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    ATC advisors prep new wave of Iraqi controllers

    ATC advisors prep new wave of Iraqi controllers

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Luke Kitterman | Drew, a 370th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron Air Traffic Control air advisor,...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Luke Kitterman 

    Task Force Air

    First arriving in early 2019, Air Traffic Control air advisors from the 370th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron, Detachment 1, have been working hand-in-hand with the Iraqi Air Force. The advisors’ goal has been and continues to be establishing a standardized ATC training program for the Iraqi controllers stationed at Balad Air Base - and one that they can continue to use into the future.

    “Our first order of business was to develop the course material that we would teach in the classroom portion,” said Drew, a 370th AEAS ATC air advisor. “Once the course material was developed, ATC advisors spent time instructing and conducting static board simulations in order to apply learning objectives and hone the skills of the Iraqi controllers.”

    For the past six months, the ATC advisors and their Iraqi counterparts have executed the classroom training and now look to move forward to the “On the Job Training” portion next month.

    “In only a few weeks, the advisors will begin OJT with the IqAF controllers in a ‘live traffic’ environment,” Drew explained. “Classroom and simulations are a big part of training but the best way to teach ATC is in a live training environment.”

    That environment will require fast thinking, situational awareness and attention to detail in order to keep the airspace they are responsible for safe and moving. Once the controllers finish the training program, they will be able to work air traffic on their own.

    However, that won’t be the end of training as the program will ask the newly-qualified Iraqi controllers to turn around and train the next wave of ATC members.

    “Not only will having them teach the next generation of controllers benefit their own skills but it will create a self-sustained training program where knowledge is continuously passed down, building continuity in the career field for years to come,” Drew said.

    Labeled and known as a ‘high-stress’ occupation due to numerous human lives being at stake and large quantities of ever-changing information, Air Traffic Control has played a vital role in providing safe flying operations all over the world. Knowing the importance of the training they are providing, the advisors understand the job they have before them.

    “Pilots need practice just like everyone else, and with well-trained air traffic controllers in position, the pilots can fly approaches day and night with the tower there to provide sequencing, ensuring safety of flight,” explained Drew. “At any given time, a typical ATC pattern can hold more than five different types of aircraft that will have varying speeds, altitudes and configurations. Adding to the complexity, the aircraft can depart and arrive simultaneously through two separate runways.”

    It will be these factors that soon land on the shoulders of the Iraqi controllers as they will be responsible for the safety and coordination of their pilots and aircraft. Sharp controllers will allow continuous, productive training for the flying squadrons which directly leads to enhancing Iraqi airpower and the security of their nation.



    Date Taken: 06.27.2019
    Date Posted: 07.27.2019 04:08
    Story ID: 333336
    Location: IQ

    Web Views: 138
    Downloads: 1