New flight system deploys with 2-3 Aviation

3rd Combat Aviation Brigade
Story by Sgt. Luke Rollins

Date: 02.23.2013
Posted: 03.02.2013 01:33
News ID: 102806
New flight system deploys with 2-3 Aviation

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WOLVERINE, Afghanistan – With all the helicopters flying in and out of Forward Operating Base Wolverine in the Zabul province of southern Afghanistan, it’s a surprise the outpost isn’t larger. It doesn’t have the air traffic control infrastructure of some of the other airfields around the country. <br /> <br /> Despite this, a team from Foxtrot Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, Task Force Viper, keeps the air traffic running 24 hours a day with a little help from the latest equipment on the battlefield. <br /> <br /> “We just make sure everything is coordinated and the pilots are safe,” said Spc. Christopher Jordan, a Foxtrot Company air traffic controller, from his perch in the AN/MSQ-135 Mobile Tower System, or MOTS, the first of its kind to see action in Afghanistan.<br /> <br /> Jordan was the first person to train and be rated on the equipment in 2012 at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga. Foxtrot Company officially replaced the AN/TSW-7A—a model first introduced in the early 1980s—with the MOTS in October.<br /> <br /> Placed to overlook both the FOB and the surrounding area, the Foxtrot Company Soldiers take advantage of the unit’s user-friendly interface to ensure aircraft arrive and depart safely.<br /> <br /> “It’s a lot easier with this system than with the 7A,” said Jordan. <br /> <br /> Besides the touch-screen interfaces for the system’s computers, the MOTS offers data transfer speeds faster than 4G, and temperature-sensitive, computer-controlled windows for visibility in all climates, which comes in handy for the tricky Zabul climate, Jordan said.<br /> <br /> The new system also includes a vehicle-born air traffic control tower with organic power generators, a medium intensity solar powered airfield runway lighting system, and meteorological sensors.<br /> <br /> Jordan has seen the MOTS from the early stages of development to the deployment and he said he will always carry that with him.<br /> <br /> “I’m proud I’ll be able to look back 20 years from now and say I was the first person to train, be rated and deploy with this system,” he said.