Fix the Shipboard Air Intercept Controller Programcall 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.
Many of the Vietnam-era Red Crown shipboard AICs were considered “exceptionally good” and were the controllers of choice for both Navy and Air Force fighters because they had significant work with Navy Fighter Weapon School (TopGun)-trained Navy pilots.1