260 ATCS displays mobile tower capabilities to community
By Airman 1st Class Ashlyn J. Correia , 157th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 09, 2016
ROCHESTER, N.H. -- Members of the 260th Air Traffic Control Squadron spent time building relationships with the local aviation community by demonstrating their mobile tower capabilities during the fifth annual Wings and Wheels event at Skyhaven Airport here, June 4.
The Pease Development Authority (PDA), the organization that runs Portsmouth International Airport and Skyhaven Airport, regularly works with members of 260 ATCS. Officials from the PDA invited the Airmen to provide them with an opportunity to reach out and build relationships with community members and civilian aviators.
According to Senior Master Sgt. Pranav Zaveri, 260 ATCS mobile tower chief controller, this is the first year that New Hampshire Air National Guard Airmen attended in the event.
The Airmen met with and spoke with community members and families also attending, and demonstrated the real world capabilities and application of the MSN-7 Mobile Control Tower.
"How many people get to see a mobile tower and get to see it set up?" said Andrew Pomeroy, airport operations manager for PDA. "Most people don't even fathom all the necessary little parts that you guys do."
Members of the community were also impressed to have the opportunity to see the technology up close.
"I think this is a great outreach by the Guard," said Richard Band, from Dover, N.H. "I'm impressed that your equipment can really go anywhere and it gives me a feeling of confidence and comfort that our military really is there for us around the clock and around the globe."
Andrew Philippe from Rochester, N.H., discussed how it was a great opportunity for his kids to interact with the members of the Air National Guard in order to gain an appreciation for the military.
The 260 ATCS had been requested by PDA to help with the aviation portion of the event in hopes of providing air traffic control support by turning the airfield into a controlled field. Because of the short notice the 260th Airmen decided to observe this year, and work on building community relations.
"It would take us about 180 days prior to the event to get all the procedures and letters of authorization requests from the Guard Bureau and FAA [Federal Aviation Administration]," said Zaveri.
MSN-7 provides ATC Airmen with the minimum amount of equipment needed to control an airfield to launch and recover aircraft.
"The 260th's mission is we could go deploy anywhere with MSN-7, the tower Humvee, and we could turn any airfield or patch of grass in to a controlled airfield," said Zaveri.