Beale air traffic control team wins tower of the year

  • Published
  • By Airman Tristan D. Viglianco
  • 9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs

The 9th Operations Support Squadron air traffic control team was presented with the 2015 D. Ray Hardin Air Traffic Control Facility of the Year Award for the Air Force Aug. 30, 2016, here.  

The air traffic control team won the award which is given to the best tower in the Air Force for executing approximately 44,000 operations from Jan. 1, 2015, to Dec. 31, 2015, in support of a variety of aircraft including the U-2 Dragon Lady, the T-38 Talon, and the RQ-4 Global Hawk. 

"I think teamwork helped us have a successful year,” said Staff Sgt. Phillip Rodgers, 9th OSS air traffic controller. “This past year, we helped each other to minimize mistakes and are always looking for ways to improve.”

An air traffic controller’s mission is to ensure the safe and efficient flow of air traffic to and from the facility. The Beale air traffic control team is responsible for a 5 mile radius around the runways as well as the traffic on the ground.

“Beale has a unique mission with high-altitude intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance and our contribution to that mission helped us distinguish ourselves,” said Tech. Sgt. Steven Cypher, 9th OSS NCO in charge of standards and evaluations.

Beale’s air traffic control tower is manned 24/7 to ensure the safety of the pilots and the completion of the mission.

“We have a lot of people who put in a lot of hard work and long hours. I think it is a great team achievement for all of us,” Cypher said. “I think it is awesome that we were recognized.”

The air traffic control tower team has been recognized twice now for their performance in 2015. Earlier this year, they won Air Combat Command tower of the year.

“I have seen people work really hard,” Rodgers said. “It just goes to show that all the hard work we put forth is paying off.”