Air Operations 20190528-PUB790_AirOperations - Page 9

“ I LOVE MY CAREER FOR THE DIVERSITY OF JOBS AVAILABLE TO ME AS AN RAF ATCO ”
ON THE JOB TERMINAL CONTROLLER
VAL
Val is a Fight Lieutenant and is currently working as a controller on Tactical Air Traffic Control ( TacATC ) based at RAF Brize Norton .
“ My first tour was at RAF Waddington , controlling mostly ISTAR assets such as the E3D Sentry , Sentinel and Shadow in addition to training aircraft from RAFC Cranwell and Airshow traffic . I also was on the Tactical Operations ( TacOps )
team where I held 48 hours ready to deploy status for contingency operations around the world . This inspired me for a tour on Tactical Air Traffic Control ( TacATC ). After RAF Waddington , I completed a tour at RAFC Cranwell , home of Elementary Flying Training . During this time , I also deployed to the Falkland Islands , controlling a variety of military and civilian aircraft including the Typhoon , C130 Hercules , Voyager and CH47 Chinook . Now posted to TacATC , my job revolves around the reconnoitre , set up and control of Temporary Landing Zones ( TLZs ). There isn ’ t
a typical day on TacATC , you could be working from the office , planning for or travelling to a task , or you could be miles away from home with minimal or no connectivity on operations . Most of our tasks are UK based , but there are a lot of exercises for the C130 Hercules , C17 and A400M , both nationally and internationally . The variety is what makes the job so interesting and engaging . As is working with people you wouldn ’ t normally expect to as an Air Traffic Control Officer ( ATCO ) such as NATO partners , the European Defence Agency ( EDA ) and the European Air Transport Command ( EATC ).
In my spare time , I love getting out and about for an adventure and am currently undergoing selection for Exercise HIMALAYAN VENTURE – a RAF Mountaineering Association expedition to the Nepalese Himalaya . I have been fortunate to start my Mountain Leader qualifications with much greater ease and significantly less expense than I would have in the civilian world . I love my career for the diversity of jobs available to me as an RAF ATCO , the adventurous lifestyle and the people I am privileged to work with !”
9