIC). AICs sit behind scopes and manipulate radars in order to identify air threats and maneuver fighters into advantageous attack positions. They are not to be confused with air traffic controllers (ATCs). ATCs keep things orderly; AICs create fireballs. Today’s shipboard AICs are selected from the ranks of operations specialists (OSs) at paygrades of E-5 and above.