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3rd CAB unit selected to field new mobile tower

October 30, 2012

By Capt. Chad J Ashe (3rd ID)

HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD, Ga. - A ribbon cutting ceremony showcasing the new AN/MSQ-135 Mobile Tower System was held on Hunter Army Airfield, Oct. 25, for Company F, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade.

The ceremony signified the MOTS fielding. Approximately, 80 guests attended the ceremony from surrounding military installations, aircraft industry and the local community. Various contractors were there to see the program's culmination.

The MOTS replaces the AN/TSW-7A, a model first introduced in the early 1970s. With the new system come touch-screen interfaces, improved climate control systems, modern airspace surveillance equipment, state of the art communications equipment and increased survivability for its air traffic control operators.

Major General William T. "Tim" Crosby, program executive officer for aviation, was there to speak to the formation of Soldiers who will use the equipment in 3rd CAB's upcoming deployment to Afghanistan later this year. Major General Crosby travels the country working with industry representing aviation systems fielded by the Army.

As one of the senior aviation leaders in the Army, Maj. Gen. Crosby says he is proud of what the Soldiers are about to do.

"The hardships you're about to endure and what your Families will endure while you're gone," he added.

Soldiers from the unit became the first air traffic control operators in the Army to use the MOTS, during two weeks of training in April.

The Co. F, 2/3 Avn. Regt., commander was on hand with her formation of Soldiers who will run the new system for 3rd CAB in Afghanistan. Captain Evelyn Velasquez from Miami, Fla., is the commander of these Soldiers and knows how special this is to receive and field the new equipment.

"This is a very special moment for us," Capt. Velasquez said. "It's the first one in the Army inventory, so we get to train in it and we get to get all the information as it is a new system that we can relay to future units when they get it down the line."

Specialist Lester James Frink Jr., from Chadbourn, N.C., is a air traffic control specialist with Co. F. His job is to operate the tower and see that the aircraft land safely.

Specialist Frink said he uses this equipment to communicate with the pilots while they're on the ground or in the air. It helps them make safe flights and land safely, wherever they might be landing.

This burden was recognized by the senior aviation officer attending the ceremony.
"It's something that you can use to make your burden just a little bit smaller, then that gives us that feeling of pride and success," Maj. Gen. Crosby said.

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