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Navy, Air Force Air Traffic Controllers Cross-train for Emergencies

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS140725-12
Release Date: 7/25/2014 12:51:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian Morales, Naval Air Station Key West Public Affairs

July 25, 2014 (NNS) -- Air National Guardsmen with the 245th and 259th Air Traffic Control (ATC) Squadrons conducted air traffic control training at Naval Air Station Key West July 21-25.

Air Force maintainers and air traffic controllers were transported from South Carolina and Louisiana, respectively, by the 172nd Airlift Control Flight for cross-training with Navy air traffic controllers.

The ATC squadrons are two out of 10 squadrons that respond to Federal Aviation Administration requests to support the influx of air traffic during large-scale events such as the 2013 Super Bowl in Hammond, Louisiana, or natural disasters such as Hurricane Andrew, which caused an estimated damage of $25 billion in South Florida.

'I've been to Key West before and really love the area,' said Tech. Sgt. Peter Knapp, from Ponchatoula, Louisiana, and assigned to the 259th ATCS. 'I think we're going to get some very valuable training down here for all of us, especially for the younger guys that haven't had the opportunity to see this yet.'

Part of the training included assembling and operation of the MSN-7 mobile air traffic control tower, which enables control of five nautical miles of air space, and the TRN-48 tactical air navigation system, which provides range and bearing to pilots within 100 nm from Boca Chica Field.

'This is my first one [training exercise],' said Airman 1st Class Nathaniel Dans, from West Monroe, Louisiana, and assigned to the 259th ATCS. 'It's been an amazing experience to come out and learn how to do various tasks and learn how to do my particular tasks even better,' said Dans.

Air National Guardsmen also trained with NAS Key West air traffic controllers for local air operations familiarization.

'I didn't imagine a lot of things when I joined the Air Force but if there's one thing I've learned, it's the necessity to cross-train. It's good to see how other branches do things,' said Dans.




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