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TACRON 21 Helps Kearsarge Maintain Safety

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS100428-27

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Cristina Gabaldon, USS Kearsarge Public Affairs

USS KEARSARGE, At Sea (NNS) -- Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 21, from Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Virginia Beach, Va., embarked amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) to help maintian safe flight operations during the work-up cycle and preparation for an upcoming deployment.

"Our purpose of being here is to ensure safety and planning for Navy and Marine Corps aircraft during amphibious missions," said Cmdr. Jon Laubach, executive officer of TACRON 21. "Safety is the biggest part of our mission. Our goal is to facilitate ship to shore movements in the safest possible way."

The detachment from TACRON 21 consists of 33 people, most of whom recently completed a mission with the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5).

"Most of us have been on an amphibious assault ship before, most recently we did relief efforts in Haiti with the Bataan, so our familiarity with amphibs will help us with Kearsarge's mission," said Air Traffic Controller 2nd Class Jeremy Austin, a member of TACRON 21. "My priority right now for these workups leading to the deployment is streamlining integration between Kearsarge and ourselves to be able to work side-by-side and ensure safe operations and ultimately putting boots on the ground safely."

TACRON 21 has been well received since arriving to Kearsarge, especially by their counterparts in the Amphibious Air Traffic Control Center (AATCC).

"They are a great help and will be very beneficial come deployment," said Chief Air Traffic Controller David Buehner, leading chief petty officer of AATCC. "Having so many tasks can be overwhelming for my crew of only 19. They are sharing a large work load, as well as supporting our mission, and on behalf of all of us in AATCC, we appreciate everything they do."

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