Air Traffic Control: Mission Essential
Air Traffic Controls Relentless Flight Planning and Analysis Has Been, and Always Will Be, One of the Largest Factors in the Air Stations Success
Story by Corporal Mianna J. Morrison, 11 March 2019
The Marines of the Air Traffic Control Department of Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton are known for their endless dedication despite long hours and mentally intensive work. Some of their duties include planning flights and then transferring the data to flight strips which are passed along to pilots. Weather Marines work closely with the Air Traffic Control Marines, which then allows pilots to plan safe and efficient flights.
Cpl Daird Jackson, Air Traffic Controller, says that the most satisfying thing about his job is that it is challenging, as he has to apply all the knowledge he has learned on the fly in a precise manner. The amount of time spent studying even after these Marines have graduated from their schooling and are working in their unit is intensive if they want to succeed in the constant position shift that exists in the world of Air Traffic Control. Cpl. Jackson says that even after his work day is over, he often returns home to study in order to properly attain his next position.
Cpl. Jackson says that training other Marines is his favorite job at Air Traffic Control. He enjoys watching his Marines succeed and grow into effective team members, as teamwork is everything in this job. If someone has your back, you have a better chance of success in the long run. This is very important as the lives of pilots rest in the showmanship of Air Traffic Control.
Cpl. Jackson says that a common misconception is that "we are not flightline Marines. We are about aircraft movement not human movement." To clarify what he means, fightline directs aircraft during parking maneuvers for their specific units, and Air Traffic Control directs all aircraft movements for units on the Air Station. The tireless dedication of the Air Traffic Control Marines does not go unnoticed, and will forever be an invaluable part of Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton's mission success.